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Posts posted by sethpayne

  1. How do you explain that passage, sethpayne? I presume you still hold the Book of Mormon to be scripture?


    Edited to add:


    Never mind. You answered the question just before I posted this.


    Hey Scott -- just to elaborate a bit.


    I see the BoM verses that refer to generational punishment as being similar those in the OT.  IMO, the OT authors would often use hyperbole to reinforce their main point: worship YHWH and follow the law and you will be blessed.  I was just reading about some Mesopotamian scriptures from around that same time and noticed that they too described generational punishment or the complete destruction/slaughter or massacre of a city.  


    At the end of the day I just don't believe that the loving Father described by Jesus as commanding the wholesale slaughter of little children -- no matter what their *ancestors* did.  And, while the 2nd article of faith answers a theological question, I think the underlying principle can be applied more broadly.  To punish someone for the sins of another seems to run counter to much of the Gospel.

  2. Columbus' assertions of religious belief are best understood when you know that Isabel had carefully cultivated an image of piety as queen. Those who wished to get into her good graces often emphasized their faith, much in the same way politicians and businesspeople emphasize their religiosity to build public trust. It's hard to say whether Columbus was motivated by religious faith, but it is quite obvious that his main goals were financial.


    Well, he certainly gained a lot of gold and nearly all potential converts ended up dead.


    With all of that treasure being shipped back to Spain I'm sure the whole "called of God" thing was quickly forgotten.


    Let's not get seduced by the modern tall tales of pacifist, tree hugging, Hippie, "Indians" either.


    Ok.  Let's use Columbus' own description of the natives:


    They have no iron or steel or weapons, nor are they capable of using them, although they are well-built people of handsome stature, because they are wondrous timid. … They are so artless and free with all they possess, that no one would believe it without having seen it. Of anything they have, if you ask them for it, they never say no; rather they invite the person to share it, and show as much love as if they were giving their hearts; and whether the thing be of value or of small price,



    And just as an experiment I have re-written your statement and I'm curious if you agree with the modifications.


    I prefer to recognize Cambodians as flawed people. I'm not excusing their deplorable behaviors. Pol Pot was a complex man. He held together a nation in turmoil and on the brink of war. He added 'genocide experience' to the South-east Asia. This eventually allowed for many thousands of people to flee for their lives often leaving family and property behind eventually to settle in some cushy Western country. Some thing for the Cambodians  that otherwise would have been  technologically and culturally impossible to do. But he was also cruel beyond belief even compared to mid-century European fascists.

  4. Christopher Columbus was just a product of his time.  




    Do you really believe that?  He cut off hands, fed hacked up children to dogs and more.


    He was removed from his post for his cruelty.  So I don't think we can just wave our hands and say he was simply a product of his time.  Most Europeans, as I understand it, were not chopping up human beings as punishment for not gathering enough gold.

  5. In light of Columbus day today, and given how vilified Columbus has become by so many in modern society, I thought it might be a good thing to start a thread about his contributions, history, deeds etc.



    Thoughts on Columbus?  Good, bad, indifferent?


    Columbus was a very very bad man.  He was removed from his government post in the New World for being too cruel.


    A lot could be said about Columbus -- and how Columbus day is a a piece of propaganda trotted out by the Knights of Columbus last century -- but for me, the turning point came when I learned this:




    The tribute system, instituted by the Governor sometime in 1495, was a

    simple and brutal way of fulfilling the Spanish lust for gold while

    acknowledging the Spanish distaste for labor. Every Taino over the age

    of fourteen had to supply the rulers with a hawk's bell of gold every

    three months (or in gold-deficient areas, twenty-five pounds of spun

    cotton); those who did were given a token to wear around their necks

    as proof that they had made their payment; those who did not were, as

    [Columbus's brother, Fernando] says discreetly "punished"-by having

    their hands cut off, as [the priest, BartolomŽ de] las Casas says

    less discreetly, and left to bleed to death.

        It is entirely likely that upwards of 10,000 Indians were

    killed in this fashion alone, on Espa–ola alone, as a matter of

    policy, during Columbus's tenure as governor. Las Casas'

    Brev’sima relaci—n, among other contemporaneous sources, is also

    replete with accounts of Spanish colonists (hidalgos) hanging Tainos

    en masse, roasting them on spits or burning them at the stake (often a

    dozen or more at a time), hacking their children into pieces to be

    used as dog feed and so forth, all of it to instill in the natives a

    "proper attitude of respect" toward their Spanish "superiors."



    No man who wantonly murders innocent children and feeds them to dogs in front of their mothers should be celebrated, IMO.

  6. Do you give credence to my lived experience where I once was as much as a testimony bearing Mormon as any here to where I now find what is called the witness of the spirit as an unreliable way to find truth, at least for me, and while still an attending Mormon I call myself a skeptic now. The links above and the thread I started on this explains some of this.

    Also are you willing to accept the testimonies and truth claims of those of other faiths that are given in the article I link above!


    I think it is important to differentiate between testimonies and truth claims.  I know some testimonies may include truth claims, but not all do.


