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Posts posted by TAO

  1. Have you read the Book of Mormon, I mean all of it and prayed and asked God if it contains the complete gospel of Jesus Christ? Please understand that baptism is for those who need to repent:


    Yes, I have read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it.  But where I received my biggest witness was in the temple.  And for that reason, I know I have to trust in the Spirit more than any piece of literature, regardless of how inspired it is.  The Spirit is my key form of knowledge, and though books can be useful, they do not dominate the Spirit's call.




    When a person needs to repent and when the age of accountability begins are two entirely separate things. 


    Why do Eight Year Olds not need to repent?  Do you not realize how conscious they are of their decisions?




    Note, the curse was the result of not "doing" what the Book of Mormon said, not in sending more copies forth. I like the work of Royal Skousen and other professors.


    I don't think there is a curse on the church.

  2. Cause and effect. The only way to change the effect is to change the cause. Sometimes a small change, sometimes a big change.


    This is only the case in a perfect universe where you can observe and manipulate all of the variables that effect a result.  There are many, many variables which go into results, and they are not precisely the same each time you try it (if they were, it'd be a miracle).  Note, that doesn't mean changing it up is a bad thing, but it doesn't mean people who don't change it up are insane.

  3. I have studied the topic quite a bit and have come to the conclusion that it is referring to the baptism of all children at the age of eight "for the remission of sins" which was forbidden by the Book of Mormon.


    According to modern prophets the church has not come out from under that curse and my guess is they won't until the baptism of children for sins stops.


    Have you been to a baptism in our church?  Did you feel the Spirit there?


    I have.  Because of that, I do not think the Lord is referring to baptisms at age Eight with those words.  Indeed, and since the prophets say that eight is the age of accountability, I will trust them on that count.  Revelation may change it, but until that revelation comes, we do as we have been asked to do.


    The Priesthood is given at what one might consider a 'young' age as well, that of 12.  It is given at that age for a good reason, or so I feel.  And I would not be surprised if it was the same way with baptism.

  4. The hilarity of this kind of philosophical investigation is that it argues our thoughts are not entirely trustworthy so let's think about it some more. More philosophical thinking is not the answer.


    Eh, not precisely.  Instead, I'd say it argues is that our thought process is quite possibly fallible, and that we should recognize that it could every well be imperfect.




     I would argue revelation is.


    Mmmm... Revelation is 'sensory data', so it'd technically be under the same strain as other sensory data but beyond that, not everybody knows how to recieve revelation, and you can't exactly blame them for being skeptical, persay.  Wish they were more trusting, yes, but not much further than that.


    Coupled with much more spectacular spiritual experiences I no longer have any doubts about the existence of God or that spiritual and revelatory experiences are a valid indicator of objective truth. Hence, I find philosophical arguments about it pointless.


    I'll tell you, I think you are right; in the sight of God philisophical condrums ARE ultimately pointless.  God's goal in my limited human perspective, seems to be simply getting the work done (in a sense, it's almost better to ask questions later; this is the time to work, and for men to become like God).  But there are also people out there who do worry about these sort of things.  You need to be able to communicate with them, so that way the gospel can be shown to them.


    One thing I have found (especially on this forum =p) is that people are very concerned about evidence.  For me, I sort of take the opposite approach.  I guess the reason is because I have found that the best way to gain evidence that the Church is true is to simply live the life the Church teaches us too.  Pray daily, read your scriptures, go to church, partake of the sacrament, accept callings in Church, provide help to others, be more charitable every day, listen to the prophets and apostles God has put on the Earth for us.  I have found far more proof that the Church is true by acting on these things than by any scientific evidence ever given.  Focusing too much on objectivity, at least for me, takes away from my ability to have faith in the Lord.  Perhaps that is just my weakness, that I have to conquer, that I am so trusting and yet untrusting of other peopel to the point I have to use these complex logical constructs to defend my point of view.  My belief, ironically, is hinged on my rather obsessive questioning of myself... by questioning many things that others don't want to question (or aren't really concerned with), I come to conclusions that differ from what they have.  One of those conclusions is about the taste of the gospel.  I have concluded it is tasty.  VERY tasty. =D


    There just seem to be much more interesting avenues of study that lead to much more substantial answers.



    You are probably in a way right.  Philosophy is more of a way to answer random questions that come to your head, and to help you organize your thoughts in ways that make it easier for you to work through the world.  It doesn't usually create all that much in terms of practical results beyond how you use it in your head, really.  I guess that's one reason I'm going for a CompSci degree, not one in Philosophy lol ;-).

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  5. Indeed Khadijah, you are a very wonderful person.  Although, I am curious, is the name simply a name like in English, or does it have another meaning?  I know my Jewish Friend has a Hebrew Name that has a meaning other than a name, and I was just wondering if that was the case here =D.

