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The Matthew Gong Letter


pogi

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38 minutes ago, california boy said:

No I am not suggesting that.  

 

Ya I still don’t get. I feel like our definition of “truth” is very different.

From where I’m at now, it seems like your view of “truth” is not so much worried about reality as it is about making everyone feel involved and happy.

There either is a God or there isn’t. There can’t kind of be a god. And there either is a law against homosexuality or there isn’t. Regardless of belief or feelings, we will all be effected by the reality of this. 

When you said:

7 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

It is a scary thing when people can't see or even acknowledge the possibility that individuals experience the world and its facts in different, yet truthful ways.

Those of us who disputed with you on this aren’t worried about individual experience, we are worried about reality. We understand everything you are saying, but it isn’t what we are worried about.

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35 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

What do you say when you bear your testimony? I ask since “I know the church is true” is in my experience the standard starting point. 

OK well you want me to get into that?   OK short form,  I kind of anticipated that question.

We know what truth is and how to use the word within a linguistic context.  We just cannot define it.

Truth is what a community of believers familiar with the language of the group believes it is.  Biologists determine what is considered "true" for biologists, plumbers for plumbers, Catholics for Catholics etc.

Mormons for Mormons as well.   What I mean when we say "I know the church is true" is kind of an idiom which roughly translates:

"In my heart I have experienced the life-style and orthopraxis of being LDS and I have certainty within my being that this path is the path that Father wants me on, and I have experienced that the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  I know this by revelation from my Father in heaven"

Obviously it is not about some building being TRUE- that doesnt even make sense.

Knowledge is a psychological state of certainty that the propositions one believes do in fact work as they should and are the correct tools to use to accomplish their desired actions

Such religious propositions work when they give one the desired effect- a sense of peace and certainty about their place in the universe, an understanding of where they came from, why they are here, and where they are likely to go after death.

The goal is to give one purpose and direction in how one lives, not a list of scientific propositions about God weighing x number of pounds, how he made matter appear from nothing or organized it into a world etc.

You asked for it, now you got it.   Bwaahhaahhaaaa- THE VIDEO!

Listen to this word by word.  I know this video is true.  :)

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Fether said:

Ya I still don’t get. I feel like our definition of “truth” is very different.

From where I’m at now, it seems like your view of “truth” is not so much worried about reality as it is about making everyone feel involved and happy.

There either is a God or there isn’t. There can’t kind of be a god. And there either is a law against homosexuality or there isn’t. Regardless of belief or feelings, we will all be effected by the reality of this. 

When you said:

Those of us who disputed with you on this aren’t worried about individual experience, we are worried about reality. We understand everything you are saying, but it isn’t what we are worried about.

 

25 minutes ago, Fether said:

Ya I still don’t get. I feel like our definition of “truth” is very different.

From where I’m at now, it seems like your view of “truth” is not so much worried about reality as it is about making everyone feel involved and happy.

There either is a God or there isn’t. There can’t kind of be a god. And there either is a law against homosexuality or there isn’t. Regardless of belief or feelings, we will all be effected by the reality of this. 

When you said:

Those of us who disputed with you on this aren’t worried about individual experience, we are worried about reality. We understand everything you are saying, but it isn’t what we are worried about.

The good news and the bad news, bad news first:

There is no evidence for anything you say about that, that others can experience.   That is called "objective evidence"

Good news:  On my view we do have a community of believers creating a context for statements about the gospel, and even by the most relativist terms we are justified philosophically- to anyone- that "the gospel is true".

Yes it is "our truth" but guess what?   That is all the world recognizes today AS "truth"

This is the point I have been trying to teach around here- IF THE TRUTH CAN BE ANYTHING- which is the way the world thinks today- THEN what we have is AS TRUE AS anything the world has!!

No one can attack us on a statement that the "church is true" when they have defined truth in such a vague way that everything that some group believes is true!!

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25 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

"In my heart I have experienced the life-style and orthopraxis of being LDS and I have certainty within my being that this path is the path that Father wants me on, and I have experienced that the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  I know this by revelation from my Father in heaven"

I think you should start saying this in testimony meeting!

Just to be clear, I wasn't challenging you on anything by my question. I was sincerely wondering how you used the phrase and what you meant by it. Thanks for sharing.

