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OGHoosier

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Posts posted by OGHoosier

  1. 1 hour ago, Ipod Touch said:

    Ultimately it is her story to tell and she alone decides what is and isn't shared.

    But at the very least, we can reasonably conclude that John Dehlin mistreated her. Certainly professionally (remember Circling the Wagons? yeah, me neither), and probably romantically.

     

    I never said that. You're looking for @Robert J Anderson.

  2. I don't know, wouldn't the birth experience be painful for the infant? Don't children who die before the age of 8 still experience pain? I'd say they do. Enough at least to know for themselves some disadvantages of a fallen mortal condition, or separation from God. I'd say that children, just by virtue of their however-brief separation from divine light, learn enough by being in life. They taste enough bitter to know what good is. 

    In any case, I am not convinced that we know enough about conditions on the other side to truly make a judgement. We don't know what these children may have endured in the premortal life, or what experiences await them in the spirit world. Not much of this cosmology has been revealed to us. Furthermore, if you hold to the idea that not all intelligences are created equal, then it is very possible that some children do not need a full battery of testing in this life. 

    My position is that suffering is just as important as agency, but not just for its effects as a crucible. It's also important as a contrast. Pain in this life can cause us to appreciate the conditions of eternity more, forever. We're here to suffer. We're on this earth to experience randomness, vulnerability, contingency, pain, and injustice, that we might truly appreciate their opposites. Merely being born exposes one to much of this. The fact that there are unbelievers who must be preached to in the spirit world also convinces me that our immediate postmortal existence is not an absolute alleviation from the burdens of mortality - we may not have the concerns of a physical body to worry about but we still have significant moral agency and we don't know enough about spirit bodies and the conditions there to judge whether or not it could provide sufficient experiences to fulfill the needs of departed children. Great are the mysteries of God and all that. 

    I think this question ought to be tabled for now because several major variables are totally unknown and thus our equation is hopelessly incomplete and will remain so for some time.  

    Just my take though. 

  3. 6 hours ago, Nevo said:

    I'll be interested to see if anything comes of Kate Kelly's dark insinuations about John Dehlin's "behavior." Personally, I have never found "Rosebud" to be very sympathetic or credible. But maybe Kate Kelly knows something I don't. Or maybe it just comes down to personal animus, after all.

    I read an interesting article by David French today about celebrity preachers: The Crisis of Christian Celebrity - The French Press (thedispatch.com) I wonder if some of the same dynamics aren't in play among Mormon/ex-Mormon "celebrities" like John Dehlin and Kwaku El, who each get a lot of attention in their respective subcultures. I don't envy either of them.

    You read the Dispatch too? I know this strays close to politics...but still, good taste. 

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  4. Quote

    I'm not so sure about this point.  Consider:

    https://samharris.org/on-spiritual-truths/

    Thanks for the article. I did read it. I'm afraid that I believe he missed the point. He didn't address spiritual experience and its causes so much as handwave it with an appeal to aesthetics -"The intellectual and moral stains of the world’s religions—the misogyny, otherworldliness, narcissism, and illogic—are so ugly and indelible as to render all religious language suspect"- and promissory naturalism - "a maturing science of the mind should help us to understand and access the heights of human well-being." We've been around the merry-go-round on The Moral Landscape before. Suffice it to say I am unconvinced that a universal definition of well-being could ever be anything more than scientific imperialism stomping those who feel otherwise, nor that the quality of experience can ever be so tightly associated with neurology as to offer us such an insight. 

    In any sense, Harris himself says "many of the beliefs people form on the basis of these experiences are false." So he essentially does dismiss the content of spiritual experiences which point to anything other than what he seems to accept: being dipped into a sea of tranquility.

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    The first example mentioned by Dumsday was a woman seeing a Hindu religious leader.  That's not God.  No doubt when one hears or thinks of "spiritual" they as a matter of assumption think of God and thus God is often involved.  But I don't think that means there is a god at all.  

