Jump to content

Theories Of Faith Development : A Model To Assist Those In Faith Crisis


Recommended Posts

 

Surely you recognize that. "It works for me, so it's good" is the approach you've outlined over and over again.

 

I think what he has actually been saying is: In the long run, it works in begetting good in me, so it is good. This doesn't strike me as amoral.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund
Link to post

I think what he has actually been saying is: In the long run, it works in begetting good in me, so it is good. This doesn't strike me as amoral.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

It strikes me as amoral, as it asserts only that something is good "for me." But then I didn't expect you to agree. No problem.

Link to post

It strikes me as amoral, as it asserts only that something is good "for me." But then I didn't expect you to agree. No problem.

 

How does the "for me" assertion somehow render it amoral in your mind? Surely, the "good" is moral to him--even if only to him (which I doubt).

 

I ask, not with the expectation of agreement, but with the intent to better understand.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Link to post

The problem is that all forms of morality are based on this.  Every single one of them comes down to this, when you get down to the nitty gritty of it.  It's all based off of what we 'feel' is right and wrong, correct?

Not really, no. According to Joseph Smith, what we "feel" is right is irrelevant; what is right is what God commands. In other words, actions aren't good because they are inherently good but because God commands them. Hence if something God (or the prophet) commands conflicts with our conscience (the way we feel about morality), we have to overcome our conscience and obey.

To me, that is profoundly amoral.

 

No, that's actually a bit further than we assert.  We assert you can't call them 'morons' for doing what they believed God said.  We can't see anything beyond what we have experienced though, so we are not bound to what they have experienced.  That means we can act against their interests if we believe what they are doing is wrong according to what God has revealed to us.  In other words, we can believe that their actions don't come from God, but we have to respect that they are allowed to believe that their actions come from God, even if we think they don't.

It also means they (meaning folks like the Laffertys) can act against our interests if they believe what we are doing is wrong according to what God has revealed to them. That's exactly the rationale they used to kill Brenda Lafferty and her daughter. (And lest anyone mistake my intent, no, I am not suggesting that anyone would or could justify the Laffertys' crimes.) If all we have to judge by is what we think God wants us to do, then we are in no position to judge anyone else's behavior, ever.

 

It's really about that dichotomy between thoughts and actions.  We are getting into an ethics bit here.

Exactly right: this is about ethics and morality. I'm not trying to attack anyone, but I find this notion that "whatever works for me is good" to have serious moral and ethical consequences.

 

That would kinda be circular logic.  Good is another word for moral.  We are trying to determine what 'good' is here.

I don't know about anyone else, but my sense of right and wrong comes from my conversation with humanity at large and with God.

 

In any case, yes, we think you should do what you think God has commanded you to do, even if others disagree with you.  Is that wrong?  I don't think so.

I think it is wrong. If, for example, I think God has commanded me to start a Ponzi scheme, I would hope someone would tell me not to do it. And I hope I would listen. But if I did it anyway, it would not be good or moral just because I think God told me to do it.

 

That's correct.  Why did Nephi kill Laban?  Because God commanded him.  I am getting an inclination that you do not like the idea that inherent morality doesn't exist beside God's morality.

It's pretty simple: I have a conscience. In the LDS church, that conscience is called the Light of Christ and is a gift from God. If you are correct, if something a prophet tells me to do conflicts with the Light of Christ, I should do what the prophet says and try to overcome the Light of Christ.

Is that correct?  I can understand your reluctance.  But I don't think the other paths are any better than this one.  They have their consequences of their own, in a sense.

I have to disagree. One's conscience, whether you consider it a gift from God or something evolved in humanity, is an excellent guide to our moral sense. In my view, the trouble begins when we think something out there trumps our own sense of right and wrong.

Link to post

 

Oh my.  Unfortunately I never said any of that.  I never said anything about authority to act in God's name at all, nor did I say that the LDS church is "not the only true and living church".

 

What I said was that there were many ways to interpret the quote you gave.  You have made about 3 erroneous logical steps at once.

 

I don't know where you are getting this stuff.

I'm getting it from you.

Here's the crux of the quote from D&C:

"the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually".

And here is your comment regarding that quote:

"Honestly, that statement is so full of loopholes you could drive a truck through them. According to that, there could be twenty true churches, of which the Lord was only "pleased" with one, or churches were were "true" or not true or living or not living etc etc, or even there could be churches no longer on "the face of the earth" which one were true, or one could even argue that the "true and living church" mentioned has not even YET come out of darkness because the Mormons are still in apostasy, though the foundations have been laid."

