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Why Niceness Weakens Our Witness


Calm

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4 hours ago, Ahab said:

for some reason I'm hearing the song from Huey Luis and the News called The Power of Love but while thinking of the power of Words.

Words do have power.  They remind me of the babe.  The babe with the power.  The power of the babe.

But now you are quoting David Bowie in Labyrinth.  But I don't think you meant it the way he did.

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5 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

But now you are quoting David Bowie in Labyrinth.  But I don't think you meant it the way he did.

But why don't you think I meant what I meant the way he did? But for David Bowie I might not have even been reminded of who the babe is.

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4 hours ago, CV75 said:

Thank you. Let me see if I'm getting this: As a 3-year-old, I learned the word “game” (an invention, words and language not being naturally-occurring) and understood it to mean “board games” without having been provided a verbal definition from my mother, but by getting a demonstration through the activity. I created an intuitive recognition or interpretation in my mind so that if someone asked me what a game was, I could tell them or define it as “Chutes and Ladders” or “a fun thing we do,” or even “eager or willing to do something new or challenging like hunting wild mammals or birds for sport or food.”

So, would it be correct to say that natural communication is the non-verbal exchange between two people (which entails understanding), and that language and symbols are the invented, artificial representation of the non-verbal that typically accompanies the natural experience and becomes second nature? Both use physical means to affect the five senses which prompt the experience and understanding.

I hope @Dan McClellan comments on this because I actually know virtually nothing about Hebrew, but I think there is another aspect of this very important part of knowledge and communication- the difference between a non-verbal type of what I think of as 'immersed' knowing and a more factual type of knowing which becomes important in some philosophical contexts.

I think there is a Hebrew word which we represent as "yadah" which to me represents what I understand as a kind of "immersed" and non-verbal knowing as opposed to factual knowledge.  If I understand correctly, its usage presupposes a personal context of knowledge between two or more people which allows those in that sphere of personal knowledge to communicate easily and nearly non-verbally.

An instance of factual knowledge would be something like "Columbus discovered America in 1492", while "yadah" might be explained as perhaps the experience between a husband and wife where the level of contextual understanding between them is so extensive that a mere flicker of an eyelash might convey paragraphs if all the meaning of that flicker between those two people even could be expressed verbally.

It's like Wittgenstein's notion of "language games" exemplified this idea where the word "game" meant the linguistic context of the situation being experiened.  An example he uses is the context of two brick layers working together where single words like "trowel" might mean "Please hand me the trowel" or "brick" or "more" or "later" might convey more that is obvious.   It is the CONTEXT that gives meaning even to a grunt, not necessarily a word itself. 

On the other hand, factual knowledge or communication is often ambiguous and the meaning may be subject to disagreement, like perhaps questions over Book of Mormon historicity.

In my way of thinking the "non-verbal" communication/knowedge type is close to expressing "direct experience" which relates to spiritual experience.  It is like communicating the color blue to a blind person.  They are excluded from the community of people who can see color and remain out of the context of that language game

If I have the usage right, we "know" God in our hearts in a non-verbal way,  ("yaddah"?) even if we sometimes use words.   St Francis: "Preach the gospel continually- when necessary use words"  

 

 

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55 minutes ago, Calm said:

Why do you assume he isn’t there?  He sees families, friends, acquaintances, and strangers being harmed by the CES Letter and wants to protect them out of love. And he uses the strongest tools he has for the strongest effect because a light touch isn’t going to do much. 
 

I find that very understandable.  And loving. 

Thanks for not quoting my whole post, I noticed I spelled "jest" "gist", so I wasn't all the way serious about my post about him changing back to what he was in the video with Shawn. I do notice his tone is worse though. I wonder if they all came together, he, John Dehlin, Jeremy Runnells, Cardon and his other friend, forgot the name. And if some kind of agreement to disagreement could happen. I believe John has become less critical, IMO. Or I may be wrong. 

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Where is that Kwaku, I hope he comes back.

