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6 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Thank you for posting it. I’m always struck at how much people like you (and me) wanted to make belief work and how hard we tried to hold on. Your post just reminds me that you are a man of integrity. 

But, didn't you get the memo?  We were actually just lazy, wanted to sin, got offended, or are otherwise bad, hopeless creatures who offer the world no hope?

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Just now, ttribe said:

But, didn't you get the memo?  We were actually just lazy, wanted to sin, got offended, or are otherwise bad, hopeless creatures who offer the world no hope?

Well, if the shoe fits ...

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1 hour ago, ttribe said:

I agree there is an element of intent in play, but I don't know that it has the bright line of the typical notion of honesty between two, or more, parties.  Realizing I am a sample size of 1, let me give you a personal example:  5 years into my career I decided to go back to school a pursue a doctorate (which I didn't finish...but that's another story).  My minor in my PhD program was Judgment & Decision Making; as such, I spent a great deal of time studying research on cognitive biases and how they effect us.  During this time period, I was very much a believer.  In fact, in retrospect, I might say that the strength of my belief was second only to my mission in terms of periods of my life.  I had just lost my dad and I very much wanted to know I would see him again.  In the course of my studies on bias and the evaluation of evidence leading to decisions, I distinctly recall thinking that these biases didn't apply to my testimony of the Church due to the fact that I believed, very strongly, that I had received answers to prayers regarding the Church's truth claims.  I built a wall between my spiritual beliefs and my academic learning.  I did it intentionally, although I don't know that I would have admitted it at the time.

After leaving my PhD program to pursue a career in forensic accounting, I received a significant amount of training in investigations and evaluation of evidence.  I embraced a relatively concrete set of steps encompassing a process for evaluating evidence and rendering opinions which were suitable for a court of law.  But, once again, I built a wall between my spiritual beliefs and my professional learning and experience.  I did this intentionally, telling myself that the spiritual elements of the Church's truth claims overrode the temporal ones (e.g. the actual occurrence of events critical to the Church's claims of a restoration).

As the years wore on, and for reasons I am not comfortable discussing here, those walls started to break down.  I began re-evaluating old evidence in the combined light of new evidence as well as old knowledge and skills I'd not yet applied to my spiritual beliefs.  Those walls crumbled quickly and the flood gates opened.  Despite trying for an extended period of time, with all the energy I had left, to convince myself to believe in the Church's truth claims, it simply wasn't sustainable. 

I hadn't been intellectually honest with myself when I built those walls. If I really believed in the validity of the research on cognitive biases and on the investigatory steps I was practicing, then I should have applied them across the board in my life.  But, I didn't and went merrily on my way until circumstances changed.  So, yes, I engaged in an act of self-deception, but I did so with the best of intentions and with (long-term) disastrous outcomes.

I can respect that process.  But none of that contradicted what I said. 

You intentionally chose to allow your bias to stop you from doing what you believed/had been taught in a secular field you needed to do to find truth.  Considering your intent and your training and your feelings that you've shared about everything, it makes sense that you now believe you were being dishonest in that approach.  You are in the best position to judge yourself on that.

My only point is that you can't be accidentally intellectually dishonest.  It's the intent behind the actions that determine the label.  I understand that sometimes people might say they are being honest and then, based on what they know about themselves, what had been going on in their head, and changes to their belief systems, admit later that they weren't being as honest as they thought.  But that is not something that anyone else can judge. 

Accusations or labels of intellectual dis/honesty don't have anything to do what whether or not we are being honest with ourselves.  That giant can of psychological worms is a different topic.  

 

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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

 

President Nelson teaches that the answers he provides work for everyone and all life's obstacles. He might know that for himself but he does not know it for everyone. But claiming it does causes harm.

 

He believes he does know it for everyone. It would be intellectually dishonest for him to say otherwise, given what he believes he knows to be true.

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

I can respect that process.  But none of that contradicted what I said. 

You intentionally chose to allow your bias to stop you from doing what you believed/had been taught in a secular field you needed to do to find truth.  Considering your intent and your training and your feelings that you've shared about everything, it makes sense that you now believe you were being dishonest in that approach.  You are in the best position to judge yourself on that.