I don't see any room at all for driving trucks through here.....even toy ones.....

The plain truth is that the LDS faith has taught for years that they (through their prophets) are the one true arbiter of correct interpretation of the scriptures. And they have taken a very fundamental approach to that principle. Why else would Joseph had spent so much time "correcting" the Bible?

And then for people like you and Wenglund to come along and say in essence that things are much more "nuanced" for the bright people in the church and that actually there is a lot of room for fiddling with the scriptures and the commandments, etc.........why, yes it leaves a lot of us a little puzzled as to why so much room is being made for slipping around the doctrine.

Could it be that that's the only way to continue believing in the prophethood of Joseph and the veracity of truth claims by the church when we see so many abberations and anomolies in it's history?

Edited by Palerider
Link to post

Not really, no. According to Joseph Smith, what we "feel" is right is irrelevant; what is right is what God commands. In other words, actions aren't good because they are inherently good but because God commands them. Hence if something God (or the prophet) commands conflicts with our conscience (the way we feel about morality), we have to overcome our conscience and obey.

To me, that is profoundly amoral.

 

What I see you describing is the clash of two sources of moralities. I don't understand how it would be amoral for such a clash to exist, or to privilege one source of morality over the other? Can you explain?

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Link to post

What I see you describing is the clash of two sources of moralities. I don't understand how it would be amoral for such a clash to exist, or to privilege one source of morality over the other? Can you explain?

Sure. For most people, certain moral choices are inherently moral because they are good. For example, it is inherently good for us to try to help others to improve their lives (we are our brothers' keepers, after all). Does this mean we force others to do what we wish? No. Does it mean that our efforts are always successful? No. But it does mean that the desire and effort themselves are of moral value.

In the system I've been hearing from some people, nothing is inherently moral. God can and does change His mind about what is right and expects us to go along. Thus, helping others to improve their lives is only good/moral when God commands us. If God commands us to ruin someone's life, that is equally as moral/good, though we may not understand why He wants us to do that. What we end up with in that system is not only amoral humanity, but also an amoral God.

Link to post

 

But your beliefs rest on assertions of amorality: nothing is inherently moral or immoral. Surely you recognize that. "It works for me, so it's good" is the approach you've outlined over and over again.

 

But, you say, what is good is what God commands us to do.

 

"That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, 'Thou shalt not kill.' At another time He said "Thou shalt utterly destroy.' This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire."

 

In short, actions are moral when God commands them and immoral when God prohibits them. This is the morality behind Nephi's killing of Laban, but also of the murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty. If you are going to say that reason and logic and evidence are irrelevant to determining religious truth (and that's what you've been saying), all you have left is whether something is of God or is not--and as you have rightly pointed out, that's entirely subjective. If we accept your approach, we cannot judge anyone else's religious beliefs because they "work" for them. By that logic, the Laffertys were only doing what God commanded, so therefore it was right; if we can't see that, it's because we don't understand God's ways yet.

 

 

Are they condemned if God commands them? If not, how do you determine whether God has actually commanded them?

 

 

Of course yours is a utilitarian ethic, but the problem I have with it, again, is that you determine utility not according to any notions of good, long-term or short-term, but rather by what "works" for you and what you think God commands.

 

 

Again, if we go by your logic, there is nothing inherently wrong with robbing a bank. If God commands it, it's good and right.

 

 

Why would I do that?

This is far from correct and most here know that my ethics are based on the Didache, which talks about "Two Paths"- the "Way of Life" and the "Way of Death". http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/didache.html

 

The highest good is the way of life- to act in a manner which maximizes the rigteous living patterns of society, affirming family values, following the law, etc.  Not so oddly, the 10 Commandments in fact are THE rules which govern that kind of life.

 

The Kantian Categorical Imperative is essentially the Golden Rule- which fits perfectly into this schema.

 

And does this life style "work"?  If we value the survival of mankind it is the only thing which DOES work.

 

On the other hand one can see this as totally compatible with the notion that the memes for ethics evolved, and we find those things "good" which in fact CAUSE us to survive.

 

Naked babies alone in the desert do not last long.  They need loving care, and that comes from a loving home.  A loving home comes from a society with "family values", because those values are programmed into the culture for their survival value.

