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'What would dead church leaders think? Short-sighted reasoning


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12 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

You could scarcely be more wrong. 
 

The premise of the OP is precisely as Stargazer has restated it. I used an example from politics to illustrate my point because it was the most recent example I had encountered (here on this board, on another thread) of the out-of-context misuse of the views of a long-dead prophet to try to score debating points.*
 

Again, I call on you to stop trying to turn this into a political discussion. 

*Afterthought: If “appeal to authority” is the name of a common logical fallacy, we could call this variation on that fallacy the appeal to dead authority. 

Anyone who thinks something is even close to being so completely being wrong that more wrongness is impossible lacks imagination.

You used an example from politics because you like politics and wanted to discuss politics. You do it all the time.

Ironically if you are arguing that the two fallacies are compatible in this case it follows that an appeal to President Nelson’s authority would also be a fallacy. You sure you want to go down that road?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Anyone who thinks something is even close to being so completely being wrong that more wrongness is impossible lacks imagination.

You used an example from politics because you like politics and wanted to discuss politics. You do it all the time.

Ironically if you are arguing that the two fallacies are compatible in this case it follows that an appeal to President Nelson’s authority would also be a fallacy. You sure you want to go down that road?

All I did is suggest a name for the absurd logical fallacy you seem to be doubling down on: appeal to dead authority. I quite like it. Feel free to use it (the name) so long as you give me credit for coming up with it. 
 

And it’s true that I suggested the example I did not so I could talk about politics but because it’s the most recent example I encountered. I really did not intend (nor is it my intention now) to make this a thread about politics. 
 

You can go on thinking I’m lying; I can’t stop you. But I claim to be the world’s foremost expert on what my own thoughts, motives and intentions are. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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41 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

All I did is suggest a name for the absurd logical fallacy you seem to be doubling down on: appeal to dead authority. I quite like it. Feel free to use it (the name) so long as you give me credit for coming up with it. 
 

And it’s true that I suggested the example I did not so I could talk about politics but because it’s the most recent example I encountered. I really did not intend (nor is it my intention now) to make this a thread about politics. 
 

You can go on thinking I’m lying; I can’t stop you. But I claim to be the world’s foremost expert on what my own thoughts, motives and intentions are. 

There is no need for the distinction. The appeal to authority fallacy includes the dead.

As to you not intending this to be political it was blatantly bait. In short:

 

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46 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

d. I really did not intend (nor is it my intention now) to make this a thread about politics. 

I believe you, but it astounds me that you couldn’t see that just using a political example makes the post political. 
 

These threads do not exist in a vacuum. You are not a stranger to us where we don’t know anything about your political biases. 

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16 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Here, we must draw a distinction between lawful and orderly immigration vs illegal and chaotic immigration. It’s the difference between “knocking at the door” and waiting patiently for admittance vs breaking in and entering uninvited. 
 

You might believe that borders should be open and that immigration should be uncontrolled and unrestricted, and you would be entitled to that view. But you should not ascribe that opinion to the Church of Jesus Christ, especially by taking out of context the views of Church leaders who lived nearly a century-and-a-half ago and applying them to current political controversies. 
 

And I’ll repeat again for emphasis: My intent with this thread is NOT to discuss immigration policy or any other political issue, but rather, the practice of using non-contextual opinions and statements of deceased Church leaders to bolster unrelated arguments. [emphasis added]

What's the name of this rhetorical device again? Apophasis, I think. Masterfully done!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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7 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

What's the name of this rhetorical device again? Apophasis, I think. Masterfully done!

Apophasis is “the raising of an issue by claiming not to mention it.” in the conversation you cite, I didn’t raise the issue; Calm did. I was responding to her. 

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19 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I didn’t raise the issue; Calm did. I was responding to her. 

Again, well done!

Much more economical than spending two paragraphs discussing immigration policy before writing, 'My intent with this thread is NOT to discuss immigration policy'.

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

, I didn’t raise the issue; Calm did.

Huh?  I didn’t write the OP which mentioned immigration first. 

Edited by Calm
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On 7/18/2021 at 9:58 PM, Scott Lloyd said:

I suggested that President Young today would agree with the divine position, whatever that might be. If you’re insisting that in the current immortal sphere where he dwells he is at odds with the Almighty, well, it is you, not I, who takes the problematic view. 

Brother Brigham was not loathe to express strong opinions. But he along with Brother Joseph and others are mingling with Gods to plan for their brethren. I’m hopeful everything is going as planned. 

