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MustardSeed

Callings given to imperfect human beings

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13 hours ago, smac97 said:

Meh.  This sort of unsubstantiated, because-I-say-so, conclusory stuff about issues that are very much in dispute is not persuasive.  At all.

Meh to the meh. There's nothing wrong with an introductory statement. It is essentially an invitation to discuss. 

13 hours ago, smac97 said:

Oh, baloney.  The scriptures are chockablock full of exhortations and warnings that, by your reckoning, are "coercive."

Yes, indeed, the scriptures are full of writings and warnings that are explicitly coercive, threatening in nature. That does not make polygamy "not coercive."

13 hours ago, smac97 said:

All of these are just variations on a theme: obedience to God.  Whether we are speaking of having faith/belief, or repentance, or baptism, or doing "evil," or resisting ordinances, or taking the Sacrament, or taking "pleasure" in "unrighteousness," or "list{ing}" to "obey" the devil, or abiding in the covenant, or blaspheming against the Holy Ghost, or shedding innocent blood, or assenting to the death of Christ . . . all of these pertain to obeying God or disobeying God.

None of this is "coercive."  It's a matter of faith.  You get to accept these things as true, or not.  Nobody is holding a gun to your head, or holding your children hostage. 

Ironically, the only way these things could potentially be "coercive" is for you to accept them as true of your own free will.  But then, having accepted them of your own free will, you cannot be said to have been "coerced."  So not even a paradox will save your position here.

The same goes for polygamy.  You can accept it on faith, or not.  

Let's take a look at the Wiki entry for "coercion":

I think the gravamen of the concept is the suppression of the individual's exercise of agency (free will).  In terms of obedience to God, in terms of accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no coercion.  We chose to accept the Plan of Salvation.  We chose to come here and receive a body.  We chose to be tested.  "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."  (2 Nephi 2:27)

This is an apologetic for explicit coercion. I can appreciate that you may believe that the threatening nature of these scriptures you cite is fair because you believe we agreed to them in a premortal state. These are excuses for the coercion, not a contradiction.

14 hours ago, smac97 said:

This applies to all precepts of the Restored Gospel, whether it's having faith, or getting baptized, or taking the Sacrament, or . . . entering into polygamy (when commanded).  It's all a choice.  Every bit of it.

It's everything like those things.  The "invitation" you reference here has an alternative, right?  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that does not believeth is damned.”  (Mark 16:16)

This is just special pleading on your part (as in "argument in which the speaker deliberately ignores aspects that are unfavorable to their point of view").

It's also a variant of the No True Scotsman fallacy:

  • Meadowchik: Mormon polygamy was per se coercive.
  • Smac: No, it wasn't.
  • Meadowchik: Yes, it was.  See here?  D&C 132 says that disobedience will result in punishment.
  • Smac: The scriptures are replete with warnings about the consequences of disobedience.
  • Meadowchik: Yes, but those are nothing like the 'invitation' to 'choose Christ.'
  • Smac: How so?  Mark 16:16 says those who do not accept this 'invitation' will be 'damned.'
  • Meadowchik: Yes, but D&C 132 threatens a woman who does not believe in polygamy.
  • Smac: It 'threatens' her in the same sense that Mark 16:16 'threatens' her.  Or you.  Or me.
  • Meadowchik: It's still different.  

 I just can't go along with this sort of reasoning.  D&C 132's exhortations are predicated on faith, just like all of the above commandments about baptism, the Sacrament, enduring to the end, and so on.

It's a choice.  All of it.

Just a reminder, that the above little exchange is your framing, not an exact conversation between us. If I am not mistaken, I was speaking to JLPROF who expressed a different view from yours.  

They are all, in the grand scheme of things, coercive. However, polygamy is a step further away from known and well-understood established norms. By that, I am not trying to defend the coercion inherent in a punishing God and in the examples of paying tithing or other commands, although as a believer I did not frame it that way, rather as a system with natural consequences of our choices. But, coercive polygamy was a departure from norms that is easier for me to personalize, to put myself in the shoes of another. It implies a level of control in a person's life that is more extreme than paying money, or adhering to a church community, etc...

14 hours ago, smac97 said:

Moreover, the allegation of coercion is particularly flawed in the Latter-day Saint paradigm, which rejects the heaven/hell dichotomy, and instead posits that virtually everyone will inherit a kingdom of glory.  And even the least of these kingdoms, the one with a glory of analogized to "the stars" (as opposed to the much greater glory of the moon (Terrestrial) and the hugely different glory of the Sun (Celestial)).  The glory of this lowest kingdom, we are told, "surpasses all understanding."  (D&C 76:89).