 

Look at it any way you like- it all evolved, or God gave us commandments to allow us to become the Ideal Man- it works both ways, and even a few more.  We get to make up our own stories on where it came from, because none of these stories can be verified.  Ethical atheists can believe the same principles based on their understanding of them.

 

To me this is the essence of Mormonism and why I am here.  We worship The Family which is the Godhead, Idealized Humans who personify all that humans find good.  We too can become Idealized Humans if we but follow the Plan of Happiness which also happens to be the plan of survival of the species.

 

Call it Pragmatism, call it Utilitarianism, call it the Plan of Happiness, it is all the same.

 

Take it any way you like, that is the what works for me.

Link to post

I agree. Well said.

 

However, I am just not sure how this relates to what is described in the OP, or the Perry Scheme et. al., though I am happy to learn.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Maybe the post above will show the way I see it.  You can see the truth in many different ways.

 

Incidentally, as we have discussed before, it is also Alma 32.  "The Spirit" guides us to what feels "sweet" in an Alma 32 sense.

 

Is that evolution or is it God guiding us?  It really doesn't matter!  It is The Universe speaking to us and through us, since we are a part of it all.  Call it the Light of Christ, Intuition, or any other word you want to hang on it, it is all the same.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to post

But honestly, if you really want to believe that the world was created in 6 days and there was a flood which wiped the earth clean,and that if we don't follow the commandments and accept the atonement of Christ which gives us peace and life, I see that as no "better" a story than all the above, nor is it any "worse" because none of it can capture the reality which is beyond words and which awaits us.

Link to post

This is far from correct and most here know that my ethics are based on the Didache, which talks about "Two Paths"- the "Way of Life" and the "Way of Death". http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/didache.html

 

The highest good is the way of life- to act in a manner which maximizes the rigteous living patterns of society, affirming family values, following the law, etc.  Not so oddly, the 10 Commandments in fact are THE rules which govern that kind of life.

If that's true, why follow a belief system that says that nothing, not even the 10 commandments, is inherently good or maximizes righteous living patterns? I sense a real disconnect here, and I wish you would explain it.

 

The Kantian Categorical Imperative is essentially the Golden Rule- which fits perfectly into this schema.

Except when God commands otherwise. That is the caveat underlying your belief system.

 

And does this life style "work"?  If we value the survival of mankind it is the only thing which DOES work.

 

On the other hand one can see this as totally compatible with the notion that the memes for ethics evolved, and we find those things "good" which in fact CAUSE us to survive.

If nothing is "good" except obedience, then we can't know that it will cause us to survive.

 

Naked babies alone in the desert do not last long.  They need loving care, and that comes from a loving home.  A loving home comes from a society with "family values", because those values are programmed into the culture for their survival value.

No argument there, but what happens if God commands you to deny loving care to a child?

 

Look at it any way you like- it all evolved, or God gave us commandments to allow us to become the Ideal Man- it works both ways, and even a few more.  We get to make up our own stories on where it came from, because none of these stories can be verified.  Ethical atheists can believe the same principles based on their understanding of them.

Ethical atheists tend to believe that good is good, such that they aren't often put into a position in which they are asked to overcome their sense of what is good in favor of obedience.

 

To me this is the essence of Mormonism and why I am here.  We worship The Family which is the Godhead, Idealized Humans who personify all that humans find good.  We too can become Idealized Humans if we but follow the Plan of Happiness which also happens to be the plan of survival of the species.

That's the part of Mormonism I like the best, but I don't see a belief system based on there being nothing that is inherently good as furthering those goals.

 

Call it Pragmatism, call it Utilitarianism, call it the Plan of Happiness, it is all the same.

 

Take it any way you like, that is the what works for me.

I'm not meaning to offend, but what I see here is moral relativism and situational ethics.

Link to post

 

I'm getting it from you.

Here's the crux of the quote from D&C:

"the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually".

And here is your comment regarding that quote:

"Honestly, that statement is so full of loopholes you could drive a truck through them. According to that, there could be twenty true churches, of which the Lord was only "pleased" with one, or churches were were "true" or not true or living or not living etc etc, or even there could be churches no longer on "the face of the earth" which one were true, or one could even argue that the "true and living church" mentioned has not even YET come out of darkness because the Mormons are still in apostasy, though the foundations have been laid."

I don't see any room at all for driving trucks through here.....even toy ones.....