As for the video, maybe you can petition the first presidency to canonize it..? ;) 

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On 11/8/2019 at 8:42 AM, pogi said:

I know many, many people (very conservative I might add) who while they may technically agree with most of what President Oak's says, feel like his approach is...off-putting, unrelenting, overbearing, and almost obsessive.  They don't even have gay children and so may not be nearly as sensitive as those who are in the middle of struggling with these challenging issues and dynamics like Elder Gong is right now with his son in an active relationship with another man.  It is one thing to clearly delineate boundaries, but when the majority of your talks focus on one group (even when it is couched in "but we need to be nice to them"), it starts to feel like something more than simply delineating boundaries.    

 

19 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Incidentally, Pogi, not to be nit picky, but when you implied that the “majority” of President Oaks’s talks “focus on” gay people, did you mean that literally, or were you engaging in hyperbole?

Hyperbole is fine as a rhetorical device — I sometimes indulge in it myself — but I ask because I can recall only a handful of his talks that could be so characterized, certainly nothing anywhere close to “the majority.” 

Pogi, I notice you have yet to respond to the above. Therefore, unless and until you correct me, I’m going to assume for the sake of argument that you were quite literal in your assertion that “the majority” of President Oaks’s talks “focus on” gay people. That being the case, this amounts to a very clear illustration of the point I’ve been trying to make. 
 

That “the majority” of his talks focus on gays is demonstrably and transparently false, as a cursory investigation (virtually all his published addresses are readily and freely accessible on line) or even a moment’s thoughtful reflection would bear out. 
 

So a choice to believe and insist something that is transparently false and easily debunked is volitional behavior that is, by definition, unjust. My point is thus made. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

Pogi, I notice you have yet to respond to the above. Therefore, unless and until you correct me, I’m going to assume for the sake of argument that you were quite literal in your assertion that “the majority” of President Oaks’s talks “focus on” gay people. That being the case, this amounts to a very clear illustration of the point I’ve been trying to make. 
 

That “the majority” of his talks focus on gays is demonstrably and transparently false, as a cursory investigation (virtually all his published addresses are readily and freely accessible on line) or even a moment’s thoughtful reflection would bear out. 
 

So a choice to believe and insist something that is transparently false and easily debunked is volitional behavior that is, by definition, unjust. My point is thus made. 

Your assumptions are wrong.  I don’t like to post much on my free-time (weekends and after 5).  I’ll occasionally poke my head in, but I’m not going spend time on a thoughtful response, so you’ll just have to wait...

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Your assumptions are wrong.  I don’t like to post much on my free-time (weekends and after 5).  I’ll occasionally poke my head in, but I’m not going spend time on a thoughtful response, so you’ll just have to wait...

No worries. 

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5 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I think you should start saying this in testimony meeting!

I pretty much do say that

First I say I know the church is true and then I go briefly into what that means to me. That I have personally experienced a revelation from God in my heart that gives me certainty that God exists and that following the gospel is what he wants me to do in my life.

I am as certain of that experience as I am of any experience including typing this on my computer. 

People think that knowledge involves something Beyond what we have personally experienced, that somehow experience does not give us reality and that we have to differentiate between what we have experienced and the reality of it.

No, experience is reality. There is nothing more real than experiencing a table tapping on the top and knowing in your heart that it is totally a table.

Does one doubt that one had a dream of XYZ?

No it was a real dream. Seeing a red car is an experience of seeing a red car. Was the car real?

How could we tell if it was not?

Isn't seeing a mirage in the desert still the experience of seeing a mirage? If I interpreted incorrectly and it turns out not to be water it was still the experience of a mirage, and I have simply made a perception mistake. Does the fact that we have optical illusions sometimes, negate the reality of what we see around us daily? Of course not.

If Joseph was not lying he saw God. Did he see an illusion of God? How could one possibly ever find that out? Was it really God he saw? How could we ever find out if that is the case or not? It is up to us to make a decision on each of these matters, because there is no experimental method which could be done by anyone on Earth to find out if Joseph "really" saw God.

All we can do is find out for ourselves by asking God whether or not we also should believe that Joseph saw him.

It's the only kind of evidence possible.

Edited by mfbukowski
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6 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

As for the video, maybe you can petition the first presidency to canonize it..? ;)

They already have. ;)

D&C 93

"30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence."

Truth exists in independent spheres of active description like science and religion are independent spheres, acting as spheres of intelligence, otherwise we cannot describe  or know anything about existence.