    Hence my qualifier "most". Many of his experiences do regard the presence or manifestation of God as a matter of intuitive knowing. God is the prima facie subject of the experience. He is the subject observed. 

    Quote

    That may be but I can't fathom how that means spiritual experiences can be considered evidence of God.  

    They can be considered evidence of God because that is prima facie what they are. To the individual, they have come into contact with something else, something immense. The fall of the verificationism standard means that the argument "you can't verify it" doesn't work anymore, because not all knowledge can be verified or has to be verified to be true. Public knowledge like science can be tested again and again and thus confirmed, but private knowledge cannot. This does not mean it is not knowledge, it is just knowledge of a different type. Down with epistemic monism. 

    The special irony is that all public knowledge is in fact based on private knowledge which cannot be externally confirmed - the reality of consciousness and validity of the senses. 

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    I disagree with that.  I think we can very easily adapt our consciousness to counterintuitive, or as Dumsday calls it, counter-cultural ideas.  It's actually rather easy to find ourselves half-convinced of anyone's worldview.

    We find ourselves half-convinced of someone's worldview when we listen to or reflect on it, which is not the case in the circumstances Dumsday describes. Nor does the soundness of an opposing argument manifest as a phenomenological vision or otherworldly ascent in standard experience. 

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    I don't know that demanding the reason turns internal happenings into evidence of something merely proposed.

    Except that the reasons you demand would undermine even the 5 senses, so they simply cannot be a valid expectation for what constitutes knowledge. Sense experience is an internal happening - data being transmitted to the brain. I can tell you firsthand that my spiritual experiences have felt just as phenomenologically external as sense experience does. In any sense, any hypothesis is first something proposed so internal happenings becoming evidence of something proposed is not controversial. 

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    It could be that spiritual experience is a product of evolution working the imagination.

    Evolution molded our senses and our brains and yet we trust them. I don't see  how evolution devalues religious experience. 

    The major difficulty between religious experience is that we perceive sense experience as producing a unified perception across all humanity, whereas religious experience quite obviously produces differing thoughts. This is not problematic if spiritual experience is viewed as communication instead of pure observation, as our theology permits a vibrant diversity of spiritual influences. It is rendered less problematic when you dispense with verificationism and epistemic monism, realizing that verification does a good job of verifying the kind of knowledge that can be verified; but this is not the only kind of knowledge there is. And the thrust of Dumsday's work is that spiritual experience can break out of our prior interpretive categories and implement things we didn't even know or were not familiar with. This directly militates against the idea that spiritual experience is internally created to bolster our preconceptions. If it can break us out of our internal paradigms, that indicates that it is external, particularly when, like many of Dumsday's respondents, the paradigm change is unrelated to prior consideration, is manifested as a sensory experience, and involves concepts of which the individual was not aware. 

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  5. 2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

    Yeah, I didn't say coiled pottery had not been in the Americas' before 600 AD. This is what I said with emphasis added: "For instance did you know that before 600 BC native north American pottery consisted of either carved stone or Fiber-tempered pottery, and that this suddenly changed after 600 BC (Lehi's voyage) to coil-fired pottery - a technique used in the Old World ie Middle East?" Your commenter's claim of how slowly pottery technology spread from Mexico only serves to make my point more relevant. In fact coiled pottery did not appear in the SW until after Christ so didn't spread to eastern N. America from there. It simply appeared after 600 AD. 

    Archaeologists often will name cultures by their pottery. Pre Deptford Culture pottery in the SE and Atlantic coasts produced fiber-tempered pottery. About 500 BC the pottery changed to Deptford Culture pottery. "Diagnostic elements of the Deptford materials are coiling, simple stamped and check stamped surfaces, conoidal jar shape, tetrapodal supports, and straight or slightly flared rims (Griffin and Sears 1950)." This is about 1000 years before coiled pottery appeared in the SW. I believe it to be  highly relevant - take it or leave it I guess.

