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mfbukowski

Humanism and the Ideal Perfected Human

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1 hour ago, changed said:

We define "strong" very differently.

I do not believe a loving God wants anyone to live below their capabilities....  Others consider it to be "faithful" to demote themselves... 

The first words out of a New Agers mouth are always "loving God". "Would a loving God...?" Or, "Does a loving God...?"

It's all very New Agey. But what is New Age based on? What is the New Age conception of a "loving God" based on? It is all very sentimental and heart warming, this conception of a "loving God", but what is it based on?

Our conception of God has to conform with the scriptures. What else is there that can be relied on?

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One more point. LDS doctrines and practices do change, but that is based upon revelation from God, not rational argument. For example, the ban against the blacks and the priesthood was lifted, but not because of the reasoned arguments that all races are equal. In fact, the lifting of the ban occurred roughly a decade after most people, including courts, had accepted rational arguments for the equality of races.

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6 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Can I leave? Certainly, I can. I don't want to because I believe this Church has the only true gospel, but it doesn't always seem to act like it. Sometimes it lashes out or acts very defensively - imho.

Hmmm, ok good point.   I agree but I don't know what to do with that in the context of this thread.  I don't see how it fits here.  It is certainly a problem but I am not sure how I would correct it.

Usually the point is framed more in the line of "oppression" which to me is a gross exaggeration. Yet Jesus taught in parables for a reason- and that reason was that people were not ready for the real message.  I think that is a similar KIND of problem.  One cannot say what one wants to say due to the lack of comprehension of others.  Honestly, I feel that a lot.  On the other hand I consider it a fact of life that not everyone is on the same level and that there are others who are so far advanced over my level that they see my stupidity every time I open my mouth

I think at some point of maturity we can get more frank and drop the parables though.   I think this is a personal problem in worrying about what others think of us, not "opression" ;)

But honestly we should drop this line- it has nothing to do with the OP

I think I will just not answer anything not relevant to the OP and see how that works and if it gets too far afield I will just shut it down.

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Note I said strong members.

Oof. No True Scotswoman, eh?

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26 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Hi Mark,

Intriguing topic. You've written about this before but it is nice to see you put it all together in one thread. I am neither LDS or humanist, obviously (but I'm also not a "standard" Catholic, either).

I'm really curious what a "standard" LDS would have to say about your ideas. And by labelling you "non-standard" LDS and others "standard" LDS I mean absolutely no disparagement to you or others. It's just that your view of Mormonism is one that I've never seen before :) 

I think the target audience here needs to be the standard LDS member so that their ideas about their own faith and humanism and they way they practice their own faith. While reading your posts I did a little thought experiment. Imagine a humanist who knows absolutely nothing about the LDS church. They read your post or a blog piece or an essay or whatever laying out your arguments and are very intrigued -- the ideas should be intriguing to a humanist. The next Sunday they go to church expecting what you have laid out. What they are going to see and experience is not going to be anything like what you just described.

They are going to see male leaders sitting in positions of power because they have been called of God and given authority through a ritual of laying on of hands. They are going to see boys blessing communion because of the same ritual. If it's testimony meeting, they are going to see members repeat over and over that they know something. If after the meeting they question the members on their epistemological views, they are going to be told that the source of their knowledge is not rational belief, is not reasoned argument, but is a wordless emotion based revelation from God. (tangent: it's been years since I've been to a testimony meeting, but I do remember that the phrase "I know X and Y with every fiber of my being" was used many times. Is "every fiber of my being" still in vogue?). Perhaps one of the songs sung is "Praise to the Man" -- I toss that out there because I know it's a pet peeve of yours :P 

Then our humanist heads to the next meetings and hears lessons about following a prophet who speaks for God. Other lessons quoting authority figures (again, all male and 90+% white) on what is true, sans rational argument. Or maybe he encounters a lively discussion about the evils of evolution or the world-wide flood of Noah. Or perhaps there is a more technical discussion concerning excommunications for apostasy -- that someone who believes and argues for ideas that run contrary to the hierarchy's ideas can be removed from the church for what they think and believe. Or maybe, in an effort to be more transparent with LDS history, there is a lesson on the translation of the Book of Mormon, including the seer stone and the hat.

