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Do you ever feel like you are speaking a different language?


mercyngrace

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Because you have a defective sense of the spirit?

We all know that is what we are thinking. Why not say it. It is always the 800 lb gorilla on these threads.

Maybe God needs you for another purpose. Somebody has to test us.

Wow. I actually said that.

Oh... you're just being a provocateur to get a response... so you're don't kill another thread :P

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But to your point, all of the Hindus Buddhists and Muslims believe the same thing. What of their toys? Are all religions true or are only the LDS having true experiences and everyone else is mislead, even though they say the exact same things you do?

Except you know what? This is not true.

Show me ONE Moroni 10:4 equivalent in any other book of scripture.

Go ahead. Try it.

I will retract my statement if you can.

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Oh... you're just being a provocateur to get a response... so you're don't kill another thread ;)

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. You're giving away my secrets. :P

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Next time I am in LA, you are on.

You've got it.

We can get together with Abanes and duke it out. :P

I'll bring plenty of spinach.

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Duke it out? I thought we were going to laugh over a few beers.

Throw in some pizza, I'll skip the beer, and you have a deal.

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John -

I've been giving some thought to your request for evidence. What sort of evidence would convince you spiritual experiences are external? More specifically, what evidences within the range of what LDS accept as God's nature?

Excellent excellent question.

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Spiritual seems to be a very lonely place.

I think that is because it is so personal.

Dang. I had given up on this thread, but it's looking better all the time!

Haven't seen you in a while!

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Been AWOWF (Absent without wi-fi) for almost 5 days and had to check in to see if John had answered my question. In case you missed it while this thread was buried on page 4, here it is again:

John -

I've been giving some thought to your request for evidence. What sort of evidence would convince you spiritual experiences are external? More specifically, what evidences within the range of what LDS accept as God's nature?

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Been AWOWF (Absent without wi-fi) for almost 5 days and had to check in to see if John had answered my question. In case you missed it while this thread was buried on page 4, here it is again:

And still just as excellent a question as it was!

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Karen Armstrong has some fascinating things to say about spirituality versus religion. i wholeheartedly agree they are not the same. This is a woman who entered a convent to be a nun and was there for several years (i know it was at least 3). Eventually it was a required course in apologetics which disaffected her from Catholicism. She had written a required apologetic response and then went to the mother superior conflicted because she knew what she was writing was basically just a fancy way of avoiding the real question. Her mother superior told her she knew that and not to worry about it. This did not sit well with her and she eventually thought she was going crazy, maybe even possessed, and left. Turned out she had a rare form of epilepsy.

Anyway... she went on this quest to find out the nature of God and did a massive amount of research about Islam, Christianity and Judaism. In the end she determined that religion was man made and she is basically an atheist but here's the cool thing. She still spends most of her time living the life of a quiet hermit studying religious texts. Why? Because they feed her spiritually. She basically lives the aesthetic life of a monk studying and writing about ancient religious works and she is an atheist but an atheist with such love and devotion to religious history.

i need to go read that book again. i gained so much respect for other religions and the level of spiritual witness the adherents often feel. i thought mormons had some special access to the real spirit. i was convinced otherwise. It is part of the human condition and open to anyone who seeks it through a vast variety of channels only one of which is religion.

The Spiral Staircase? One of my personal favorites as well.

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Sometimes when I read what I've written, even after I've proof-read it, I wonder if I understand English at all.

CV75,

Don't feel bad, I often post and get a reply that forces me to go back and reread the post and what I wrote just to see if they posted in the same post that I posted in. :P

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Repeatability with an appropriate control? Seems the scientific thing to do.

How could you possibly have "appropriate control" in a world of limitless variables?

How could you measure the prayer of the faithful, for instance? How much faith is enough? How do I compare mine to yours? What if your will is aligned with God's and mine isn't? Then all the measurements of our faith are irrelevant anyway.

The real problem isn't that there is a lack of evidence. The problem is that the skeptic simply can't see it

If I presented a swatch torn from the robe of the angel Moroni, a skeptic would say "That's just a piece of fabric."

If I presented gold plates with writing no man could read, a skeptic would say either "That's a hoax" or "Interesting archaeological find" in neither case acknowledging the divine delivery of such an artifact.

If I point to signs in the heavens, the skeptic says "Things continue on as they have from the beginning" or "Science can explain that."

If I say I was healed, a skeptic says the response was psychosomatic.

If I say I was raised from the dead, a skeptic says "You were never really dead. There have been similar cases in South America, you know..."

If I say that 500 men had a shared spiritual experience, a skeptic refers to mass hysteria or sociological factors, learned responses and group dynamics among religious people.

Short of having his own undeniable spiritual experience, what can a skeptic really accept?

The fact is, unless you have the faith to move the spindles, even the liahona is just a curious looking ball.

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Repeatability with an appropriate control? Seems the scientific thing to do.

But how do you do that?

How do you prove that the statement "I love you" is true or false by "repeatability with an appropriate control"?

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Part of the problem with the call for 'repeatability' is that God is not some passionless cosmic machine. If He were, then maybe we could push particular buttons repeatedly to see the outcome. Instead, He's a man--an infinitely smart one who perfectly knows and understands our hearts. Consequently, unlike a giant machine, He cares about the person pushing the button, that person's motivations and desires and trustworthiness, the precise context informing the actual pushing, etc. In this way, He is able to deliver the exact outcome which is best for everyone involved, personalised down to the smallest detail. His 'reactions' are therefore infinitely individual and individualised. All of which is a very good thing...but not very helpful when people need Him to act like a vending machine which predictably dispenses a 60-gram packet of salt-and-vinegar crisps every time anyone whosoever drops in $1.75 and pushes button C7.

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The real problem isn't that there is a lack of evidence. The problem is that the skeptic simply can't see it

The fact is, unless you have the faith to move the spindles, even the liahona is just a curious looking ball.

I think the skeptic's view is more complex than you give credit. The bigger issue, to me and to many I have read on this board, is that the believer wants to switch back and forth between universal access and exclusive rights to these types of cause-effect conditions.

For example, when someone is arguing for this type of "evidence", the skeptic frequently responds "But how do you account for so many people over time and diverse cultures having similar if not exactly identical experiences while having very dissimilar beliefs"?

The response then turns exclusive - "No religion has the equivalent of the Moroni promise."

If the skeptic responds that they have known, or themselves been, someone or a group of individuals who tried the promise and had it fail.

The response becomes even more exclusive - there are missing things in that person's life, desire, commitment, etc., that are preventing the proscribed result.

I agree with you, there is evidence that there is more to life than cold "reality" and there are things we don't understand. Things happen that are not easily explained away.

But the claims for exclusive access fall flat.

So I would consider this the control - the fact people have these types of experiences in many forms of beliefs. It seems all the religion does is give meaning or explanations to these experiences that is otherwise not there.

And also not repeatable by everyone, I add.

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But how do you do that?

How do you prove that the statement "I love you" is true or false by "repeatability with an appropriate control"?

The statement, "I love you" is a subjective statement unique to a set time and circumstance. It applies to one person, and has no bearing on external truth like we were talking about. The associated actions, while nice, do not require that someone first feel to say, "I love you".

You can't prove it because it is one of your categorical errors. But only because it doesn't exist universally, the conditions that would prove it true or false are inside of the person making the statement and really, in the end, have no bearing on our shared sense of "reality".

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John -

I've been giving some thought to your request for evidence. What sort of evidence would convince you spiritual experiences are external? More specifically, what evidences within the range of what LDS accept as God's nature?

From Wikipedia:

Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently-derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.

Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce biased interpretations of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.

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