Yes, that does have its comforts. However, eternity without progress or eternal families is considered a damn bad condition in the Latter.day Saint paradigm.

14 hours ago, smac97 said:

Quelle surprise.  Ethnocentric navel-gazing tends to lead to this sort of arbitrariness.

What's arbitrary? I oppose coercive polygamy. I have a more neutral opinion about polygamy that is not coercive. 

14 hours ago, smac97 said:

But since you are only interested in vilifying the Latter-day Saints, I doubt we'll see much in the way of consistency from you on this point.

Um, who says? Why would you claim that I only oppose Mormon coercive polygamy? Why would you claim that I am only interested in....? I do talk about Mormon polygamy more than Muslim polygamy. Is that unreasonable, for me, as a Mormon, to do so? Is it unreasonable for me to be more likely to discuss subjects with which I am more acquainted?

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16 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Yes, you have clearly established that you view polygamy as coercive.

What you have yet to do is demonstrate why that means it's sinful/wrong/not from God.  God uses coercion and always has.  The entire concept of sin vs salvation is coercive.

I have objected to the Mormon polygamy because it is coercive, I have cited that it is coercive in principle, and you agree. Where we differ, is you apparently accept divine coercion. Does that mean that you do not consider coercive church leadership to be imperfect?

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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Meh to the meh. There's nothing wrong with an introductory statement. It is essentially an invitation to discuss. 

I'm fine with discussion.  I'd just like it to be about more than just unsubstantiated personal opinions and feelings.

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Yes, indeed, the scriptures are full of writings and warnings that are explicitly coercive, threatening in nature. That does not make polygamy "not coercive."

I disagree.  The scriptures are not full of "explicitly coercive" anything.  I'd explain further, but all you are offering is because-I-say-so assertions.  I'd like to see reasoning and explanation, and data and evidence, in support of your position.  Until then, *** for tat seems apropos.

If you are correct that Christian scritpures are "full of writings and warnings that are explicitly coercive," why is it that you only single out a single line in a single verse in D&C 132 for criticism/condemnation? 

Do you likewise condemn the many other passages that, by your reckoning, are "coercive?"  If not, why not?

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This is an apologetic for explicit coercion.

No, it's not.  It's a reasoned argument for why scriptural exhortations, in and of themselves, are not coercive.

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I can appreciate that you may believe that the threatening nature of these scriptures you cite is fair because you believe we agreed to them in a premortal state. These are excuses for the coercion, not a contradiction.

I disagree.  The only way scriptural verses are "coercive" is if you believe in and accept them.  If you do, then you have consented to be constrained.  You have agreed to submit to the laws and commandments in scripture.

However, if you do not believe in or accept the scriptures, then they have no power or authority over you.  And if they have no power or authority, then there cannot be, and is no, coercion. 

There are two really good pieces of evidence in support of this idea.  First, the Church's own scripture explicitly circumscribes its own authority.  D&C 134:10, which provides:

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We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

This is a huge impediment to the validity of your assertion.  The only power or authority that the Church claims to have is to limit or remove an individual's membership in the Church.  On the flipside, the individual has the unfettered right to limit or remove his own membership.  With such a profound constraint on the Church's temporal authority, any claim that its scriptures are "coercive" is difficult to take seriously.

The second piece of evidence for the absence of coercion is . . . you.  You reject D&C 132.  You are not bound by it.  You are free to roam the Internet and rail against it and calumnate against the Church because of it.  And there isn't a lick of danger to you for doing so.  There's nothing remotely brave in you standing up to this purported "coercion" since you and I both know the Church will do exactly nothing to you in consequence of your behavior (except, perhaps, the limited options available per D&C 134:10).

If you want to see what actual religion-based "coercion" looks like, consider Iran's Guidance Patrol.  Or Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.  The men and women of these countries really are coerced into religious observances, because there is an entity that has actual authority and power over them.

Your claim is that a person can

1) choose to join the Church (or not), or
2) remain active in the Church (or not), or
3) agree with D&C 132 (or not), and
4) might face, at worst, a limitation on his/her (voluntary) membership in the Church,

is nevertheless being "coerced," is not workable.

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They are all, in the grand scheme of things, coercive.

