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The Non-Imperative for a historical Book of Mormon

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18 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

It doesn’t matter that the Holy Ghost hasn’t had the experience that comes with having a body. The Holy Ghost doesn’t speak out of his own experience, but speaks only those things that the Father and the Son tell him to speak.

I took the question to be about the Holy Ghost as a person and their ability to choose and not the functional role of the Holy Ghost (which we frankly don't quite understand too well)

The reality is that almost nothing about the divine has been revealed. The biggest change with the restoration is emphasizing God as a person who is spatially and temporally located. That changes things a whole lot - especially given how ideas about God had developed around the time of Christ under pressure from Greek philosophy. God is inherently limited in certain ways. In addition we have the notion of two different kinds of embodiment - mortal and spiritual. Not unheard of at the time - Stoicism was one of the major views of the era of Christ. In Stoicism the spiritual was material yet different from regular matter of which the spiritual was a part. For us we have to make a distinction between divine beings with an exalted glorified resurrected body and those who are just spirits awaiting mortality. Yet what the differences are in practice simply isn't clear at all. It remains largely unrevealed.

Some, for instance, have said free will requires mortality and the veil of forgetfulness. Yet Satan was able to rebel and that suggests a kind of freedom prior to mortality. Exactly what difference there was between Jesus as premortal divine, Jesus as a mortal, and Jesus as resurrected isn't at all clear theologically speaking. We say there is a difference but what that is remains unclear. Really, most of our assumptions about the nature of the Father or the Holy Ghost really are extended our limited ideas about the premortal Christ or resurrected Christ and applying it to those beings.

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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I took the question to be about the Holy Ghost as a person and their ability to choose and not the functional role of the Holy Ghost (which we frankly don't quite understand too well)

The reality is that almost nothing about the divine has been revealed. The biggest change with the restoration is emphasizing God as a person who is spatially and temporally located. That changes things a whole lot - especially given how ideas about God had developed around the time of Christ under pressure from Greek philosophy. God is inherently limited in certain ways. In addition we have the notion of two different kinds of embodiment - mortal and spiritual. Not unheard of at the time - Stoicism was one of the major views of the era of Christ. In Stoicism the spiritual was material yet different from regular matter of which the spiritual was a part. For us we have to make a distinction between divine beings with an exalted glorified resurrected body and those who are just spirits awaiting mortality. Yet what the differences are in practice simply isn't clear at all. It remains largely unrevealed.

Some, for instance, have said free will requires mortality and the veil of forgetfulness. Yet Satan was able to rebel and that suggests a kind of freedom prior to mortality. Exactly what difference there was between Jesus as premortal divine, Jesus as a mortal, and Jesus as resurrected isn't at all clear theologically speaking. We say there is a difference but what that is remains unclear. Really, most of our assumptions about the nature of the Father or the Holy Ghost really are extended our limited ideas about the premortal Christ or resurrected Christ and applying it to those beings.

If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves... These ideas are incomprehensible to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.” (King Follett Discourse)

The prophet Joseph Smith tells us the only way men can know who and what they are is to first come to know the nature and character of God. But if what the prophet says is true, and if what you appear to be suggesting is also true, it means men on earth are doomed to never know who and what they are because the God whom Joseph Smith says they first need to come to know is, in actual reality, an incomprehensible mystery. 

But the prophet goes on to say that though most may say God is incomprehensible, the actual fact of the matter is that the character and nature of God are simple and easy things to understand. But why, in contradiction to the apparent popular consensus, does the prophet say knowing God is a first principle that’s simple easy to comprehend? It’s because God is simply a man who once went through the same kinds of experiences we are going through now, and that the only real difference between his nature and ours is that he is perfect at being human while we presently are not.

God has perfect faith, while our faith is real but imperfect; God has perfect hope, while our hope is also real but not yet unconquerable; God also has perfect love, while our love is real but not yet infinite and eternal in nature and scope. God is fully human, just as we are, but he’s just better at it because his motives are perfectly pure, his knowledge unlimited, and his power to think and act righteously has no limit.

