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Do the doctrines of God change?

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God, the creator, the master of science supposedly doesn't want his ways to be found out through proof?

Why are you asking me? I made no such claim. Why can't you address what I actually have said rather than some imaginary interlocutor?

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It seems made up. Fraudsters and hucksters use the same methods of attacking questioners and demanding obedience without proof.

It is made up. It is a figment of your pride-blinding imagination. You aren't being attacked. Rather, your criticisms are being reasonably challenged, while you dance around them with straw men (speaking of fraudsters and hucksters).

And, no one is demanding obedience. Rather, obedience is a choice, and, significantly, a means of proof.  How is it that you did not know this? Could it be a lack of humility? 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by Wade Englund

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22 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

 

 

This relatively brief presentation on the functions respectively of the left and right hemispheres may give reason why we are commanded to worship God with ALL our mind.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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On 4/24/2019 at 2:52 PM, Wade Englund said:

 

Why are you asking me? I made no such claim. Why can't you address what I actually have said rather than some imaginary interlocutor?

It is made up. It is a figment of your pride-blinding imagination. You aren't being attacked. Rather, your criticisms are being reasonably challenged, while you dance around them with straw men (speaking of fraudsters and hucksters).

And, no one is demanding obedience. Rather, obedience is a choice, and, significantly, a means of proof.  How is it that you did not know this? Could it be a lack of humility? 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

That has to be it. I lack humility because I want proof that you aren't delusional in your religious claims. You don't have any. You are the one who lacks humility, who runs to the religious bunker of non-falsifiability. Let me know when there is some proof for dowsing rods and seer stones and I will listen. Until then, I need to move on.

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Still ensconced in obsolete Positivism, and blind to the implications. 

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“Paradigms provide scientists not only with a map but also with some of the directions essential for map-making.” 1

T. Kuhn

It happens that one of the key features of the powerful critique of Positivism had to do with the limits of both verification and falsification.  N. R. Hanson, in The Logic of Scientific Discovery had pointed out that "All data are theory-laden."  That is, your theories tell you what counts as data and what problem to look at using what instruments against what background of expectation.  Notice that Exiled calls for proof of "dowsing rods", as though that would be a foundational issue for LDS belief here, or religious faith in general.  Is that reasonable?  Or just rhetorical slight-of-hand?  A distraction?

For seer stones, specifically in the hands of Joseph Smith, how about looking at Brant Gardner's Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History and Sorenson's Mormon's Codex, or the Aston's In the Footsteps of Lehi, or countless other approaches, including the Roberts 1922 Study, or Metcalfe's New Approaches, if you like.  Nibley pointed out long ago that critics have tended to spend more time scoffing at Joseph's methods, rather than considering the results.  (Hence, the Parable of the Diamond in Lehi in the Desert.)

Exiled relies on Positivism to simply leave this stuff off his map, and therefore, out of any assessment or discussion.  It's like a person in windowless basement wearing blinders says, "Prove to me that there is a rainbow outside without me having to endure the inconvenience and dislocation of getting up and going outside and removing my blindfold to look when sunlight is shining through water droplets." 

He's also holding out for a God who will coerce his unwilling and reluctant submission, rather than one who will invite and reward faith with ongoing results, expansion of the mind and heart, enlargement of the soul, and future promise.  I rather think the experience of discovering a God who coerces unwilling submission would be rather more unpleasant than one who offers an increasingly inviting "cause to believe."  A demand that God force his existence upon you means that that is the only kind of God that a person can encounter.  I remember at the SLC IANDS conference, the report of a girl who reported that she had been raised as a secular Jew, one who lived her cultural values because it made her an ethical and good person, and not because she imagined a real God behind it all.  When she was hit by a car, and found herself unexpectedly as an aware spirit self looking down at a temporarily discarded physical body, her first thought was, "I hate being wrong!"

So from Ian Barbour and Thomas Kuhn, I get this sort of thing:

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  1. Theory influences observation. “The procedures for making observations, and the language in which data are reported” are “theory-laden.”83 For example, when Vogel offers up nineteenth-century descriptions of Native American fortifications, he sees them as direct evidence of his position rather than as data that any theory should acknowledge and explain. He ignores the issue of whether such descriptions would be present in an authentic text because of a combination of a common stimulus (similar fortifications being present in Book of Mormon times) and translator vocabulary. His theories permeate the language in which he reports his data. For example, Vogel claims that “Lehi’s blessing on his sons speaks of preserving America for his posterity and that the land would not be ‘overrun’ by other nations until after his seed should ‘dwindle in unbelief’ (2 Ne. 1[:10]).”84 The word America does not appear in the Book of Mormon, but Vogel’s interpretive language remedies the lack.
  2. Theories are assessed and replaced by alternatives rather than falsified. “The empiricists,” Barbour explains, “had claimed that even though a theory cannot be verified by its agreement with data, it can be falsified by disagreement with data. [Note that this is Vogel’s express position!] But critics showed that discordant data alone have seldom been taken to falsify an accepted theory in the absence of an alternative theory; instead, auxiliary assumptions have been modified, or the discrepancies have been set aside as anomalies.”85 Barbour demonstrates that in practice, theories are neither verified, nor falsified, but assessed by a variety of criteria. “Comprehensive theories are indeed resistant to falsification, but that observation does exert some control over theory; an accumulation of anomalies cannot be ignored indefinitely.”86