No, they are not.

Merely repeating an unsubstantiated and unreasoned assertion doesn't do anything to advance your position.  If anything, it weakens it.  Here we are, in an adversarial construct.  The playing field is level.  You get to voice and explain your position, and so do I. 

But you aren't explaining.  You are not presenting evidence or reasoning in support of your position.  You are just asserting.  Declaring. Because-I-say-so-ing.

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However, polygamy is a step further away from known and well-understood established norms.

No, it's not.  Polygamy is no more coercive than baptism.

If a person can choose, or decline, to be baptized, it cannot be said that he was "coerced" either way.

If a 19th-century Latter-day Saint could choose, or decline, to enter into polygamy, it cannot be said that he or she was "coerced" either way.

To be sure, there were likely some examples of "coercive" polygamy.  I'm thinking here of a situation involving a woman whose husband did not seek and receive her freely-given consent for him to enter into a second, polygamous marriage.  Such a woman could indeed be said to having been "coerced."

But that is not your argument.  You are saying Mormon polygamy is innately and across-the-board coercive.  Every square inch of it.  Even the men and women who entered into it of their own free will were, somehow, "coerced."  And somehow you, living well over a century later, are somehow in a position to discern that they were coerced.  You somehow claim to speak for them, even to the point where you expect us to disbelieve their own words (describing their volitional acceptance of polygamy) and substitute your say-so instead.  That is quite presumptuous, I think.

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By that, I am not trying to defend the coercion inherent in a punishing God and in the examples of paying tithing or other commands, although as a believer I did not frame it that way, rather as a system with natural consequences of our choices.

You haven't even come close to establishing your premise (that obedience to scriptural commands is inherently coercive).

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But, coercive polygamy was a departure from norms that is easier for me to personalize, to put myself in the shoes of another.

And presume to speak for them, too.  Even for the men and women who left behind statements speaking of their decisions to enter into polygamy.

Your position requires us to believe that you, living in 2019, are better situated than 19th-century polygamists to address the presence or absence of coercion in 19th-century polygamy. 

Your position requires us to reject their various statements in defense of their decisions to enter into polygamy, and instead adopt your unsubstantiated say-so that they were coerced into it.

Again, that is quite presumptuous.

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It implies a level of control in a person's life that is more extreme than paying money, or adhering to a church community, etc...

No, it doesn't.  There is no implied "level of control."  To the contrary, there is an explicit rejection of any "level of control" by the Church except pertaining to limiting/ending an individual's membership in the Church (see D&C 134:10).

You argument strays into La La Land here.  The Church has no authority or power over individuals other than what the individual freely grants to the Church.  And the individual has the unfettered right to reject that authority/power at any time, for any reason or no reason at all.  And the Church can do precisely nothing about that (again, except to exercise the limited options available per D&C 134:10).

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Moreover, the allegation of coercion is particularly flawed in the Latter-day Saint paradigm, which rejects the heaven/hell dichotomy, and instead posits that virtually everyone will inherit a kingdom of glory.  And even the least of these kingdoms, the one with a glory of analogized to "the stars" (as opposed to the much greater glory of the moon (Terrestrial) and the hugely different glory of the Sun (Celestial)).  The glory of this lowest kingdom, we are told, "surpasses all understanding."  (D&C 76:89).

Yes, that does have its comforts.

It's not just about being comforting.  It's that the Church's doctrines posit that unrepentant disobedience doesn't lead to unending agony in the fires of hell, but rather leads to a lesser kingdom of glory.  For you to characterize this benevolence as "coercion" is absurd.

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However, eternity without progress or eternal families is considered a damn bad condition in the Latter.day Saint paradigm.

"Is considered" being the operative phrase here.

A person can choose to accept these things, or not.  A person can submit to the authority of the Church, or not.  A person can obey the commandments of God, or not.  For each of these "or nots," the worst possible consequence is a limitation or termination of the individual's voluntary membership in the Church.  That's the total extent of the Church's power/authority over an individual.  To call that power/authority "coercive" is unreasonable.

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I would not say that polygamy in general and by definition is inherently coercive.

Quelle surprise.  Ethnocentric navel-gazing tends to lead to this sort of arbitrariness.

What's arbitrary?

Your position.  Polygamy is only "coercive" when the Mormons do it.  That's arbitrary.  Unreasoned.  Unreasonable.

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I oppose coercive polygamy.