Rather than following in the sad footsteps of those ancients who looked beyond the mark because they delighted in the mistaken notion that the important things we need to know about God are incomprehensible mysteries, we would all be better off in the realization that God the Father is a fully perfect human being, and his work and glory is to help all of his literal children to become fully perfect human beings as well. It’s all so simple and easy to understand that even little children can “get it.” 

Edited by teddyaware

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41 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

The prophet Joseph Smith tells us the only way men can know who and what they are is to first come to know the nature and character of God. But if what the prophet says is true, and if what you appear to be suggesting is also true, it means men on earth are doomed to never know who and what they are because the God whom Joseph Smith says they first need to come to know is, in actual reality, an incomprehensible mystery. 

I don't think you read what I wrote. Nothing I said remotely implies God is "an incomprehensible mystery." However clearly most of what we know about God comes through the portrayal of Christ. Further there are pretty big questions we have no clue about relative to God. Now if you think that implies mystery, I can easily ask you questions about the Holy Ghost, the Father, and Heavenly Mother and see if you can answer them.

To say God is comprehensible is not to say he has revealed himself fully publicly. Ultimately, beyond what has publicly been revealed (which again isn't much), the only way to comprehend God is to come to have a relationship with him. I'd say what you are missing is explain in Alma 12:9 "It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him."

Edited by clarkgoble

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9 hours ago, Gray said:

No. I said that prayer isn't a method for discovering history. You said it depends. It doesn't depend. It's no more a method for discovering history than dowsing is a method for discovering the atomic weight of carbon.

But as you indicated in subsequent posts, it does depend.

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On 3/4/2019 at 4:26 PM, churchistrue said:

I'm with you on this. Historicity definitely has its place in religious claims and validity, related to supernatural experience. Supernatural experience that has crossover to the material world and can be evaluated through normal human and scientific observation should be evaluated that way. ie Jesus suffered for our sins in Garden of Gethsemane is purely supernatural. But Jesus suffered for our sins in Garden of Gethsemane and bled great drops of blood through his pores could be evaluated (couldn't be confirmed but it could be ruled out) by looking for blood stains. Assuming the claim was made in real time and you could perform that analysis.

With regards to historicity in the LDS religion, we should be very careful that we're not betting on non-crucial aspects of our religion that are falsifiable using science and historical scholarship. Global flood and 6,000 year old Earth were assumed to be crucial aspects in the past for Judeo-Christian religions but are no longer considered crucial. Seems like it would be really wise to prepare for a non-historical BOM.

 

 

 

 

And how would one know the true source of the blood stains? I wanted the DNA of those blood stains? And would the bloodstains have anything to do with the atonement? 

Strongly suggest you read "The Future of Religion" containing essays by Rorty, Zabala and Vatimo. It is available on Kindle for around $10 and there is a free reader app available

Folks often confused what evidence is and its significance. Bloodstains do not prove the atonement. There were eyewitnesses to the crucifixion who did not believe in the atonement.

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On 3/6/2019 at 11:36 AM, clarkgoble said:

How is that fallacious? After all historians will regularly make claims about what is or isn't historical without being able to establish it as historical.

Will they? What historians do that?

On 3/6/2019 at 11:36 AM, clarkgoble said:

Further you're again assuming your conclusions that only academic history can determine what is historical. Yet that seems demonstrably false given that nearly every person on the planet has knowledge of things in the past yet the vast majority know nothing about academic history.

Of course only academic history can determine what is historical. Historical doesn't mean, "things that happened to me in my life." Any one individual's personal experiences is at best a historical source. The memories of your childhood are not history in the academic sense.

 

On 3/6/2019 at 11:36 AM, clarkgoble said:

It seems to me that academic history is parasitic on regular common sense ways of knowing events in the past and not the other way round. 

Historicity is the claim of something being historical. So you're conflating meanings with terms.

Actually when people make claims that a religious text is historical, the implicit idea behind that claim is that it's something that can be justified with historical data. But that's always the province of professional, critical historians.

The colloquial meaning of "history" is just "stories about the past." When people say "the Book of Mormon is historical" they're not trying to say it's just a story about the past. They're trying to say it's historical and use academic terms like historical and historicity.

On 3/6/2019 at 11:36 AM, clarkgoble said:

That presumes that "theological reason" can't produce justified knowledge. So you're assuming your conclusions again.