So, how much control do we grant to any particular observation and interpretation? In practice, this relates both to how an investigator chooses to value that particular observation and to how it rests within a network of theories and observations.87

https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1458&index=14

One of the things I have found most interesting and rewarding has been to consider how the same information that some have put forth as proof of the falsity of the Book of Mormon, as insurmountable obstacles to belief, has so often been transformed in significance by the discovery of new information and perspectives.   Nibley's "Howlers in the Book of Mormon" and "Roper's "Boomerang Hits in the Book of Mormon" have documented many instances of this.  I have done so in my own essays many times over the years. (My exploration of Margaret Barker's work is filled with such discoveries.)   Such rewards are an important part of my own "cause to believe."  Another person like Exiled can simply ignore that sort of thing and point elsewhere, but their devaluation is irrelevant to my own valuation.   The personal and subjective aspect of faith decisions is exposed, not only for me, but for the supposed objective and purely rational critic as well.

Another thing worth noting is how often a critic's arguments mask the underlying form ,"It's not how I would have done it if I were God," which depends for its effectiveness on concealing the sandiness of the foundational logic that the skeptical critic is equivalent to God.  If the unstated presumption is exposed for what it is, the logic built on that premise collapses at a touch.  Hence, the chronic refusal for serious reflective introspection and beam removal.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

 

Edited by Kevin Christensen
typo
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3 hours ago, Exiled said:

That has to be it. I lack humility because I want proof that you aren't delusional in your religious claims. You don't have any. You are the one who lacks humility, who runs to the religious bunker of non-falsifiability. Let me know when there is some proof for dowsing rods and seer stones and I will listen. Until then, I need to move on.

Again, instead of engaging the reasoned challenges to your criticism, you dance away in a flourish of caricatures and false projections, pretending to yourself that you are above it all.

Bravo!!! You fooled at least one person.

Let me know if you ever wish to have an intelligent and reasoned and mutually respectful exchange. Until then, all the best to you in moving on.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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On 4/26/2019 at 10:59 AM, Wade Englund said:

Let me know if you ever wish to have an intelligent and reasoned and mutually respectful exchange. Until then, all the best to you in moving on.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I think you should realize that the constant pressure from family to come back to something I deem as clear error is going to lead to frustration.

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For Exiled.  Recommended reading.

http://www.religion-online.org/book/myths-models-and-paradigms-a-comparative-study-in-science-and-religion/

Ian G. Barbour is Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. He is the author of Myths, Models and Paradigms (a National Book Award), Issues in Science and Religion, and Science and Secularity, all published by HarperSanFrancisco.   It's one of my favorite books of all time.  Exceptionally clear and profoundly useful in all sorts of areas.  I have referenced it quite often over the decades since I chanced upon a copy in the Cupertino Library.  It was one of the first books I xeroxed.  I eventually used Bookfinder.com to get my own copy, which shows lots of wear and tear and is heavily marked.  For you, enlightment would come at the cost of a point and click.

And you might benefit from exploring the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth:  Of nine positions, the second is this:

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POSITION 2 - Multiplicity Prelegitimate.  (Resisting snake)

 

Now the person moves to accept that there is diversity, but they still think there are TRUE authorities who are right, that the others are confused by complexities or are just frauds.  They think they are with the true authorities and are right while all others are wrong.  They accept that their good authorities present problems so they can learn to reach right answers independently. 

 

TRANSITION: 2-3 - Dualism modified

 

Now the person admits that good authorities can admit to not knowing all the answers yet, but they will teach what they know now and teach the rest when they have it.  They accept that disciplines are divided into the definite and the vague, but that in the end even science fails. Though they have given up dividing meaning into just two realms, they still feel knowledge and goodness are quantitative and that agency is "out there".

A lot happens before getting to Position 9, including this stuff going from 4 to 5 and then 6.

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NOW UNCERTAINTIES OR DIVERSITIES MULTIPLY UNTIL THEY TIP THE BALANCE AGAINST CERTAINTY AND HOMOGENEITY, PRECIPITATING A CRISIS THAT FORCES THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW VISION OF THE WORLD, BE IT ONE MARKED BY CYNICISM, ANXIETY, OR A NEW SENSE OF FREEDOM.