I agree with Calm, he is still there.  Thank you for posting these interviews of him, by the way, I have watched much of them and am really impressed with Kwaku.  He is a great kid and has a lot of heart to offer.  I can see why FairMormon viewed him as an asset and wanted to tap into his youthful vibe.  What 22 year old kid has it all figured out though or is without any fault?  I think Kwaku has a good heart and is genuinely kind in every interview or debate I have watched him in.  There certainly is a side to him however that gets a kick our of roasting others that comes through more in the videos he makes.  He talks about this side of him which extends back to his youth...as in, younger than he is now, as he is still youthful in my eyes.  I think we all have that side in us to some degree and it shouldn't define who we are overall though.  At the same time, as defenders of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need to be held up to a higher standard and should not promote and excuse mocking behavior in our defense.  It is counterproductive to the goal of Zion.  FairMormon should utilize what Kwaku has to offer, but I hope they take some accountability for the delivery which may set a damaging tone of apologetics for a future generation.  Burn the bad fruit, graft in the good - the root is still good though.  While we shouldn't be judgmental and condemn Kwaku for being human, or FairMormon, I think we should promote and hold them to a higher standard.  It sounds like that is where they hope to steer the project, so that is hopeful.   

Edited by pogi
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8 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I hope @Dan McClellan comments on this because I actually know virtually nothing about Hebrew, but I think there is another aspect of this very important part of knowledge and communication- the difference between a non-verbal type of what I think of as 'immersed' knowing and a more factual type of knowing which becomes important in some philosophical contexts.

I think there is a Hebrew word which we represent as "yadah" which to me represents what I understand as a kind of "immersed" and non-verbal knowing as opposed to factual knowledge.  If I understand correctly, its usage presupposes a personal context of knowledge between two or more people which allows those in that sphere of personal knowledge to communicate easily and nearly non-verbally.

An instance of factual knowledge would be something like "Columbus discovered America in 1492", while "yadah" might be explained as perhaps the experience between a husband and wife where the level of contextual understanding between them is so extensive that a mere flicker of an eyelash might convey paragraphs if all the meaning of that flicker between those two people even could be expressed verbally.

It's like Wittgenstein's notion of "language games" exemplified this idea where the word "game" meant the linguistic context of the situation being experiened.  An example he uses is the context of two brick layers working together where single words like "trowel" might mean "Please hand me the trowel" or "brick" or "more" or "later" might convey more that is obvious.   It is the CONTEXT that gives meaning even to a grunt, not necessarily a word itself. 

On the other hand, factual knowledge or communication is often ambiguous and the meaning may be subject to disagreement, like perhaps questions over Book of Mormon historicity.

In my way of thinking the "non-verbal" communication/knowedge type is close to expressing "direct experience" which relates to spiritual experience.  It is like communicating the color blue to a blind person.  They are excluded from the community of people who can see color and remain out of the context of that language game

If I have the usage right, we "know" God in our hearts in a non-verbal way,  ("yaddah"?) even if we sometimes use words.   St Francis: "Preach the gospel continually- when necessary use words"  

Yes, I can see that also from my own experience. I'm wondering if that is also what he means by "how people naturally communicate".

It may be the answer to my questions in a subsequent post: "How do people naturally communicate (i.e., communicate without using symbols that have definitions)? Does that level of communication refer only the neurological processes that manage the symbols being exchanged (so that we are effectively communicating only within ourselves)?"

I was trying to avoid asking for a definition for "naturally communicate" :) !

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2 hours ago, Ahab said:

... or to align with the thoughts I was expressing, the omnipotent power of the Word itself.

By the way, you got me again on another word.  I had to look up the word instantiates 

The story of Christ becoming human opens itself up to BECOME an expression of that love in itself.  The story itself becomes an example, a small re-creation, in our hearts,  of God's humility and therefore love for us.

It's one of the ways that reality is CREATED by words.