Can it be said that unknown species "exist" until they are described?

What exactly defines the species if one cannot describe it? How does one know it exists? Is it a small green monkey with wings like a bat that fits into a known taxonomy or sphere of knowledge?

If you cannot describe it what is it? Can you make a true statement about it?

Sounds like straight Rorty to me straight out of my siggy.  :)

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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7 hours ago, Fether said:

Those of us who disputed with you on this aren’t worried about individual experience, we are worried about reality. We understand everything you are saying, but it isn’t what we are worried about.

Noticed the video talks about removing the reality /appearance distinction.

Do you really think that the computer in front of you right now is just an appearance or is it real? How do you know it's real? Because you are experiencing it. There is no difference between reality and your experience of it. Yes we make mistakes occasionally like mirages and optical illusions, but are we really ready to ask if reality is real because we make mistakes sometimes in the way we see things?

How sure are you that the computer in front of you is real and not just an appearance of reality?

Does the thought ever even cross your mind?

So is it better to be able to say that your experience of God is the reality of God, or that your experience of God is an illusion?

If your experience of God is an experience of reality then God is as real as anything you experience.!

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6 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Noticed the video talks about removing the reality /appearance distinction.

Do you really think that the computer in front of you right now is just an appearance or is it real? How do you know it's real? Because you are experiencing it. There is no difference between reality and your experience of it. Yes we make mistakes occasionally like mirages and optical illusions, but are we really ready to ask if reality is real because we make mistakes sometimes in the way we see things?

How sure are you that the computer in front of you is real and not just an appearance of reality?

Does the thought ever even cross your mind?

So is it better to be able to say that your experience of God is the reality of God, or that your experience of God is an illusion?

If your experience of God is an experience of reality then God is as real as anything you experience.!

I’m glad you paid attention in Philosophy 1010 in your freshman year of college, but if you want to debate epistemology and get hung up in that, you are not ready for religious discussion.

If the argument for whether there is a God or not is based how we sense reality and what is illusion and what is not, you will get no where. So far your comments have been that of a very basic agnostic that hasn’t even taken time to flush out the argument.

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37 minutes ago, Fether said:

I’m glad you paid attention in Philosophy 1010 in your freshman year of college, but if you want to debate epistemology and get hung up in that, you are not ready for religious discussion.

If the argument for whether there is a God or not is based how we sense reality and what is illusion and what is not, you will get no where. So far your comments have been that of a very basic agnostic that hasn’t even taken time to flush out the argument.

Yeah, um, you're new here.  :huh:  You really shouldn't lob out the kind of insults you do here, and you definitely shouldn't do it without getting to know other posters, their posting style, and the substance of where they're coming from.  I dare say Mark's more than ready for the sort of discussion you say he's unprepared for: I know for a fact, because I've read his very own words, that he's delved into these issues far beyond PHIL 1010.  He's probably forgotten more about philosophy than you'll ever know, and he'll probably be here long after you've lost interest and moved on.

Just sayin'!  But, oh, yeah ...  Welcome to the Board! :D  What's that, you say?  We're all pathetic losers because we won't bow to your superior intellect, intellectual and philosophical heft, and irresistible erudition, so you're leaving?  Mmm-kay.  Don't let the door hitcha in the rump on the way out, there, Pilgrim! ;)

Edited by Kenngo1969
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35 minutes ago, Fether said:

I’m glad you paid attention in Philosophy 1010 in your freshman year of college, but if you want to debate epistemology and get hung up in that, you are not ready for religious discussion.

If the argument for whether there is a God or not is based how we sense reality and what is illusion and what is not, you will get no where. So far your comments have been that of a very basic agnostic that hasn’t even taken time to flush out the argument.

Dang.

Philosophy 101 was not enough?

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22 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Yeah, um, you're new here.  :huh:  You really shouldn't lob out the kind of insults you do here, and you definitely shouldn't do it without getting to know other posters, their posting style, and the substance of where they're coming from.  I dare say Mark's more than ready for the sort of discussion you say he's unprepared for: I know for a fact, because I've read his very own words, that he's delved into these issues far beyond PHIL 1010.  He's probably forgotten more about philosophy than you'll ever know, and he'll probably be here long after you've lost interest and moved on.