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41 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Brother Brigham was not loathe to express strong opinions. But he along with Brother Joseph and others are mingling with Gods to plan for their brethren. I’m hopeful everything is going as planned. 

I'm sure it is when we humans and especially we saints keep our opinions and interference out of the way.  

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On 7/18/2021 at 2:53 PM, Scott Lloyd said:

That is faulty reasoning. And a form of presentism. 

Yes, it is. 

Many people go to great lengths to bridge the gap between what they believe politically and what they believe spiritually.

While I'm in this group, I don't ask what Joseph and Brigham would think if they were on earth today. 

I imagine they'd support what they supported during thier mortality - a calling out or separation from the main population.

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On 7/19/2021 at 1:11 AM, Stargazer said:

It is ridiculous to bring up old ones in order to attempt to prove one's own politico-psychic position. 

If Russell M. Nelson is not God's prophet on earth, then He has no prophet, and never did have one. And members of the church need to stop invoking past prophets to vet the current one, nor the current policies. Because the current policies reflect current conditions, not past conditions. Or they should, anyway. 

And just because open borders was at one time a good thing (and it was) is not proof that it is still a good thing. Times change. Conditions change. The world changes. 

Amen and amen. 

What would Joseph and Brigham think about the embassy in Israel being moved to Jerusalem? Think about it. /sarc

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23 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

And I’ll repeat again for emphasis: My intent with this thread is NOT to discuss immigration policy or any other political issue, but rather, the practice of using non-contextual opinions and statements of deceased Church leaders to bolster unrelated arguments. 

I think this may be another example of what you are talking about:

Quote
  Salt Lake Tribune. Dec. 8, 2017, 7:39 a.m.
| Updated: Dec. 15, 2017, 10:56 a.m.
 

If that jolly red-suited fellow who hands out toys and goodies to children every December wanted to enroll at Brigham Young University, he’d have to shave that lovely white beard.

So would the school’s namesake, Mormonism’s second prophet.

Beards on BYU students and faculty have been barred since the 1960s, when they were seen as a symbol of anti-authoritarian rebellion.

 

When I was a BYU freshman in 1964, my roommate and I both grew beards. There were very few beards at BYU then, but because beards were rapidly coming to be associated with protest and political activism, when we came back to school in 1965 they were verboten. My roommate was allowed to keep his because it covered severe acne scarring, but mine had to go.

No problem. Beards tend to grow back, but some disgruntled students protested the ban by pointing out all the dead prophets (including the statues of Brigham Young and all the artistic depictions Jesus) who had beards. They wouldn’t be allowed to attend BYU.

Some students thought this was an unassailable argument, but they had no joy because none of the General Authorities at the time had beards, including President McKay. So, who(m) ((?Scott)) do you follow, the dead prophets or the living prophets?

In this case and the above quote from Peggy Stack people cited the dead prophets to shame or discredit living prophets. I think this is what Scott is getting at.

Please don’t sidetrack further by harping on BYU’s beard ban. 

Interestingly, for most of his life BY was beardless. I suppose if it really was that important, one could have transferred to U of U.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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24 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I'm sure it is when we humans and especially we saints keep our opinions and interference out of the way.  

The camel driver has his plans, but camel has his.

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52 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I think this may be another example of what you are talking about:

 

When I was a BYU freshman in 1964, my roommate and I both grew beards. There were very few beards at BYU then, but because beards were rapidly coming to be associated with protest and political activism, when we came back to school in 1965 they were verboten. My roommate was allowed to keep his because it covered severe acne scarring, but mine had to go.

No problem. Beards tend to grow back, but some disgruntled students protested the ban by pointing out all the dead prophets (including the statues of Brigham Young and all the artistic depictions Jesus) who had beards. They wouldn’t be allowed to attend BYU.

Some students thought this was an unassailable argument, but they had no joy because none of the General Authorities at the time had beards, including President McKay. So, who(m) ((?Scott)) do you follow, the dead prophets or the living prophets?

In this case and the above quote from Peggy Stack people cited the dead prophets to shame or discredit living prophets. I think this is what Scott is getting at.

Please don’t sidetrack further by harping on BYU’s beard ban. 

Interestingly, for most of his life BY was beardless. I suppose if it really was that important, one could have transferred to U of U.

I think the greater problem with this is focusing on the application verses the principle or doctrine.  BYU came out with an application of no beards and Stack countered with an application of beards on men who were righteous. 

If the problem was protest or political activism then BYU should have focused on helping students get a greater testimony of doctrine and principles such as we we are God's children and as such we should try to act as he would.