The plain truth is that the LDS faith has taught for years that they (through their prophets) are the one true arbiter of correct interpretation of the scriptures. And they have taken a very fundamental approach to that principle. Why else would Joseph had spent so much time "correcting" the Bible?

And then for people like you and Wenglund to come along and say in essence that things are much more "nuanced" for the bright people in the church and that actually there is a lot of room for fiddling with the scriptures and the commandments, etc.........why, yes it leaves a lot of us a little puzzled as to why so much room is being made for slipping around the doctrine.

Could it be that that's the only way to continue believing in the prophethood of Joseph and the veracity of truth claims by the church when we see so many abberations and anomolies in it's history?

I have seen your post, thanks, and I have no comments which would be in line with the person I want to become.  We disagree.

Link to post

I'm not meaning to offend, but what I see here is moral relativism and situational ethics.

That's funny.  I see it as being guided by the Spirit.

 

I think you are letting words get in the way.  I told you that I believe in the Didache which affirms the Way of Life as an absolute ethic and so do I.  I am pretty much with Kant in seeing the categorical imperative as the absolute good.

 

The Two Great Commandments, I would say are the absolutes and all else hangs on that.  If you want a statement of "rules" codified in language, there you go.

 

But I see those two great commandments as a subset of the Way of Life.  The greatest commandment is Life itself, but that is too big to have much meaning to people, so we make up little rules which point to that Way of Life.

 

But the ultimate guide is the Spirit.  None of us can deny it without losing our humanity.

 

But each of these explanations are part of a pyramid of explanations- and THAT is precisely what the OP is about.  For me at the top is Unspeakable Life- we might call that being in constant perfect contact wordlessly with the spirit every moment.  That was where Christ was.

 

His very existence was a manifestation of all this.  He WAS "the truth"- a direct manifestation of this in the flesh- he did not have to speak the truth, he WAS it.

 

But enough. 

 

Things to do places to go, have fun!

Link to post

That's funny.  I see it as being guided by the Spirit.

I guess I have a hard time believing that the spirit would tell you to ignore the Light of Christ.

 

I think you are letting words get in the way.

If words are all there is, that's kind of impossible. :)

I told you that I believe in the Didache which affirms the Way of Life as an absolute ethic and so do I.  I am pretty much with Kant in seeing the categorical imperative as the absolute good.

As I said, I have a hard time squaring this belief with adherence to a belief system that asserts that there is no absolute ethic.

 

The Two Great Commandments, I would say are the absolutes and all else hangs on that.  If you want a statement of "rules" codified in language, there you go.

I don't need rules. But I do like my ethical and moral values to exhibit some consistency, even if that means that our actions always support what is good and life-affirming. I don't see that in Mormonism.

 

But I see those two great commandments as a subset of the Way of Life.  The greatest commandment is Life itself, but that is too big to have much meaning to people, so we make up little rules which point to that Way of Life.

 

But the ultimate guide is the Spirit.  None of us can deny it without losing our humanity.

So, do you privilege the spirit or the light of Christ? How do you know which is which?

 

But each of these explanations are part of a pyramid of explanations- and THAT is precisely what the OP is about.  For me at the top is Unspeakable Life- we might call that being in constant perfect contact wordlessly with the spirit every moment.  That was where Christ was.

I don't think that's possible, but that's another discussion.

 

His very existence was a manifestation of all this.  He WAS "the truth"- a direct manifestation of this in the flesh- he did not have to speak the truth, he WAS it.

 

But enough. 

 

Things to do places to go, have fun!

I just hope those things you're doing have moral value. :)

Link to post

As I said, I have a hard time squaring this belief with adherence to a belief system that asserts that there is no absolute ethic.

 

Oh yes, it is supremely difficult.  I have to think about it and say "on this part, they are wrong".

 

Very hard indeed.  When your dogma is no dogma, it is not as hard as you may think.

 

As usual, we are not communicating, in the final analysis. But then again MY self is not completely contingent, so no surprise there.  ;)

Link to post

If that's true, why follow a belief system that says that nothing, not even the 10 commandments, is inherently good or maximizes righteous living patterns? I sense a real disconnect here, and I wish you would explain it.

 

I have no clue what alleged "belief system" I am supposedly "following" and you have left it unspecified.  Perhaps you are speaking of utilitarianism.  I ain't one.