    Are you holding to a North American geography then?

  6. 2 hours ago, Calm said:

    What is K Love?

    K-LOVE is a radio station which broadcasts Christian pop music. It's ironic that I denounce it as it's actually my favorite. I enjoy the songs and they're more uplifting than most, so I often listen to it if it's just me in the car. However, the songs are all very fluffy, positive, encouraging, Jesus-loves-you, the-only-scripture-we-ever-reference-is-John-3:16 stuff. There's a ton of songs which address themselves directly to the Savior and basically serenade Him, which I find a little strange given my LDS upbringing which emphasizes a certain formality and decorum when referring to or addressing  divine beings (it's ironic since our faith collapses the ontological gap between God and man more than most Christian theologies, but these singers go to lengths to sound like they're on a first-name basis with Him.) They do play songs that actually talk about the moral obligations of Christianity and the necessity of enduring trials, but they are few and far between, and I can't think of any off the top of my head which really address the "justice" part of "justice and mercy". It's lovely, positive, and encouraging stuff (they do bill themselves as "positive, encouraging K-LOVE"), but it isn't particularly balanced doctrinally, and anyone who bases their theology around those kinds of sentiments is in my opinion missing a lot of what Jesus actually said and did. Everything Paul Cardall said in that post could have been a K-LOVE lyric, so while I'm sure he's sincere I'm mostly just disappointed that he apparently chooses only one side of the divine coin. 

    But then again, I don't have much space to talk. I love the dark sayings of Jesus. I love it when He calls us to be better, commands it, when he informs the Pharisees that they are children of hell and threatens those who harm children with millstones and oceans.  I love it because it means He cares. A God who is endlessly affirmative, encouraging, and smooth ("a God who doesn't rock the boat and won't even row it" in Elder Holland's words) seems to me to be, functionally, a God who doesn't care, a God who has no stake in us or the world we create. Furthermore, justice is important to me. I need to know that if I can't make it happen, in this life or the next, God will make sure that people don't just get away with evil. Forgiveness is fine, wonderful even, if repentance is truly carried out with all that it entails. But effortless avoidance of consequences for evil? I can't abide that. A universal "Jesus saves everyone no matter what, rejects none" is repulsive to me. I would have a very, very hard time worshiping the God Paul has chosen. 

    And effulgently self-righteous stuff like this which debases those things I find holy ("The law of Moses was fulfilled and yet for 45 years I’ve continued to read the law and participate in rituals with a symbolic veil over my eyes") gives me an opportunity to obey the Savior's command to not even be angry. Though admittedly the scriptures give few examples of that commandment actually being followed (cf. Captain Moroni, Paul, Peter, the entire Old Testament), so the temptation to disobey is quite strong. 

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  7. 2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

    It might be a stage of his continuing journey, I had a phase of the K-Love stuff too, and now I found it doesn't suit me. I guess this Mormon girl will be a forever thing, just a more nuanced one.

    Fair enough, I should be more respectful of people's development. 

  8. 3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

    Thanks I got access to it, but I signed in through a library.  I guess I could have done that before.  I read it and read his previous paper and find them interesting but would conclude they leave us far short of evidence for God.  The second paper doesn't really get into the details of the experiences, but each one, as summarized, seems as easily attributed to previous influence as it is to the presence of a God.  One need not posit a God for spiritual experience to be taken seriously.  Many naturalists accept spiritual experience.  One may need to connect religious experience with spiritual experience.  But as it were, it doesn't seem to matter since God must first be assumed anyway.  