IN the correct context "I say unto you 'receive the Holy Ghost' and the statement itself creates the event and a real change within the individual. 

It may be accepted or rejected, but that is a different issue. 

" "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night: and the evening and the morning were the first day."

He spoke their reality into pragmatic existence and that tool/concept is still how we see reality

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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28 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Yes, I can see that also from my own experience. I'm wondering if that is also what he means by "how people naturally communicate".

It may be the answer to my questions in a subsequent post: "How do people naturally communicate (i.e., communicate without using symbols that have definitions)? Does that level of communication refer only the neurological processes that manage the symbols being exchanged (so that we are effectively communicating only within ourselves)?"

I was trying to avoid asking for a definition for "naturally communicate" :) !

Yeah, definitions are a useless invention ;)

The best definition really doesn't tell us any more than "A=A"- what dictionary writers hope for is nothing more than A=A!   That is the BEST they can accomplish, the best they can do is not say anything about what a word MEANS, but give us a perfect synonym- which is impossible in itself.  The reason TWO words exist AS "synonyms" is because their nuances in usage- not meaning- are actually slightly different, or there would be no need for two words instead of one.  The second would have just dropped out of usage as useless because the nuances of the first were better in usage.

And besides most arguments are about things like what "freedom" really "means" is not about usage anyway- those kinds of discussions usually actually go nowhere and if anything are semantic discussions of dubious value!   And then we have someone invent different kinds of "freedom" and then there is freedom vs determinism and semantics beyond semantics into infinity!

Yet every high school talk opens with what?   "This talk is about x. The dictionary tells us that x means......"

Oy Vey already!

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I agree with Calm, he is still there.  Thank you for posting these interviews of him, by the way, I have watched much of them and am really impressed with Kwaku.  He is a great kid and has a lot of heart to offer.  I can see why FairMormon viewed him as an asset and wanted to tap into his youthful vibe.  What 22 year old kid has it all figured out though or is without any fault?  I think Kwaku has a good heart and is genuinely kind in every interview or debate I have watched him in.  There certainly is a side to him however that gets a kick our of roasting others that comes through more in the videos he makes.  He talks about this side of him which extends back to his youth...as in, younger than he is now, as he is still youthful in my eyes.  I think we all have that side in us to some degree and it shouldn't define who we are overall though.  At the same time, as defenders of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need to be held up to a higher standard and should not promote and excuse mocking behavior in our defense.  It is counterproductive to the goal of Zion.  FairMormon should utilize what Kwaku has to offer, but I hope they take some accountability for the delivery which may set a damaging tone of apologetics for a future generation.  Burn the bad fruit, graft in the good - the root is still good though.  While we shouldn't be judgmental and condemn Kwaku for being human, or FairMormon, I think we should promote and hold them to a higher standard.  It sounds like that is where they hope to steer the project, so that is hopeful.   

I think you just made me have an idea, light bulb moment, FM hasn't had many youth his age discuss issues from critics. Just the "boomers". So I hope in the future they can create some better YouTubes that aren't dumbing down. I believe the millennials don't need dumbing down. I think the group in these videos could be much more sincere than the slapstick wannabe comedy shows like now. They should do more what they did when discussing whether they are deznets or progmos in the posted video in the other thread. I kind of felt the spirit, no lie, toward the end actually.

Edited by Tacenda
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2 hours ago, pogi said:

At the same time, as defenders of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need to be held up to a higher standard and should not promote and excuse mocking behavior in our defense.  It is counterproductive to the  goal of Zion  

It’s a shame someone wasn’t around to reign in Elijah during his ministry. 

‘And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked [the prophets of Baal], and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked’. 

And then there’s the matter of Brigham Young...

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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I rest my case, darn, was trying to keep an open mind. The starting of this doesn't sit well. But I'm only in for the first few minutes so far, hopefully they settle down! EDIT: Thank heavens, they have started to settle down, and have a discussion. Kwaku mentions someone trying to break in the temple with porn stars, he won't mention who it is but we all know it's newnamenoah. And from what I remember, he decided against doing what they are saying, thank goodness, plus where did NNN go? This video is perfect for this topic BTW! They are discussing "niceness"! This is what I'm talking about, they are having a discussion, which is turning out to be wonderful, and needed. Hope we see more of this! 

