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  1. My impression is that you are both getting at the same thing. The way I'd say it is that believing in the Book of Mormon is a matter of faith--it is a matter of choosing to believe because of spiritual, psychological, and/or sociological reasons. If somebody has faith that it is true, it is up to the critic (whether within your own mind or elsewhere), to convince you that the faith isn't tenable.
  2. I will say this. The LDS Church provides a lot of people with a great community. They are genuinely good people who care about each other, keep in contact, and serve. And if you want to be a part of that community, they will accept you if you keep the conclusions you refer to above to yourself. For both good and bad, the myths are something that hold this particular community together, and there is a strong orthodox core of the church that insists these myths are literally true and that believing they are literally true is very important. I think there are many members who go along with it wit
  3. Can you clarify your argument? If you were arguing, "human sexuality is typically dichotomous," I would be arguing from the margins to point out situations when human sexuality is not dichotomous. But the way I understand your point, you are claiming that "human sexuality is dichotomous, without qualification." If that is your claim, then pointing out counterexamples isn't arguing from the margins. It is providing examples that the unqualified dichotomy doesn't always hold. Focusing on my point, either there is a strict, unbreakable rule between the sex of one's spirit and the sex of one'
  4. Human sexuality might be dichotomous in an ideal world of Plato's Forms that you are imagining, but in the physical world, human sexuality is not dichotomous. That is the empirical reality. But in any case, I appreciate you addressing the question. Best.
  5. Hypothetically, if spirits exist and have sexes, and spirits are paired up with physical bodies, the sex of the spirit could be different than the sex of the body. My only reason of pointing this out is that having a spiritual impression that a certain characteristic of your physical body doesn't align one-to-one with a characteristic of your spirit body is hypothetically possible and categorically different than a spiritual feeling of something that is not hypothetically possible, such as 1 + 1 = 3. Restating and clarifying my point, Mormons believe the following (and correct me if I'm w
  6. This expression comes from D&C 131:7. "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only discerned by purer eyes; we cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter." First of all, thanks for your comments. Personally, I tend to trust mainstream science on how life works, but I knowledge that there is still enough mystery for there to be some sort of "spirit" participating in the process as you describe. I like the turtle analogy. I am personally aquatinted with one transgender
  7. Some people are scientifically classified as "intersex", meaning that biologically, they are both (or neither) male and (nor) female. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex If you dualists think there is an unbreakable rule where in absolutely no circumstances will a female spirit ever be born in a male body or vice versa, does it follow that people with intersex bodies also have intersex spirits?
  8. Yes, but this is just semantics. You can believe in the existence of "fine or pure" matter that can be detected by "purer eyes" but cannot be detected by scientific instruments. But that is a different class of matter. The point is that if a spirit has a sex and a body has a sex, it is conceivable that within one soul (i.e. one body joined with a spirit) the sex of one doesn't align with the sex of the other. It is extremely common in science fiction that when bodies can host souls, sometimes the sex of the soul will be different than the sex of the body. It "should" be obvious that it
  9. What’s a bit ironic about this analysis is how materialistic it is. If somebody believed in dualism—that is, in the proposition that there is a spiritual aspect of ourselves that is beyond the physical body, then they should be open to the proposition that sometimes there is a mix-up in the alignment of the physical body and the spiritual body. For example, in the play Saturday’s Warrior, on the inside Pam is a dancer—that is what she loves to do more than anything. Yet her physical body doesn’t reflect that—for some unstated reason, she is paralyzed from the waste down and can’t dance. But th
  10. Ritner was ignored and disrespected when his research was relied upon and plagiarized without citation.
  11. You are being a bit naïve about what's going on here. The way real Egyptological scholarship works is that scholars submit papers to Egyptological journals. The papers are peer-reviewed by qualified Egyptologists and the target audience is Egyptologists and the objective is to expand scholarly knowledge of Egyptology. If a reader has a strong opinion about something that is published, he can write a letter to the editor explaining his grief, and the journal will likely publish both the letter and the original researcher’s reply. Other qualified scholars are free to write more papers base
  12. Tell yourself whatever you need to in order to justify ignoring Dr. Ritner.
  13. https://radiofreemormon.org/2020/08/radio-free-mormon-194-brave-sir-kerry-muhlestein/
  14. The problem with this is the context. Ritner already called for a substantive, civil, scholarly discourse, but Muhlestein refuses to engage with him in any such thing. Instead of actually engaging any of Ritner's points, Muhlestein wastes time, Ink, and integrity by insinuating that Ritner is unmeasured, unscholarly, impatient, and uncivil. The fact is Gee and Muhlestein have always been unwilling to actually have a scholarly discourse about the Book of Abraham with Ritner, and Muhlestein's article is really nothing more than an excuse to continue not engaging. It is disingenuous.
  15. I enjoyed the comments in this thread and at least somewhat agree with most if not all of them. That said, I think there is one more dimension to this. It seems to me that Evangelical Christians feel a strong need to have an Enemy. In the 70's and 80's the Enemy were "cultists" who poisoned society with their false religious beliefs. But over the next few decades, a new Enemy was found: political liberals. Now, rather than listening to Walter Martin and Ed Decker to learn about what Mormons really believe, they listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to learn what liberals really believe
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