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mfbukowski

The Pragmatic, Secular Atonement

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47 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Where I differ with you still is that I have a strong impulse to say that not all paradigms and beliefs are created equally, and some paradigms can arguably create much better outcomes for the average human and for the prospects of life as we know it.  And as you know, I'm not comfortable viewing religious paradigms through the same lens as scientific ones, even though I recognize that science isn't a perfect process, I see some significant differences and benefits to it in many contexts, especially over and above religious thought experiments and speculation about the nature of God.  Although these kinds of speculations about God can be quite enjoyable to participate in.  

Well I am glad that it has been positive for you!

There is no question that some "paradigms work better than others"- that is Kuhn in 5 words.

The difference between religious paradigms and scientific ones is objectivity- ie: that scientific paradigms can be shown to have evidence that can be replicated.   But the process is the same in that all they can show us is how humans perceive- not necessarily "what is".

And science does not pretend to speak of what is moral or "should be" or what makes the lives of a given individual meaningful.   Some want to do dental work in Ghana to help the poor, and some want to become a monk, so each area has its own way of determining what "works"- you might say, for that individual.

But science works for everyone.  That is what "objective" means, and what "subjective" means on the other side.

But each category of paradigms still are paradigms- best guesses until something else better comes along if ever.  ;)

 

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Well I am glad that it has been positive for you!

There is no question that some "paradigms work better than others"- that is Kuhn in 5 words.

The difference between religious paradigms and scientific ones is objectivity- ie: that scientific paradigms can be shown to have evidence that can be replicated.   But the process is the same in that all they can show us is how humans perceive- not necessarily "what is".

And science does not pretend to speak of what is moral or "should be" or what makes the lives of a given individual meaningful.   Some want to do dental work in Ghana to help the poor, and some want to become a monk, so each area has its own way of determining what "works"- you might say, for that individual.

But science works for everyone.  That is what "objective" means, and what "subjective" means on the other side.

But each category of paradigms still are paradigms- best guesses until something else better comes along if ever.  ;)

 

I agree with all of this, and I think its well articulated.  It does make me wonder why we sometimes get in disagreements over science and religious paradigms.  I think I've been saying essentially the exact same thing you've said here, that science is objective and evidence is demonstrated through replication, and religion is subjective.  I think where I've disagreed with you in the past has been because I thought you were arguing that religious experience can also be considered evidence on the same playing field with science, and I thought you used Alma 32 as the theological framework to support this idea.  While I personally really like Alma 32, I still don't think that planting a seed and seeing if it bears good fruit is the same as a rigorously designed scientific experiment.  I think Alma 32 is still a subjective process that likely works for just about any religious tribe around the world to confirm their existing world views.  

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I agree with all of this, and I think its well articulated.  It does make me wonder why we sometimes get in disagreements over science and religious paradigms.  I think I've been saying essentially the exact same thing you've said here, that science is objective and evidence is demonstrated through replication, and religion is subjective.  I think where I've disagreed with you in the past has been because I thought you were arguing that religious experience can also be considered evidence on the same playing field with science, and I thought you used Alma 32 as the theological framework to support this idea.  While I personally really like Alma 32, I still don't think that planting a seed and seeing if it bears good fruit is the same as a rigorously designed scientific experiment.  I think Alma 32 is still a subjective process that likely works for just about any religious tribe around the world to confirm their existing world views.  

And yes it is supposed to !!

Do you want every person in humanity to have exactly YOUR values, YOUR occupation, drive the same car and the same color?

Live in the same neighborhood in the same country, walk the same trail you do for exercise etc etc etc?

The point is to find each of our SUBJECTIVE goals and values which are coherent with general "Truths" for all, like treat your neighbor like you would like to be treated.  Remember each needs to find her own PURPOSE in life, and yes those vary and should vary.  THEY SHOULD VARY.   Diversity in these areas is a good thing.  We don't all have to be physicists or soldiers or carpenters.

Within those general parameters, to maintain social order, we are free to find our own meaning in life.  

Church is about finding those principles which, it is believed, lead all to happiness- ie: The Plan of Happiness".

Now you may disagree with some of those doctrinal beliefs making all people happy or not, like probably gay rights etc, but then you disagree with that part of the paradigm and are free to define your own- you may just not be a part of that particular community, or create your own as Joseph did.

That is not to say he was not an instrument of God- he was!   Yet he was the one appointed to create the Restoration, and he did as well as his humanity would allow him to do so

Of course to members of the community

But within a community of believers, some views are "orthodox" and others are not.  And physicists can almost be religious in their "science" as well ;)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant_problem

 

 

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18 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

And yes it is supposed to !!

Do you want every person in humanity to have exactly YOUR values, YOUR occupation, drive the same car and the same color?

Live in the same neighborhood in the same country, walk the same trail you do for exercise etc etc etc?

The point is to find each of our SUBJECTIVE goals and values which are coherent with general "Truths" for all, like treat your neighbor like you would like to be treated.  Remember each needs to find her own PURPOSE in life, and yes those vary and should vary.  THEY SHOULD VARY.   Diversity in these areas is a good thing.  We don't all have to be physicists or soldiers or carpenters.

Within those general parameters, to maintain social order, we are free to find our own meaning in life.  

Church is about finding those principles which, it is believed, lead all to happiness- ie: The Plan of Happiness".

Now you may disagree with some of those doctrinal beliefs making all people happy or not, like probably gay rights etc, but then you disagree with that part of the paradigm and are free to define your own- you may just not be a part of that particular community, or create your own as Joseph did.

That is not to say he was not an instrument of God- he was!   Yet he was the one appointed to create the Restoration, and he did as well as his humanity would allow him to do so

Of course to members of the community

But within a community of believers, some views are "orthodox" and others are not.  And physicists can almost be religious in their "science" as well ;)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant_problem

"Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, till you've found your dream. A dream that will need all the love you can give - every day of your life for as long as you live."

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10 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

And yes it is supposed to !!

Do you want every person in humanity to have exactly YOUR values, YOUR occupation, drive the same car and the same color?

Live in the same neighborhood in the same country, walk the same trail you do for exercise etc etc etc?

The point is to find each of our SUBJECTIVE goals and values which are coherent with general "Truths" for all, like treat your neighbor like you would like to be treated.  Remember each needs to find her own PURPOSE in life, and yes those vary and should vary.  THEY SHOULD VARY.   Diversity in these areas is a good thing.  We don't all have to be physicists or soldiers or carpenters.

Within those general parameters, to maintain social order, we are free to find our own meaning in life.  

Church is about finding those principles which, it is believed, lead all to happiness- ie: The Plan of Happiness".

Now you may disagree with some of those doctrinal beliefs making all people happy or not, like probably gay rights etc, but then you disagree with that part of the paradigm and are free to define your own- you may just not be a part of that particular community, or create your own as Joseph did.