It's fine you believe that of course. I just think it's wrong.

Theology produces theological knowledge, which is in an entirely separate category from historical knowledge. You saying I'm "assuming the conclusion" is really just another way of saying "a tautological fact based on the meaning of words in English." I didn't say theological reason can't produce justified knowledge, but by definition it does not produce historical knowledge, for the same reason that biology does not produce linguistic knowledge. Linguistic knowledge is totally outside of the field of biology, just as historical knowledge is outside the field of theology.

 

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On 3/6/2019 at 7:00 PM, CV75 said:

But as you indicated in subsequent posts, it does depend.

False.

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20 minutes ago, Gray said:

Of course only academic history can determine what is historical.

Is this stance widely accepted by academic historians themselves? If you are claiming that is what the field of academic history is collectively claiming for itself, CFR please. 

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26 minutes ago, Gray said:

course only academic history can determine what is historical. 

Perhaps you are defining this differently than I am thinking, but I think you are limiting the field of history too narrowly here given the contributions of amateur historians. 

The view of a professional on this:

https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2012/loving-history

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3 hours ago, Gray said:

Will they? What historians do that?

You've never heard a historian speculate or say "possibly"? Or that two historians disagree? The mere fact there's academic disagreement entails that historians are making historic claims without establishing them as historical.

3 hours ago, Gray said:

Of course only academic history can determine what is historical. Historical doesn't mean, "things that happened to me in my life." Any one individual's personal experiences is at best a historical source. The memories of your childhood are not history in the academic sense.

 But that's exactly the problem. You're saying only academics matter and that consensus and memory about what happened isn't relevant even though that's what most people appeal to. To say my memory of yesterday isn't really what happened seems rather odd.

3 hours ago, Gray said:

Actually when people make claims that a religious text is historical, the implicit idea behind that claim is that it's something that can be justified with historical data. But that's always the province of professional, critical historians.

No when people make claims that something is historical they're making a claim that it actually happened, not that they can find an academic paper.

I think you're trying to limit the word in an odd way, doubly odd since as I recall from last year I was the one who suggested you were usually appealing to academic claims. But academic history don't determine what actually happened any more than physics determines what the actual regularities in the universe are. To make a claim of what is or what was can be done without academics. 

Surely you don't want to say that we can only know what happened by appeal to academics yet that's certainly what you're effectively arguing.

Anyway, this seems primarily a semantic argument where you want the *word* historical to only mean academic historical agreement. But that's not how people use the term - it's certainly not the dictionary use which is useful as a first order approximation for social use. People when you use *historical* usually mean past events.

 

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

 But that's exactly the problem. You're saying only academics matter and that consensus and memory about what happened isn't relevant even though that's what most people appeal to. To say my memory of yesterday isn't really what happened seems rather odd.

In addition, historians often use people's personal recorded experiences or memories of what happened to help them establish historical realities. For instance, historians use people's reminiscences about Abraham Lincoln to help them piece together what his childhood was like. Is the current historical reconstruction of Lincoln's early life, as understood by academic historians, really more valid than the many non-scholarly sources upon which they have drawn to construct it? 

I think we all agree that sound academic historical methods are often the best, and in many cases, the only way that we can make reliable judgments about what may or may not have happened in the past. But it is not helpful to conflate sound methods of academic historiography with actual historical reality itself. In other words, it is misleading to suggest that anything that has not or cannot be reliably scrutinized by the methods of academic historians is not "historical." 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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2 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

In addition, historians often use people's personal recorded experiences or memories of what happened to help them establish historical realities. For instance, historians use people's reminiscences about Abraham Lincoln to help them piece together what his childhood was like. Is the current historical reconstruction of Lincoln's early life, as understood by academic historians, really more valid than the many non-scholarly sources upon which they have drawn to construct it? 

Yes it's practical problems mirror those of people who say the only entities that should be allowed as real are those confirmed by science, missing how that undermines the actions of scientists doing science.

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13 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

You've never heard a historian speculate or say "possibly"? Or that two historians disagree? The mere fact there's academic disagreement entails that historians are making historic claims without establishing them as historical.