Now, I don't have a problem with any of the above because I look at the LDS church as a religious organization, not a humanist one. But our imaginary humanist would probably return home, reread your essay, and wonder if he went to the wrong church or if you were being intentionally deceptive.

I know you are dealing with ideas here, but the experience of being around LDS folk is not humanist at all. You are going to have to make a huge change to the practices of the LDS faith if you want it to align with humanism. And I wonder if you went around making these arguments and advocating for changes in practices if you'd find yourself being reprimanded by the leaders for teaching something contrary to the faith ;) 

I'm not trying to say what LDS believe here -- I'm just pointing out the experience of an outsider to LDS practices. It certainly seems VERY contrary to humanism.

OK yes you got it, totally, you get the golden ring.  You are perhaps THE guy around here who understands my progression from Catholicism very well.

But consider trying to pull this off in Catholicism! ?  Transcendent Trinity with substance philosophy?  Not a good match!

What I saw in the philosophy of Joseph Smith was Humanist Christianity- exactly what I was looking for

Worshiping an immanent perfected Human?   Are you kidding me?  And applying Social Trinitarianism to Christianity at the same time?

I was all over THAT!   But what was needed as well was a community!   And where are you going to find a community with my ideas?

I WAS that guy you describe in my first meetings.  But I have had heavy duty experiences and those keep me going knowing that linguistic descriptions are useless.

Still haven't found anything better....  and I still have the temple where I can do the total mysticism thing.   Works for me. ;)

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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19 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Oof. No True Scotswoman, eh?

The whole approach was your strawoman not mine.  You were the one who defined only who found oppression "oppressed" by using "women" in a universal sense so you introduced the Scotswoman.

The point is that millions of women do not feel oppressed and are actually joining.

Edited by mfbukowski

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Not sure I understand this, considering also that Christ is/was Human and is our model.  We are taught to emulate him right?

I think Humanists clearly submit to rules like "Humans should have rights" and all the other points they clearly state in the quoted portions of their various manifestos etc.

Yes, if we're looking for parallels, there are thousands. The "beef" would be picking on only one or two identifiable exceptions, so I zeroed in on adherents voluntarily making covenants with the author or exemplar of their chosen manifesto. Is there a non-religious manifesto which requires this? Who are non-religious humanists taught to emulate by personal covenant with him?

A second might be over what Joseph Smith observed: “a religion [or an "-ism"] that does not require the [voluntary and covenanted ] sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation [i.e. to meet aspirations delineated in the manifesto].” Is there a non-religious version of a manifesto that requires the sacrifice of all things?

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

How is this relevant to the concept of an Ideal Human?

Your OP also compared the Gospel to Humanism. My responses compare these systems, namely the COJCOLDS and Humanism.

 

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Not to mention that we can vote with our feet any time we like.   It kind of cracks me up to hear of people LEAVING the church complaining about how their lives are so oppressed and restricted.

If they were oppressed and restricted- how CAN they leave?   It's ridiculous!.  They are living a contradiction to their own arguments.  We see that kind of thing right here on this thread!

And here they are complaining about being oppressed while the fact that they can complain about the rules shows they are NOT oppressed!  And back they go to church every Sunday for more oppression I suppose.

Absurd.

I may be an apostate, but I am still Mormon. Born and raised, and I believed with my all, body and spirit. It is my past and also my community. Mormonism is not getting rid of me.

59 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

So now you are comparing the numbers of people who have contributed to Humanism - all those on each side since perhaps the 16th century who contributed to the Restoration and the evolution of what is now Humanism?

The number of contributors to an idea is irrelevant to its validity.   You really want to take this back to Jesus Christ as the "thoughts of one man"?   So the theory of relativity is not valid because it was largely put forward from the ideas of one man?

Again, women who understand patriarchy do not have problems with the church.  Yes Humanism disagrees with patriarchy I suppose but we are also free as a self-determined community to make our own rules

A community which makes their own rules is the Humanist ideal and we confirm pretty darn well to those standards but you keep getting stuck on individuals.  

This is about ideas and their validity, not individuals. 