That is not to say he was not an instrument of God- he was!   Yet he was the one appointed to create the Restoration, and he did as well as his humanity would allow him to do so

Of course to members of the community

But within a community of believers, some views are "orthodox" and others are not.  And physicists can almost be religious in their "science" as well ;)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant_problem

But don't you see a problem here with how your average Mormon uses these subjective experiences as "proof" that God has privileged their paradigm over the paradigms of others.  Your average Mormon truly believes that they are chosen by God and that other religious tribes have been blinded by Satan.  This kind of religious superiority complex I find to be very damaging to not only the individuals that hold these beliefs, but to the entire Mormon community.  Its essentially a very prideful way of operating in society.  

How can a person "treat their neighbors like they would like to be treated" when they hold these views.  Lets say I'm the average orthodox Mormon who believes I have the one and only truth from God and that all my non-member neighbors, no matter how kind and friendly, are unfortunately not as blessed as I am because I have the full truth and they are missing out.  My truth gives me special access to God's powers and makes it so my family can be together for eternity, while my neighbors will unfortunately not have those same privileges unless at some point they join my tribe and accept the real truth and participate in the necessary rituals to get them included in my tribe.  These are the facts about reality that an orthodox Mormon sincerely believes are OBJECTIVE, not subjective in their minds.  Its an unequal superiority complex, that creates a dynamic that doesn't allow for honestly treating neighbors as equals, because the orthodox Mormon world view is that their non-member neighbors essentially aren't equal.  

This is where orthodox Mormonism has a fundamental flaw, the whole idea of exclusivity is in tension with core fundamentals of the Christian ethic such as the golden rule, loving the marginalized, serving others as the way we serve God, all without judgment and holding nothing back.  The whole idea of humility for orthodox Mormonism is limited.  They are humble only up to a point, only open to new information as long as it doesn't challenge their superior view that they hold the ultimate truth, only willing to accept new information that doesn't challenge their precious testimonies. 

This is the monster that progressive Mormons who learn that correlated Mormonism is no longer objectively true have to face if they really want to be honest with themselves.  You can't hold onto the exclusive authority from God paradigm and also really be humble enough to consider that there is NOTHING about Mormonism that is objectively superior to other religious traditions.  NOTHING AT ALL!  If its all subjective, then you can't say "Joseph was the one appointed to create the Restoration".  No he wasn't, he was just another dude who started a religion.  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

But don't you see a problem here with how your average Mormon uses these subjective experiences as "proof" that God has privileged their paradigm over the paradigms of others.  Your average Mormon truly believes that they are chosen by God and that other religious tribes have been blinded by Satan.  This kind of religious superiority complex I find to be very damaging to not only the individuals that hold these beliefs, but to the entire Mormon community.  Its essentially a very prideful way of operating in society.  

How can a person "treat their neighbors like they would like to be treated" when they hold these views.  Lets say I'm the average orthodox Mormon who believes I have the one and only truth from God and that all my non-member neighbors, no matter how kind and friendly, are unfortunately not as blessed as I am because I have the full truth and they are missing out.  My truth gives me special access to God's powers and makes it so my family can be together for eternity, while my neighbors will unfortunately not have those same privileges unless at some point they join my tribe and accept the real truth and participate in the necessary rituals to get them included in my tribe.  These are the facts about reality that an orthodox Mormon sincerely believes are OBJECTIVE, not subjective in their minds.  Its an unequal superiority complex, that creates a dynamic that doesn't allow for honestly treating neighbors as equals, because the orthodox Mormon world view is that their non-member neighbors essentially aren't equal.  

This is where orthodox Mormonism has a fundamental flaw, the whole idea of exclusivity is in tension with core fundamentals of the Christian ethic such as the golden rule, loving the marginalized, serving others as the way we serve God, all without judgment and holding nothing back.  The whole idea of humility for orthodox Mormonism is limited.  They are humble only up to a point, only open to new information as long as it doesn't challenge their superior view that they hold the ultimate truth, only willing to accept new information that doesn't challenge their precious testimonies. 

This is the monster that progressive Mormons who learn that correlated Mormonism is no longer objectively true have to face if they really want to be honest with themselves.  You can't hold onto the exclusive authority from God paradigm and also really be humble enough to consider that there is NOTHING about Mormonism that is objectively superior to other religious traditions.  NOTHING AT ALL!  If its all subjective, then you can't say "Joseph was the one appointed to create the Restoration".  No he wasn't, he was just another dude who started a religion.  

Hope, if I understand you correctly, you are insinuating that your paradigm is superior to the "orthodox Mormon" paradigm, are you not?

The "superiority complex" accusation cannot be made against an entire paradigm without placing ones own paradigm in a superior position to the accused.  You are basically pointing your finger and saying "everyone look, I am more humble than you." 

Pure equity and impartiality is a myth when it comes to beliefs and paradigms.  Whether your paradigm is based in objectivity or subjectivity, you can't escape placing your paradigm above another's.  If we didn't find some kind of superior value in our paradigm, than we wouldn't have any reason to choose it now would we? We are all guilty of superiority to some degree or another, otherwise EVERYTHING would be value-neutral to us.  Your post reveals yourself not to be value-neutral and impartial, so I am confused at how you maintain your insinuated humility in that your paradigm is equal to all others (including Mormonism) when it seems clear that is not how you really feel. 

 

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19 minutes ago, pogi said:

Hope, if I understand you correctly, you are insinuating that your paradigm is superior to the "orthodox Mormon" paradigm, are you not?

The "superiority complex" accusation cannot be made against an entire paradigm without placing ones own paradigm in a superior position to the accused.  You are basically pointing your finger and saying "everyone look, I am more humble than you." 

Pure equity and impartiality is a myth when it comes to beliefs and paradigms.  Whether your paradigm is based in objectivity or subjectivity, you can't escape placing your paradigm above another's.  If we didn't find some kind of superior value in our paradigm, than we wouldn't have any reason to choose it now would we? We are all guilty of superiority to some degree or another, otherwise EVERYTHING would be value-neutral to us.  Your post reveals yourself not to be value-neutral and impartial, so I am confused at how you maintain your insinuated humility in that your paradigm is equal to all others (including Mormonism) when it seems clear that is not how you really feel. 

 

I think there are some key differences in the comparison you're making.  The paradigm I'm operating with now is a very fluid one, one where I've essentially tried to position myself into the arena of learning where I wrestle with tensions and try to "prove contraries" in an attempt to grow and learn.  Its an openness to a variety of perspectives where I'm exposed to a wide spectrum of thought on all kinds of topic, religious, political, scientific, etc.  I'm attempting to learn as much as I can and resist strong judgments as I continue to explore and learn.  I haven't placed arbitrary limits on what I'm willing to consider.  I don't consider my ideas and the things I've learned to be divinely superior.  But I do believe that an openness to learning (humility) is a principle with a whole lot of merit, when compared to a closed off orientation towards certain kinds of information. 