So do I.  But your claim is that all 19th-century Latter-day Saint polygamy was, by definition, "coercive."  That's just not so.

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I have a more neutral opinion about polygamy that is not coercive. 

Such is the natural consequence of ethnocentric navel-gazing.  One can feel free to lambaste the Church because if they are nominally a member of the Church.  But such wokeness can only go so far.  Publicly disparaging polygamy in other cultures as innately "coercive" would be (rightly) seen is presentist, presumptuous, ethnocentric, elitist, ignorant, and so on.  So one can avoid this by carving out just the niche that one feels entitled to bash: the 19th-century Church.

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Um, who says? Why would you claim that I only oppose Mormon coercive polygamy?

I don't claim that.  But here you are nonetheless, characterizing only Mormon polygamy as inherently coercive.

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I do talk about Mormon polygamy more than Muslim polygamy. Is that unreasonable, for me, as a Mormon, to do so?

It is unreasonable for you to single out and criticize Mormon polygamy and falsely characterize it as inherently coercive.

It is unreasonable for you to simply assert your unsubstantiated say-so and expect us to be persuaded by it.

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Is it unreasonable for me to be more likely to discuss subjects with which I am more acquainted?

Not at all.  I do that all the time.

But I guess we differ in what "discuss subjects" means.  I am interested in reasoned argument and ideas.  I have much less interest in unsupported personal opinions and hang-ups.

Look, I get where you're coming from.  Polygamy is a very tough topic.  But I find your approach to it deeply problematic.  Merely exchanging emotion-based opinions doesn't get us very far.  I have gone to some length to lay out the rationale for my position.  I am sometimes criticized on this board for being too verbose (I'll cop to that, sometimes).  But for difficult topics, I think they need to be hashed out and discussed in a cordial, yet, frank, manner.  That sometimes means going into a lot of detail (and, hence, risking being verbose).  But at least I'm trying to provide something for others to chew on.  

I would like to listen to what you have to say.  But apparently all you have to say is your say-so.  Your emotions.  No reasoning.  No evidence.  No substantiation.  Just railing against a principle you don't like.  Well, rail away.  But you'll understand why I find such emotion-based rhetoric to be unpersuasive.  Worse, relying only on emotion-based rhetoric about difficult and sensitive topics can often hinder and even frustrate meaningful discussion and analysis.

Polygamy is a toughie.  However, its practice in the 19th-century Church is not the first time that the disciples of Jesus have been asked to live out-of-step with their neighbors, including those who are members of the faith I recognize that many things the Church of Jesus Christ teaches are difficult for its members and others to accept.  Perhaps this is why He said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."  Perhaps this is why He also said (several times, actually) : "Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words."  Christ also said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."   Christ also said "For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me."  

My dad and I were talking about these things a while back, some of which have been described as the "dark sayings of Jesus."  My dad noted that some people focus on the "sweetness and light" sayings of the Savior, which is probably fine - unless that focus is exclusionary.  Christ had warnings for us, after all.  Such as this: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."  And this: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."   And this: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."   And this: "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory."

Polygamy is a difficult topic to address because it was divinely mandated, but sociologically disliked (both then and now).  That there were some elements of deceit in its practice by some makes the matter much more challenging and complex.  Consequently, I have a lot of compassion and empathy for people who are not comfortable with the concept.  I'm not particularly comfortable with it.  I do not understand it.  So much of the Restored Gospel comports with my general, gut-level sense of "right" and "wrong," but polygamy . . . doesn't.

However, neither does animal sacrifice.  Neither does Nephi slaying Laban.  Neither does the slaying of Nehor.  Neither do the deaths described in 2 Kings 2 ("Go up, thou bald head...").  And so on.

There are all sorts of things in play here.  Context matters.  A lot.  Historical context.  Social/cultural context.  Scriptural context.  Gospel context.  So does accuracy in conveyed information.  So do my personal life experiences, as well as the importance of properly characterizing those experiences as finite, blinkered, and not altogether accurate (rather than definitive, perfected and utterly, pristinely correct).

In other words, my sense of unease is not the most reliable moral barometer in the world.  So objectivity helps.  So does resisting the urge to engage in presentism.  So does research.  Lots of research.  And patience.  And humility (at the prospect that my "ick factor" about polygamy and such may be more about me than about the thing I find to be "icky").  And a willingness to re-assess previous assumptions.  But most of all . . . faith.  Lots and lots of faith.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I have objected to the Mormon polygamy because it is coercive, I have cited that it is coercive in principle, and you agree. Where we differ, is you apparently accept divine coercion. Does that mean that you do not consider coercive church leadership to be imperfect?

