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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. Indeed. If a mankind had already succeeded in arriving at a truth, why reveal it from on high anew?
  2. You cannot arrive at objectivity through science. Science presupposes the existence of objectivity in order to even exist. Again, this depends on what progress is! Science is good at figuring out means to an end, but how can experimentation tell us what the end "should" be? It's the "is-ought" problem perpetually rearing its head. Harris claims to have solved it, but in reality his propositions in The Moral Landscape just smuggle in a pre-existing definition of "ought" at the beginning. Science can provide us with a "morality" - really just an instruction book - that leads us to a des
  3. I question that which is "seemingly without question." Our instincts can often be selfish, without regard for others. Is selfishness "well-being"? By conflating "well-being" with instinct, this appears to just be equating moral good with instinct. That's highly problematic. I don't think I understand. Can you elaborate?
  4. "Our morality is a consequence of our inherent desire for well-being" is basically a truism. Moral systems, whether imposed by deity, preexistent in man, or both, exist to guide human behavior towards well-being. The real question at the heart of morality is: what constitutes well-being? That's the most salient objection to Harris on this point. His whole point is that science can give us a morality by determining what behaviors and policies lead to greater well-being, but that just kicks the can down the road. The definition of well-being is a philosophical concern and not a question answerab
  5. I'd like to volunteer, if that's possible.
  6. Studies have been done which demonstrate, even from a neurological point of view, that "free won't" exists. Even Benjamin Libet, the guy who pioneered the original experiments which demonstrated that readiness potential for an action spikes before the subjective decision is registered, went on the record supporting the concept of "free won't."
  7. Lava flowing over a city can create new geographic features. Not what we in English would call a mountain, but that brings about questions of the mechanics of translation which are endemic to all discussions of the Book of Mormon. As I read 3 Nephi 8-10, I see only a couple of references to mountains. The most obvious is 3 Nephi 8:10 It doesn't say that there were no mountains in the vicinity; a landslide or volcanic flow could well have buried the city (or at least major parts of it) and made it part of a preexisting slope. It's also possible that we are looking at a bit of hist
  8. I am not satisfied with leaving it at this. Let's go deeper into the nature of truth in a determinist paradigm. It cannot exist. Under determinism all our thoughts are simply constellations of atoms. The nature of abstraction has gone all the way from existing in a Platonic third realm to simply existing as a constellation of matter in our brains. How can we say, then, that any of our ideas are correct or even reflect the world around us? The process of inquiry that brought us this "knowledge" itself is just a chain of accidents and therefore, what does the concept of truth even mean? Wh
  9. Perhaps I don't have a good grasp of determinism, or at least not as you understand it. Under determinism there are no choices! There is no such thing! That which we perceive as "choice" is just another event in a long causal chain stretching back into an infinite regress, turtles all the way down. How can there be meaning in such a scenario that is anything other than an illusion? There is no "why", only "how." There's no "why we attempt to teach and guide our kids", we just do it, it is as meaningful as the relentless beat of the tides and nothing more. You are using the language of wi
  10. Is correcting a false interpretation of a significant doctrine "quibbling"? Or is the accusation of "quibbling" just a cover for "I have decided on my definition of these terms and will not be moved"? God redefines the meaning of eternal in the passage you yourself quoted. I don't know how to interpret "Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment" any other way. Clearly the two meanings, "no end" and "endless" are meant to be distinct.
  11. It ought not be missed that the same excerpt that you quote declares that eternal nature of God's punishment does not mean that the damned will be subjected to that punishment perpetually. Interestingly D&C 76 is somewhat ambiguous on the perpetuity of the punishment of even sons of perdition. The bolding is mine: Seems odd that the Lord would show the end of the sufferings of the sons of perdition, or that anyone would ever be able to know them, if they didn't exist. It's not a slam-dunk confirmation of the eventual pardon of Perdition, but it throws some ambiguity into the scene.
  12. Indeed, the whole "suffering for eternity" part is one of the conventional doctrines most dramatically undercut by the revelations to Joseph Smith.
  13. That actually is really interesting. I didn't know that about Chandler's pitch. Since it's a podcast I'm gonna assume that no source was given, which is a shame because I'd like to look into that.
  14. Reading Thomas Nagel's paper on that was a paradigm-shifter for me. Nagel explicitly said that he didn't want to destroy physicalism, but his paper put a pretty big dent in it nonetheless.