I also believe that unquestioned appeals to authority figures, is a dangerous and limited orientation, and I'm informed about both the idea of humility towards learning and the idea about the risks of appeals to authority from my study of history and the mistakes and consequences that humans have fallen prey to on both of those fronts.  

I guess I think this kind of orientation is superior to the alternative orientation.  I believe I can make a strong rational argument to support this orientation that most people would agree with.  

The other difference, is that I don't believe divinity has proclaimed that my rational perspective is some kind of exclusive club that gives me special blessings and an special status in a future existence.  

So of course I think there are ways of operating in this world that are much more efficient and effective for humans in general.  I think our environment and individual circumstances vary widely, so I'm really not comfortable proclaiming anything is universal and ultimate.  I'm not claiming to be value-neutral as I agree with you that this is essentially impossible to be, and its also impossible to judge whether someone or something is value-neutral in any objective sense.  So thats somewhat of a strawman argument. 

But don't confuse the inability for us to reach a value-neutral status, with equivocating that paradigms are "equal to all others".  No, MFB even made this point earlier in the back and for exchange we've been having.  Not all paradigms are created equal.  

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hope_for_things said:

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But don't you see a problem here with how your average Mormon uses these subjective experiences as "proof" that God has privileged their paradigm over the paradigms of others.  Your average Mormon truly believes that they are chosen by God and that other religious tribes have been blinded by Satan.  This kind of religious superiority complex I find to be very damaging to not only the individuals that hold these beliefs, but to the entire Mormon community.  Its essentially a very prideful way of operating in society.  

Alma 32 makes a distinction between "proof" and a more limited and open-ended "cause to believe" and he clearly prefers operating under the latter, despite it leaving us in a condition where "our knowledge is not perfect".

Who gets to decide how to sample the "average Mormon" and what makes that particular Mormon "average" enough to be the standard examples that become the paradigmatic measure of our identity?

(I was impressed that when Terryl Givens looked at LDS culture to see what characterized us, his book had the title People of Paradox, and the theme was contraries in tension.)

I look at things from a different perspective, considering whether I am looking at something that is distinctly Mormon trait, or general human nature.   The Perry Scheme is useful.

Quote

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. 

hope_for_things says this:

Quote

Its an openness to a variety of perspectives where I'm exposed to a wide spectrum of thought on all kinds of topic, religious, political, scientific, etc.  I'm attempting to learn as much as I can and resist strong judgments as I continue to explore and learn.  I haven't placed arbitrary limits on what I'm willing to consider.

Joseph Smith is rather famous for saying the same things and encouraging the LDS to do the same.  For instance,

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“creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto thou shalt come, and no further’; which I cannot subscribe to.”55 Joseph Smith also explained that “the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was that the latter were all circumscribed by some particular creed, which deprived its members of the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints have no creed, but are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time.”56

While there are some LDS who argue that when leaders speak, the thinking has been done (as the infamous 1945 Home Teaching message said), there are other leaders, notably Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young, and George Albert Smith, who directly shoot that notion down:

Quote

Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that every individual must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is personally responsible to His Maker for his individual acts. The Lord Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effort to give peace and salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true progress, but leaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings.

Since those who argue that "when the leaders speak the thinking  has been done" obviously ignore contrary statements from the highest LDS authorities, it strikes me as obvious that such thinking when it appears among LDS the circumstance has more to do with the human development and the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth than something distinctly characteristic of LDS thought and culture and ideals and teaching.

Given that all paradigms are not created equal, the issue is Which paradigm is better?  And how do we answer that question in a way that is not completely paradigm dependent?   I've been quote Kuhn and Barbour on that key issue for almost 30 years, noting along the way that Alma 32 got there first.

What the LDS culture gives me is opportunity and accountability.   D&C 1, as I read it, expressly denies any claims to exclusivity in revelation or unique virtue.   But we do clearly have somethings that other Christians do not.  Visions are fairly common but temples and Books of Mormon and angelic priesthood restoration claims are not.   But those things did not prevent Joseph Smith from saying this near the end of his life:

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The great designs of God in relation to the salvation of the human family, are very little understood by the professedly wise and intelligent generation in which we live. Various and conflicting are the opinions of men concerning the plan of salvation, the requisitions of the Almighty, the necessary preparations for heaven, the state and condition of departed spirits, and the happiness or misery that is consequent upon the practice of righteousness and iniquity according to their several notions of virtue and vice.

But while one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of man, causes “His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but, “according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil,” or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey, or India. He will judge them, “not according to what they have not, but according to what they have,” those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will by judged by that law. We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed, the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right.

That is a very different picture.  In Sophic Box and Mantic Vista I made the point that this quotation shows that Joseph Smith operates at Position 9 of the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth, and sets a paradigmatic example for us to follow.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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50 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I think there are some key differences in the comparison you're making.  The paradigm I'm operating with now is a very fluid one, one where I've essentially tried to position myself into the arena of learning where I wrestle with tensions and try to "prove contraries" in an attempt to grow and learn.  Its an openness to a variety of perspectives where I'm exposed to a wide spectrum of thought on all kinds of topic, religious, political, scientific, etc.  I'm attempting to learn as much as I can and resist strong judgments as I continue to explore and learn.  I haven't placed arbitrary limits on what I'm willing to consider.  I don't consider my ideas and the things I've learned to be divinely superior.  But I do believe that an openness to learning (humility) is a principle with a whole lot of merit, when compared to a closed off orientation towards certain kinds of information. 

I also believe that unquestioned appeals to authority figures, is a dangerous and limited orientation, and I'm informed about both the idea of humility towards learning and the idea about the risks of appeals to authority from my study of history and the mistakes and consequences that humans have fallen prey to on both of those fronts.  

You state that there are "key differences", but all you are really doing is stating why your paradigm is superior and why your testimony is better.

You said: 

Quote

 

 Its essentially a very prideful way of operating in society.  

How can a person "treat their neighbors like they would like to be treated" when they hold these views.

Its an unequal superiority complex, that creates a dynamic that doesn't allow for honestly treating neighbors as equals, because the orthodox Mormon world view is that their non-member neighbors essentially aren't equal.  

 

I don't understand how you are any different.  You are placing yourself on unequal ground to everyone who believes different from you.  Your views are superior.  Your views give you special access to higher understanding and truth on some level - at least that is the argument you are making above.  It is your superior humility that gives you access to this special privilege of higher understanding and superior knowledge, right? 

I simply fail to see any difference between you and thing you protest against. 

50 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I guess I think this kind of orientation is superior to the alternative orientation.  I believe I can make a strong rational argument to support this orientation that most people would agree with.  

So of course I think there are ways of operating in this world that are much more efficient and effective for humans in general. 

Now you appeal to ration as if you have some objective reason that makes you objectively superior.  More and more you sound like a person simply defending his superiority.