 But that's exactly the problem. You're saying only academics matter and that consensus and memory about what happened isn't relevant even though that's what most people appeal to. To say my memory of yesterday isn't really what happened seems rather odd.

No when people make claims that something is historical they're making a claim that it actually happened, not that they can find an academic paper.

I think you're trying to limit the word in an odd way, doubly odd since as I recall from last year I was the one who suggested you were usually appealing to academic claims. But academic history don't determine what actually happened any more than physics determines what the actual regularities in the universe are. To make a claim of what is or what was can be done without academics. 

Surely you don't want to say that we can only know what happened by appeal to academics yet that's certainly what you're effectively arguing.

Anyway, this seems primarily a semantic argument where you want the *word* historical to only mean academic historical agreement. But that's not how people use the term - it's certainly not the dictionary use which is useful as a first order approximation for social use. People when you use *historical* usually mean past events.

 

Pick any childhood event in your life that included siblings.

Ask them what happened.

You'll quickly discover that history is more hysterical than historical.

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12 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

In addition, historians often use people's personal recorded experiences or memories of what happened to help them establish historical realities. For instance, historians use people's reminiscences about Abraham Lincoln to help them piece together what his childhood was like. Is the current historical reconstruction of Lincoln's early life, as understood by academic historians, really more valid than the many non-scholarly sources upon which they have drawn to construct it? 

I think we all agree that sound academic historical methods are often the best, and in many cases, the only way that we can make reliable judgments about what may or may not have happened in the past. But it is not helpful to conflate sound methods of academic historiography with actual historical reality itself. In other words, it is misleading to suggest that anything that has not or cannot be reliably scrutinized by the methods of academic historians is not "historical." 

There are no facts only interpretations and this itself is an interpretation.

- Nietzsche, paraphrased

This of course also applies to what people think is "real"

Even speaking of reality is metaphysics. What is real is unobservable. We cannot know what is real we can only know what we take to be real.

All we can know is the pooled record of human experience. History is a pool of peer agreed upon responses to what people interpreted things as happening, as is science also for that matter. That's why Kuhn was so right about paradigms.

Science teaches supposedly about what is real but what is real changes every few years.!

what we think we know is nothing more than the pooled record of the flow of human consciousness.

Once a thought gets into a language the only laws of the universe are grammar, and another human invention, math. 

Hermeneutics is all we can pretend to know. 

This is a man-made universe made by the Man of Holiness and even he gave us the tower of Babel!

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Pick any childhood event in your life that included siblings.

Ask them what happened.

You'll quickly discover that history is more hysterical than historical.

There's no doubt that history as a social academic practice is more accurate than individual memories. But that's not what I'm arguing. 

A good example would be the Nixon fall. Consider "deep throat" and Woodward. Now they both obviously knew the identity of "deep throat" over the years. I think it was over 30 years before "deep throat" was identified. Over that 30  years there were a lot of history books and papers written, quite a few of which speculated as to the identity of "deep throat." There was no consensus. But we'd never want to say that during that time "deep throat" and Woodward didn't know that "deep throat" was Mark Felt. 

The point is that history is parasitic on individual knowledge and belief. It's a social practice that enables one to take individual beliefs and improve accuracy. But while it improves accuracy it's not the same as truth. That's why we talk about some books or papers being dated, because later work overturns claims in even influential history books. In the same way we all have beliefs about objects, structures and so forth.

Science works because it is a way to improve accuracy over what we might call common sense physics or biology. Indeed because of its abilities it does so in a dramatic way. Yet if someone sees something it doesn't mean that their experience isn't accurate just because scientific consensus disagrees. An example of this was my grandfather who spotted a black footed ferret in Alberta when science said it was extinct in the region. He set up some triggered cameras and got pictures of the black footed ferret. He sent pictures to naturalists. They refused to believe it and thought it a hoax. Ten years after his death a scientist caught a ferret and then consensus changed. Did that mean my grandfather didn't know that the ferret in question wasn't extinct but alive and well in the region?

So we have to be careful when we appeal to academic disciplines as the criteria for truth rather than just much more accurate ways of knowing. Even if they are accurate, it doesn't mean individual experience can't lead to the person having knowledge.