Too wide a brush.  I don't consider the idea of coercion as always sinful/wrong.  Makes no difference if it's Church leaders or God, right is right and wrong is wrong.

God is perfect so coercion can't be always wrong nor is the act of coercing a sign of error or something to repent of.

Edited by JLHPROF

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52 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Too wide a brush.  I don't consider the idea of coercion as always sinful/wrong. 

I am curious.  Could you explain your position here?

For me, both as a Latter-day Saint and as an attorney, "coercion" carries within its meaning a connotation of wrongfulness, and the negation of free will.  

There are some words that, when used to describe behavior, carry within them the idea that the behavior is evil.  For example, there is no need to modify "rape" or "murder" (such as "unlawful rape" or "illegal murder").  These words already carry within them the idea of wrongfulness.

So it is, I think, with "coercion."  The legal definition for it is "compulsion of a free agent by physical, moral, or economic force of rthreat of physical force.  An act that must be voluntary, such as signing a will, is not legally valid if done under coercion.  And since a valid marriage requires voluntary consent, coercion or duress is grounds for invalidating a marriage."  (Black's Law Dictionary, 215, 10th Ed.)

In other words, for Person A to "coerce" Person B is necessarily a wrongful act, since the word itself is conclusory.  Similarly, for Person A to rape (or murder) Person B is necessarily a wrongful act.  The word "coercion" describes inherently wrongful conduct.

So respectfully, I disagree with you.  I think coercion is "always sinful/wrong."  

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God is perfect so coercion can't be always wrong nor is the act of coercing a sign of error or something to repent of.

This may be more an issue of semantics, as you and I have fairly different perceptions of the meaning of "coercion."

I agree that "God is perfect," but that means that He would not resort to coercion (since coercion is per se evil).  

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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18 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I am curious.  Could you explain your position here?

For me, both as a Latter-day Saint and as an attorney, "coercion" carries within its meaning a connotation of wrongfulness, and the negation of free will.  

There are some words that, when used to describe behavior, carry within them the idea that the behavior is evil.  For example, there is no need to modify "rape" or "murder" (such as "unlawful rape" or "illegal murder").  These words already carry within them the idea of wrongfulness.

So it is, I think, with "coercion."  The legal definition for it is "compulsion of a free agent by physical, moral, or economic force of rthreat of physical force.  An act that must be voluntary, such as signing a will, is not legally valid if done under coercion.  And since a valid marriage requires voluntary consent, coercion or duress is grounds for invalidating a marriage."  (Black's Law Dictionary, 215, 10th Ed.)

In other words, for Person A to "coerce" Person B is necessarily a wrongful act, since the word itself is conclusory.  Similarly, for Person A to rape (or murder) Person B is necessarily a wrongful act.  The word "coercion" describes inherently wrongful conduct.

So respectfully, I disagree with you.  I think coercion is "always sinful/wrong."  

This may be more an issue of semantics, as you and I have fairly different perceptions of the meaning of "coercion."

I agree that "God is perfect," but that means that He would not resort to coercion (since coercion is per se evil).  

Thanks,

-Smac

Using your definition "compulsion of a free agent by physical, moral, or economic force or threat of physical force".

You don't see any examples of our perfect Heavenly Father using this methodology?  Because I see many.  I saw you quote many in an earlier post.

We aren't talking about removal of agency force.  God doesn't do that.  We are talking coercion- ie compulsion through threat of forceful consequence.

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I think coercion is "always sinful/wrong."  

Couple of quick things to consider.

First, I don't see how any society other than Zion could function without at least some authorized uses of coercion, so it seems that coercion can't always be wrong. At a minimum, I would think that coercion could be justified when it is used to prevent other rights violations (e.g., law enforcement). 

Second, it seems to me that the intent of the coercer makes difference in determining whether or not coercion might be justified as well. For example, when a parent forces a child to receive needed medical care, the child is technically being coerced into doing something against her will (i.e., receiving treatment), but the intent of the parent is to help the child so coercion would be morally justified in such a situation. 

So, I think I would probably agree that coercion is always presumptively wrong, though it may be justified by additional facts. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Couple of quick things to consider.

First, I don't see how any society other than Zion could function without at least some authorized uses of coercion, so it seems that coercion can't always be wrong.