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  6. There's was a promise that "if" those who received the Book of Mormon were faithful to it, they would be given additional ancient writings. This unfortunately never materialize. [No doubt those additional writings contained directions as to where archaeological proofs could be found.]


    Helaman, I have seen that the prophets and apostles are faithful to the Book of Mormon, and even more important, faithful to God, and so I am skeptical of your assertion.  I know who they are through their actions, and they have been wonderfully faithful to it.


    The Church is by no means perfect, but the leadership is great.  I know that President Monson is God's prophet called upon the Earth.  And know that the Quorum of the Twelve have all been called of God to be Apostles.  And I know that God works through his priesthood callings throughout this Church, doing many small things to bring to past wonderful miracles that sometimes we do not see.  I know it.

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  7. I don't think so since most insanity is chosen as the lazy way out.





    You can choose any paradigm you like to believe just as you can choose to worship a yellow dog.


    Correct, you can.  And that is my point.  You are free to choose.  Just choose responsibly.



    I do not believe it is an innocent error to choose a paradigm that defies reality.


    But it is their choice regardless, right?  Innocent or not, we cannot make that choice for them.



    Laman could have argued that the angel was a group hallucination but I doubt God excused his sins simply because he chose to believe that.


    I rather doubt it too, but it doesn't take away Laman's right to choose between the options available with his own free will.  Agency is quite important.




    Things are ultimately useful only when they are true.


    And how do you know they are true?  Because you interpret them from your sensory data?  And how do you know that your interpretation is correct?  You cannot, you can only assume so.  And how do you know that your sensory data is correct?  You cannot, you can only assume so.  But do these things stop us from believing in a physical, breathable reality?  Not at all.  Because we prefer this option over the alternatives.  The other options simply aren't worth worrying about.


    And it's important to discuss this; it's important to realize these assumptions are being made, because by being aware of them, you will realize that your point of view isn't the only one.  Most of the time, this won't change your opinion, especially on issues of moral right and wrong.  But sometimes it does.  Though most of the time it doesn't.




    Believing a lie because it is "useful" will eventually burn you.


    Isn't it that person's choice to get burned though?  That's what agency is; to make your own choices of your own will, and to face the consequences according to God's laws and mercy.  If they want to believe a lie, let them.  You can say they are wrong.  You can even tell them that.  But to claim they are insane goes too far for a position which is quite logically consistent with itself.  Instead, use other arguments to convince them that your point of view has more advantages than theirs.  Or at least that's what I would do.  As always in agency, the choice is up to you.  And there aren't only two of them.  There are many paths.  Find the one that you are willing to follow, as I hope I can.


    EDIT:  After feeling the Spirit for a bit; I feel obligated to say this:  I don't come to create contention but to form a better understanding between two of God's children.  Sorry if my posts sounds a bit harsh or strong in certain portions of it's contents.


    Best of Wishes to You,


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  8. No, it just shows that the Universe is fundamentally rational and comprehensible via reason.  You can argue that the interpretation is us looking in the mirror but the truth is the image in the mirror not only accurately represents us but it accurately predicts events in the Universe when we have the necessary data.


    Can you prove this without using any sensory information (since they require assumption)?


    Reality is not an illusion. It is just the only way we have of perceiving the data.



    Mmm... I would digress.  For instance, one other way of perceiving data is solipsism.  Another is idealism.  And those are only the base ideologies, they have many sub-categories inside themselves.


    I admit I hate this kind of thinking. It seems designed to demean the knowledge of God and man and replace it with a sense of oblivious unawareness as if that is some profound discovery.


    Not really, imho.  It's just admitting how much we do not know for certain.  Note though that our lack of perfect knowledge (or even lack of most knowledge) doesn't prevent us from believing in things.  We can justify belief for ourselves, even without evidence or proof.  All this type of thinking does is help us recognize the assumptions in our thought process, so we aren't so quick to criticize other's assumptions.  In other words, it is a good counter to people who are too aggressive in asserting that other people's beliefs are wrong.  Perhaps it's not your flavor though.

  9. You try *something different*.   Edison continued trying to perfect the electric light, but used different materials each time.  Trying something repeatedly does not mean to do the same thing.


    Well then nobody can really be considered insane, since something is 'different' with every attempt, even if it's something as simple as time.  There is always something different about each test.


    What I think you both are trying to say is that 'people who don't learn from their mistakes are insane'.  I still disagree with that.  It's just a weakness that they have, which eventually they will have to overcome.  It's not a qualification for insanity.

  10. Actually, they talked about this in my Institute Class.  The phrase which is translated as 'Eat not' (or something along those lines) can sometimes mean 'Eat not yet'.  Now, this isn't doctrine, but it is quite a possibility that God would have had them partake of the tree of knowledge later, had they not partaken of it at that time.  I guess we'll have to wait and ask him to know for sure.