However in the discussion with Grey I think all of these were secondary issues. The primary issue was the semantic question of whether history refers only to academic works of history or to events in the past independent of such academic productions. Although that comes close to the old question of realism vs. more deflationary accounts. Although it doesn't go quite as far as that. After all one can be a deflationist yet think individual knowledge is possible. Indeed a common deflationary position is that group knowledge (including science and academic history) is just a kind of aggregate of individual knowledge. I don't go that far although I think it parasitic on individual knowledge and beliefs.

Edited by clarkgoble

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Pick any childhood event in your life that included siblings.

Ask them what happened.

You'll quickly discover that history is more hysterical than historical.

My younger sister and I have spirited discussions about how particular events happened in our family. One time she was correcting me with how she thought something occurred. She was quite sure of her own memory of the event until I reminded her that she had not been born yet.

I have frequently told this story about a good friend of mine who is in the music business who used to travel with Frank Sinatra and Co. As my friend got off the bus one day, he asked Sammy Davis for change for a $20.00 so he could buy a soda. Sammy replied "Babe, $20.00 is change." The other day I told my friend how much I enjoyed telling about his encounter with Davis, to which my friend replied; "that never happened."  

A great example of this is the story of BY's transfiguration in Nauvoo. We have 1st person accounts of this from people we know were not there.

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27 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

 Indeed a common deflationary position is that group knowledge (including science and academic history) is just a kind of aggregate of individual knowledge. I don't go that far although I think it parasitic on individual knowledge and beliefs.

And that deflationary position is the one I hold.

Honestly for the life of me I cannot figure out how anyone could believe in something that has never been experienced by anybody. And of course that includes spiritual experience.

So all this talk about accuracy and truth and knowledge of reality beyond the aggregate of what people have experienced to me is just metaphysical nonsense.

Quite honestly to me it's just gibberish.

I would like to see one explanation of it making sense. In my entire life and my entire study of philosophy I've not found one yet. Cartesian dualism is at the bottom of every theory that puts that kind of thing forth.

It's metaphysics. It's imaginary stuff.

By definition it is what no one has ever experienced.

How can one believe in a world that exists that has never been experienced?

To me that is exactly the position of people who talk about the "accuracy of what really happened."

What really happened is the aggregate of the memories of the people who experienced it. 

No they do not agree.

We live in a sea of ambiguity. Let's get over it. We are here to create our own worlds of understanding, and create our own life

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Honestly for the life of me I cannot figure out how anyone could believe in something that has never been experienced by anybody. And of course that includes spiritual experience.

Just to be clear, nothing I've been speaking about relative to history relates to what is outside of experience. The identity of deep throat was part of the experience of the people in question.

To your question as we've discussed before the issue is what experience is. So right now arguably I'm experiencing much of the universe in some sense even if I'm not conscious of most of it. The question ends up being how to distinguish between experience in the various forms of pragmatism from empiricism. That's a non-trivial issue. Different people will disagree on what is in experience or not.

Consider the position of the moon in 1000 years. In one sense that has not been experienced by anyone. In an other it'd be foolish to say that science can't tell you with extreme accuracy the position of the moon. So that gets into the area we frequently seem to disagree upon - the relation of truth and knowledge to future experiences. Peirce rather early saw pragmatism as tied to claims of counterfactual experiences. A diamond is hard simply means that were I to hit it certain things would happen depending upon what and how I hit it. Simultaneously the entities I can know include generalities, such as say claims about mechanical motion such as the moon.

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

What really happened is the aggregate of the memories of the people who experienced it. 

I'm not even sure what aggregate means in that case. However I also think that false. Paleontologists will make claims about the distant past based upon fossils and other materials that persist. No memories involved unless one calls the traces of the past that persist into the present a kind of non-human memory.

Edited by clarkgoble

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

And that deflationary position is the one I hold.

Honestly for the life of me I cannot figure out how anyone could believe in something that has never been experienced by anybody. And of course that includes spiritual experience.

So all this talk about accuracy and truth and knowledge of reality beyond the aggregate of what people have experienced to me is just metaphysical nonsense.

Quite honestly to me it's just gibberish.

I would like to see one explanation of it making sense. In my entire life and my entire study of philosophy I've not found one yet. Cartesian dualism is at the bottom of every theory that puts that kind of thing forth.