50 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I think our environment and individual circumstances vary widely, so I'm really not comfortable proclaiming anything is universal and ultimate. 

In other words, it is an uncomfortable paradox and pedestal you stand on.  On one hand you claim superior reason and superior operating standards that are more efficient and effective, but on the other hand you are uncomfortable claiming superiority - but you do it anyway.

50 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

The other difference, is that I don't believe divinity has proclaimed that my rational perspective is some kind of exclusive club that gives me special blessings and an special status in a future existence.  

Whether by nature or by God's hand, you still view your "rational perspective" as superior.  I don't see much of a difference at all.  You do belong to an exclusive club only entered into through belief in the superiority of your paradigm (not much different than Mormonism).  This paradigm gives you special blessings (superior understanding and knowledge and a more "efficient and effective" operating standards which can only lead to a special status of humility and superiority.  

While I agree there may be key differences, the resulting superiority complex and inequity seems to be the same. 

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51 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

But don't confuse the inability for us to reach a value-neutral status, with equivocating that paradigms are "equal to all others".  No, MFB even made this point earlier in the back and for exchange we've been having.  Not all paradigms are created equal.  

At first you accuse us of not viewing others as equal, now you insist that equality doesn't exist?  I am terribly confused.  If not all paradigms are equal, and if it is impossible to reach a value-neutral status, than why does it bother you so badly that orthodox Mormonism think their paradigm superior, when you freely admit to do the same (even if you are uncomfortable doing so). 

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29 minutes ago, pogi said:

You state that there are "key differences", but all you are really doing is stating why your paradigm is superior and why your testimony is better.

You said: 

I don't understand how you are any different.  You are placing yourself on unequal ground to everyone who believes different from you.  Your views are superior.  Your views give you special access to higher understanding and truth on some level - at least that is the argument you are making above.  It is your superior humility that gives you access to this special privilege of higher understanding and superior knowledge, right? 

I simply fail to see any difference between you and thing you protest against. 

Now you appeal to ration as if you have some objective reason that makes you objectively superior.  More and more you sound like a person simply defending his superiority.

In other words, it is an uncomfortable paradox and pedestal you stand on.  On one hand you claim superior reason and superior operating standards that are more efficient and effective, but on the other hand you are uncomfortable claiming superiority - but you do it anyway.

Whether by nature or by God's hand, you still view your "rational perspective" as superior.  I don't see much of a difference at all.  You do belong to an exclusive club only entered into through belief in the superiority of your paradigm (not much different than Mormonism).  This paradigm gives you special blessings (superior understanding and knowledge and a more "efficient and effective" operating standards which can only lead to a special status of humility and superiority.  

While I agree there may be key differences, the resulting superiority complex and inequity seems to be the same. 

I can't tell if you're intentionally misunderstanding my perspective just for arguments sake or if you really want to dialogue here with what I've said.  It seems to me you are trying to misinterpret my position to argue with an exaggerated version of what I said, rather that what I'm actually saying.  

I will make an attempt at a back and forth exchange, but really, if you're just wanting to fight and think that I'm just a blatant hypocrite, then I don't see a point in continuing the exchange.  

I do view some paradigms and principles as superior to others.  I think we all do, and this is just human nature, but I also think we can make a logical case that for a general set of circumstances, certain paradigms will bear more fruit and are superior on average.  I asked in my last post to you whether you believe if every paradigm is equal, and you didn't respond to my question, but I think it is central to the discussion.  Do you think all paradigms and perspectives are equally valid and equally effective?  

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30 minutes ago, pogi said:

At first you accuse us of not viewing others as equal, now you insist that equality doesn't exist?  I am terribly confused.  If not all paradigms are equal, and if it is impossible to reach a value-neutral status, than why does it bother you so badly that orthodox Mormonism think their paradigm superior, when you freely admit to do the same (even if you are uncomfortable doing so). 

The key differences between what I'm saying and the traditional Mormon paradigm might include the exclusive authority from the divine, the special status in an afterlife, the rigid requirement for everyone to participate in the rituals of the tribe to be eligible, and the sense that Mormons are chosen by God and therefore specially blessed and that they occupy an elect position as deferred upon them by deity.  My version of "superiority" as you like to call it, even though thats not my choice of words, is a position that is open to everyone and has no barriers to entry, it isn't bestowed by God, it doesn't give me privilege in the afterlife, it doesn't represent any special status for myself or family, it doesn't convey special supernatural powers, it doesn't give me a one track ticket to becoming a God myself.  None of that.  My position is very different. 

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1 minute ago, hope_for_things said:

I can't tell if you're intentionally misunderstanding my perspective just for arguments sake or if you really want to dialogue here with what I've said.  It seems to me you are trying to misinterpret my position to argue with an exaggerated version of what I said, rather that what I'm actually saying.  

I will make an attempt at a back and forth exchange, but really, if you're just wanting to fight and think that I'm just a blatant hypocrite, then I don't see a point in continuing the exchange.  

I do view some paradigms and principles as superior to others.  I think we all do, and this is just human nature, but I also think we can make a logical case that for a general set of circumstances, certain paradigms will bear more fruit and are superior on average.  I asked in my last post to you whether you believe if every paradigm is equal, and you didn't respond to my question, but I think it is central to the discussion.  Do you think all paradigms and perspectives are equally valid and equally effective?  

I apologize if it seems I am intentionally misunderstanding you.   That is not my intention.  I am not here to fight.  I simply don't understand your accusations against "orthodox Mormons".  On the one hand you accuse them of inequity and pride because of their perceived superior paradigm, yet on the other you insist that equality doesn't exist and perceived superiority is inevitable.  

I must have missed your question.  To answer your question however, you have to explain what you mean.  "Equally valid" and "equally effective" to whom or what?   Valid and effective according to whom or what?     

      

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19 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

The key differences between what I'm saying and the traditional Mormon paradigm might include the exclusive authority from the divine, the special status in an afterlife, the rigid requirement for everyone to participate in the rituals of the tribe to be eligible, and the sense that Mormons are chosen by God and therefore specially blessed and that they occupy an elect position as deferred upon them by deity.  My version of "superiority" as you like to call it, even though thats not my choice of words, is a position that is open to everyone and has no barriers to entry, it isn't bestowed by God, it doesn't give me privilege in the afterlife, it doesn't represent any special status for myself or family, it doesn't convey special supernatural powers, it doesn't give me a one track ticket to becoming a God myself.  None of that.  My position is very different. 

Your position is very different in some ways, but not in terms of equity and superiority (your main complaint against Mormonism) - and yes, those are your words - I see no difference:

Quote

I guess I think this kind of orientation is superior to the alternative orientation.  I believe I can make a strong rational argument to support this orientation that most people would agree with.  