 

I generally follow a pragmatic theory of truth insofar as there is one.  Really I am mostly a deflationary truth guy, ala Rorty.  I think Rorty is pretty much right on, except for his notion of ironism, which I think is contradictory.

 

That's about it.  Oh and James on religious experience- Rorty too for that matter on the same subject.  So where is this evil system I subscribe to?

Link to post

If words are all there is, that's kind of impossible. :)

 

Yep, but they're not! ;)

Link to post

Not really, no. According to Joseph Smith, what we "feel" is right is irrelevant; what is right is what God commands. In other words, actions aren't good because they are inherently good but because God commands them. Hence if something God (or the prophet) commands conflicts with our conscience (the way we feel about morality), we have to overcome our conscience and obey.

 

Well, how do we know what God commands?  It's through is Holy Spirit - which communicates through feelings.  So, even still, it is what we 'feel' is right.  How do we know the prophet is a true prophet?  It's because God, through the Holy Spirit, communicates to us through our feelings that he is a true prophet.  We 'feel' he is, and so we believe it.  It's still feelings though.  Not necessarily the same type of feelings (that's a whole 'nother subject), but feelings nonetheless, I feel.

 

 

It also means they (meaning folks like the Laffertys) can act against our interests if they believe what we are doing is wrong according to what God has revealed to them. That's exactly the rationale they used to kill Brenda Lafferty and her daughter. (And lest anyone mistake my intent, no, I am not suggesting that anyone would or could justify the Laffertys' crimes.)

 

Yes, they can.  Would you take that right away from them?  Isn't that what free agency is all about.  Everybody is free to act on their own interests, provided they are willing to accept the temporal and eternal consequences of their actions.  I want them to be capable of acting against my interests if they so feel.  Just as I want to be capable of acting against their interests if I so feel.  I like the freedom to choose my path.

 

 

If all we have to judge by is what we think God wants us to do, then we are in no position to judge anyone else's behavior, ever.

 

Why not?  All we have is what we think.  Everything we know is what we think.  There is no independent 'object' perspective you can hold that is independent of thinking.  Your perspective influences everything.  Why are we not allowed to act on what we think, when that's the only thing we can prove we have?

 

 

Exactly right: this is about ethics and morality. I'm not trying to attack anyone, but I find this notion that "whatever works for me is good" to have serious moral and ethical consequences.

 

It definitely does.  But all other forms of ethics have worse consequences.  Consider moral positivism.  It arbitrarily picks what is right and wrong and then says everybody must live by it just because.  Consider true relativism, where right and wrong don't exist, and you can do whatever you want without consequence.  Every other moral system has consequences; this, in my opinion, is the least of them.  I'd rather justify other people than deal with the other consequences, which in my opinion, are worse.  So yes, you could call my position relativistic - but it isn't fully - because I believe in a sense of right and wrong, which is not determined arbitrarily or by social mores.

 

 

I don't know about anyone else, but my sense of right and wrong comes from my conversation with humanity at large and with God.

 

What makes humanity right?  Furthermore, how do  you communicate with God but by feelings, which are not accepted by the scientific community?  Then again, what makes the scientific community right?  How do we know that what we see is accurate?  The answer to all of these questions, I think, is that we can't tell for sure.  But that doesn't stop us from believing in things, nor should it =).

 

 

I think it is wrong. If, for example, I think God has commanded me to start a Ponzi scheme, I would hope someone would tell me not to do it. And I hope I would listen. But if I did it anyway, it would not be good or moral just because I think God told me to do it.

 

So tell me, what makes Ponzi Schemes immoral?  Is it because they cheat people?  What makes cheating people immoral?  Is it because it harms them?  What makes harming people immoral?  Eventually you will have to come to a basis which you are willing to say is the basis of all morality.  Eventually you have to say 'this is the standard'.  What's your standard line?

 

 

It's pretty simple: I have a conscience. In the LDS church, that conscience is called the Light of Christ and is a gift from God. If you are correct, if something a prophet tells me to do conflicts with the Light of Christ, I should do what the prophet says and try to overcome the Light of Christ.

 

And how do you know your conscience, or the Light of Christ is correct?  Because the way you know the church is correct is through that.  So you can't use the Church to justify it.  What makes your conscience correct, and know what is right?  The answer, in my opinion, is that we assume it is.  Because it makes life worth living, and brings us purpose and happiness.  And I don't think that's a wrong choice.