Again, I am comparing the current systems. The church is a very specific type of system, while Humanism is more broad and of course, as you defined it, more theoretical.

Imagine a Social Networking Map. When I say that the church excludes females, I am thinking of what happens to that whole system of dots scattered across the paper, dots that are highly restricted as a result. Roughly half of those dots are restricted in how they interact with the system and how the system connects them. Restriction is also the case with the church's authoritarian nature, the president is connected unilaterally to everyone else. These systemic structures are impactful, for better or worse.

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9 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

The whole approach was your strawoman not mine.  You were the one who defined only who found oppression "oppressed" by using "women" in a universal sense so you introduced the Scotswoman.

The point is that millions of women do not feel oppressed and are actually joining.

The oppression of women in the church is factual. Women are excluded from types of participation and leadership positions.  All females in the church are oppressed by the church, much like people of African descent were oppressed in the church until 1978. This is a factual systemic problem, and exists regardless of how a person feels about it. And btw, many people frequently adapt to oppression in ways to make it more tolerable to them.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

The exclusion of females in some aspects of the church isn't just anecdotal, it is part of its ideal, right? This is also a major, fundamental difference from humanism.

https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2014/womans-church

 

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

There is a lot in philosophy about the function of intuition, also in cognitive science. Plug that in here- that's what they are talking about. It parallels the Holy Ghost closely.

Our brain connects the dots of our perceptions and creates our world through "intuition". That implies constant "inspiration" just to survive. But of course one must be aware first of intuition before one can believe in religious experience, that's why James was a psychologist.

Consciousness itself cannot exist without this notion of connecting the dots

I have no doubt that a typical secular humanist would give short shrift to the Holy Ghost, but be more than willing to accept "Always let your conscience be your guide."  How can we tell the difference?

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1 hour ago, s.calloway said:

The first words out of a New Agers mouth are always "loving God". "Would a loving God...?" Or, "Does a loving God...?"

It's all very New Agey. But what is New Age based on? What is the New Age conception of a "loving God" based on? It is all very sentimental and heart warming, this conception of a "loving God", but what is it based on?

Our conception of God has to conform with the scriptures. What else is there that can be relied on?

How do we know if the so called scriptures aren't man made?

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52 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Hmmm, ok good point.   I agree but I don't know what to do with that in the context of this thread.  I don't see how it fits here.  It is certainly a problem but I am not sure how I would correct it.

Usually the point is framed more in the line of "oppression" which to me is a gross exaggeration. Yet Jesus taught in parables for a reason- and that reason was that people were not ready for the real message.  I think that is a similar KIND of problem.  One cannot say what one wants to say due to the lack of comprehension of others.  Honestly, I feel that a lot.  On the other hand I consider it a fact of life that not everyone is on the same level and that there are others who are so far advanced over my level that they see my stupidity every time I open my mouth

I think at some point of maturity we can get more frank and drop the parables though.   I think this is a personal problem in worrying about what others think of us, not "opression" ;)

But honestly we should drop this line- it has nothing to do with the OP

I think I will just not answer anything not relevant to the OP and see how that works and if it gets too far afield I will just shut it down.

Well, thinking from the standpoint of the humanist, I think they would feel somewhat repressed in the Church as it currently stands. I guess oppressed is not the best word. But I think the typical humanist would not feel terribly free to speak their mind in the Church. While I do see a lot of shared pursuits, I see different mechanisms or methods of getting to the shared goals. I don't have any problems with humanists. I want them to feel free to pursue their goals. I think them to be admirable, but I don't know that our methods of getting there would be terribly compatible. I guess that is how I thought my comments relevant. Sorry if you felt it was too far astray.

If the issue becomes "should this be the case?" That is another issue. Perhaps not. I believe God to be quite rational, but the way He does things is not susceptible to scientific proofs - at least so far in our experience, because He wants us to learn faith. But I think one can definitely make the case for a rational belief in God, and a rational understanding of God, which are humanist ideals. I think Simon Greenleaf does as much for the former in his The Testimony of the Evangelists, in which he examines the case for a rational belief in Christ by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice. But that still is not scientific proof, so if humanists are going to demand that, they may never join the Church unless they trust their own eyes...