So it wasn't so much of an appeal to dead prophets as countering an application with an application. 

 

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On 7/18/2021 at 10:39 PM, pogi said:


I think the opposite assumption that they would be pleased with everything is equally faulty.  I think the truth is likely somewhere in between the two extremes.

Why should we assume that “X” is always divinely inspired? 

I am not sure how Scott or anyone can be certain that BY or JS is involved in anyway with the Church.  Personally I don't think they would recognize the Church now.  Whether they would like it or not, I do not know. I can speculate like anyone else. I don't think they would be happy about polygamy which they viewed as celestial marriage and fought to keep it alive. The Utah leaders ought tooth and nail to keep plural marriage alive and argued that it would never be abandoned.  And it only was abandoned because the US government was about to totally destroy the Church if it did not abandon it.  Other issues such as Adam God for BY might be an issue. Exaltation, creating worlds, etc all watered down.

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On 7/18/2021 at 11:53 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

I lose patience with the occasional remark about what Joseph Smith or Brigham Young or whoever would think about X if he were alive today. 
 

Why? Because the underlying implication is nearly always that they would be plucked out of the time in which they lived and plunked down in present day without any orientation and would therefore disapprove of the way things are done in the Church today. That is faulty reasoning. And a form of presentism. 
 

To accept the restored gospel is to believe in life after death and, ergo, that deceased Church leaders go on living in the spirit world. Furthermore, it is a virtual certainty that they remain dialed into, and even participate in some way in, the ongoing progress of the kingdom of God in mortality. So if changes in the Church have come about over time via divine revelation (and they have) the compelling conclusion is that these Church leaders have seen and approve of said changes. 
 

So, for example, to say that Brigham Young would disapprove of controlled U.S. borders today because he needed free-flowing immigration to feed the gathering to Zion in the 19th century ignores the fact that since the turn of the century (20th, not 21st), the Church has taught and encouraged that converts should remain and build Zion wherever they live instead of physically gathering to one central location. 

Ignoring the example I do think you are generally correct in this post.  Unless they have work elsewhere I would think dead prophets would be up to date and often agree with the changes.

I do think though that Heavenly Father gave us a mind for a reason and think that while they would all pray for revelation on changes that God has us use our own brains and talents to make those changes. So a dead prophet may disagree with a current prophet on how to go about it, but would sustain him.

 

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2 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I am not sure how Scott or anyone can be certain that BY or JS is involved in anyway with the Church.  Personally I don't think they would recognize the Church now.  Whether they would like it or not, I do not know. I can speculate like anyone else. I don't think they would be happy about polygamy which they viewed as celestial marriage and fought to keep it alive. The Utah leaders ought tooth and nail to keep plural marriage alive and argued that it would never be abandoned.  And it only was abandoned because the US government was about to totally destroy the Church if it did not abandon it. 

Both Brigham Young and Joseph Smith believed in the principle of continuing revelation and an open canon.  I believe both would respect the revelation to Wilford Woodruff outlined in Official Declaration 1.

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On 7/19/2021 at 2:53 AM, The Nehor said:

I certainly don’t think the political machinations of the Nephites and Lamanites are irrelevant to us today.

I agree, 100%.

Since we have those stories, what was the result of multiple groups dissenting from the Nephites?

It's almost as if dilution (and not keeping the commandments) leads to less than desirable outcomes.

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On 7/19/2021 at 3:16 AM, Calm said:

It would be wisest Imo to seek the principle behind the choices Brigham and others were making at the time, what results they desired and why and then see how best it can be achieved in the here and now. 

Brigham sought consolidation and strength through numbers via convert immigrants, primarily European - where primarily the largest number of converts came from during his tenure. He did this to establish a soveriegn nation which was no longer possible due to religious discrimination by COngress.

At the very least, current church policy is to support and protect to some degree immigrants in the US, even illegals with policies that allow illegals to be baptized, hold callings, even go on missions with protections so as not to draw attention to their illegal status. 
 

This is for all the rights rasons and at the same time against the law even though such laws are rarely enforced. 10th article of faith much?

What our leaders are saying now…

Quote

We acknowledge that every nation has the right to enforce its laws and secure its borders.

I find it interesting they say “right” as opposed to duty or obligation. 

Suggesting that the right is less than the duty or obligation? Respectfully disagree on that one. It's wordsmithing to justify actions that are widespread and acceptable and not in copliance with existing laws.
 

Quote

Public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society. Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion, and the observance of just and enforceable laws.