Again, whether by God or nature, does it really make that big of a difference as to why you think you are superior?  Either way, you have a complex and you are not as "fluid" as you pretend.  No, you have simply replaced one rigid paradigm with another.  You claim your paradigm is fluid, but that is an oxymoron.  It is rigidity that creates the walls and boundaries of paradigms, without rigidity there would be no paradigms.  You are as beholden to yours as I am to mine.  

If I found greater value in another paradigm, I would adopt it.  I think you would likely do the same.  I think that is human nature. So how are we that different?

 

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52 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:
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But don't you see a problem here with how your average Mormon uses these subjective experiences as "proof" that God has privileged their paradigm over the paradigms of others.  Your average Mormon truly believes that they are chosen by God and that other religious tribes have been blinded by Satan.  This kind of religious superiority complex I find to be very damaging to not only the individuals that hold these beliefs, but to the entire Mormon community.  Its essentially a very prideful way of operating in society.  

Alma 32 makes a distinction between "proof" and a more limited and open-ended "cause to believe" and he clearly prefers operating under the latter, despite it leaving us in a condition where "our knowledge is not perfect".

Who gets to decide how to sample the "average Mormon" and what makes that particular Mormon "average" enough to be the standard examples that become the paradigmatic measure of our identity?

(I was impressed that when Terryl Givens looked at LDS culture to see what characterized us, his book had the title People of Paradox, and the theme was contraries in tension.)

I look at things from a different perspective, considering whether I am looking at something that is distinctly Mormon trait, or general human nature.   The Perry Scheme is useful.

I like what you're saying Kevin, and what Givens has said as well.  I only wish I didn't hear the kinds of certainty expressed that I hear every fast Sunday and regularly in church meetings.  How the average Mormon views the paradigm has more impact on the culture than what the words of Alma 32 actually say.  

55 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:
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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. 

 

hope_for_things says this:

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Its an openness to a variety of perspectives where I'm exposed to a wide spectrum of thought on all kinds of topic, religious, political, scientific, etc.  I'm attempting to learn as much as I can and resist strong judgments as I continue to explore and learn.  I haven't placed arbitrary limits on what I'm willing to consider.

 

I think I'm genuinely not occupying the position #2 space very much these days.  That description sounds quite binary.  I might not have articulated my perspective as well as I could have.  I really don't think there are "true authorities".  I also, don't think I'm "right" and others are "wrong."  I'm very uncomfortable proclaiming certainty on any subject.  I also don't look at churches in terms true and false, sincere or fraud, as I think things are much more complicated than that.  

58 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

While there are some LDS who argue that when leaders speak, the thinking has been done (as the infamous 1945 Home Teaching message said), there are other leaders, notably Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young, and George Albert Smith, who directly shoot that notion down:

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Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that every individual must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is personally responsible to His Maker for his individual acts. The Lord Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effort to give peace and salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true progress, but leaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings.

Since those who argue that "when the leaders speak the thinking  has been done" obviously ignore contrary statements from the highest LDS authorities, it strikes me as obvious that such thinking when it appears among LDS the circumstance has more to do with the human development and the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth than something distinctly characteristic of LDS thought and culture and ideals and teaching.

Given that all paradigms are not created equal, the issue is Which paradigm is better?  And how do we answer that question in a way that is not completely paradigm dependent?   I've been quote Kuhn and Barbour on that key issue for almost 30 years, noting along the way that Alma 32 got there first.

What the LDS culture gives me is opportunity and accountability.   D&C 1, as I read it, expressly denies any claims to exclusivity in revelation or unique virtue.   But we do clearly have somethings that other Christians do not.  Visions are fairly common but temples and Books of Mormon and angelic priesthood restoration claims are not.   But those things did not prevent Joseph Smith from saying this near the end of his life:

I agree there are many statements we can find from church leaders that complicate the obey your authorities at all costs mentality.  However, I'm speaking more about how things operate in practice on the ground.  Also, you don't see church leaders modeling this kind of disagreement in healthy ways as I'd like to see it. They have a circle the wagons and present a united front mentality instead of a lets have a discussion and demonstrate how different leaders can hold differing perspectives in a healthy way.  Also, in spite of those quotes from the leaders you mention, I can think of examples from each person where their actions contradict these statements.  So things are always more complicated than someone making a statement, as their actions really speak louder than their words when it comes to the impact they have on the community.  

I definitely appreciate your more moderate approach to Mormonism as I think it has a lot of benefits over what I see as the average orthodox approach.  I do see some positive trends as well, and I'm grateful for those.  I just am not afraid to critique the problems in our community that I see and I like to point them out with clarity.  I'll be curious to see what MFB says to my response, as I'm trying to get to the heart of an issue we've disagreed on for quite some time.  One little bit at a time. 

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16 minutes ago, pogi said:

Your position is very different in some ways, but not in terms of equity and superiority (your main complaint against Mormonism) - and yes, those are your words - I see no difference:

Again, whether by God or nature, does it really make that big of a difference as to why you think you are superior?  Either way, you have a complex and you are not as "fluid" as you pretend.  No, you have simply replaced one rigid paradigm with another.  You claim your paradigm is fluid, but that is an oxymoron.  It is rigidity that creates the walls and boundaries of paradigms, without rigidity there would be no paradigms.  You are as beholden to yours as I am to mine.  

If I found greater value in another paradigm, I would adopt it.  I think you would likely do the same.  I think that is human nature. So how are we that different?

 

You haven't answered my direct questions, and you continue to mischaracterize my position, so this isn't a productive exchange. 

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3 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

But don't you see a problem here with how your average Mormon uses these subjective experiences as "proof" that God has privileged their paradigm over the paradigms of others.  Your average Mormon truly believes that they are chosen by God and that other religious tribes have been blinded by Satan.  This kind of religious superiority complex I find to be very damaging to not only the individuals that hold these beliefs, but to the entire Mormon community.  Its essentially a very prideful way of operating in society.  

Well I guess that makes me an "average Mormon" then - thank God- because I DO believe we have the best paradigm for mankind.

I think your stereotypes are from another time- repeatedly lately we see admissions of past problems- even the Gospel Topics essays serve that purpose.  And we do not believe that "other religious tribes" have been blinded by Satan.  We believe there is truth in all churches, but that we are the only "true and living" church- meaning to me- the best paradigm ("true") and change-able, led by- again thank God- ("living") church driven by "subjective" revelation.  No one else even claims to be led by revelation both on a personal and general church-wide basis.  No one!  No other living"prophets" anywhere.  And yes, BY DEFINITION such personal revelations are PERSONAL.  Your constant search for the objective in such matters cannot work.   I know no one who finds our view to be "prideful", and certainly everyone believes that in the big picture their personal views are "better" than others.

Are Democrats "prideful" about their politics?  Are Republicans? Are the Baptists?  Is the good old USA the "best country"?  Do physicists find their particular versions of particular theories are the "best"? 

The reason we make a decision to do anything is because we believe it to be the "best" decision.   Nothing wrong with that at all.  