My only point is that you can't be accidentally intellectually dishonest.  It's the intent behind the actions that determine the label.  I understand that sometimes people might say they are being honest and then, based on what they know about themselves, what had been going on in their head, and changes to their belief systems, admit later that they weren't being as honest as they thought.  But that is not something that anyone else can judge. 

Accusations or labels of intellectual dis/honesty don't have anything to do what whether or not we are being honest with ourselves.  That giant can of psychological worms is a different topic.  

 

Like I said, just a sample size of 1.  Take it for what it's worth.

 

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1 hour ago, ttribe said:

I don't follow your point on infallibility.  I can simultaneously accept that I am infallible and do everything in my power to remain intellectually honest.

As to the inescapable nature of bias, you are correct in so far as we are talking about our own individual susceptibility to bias, but I do not agree with your assertion that their invisibility is a necessary condition to their existence.  My studies of the research tells me that we can become aware of our biases, but still be victimized by them.  Nevertheless, increasing our awareness of personal biases can have the effect of reducing the impacts of those biases on our decision making.

I am very confused by this post.  First of all, I am presuming there is a typo in the first line- as you know I am sure. "Infallible" means that one CANNOT make mistakes and typically infallibility is ascribed only to Popes and gods. ;)  Knowing everything would of course imply that one almost did not need intellectual "honesty" because, knowing everything, all one would have to do is state his own opinion and he would be right.  It would be impossible to state anything incorrect unless he was lying.  

But of course you did not mean that, I assume.

But oddly that is my point even if it came from an error!! 

If you knew everything you would have to lie to be incorrect, which of course is dishonest. So if you were infallible you would not even have to try to be intellectually honest, it would require an intentional lie to be dishonest.  Therefore only if one was fallible would one have to "try" to be honest.

That implies that bias IS invisible to those who are fallible, as we all are.   And so that seems to agree with my point.

Let's look at sentence 2

Quote

 

As to the inescapable nature of bias, you are correct in so far as we are talking about our own individual susceptibility to bias, but I do not agree with your assertion that their invisibility is a necessary condition to their existence.


 

So I am correct, you say, that we are individually " inescapably susceptible " to bias in the first part of the sentence.  We cannot see nor are we aware of the bias- that is what you seem to be saying- we are "inescapably susceptible to bias"

 BUT in the second part you say you do NOT agree that we are "inescapably susceptible" -to bias I presume- and disagree that their invisibility is a necessary condition to their existence"

So we ARE inescapably susceptible to bias- because presumably we cannot see them- but yet their BEING invisible is not a "necessary condition to their existence"

So then I guess the conclusion is that biases can "exist" but also be "visible"

I disagree with that if that is what you meant.   Let's take a grieveous example- racism.  We would I think all agree- at least those here- that racism is a vile bias.

Racists on the other hand openly in fact KNOW that others consider it a "bias" but they consider it "TRUTH".   "That other race is simply inferior to my race" they might say.

So no, to me biases remain invisible because people "KNOW" them - erroneously presumably- to be "truth".

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3 hours ago, ttribe said:

I began re-evaluating old evidence in the combined light of new evidence as well as old knowledge and skills I'd not yet applied to my spiritual beliefs.

This statement intrigues me. If you are willing -- I'm mindful of the discomfort you've expressed -- how exactly did what you learnt as a PhD student lead you to re-evaluate events that you had personally participated in and/or other firsthand experiences?

I'm actually mentally stuck here. If an angel visits me during the night and gives me specific information that I later verify is accurate, I'm trying to imagine what approaches I might use to re-evaluate that experience, with or without new evidence, and what the outcome of that re-evaluation might look like.

Thanks!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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9 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I am very confused by this post.  First of all, I am presuming there is a typo in the first line- as you know I am sure. "Infallible" means that one CANNOT make mistakes and typically infallibility is ascribed only to Popes and gods. ;)  Knowing everything would of course imply that one almost did not need intellectual "honesty" because, knowing everything, all one would have to do is state his own opinion and he would be right.  It would be impossible to state anything incorrect unless he was lying.  