    So IMO we should remain skeptical of truth-claims but open to anyone's testimony.  A testimony is an experience with one's chosen religion.  That should be respected.

  7. OK, we're good then, you and I, so long as it is recognized that BYU assumes no obligation to provide an advocacy platform for those who would attack the precepts of the restored gospel of Christ. Or, for that matter, any obligation to educate those who, having once accepted the restored gospel, apostatize from it.


    So you would hold ill-will towards JK were he to disagree with you on these points?

  8. I don't see a knee jerk reaction based on a the say-so of a pressure group without doing further investiagation on his own as being very respectable.



    This is a little hypocritical of you, Scott.  Remember when you jumped to the defense of the bigoted SLPD officer who refused to perform his civic duties?  The DN didn't even do basic journalism.  No questions about why he didn't use the union appeal process etc...


    So if you call this reaction not respectable, I think we have to say the same thing about DN reporting in the specific case I mention.

  9. I apologize, seth.  You make an excellent point, even though I think that Bill was on a paranoid rant in that blog post.


    Meh.  No worries, Robert.  In all fairness I do think that blog post was probably a reaction, in part, to Bill's lengthy debate with Jenkins about Book of Mormon Studies.  That conversation got a little heated and personal at times I think there was frustration on both sides.  


    The Y presents a point of view- not a free exchange of ideas.  That is the whole point.  It is ONE point of view, not all of them.  It is extensive training in one way of seeing reality. THAT is it's avowed purpose.



    I disagree.


    As a BYU student that I was exposed to MANY different viewpoints that ran counter to the Gospel.  Other religions, philosophy, etc...  BYU is a university and universities exist for the very purpose of a free and open exchange of ideas.


    What you are describing sounds more like indoctrination and my BYU education was nothing like that.

  11. False Equivalency. It is entire possible and realistic to support either one, both, or neither. It just becomes problematic to continue at BYU and not support the Honor Code.  If someone can't or won't support it then don't go to BYU or voluntarily transfer to another university more to their liking.


    So the BYU administration that made changes to the MI are testimony-destroying liberals seeking to make the LDS Church more like the CoC.  The Administration that supports the Honor Code is defending BYU values.


    Odd that they are the same administration.

  12. Given what you say about about the endorsement being held by the arbitrary decision of a bishop, you may be right.


    Well, I wouldn't say arbitrary.  That's too strong a word.  There is certainly a standard to be met but I have seen some Bishops -- just like in every ward of the Church -- interpret guidelines and policy to match their own leanings.  


    ETA -- this can go both ways, I should say.  I had a friend at BYU who was struggling with some things that would have made an endorsement a bit dicey.  But when he went to his Bishop they had a serious conversation about the struggles, discussed some solutions, and the Bishop sent him off with both an endorsement and the admonition to "go and sin no more." 

  13. So, there's more to the contract (ambiguity) than what jkw had shown.


    Still, one could fulfill this requirement and not be dishonest or be pretending.



    Well, I think that is true.  But you would have to be careful about sharing your views with anyone.  So you could go to Church -- and even enjoy it! -- but I think if anyone suspected you were a closet apostate they could report you to the Bishop and, depending on his personality, hey may or may not choose to renew the endorsement.


    So it is still a tough situation.  And one where I would argue some amount of "pretending" or putting on appearances is necessary.

  14. Is that in the contract?


    Well, to retain their ecclesiastical endorsement they have to attend meetings regularly.  


    ETA: In the several BYU wards I attended I saw this enforced differently by different bishops.  Some would sign the endorsement even if they only saw you once in a while and others wanted to see more involvement.  A buddy of mine had his held up temporarily because he wasn't fulfilling his calling.


    So it varies from ward to ward, I think.

  15. I think the whole Free BYU conversation to be interesting.  Not only because of the issues directly involved but also because of how folks react to those issues.


    The policy to not renew former LDS student's endorsement -- even if they abide by all other standards of the honor code -- and while allowing non-LDS the freedom to enroll and subsequently change religions -- is one which is supported by the BYU administration and, by extension, the Board of Trustees.


    I hear a lot of talk about BYU standing up for its values etc...  A lot of cheerleading for BYU to keep its inspired policy.


    And yet, when that same BYU Administration -- and by extension the Board of Trustees -- decides to take the MI a different direction we get public accusations against Gerald Bradford and claims that "BYU destroyed ancient BoM studies" etc...  


    There is talk of a coup etc...


    So I'm curious to know why the selective support of the BYU administration?  Both policies are supported by the administration and the BoT.  Why is it OK to publicly condemn one policy -- claiming that BYU is wavering from its mission -- and yet maintain enthusiastic support of the other?


    It seems to me that if you support the current Honor Code you must also support the MI's new direction, no?  They come from and are enforced by the same source: BYU administration and the BoT.

  16. Heavens! What's all the whooey about? Just don't request to have your name removed from the church.


    This has nothing to do with loss off faith or disbelief.


    So you are in favor of "faking it until you make it?"  Pretend to believe until graduation day and then you are off the hook?


    I can't imagine this is a good long-term strategy for the university.

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