Quote

How can a person "treat their neighbors like they would like to be treated" when they hold these views.  Lets say I'm the average orthodox Mormon who believes I have the one and only truth from God and that all my non-member neighbors, no matter how kind and friendly, are unfortunately not as blessed as I am because I have the full truth and they are missing out.  My truth gives me special access to God's powers and makes it so my family can be together for eternity, while my neighbors will unfortunately not have those same privileges unless at some point they join my tribe and accept the real truth and participate in the necessary rituals to get them included in my tribe.  These are the facts about reality that an orthodox Mormon sincerely believes are OBJECTIVE, not subjective in their minds.  Its an unequal superiority complex, that creates a dynamic that doesn't allow for honestly treating neighbors as equals, because the orthodox Mormon world view is that their non-member neighbors essentially aren't equal.  

Look at yourself!  This is pure projection that YOUR position is superior to those stupid "Orthodox Mormons", and YOUR opinions are "objectively real"   DUDE! And guess what?  Your opinion is SUBJECTIVE!  ;) :)T

Quote

 

his is where orthodox Mormonism has a fundamental flaw, the whole idea of exclusivity is in tension with core fundamentals of the Christian ethic such as the golden rule, loving the marginalized, serving others as the way we serve God, all without judgment and holding nothing back.  The whole idea of humility for orthodox Mormonism is limited.  They are humble only up to a point, only open to new information as long as it doesn't challenge their superior view that they hold the ultimate truth, only willing to accept new information that doesn't challenge their precious testimonies. 

This is the monster that progressive Mormons who learn that correlated Mormonism is no longer objectively true have to face if they really want to be honest with themselves.  You can't hold onto the exclusive authority from God paradigm and also really be humble enough to consider that there is NOTHING about Mormonism that is objectively superior to other religious traditions.  NOTHING AT ALL!  If its all subjective, then you can't say "Joseph was the one appointed to create the Restoration".  No he wasn't, he was just another dude who started a religion.  

 

Sorry mi amigo but all I see here is a rant that has no basis in what I see in church.  Honestly I do not see this.

And when I speak personally it is MY testimony I am speaking about.  It is my subjective opinion- as confirmed by something inside me and - I believe- outside me that Joseph WAS a "prophet".  I do not intend to impose that on anyone else and yes it is not- and never can be by definition anything but "subjective". 

Each individual needs to do that for themselves.  And get their own completely subjective testimony.

Just as clearly as there is something inside you generating your subjective opinions about Mormonism.  :)

See how rebellious I am?  I actually used the word "Mormon" more than once!  ;)

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I think there are some key differences in the comparison you're making.  The paradigm I'm operating with now is a very fluid one, one where I've essentially tried to position myself into the arena of learning where I wrestle with tensions and try to "prove contraries" in an attempt to grow and learn.  Its an openness to a variety of perspectives where I'm exposed to a wide spectrum of thought on all kinds of topic, religious, political, scientific, etc.  I'm attempting to learn as much as I can and resist strong judgments as I continue to explore and learn.  I haven't placed arbitrary limits on what I'm willing to consider.  I don't consider my ideas and the things I've learned to be divinely superior.  But I do believe that an openness to learning (humility) is a principle with a whole lot of merit, when compared to a closed off orientation towards certain kinds of information. 

I also believe that unquestioned appeals to authority figures, is a dangerous and limited orientation, and I'm informed about both the idea of humility towards learning and the idea about the risks of appeals to authority from my study of history and the mistakes and consequences that humans have fallen prey to on both of those fronts.  

I guess I think this kind of orientation is superior to the alternative orientation.  I believe I can make a strong rational argument to support this orientation that most people would agree with.  

The other difference, is that I don't believe divinity has proclaimed that my rational perspective is some kind of exclusive club that gives me special blessings and an special status in a future existence.  

So of course I think there are ways of operating in this world that are much more efficient and effective for humans in general.  I think our environment and individual circumstances vary widely, so I'm really not comfortable proclaiming anything is universal and ultimate.  I'm not claiming to be value-neutral as I agree with you that this is essentially impossible to be, and its also impossible to judge whether someone or something is value-neutral in any objective sense.  So thats somewhat of a strawman argument. 

But don't confuse the inability for us to reach a value-neutral status, with equivocating that paradigms are "equal to all others".  No, MFB even made this point earlier in the back and for exchange we've been having.  Not all paradigms are created equal.  

I essentially agree with this and am totally confused how this fits with your previous post! ? !

Again I have not seen the church EVER the way you describe it.

Could it be that pesky unspeakable (hereabouts) word that starts with  "U" ? ;)

Out here in the mission field we are the weirdos scratching to not seem too weird, and we are quite humble as the underdogs

 

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1 hour ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Since those who argue that "when the leaders speak the thinking  has been done" obviously ignore contrary statements from the highest LDS authorities, it strikes me as obvious that such thinking when it appears among LDS the circumstance has more to do with the human development and the Perry Scheme for Cognitive and Ethical Growth than something distinctly characteristic of LDS thought and culture and ideals and teaching.

Now how come I cannot write like this??  Exactly nails it!

At least I have lost "indeed". ;)

 

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41 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

You haven't answered my direct questions

I asked for clarification.  You haven't clarified.

42 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

you continue to mischaracterize my position

Again, that is not my intent.  I honestly don't know why you feel I am mischaracterizing your position - perhaps you are not being clear as to what your position really is..  I feel like I am simply repeating what you are saying.  I have even used direct quotes. 

45 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

so this isn't a productive exchange. 

Rarely is on these forums, which is partially why I don't come around much anymore.   

I honestly am not trying to fight with you.  I am just trying to show you that we are probably more alike than we are different.  I just tire of the "superiority complex" accusations against the church, especially when making such an accusation places oneself in a superior position to the church.

I don't know why our belief that God sanctions our paradigm to be more "prideful" than placing yourself above my God and paradigm all together.  I just don't understand. 

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48 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Well I guess that makes me an "average Mormon" then - thank God- because I DO believe we have the best paradigm for mankind.

I think your stereotypes are from another time- repeatedly lately we see admissions of past problems- even the Gospel Topics essays serve that purpose.  And we do not believe that "other religious tribes" have been blinded by Satan.  We believe there is truth in all churches, but that we are the only "true and living" church- meaning to me- the best paradigm ("true") and change-able, led by- again thank God- ("living") church driven by "subjective" revelation.  No one else even claims to be led by revelation both on a personal and general church-wide basis.  No one!  No other living"prophets" anywhere.  And yes, BY DEFINITION such personal revelations are PERSONAL.  Your constant search for the objective in such matters cannot work.   I know no one who finds our view to be "prideful", and certainly everyone believes that in the big picture their personal views are "better" than others.