    The problem is one experience can't possibly be evidence because it lacks any verification.  Even adding millions experiences up doesn't give us evidence.  There are too many other causal factors.  We need not learn the specifics of Hinduism to have an experience that gives someone a sight of a Hindu religious leader, even if that someone has nothing to do with Hinduism and thought she had not prior information to base such an experience on.  A hindu follower could just as easily have a sight of Joseph Smith.  But, in each case, it can't possibly mean much of anything.  Pictures, whether we remember them or not, might lodge deep in the recesses of one's mind.  It is way too easy, without the experiencer realizing it, to reframe any given claimed spiritual experience.  Information about a particular religion or group can enter into our brains and seemingly disappear.  years later might not even have realized we had learned something we thought we were just learning for the first time, and some eerie feeling of deja vu hits us.  We simply can't view the picture that this British lady, the first one listed in his latest paper, had.  It might be something akin to this later found out Hindu leader, and she is simply certain they are one and the same, and she was wrong, or it could be she had seen a picture at some previous time and did not remember.  

    I don't understand how we can possibly consider an internal event happening inside someone can possibly be considered as evidence for something perhaps only slightly related to the event when described.  That's basically the barrier I'd have to get past to find much reason to his efforts.  

    As you might expect, I would like to raise objections to some of your comments. 
     

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    One need not posit a God for spiritual experience to be taken seriously.  Many naturalists accept spiritual experience.

    I disagree. If by "accept" you mean "acknowledge the existence of", sure. They don't have a choice. However, for the settled naturalist, accepting the veridicality of the experience is impossible, so the content of the experience must be dismissed in some way and causally attributed in some way to a form of deception, whether intentional or otherwise. That is not acceptance. That is not taking it seriously. 

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    But as it were, it doesn't seem to matter since God must first be assumed anyway.  

    On the contrary, the point of most of these is that God, or at the very least outside spiritual experience, is the subject of the experience. That is what is observed. Therefore, it's prima facie evidence. In fact, explanations appealing to repressed memory or other psychologizing must first assume that the experience cannot be veridical, or at least externally influence by spiritual means. 

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    The problem is one experience can't possibly be evidence because it lacks any verification.

    Verificationism is an incomplete epistemological standard. There is much which is known which cannot be verified external to itself. The existence of other minds, the validity of the senses, the validity of memory and thus the persistence of the self, the validity of rationality itself...these things cannot be demonstrated without appealing to self-referential means. 

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    Even adding millions experiences up doesn't give us evidence.

    What is the evidence-proof distinction? It's so important and in most of my internet conversations with various varieties of atheist there is an almost universal paucity of acknowledgement that evidence and proof are not synonymous, that which is not proof can still be evidence, and in fact proof is not needed to maintain rational belief in almost any sense. "Proof" is essentially a meaningless word because it can only realistically be applied in mathematical and deductive arguments whereas almost all everyday inquiry depends on inductive and abductive reasoning. 

    Millions of experience do give us evidence. If you can come up with a counterexplanation then you can say you don't have proof, and be right, but you do have evidence. 

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    There are too many other causal factors.  We need not learn the specifics of Hinduism to have an experience that gives someone a sight of a Hindu religious leader, even if that someone has nothing to do with Hinduism and thought she had not prior information to base such an experience on.  A hindu follower could just as easily have a sight of Joseph Smith.  But, in each case, it can't possibly mean much of anything.  Pictures, whether we remember them or not, might lodge deep in the recesses of one's mind.  It is way too easy, without the experiencer realizing it, to reframe any given claimed spiritual experience.  Information about a particular religion or group can enter into our brains and seemingly disappear.  years later might not even have realized we had learned something we thought we were just learning for the first time, and some eerie feeling of deja vu hits us.  We simply can't view the picture that this British lady, the first one listed in his latest paper, had.  It might be something akin to this later found out Hindu leader, and she is simply certain they are one and the same, and she was wrong, or it could be she had seen a picture at some previous time and did not remember.  