I guess it comes down to semantics.  I come from a legal background, so "coercion" carries with it a lot of meaning.  It is innately bad.  A contract signed under coercion is legally invalid.  A deed transferring property that is executed under coercion is legally invalid.  State and federal statutes criminalize coercive conduct.

Again, "coercion" is, for me, in the same category of words as "rape" and "murder."  Rape is inherently wrong.  The wrongness of it is baked into the word itself, such that it doesn't need to be modified (such as "unlawful rape").  The same goes for murder.  These things are per se wrong.

4 minutes ago, Amulek said:

At a minimum, I would think that coercion could be justified when it is used to prevent other rights violations (e.g., law enforcement). 

You'd have to be more specific.  Compulsion is perhaps the more appropriate word.  Coercion by law enforcement is pretty much never going to be okay.

4 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Second, it seems to me that the intent of the coercer makes difference in determining whether or not coercion might be justified as well.

I don't think so.  Ill intent is baked into the word.  

4 minutes ago, Amulek said:

For example, when a parent forces a child to receive needed medical care, the child is technically being coerced into doing something against her will (i.e., receiving treatment), but the intent of the parent is to help the child so coercion would be morally justified in such a situation. 

I would disagree with that.  I think the child would be compelled, not coerced.

4 minutes ago, Amulek said:

So, I think I would probably agree that coercion is always presumptively wrong, though it may be justified by additional facts. 

Again, the disagreement here appears to be more about semantics.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Using your definition "compulsion of a free agent by physical, moral, or economic force or threat of physical force".

You don't see any examples of our perfect Heavenly Father using this methodology?  Because I see many.  I saw you quote many in an earlier post.

We aren't talking about removal of agency force.  God doesn't do that.  We are talking coercion- ie compulsion through threat of forceful consequence.

I've tried three times to respond to this, but I keep getting a 403 error.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Using your definition "compulsion of a free agent by physical, moral, or economic force or threat of physical force".

You don't see any examples of our perfect Heavenly Father using this methodology?  Because I see many.  I saw you quote many in an earlier post.

We aren't talking about removal of agency force.  God doesn't do that.  We are talking coercion- ie compulsion through threat of forceful consequence.

You're using the words "coercion" and compulsion" and I don't think those are the right words to use when talking about how we should righteously try to help influence another person to avoid bad choices and to choose wisely, instead.

Our Father doesn't coerce or compel us to do things.  Heck some people aren't even aware that he exists or that he is trying to help to give them some good ideas!

Here is a link to a pretty good article about this: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1990/09/avoiding-unrighteous-dominion?lang=eng

 

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16 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Our Father doesn't coerce or compel us to do things. 

I disagree completely and so does scripture.

Edited by JLHPROF

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15 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I disagree completely and so does scripture.

Maybe we should define coercion.

Here's from the dictionary online:

Quote

 

co·er·cion

noun

the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

 

I think the word "force" may be what some disagree with.  We usually associate that word with Satan rather than with God.  However the word "threats" very definitely defines some of the records and words that we attribute to God (ie. threats of destruction).  And, that's the one that for me could apply to the commandment of polygamy (that Meadowchik is referring to).  The angel with the drawn sword threatening destruction and also the scripture directed at Emma in the D&C threatening destruction.

I also think we may be discussing two different aspects regarding the practice of polygamy (coercion from God vs. coercion used by man).  I don't believe that Joseph used coercion (force or threats) to convince any of the girls or women to marry him.  I think he did use his position as the Prophet (or at least benefited from that) and pressured some at times as well as using manipulation..... and then deceit was involved too, IMO.  But I don't see where he used coercion (as defined above).

Edited by ALarson
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12 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I disagree completely and so does scripture.

No, those are your words to describe what our Father does, and those words do not fit what he is actually doing.  He does try to persuade us, and warn us, and help us to avoid making bad choices, but he doesn't coerce or compel anyone to do anything.

There are people who exercise unrighteous dominion but our Father is not one of those people.

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8 minutes ago, Ahab said:

No, those are your words to describe what our Father does, and those words do not fit what he is actually doing.  He does try to persuade us, and warn us, and help us to avoid making bad choices, but he doesn't coerce or compel anyone to do anything.

There are people who exercise unrighteous dominion but our Father is not one of those people.

I've got to say that this is coercion (from God and directed at Emma), IMO:

Quote

But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.