Are Democrats "prideful" about their politics?  Are Republicans? Are the Baptists?  Is the good old USA the "best country"?  Do physicists find their particular versions of particular theories are the "best"? 

The reason we make a decision to do anything is because we believe it to be the "best" decision.   Nothing wrong with that at all.  

Your position is different than the average Mormon though.  You don't believe Mormonism is objectively true, you just prefer it to other religions and paradigms because you think it has advantages to those other ones.  As for Mormons not believing that other religious tribes are blinded by Satan, you're not speaking for the many people that I've encountered throughout my life who view things this way.  How else do we explain all the fear mongering and warnings about listening to outside voices.  Heck, President Nelson thinks fellow Mormons are winning victories for Satan by using the wrong label for the church.  This is the rhetoric by many leaders and its echoed by regular members at church.  

My point is, that your way of viewing these things is in the minority.  I will site a poll here, from Jana Riess and her The Next Mormons book:  The question was whether someone is "Confident and Knows This Is True" and as it pertains specifically to "The LDS Church is the only true faith leading to exaltation".  56% of Boomer/Silent generation said yes, 49% of GenX and 48% of Millenials.  So statistically speaking for active LDS participants there is a strong level of certainty on their beliefs about the ultimate truth of the church and as far as I can tell this kind of certainty in their eyes is an objective certainty, not a subjective one.  I don't see any other way to read that poll question in a subjective sense.  

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Look at yourself!  This is pure projection that YOUR position is superior to those stupid "Orthodox Mormons", and YOUR opinions are "objectively real"   DUDE! And guess what?  Your opinion is SUBJECTIVE!  ;) :)T

Ok, fair enough, and maybe I'm overreaching a little on that last paragraph to try and articulate my point.  I know my opinion is subjective and I'm not saying orthodox Mormons are stupid.  I love and respect them very much.  I think the tradition of Mormonism has a lot of positives.  But one negative is its appeals to authority and those authorities right now are preaching that people need to be fearful of certain sources of information, that they need to hold fast to their testimony (in other words, don't even consider arguments that might cause you to question your perspective).  This kind of teaching is limiting people from growth.  Its not pragmatic or ethically consistent with some of the core principles of the gospel message.  Its a fear tactic to get people to line up and stay in their place.  I find it extremely frustrating.  

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Sorry mi amigo but all I see here is a rant that has no basis in what I see in church.  Honestly I do not see this.

And when I speak personally it is MY testimony I am speaking about.  It is my subjective opinion- as confirmed by something inside me and - I believe- outside me that Joseph WAS a "prophet".  I do not intend to impose that on anyone else and yes it is not- and never can be by definition anything but "subjective". 

Each individual needs to do that for themselves.  And get their own completely subjective testimony.

Just as clearly as there is something inside you generating your subjective opinions about Mormonism.  :)

See how rebellious I am?  I actually used the word "Mormon" more than once!  ;)

Yes, it was a bit of a rant, sorry about that, I got it out of my system now.:P

I suspected you were speaking about your personal testimony and I think that just fine.  I actually am totally fine with individuals having those subjective testimonies.  I just think that your average Mormon doesn't even make a distinction between what they personally believe as something subjective and what is objective.  Thats really all I'm trying to say is that your way of viewing things is much more sophisticated and you understand the distinction, and I think often when I'm responding to you on this front, its because the way you've worded something sounds to me like you're conflating the objective and the subjective.  This has been helpful though because I think I understand better what you've been saying all along, and I couldn't quite get it before.  

I think its been fun, and I appreciate your comments and dialogue as always.  

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I essentially agree with this and am totally confused how this fits with your previous post! ? !

Again I have not seen the church EVER the way you describe it.

Could it be that pesky unspeakable (hereabouts) word that starts with  "U" ? ;)

Out here in the mission field we are the weirdos scratching to not seem too weird, and we are quite humble as the underdogs

 

I definitely think if I lived in some parts of the country, rather than Utah, things would be much easier on me.  Oh well, family and all are here, and I love a lot about Utah, in spite of the lack of diversity.  It is getting better though, thankfully.

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4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Your position is different than the average Mormon though.  You don't believe Mormonism is objectively true, you just prefer it to other religions and paradigms because you think it has advantages to those other ones.  As for Mormons not believing that other religious tribes are blinded by Satan, you're not speaking for the many people that I've encountered throughout my life who view things this way.  How else do we explain all the fear mongering and warnings about listening to outside voices.  Heck, President Nelson thinks fellow Mormons are winning victories for Satan by using the wrong label for the church.  This is the rhetoric by many leaders and its echoed by regular members at church.  

My point is, that your way of viewing these things is in the minority.  I will site a poll here, from Jana Riess and her The Next Mormons book:  The question was whether someone is "Confident and Knows This Is True" and as it pertains specifically to "The LDS Church is the only true faith leading to exaltation".  56% of Boomer/Silent generation said yes, 49% of GenX and 48% of Millenials.  So statistically speaking for active LDS participants there is a strong level of certainty on their beliefs about the ultimate truth of the church and as far as I can tell this kind of certainty in their eyes is an objective certainty, not a subjective one.  I don't see any other way to read that poll question in a subjective sense.  

Ok, fair enough, and maybe I'm overreaching a little on that last paragraph to try and articulate my point.  I know my opinion is subjective and I'm not saying orthodox Mormons are stupid.  I love and respect them very much.  I think the tradition of Mormonism has a lot of positives.  But one negative is its appeals to authority and those authorities right now are preaching that people need to be fearful of certain sources of information, that they need to hold fast to their testimony (in other words, don't even consider arguments that might cause you to question your perspective).  This kind of teaching is limiting people from growth.  Its not pragmatic or ethically consistent with some of the core principles of the gospel message.  Its a fear tactic to get people to line up and stay in their place.  I find it extremely frustrating.  

Yes, it was a bit of a rant, sorry about that, I got it out of my system now.:P

I suspected you were speaking about your personal testimony and I think that just fine.  I actually am totally fine with individuals having those subjective testimonies.  I just think that your average Mormon doesn't even make a distinction between what they personally believe as something subjective and what is objective.  Thats really all I'm trying to say is that your way of viewing things is much more sophisticated and you understand the distinction, and I think often when I'm responding to you on this front, its because the way you've worded something sounds to me like you're conflating the objective and the subjective.  This has been helpful though because I think I understand better what you've been saying all along, and I couldn't quite get it before.  

I think its been fun, and I appreciate your comments and dialogue as always.  

Well thanks and I have enjoyed the discussion as well.

The only alleged "objective truth" that stands up to definition is something like "peer review". That is, a community agreement between "peers" in a context. It could be the Baptist community regarding something they saw as problematic, physicists, biologists, the citizens of Bowling Green Ky, or a jury of peers deciding on a conviction, or 15 LDS leaders.

