Jump to content

The Matthew Gong Letter


pogi

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Fether said:

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,

Exactly.

And I could show you absolute proof that your personal truth was wrong.  You could show me absolute proof that my personal truth. was wrong.  Neither one of us would accept the other's absolute proof because that proof is based on how each of us perceive things.

  • Like 1
Link to post
3 hours 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???

Ha! Check this out!

https://www.timesandseasons.org/harchive/2017/08/guest-post-justifying-visions/index.html

Which leads to this:

 So did Joseph really see God?

This shows how it's "logical" that one could see that as philosophically justified and therefore "true" based on reason alone.

 

Edited by mfbukowski
  • Like 1
Link to post
2 hours ago, Fether said:

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.

I don't think those that believe in personal truth reject the idea of absolute truth.  Can you point to anyone making such a claim?

Link to post
18 minutes ago, california boy said:

I don't think those that believe in personal truth reject the idea of absolute truth.  Can you point to anyone making such a claim?

The matter of religion. There either is or isn’t a God. And he either does or does not have laws and expectations. Yet this concept on relative truth cares little of the answers and chooses to focus on and put more weight on individual experience.

Link to post
3 hours ago, Metis_LDS said:

So yeah is our reality just electrical impluses???

No, our reality is our CONSCIOUS EXPERIENCE of those impulses.

How do we show that in logic?

Easy actually, a statement about a chemical event and a particular region of the brain cannot convey The Experience being felt by the conscious being.

So "Bukowski shows brain chemical activity XYZ at point abc in the brain" does NOT contain the same information as "Bukowski is seeing a red car with a yellow roof"

  • Like 3
Link to post
13 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

No, our reality is our CONSCIOUS EXPERIENCE of those impulses.

How do we show that in logic?

Easy actually, a statement about a chemical event and a particular region of the brain cannot convey The Experience being felt by the conscious being.

So "Bukowski shows brain chemical activity XYZ at point abc in the brain" does NOT contain the same information as "Bukowski is seeing a red car with a yellow roof"

This is like my answer to the question, "if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" I say no, it doesn't make sound. It creates vibrations in the air, sure, but vibrations in the air are not sound. They may cause sound, but sound is what we consciously experience because of vibrations.

  • Like 3
Link to post
30 minutes ago, Fether said:

The matter of religion. There either is or isn’t a God. And he either does or does not have laws and expectations. Yet this concept on relative truth cares little of the answers and chooses to focus on and put more weight on individual experience.

I guess the point is that we don’t have objective access to that knowledge. All you have is your personal truth or experience that God exists. Now there is an objective truth out there somewhere, but your subjective experience is never going to convince me. 

  • Like 1
Link to post

I have had this analogy floating around on my mind.

2+2 is indeed 4. That is an absolute truth and will not change.

but what is x+y=z? Well it can be anything assuming it make sense and doesn’t break any laws.

But say there is a test a teacher is giving out and it accounts for 100% of your grade. This test has one question and the instructions are

”Solve x+y=z. There is only one combination and order of numbers I will accept.”

you can take the relative truth approach, accept that the answer is completely unknowable and treat every combination of numbers with equal value.

Or you can take the approach where you follow the direction of the class’s TA (teacher assistant) who is giving you the answer to the question. 

Your grade in this class will dictate the course of the rest of your life.

The difficulty here is that There would likely be dozens of TA’s giving different directions and different answers. But it is still your responsibility to answer the question correctly and get the 100%.

(and now hops in basic Latter-day Saint theology)

But here is the kicker. The teacher isn’t Actually grading you on a perfect answer. Rather, she is looking for effort on the student’s part to seek out what is the absolute truth and will grade us based on our effort and the faith we have in the answers she provides through her TA’s even when some may be mistaken on the correct answer (ie different religions and organizations that have small amounts of truth, but not the whole absolute truth). It will be those that seek the answer that will pass the class.

Related scriptures to the analogy: 1 Nephi 10:6, Doctrine and Covenants 82:3, 2 Nephi 25:23, Romans 4:22-26, 2 Nephi 28:29-30, Moroni 10:30-32, 3 Nephi 19:31

 

To me, buying into the relative/personal truth concept is an unfaithful approach to following God and will lead to the reaping of no rewards.

You may say that my personal is that there is no personal truth. There either is or is not a God regardless of experience. I would actually be ok accepting that haha.

Link to post
5 hours ago, california boy said:

Probably most about what you know to be true about Mormonism is only personal truth.