But of course you did not mean that, I assume.

But oddly that is my point even if it came from an error!! 

If you knew everything you would have to lie to be incorrect, which of course is dishonest. So if you were infallible you would not even have to try to be intellectually honest, it would require an intentional lie to be dishonest.  Therefore only if one was fallible would one have to "try" to be honest.

That implies that bias IS invisible to those who are fallible, as we all are.   And so that seems to agree with my point.

Let's look at sentence 2

So I am correct, you say, that we are individually " inescapably susceptible " to bias in the first part of the sentence.  We cannot see nor are we aware of the bias- that is what you seem to be saying- we are "inescapably susceptible to bias"

 BUT in the second part you say you do NOT agree that we are "inescapably susceptible" -to bias I presume- and disagree that their invisibility is a necessary condition to their existence"

So we ARE inescapably susceptible to bias- because presumably we cannot see them- but yet their BEING invisible is not a "necessary condition to their existence"

So then I guess the conclusion is that biases can "exist" but also be "visible"

I disagree with that if that is what you meant.   Let's take a grieveous example- racism.  We would I think all agree- at least those here- that racism is a vile bias.

Racists on the other hand openly in fact KNOW that others consider it a "bias" but they consider it "TRUTH".   "That other race is simply inferior to my race" they might say.

So no, to me biases remain invisible because people "KNOW" them - erroneously presumably- to be "truth".

Good catch on the typo.  I'll get it back to you on the rest.

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3 hours ago, ttribe said:

Good catch on the typo.  I'll get it back to you on the rest.

No biggie.  It is so convoluted by now it's hard to make any sense about it at all. :)

 

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12 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

No biggie.  It is so convoluted by now it's hard to make any sense about it at all. :)

 

Lazy learner. ;)

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8 hours ago, Teancum said:

So personal experiences are evidential for truth?  And how about the billions of others whose experiences would refute the truth claims of the LDS church. As well as the evidence of their own "truth" for effectiveness in peoples lives?


These are not objective measurements of truth. Why are the personal LDS peoples experience more valid than that of a Buddhist?  Or a Muslim?  Amway gives many people wonderful experiences and effectiveness in their lives as well.  So should we all join Amway?  This approach is really fairly nonsensical as it can be applied to almost anything.  Hard core white supremacists may feel their experience is wonderfully valid therefore the way to live.  If not why would they pursue it?  Effectiveness in someone lives is not a proof of any truth claim.  All sorts of BS and bad stuff may lead people to thing their lives are gloriously wonderful.  Does not make it true.

Sigh.

Keep reading the Rorty quote below until it starts making sense.   Please?    Do I have to do this again?

I guess so.

Quote

 

To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences, there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that human languages are human creations.

     Truth cannot be out there- cannot exist independently of the human mind- because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there.  The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not.  Only descriptions of the world can be true or false.  The world on its own- unaided by the describing activities of human beings- cannot."   Richard Rorty- Contingency Irony and Solidarity, P 5.

 

Truth is not out there in the world- truth is a property of sentences.   Truth is based on points of view and how our perceptions function and how we interpret the point of view.

Is this a rabbit or duck?

image.png.da1a54b0e8f2ff251bc1b594a9e26be3.png   There are at least two ways to interpret this picture- and depending on HOW you see, one can get different "truths" about WHAT you see.

So the statement "This is a picture of a duck" can be simultaneously true for different observers.   Truth is not a property of the world but a property of sentences.  So for some it could be a picture of a duck, for others it could be picture of a rabbit.

So now applying it to your question--  "So personal experiences are evidential for truth?  And how about the billions of others whose experiences would refute the truth claims of the LDS church. As well as the evidence of their own "truth" for effectiveness in peoples lives?"

YES personal experiences are evidential for truth.  And people disagree about what is true.   Is that really a surprise??

Science is one way of seeing the world- but it is not the only way.