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27 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Yes, if we're looking for parallels, there are thousands. The "beef" would be picking on only one or two identifiable exceptions, so I zeroed in on adherents voluntarily making covenants with the author or exemplar of their chosen manifesto. Is there a non-religious manifesto which requires this? Who are non-religious humanists taught to emulate by personal covenant with him?

A second might be over what Joseph Smith observed: “a religion [or an "-ism"] that does not require the [voluntary and covenanted ] sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation [i.e. to meet aspirations delineated in the manifesto].” Is there a non-religious version of a manifesto that requires the sacrifice of all things?

Excellent points, thanks.  Now I get your point.

I am not sure that it is a parallel and you may have identified the difference in the FUNCTION of the idea of "God".

For me the belief in God FUNCTIONS as a personal relationship with a Guiding Leader who is inside of me and for all I know, I suppose could be my unconscious but it sure feels as though the personal Guide is outside me.

Even atheists like Hitchens believe in an internal "watcher" who acts as our conscience in telling us what is good from what is not.

But a personal covenant with someone inside me?  Obviously that is not going to work, and you may have nailed it.

So the location of that personal Guide is what separates us from Humanists?  

I think of secular folks who will say things like "Just let me pull this off, Universe, and I promise to ....."    So in that context who is the Universe that is going to "let you pull this off"?

Definitely getting closer- thanks

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I have no doubt that a typical secular humanist would give short shrift to the Holy Ghost, but be more than willing to accept "Always let your conscience be your guide."  How can we tell the difference?

Yep!  See above!

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1 hour ago, s.calloway said:

The first words out of a New Agers mouth are always "loving God". "Would a loving God...?" Or, "Does a loving God...?"

It's all very New Agey. But what is New Age based on? What is the New Age conception of a "loving God" based on? It is all very sentimental and heart warming, this conception of a "loving God", but what is it based on?

Our conception of God has to conform with the scriptures. What else is there that can be relied on?

Hi calloway. Welcome to the forum. Well, I largely agree with you, but it is written in those scriptures:
John 14:23, 28-29

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will alove him, and we will come unto him, and make our babode with him.

When one experiences even an inkling of the presence of God, one can know a little more personally of the love of God. 

Edited by RevTestament

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9 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

.............................

So the location of that personal Guide is what separates us from Humanists?  

I think of secular folks who will say things like "Just let me pull this off, Universe, and I promise to ....."    So in that context who is the Universe that is going to "let you pull this off"?

Definitely getting closer- thanks.....................

Atheists often declare that reason and logic are sufficient guide to the "good," but Bertrand Russell rejected that notion -- even though he had no substitute to offer.

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25 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I have no doubt that a typical secular humanist would give short shrift to the Holy Ghost, but be more than willing to accept "Always let your conscience be your guide."  How can we tell the difference?

And besides that, why would God only give the HG to maybe 1% of the world? 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

And besides that, why would God only give the HG to maybe 1% of the world? 

That is definitely not the case. Anyone trying to follow Christ can be led by the Holy Ghost who affirms what is true for them. He has surely even healed people at the prayerful requests of the faithful. Thus, even if their understanding of God "falls short" of truth, God loves them, and will answer prayers. 

There is a recent movie of a youth who drowned, and died. After trying to resuscitate him for 45 min with no independent heart beat, the medical team quit, and was declaring him dead. The mother begged for the Holy Ghost to bring him back - a weak heart beat ensued. The boy appeared very brain damaged, and was sent to a specialist who concurred he had little chance of living, much less of being anything close to normal. But the mother would not give up. Long, true story short, upon being brought out of an induced coma, the boys lungs cleared of the blood which had caused him to be unable to breath, and numerous other complications cleared up. He is now walking around, and returned to playing basketball. All a true, medically verified story. 

https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/god-still-does-the-impossible-the-incredible-true-story-behind-the-faith-based-film-breakthrough

Edited by RevTestament
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43 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Hi calloway. Welcome to the forum. Well, I largely agree with you, but it is written in those scriptures:
John 14:23, 28-29

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will alove him, and we will come unto him, and make our babode with him.

