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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. 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 fo
  2. Shame, I liked his music. I will probably continue to like it, but I can't empathize with his exitmony in the slightest. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. Neither do I. I think it works fine, seeing as I embrace a certain pluralism when it comes to spiritual involvement
  7. 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 i
  8. Paul's Acts 26 courtroom drama is crazy enough.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Fair Dinkum's assessment is reasonable. Dale Morgan once put it that, since he couldn't accept the existence of God, he had to look for any other explanation than what the Church puts forward. So be it. For those who don't believe in God, there's not much that our scholarship, which includes God existing as a point of departure, can do. There will always be another explanation, even if it comes down to the blindest of blind luck. Whether that is likely or not is something for each individual to judge. It's impossible to define when God satisfies our subjective belief-conditions, but I would ho
  13. I absolutely love that story. Dr. Pibb it is.
  14. I've actually thought that Mormon and Moroni, through their close association with the Three Nephites, were exposed to some of the works of the first three Christian centuries. Jesus' original Twelve Apostles rank above the Nephite disciples, I believe, since they were given the sealing power and iirc the same is not recorded for the Nephite disciples, who are not named as apostles (though that could just be a translation thing.) Also, the Twelve Apostles are told that they will judge all the House of Israel, and the Nephite disciples are told they will be judged by the Twelve. Given the fact
  15. Dr. Ritner did not say so, to his credit (though I confess that I expect such consideration as a standard). The actual scholars usually don't. However, I've noticed a trend among consumers of scholarship (particularly of the Reddit variety) to dismiss people like Gee and Muhlestein out of hand, or refuse to engage their work until it passes some metric of external approval. That, I think, is in practice bigoted. Sure, we can disagree with each other and not be bigots, but to deny someone a voice at the table simply because of who they are, their communities and opinions? I leave it to you to j
  16. I think the Givens' are onto something when they write about how a certain cognitive distance is required for us to truly have choice which reflects what we truly want and who we truly are. There's a saying that people show who they really are once they put on a mask; being separated from those who know us and their expectations of us offers us the chance to really let loose. Given that the face of God is veiled from us and we feel independent, we can act as we are and show who we are and what we value most highly. We can choose whether or not to become worthy of godhood. There's also th
  17. Those who don't already believe that assertion find nothing in your comment that is convincing. It's just not a shared point of departure, no matter how many times it is said.
  18. That is the problem, from a critic's perspective. From my perspective, @mfbukowski is right. Logic can only build off of established rules and assumptions. If those rules are not shared, the logic becomes irrelevant and a category error. Why? It seems like any choice to do so would be entirely subjective. Who gets to define "too much"? The outside experts? Why do the apologists and their genuinely held opinions deserve to be disenfranchised? Who sets the standards? Where does the authority come from? Perhaps my point should be clarified, it couldn't hurt. I don't believ
  19. Let's take this paragraph sentence by sentence. Yes. Bear in mind that Ritner, Rhodes, nor anybody else are actually ancient Egyptians, nor authors of these texts. That means that all we get are interpretations from the outside. Egyptologists can catalogue various symbols, catalogue their contexts, and thus figure out a general range of meaning for each one. That meaning, as best we can guess, is most likely going to represent a mainstream use of those symbols since it is drawn from a broad number of samples. This does not, however, mean that all possible meanings have been discovered
  20. Actions like that help me to understand why early members of the Church like Brigham Young thought that D&C 76's redefinition of hell was too kind. That's dishonest, manipulative, and infuriating. I've never seen that happen myself but it wouldn't surprise me. If so, that's abusive.
  21. So, in other words...Semitic authors adapting themes from Egyptian illustrations in their writing is irrelevant because their adaptations take the form of text as opposed to illustration? Between you and me our standards of evaluating these things are surely different, but in my opinion that seems like an overly narrow definition of the phenomenon of borrowing. Semitic-Egyptian borrowing in other genres weakens the argument from silence with respect to the genre of illustration.
  22. The Catholics do religious artwork like no other, in my humble opinion, though to be fair I haven't gotten to see a lot of Eastern Orthodox artwork in person so my judgement is provisional. I hope that one day my own religious tradition can have such a vibrant artistic tradition but there is a 2000 year head start and some of the greatest artistic geniuses of all time to catch up to.
  23. This is false. This exact phenomenon, in fact, has been documented. Per Kevin Barney, discussing his paper entitled "The Facsimiles and Semitic Adaptation of Existing Sources": Barney goes on to discuss how he views the idea of Jewish redaction of the vignettes as possible, as well as the idea that Joseph Smith redacted them in genuine Hebraic scriptural tradition. I view either explanation as acceptable. "Jewish revulsion towards Gods other than Yahweh" is highly exaggerated by the priestly compilers of the Hebrew Bible. Even within the Bible you can see the children of Is
  24. Since you brought up Anubis/Olimlah, here's Quinten Barney's thesis on Facsimile 3 compared with other throne scenes. Don't trust Muhlestein? See for yourself. I do believe that if the papyri break enough rules, we should consider that perhaps they weren't meant to play by those rules. Furthermore, symbols have meaning in the eye of the beholder. Therefore an exposition of their meaning can only occur if you have the correct beholder in mind. Your caricature is right - normal Egyptology can't possibly tell us much about the meaning of these unique items unless conventional Egyptian culti
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