Or are you applying a different definition to coercion than the one I posted above?

This also seems like coercion to me:

Quote

Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.

 

Edited by ALarson

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17 minutes ago, Ahab said:

No, those are your words to describe what our Father does, and those words do not fit what he is actually doing.  He does try to persuade us, and warn us, and help us to avoid making bad choices, but he doesn't coerce or compel anyone to do anything.

No, that is your version of God.  The actual God of scripture and history is on record as coercing and compelling.

You like whales right Ahab?  I bet Jonah felt pretty compelled.  Maybe even coerced.

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13 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I've got to say that this is coercion (from God and directed at Emma), IMO:

Or are you applying a different definition to coercion than the one I posted above?

This also seems like coercion to me:

 

Exactly.  And the scriptures are full of examples.  Pay your tithing or get burned.  Repent or be damned.  Accept Christ and the plan of salvation or be cast out and be prevented from progressing.  Keep the Celestial law or never return to my presence worlds without end.

No different than the angel with the sword.

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13 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I've got to say that this is coercion (from God and directed at Emma), IMO:

Or are you applying a different definition to coercion than the one I posted above?

No, same definition of coercion.  Are you familiar with the phrase: "is that a threat?" when someone tells you what he is going to do in some particular circumstances, if you do such and such?  And he responds with something like: "no, that is a warning, and a promise".

And btw, I don't accept your examples as statements that were made by our Father or our Lord to any person who supposedly felt threatened after hearing those statements.  In the one about Emma I think it's likely that some nuance got lost in translation by whoever relayed that message and in the 2nd it's just hearsay about what Joseph supposedly said.

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5 minutes ago, Ahab said:

No, same definition of coercion.  Are you familiar with the phrase: "is that a threat?" when someone tells you what he is going to do in some particular circumstances, if you do such and such?  And he responds with something like: "no, that is a warning, and a promise".

And btw, I don't accept your examples as statements that were made by our Father or our Lord to any person who supposedly felt threatened after hearing those statements.  In the one about Emma I think it's likely that some nuance got lost in translation by whoever relayed that message and in the 2nd it's just hearsay about what Joseph supposedly said.

This is quoted from the Doctrine & Covenants, are you saying it's an error?  (If so, why hasn't it been corrected?):

Quote

But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.

 

And this is a quote from the essay published on the church website:

Quote

Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.

Did they make an error by using the word "threatening"?

Edited by ALarson

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17 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

No, that is your version of God.  The actual God of scripture and history is on record as coercing and compelling.

And we all know those records are correct only insofar as they are translated and interpreted correctly, amiright?

And btw, the correct version of a good God is a God who does not exercise unrighteous dominion.  Someone who simply states what will happen if someone chooses to do such and such. 

When someone does something bad it is a natural consequence that something bad will result from that bad action.  God is usually just iterating that obvious fact.

17 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

You like whales right Ahab?  I bet Jonah felt pretty compelled.  Maybe even coerced.

Jonah could have "felt" compelled and coerced even if God wasn't actually doing any compelling or coercing.  Jonah did what he did and God then did what God did.  If Jonah didn't like it, he could have acted differently.

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3 minutes ago, ALarson said:

This is quoted from the Doctrine & Covenants, are you saying it's an error?  (If so, why hasn't it been corrected?):

 

And this is a quote from the essay published on the church website:

Did they make an error by using the word "threatening"?

The church website frequently posts what people say even when God isn't the one who said it.  Are you saying you accept everything on the church website as if it is the word of God, himself?  Why would you do that, ALarson?

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3 minutes ago, Ahab said:

The church website frequently posts what people say even when God isn't the one who said it.  Are you saying you accept everything on the church website as if it is the word of God, himself?  

Nice dodge (to both of my questions).   Here they are again:

Do you believe there is an error in that scripture I quoted from the Doctrine & Covenants?

And, do you believe the part I quoted from one of the church essays is not correct? 

Edited by ALarson

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8 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Nice dodge (to both of my questions).   Here they are again:

Do you believe there is an error in that scripture I quoted from the Doctrine & Covenants?

No, just an error in how that scripture is interpreted./understood.  All scripture is correct only insofar as it is translated or interpreted/understood correctly.  And any false interpretations are not the responsibility of  God, himself.

We've all been taught that we should ask God for ourselves to find out what is true and right and good.  And even if we weren't taught that by other people we should do it anyway because it is just common sense to not rely on the hearsay of other people.