    Here we come to the normal progression of internet discussion of spiritual experience: "the black box brain" argument epitomized by your statement: "it's way too easy to reframe any given claimed spiritual experience." However, why should such reframings be considered legitimate? You are essentially positing that entirely hypothetical images or bits of information lodged in somebody's unconscious memory and then suddenly got called forth in an entirely life-redefining experience with absolutely no explanation why this should be the case. Most dismissals of religious experience usually play on the thought that it is a manifestation of cultural ideals. I don't believe such - it doesn't explain the phenomenological quality of the experience nor can it account for intersubjective or counterintuitive spiritual experience (see Intuitive Knowing as Spiritual Experience and Visions of Jesus by philosopher Phillip Wiebe, another of my favorites). 

    The flaw I see in all of this is that it still doesn't explain why the experience occurred. All it does is posit a black box wherein hypothesized inputs of scraps of information enter, are suspended without any concept of time-depth, and then explode in an immense and life-changing experience with no clear explanation and against all predictions. Unfortunately, this explanation doesn't tell us why the experience happened - it's an alternate theory designed to save another theory by essentially negating the phenomenological observations with which you are challenged. It is, in other words, everything apologetics has a bad rep for. I'm not satisfied with what looks like an excuse. We generally trust our senses to tell us the truth and even optical illusions and hallucinations don't dissuade us. The basic circularity at the heart of sense perception doesn't dissuade us, nor does its subjective nature. Even sense perception doesn't have the kind of logical caliber which you would need to "see the reason".  Which means all of empiricism falls by the same stroke. 

  9. 18 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

    Your link seems to link one back to your OP.  I looked it up and I'm blocked from accessing it from the couple of locations I find it.  I'd like to see it.  I can't really understand how counter-culture spiritual experience is evidence of external spiritual guidance.  

    Oof, sorry about that. I've edited the OP, hopefully the new link works. It'a a link to JSTOR, but this particular paper should be public access.

    Dumsday doesn't go for the throat in this paper. He brings up a few prominent atheist philosophers like Mackie who have commented that they think spiritual experience is unreliable because it often follows cultural lines, which his data obviously contradicts. The cultural-reinforcement and confirmation-bias arguments against religious experience don't work under these conditions. He includes an addendum at the end saying that it may be easier for naturalists to simply disbelieve the accounts he's brought up, and that is fair game, but in a later paper( "Evidentially Compelling Religious Experiences and the Moral Status of Naturalism", 2016) he changes direction and argues that for settled naturalists to simply dismiss the accounts is both immoral and irrational. I linked to the abstract, but a public access version of this paper is hard to find. 

  10. Shame, I liked his music. I will probably continue to like it, but I can't empathize with his exitmony in the slightest. 

    2 hours ago, bluebell said:

    I don't know who that is.  His 'exit testimony' greatly annoys me.  

    Me too. It looks like boilerplate non-denom therapeutic-deism K-LOVE fluff complete with the standard eisegesis of the woman at the well and the women in adultery. I can't regard that sort of pseudo-theology as anything even resembling rigorous. The continual modern eliding of the so-called "dark sayings of Jesus" and the entire Old Testament in the name of nigh-idolatrous modern zeitgeist is incessantly frustrating. 

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  11. Hey everyone! As you may know I've lurked on the forum on and off for about a year, occasionally chiming in on matters of history and philosophy. I've never started my own topic before though, until now, but this is an intelligent community and I want to pick your brains.

    Philosophically speaking I am deeply interested in the philosophy of religious experience, primarily since religious experience is the root and ground of my own Restored Christian (a demonym I prefer to "Mormon" or "member of the CoJCoLDS") faith, as well as that of the vast majority of believers throughout the ages, and the founders of all major religious traditions. In this vein I have begun to study everything I can on the philosophy of religious experience. I found the following while so doing. 

    I've become rather fond of the work of Travis Dumsday of Concordia University. He's a Christian philosopher who has written at length about the arguments from divine hiddenness and the problem of evil, as well as touching on the philosophy of religious experience. I'm especially fond of one of his articles but it raises some conceptual questions and I thought I'd pick your collective brains for a minute.