It's metaphysics. It's imaginary stuff.

By definition it is what no one has ever experienced.

How can one believe in a world that exists that has never been experienced?

To me that is exactly the position of people who talk about the "accuracy of what really happened."

What really happened is the aggregate of the memories of the people who experienced it. 

No they do not agree.

We live in a sea of ambiguity. Let's get over it. We are here to create our own worlds of understanding, and create our own life

 

1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

Just to be clear, nothing I've been speaking about relative to history relates to what is outside of experience. The identity of deep throat was part of the experience of the people in question.

To your question as we've discussed before the issue is what experience is. So right now arguably I'm experiencing much of the universe in some sense even if I'm not conscious of most of it. The question ends up being how to distinguish between experience in the various forms of pragmatism from empiricism. That's a non-trivial issue. Different people will disagree on what is in experience or not.

Consider the position of the moon in 1000 years. In one sense that has not been experienced by anyone. In an other it'd be foolish to say that science can't tell you with extreme accuracy the position of the moon. So that gets into the area we frequently seem to disagree upon - the relation of truth and knowledge to future experiences. Peirce rather early saw pragmatism as tied to claims of counterfactual experiences. A diamond is hard simply means that were I to hit it certain things would happen depending upon what and how I hit it. Simultaneously the entities I can know include generalities, such as say claims about mechanical motion such as the moon.

I'm never quite sure what to make of these deeper philosophical debates between Clark and mfbukowski.

I see things pretty simply. For me, everything is based on inductive reasoning. We reach general conclusions based on the perceived consistency of our individual experiences. We can't really know anything with absolute certainty. But it seems that there are plenty of reasons to believe we live in a shared objective reality. Language often tries to approximate that reality, which is really just a product of our minds trying to approximate that reality. Language is a product of inductive reasoning that has been institutionalized. We need common labels for things that we all believe are present in our shared reality. Of course, language is fluid and relative and so forth. But, in so many instances, it seems to usefully and accurately communicate ideas that individuals in the perceived shared objective reality can mutually relate to and benefit from. In other words, language isn't some sort of spontaneous human creation. Its basis is in the same inductive logic that leads individuals to conclude that we indeed live in an objective reality, and language was created to approximately represent that shared reality in all its past, present, future, analogous, and hypothetical forms. 

We only create our own world of understanding (at least in the way I think Mark is implying) in the sense that we have good reasons to believe that our inductive conclusions about reality are often flawed (i.e. inconsistent with the shared objective reality that we have good cause to believe in). Yet, to me, it seems unhelpful to overemphasize epistemic uncertainty or the limitations of language in a generalized way, as if all processes of induction or communication are equally flawed and unreliable on all levels. My inductive logic tells me that certain processes of induction in certain contexts have a greater propensity to accurately reflect reality than other processes in other contexts. Our fundamental logic is built upon layers and layers of inductive reasoning, and sometimes when we find that a specific layer isn't working, we back up a layer and reassess the deeper layer's validity.

It seems to me that most philosophical debates that I encounter (at least the ones that deal with logic and epistemology at a general level) can be fairly easily resolved or helpfully clarified when I recast them using the language and structure of my own philosophical assumptions. For this reason, I've never really been all that interested in pursuing an in depth view of various philosophical theories. It's not that I don't think they are useful to know about, generally speaking; its just that they rarely shed new light or change my perspective about the subjects that I'm interested in.

For whatever that all is worth. 

 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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28 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

 

 

 

I'm never quite sure what to make of these deeper philosophical debates between Clark and mfbukowski.
 

 

I wouldn't worry about it.  It's more than likely those debates never really took place.

Edited by Rich Hansen
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40 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I'm never quite sure what to make of these deeper philosophical debates between Clark and mfbukowski.

In these debates I think we are being blessed with witnessing the resurgence of modern form of glossolalia.

Now if we only had a modern day Eliza Snow to interpret.

😄

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2 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I'm never quite sure what to make of these deeper philosophical debates between Clark and mfbukowski.