Again, I would suggest a course in philosophy or perhaps just reading a little bit from this link below.

This is a major view of truth.   

 

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

Quote

 

 

The Deflationary Theory of Truth

First published Thu Aug 28, 1997; substantive revision Mon Oct 4, 2010

According to the deflationary theory of truth, to assert that a statement is true is just to assert the statement itself. For example, to say that ‘snow is white’ is true, or that it is true that snow is white, is equivalent to saying simply that snow is white, and this, according to the deflationary theory, is all that can be said significantly about the truth of ‘snow is white’.

There are many implications of a theory of this sort for philosophical debate about the nature of truth. Philosophers often make suggestions like the following: truth consists in correspondence to the facts; truth consists in coherence with a set of beliefs or propositions; truth is the ideal outcome of rational inquiry. According to the deflationist, however, such suggestions are mistaken, and, moreover, they all share a common mistake. The common mistake is to assume that truth has a nature of the kind that philosophers might find out about and develop theories of. For the deflationist, truth has no nature beyond what is captured in ordinary claims such as that ‘snow is white’ is true just in case snow is white. Philosophers looking for the nature of truth are bound to be frustrated, the deflationist says, because they are looking for something that isn't there.

The deflationary theory has gone by many different names, including at least the following: the redundancy theory, the disappearance theory, the no-truth theory, the disquotational theory, and the minimalist theory. There is no terminological consensus about how to use these labels: sometimes they are used interchangeably; sometimes they are used to mark distinctions between different versions of the same general view. Here we will use ‘deflationism’, and ‘the deflationary theory of truth’ to denote the general view we want to discuss, and reserve other names for specific versions of that view.

1. History of Deflationism

2. The Equivalence Schema

3. Varieties of Deflationism

4. The Utility of Deflationary Truth

5. Is Truth A Property?

6. The Deflationary Theory of Falsity

7. Objections to Deflationism

7.1 Objection #1: Propositions Versus Sentences.

7.2 Objection #2: Correspondence

7.3 Objection #3: Truth-value Gaps.

7.4 Objection #4: Consistency and Adequacy

7.5 Objection #5: Normativity.

7.6 Objection #6: Inflationist Deflationism?

Bibliography

Academic Tools

Other Internet Resources

Related Entries

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.

It is worthy of notice that the sentence ‘I smell the scent of violets’ has the same content as the sentence ‘it is true that I smell the scent of violets’. So it seems, then, that nothing is added to the thought by my ascribing to it the property of truth. (Frege 1918)

Truth and falsity are ascribed primarily to propositions. The proposition to which they are ascribed may be either explicitly given or described. Suppose first that it is explicitly given; then it is evident that ‘It is true that Caesar was murdered’ means no more than that Caesar was murdered, and ‘It is false that Caesar was murdered’ means no more than Caesar was not murdered. They are phrases which we sometimes use for emphasis or stylistic reasons, or to indicate the position occupied by the statement in our argument….In the second case in which the proposition is described and not given explicitly we have perhaps more of a problem, for we get statements from which we cannot in ordinary language eliminate the words ‘true’ or ‘false’. Thus if I say ‘He is always right’, I mean that the propositions he asserts are always true, and there does not seem to be any way of expressing this without using the word ‘true’. But suppose we put it thus ‘For all p, if he asserts p, p is true’, then we see that the propositional function p is true is simply the same as p, as e.g. its value ‘Caesar was murdered is true’ is the same as ‘Caesar was murdered’. (Ramsey 1927)

…it is evident that a sentence of the form "p is true" or "it is true that p" the reference to truth never adds anything to the sense. If I say that it is true that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, or that the proposition "Shakespeare wrote Hamlet" is true, I am saying no more than that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. Similarly, if I say that it is false that Shakespeare wrote the Iliad, I am saying no more than that Shakespeare did not write the Iliad. And this shows that the words ‘true’ and ‘false’ are not used to stand for anything, but function in the sentence merely as assertion and negation signs. That is to say, truth and falsehood are not genuine concepts. Consequently there can be no logical problem concerning the nature of truth. (Ayer 1935).