 

Edited by Tacenda
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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

It’s a shame someone wasn’t around to reign in Elijah during his ministry. 

‘And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked [the prophets of Baal], and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked’. 

And then there’s the matter of Brigham Young...

I still think the biggest own in history was when Jesus told the Pharisees to carry His reply back to Herod with "Go ye and tell that fox.." and then, when hauled before Herod, didn't even acknowledge his questions. From the looks of it Jesus had some lingering respect for at least the office of the Pharisees, high priests, and Pilate, but He had only contempt for Herod Antipas.  I wonder how it must feel to be the loathsome individual who murdered John the Baptist on a dare and along the way earned the only personal epithet to ever fall from the lips of the mortal Lord of Sabaoth. 

Actually it probably has something to do with the throne Herod sat on. He claimed to be a Jewish king. Christ accepted the suzerainty of the Romans over Israel. He accepted that the Pharisees had authority as they sat in Moses' seat, that the chief priests had authority in the place of Aaron. But Herod made pretension to the throne of David, which rightly belonged to Christ Himself. Any deference to Herod would be more than he deserved, and his dynasty protected their claims to power by offending the little ones in the most profound way possible, so no wonder Christ tweaked their noses at every opportunity. 

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Yeah, definitions are a useless invention ;)

The best definition really doesn't tell us any more than "A=A"- what dictionary writers hope for is nothing more than A=A!   That is the BEST they can accomplish, the best they can do is not say anything about what a word MEANS, but give us a perfect synonym- which is impossible in itself.  The reason TWO words exist AS "synonyms" is because their nuances in usage- not meaning- are actually slightly different, or there would be no need for two words instead of one.  The second would have just dropped out of usage as useless because the nuances of the first were better in usage.

And besides most arguments are about things like what "freedom" really "means" is not about usage anyway- those kinds of discussions usually actually go nowhere and if anything are semantic discussions of dubious value!   And then we have someone invent different kinds of "freedom" and then there is freedom vs determinism and semantics beyond semantics into infinity!

Yet every high school talk opens with what?   "This talk is about x. The dictionary tells us that x means......"

Oy Vey already!

(just one more time around :) ) How would you describe how people naturally communicate?

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4 hours ago, pogi said:

While we shouldn't be judgmental and condemn Kwaku for being human, or FairMormon, I think we should promote and hold them to a higher standard.  It sounds like that is where they hope to steer the project, so that is hopeful.   

Your summary is how I see things at this point. He is 22, he has been a member for 4 years. He comes to BYU with that nonmember background...how could he not see it as overboard in many ways and not feel like poking at it to shake it up?  
 

If he was doing what he did on a critical level, what typical critic would care?  They would be able to relate. But when put on defensive for belief, sensitivity about personal jabs is going to increase. It is just human, so I get that. 
 

But I am lost on the vehemence from many given he is 22, a convert, and minority.  
 

From members too. Usually they are more protective of young converts in my experience.  I hope they take the time to learn more about him. Is he not showing enough (or any) deference to those older than him setting off triggers?

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

It’s a shame someone wasn’t around to reign in Elijah during his ministry. 

‘And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked [the prophets of Baal], and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked’. 

And then there’s the matter of Brigham Young...

Our modern, living prophets have set a different and better tone, and have counseled us to follow. 

Several inspiring quotes have been shared.  I could easily find a dozen more.  We have counsel left and right about living a higher law, which Elijah was not expected to live.  Elijah was taught eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, to love your neighbor and hate your enemy (Matt 5:43), but Christ raised the bar to love our enemy, to be one with that son which shines upon the righteous and the wicked.  to be the light on the hill.   To leave judgement and condemnation to God and forbid such ourselves.  Our enemies may mock us in their rameumptons and large and spacious buildings, but we have been counseled to take a different path as we walk with our feed shod with peace - to live in the world but not of it, to turn the other cheek - to not give attention to the mote in our brothers eye (let alone mock it), but to focus more on our own standards.  We are to be ensigns.  