Just sayin'!  But, oh, yeah ...  Welcome to the Board! :D  What's that, you say?  We're all pathetic losers because we won't bow to your superior intellect, intellectual and philosophical heft, and irresistible erudition, so you're leaving?  Mmm-kay.  Don't let the door hitcha in the rump on the way out, there, Pilgrim! ;)

Fair enough, I’m mostly just frustrated cause I’m trying to understand this concept of personal truth and it just gets dragged into “we don’t even know what is and isn’t”. The idea seems so obviously moronic. Either I don’t get it or it truly is a ridiculous concept (yet everyone still accepts it).

so I apologize @mfbukowski

I definitely came in and attacked you unprovoked.

Everything I have heard and read about personal truth comes from black woman who push past the stereotypes and the circumstances she was born into, or the gay man that comes out and lives life to the fullest, or the feminist who speaks out and is empowered by her love for her womanism. It’s always been about personal empowerment and nothing more. Now I am ok with this. But I get confused when we are talking about something that is a reality (Epstein committing suicide or not, trump colluding with the Russians, or the existence of a God) and the concept of personal truth is being thrown around and demanded as a solution. Whether Epstein donated $100,000,000,000 to charity or not, it doesn’t change the fact that he either committed suicide or not. Whether the church puts down homosexuals or not, it has nothing to do with its truthfulness or lack thereof.

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28 minutes ago, Fether said:

Fair enough, I’m mostly just frustrated cause I’m trying to understand this concept of personal truth and it just gets dragged into “we don’t even know what is and isn’t”. The idea seems so obviously moronic. Either I don’t get it or it truly is a ridiculous concept (yet everyone still accepts it).

so I apologize @mfbukowski

I definitely came in and attacked you unprovoked.

Everything I have heard and read about personal truth comes from black woman who push past the stereotypes and the circumstances she was born into, or the gay man that comes out and lives life to the fullest, or the feminist who speaks out and is empowered by her love for her womanism. It’s always been about personal empowerment and nothing more. Now I am ok with this. But I get confused when we are talking about something that is a reality (Epstein committing suicide or not, trump colluding with the Russians, or the existence of a God) and the concept of personal truth is being thrown around and demanded as a solution. Whether Epstein donated $100,000,000,000 to charity or not, it doesn’t change the fact that he either committed suicide or not. Whether the church puts down homosexuals or not, it has nothing to do with its truthfulness or lack thereof.

No problem

If you want to get into the real thing, here you go.  And yes I try to sound like an agnostic because I have actually brought a few back by walking their walk and talking their talk.

It works

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth-deflationary/

 

Quote

 

1. History of Deflationism

The deflationary theory has been one of the most popular approaches to truth in the twentieth century, having received explicit defense by Frege, Ramsey, Ayer, and Quine, as well as sympathetic treatment from many others. (According to Dummett 1959, the view originates with Frege.) 

 

Also this takes it back historically to its application in Religion, around 1900.   I only quoted Oprah because she is popular and actually understands this stuff pretty well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varieties_of_Religious_Experience

 

Quote

 

Lecture III. The Reality of the Unseen.

James begins his third lecture by noting that all states of mind involve some kind of object but that religious experiences involve an object which cannot be sensibly perceived. This ability to be aware of insensible objects in the mind, such as being aware of a presence in the room, is an ability particular to human beings. These experiences are sometimes connected with religion but not always, and James insists that they are not at all unusual. For those who have had such experiences, they are irrefutable and no rational argument will dissuade someone of their reality, even if the subject cannot explain or answer for the experience themselves. However, James criticises the rationalistic and scientific approaches, which would question these experiences, as being rarely convincing in the sphere of religion: rational arguments about religion are compelling for someone only if they already believe the conclusion. This is just a fact of human psychology for James, not a value judgement: humans are more persuaded irrationally and emotionally than they are by reasons. James concludes his lecture by noting the different kinds of responses such experiences can elicit (joy and sorrow), the variation of which will occupy his following lectures.

 

 

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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38 minutes ago, Fether said:

Fair enough, I’m mostly just frustrated cause I’m trying to understand this concept of personal truth and it just gets dragged into “we don’t even know what is and isn’t”. The idea seems so obviously moronic. Either I don’t get it or it truly is a ridiculous concept (yet everyone still accepts it).

so I apologize @mfbukowski

I definitely came in and attacked you unprovoked.