    The article, simply entitled "Counter-cultural religious experiences", catalogues a series of religious experiences, conversion experiences, to various religions and spiritual traditions throughout the world. Their notable unifying feature is that they occur entirely, dramatically, against the grain of an individual's cultural expectations and ingrained interpretive frameworks. I find this to be compelling evidence of external spiritual guidance, though Dumsday is appropriately modest in his conclusions and offers an out for materialists. However, this does raise an interesting question: it is evidentially established that this external spiritual guidance leads some people away from Christianity even as it leads others to it. Why would this be the case? What purpose might God have in doing such a thing?

    I am nursing my own opinions on this matter but I would love to hear your thoughts. Paging @mfbukowski- your opinion, as usual, would be greatly appreciated. 

     

    Edit: The link I posted isn't working, so try this one: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23013370?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

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  12. On 10/22/2020 at 4:19 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

     

    Your comment got my curiosity so I googled it... seems coil pottery has been in the America's for nearly 4,000 years not since 600 AD

    600 BC. 

    I found that website too. Shame they didn't give their sources, finding scholarly work on the firing techniques is proving to be extremely difficult. Everything I've found so far compares pottery based on stylistic elements and incisions, not firing techniques. 

    Also, "coil-firing" doesn't sound right to me since from what I can see coiling was a way to mold the clay prior to firing. I would like some clarification but I'm not tossing it out yet. 

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  13. 9 hours ago, RevTestament said:

    For instance did you know that before 600 BC native north American pottery consisted of either carved stone or Fiber-tempered pottery, and that this suddenly changed after 600 BC (Lehi's voyage) to coil-fired pottery - a technique used in the Old World ie Middle East? The Book of Mormon doesn't talk about pottery, but it is only natural that a better technology brought to the Americas would quickly spread.

    This is remarkably fascinating as there is one commenter on here who has discussed ancient American pottery as a point of contention which helped crack his faith. 

    Can I PM you? I would like to learn more about your journey. 

  14. 4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

    I agree with you for the most part, but they are still man made, or I should say women made as well, and built on those experiences. But as you mention Mohammed...Joseph and he, probably a little different than the majority. 

    ETA: Religion can cause harm. Think 911, and Mountain Meadows Massacre. Would God approve? These were in the name of duty for their God/leaders. 

    Not sure where you're going with the ETA, I never contested that religious activity can't be harmful. That said, you can also do obscenely harmful things in the name of service to things like the state, your family, your friends, and that does not eradicate the worth or even the goodness of such concepts. 

    As for them still being man-made, I'm going to lodge my disagreement. Man-influenced, yes, but I'm open to a broader spectrum of spiritual and divine involvement. 

    50 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

    This one has always fascinated me, and I have never seen a measured LDS response to it. 

    I have no problem with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

     

    Neither do I. I think it works fine, seeing as I embrace a certain pluralism when it comes to spiritual involvement in the various religions. There's always the old appeal to demonology, and I won't deny that false spirits might be getting involved at some points, but I also believe Alma when he says that God giveth light unto all nations. One priceless key to my personal theodicy came when I was reflecting on the Eastern concept of yin and yang, which convinced me that God has distilled His light among all nations. And after 1 Kings 22, I can't say that I can put any limits on how God chooses to carry out His purposes. So I take Fatima, the Marian apparition at Zeitoun, certain cases of incorruption, and other such things as God rewarding the prayer of faith and communicating in whatever way He sees fit. I don't find it hard to believe that He wants to strengthen Catholics, strengthen Muslims, strengthen whoever He can in whatever way will encourage them to seek Him as best they know how. As for the Church we are a part of, I hold to it because my connections with God happened in the contexts of the temple and Book of Mormon, confirming to me their truth, and I think our theology is best capable of answering the problems of the world, as well as being best suited to accommodate the problem of religious pluralism. It's actually pretty brilliant in my opinion. The major objection to religious experience arguments like Alston's and Swinburne's is the problem of religious diversity, and our theology can take that out with precision. I'm in the beginning stages of a paper that synthesizes Alston, Gellman, and Wiebe's works on religious experience arguments with Latter-day Saint doctrines (I think I need more training before I can really get into the storm around Swinburne) and I am quite optimistic. Travis Dumsday's work is also starting to play a role in my thinking. 