  15. That misses the point. Under determinism, it doesn't matter if one doesn't understand what went into a decision (whatever "understand" means in a world where concepts are nothing but constellations of molecules.) If determinism is true, then all "decisions" are really just inevitable events. A faithful determinist never has grounds to be exasperated at all, or gratified at all, for all choices are of equal quality, for none are choices at all. It does in practice. We're just spectators in all this, according to determinism. What consequences could possibly have meaning when they were
  16. Access to the historical department only matters if the historical department contains the relevant information. That's why I asked how Reel's source reached his conclusions. Since the pictures of the Hedlock woodcut are available for all the world to see and examine, the only reason why the insider source would be relevant is if there is a historical source (a letter, a journal entry, a record) which clarifies that the snout was chiseled off. I asked Reel if that was the case. He has still declined to answer the question, despite presumably being aware of it due to the board's notificat
  17. Your focus on "the fine implication" obscures the strident moral dilemma at play here. Whether it is done for our own protection or as retribution, locking someone up still constitutes a harm. By what right do we do that? By what right do we hurt other people, even in self-defense? If both of us, the injured and the injurer, are just hurtling down the same temporal slope, what right to I have to enforce my good over theirs? What is a right, anyway, and what does the concept of "right" even mean in a world where all choice is fated? What's good about love or concern when they only imply a prede
  18. It probably wasn't Nephi who was writing this part. 3 Nephi 8:1-2 indicates that this record is being composed long after the fact, probably by Mormon or someone in his time. That opens interpretive possibilities up: mythic inflation of events, exaggerated archival documents from which Mormon was drawing, etc. Ancient historiography as compared to modern. I do think that we need to temper our expectations for the accuracy of the text at this point. After all, there are many cities mentioned in the war chapters and other places which are not mentioned as destroyed. Manti, Noah, Ammonihah, Gideo
  19. You don't sound like you're speculating. You sound like you're advancing a theory, for which there is no evidence. O was a dictation manuscript. It strains credulity to think that Joseph would dictate to Oliver and then redictate the text all the way over again, but that is what your theory requires. Again, this theory is pure unfiltered speculation and no evidence exists to back up the idea that there was a pre-O manuscript.
  20. There were relatively small revisions between the first and second edition of the Book of Mormon, yes, and small revisions have continued since. And yes, Joseph did revise his revelations in the D&C. Revelation to his mind was ongoing and the canon was fluid, as it should be for us. However, to your point, there's no evidence that emendations were ever made between O and P. P matches the 28% of O which we have faithfully, including some of the most significant chapters in the Book of Mormon. So, P and O offer no evidence for changes. Furthermore, Oliver was transcribing P bit-by-bit until
  21. @Robert F. Smith, I was under the impression that compatibilism was still the consensus position. Didn't know that strict determinism had taken over. Either way, call me a Luddite if you will, I'm not ashamed, but that sort of stuff represents to me a dark well of inescapable nihilism. If choice is nonexistent, what right have we to punish the criminal? What right have we to enforce law? What does a right, or the right, even mean anyway? This is verging on the classic quote from Jurassic Park: "Your scientists [or philosophers or theoreticians] were so preoccupied with whether or not they
  22. If I'm not mistaken, you are positing that there was a secret original manuscript prior to the one which we currently call O, the original manuscript. This runs up on several problems. The manuscript which we call O has been identified as the same manuscript Joseph Smith buried in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House. He didn't do it in secret: multiple witnesses (not within Joseph's inner circle either) record Joseph ambling up to the House and chatting with them for a while, being very open about the fact that he was burying the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon. A remark from Hy
  23. That was uncalled for. It's not anyone's place on here to diagnose anybody else with a "complex", as if we had any understanding of each other beyond the vague outlines of our Internet avatars. Even if we did, just telling somebody that they've "got a bit of a complex" is pretty rude. @Fair Dinkum, I'm sorry that you've felt unwelcomed and I'm sorry for the contempt you have experienced. It seems we have fallen short of the promises we made as followers of Christ.
  24. On the one hand: mobbings, murders, repeated dispossession and expulsion. On the other hand: pure faith, miracles abundant, and the ministration of angels. "Lord, if those were Dark Ages, give me a little darkness."
  25. You have thus far declined to answer my question from several days ago: how can he confirm the snout?
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