And pray tell what YOU know about Mormonism that is other than "personal truth"?  

Had any objective experiences that we can experimentally replicate, or anyone around the world can replicate?

Link to post
41 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I guess the point is that we don’t have objective access to that knowledge. All you have is your personal truth or experience that God exists. Now there is an objective truth out there somewhere, but your subjective experience is never going to convince me. 

And I wouldn’t expect it to. I wouldn’t even attempt to persuade anyone with my own experiences (as in all truth they are far from miraculous). 

Now going back to the post that triggered it all:

On 11/9/2019 at 9:57 AM, HappyJackWagon said:

OR...

Have you ever been in a room when one person sweats and says the temperature is too hot, while another person in the same room shivers and claims it is too cold?

Which is the truth? Is it too cold or too hot? Or are both true to the individual who is sweating or shivering? Or is the only "truth" the fact that the thermostat states a temperature of 68 degrees,  regardless of the various interpretations of how it is experienced?

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.

It’s not a matter of preference as in it being cold or hot. It is a guy saying tell me the temperature and who ever is wrong dies. one person is saying “dang it is 96 degrees in here” and the other saying “heck no! It is like 38 degrees in here”. There is indeed a correct temperature. Someone is right (or at least closest) and the other is wrong. Someone will surely die while the other lives because of the objectively true answer. they are putting their eternal existence on the line as they bet on what the exact temperature is.

I believe entirely in the concept of personal truth, I just feel it is inappropriately applied to religion.

Link to post
35 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

And pray tell what YOU know about Mormonism that is other than "personal truth"?  

Had any objective experiences that we can experimentally replicate, or anyone around the world can replicate?

I am not sure what you are asking.  It doesn't help when you take one sentence out of context and ask a vague question.  What are you looking for from me?  My own reasons for no longer believing Church leaders speak for God?

Link to post
27 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is like my answer to the question, "if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" I say no, it doesn't make sound. It creates vibrations in the air, sure, but vibrations in the air are not sound. They may cause sound, but sound is what we consciously experience because of vibrations.

Yep good points, I agree.

But it can be taken further.  Speaking of "vibrations in the air" that were never heard, is still projecting a human description - vibrations- and air,  - not the ground shaking for example-  on something NOT perceived by a human!   There is no evidence FOR the "vibrations in the air" so technically even THAT is not an "objective" description!   Perhaps Martians landed and took their tractor beam and uprooted the tree and laid it down in perfect silence!  ;)  We infer that it "fell" and made "vibrations in the air" but we cannot say we know with absolute certainty.

"Vibrations in the air" ALSO are not descriptions of human experiences, the experience would possibly be described as a "loud, thunderous and terrifying crash"  IF indeed one was there to hear it!

Again I like the analogy of an undiscovered species does not "exist" until it is described by someone.   Think about it.  WHAT IS IT if it is not described?  How can you say something exists if you can't describe it?  What IS IT?

This is why the "existence" of God is such a thorny problem if one takes it objectively, ie: that one has to prove it to another person.   Yet one CAN speak of God existing for oneself personally- just as any experience - as an EXPERIENCE - "really happened" for the person experiencing it.

On the other hand, the EXPERIENCE can be known- at least by the one experiencing it- with absolute certainty.   I KNOW I saw the tree fall- even if it was a hallucination!  I had the experience and I define it with the words "I saw the tree fall".

 

 

Link to post
1 hour ago, Fether said:

The matter of religion. There either is or isn’t a God. And he either does or does not have laws and expectations. Yet this concept on relative truth cares little of the answers and chooses to focus on and put more weight on individual experience.

The truth part is God may exist or may not exist.  The answer to that question is not an absolute truth.

Link to post
7 hours ago, Fether said:

. Whether the church puts down homosexuals or not, it has nothing to do with its truthfulness or lack thereof.

If truthfulness is in part determined by how one experiences something, then things that affect that experience become part of the truth.  So if one assumes living the Gospel and being among people who live the Gospel will create a greater sense of love and belonging and then they don’t believe they have experienced that within the Church, that becomes evidence for its lack of truthfulness for them where for someone who does believe they have experienced greater love might see it as evidence for the Church being a true vehicle of God’s authority or teachings.

Because we don’t have access to another way to determine the reality of God and all things divine, our personal experiences become people’s evidence. We believe the Gospel is true because of our personal experience of the Spirit or because of the effect of the Gospel in our life or something else we have chosen to be evidence.  And what is evidence to us may not be evidence to someone else (they may not care about experiences of increased love, but see some other experiences as signs of truth).