 

POSITION 5  Relativism discovered.

 

The person accepts that all thinking is relative for everyone and are much taken with this new perspective.  It could be a time of profound anxiety as the person struggles to understand how to make right choices.  They decide they can and must do something about this new world view, but they may spend a long time before sensing a need for commitment.  They can take responsibility for a task at hand, but don't yet realize they have a responsibility to choose commitments.

 

THIS POSITION COULD MAKE FOR A PERSON WHOSE AGENCY FOR MAKING SENSE HAS VANISHED ENTIRELY.  THEY COULD ALSO REACT BY POSTPONING DECISIONS, FALLING INTO APATHY OR GOING INTO A RAGE.  IT COULD GET SO BAD IT COULD APPEAR THE PERSON NEEDS CLINICAL HELP.  THE POTENTIAL FOR CYNICISM COULD BECOME EQUALLY ALARMING EDUCATIONALLY.

 

If the person RETREATS, rage takes over and he loses agency to make sense. He survives by avoiding complexity and ambivalence and regresses to Dualism, position 2, (multiplicity prelegitimate).  He becomes moralistic righteous and has "righteous" hatred for otherness.  He complains childlike and demands of authority figures to just tell him what they want.

 

If the person at this point doesn't retreat, he may go into a state of TEMPORIZING.  His agency for making sense has vanished, but he postpones any movement.  He may reconsign agency to some possible event.  If so, Guilt and shame accompany the uneasiness about a failure of responsibility they feel hopeless to cope with.

 

Or if not either of the above then the person may try to ESCAPE.  He becomes apathetic.  His agency for making sense has also vanished, but in his feeling of being alienated, he abandons responsibility and uses his understanding of multiplicity and relativism as a way to avoid commitment. He is drifting and has some sense that later he will find himself to be living a hollow life.  This drifting with insecurity about "goodness" of his position can make for such a detachment that precludes any meaningful involvement.  He starts to rely on impulse.  THIS CAN BECOME A SETTLED CONDITION.  "For the students reporting their recovery of care,...their period of alienation appears as a time of transition.  In this time the self is lost through the very effort to hold onto it in the face of inexorable change in the world's appearance.  It is a space of meaninglessness between received belief and creative faith.  In their rebirth they experience in themselves the origin or meanings, which they had previously expected to come to them from outside." (page 92 of the Perry Scheme.)

 

POSITION 6. Commitment Foreseen.

 

FROM HERE ON THE PERSON WILL FEEL FRUSTRATION IN TOO-STRUCTURED OF AN ENVIRONMENT.

 

Now the person thinks he is alone in an uncertain world, making his own decisions, with no one to say he is right.  He makes choices aware of relativism and accepts that the agency to do so is within the individual. He sees that to move forward he must make commitments coming from within. He foresees the challenge of responsibility and feels he needs to get on with it.  He also senses that the first steps require arbitrary faith or willing suspension of disbelief.  He knows he needs to narrow his focus, center himself and become aware of internal, what could be called, spiritual strength.

 

He starts to see how he must be embracing and transcending of: certainty/doubt, focus/breadth, idealism/realism, tolerance/contempt, stability/flexibility. He senses need for affirmation and incorporation of existential or logical polarities. He senses need to hold polarities in tension in the interest of Truth.

 

He begins to maintain meaning, coherence, and value while conscious of their partial, limited, and contradictable nature. He begins to understand symbol as symbols and acknowledges the time-place relativity of them. He begins to affirm and hold absolutes in symbols while still acknowledging them to be relativistic. He begins to embrace viewpoints in conflict with his own. Now the person has a field-independent learning style, has learned to scan for information, accepts that hierarchical and analytic notes are evidence of sharpening of cognition.  He is willing to take risks, is flexible, perceptive, broad, strategy-minded, and analytical.

Eventually, if a person doesn't decide to simplify thinking to the point of letting it all have to do with being on the "right side", this sort of thing happens at Position 9.

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The TRANSITION between Position 8 and 9 brings trauma.  The person feels everything is contradictory and he just can't make sense out of life's dilemmas.  But he begins to develop sense of irony and sees he must embrace viewpoints in conflict with his own, not in the old multiplistic way of "separate but equal" or "live and let live" but truly embrace them with what might as well be called "love".

 

POSITION 9.  Commitments in Relativism further developed.