    Wow, I actually have philosophical influences now. This is exciting for a young philosopher. Of course, Mark Bukowski is first on that list. 

    Edit: Kevin Christensen also features prominently, and by extension Kuhn and Barbour.

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  15. 7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

    And it could have been their goal to start up a better religion, aren't religions man made for the most part?

    I'm honestly skeptical that most religions are man-made in the sense that they are knowingly fabricated. Even someone who's not a theist (and I know that you do believe in God, so I'm not directing this comment at you specifically) must admit that there's a lot of weird stuff out there which historically have been grounds for religion. Global reports of visions, incidences of intuitive knowing, events interpreted as miracles...these things obviously happen, whether materialist science can ever sufficiently explain them or not. Perhaps I have an overly charitable view of humanity, but I think it's more likely that events like these triggered and have attended the rise of most enduring religious traditions. So Mohammed saw his vision, the Buddha really did have a oneness-experience with the world, and so on. 

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  16. 29 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

    He was a student of Hebrew, could he have learned this then? https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V03N02_43.pdf  

    I'd say that that is extremely unlikely. Joseph Smith was a student of Hebrew in that he possessed several Hebrew textbooks and took the equivalent of 1 introductory course in Hebrew under Joshua Seixas. He attained the status of talented amateur, with special focus on biblical Hebrew. The identification of the canopic jars as cardinal directions, however, is Egyptian and extremely unlikely to be associated with introductory Hebrew materials. 

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  17. 32 minutes ago, Damien the Leper said:

    This isn't meant to be a snarky question but is there any evidence to support Abraham, himself, being familiar with the text of the BoA or is the BoA better suited to be viewed as pseudepigrapha via the "red headed step child's cousin's uncle twice removed" sort of idea. Again, no disrespect.

    I'm not sure there's any way to determine whether or not Abraham himself would have been familiar with it, since all we have about Abraham is pseudepigraphic or written by a later prophet. There's no control to compare to. 

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  18. 9 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

    Scribd offers a free membership allowing just enough time to download the paper and then cancel the scribd membership, which is what I did.  Roberts paper assumes a belief in Biblical stories such as a belief in Noah through which Egyptus came and Abraham whom many view as a figurative character,  the Great Tower (babel) or a Divine Christ.  This is what I was referring to when I stated that his paper requires a belief in God. thsoe who do not hold to a belief in biblical charactors would not find Roberts arguments convincing since they wouldn't be able to work past his dependence on this biblical foundation.

    I too would like to sidestep getting a Scribd membership, so this is good advice. Thanks! 

    I came away from Robert's paper with the impression that he was referencing the Bible stories as traditions, not necessarily historical facts. So I think it might be somewhat applicable even for those who don't take the biblical stories literally. But your general point remains valid: those who don't approach the study from a believing perspective will likely find it less instinctively agreeable than those who do approach it from an already-believing perspective. 

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  19. 3 hours ago, Navidad said:

    I know this is off subject a bit! I see in your profile you are a Mr. Pibb fan. I thought I should inform you that almost fifty years ago when I was a graduate student in the Baylor University School of Religion we all got together and awarded Mr. Pibb an honorary doctorate. You see, the school of religion was a haven for Dr. Pepper drinkers - mostly thoroughly addicted! Those who dared drink Mr. Pibb in Texas were struggling with their self-esteem as was Mr. Pibb. So we had a ceremony with some professors to alleviate these issues and granted Mr. Pibb an honorary doctor honoris causa! From that day on, drinkers of Dr. Pibb felt much better! Now you know the rest of the story!

    I absolutely love that story. Dr. Pibb it is. 

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