The truth predicate is a reminder that, despite a technical ascent to talk of sentences, our eye is on the world. This cancellatory force of the truth predicate is explicit in Tarski's paradigm:

‘Snow is white’ is true if and only if snow is white.

Quotation marks make all the difference between talking about words and talking about snow. The quotation is a name of a sentence that contains a name, namely ‘snow’, of snow. By calling the sentence true, we call snow white. The truth predicate is a device for disquotation. (Quine 1970).

In addition to being popular historically, the deflationary theory has been the focus of much recent work. Perhaps its most vociferous contemporary defenders are Hartry Field and Paul Horwich.

One reason for the popularity of deflationism is its anti-metaphysical stance. Deflationism seems to deflate a grand metaphysical puzzle, a puzzle about the nature of truth, and much of modern philosophy is marked by a profound scepticism of metaphysics. Another reason for the popularity of deflationism concerns the fact that truth is a semantic notion, and therefore takes its place along with other semantic notions, such as reference, meaning, and content. Many philosophers are concerned with trying to understand these semantic notions. The deflationary theory is attractive since it suggests that, at least in the case of truth, there is less to be puzzled about here than one might expect.

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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7 hours ago, teddyaware said:

The persistent problem you’re going to have to deal with is there isn’t a strong motivation for believers to want to go over to the side of the unbelievers. If the gospel is true - and I believe it is - in spite of its challenges life is filled with deep meaning, wonderful purpose and an unimaginably glorious and joyful life beyond the grave. Meanwhile what do the unbelievers have to offer the believers? The satisfaction of knowing life is ultimately meaningless and futile, and that all that exists beyond the grave is is the oblivion of nonexistence? “Hot dog! I think I’’ll choose meaninglessness and nonexistence!”

What we can offer you is suggestions on how to be a healthier community for everyone. 

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5 hours ago, bluebell said:

He believes he does know it for everyone. It would be intellectually dishonest for him to say otherwise, given what he believes he knows to be true.

How's that?

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Lazy learner. ;)

That only works if you are a learner, not teacher.  😇 8P

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

That only works if you are a learner, not teacher.  😇 8P

A teacher who stops learning is no teacher.

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7 hours ago, bluebell said:

He believes he does know it for everyone. It would be intellectually dishonest for him to say otherwise, given what he believes he knows to be true.

 

1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

How's that?

It's probably past time to point out something here:

 

Quote

 

Intellectual honesty is an applied method of problem solving, characterised by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in a number of different ways:

  • One's personal beliefs or politics do not interfere with the pursuit of truth;
  • Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one's hypothesis;
  • Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another;
  • References, or earlier work, are acknowledged where possible, and plagiarism is avoided.

Harvard ethicist Louis M. Guenin describes the "kernel" of intellectual honesty to be "a virtuous disposition to eschew deception when given an incentive for deception".[1]

Intentionally committed fallacies in debates and reasoning are called intellectual dishonesty.

 

This describes intellectual honesty, and separately it describes intellectual dishonesty. In summary, intellectual honesty is an applied method of reducing the influence of one's personal bias in the pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, one can be less intellectually honest, or can be not intellectually honest, if they do not practice the method of trying to reduce the influence of their personal bias in their pursuit of knowledge. And, to be fair, the way English works, using intellectually dishonest would also be a correct synonym for not intellectually honest.

In this conversation, I have used intellectually dishonest and not intellectually honest  as synonyms. I have not tried to use intellectually dishonest to refer to intentional deception. I have tried to make that clear contextually.

In other words, now sticking to the strict definitions above, not being intentionally deceptive does not mean one is practicing the method of intellectual honesty.

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6 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

 

It's probably past time to point out something here:

 

This describes intellectual honesty, and separately it describes intellectual dishonesty. In summary, intellectual honesty is an applied method of reducing the influence of one's personal bias in the pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, one can be less intellectually honest, or can be not intellectually honest, if they do not practice the method of trying to reduce the influence of their personal bias in their pursuit of knowledge. And, to be fair, the way English works, using intellectually dishonest would also be a correct synonym for not intellectually honest.

