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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. @Kevin Christensen Thank you for posting some of Schryver's commentary, all in all it's a good one. I do have some quibbles. I think that the plurality of non-Egyptian characters in the Alphabet and Grammar are pretty damning evidence against the idea that they represent translation from the papyri. Unfortunately I think a lot of Schryver's other evidence doesn't fare as well. For instance, his data-set of topic-constrained definitions could be explained by the Book of Abraham already having been received, or it could be explained by Joseph dictating in real time a focused translati
  2. Who said history can't be a mystery? The "reasons why" for historical actions are certainly mysterious often enough. And that, I believe, is what we're asking about here. Oh, you certainly need milk before studying history. The milk of proper theory, the milk of proper training in historical thinking, and the milk of background information which lets you make sense of the mess of data before you. Interpretation of history does not spring up sui generis. And one of the first and foremost questions which must be asked is "what things would I expect to see that would bear this out"? And one
  3. Very well, I believe I did misread you. Thanks for the clarification.
  4. We don't. I believe that is where faith enters in. Also the principle that we will be held accountable for the light that we have and no more. In my mind this is just the question of prophetic infallibility. To assert that Joseph must always have heard clearly is to assert prophetic infallibility. Prophetic infallibility is contra-doctrinal. The point of ongoing prophecy is to perpetuate and refine the church as it goes forward. To hold that we received an infallible kerygma, a Deposit of Faith, from Joseph, just makes us Catholics or Protestants minus 1800 years.
  5. You've proved to be a thoughtful person, ttribe, so I'd like to submit some questions for your consideration. Your recommendations are valid, in my opinion, if morality is viewed as a set of preferences regarding behavior which are internal in nature. However, I think your recommendations don't work if one believes in moral realism, that moral facts are in fact facts, that right and wrong exist independent of any single subject or all of them. If moral realism is true, then why shouldn't we seek the counsel of those who are better-informed? Shouldn't we give their thoughts deference as we woul
  6. Likewise I don't believe the Book of Mormon to be inspired fiction. I wouldn't call it "fiction" in any case. But my main reasons for holding to that are the tangible existence of the plates and the presence of a real angel Moroni who talked to Joseph Smith. Those are really my anchors for historicity, and if I'm honest, since I'm not a deontological ethicist and AM a skeptical theist, I could see God creating those situations from thin air in pursuit of a higher goal. It is not beyond God to produce a set of metal plates for His own ends. Nonetheless, I'm not really committed to that. B
  7. By cypher, are you referring to William Schryver's theory about the KEP being a code key?
  8. Reading this sentence was a cathartic experience. I agree that Huntsman's moral authority is nonexistent.
  9. Hardly. Let's take politics. (THIS IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE, NOT A PIECE OF POLITICAL ADVOCACY, O MIGHTY NEMESIS) Let's say that Person A believes that raising the minimum wage would result in a net improvement in working-class well-being. Person B believes that it will not. These are mutually contradictory views - raising the minimum wage cannot make a net improvement and not make a net improvement at the same time per the law of non-contradiction. This means that either Person A or B must be wrong, and therefore they are perceiving the world incorrectly. However, neither Person A or Person B can b
  10. Hardly a gotcha. Anybody who believes anything which anybody else disagrees with must therefore maintain that belief on the assertion that the other person is not rightly perceiving reality, somehow.
  11. On the point of Phelp's close work with Smith, I think there's actually reason to believe that he was more of a wild child than might be expected. He believed in himself as an independent linguistic authority and actually went to the extent of contradicting Smith's translations at times. I wrote a somewhat lengthy post on this a while back. It's not clear to me if Phelps disregarded Smith's authority or just didn't do his homework, but either way it seems that Phelps was not overly concerned with keeping in lockstep with Joseph's translations and priorities.