8 minutes ago, ALarson said:

And, do you believe the part I quoted from one of the church essays is not correct? 

Yes and I already said as much in the post you responded to when you wrote this post that I am now responding to, again.

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10 minutes ago, Ahab said:

And we all know those records are correct only insofar as they are translated and interpreted correctly, amiright?

And btw, the correct version of a good God is a God who does not exercise unrighteous dominion.  Someone who simply states what will happen if someone chooses to do such and such. 

When someone does something bad it is a natural consequence that something bad will result from that bad action.  God is usually just iterating that obvious fact.

Jonah could have "felt" compelled and coerced even if God wasn't actually doing any compelling or coercing.  Jonah did what he did and God then did what God did.  If Jonah didn't like it, he could have acted differently.

We can always act differently.  God doesn't remove agency.  That doesn't mean he isn't actively compelling and coercing us to choose his way and follow his law.

I hate the idea of a loving God saying "here's my way, take it or leave it" and doing nothing to compel us towards good.

Heber C. Kimball taught that:

"What you have agreed to do, God will require you to perform, if it should be ten thousand years after this time. And when the servants of God speak to you, and require you to do a thing, the Lord God will fulfil His words, and make you fulfil His words he gave to you through His servants. Inasmuch as you have come into this Church, and made a covenant to forsake the world, and cleave unto the Lord, and keep His commandments, the Lord will compel you to do it, if it should be in ten thousand years from this time. These are my views, and I know it will be so."

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19 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

We can always act differently.  God doesn't remove agency.  That doesn't mean he isn't actively compelling and coercing us to choose his way and follow his law.

I hate the idea of a loving God saying "here's my way, take it or leave it" and doing nothing to compel us towards good.

I believe God does persuade us and influence us to do and think good things, I just don't call it compulsion or say he is compelling us to do what is right.  

He is the one who inspired someone to say: No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

My idea of him compelling us to do something, if he were to ever to that, would be for him to control us like a robot in some situation, and I don't believe he would ever do that even if we were to give him our consent to do that to us.  We are always in control of whatever we do, with no automatic mode kicking in wherein we can not choose to get out of it.  You seem to agree with that when you say you believe we always have our choice to do things, but then you say you think he could compel us to do something, which does not fit in my view with what I think of as being compelled to do something.  We simply make our own choice about whether we will do what God wants us to do, even when he makes it clear that the results would be disastrous if we were to choose to go against him.

 

Quote

Heber C. Kimball taught that:

"What you have agreed to do, God will require you to perform, if it should be ten thousand years after this time. And when the servants of God speak to you, and require you to do a thing, the Lord God will fulfil His words, and make you fulfil His words he gave to you through His servants. Inasmuch as you have come into this Church, and made a covenant to forsake the world, and cleave unto the Lord, and keep His commandments, the Lord will compel you to do it, if it should be in ten thousand years from this time. These are my views, and I know it will be so."

I think Heber may have had a different idea in his mind about what it would mean for the Lord to compel us to do something, if the Lord were to ever do that.  I know our Lord will require us to do certain things in order to receive particular blessings, simply as a requirement for what it takes to receive those blessings, but it will always be our own choice whether or not to do what it takes for us to receive any blessing that our Lord is ever willing to offer us.

Edited by Ahab

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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

Maybe we should define coercion.

Here's from the dictionary online:

I think the word "force" may be what some disagree with.  We usually associate that word with Satan rather than with God.  However the word "threats" very definitely defines some of the records and words that we attribute to God (ie. threats of destruction).  And, that's the one that for me could apply to the commandment of polygamy (that Meadowchik is referring to).  The angel with the drawn sword threatening destruction and also the scripture directed at Emma in the D&C threatening destruction.

I also think we may be discussing two different aspects regarding the practice of polygamy (coercion from God vs. coercion used by man).  I don't believe that Joseph used coercion (force or threats) to convince any of the girls or women to marry him.  I think he did use his position as the Prophet (or at least benefited from that) and pressured some at times as well as using manipulation..... and then deceit was involved too, IMO.  But I don't see where he used coercion (as defined above).

I think you point out something important here.  I have to say that when I read that definition, it changed my mind about what I said earlier (that coercion was used with Helen Mar Kimball).  I was thinking it meant just persuading or applying some pressure.

But I do see coercion used with the angel and the sword and also in the scriptures to Emma. 

Edited by JulieM
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