 

The person now has a developed sense of irony and can more easily embrace  other's viewpoints. He can accept life as just that "life", just the way IT is! Now he holds the commitments he makes in a condition of "PROVISIONAL ULTIMACY", meaning that for him what he chooses to be truth IS his truth, and he acts as if it is ultimate truth, but there is still a "provision" for change. He has no illusions about having "arrived" permanently on top of some heap, he is ready and knows he will have to retrace his journey over and over, but he has hope that he will do it each time more wisely. He is aware that he is developing his IDENTITY through Commitment. He can affirm the inseparable nature of the knower and the known--meaning he knows he as knower contributes to what he calls known. He helps weld a community by sharing realization of aloneness and gains  strength and intimacy through this shared vulnerability. He has discarded obedience in favor of his own agency, and he continues to select, judge, and build.

Ian Barbour, though not mentioning the Perry Scheme, clearly operates at Position 9.  And I've made the case (in Sophic Box and Mantic Visita) that Joseph Smith, by word and deed and thought, encourages us to get to Position 9.  Position 9 also is quite clearly at odds with the assumptions of positivism.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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On 5/8/2019 at 12:13 PM, Kevin Christensen said:

For Exiled.  Recommended reading.

http://www.religion-online.org/book/myths-models-and-paradigms-a-comparative-study-in-science-and-religion/

Ian G. Barbour is Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. He is the author of Myths, Models and Paradigms (a National Book Award), Issues in Science and Religion, and Science and Secularity, all published by HarperSanFrancisco.   It's one of my favorite books of all time.  Exceptionally clear and profoundly useful in all sorts of areas.  I have referenced it quite often over the decades since I chanced upon a copy in the Cupertino Library.  It was one of the first books I xeroxed.  I eventually used Bookfinder.com to get my own copy, which shows lots of wear and tear and is heavily marked.  For you, enlightment would come at the cost of a point and click.

And you might benefit from exploring the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth:  Of nine positions, the second is this:

A lot happens before getting to Position 9, including this stuff going from 4 to 5 and then 6.

Eventually, if a person doesn't decide to simplify thinking to the point of letting it all have to do with being on the "right side", this sort of thing happens at Position 9.

Ian Barbour, though not mentioning the Perry Scheme, clearly operates at Position 9.  And I've made the case (in Sophic Box and Mantic Visita) that Joseph Smith, by word and deed and thought, encourages us to get to Position 9.  Position 9 also is quite clearly at odds with the assumptions of positivism.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

I will take a look at what you suggested, thanks.

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Posted (edited)

 Kevin quoted stage 9 of the Perry Scheme:

"The person now has a developed sense of irony and can more easily embrace  other's viewpoints. He can accept life as just that "life", just the way IT is! Now he holds the commitments he makes in a condition of "PROVISIONAL ULTIMACY", meaning that for him what he chooses to be truth IS his truth, and he acts as if it is ultimate truth, but there is still a "provision" for change. He has no illusions about having "arrived" permanently on top of some heap, he is ready and knows he will have to retrace his journey over and over, but he has hope that he will do it each time more wisely. He is aware that he is developing his IDENTITY through Commitment. He can affirm the inseparable nature of the knower and the known--meaning he knows he as knower contributes to what he calls known. He helps weld a community by sharing realization of aloneness and gains strength and intimacy through this shared vulnerability. He has discarded obedience in favor of his own agency, and he continues to select, judge, and build."

Thus is pure brilliance.

We all see the same things, but the difference between positivists and relativists is clearly about what they BELIEVE they are seeing.

For me that has always been prima facie evidence that BELIEFS about "what is real" are important than anything we could KNOW about "what is real".

The simple fact that there is a diversity of ways of seeing the same world we all see, ought to be proof enough to anyone that what separates the knower and what counts as "known" is one's belief system about what is known.

And as one's belief system constantly changes as one grows, ones reality and truth changes.

Just think about it.

Unless we are mentally ill we all live together in the same world and manage to function. On the other hand there are thousands of ways, perhaps, of seeing the same world in which we all function just fine.

So then where is the disagreement between us?

It should be clear that it is not in the world that we all work within,  but in the BELIEFS about that world and how we interpret our experiences.

It seems evident to me then that the beliefs we have about reality determine our individual "realities" more than our shared uniform experiences do.

We all have a conscience but believers may call it the light of Christ and non-believers may call it an undefined psychological experience, for example.

It's the same experience of something inside, telling us not to do wrong things, but our individual beliefs compel us to interpret it differently

And so Perry nails it.

What life is about as we mature is more about understanding the paradigms we pick for our belief systems, and our commitments to them, than the "world out there" in which we all function on a daily basis, and can agree that cars are cars, trees are trees, and about where room 213 should be in a building. It should not be next to room 487. Both atheists and believers would equally irate if the facts were that room 487 was in fact next to room 213 on the sixth floor. But does that count the basement as the first floor?

As Nietzsche would say it is not about the facts but about our interpretations.

What becomes important in our lives as we mature is the meaning and structure we provide individually for the world which we all experience.

Edited by mfbukowski
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