When one experiences even an inkling of the presence of God, one can know a little more personally of the love of God. 

I’m all for the “love of God”, etc., etc. But the New Agers take the 10% of the Bible that deals with love and ignore the other 90%, which provides necessary context for the 10%.

The New Age conception of a “loving God” is that he is an indulgent parent.

“Each to his own without judgement.”—— This comes from the book “Conversations With God” (a New Age touchstone, along with “A Course In Miracles” and other similar books), and is supposedly straight from God’s own mouth. This God is a “loving God” i.e. an indulgent parent, a God who does not judge but only "loves".

But the conception of God that exists in the scriptures (Bible, BOM, P of GP and D & C) is very different.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

How do we know if the so called scriptures aren't man made?

Maybe they are. But I don't think so. The scriptures——the Bible, BOM, P of GP and D & C——are unique among printed works. They are not unique because we have assigned them such a designation. They are unique because they provide answers to ultimate questions in a way that no other texts do.

But whether one accepts such a designation i.e. that they are God's word to mortals . . . well, that is a matter of faith.

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17 minutes ago, s.calloway said:

I’m all for the “love of God”, etc., etc. But the New Agers take the 10% of the Bible that deals with love and ignore the other 90%, which provides necessary context for the 10%.

The New Age conception of a “loving God” is that he is an indulgent parent.

“Each to his own without judgement.”—— This comes from the book “Conversations With God” (a New Age touchstone, along with “A Course In Miracles” and other similar books), and is supposedly straight from God’s own mouth. This God is a “loving God” i.e. an indulgent parent, a God who does not judge but only "loves".

But the conception of God that exists in the scriptures (Bible, BOM, P of GP and D & C) is very different.

OK, I get what you are saying. I don't know how indulgent Heavenly Father is, but Yeshua is very indulgent, or we would never have a chance to return. He is full of grace and truth. And Heavenly Father is full of love and power..... But you are right, that without Yeshua, Heavenly Father will judge us according to our sins.... However, I don't know that I wouldn't call Him indulgent. He is indulgent enough to send us Christ and the Holy Spirit.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

How do we know if the so called scriptures aren't man made?

They are completely man made. Written by dozens if not hundreds of believers, and recopied by scribes over thousands of years. Not one word was ever written by God on earth.... But yeah, I'm being a little facetious. Nevertheless, doesn't the fact that they report on the sins of the prophets account for something? And then there is the little matter that I believe all these men wrote things with such conformity. How is that possible over so many years? It is quite remarkable, and I think is one of the strongest "proofs" or evidences for the existence of one divine author. 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

That is definitely not the case. Anyone trying to follow Christ can be led by the Holy Ghost who affirms what is true for them. He has surely even healed people at the prayerful requests of the faithful. Thus, even if their understanding of God "falls short" of truth, God loves them, and will answer prayers. 

There is a recent movie of a youth who drowned, and died. After trying to resuscitate him for 45 min with no independent heart beat, the medical team quit, and was declaring him dead. The mother begged for the Holy Ghost to bring him back - a weak heart beat ensued. The boy appeared very brain damaged, and was sent to a specialist who concurred he had little chance of living, much less of being anything close to normal. But the mother would not give up. Long, true story short, upon being brought out of an induced coma, the boys lungs cleared of the blood which had caused him to be unable to breath, and numerous other complications cleared up. He is now walking around, and returned to playing basketball. All a true, medically verified story. 

https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/god-still-does-the-impossible-the-incredible-true-story-behind-the-faith-based-film-breakthrough

I guess I thought our HG is different, since we are the only church with the authority to baptize and be given the holy ghost. Glad to read your side. 

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9 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I guess I thought our HG is different, since we are the only church with the authority to baptize and be given the holy ghost. Glad to read your side. 

Well, we are the only Church that has authority to grant the GIFT of the Holy Ghost, but we teach non-members to pray don't we? We ask them to seek answers through the power of the Holy Ghost do we not? The gift of the Holy Ghost is a little different in that it promises members that the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion and guide so long as we are obedient servants. This means members have heard whisperings not to cross the road or not to get on an airplane, etc. Things they did not pray about at all...

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