 

 

I have to disagree. One's conscience, whether you consider it a gift from God or something evolved in humanity, is an excellent guide to our moral sense. In my view, the trouble begins when we think something out there trumps our own sense of right and wrong.          

 

You say here that conscience is a guide (in other words, the basis of) our moral sense.  In other words, you say it is 'moral' to use it.  But what makes it moral to use it?  You can't say that your conscience tells you it is right to use your conscience.  So what makes it right to use it?  What makes using your conscience justified?

Link to post

I have no clue what alleged "belief system" I am supposedly "following" and you have left it unspecified.  Perhaps you are speaking of utilitarianism.  I ain't one.

 

I generally follow a pragmatic theory of truth insofar as there is one.  Really I am mostly a deflationary truth guy, ala Rorty.  I think Rorty is pretty much right on, except for his notion of ironism, which I think is contradictory.

 

That's about it.  Oh and James on religious experience- Rorty too for that matter on the same subject.  So where is this evil system I subscribe to?

I'm not saying Mormonism is evil (I don't think it is), but I find it odd that you assert that some things are inherently good in defense of a belief system that explicitly rejects that assertion.

Link to post

Well, how do we know what God commands?  It's through is Holy Spirit - which communicates through feelings.  So, even still, it is what we 'feel' is right.  How do we know the prophet is a true prophet?  It's because God, through the Holy Spirit, communicates to us through our feelings that he is a true prophet.  We 'feel' he is, and so we believe it.  It's still feelings though.  Not necessarily the same type of feelings (that's a whole 'nother subject), but feelings nonetheless, I feel.

And what if your feelings are wrong? The Laffertys thought God was communicating with them through the Holy Spirit. How do you know they weren't actually following God's will?

 

 

Yes, they can.  Would you take that right away from them?  Isn't that what free agency is all about.  Everybody is free to act on their own interests, provided they are willing to accept the temporal and eternal consequences of their actions.  I want them to be capable of acting against my interests if they so feel.  Just as I want to be capable of acting against their interests if I so feel.  I like the freedom to choose my path.

Damn straight I am happy to take away someone else's "right" to kill another person just because they feel like it. I can't believe you think they should have that right. Yikes.

 

Why not?  All we have is what we think.  Everything we know is what we think.  There is no independent 'object' perspective you can hold that is independent of thinking.  Your perspective influences everything.  Why are we not allowed to act on what we think, when that's the only thing we can prove we have?

We do not exist in a vacuum. What we do affects other people. That's why.

 

It definitely does.  But all other forms of ethics have worse consequences.  Consider moral positivism.  It arbitrarily picks what is right and wrong and then says everybody must live by it just because.

How is this different from "whatever God commands is right, no matter what it is"? The difference is that you're claiming God is a moral positivist.

Consider true relativism, where right and wrong don't exist, and you can do whatever you want without consequence. Every other moral system has consequences; this, in my opinion, is the least of them.  I'd rather justify other people than deal with the other consequences, which in my opinion, are worse.  So yes, you could call my position relativistic - but it isn't fully - because I believe in a sense of right and wrong, which is not determined arbitrarily or by social mores.

If I had to choose between what societies have decided is moral after thousands of years of social evolution and someone's arbitrary statement that "God wants you to do this" I'll take society's conclusion as being more grounded in morality.

 

What makes humanity right?  Furthermore, how do  you communicate with God but by feelings, which are not accepted by the scientific community?  Then again, what makes the scientific community right?  How do we know that what we see is accurate?  The answer to all of these questions, I think, is that we can't tell for sure.  But that doesn't stop us from believing in things, nor should it =).

I've said nothing about whether or not we should believe in anything. What I am trying to make sense of is mfbukowski's assertion that Mormonism promotes some ideal good, which seems incompatible with Mormonism's caveats about the definition of right and wrong.

 

So tell me, what makes Ponzi Schemes immoral?  Is it because they cheat people?  What makes cheating people immoral?  Is it because it harms them?  What makes harming people immoral?  Eventually you will have to come to a basis which you are willing to say is the basis of all morality.  Eventually you have to say 'this is the standard'.  What's your standard line?

If that's the only reason you can think of for the development of social mores, I don't think I can help.

 

And how do you know your conscience, or the Light of Christ is correct?  Because the way you know the church is correct is through that.  So you can't use the Church to justify it.  What makes your conscience correct, and know what is right?  The answer, in my opinion, is that we assume it is.  Because it makes life worth living, and brings us purpose and happiness.  And I don't think that's a wrong choice.