I wouldn't worry about them too much. I think they relate to Mark's ultimate argument for Latter-day Saint belief. I'll not try to briefly summarize Mark's views there both because I never quite get them exactly right but also because he's made his arguments here many times. From my perspective the ultimate disagreement is how skeptical we should be of the way things appear to us. I think we should be very skeptical whereas my sense is Mark thinks we should take it as it comes.

To philosophy itself, I go in gusts on it. I quite regularly decide it's all worthless and will go several years without reading or studying philosophy. However where it always drags me back in is when people's fundamental assumptions lead them to radically different views. I think it's useful to try  and understand people's fundamental stances so as to understand the conclusions they arrive at. In one sense one is doing philosophy then whether one wants to or not.

2 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I see things pretty simply. For me, everything is based on inductive reasoning. We reach general conclusions based on the perceived consistency of our individual experiences. We can't really know anything with absolute certainty. But it seems that there are plenty of reasons to believe we live in a shared objective reality. Language often tries to approximate that reality, which is really just a product of our minds trying to approximate that reality. Language is a product of inductive reasoning that has been institutionalized. We need common labels for things that we all believe are present in our shared reality. Of course, language is fluid and relative and so forth. But, in so many instances, it seems to usefully and accurately communicate ideas that individuals in the perceived shared objective reality can mutually relate to and benefit from. In other words, language isn't some sort of spontaneous human creation. Its basis is in the same inductive logic that leads individuals to conclude that we indeed live in an objective reality, and language was created to approximately represent that shared reality in all its past, present, future, analogous, and hypothetical forms. 

I mostly agree with you, although I'm not sure I'd say it's all induction. But that gets technical and perhaps pedantic about what induction is  and what the alternatives are.

For the most part, while I think skepticism is important, I think our common sense reasoning can get us a long ways.

2 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

It seems to me that most philosophical debates that I encounter (at least the ones that deal with logic and epistemology at a general level) can be fairly easily resolved or helpfully clarified when I recast them using the language and structure of my own philosophical assumptions.

Well to the degree you see where you differ in fundamental assumptions. But yes, if you're clear on your own assumptions you can typically see where you differ. However I think part of skepticism and inquiry is always trying your own assumptions.

The reason these discussions can see like glossalia is mainly because you're looking at subtle differences that can have important implications downstream. But it's not like philosophers are the only ones to appeal to jargon to specify things clearly. Move to the sciences and you'll find if anything orders of magnitude more jargon.

Edited by clarkgoble
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19 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I mostly agree with you, although I'm not sure I'd say it's all induction. But that gets technical and perhaps pedantic about what induction is  and what the alternatives are

Oh, I agree. I think there is room for deduction and all sorts of more complex forms of reasoning. But ultimately, as far as I can tell, all logic boils down to induction in the end. All other logical principles are extrapolated from generalizations that we make based on limited experiences. But, maybe I'm wrong on this. I'd be interested to see what conclusions don't ultimately depend on inductive reasoning. 

23 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Well to the degree you see where you differ in fundamental assumptions. But yes, if you're clear on your own assumptions you can typically see where you differ. However I think part of skepticism and inquiry is always trying your own assumptions.

The reason these discussions can see like glossalia is mainly because you're looking at subtle differences that can have important implications downstream. But it's not like philosophers are the only ones to appeal to jargon to specify things clearly. Move to the sciences and you'll find if anything orders of magnitude more jargon.

I find philisophical theories, when applied to a specific discipline to be interesting and really imperative to understand. So I was probably speaking too broadly. I guess it is the more abstract ideas that seem obviously and foundationally wrong to me, that I don't really have an interest in pursuing in any degree of depth. I've spent a lot of hours on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and in the end I usually feel like I've wasted my time. Probably because it seems pointless to explore the dozen or more variations of a given philosophical theory when I mostly disagree with its premises in the first place. 

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4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

We live in a sea of ambiguity. Let's get over it. We are here to create our own worlds of understanding, and create our own life

 

I feel so much better! I am not now the only one you have told to "get over it!" Phew!

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On 3/11/2019 at 2:41 PM, Calm said:

Perhaps you are defining this differently than I am thinking, but I think you are limiting the field of history too narrowly here given the contributions of amateur historians. 

The view of a professional on this:

https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2012/loving-history

My distinction isn't really about the credentials of the historian, only whether or not a historian is following the methods historians use.

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