I personally find the use of “my truth” cliched, but I think what it stands for is a valid idea. I just dislike the current shorthand/label for it. 

Edited by Calm
Link to post
37 minutes ago, Fether said:

And I wouldn’t expect it to. I wouldn’t even attempt to persuade anyone with my own experiences (as in all truth they are far from miraculous). 

Now going back to the post that triggered it all:

It’s not a matter of preference as in it being cold or hot. It is a guy saying tell me the temperature and who ever is wrong dies. one person is saying “dang it is 96 degrees in here” and the other saying “heck no! It is like 38 degrees in here”. There is indeed a correct temperature. Someone is right (or at least closest) and the other is wrong. Someone will surely die while the other lives because of the objectively true answer. they are putting their eternal existence on the line as they bet on what the exact temperature is.

I believe entirely in the concept of personal truth, I just feel it is inappropriately applied to religion.

Except that temperature has a specific definition that is common to everyone. Even then you have apparently assumed people will report in Fahrenheit instead of Celsius, or perhaps a more true Rankin, or Kelvin. Temperature itself is an aggregate measure. It doesn’t make sense to talk about the temperature of a molecule, but rather it’s mass and velocity. 
 

But yes, once we make a bunch of initial assumptions and all agree on the assumptions, then yes there is a correct temperature. This is one of the great things about science, mathematics, and logic. 
 

There is no analogy to God. He (if he exists) doesn’t play according to the rules of science. If he did we could do a double blinded study of priesthood power in blessings and be done with it. Since he doesn’t play by a set of rules that we can all universally agree on, God and religion fall squarely into personal truth. All we can say is what our own personal experience is with him/her. Is there some objective truth about God’s existence? Sure, but we mere mortals don’t have access to it in a repeatable provable way. So much like your “black woman” speaking her truth, all you have is your truth. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
  • Like 2
Link to post
4 hours ago, Fether said:

to me at least, seemingly rejects that there is an absolute truth out there regardless of whether we are experiencing it or not

I think it is often used sloppily by people who haven’t thought it through, but ultimately I do believe “personal truth” labels a valid idea where it is recognized there may well be an absolute truth out there, but currently we don’t have access to it if it does exist, so it is best to focus on what we do have access to, including recognizing the limitations. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, Fether said:

2+2 is indeed 4. That is an absolute truth and will not change.

That depends on whether you are talking about the number or numeral.  I can say that 2+2=4 is nonsense and 2+2 really equals 11 in another context, for example in base 3, or 1 in Modulo 3

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/2-2-doesnt-always-equal-4-2014-6/amp

Then there is the issue of what that 2 means.

http://virgil.azwestern.edu/~dag/lol/TwoPlusTwo.html

Edited by Calm
Link to post

One more question then. And I am nor trying to set an argumentative trap. Just curious as to some of your answers. 

What value is there in asserting that the belief in God and this church is a relative truth and cannot be an absolute truth?

Link to post
6 minutes ago, Fether said:

There is indeed a correct temperature.

In one sense yes, and in another no.

In this case the "correct temperature" has the same definitional problems as "truth"

First of all the scale was made up by humans.  It does not exist in nature. 

 In fact there are at least two scales- one Fahrenheit and the other Celsius / Kelvin. 

Celsius was created by arbitrarily assigning the value 100 degrees to the point where water "boils" - which is measured by a HUMAN EXPERIENCE- judging if a liquid is "bubling"

Quote

Boiling - the action of bringing a liquid to the temperature at which it bubbles and turns to vapor.

So all you are saying is that

"1OO degrees Celsius is the temperature at which humans perceive what they define as "bubbles" forming in water"

And then arbitrarily picking the distance between degrees.

So all you have done is quantify a human invented scale and defined ways to measure temperature accepted by humans to be "correct" all of which is based on a human experience of water "boiling"

All one can get wrong is having the thermometer incorrectly calibrated or some error in measurement.

It's still all based on human parameters invented to define human experience!

Quite honestly, you do not understand that this discussion is based on 2000 years of western philosophy and represents the BEST ideas philosophers have come up with over 2000 years

You want absolute truth?   Here it is- you personally, smart as you are,  are not going to come up with a refutation of a point of view which is the best we can do after 2000 years of discussing it.

Thanks for the discussion but I won't discuss this point with you any further.

When the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy says this, and after 50 years of my personal study and education tell me the same thing, I think I will stick with it, even though you may be "right" IF and only IF there IS such a thing as "right" in this context.