So, you don't believe the Light of Christ is a gift to humans from God to help them choose right from wrong? I thought I was the apostate. :)

Seriously, though, in my view, even if we take God out of the equation (which I generally don't), right and wrong are social constructs born of evolutionary processes. In short, they promote the survival of the species, so absent a good reason to ignore them, they're a pretty good standard.

 

You say here that conscience is a guide (in other words, the basis of) our moral sense.  In other words, you say it is 'moral' to use it.  But what makes it moral to use it?  You can't say that your conscience tells you it is right to use your conscience.  So what makes it right to use it?  What makes using your conscience justified?

If we as humans can't agree that, absent a compelling reason not do so, we ought to do what we believe to be right (especially those things human history tells us are right), we're kind of screwed.

Link to post

I'm not saying Mormonism is evil (I don't think it is), but I find it odd that you assert that some things are inherently good in defense of a belief system that explicitly rejects that assertion.

Oh my gosh.  I asked you before and you still have not answered.

 

WHAT BELIEF SYSTEM IS THAT???

Link to post

Tao, we are two balloons bouncing along the ceiling of the room.

Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Bernard Gui
      Something I wonder about...
      In 3 Nephi 12, Jesus says to the people at the temple,
      How are they more blessed if they believe the words of the eyewitnesses? Those who witnessed, believed, and were baptized also received forgiveness and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I understand the implication that greater faith is required, but in what way are they “more blessed”? Is this a quantitative or qualitative increase? 
      Those who were at the temple already had their faith sorely tried. They survived persecution, threats of death because of their faith, cataclysmic destruction, and days of darkness. They were allowed to see and touch the risen Savior. That in itself is an incomparable blessing reserved for very few mortals. Their obligation then was to be His witnesses. Without them, we would not know of the Resurrection. 
      I understand that signs do not necessarily lead to faith. Many who see signs never believe or fall away, but none of these Nephites nor the disciples in Jerusalem who saw and touched the risen Lord fell away. Sister Gui suggested it means those who hear the testimony of the witnesses and believe are more blessed than those who hear the testimony and don’t believe. It seems to me, though, that the Savior is comparing two groups - the witnesses and those who believe the witnesses - and the latter are the more blessed. 
      On two other occasions, some people are declared more blessed. 
      1. Those who humble themselves without compulsion.
      2. The three Nephite disciples who desired to tarry.
      However, speaking to Thomas, the Lord said,
      In this instance, those who believe without seeing are not more blessed. 

      I understand how these people are more blessed because of their faith. What do you think the Savior meant in 3 Nephi 12?
    • By nuclearfuels
      Looking for some insight into Alma 29:3 -
      But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
      Seems like if Alma's faith grew he would naturally pray for not only his people but the Lamanites, and then others (people in Jerusalem and Middle East, Lost Tribes, etc.).
      But then he chides himself for wanting to do that.
      What's the problem here?
      Should he trust God to have called Prophets to cry repentance to all those other people so Alma should just "stay in his lane?"
      When you pray and you're really feeling the Spirit, what would be incorrect about praying for your family, ward, stake, the whole church, the whole world - to be blessed with health, prosperity, a greater acceptance of the restored gospel?
      I guess we should focus on the jurisdiction of our own callings but honestly I pray for things I'm quite sure God laughs out loud at, not to mention when I pray for others outside of my stake, church, etc.
       
    • By Calm
      https://www.uvu.edu/religiousstudies/heavenandearth/


      Heaven & Earth
      Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation and Faith
      February 22nd - 23rd, 2018
      Classroom Building, Room 511
      Utah Valley University