Everything I have heard and read about personal truth comes from black woman who push past the stereotypes and the circumstances she was born into, or the gay man that comes out and lives life to the fullest, or the feminist who speaks out and is empowered by her love for her womanism. It’s always been about personal empowerment and nothing more. Now I am ok with this. But I get confused when we are talking about something that is a reality (Epstein committing suicide or not, trump colluding with the Russians, or the existence of a God) and the concept of personal truth is being thrown around and demanded as a solution. Whether Epstein donated $100,000,000,000 to charity or not, it doesn’t change the fact that he either committed suicide or not. Whether the church puts down homosexuals or not, it has nothing to do with its truthfulness or lack thereof.

I think if you really wanted to “get it”  you would have gotten it when I asked you if you thought the Book of Mormon was true.  Personal truth doesn’t just happen to black women.  Probably most about what you know to be true about Mormonism is only personal truth.

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25 minutes ago, california boy said:

I think if you really wanted to “get it”  you would have gotten it when I asked you if you thought the Book of Mormon was true.  Personal truth doesn’t just happen to black women.  Probably most about what you know to be true about Mormonism is only personal truth.

I think I do get it, I just rejected so intently that I am just continuing to question it.

personal truth is how someone lives his life. My personal truth is that the church is true and that I ought to base my life around it’s teachings. A man down the road from me may have a personal truth that there is a God and his homosexual relationship is just as moral as any heterosexual relationship. This belief empowers him and I should not encroach on his personal truth because his personal truth is just as valid as mine as we are both happy and both living according to our belief.

That is how I originally understood it and that is how I understand it now.

Is that accurate,

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Is there such a thing as Absolute Truth?  Yes.  But as mortals, seeing "through a glass, darkly," much of the time, all we really know is what we experience, what we perceive.  And our experiences, our perceptions, are filtered, and perhaps distorted, in countless ways.  God, meanwhile, is unhindered by such filtering or distortion.  That's at least part of the reason why the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob speaks of truth as "knowledge of things as they really are, and as they really will be" (Jacob 4:13).  In our mortal, fallen condition, rarely do we see things as they are.  Rather, we see them as we are.

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46 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Is there such a thing as Absolute Truth?  Yes.  But as mortals, seeing "through a glass, darkly," much of the time, all we really know is what we experience, what we perceive.  And our experiences, our perceptions, are filtered, and perhaps distorted, in countless ways.  God, meanwhile, is unhindered by such filtering or distortion.  That's at least part of the reason why the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob speaks of truth as "knowledge of things as they really are, and as they really will be" (Jacob 4:13).  In our mortal, fallen condition, rarely do we see things as they are.  Rather, we see them as we are.

I still remember when I found out (or accepted) that our brains are in a fluid floating in a dark bony case. The only thing that reaches our brains is electrical signals.  Our eyes just gather light it is the brain that sees.  Our ears vibrate to sound it is the brain that hears etc....  So yeah is our reality just electrical impluses???

Edited by Metis_LDS
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My biggest complaint about the whole idea of personal truth is not that it rejects my perceived truth, it’s that it, to me at least, seemingly rejects that there is an absolute truth out there regardless of whether we are experiencing it or not. And those using that phrasing and argument are not concerned with reality as things are objectively, but rather concerned with reality as things are according to them.

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

I’m glad you paid attention in Philosophy 1010 in your freshman year of college, but if you want to debate epistemology and get hung up in that, you are not ready for religious discussion.

Edit: Never mind, I see you apologized :) 

Edited by MiserereNobis
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1 hour ago, Metis_LDS said:

I still remember when I found out (or accepted) that our brains are in a fluid floating in a dark bony case. The only thing that reaches our brains is electrical signals.  Our eyes just gather light it is the brain that sees.  Our ears vibrate to sound it is the brain that hears etc....  So yeah is our reality just electrical impluses???

In a sense, perhaps.  However, there is the matter of near-death experiences.  To me, whatever questions remain, there is enough "there" there when it comes to NDEs (and experiences of people who I know and trust with those who have passed through the veil) that I cannot accept the idea that, as I heard one atheist express it, we're simply "transient meat wads."

Edited by Kenngo1969
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5 hours ago, Fether said:

So far your comments have been that of a very basic agnostic that hasn’t even taken time to flush out the argument.

Love it.

No in fact I have flushed out more ..... uh, ...arguments than you will ever know

:)

 

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