The counsel is overwhelming.  There are numerous teachings and counsel from the modern prophets and general authorities, inspiring us away from a mocking spirit, I am yet to find a single passage or quote which encourages/condones mocking in general, let alone as a disciple in defense of our faith.  Our church publishes to the contrary.  And even when we are to use sharpness, it is only when inspired by the spirit of God, and done with a heart of kindness and compassion, showing afterwords an increase of love...

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1975/04/mocking-our-brother?lang=eng

"Don't be a mock star" says one article.  Is that the future of apologetics in the rising generation?  Are we inspiring mock stars with all of this? 

Brigham Young was inspiring in many ways, but we was no polished stone.

Quote

 

30 And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a amock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?

31 Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the atime is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!

(Alma 5:30–31).

 

 

Edited by pogi
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10 minutes ago, Calm said:

Your summary is how I see things at this point. He is 22, he has been a member for 4 years. He comes to BYU with that nonmember background...how could he not see it as overboard in many ways and not feel like poking at it to shake it up?  
 

If he was doing what he did on a critical level, what typical critic would care?  They would be able to relate. But when put on defensive for belief, sensitivity about personal jabs is going to increase. It is just human, so I get that. 
 

But I am lost on the vehemence from many given he is 22, a convert, and minority.  
 

From members too. Usually they are more protective of young converts in my experience.  I hope they take the time to learn more about him. Is he not showing enough (or any) deference to those older than him setting off triggers?

I have nothing to add, I just want to register agreement in stronger terms than just a like. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

We have counsel left and right about living a higher law, which Elijah was not expected to live.

You honestly believe that Old Testament prophets did not understand or live the higher law themselves? I don't.

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I don't think any prophet, old testament, new testament, or latter day was/is perfect. Except for Jesus, anyway. I think we all have to make our own judgment about which of their recorded words and actions were/are inspired.

I personally love Brigham Young, for example, but I also think he had some weaknesses, like we all do, and said some things he shouldn't have. Just like I sometimes say things I shouldn't.

Edited by rchorse
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42 minutes ago, rchorse said:

I personally love Brigham Young, for example, but I also think he had some weaknesses, like we all do, and said some things he shouldn't have.

Oh Deznat 🤦‍♂️ : exmormon

https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/73365-deznat-deseret-nation-white-nationalism-part-2/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-1210004683

 

Edited by Ipod Touch
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No where in the scriptures are we told to be nice.

 

being nice is passive. It’s a reaction to others. We are afraid to rock the boat so we don’t correct something that should be corrected. We let someone abuse us because we don’t want to be “the bad guy”

Nice is about how others view us.

 

Jesus called us to be bold & kind. Those are active attributes. Those require courage. They are inner virtues that don’t care about what others think of us, we will do what is right 

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5 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

It’s a shame someone wasn’t around to reign in Elijah during his ministry. 

‘And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked [the prophets of Baal], and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked’. 

And then there’s the matter of Brigham Young...

Someone should have restrained Ammon and Captain Moroni too I suppose 

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Actually Ammon is a pretty good example. In a physical self-defense situation he was a force of nature but he was an exemplar of service and humility in any other situation. Gentleness is all the more praiseworthy when the ability to be otherwise is there. 

As for the examples of Captain Moroni and Elijah, it's a little different. Religion was woven into the state and it was a matter of kill or be killed. And so they did. Thankfully, we do not live under such conditions. Better to follow the examples of apostles and prophets in conditions closer to our own. I can think of 15 of the top of my head which would be good candidates. 

I'll put it on the record that I generally agree with @Calm when it comes to these videos though. 

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