      click here for a pdf version of the program 
       
      Description
      The relationship between science and religion has been among the most fiercely debated issues since the Copernican revolution displaced traditional wisdom regarding the nature of the cosmos. Some have argued  for a sharp division of labor while others have sought to harmonize spiritual and empirical truths. From its beginnings, Mormonism has wrestled with the implications of modern science and has produced a variety of  theological responses. This conference will explore the landscape of Mormon thought as it relates to the relationships between science, theology, scriptural narratives, and LDS authoritative discourse. It will also examine abiding questions of faith, reason, and doubt and the reactions against the intellectualizing forces that bear on the truth claims of Mormonism.  
        Keynote Speaker
      Molly Worthen
      Assistant Professor of History
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      author of Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism Eugene England Lecture
      Steven L. Peck
      Associate Professor of Biology
      Brigham Young University
      author of Science the Key to Theology Conference Participants
      Philip L. Barlow
      Leonard J. Arrington Chair in Mormon Studies & Culture
      Utah State University
      author of Mormons and the Bible: The Place of Latter-day Saints in American Religion
        Brian D. Birch 
      Brian D. Birch, Director, Religious Studies Program
      Utah Valley University
      series co-editor, Perspectives on Mormon Theology
        David Bokovoy
      Online Professor of Bible and Jewish Studies
      Utah State University
      author of Reading the Old Testament: Genesis - Deuteronomy 
        Matthew Bowman
      Matthew Bowman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
      Henderson State University
      author of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
        Deidre Nicole Green
      Postdoctoral Fellow
      Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
      author of "Becoming Equal Partners: Latter-day Saint Women as Theologians” 
        Jamie L. Jensen
      Associate Professor of Biology, Brigham Young University, author of “Influencing highly religious undergraduate perceptions of evolution:  Mormons as a case study” 
        Boyd Jay Petersen
      Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies
      Utah Valley University
      author of “One Soul Shall Not Be Lost': The War in Heaven in Mormon Thought" 
        Jana K. Riess
      Senior Columnist
      Religion News Service
      author of The Next Mormons
        David W. Scott
      Professor of Communication
      Utah Valley University
      author of “Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?"  
      Ben Spackman
      History of Christianity & Religions of North America Program
      Claremont Graduate University
      author of “Truth, Scripture, and Interpretation: Some Precursors to Reading Genesis”  
      Co-Sponsors & Partners
      Religious Studies Program, Utah Valley University College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Utah Valley University
    • By hope_for_things
      As an orthodox Mormon, when I have questions and critiques on topics that I hear at church or read about, I'm frequently told that it all boils down to just having faith, especially when people don't have good answers to my questions.  Terryl Given and Fiona Given's even articulate this idea in their book, The Crucible of Doubt, about how when presented with information on both sides of an issue, that this is precisely the point of God's plan so that we are able to choose and exercise faith.  
      Here is my question, what are we supposed to have faith in exactly?  Should I have faith in the historicity of an event described in the BoM?  Should I have faith that a talk given in conference by a church leader is an inspired talk that accurately reflects the mind of God?  Should I have faith that the words written in the Sunday school manual are inspired by God?  Should I have faith that the interpretation of scripture espoused by my high council representative is the one true interpretation?  What exactly should I have faith in?  
      From my reading of scripture, particularly the Bible and the BoM there is a repeating theme that humans continue to mess things up. In the bible, some of the worst offenders are often the prophets.  They are constantly falling short of the divine will and making big mistakes and getting chastised by God.  Many passages warn against trusting in the arm of the flesh. 
      So this brings me back to the question of faith, and I wonder if all the times that my fellow Mormons encourage me to just have faith, if they aren't actually are giving me really bad advice.  I'm thinking from the experiences I've had and the examples throughout history, that the thing I need to put my faith in is God directly, and not in humans or scriptural interpretations.  Maybe having faith in a church leader is not the purpose of faith at all.  Maybe having faith in a traditional church truth claim is also not the point of faith.   Faith in God, directly is not the same thing as faith in the church or faith in scripture or faith in authorities.  Faith in God seems like the only kind of faith that really can work. 
      Thoughts? 
    • By nuclearfuels
      So if you were called over a period of 8 years in let us say a certain calling which you had reservations about but accepted anyway, at what point would you say no to future callings in the same certain calling area?  If you said no to such a calling and then received a similar calling a few months later, what would you think? Not enough adults to call or inspiration coming back again?  In all honesty when Auxiliary leaders make recommendations for certain callings in ward council/correlation mtg, is there further prayer/consideration/Spiritual guidance by Ward Leaders?  I believe so and I hope so; just seems strange to get a calling quite similar to one I said no to a few months earlier.
      I've heard that Sunbeams coteacher in a former ward I was in received seven no's in response to callings and I can't judge anyone who turned it down as I wasn't part of those callings' issuance.  A friend of mine in college turned down a Primary call since she was a homemaker with three boys and said she needed a break.
      The non-linear part makes sense; we all don't progress in the same order of callings...BUT it seems odd to me to have received such a similar calling in multiple wards over many years, in a chartered organization that I do not support.
       
×
×
  • Create New...