Juries actually create the objective facts that might cause a socially acceptable execution, - through peer review. It becomes a fact that Colonel Mustard did it in the ballroom with the lead pipe, and he could die for that fact

 In 2000 years of trying to define "truth" peer review has become the best philosophy has to offer.

It is essentially a majority of subjective opinions shared within a community that creates "objective truth".

So if 15 million "average Mormons" agree that there WAS a man named Moroni, for them, there objectively WAS such a person. His existence cannot be proven or disproven, and theories of his existence are very important to some people.  It works the same way for many theories of physicists, whose livings may depend on agreeing or disagreeing with string theory.

 I only use the word objective to describe this kind of agreement about truth. Essentially pooled subjective experience creates objectivity. Another term for "objective" in this context might be intersubjectivity. That means a lot of subjective opinions in agreement.

 But I sense that you are still using objective as if it means what is really out there.

For me it does no such thing.

So for me, if a billion people in a religious faith think that three beings become one person because they are connected by an immaterial undefined "substance ", that becomes their peer reviewed objective truth. I could not show data to contradict that view, and so I would agree to disagree, just as two physicists who might disagree on the evidence for or against string theory may disagree

So sure your polls reflect objective certainty, which is a PSYCHOLOGICAL state. What else is a certainty other than a psychological state?

And they disagree 

So ?  To me that's like saying that there exist republicans and democrats who disagree about  public policy, and are certain that their respective opinions are correct.

 Where's the beef?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

duplicate

Edited by mfbukowski
Duplicate

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You and a buddy walk into a restaurant.

Suddenly your buddy points to the ceiling and says "What?  Look it's a pink elephant- do you see it too?"

Is the observation now subjective or objective?

You think he is kidding.   He says "NO REALLY! LOOK!"  You look where he is pointing and YOU also see a pink elephant!!

Is the observation now subjective or objective?  Now TWO people have seen it!  He asked you to determine if he was hallucinating BUT YOU SEE IT TOO!  Objective?

Suddenly everyone in the restaurant is pointing to the ceiling and SEEING IT!!

Is the observation now subjective or objective?

A news crew arrives.  The elephant disappears.  The cops show up.

Sober people of all types agree that there was a pink elephant hovering near the ceiling.  No one believes them!

Suddenly there is a noise down the street!  Other people in another restaurant have had the "same experience" of seeing the pink elephant!

Is the observation not subjective or objective?

But none of the news crews or cops could see them- the elephants disappeared before they got there.

But suddenly there are reports from other restaurants in the area that others had seen pink elephants- all at the same approximate time!

It appears you had to be in a restaurant eating a meal in this particular part of town before you saw the elephants!

So now is the observation objective?

Everyone claims certainty.

This analogy is like a private testimony of the gospel.  Millions of people claim to have had similar experiences while others think they are nuts.

So is it objective or subjective?  ;)  True or false?  Hundreds of sightings in many locations, and people across locations agreeing on the particulars of the sighting?

I don't particularly want to debate the issue- I just am saying this is an analogy to the still small voice experience and defining it as either subjective OR objective is problematic.

 

 

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    • By nuclearfuels
      Come Follow Me, weekly readings-
      I'm wondering if those of you more well read (not hard) than me might know of opinions, LDS and otherwise, that suggest the every cell of the Savior's body suffered for us, in Gethsemane.
      Thanks
    • By Bernard Gui
      In sacrament meeting today, a brother announced that he had been asked to give a talk about President Oaks’ April Conference address. Most of the time, this type of talk is like a book report “Elder Oaks said this....,” “then Elder Oaks said that.....” I prefer to read the book myself rather than hear someone’s rehash of it.
      Today, however, was not one of those days. Today was transformational. Taking this quote as his starting point
      our speaker gave perhaps the best sermon I have ever heard and felt on repentance. He said at first he worried that his words might not be appropriate, but then he came to the conclusion that what he had to say was what the Lord wanted him to say. He told his story...
      A life-long member, seminary graduate, returned missionary young man who had made some very poor choices and ended up in many years of inactivity, moral degradation, addiction, depression, homelessness, self-loathing, and despondency. At a point when he was making the decision whether or not to live any longer, he thought of his father. He called him and asked if they could meet. They agreed and at that visit in their home, his father gave him a blessing during which the slate was wiped clean. Embraced by his parents, from that moment he began to take the steps that would restore his spirit, mind, and body through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Now three years later, he is sealed to a sister from our ward who had earlier suffered at the hands of an abusive ex-husband. They and their little baby boy are now a healthy and whole loving family. God be praised!
      There were many tearful eyes in the congregation, and some wept openly. We did not know of his journey, only that he had come as a great blessing into the life of our friend. I am sure many were thinking of loved ones they fear have slipped forever away from the path into forbidden areas from which there will be no return. Or perhaps there were those who are having similar feelings of uselessness and despair themselves. As the Spirit bore witness, we were given the hope that “Where will this lead?” does not necessarily have be to tragedy, but rather to deliverance, and redemption, and joy. It is possible for all of us.
      Thanks to this good brother for sharing his story of repentance, and thanks be to God and our Savior Jesus Christ. 
       
    • By Meerkat
      Is the right Church or creed the important thing, or is there something else we came here to learn?   I'm interested to hear what everyone believes and why they believe it.  That would add to our understanding of each other.  We have a good mix of people here.  I wonder if we could talk about our first person experiences on the subject and support it with simple faith, scriptures, opinion without putting anyone on the spot about their beliefs.  Maybe another way to frame the question is "What is the point of all this?  What is the purpose of this life?  Is it to embrace a certain belief, or is it to live a certain way?"  Or is it something else?
    • By Kenngo1969
      I hesitate, somewhat (though probably not enough), to do this.  (Fools rush in ... )  Though names, locales, other identifying details, and surrounding circumstances have been changed for dramatic purposes, real-life, flesh-and-blood people are involved, and perhaps this cuts through the flesh to the muscle, and through the muscle to the bone. Some time ago, I wrote a piece of "faction" ... factual fiction ... about a relationship in which I was involved once, and about the metamorphosis of a young lady for whom I once cared a great deal.  Though we're no longer as young as we once were, and though she long since has moved on, on some level, I care for her still.  I've tried hard to move on, too, and I'm not really very big on "pining" for anyone.  Hopefully no one gets the idea that that's what this is about.  I'm posting this in General Discussions in hopes that it attracts broader attention and wider traffic before the Mods decide to move it to Social Hall.  
      Love and marriage figure somewhere in here, of course.  It is a romance, after all.  I'm not necessarily interested in focusing more than in passing on those topics.  Hopefully, we can also avoid turning this into yet another thread about gay marriage.   I'm more interested in exploring broader themes of repentance, of forgiveness, of change, of metamorphosis, of what it means to recognize our identity as Children of God with a divine heritage and potential, and so on.  Anyway, without further ado, I give you the first chapter/installment of Deanna: A Story of Love and Change.
      https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/fiction-deanna-chapter-1/
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