  12. My take on the Book of Mormon is that it is an ancient history and as such it should not be expected to be totally and completely literal, nor should it be expected to adhere to modern Western standards of historiography and for that matter cartography. One of the most significant lessons in my World History studies was an introduction to the first Sumerian proto-maps. They looked nothing like what I would recognize as a map. The Babylonian Map of the World (circa 700-500 BC, around Nephi and Lehi's time) has Babylon in the middle, bisected by the Euphrates, and surrounded by oceans. I read th
  13. If I understand you correctly, your point in raising morality was not to issue a moral argument for God's existence but to critique positivism. If so then I think that @Analytics's reference to Pinker did miss the point, unfortunately. As for Carroll, I think he endorses humanistic morality a la Pinker (they swim in similar circles). But he would likely disagree with your classification of religious morality as fundamentally relative. Most people would. Your approach is rather unique - though I am a fan of it. @Analytics, if I'm not mistaken, Pinker's general argument for humanisti
  14. Honestly, all of this is fair. I'd agree that your approach to The Big Picture was a good example of truth-seeking activity, or as close as we get to such anyways. I'm generally somewhat wary of commentary on emotional and sociological needs corrupting reasoning because what we believe informs those things that we do which generate our social and emotional contexts as a matter of necessity. I recoil from the charge that the presence of social or emotional needs renders our reasoning or opinions on these things invalid, especially since recent science seems to indicate that emotional netw
  15. I consider the burden of proof to be on the contender. When my counterpart makes an argument, I look into it. I'm too busy and the world is too full for me to preemptively look into opposing arguments before they happen. Analytics started in with complete physics, I read about it, I responded. He started in with QFT, I read about it, I responded. Who gets to judge when my background knowledge is sufficient to respond in an argument? Where is that line? One of the few things I've learned in rhetoric is that one of the the easiest dismissals of your opponent is "he didn't understand my argument
  16. Retweet. That is all. It's fair to demand equal permission. Endorsement is more complicated, and in a world where marriages can be performed outside churches demanding a marriage in a church is demanding not permission, but endorsement.
  17. Agreed. At this moment we know about the finer particles from experiments involving superconductors. For a plenitude of reasons, we can't expose living brains to the same conditions which would enable us to examine their function on a quantum level. I've looked at some analysis of quantum structures in microtubules from the brain in connection with Penrose and Hameroff's Orch-OR theories of consciousness, but those microtubules had been extracted from a brain and thus would not be expected to show functional spirit matter, and in any case the observations on the microtubule was not to the same
  18. That is a good question, it's possible that we don't need additional "soul particles" at all. One of my principal objections to the QFT exclusionary argument against souls is the fact that we haven't been able to observe quantum-level interactions inside a living human being, which is where we would expect to see "soulstuff." If these particles/organizations of matter can be expected to float around freely than not seeing them in a collider or superconductor would be a surprise, but if they are confined to discrete points in space, where we have not looked, then I think the lack of disco
  19. One thing that always amuses me is the boilerplate assertion conveyed by the bolded words. It always comes across to me as a betrayal of the accuser's barely-veiled incredulity that someone could possibly disagree with the evidence they find convincing in - no pun intended - good faith. I've heard this accusation time and time again - "you're just arguing against this because you need to in order to maintain your beliefs!" - and each time I marvel at how my counterpart appears so disinclined to accept that maybe, just maybe...I don't find the counterevidence convincing enough to overthrow what
  20. Well, if we want to invoke other physicists and philosophers of science, Thomas Breuer authored a 1995 paper entitled "The Impossibility of Accurate State Self-Measurements" which argues that it is impossible for observers to be aware of all present states in a system in which they are involved, be it quantum or classical, deterministic or stochastic. In other words, exhaustive theories of everything are not possible. In another vein, a 2013 paper by two UC-Santa Cruz physicists indicates that crossing symmetries are actually not so exhaustively straightforward and our abilities to rely
  21. Fascinating how you seem to dismiss the necessity of reasoning for ourselves and evaluating contrary viewpoints when Almighty Science enters the picture.
  22. I want to follow up on this further. Believe it or not, I actually do read from Carroll's blog every now and then, though I haven't bought any books of his. Thus I'd say that, though I'm perhaps not an expert on Carroll's thought on the same level as yourself, I'm not entirely an unwashed barbarian either. If Carroll's blog posts are any indication, a central theme of his thought is captured by the excerpt above that I snipped from your quote. It's similar to Graham Oppy's "Best Argument Against God" in that it is based entirely on the perceived simplicity and parsimony of a naturalistic
  23. I would ask what we would expect such an action to look like, that we might notice it. What would be the tell that a spiritual force is acting on us? Let's look at your response to Ryan's comment about thoughts. This doesn't get at Ryan's objection. Carroll presents a well-formulated case for determinism but that doesn't address Ryan's point: that we can't identify thoughts (or mental states generally) by looking at such a level. I'll let Ryan run with that point but I'll take up my own here. We cannot identify thought without relying on subjective reports. How would we be able
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