In this conversation, I have used intellectually dishonest and not intellectually honest  as synonyms. I have not tried to use intellectually dishonest to refer to intentional deception. I have tried to make that clear contextually.

In other words, now sticking to the strict definitions above, not being intentionally deceptive does not mean one is practicing the method of intellectual honesty.

I think it's past time to just agree to disagree on this and move on.  I think we are at the point where we are just repeated what we've already said multiple times.  Thanks for a good discussion.

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8 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

How's that?

How does he believe he knows what is best for everyone?  He believes that God has taught him that.  Obviously, many people disagree with him being able to know such a thing, but that doesn't change that he does believe God is a capable of making such a thing known to His prophets.

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7 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

What we can offer you is suggestions on how to be a healthier community for everyone. 

So you admit all your side has to offer is nonexistence after an short life that has no ultimate meaning and purpose beyond mere temporal survival until the inevitability of death and extinction? And from what I’ve gleaned from the other thread it appears one of the ways you believe the ‘community’ can be made “healthier” is for 61 million mothers to slaughter their own precious children before they’re born. So it seems your definition of ‘healthier’ includes mass genocide and 61 million wretched women doomed to live out their days with tormented consciences (that is, of course, unless their hearts are as hardened as rocks) because they’ve deprived their own babies their lives. Yup, sounds real “healthy” alright. But I guess this kind of thinking makes perfect sense when one believes life has no ultimate meaning and value and that all are destined for ultimate annihilation and nonexistence. “Eat, drink and be “merry” for tomorrow we die.” No thanks...

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29 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think it's past time to just agree to disagree on this and move on.  I think we are at the point where we are just repeated what we've already said multiple times.  Thanks for a good discussion.

Well I thought it was important to clarify, because when I talk about the need for intellectual honesty, you pivot to saying he's not being intellectually dishonest (the definition with deception, the one I didn't use, and clarified to not be using.)

Feel free to leave it at that, of course.

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22 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

So you admit all your side has to offer is nonexistence after an short life that has no ultimate meaning and purpose beyond mere temporal survival until the inevitability of death and extinction? And from what I’ve gleaned from the other thread it appears one of the ways you believe the ‘community’ can be made “healthier” is for 61 million mothers to slaughter their own precious children before they’re born. So it seems your definition of ‘healthier’ includes mass genocide and 61 million wretched women doomed to live out their days with tormented consciences (that is, of course, unless their hearts are as hardened as rocks) because they’ve deprived their own babies their lives. Yup, sounds real “healthy” alright. But I guess this kind of thinking makes perfect sense when one believes life has no ultimate meaning and value and that all are destined for ultimate annihilation and nonexistence. “Eat, drink and be “merry” for tomorrow we die.” No thanks...

1) No, of course I don't.

2) There are LDS people who believe in the pro-choice movement, and by many pro-life standards, the LDS Church is not pro-life.  

3)This reply of yours tells me what I need to know about your previous statement:

Quote

Perhaps the starting point is for both the believers and unbelievers is to admit they don’t know everything and therefore a deep sense of humility and mutual respect is required on both sides.

 

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3 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Well I thought it was important to clarify, because when I talk about the need for intellectual honesty, you pivot to saying he's not being intellectually dishonest (the definition with deception, the one I didn't use, and clarified to not be using.)

Feel free to leave it at that, of course.

Yes, I think we have both thought that it was important to clarify how the other isn't seeing the issue correctly.  Hence, all the back and forth on it.  One of our main disagreements is that you believe you can have a definition of dishonesty that doesn't include deception, when I don't believe that's possible.  It's a bit of an impasse between us.

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

Yes, I think we have both thought that it was important to clarify how the other isn't seeing the issue correctly.  Hence, all the back and forth on it.  One of our main disagreements is that you believe you can have a definition of dishonesty that doesn't include deception, when I don't believe that's possible.  It's a bit of an impasse between us.

What is the definition of intellectual honesty? It is an intentional method, it is not just sincere belief. Yes or no?

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