  11. Would you get the same eternal blessings even if you were paid with money over the past 35 years? 


    If your talking about the church welfare system...


    If you didn't have the money to give (or if the amount given was extremely small), but would have given it if you had had it, I think God will give you blessings all the same.  He looks on a man's heart, after all, or so I believe.

  12. Tao:


    The popularity of anything especially court decisions has no bearing on its correctness.


    I didn't state an opinion on the issue actually. I was just sourcing articles (even if I do have an opinion, I think I'm gonna stay out of this one).


    You can argue if it's correct or not, and I'm sure others will argue against you. It's the way it is with these sorts of issues.

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  13. TAO:


    Because in deciding for yourself you are likely to make a wrong decision.






     You can decide for yourself if the theory of gravity is correct. What you can't do is prevent that hard landing from jumping off of a high cliff, without a parachute.


    That isn't convincing to a person of another paradigm.  If a person doesn't believe in gravity, they wouldn't come to that conclusion.  You need to think of things from their point of view if you wish to convince them.

  14. TAO:


    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Other than that a good place to start is your DSM 5.



    I don't think that's a good definition of insane.  Ever heard the quote, "Ever tried.  Ever failed.  No matter.  Try again.  Fail again."  It is often voiced in inspirational speeches, that if you failed once, to try again.  Even if there is sometimes no changes, you can try again.  Trying the same thing over and over is not a good definition for insanity, I think.




    There will always be debates about scientific theories, but we need to be very carefull in claiming what any given theory actually says.


    Naturally.  But I don't think I did this.

  15. 1. Rational and able to reason effectively and reason only on the evidence available. No one is always sane.


    Well if nobody is always sane, isn't it slightly hypocritical to criticize the insane?


    Of course you can disagree with a theoretical paradigm but you then need to show that yours is superior in explaining things or at least that you are searching for a new one. That is how science works. That guy may revolutionize everything but if he is going to do it the right way he needs to get his ducks in a row and show how it explains more questions then the current consensus. 


    Why do you need to show yours is superior at explaining things, if you are just deciding for yourself?  If you are convincing others, sure, but for yourself, you can take any paradigm you would like, right?


    Of course there is currently no theory that explains everything. String theory was supposed to but it has a very long way to go first. Yes, "God did it" explanations are consistent but that does not make them useful or scientific.



    But it doesn't make them non-useful either.  People want different things, thus they will find different things 'useful', nah?


    Scientology is self-consistent.



    Probably so.

  16. It is currently the only one accepted by sane people who understand it.


    Nehor... you and I are gonna have some disagreements.  I am philosophically a postmodernist (not politically or morally), which means we are gonna be at heads quite a bit here.  In any case, here's a few things I think I'd say in response:


    1)  Define sane in a way that nobody disagrees with your definition.  You will not be able to do it because the people you consider 'insane' most likely think of themselves as sane.  Dismissing another person's argument by calling them insane is, in my opinion, an ad hominem argument.  It's like saying, 'their argument is invalid because anything they say is invalid'.  Not exactly the best way to go, imho.  That' why sanity claims, at least in my opinion, are a bit sketchy.


    2)  If you think there's only one way to understand something, you have quite a ways to go.  For example, if I remember right (but don't ask me to pull a source), a physicist who contributed to large parts of string theory is considering the idea that the way we think of 'time' is wrong.  Now, he may be right, or he may be wrong, but the moral of the story is that our understanding is imperfect, and it's a bit hypocritical to call people who don't agree with our understanding 'insane', when we cannot show that our understanding is perfect.




    There are all kinds of oddball explanations for what it shows but I have never seen one that did not fall apart on inspection.


    Mmmm... there is no theory that fully explains all scientific phenomena yet.  That's why people are still debating on what the Grand Unified Theory is.  On a more basic level though, science is based off of several assumptions, and any of those assumptions provide areas for other forms of understanding.  And one of those assumptions, curiously, is no divine intervention.  Science does not allow for 'miracles' to happen; they have to be explained by mathematical phenomena.  So in actuality, any competing theory that includes 'God made it that way' is, in a sense, just as consistent as the scientific theory of understanding.  Of course, it might not be preferable, but preference isn't something we all agree on.

  17. I think as a church we know way more about each other's sex lives. IMO the only questions that should be asked should be adultery, or breaking that covenant between spouse and god. All other confessions should be directly to God.


    Mmm... why do you think ARP was formed?

    It's because addictive things are difficult to overcome.  A lot of sexual things are very addictive.  You cannot just turn your back on them usually.  And even if you can, it seems to burden you evermore.


    And, I can assure you, the Bishop's help oftentimes is very useful in overcoming sexual sins, and in learning to forgive yourself.

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