Pardon me for saying so I suppose, but I don't think you are going to overthrow 2000 years of western philosophy.

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

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.) The following passages all contain recognizable versions of the doctrine, though they differ on points of detail.

 

 

Link to post
14 minutes ago, Fether said:

One more question then. And I am nor trying to set an argumentative trap. Just curious as to some of your answers. 

What value is there in asserting that the belief in God and this church is a relative truth and cannot be an absolute truth?

It may prevent conflict if people accept there are valid reasons that someone believes differently than they do. 

It can improve communication as it leads (hopefully) people to examine their own assumptions and others’.

Edited by Calm
  • Like 1
Link to post
41 minutes ago, california boy said:

I am not sure what you are asking.  It doesn't help when you take one sentence out of context and ask a vague question.  What are you looking for from me?  My own reasons for no longer believing Church leaders speak for God?

You're right, sorry.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Fether said:

2+2 is indeed 4. That is an absolute truth and will not change.

Quite true, the only problem is that it is vacuous and a tautology.

It is true "by definition" so if you want absolute truth there you go.  It just doesn't tell us anything about the world, and like every other assertion, tells us something about how humans think.

It's exactly like saying A=A

What do you learn from A=A?

Quote

 

tau·tol·o·gy

/tôˈtäləjē/

Learn to pronounce

noun

the saying of the same thing twice in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g., they arrived one after the other in succession ).

Similar:

repetition

repetitiveness

repetitiousness

reiteration

redundancy

superfluity

periphrasis

iteration

duplication

wordiness

long-windedness

prolixity

verbiage

verbosity

pleonasm

perissology

a phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words.

plural noun: tautologies

LOGIC

a statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.

 

 

Link to post

I find the 2+2=4 example to be very good, actually. 2+2 only equals 4 if you're working in decimal notation (base 10). If you are working in binary, then the exact same numbers would be expressed as 10+10=100. In binary, that equation is exactly as "true" as 2+2=4 is in decimal. Under base 3, you would get 2+2=11.

So, it really does come down to a frame of reference and how you perceive the inputs you are given. These are all just ways of describing concepts. I personally believe in absolute truth, but I can only come closer to it through personal experience, which always adds a certain percentage of error to the mix.

  • Like 4
Link to post
On 11/8/2019 at 5:11 PM, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Of course, but in “most” as well as “other” circumstances it wouldn’t happen. After a straight forward read of Oaks, it would appear that in his view more than 50 percent (most) families would not allow a same sex partner into the home. 

For sure, you got me! I think all families should welcome their children’s loving partners into their home with extremely rare exceptions. 

No one is asking them enter a same sex relationship. Let’s turn this around. Let’s say someone thought all Latter-day Saints were cultists bound for hell. Their child converted and married a Latter-day Saint. They tell the child that the child can visit, but can’t wear garments, talk about their religion, bring their spouse or mention the religion in any other way. The child tells them exactly where they can put their “love”. Who is emotionally blackmailing who here?

In such an instance, I would say the child who rebuffs his parents’ love is wrong to do so — even if his parents do harbor an unjust attitude toward the Church and its members. The child should recognize how deeply held his parents’ beliefs and values are, that it was he, not the parents, who changed, and that it is important to exercise tolerance for the sake of preserving family relationships as best as can be done under the circumstances. 
—————

By the way, to be grammatically correct, you should have phrased your question as “Who is blackmailing <whom>”. <Who> in the first position is a subject and therefore takes the subjective form. <Whom> in the second position is an object and therefore takes the objective form. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
Link to post
3 hours ago, rchorse said:

I find the 2+2=4 example to be very good, actually. 2+2 only equals 4 if you're working in decimal notation (base 10). If you are working in binary, then the exact same numbers would be expressed as 10+10=100. In binary, that equation is exactly as "true" as 2+2=4 is in decimal. Under base 3, you would get 2+2=11.

So, it really does come down to a frame of reference and how you perceive the inputs you are given. These are all just ways of describing concepts. I personally believe in absolute truth, but I can only come closer to it through personal experience, which always adds a certain percentage of error to the mix.

Your argument is an instance of the informal fallacy of moving the goal posts. 
 

In all but the rarest of instances, when it is said that 2 + 2 = 4, the unspoken assumption by all parties present is that a decimal system is implied. To unilaterally and arbitrarily change the frame of reference to a binary rather than a decimal base amounts to changing the terms of reference. The terms of the statement are thus changed, not the truth itself. Truth remains absolute conceptually. 

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

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...