While here the use of “should” suggest duty or obligation. 
 

"Should" here is interpreted by you to mean more than "the right" in your prior quote?

That says a lot to me. 

Me too.

 

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17 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Darnit, I spent a good half hour writing a brilliant response to this, and upon hitting Save I got hit with the dreaded 403 Forbidden and lost all of it. I just don't have the patience or the time to re-do it right now. Suffice it to say, for the moment, DC 101:77-80 and DC 98:5-9. And the Constitution doesn't say who can vote and who cannot.

I've got to go out and take care of a number of tasks.

I got one of these today as well after drafting up a long comment.  Very frustrating! 

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On 7/18/2021 at 11:53 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

I lose patience with the occasional remark about what Joseph Smith or Brigham Young or whoever would think about X if he were alive today. 
 

Why? Because the underlying implication is nearly always that they would be plucked out of the time in which they lived and plunked down in present day without any orientation and would therefore disapprove of the way things are done in the Church today. That is faulty reasoning. And a form of presentism. 
 

To accept the restored gospel is to believe in life after death and, ergo, that deceased Church leaders go on living in the spirit world. Furthermore, it is a virtual certainty that they remain dialed into, and even participate in some way in, the ongoing progress of the kingdom of God in mortality. So if changes in the Church have come about over time via divine revelation (and they have) the compelling conclusion is that these Church leaders have seen and approve of said changes. 
 

So, for example, to say that Brigham Young would disapprove of controlled U.S. borders today because he needed free-flowing immigration to feed the gathering to Zion in the 19th century ignores the fact that since the turn of the century (20th, not 21st), the Church has taught and encouraged that converts should remain and build Zion wherever they live instead of physically gathering to one central location. 

The first immigration restrictions did not hit the U.S. until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1879.  Brigham Young had been dead for two years.  He would have had no role in discussing controlling U.S. borders because that was not a concept during his lifetime.

Despite various pandering statements, Brigham Young despised the U.S.  He openly advocated hanging Pres Buchanan. Why would he be interested in discussing the controlling of its borders?  He negotiated with the Mexican government the occupation of "Upper California" (Salt Lake Valley) as a place to practice plural marriage safely.  (Although bigamy was a crime under Mexican law, the government did not enforce it.)  The safety of the Salt Lake Valley became undone with the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo in 1848, leading eventually to the Mormon war against the United States. Brigham Young committed major crimes against U.S. law for which he received a pardon.  Somehow I just can't see him being the person you see him, and as far as I can tell, his politics were a weird amalgam of mercantilism and Southern (anti U.S.) leanings. 

It is one thing to counsel the Saints about staying in place in their countries, and quite another to get involved in the political discussion of border control.  These are two separate concepts, and as far as I can tell, the Church has tilted in favor of open immigration.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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2 hours ago, ksfisher said:

Both Brigham Young and Joseph Smith believed in the principle of continuing revelation and an open canon.  I believe both would respect the revelation to Wilford Woodruff outlined in Official Declaration 1.

I highly doubt OD! was revelation. It was political.  Woodruff had no choice.  And he published it while most of the 12 were out of town.  The Church had no choice.  The USA had won this war.  Plus the LDS leaders wanted Utah to be a state.

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2 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Should" here is interpreted by you to mean more than "the right" in your prior quote?

“Right”means they have the legal option to choose but the quoted part does not direct what kind of choice it should be, “should” implies a duty or obligation….promotion of a particular choice.

I have a legal right to sue someone, doesn’t mean I should at every opportunity.  I have the legal right to choose to marry almost any adult I want, doesn’t mean I should assume each person is a good choice.  Germany had the right to erect and enforce the Berlin Wall, North Korea the 38th Parallel separating families and refusing to allow them to be reunited…doesn’t mean they should.

Edited by Calm
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On 7/19/2021 at 2:53 AM, The Nehor said:

The words of a dead prophet on a particularly political point are fairly weak evidence for what God would want today but I am inclined to believe that they are worthy of consideration and are better than no evidence. I certainly don’t think the political machinations of the Nephites and Lamanites are irrelevant to us today. God sure seemed interested in getting those stories to us even when they often seem to be of little spiritual value.

The political machinations of the Nephites and Lamanites were inextricably tied to religious beliefs. The foundation of their woes was the secret oaths of old that gain could be gotten by murder. One of the dead prophets even gave this warning to us:

Quote

2 Nephi 26 20 And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.
21 And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.
22 And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.
23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.

 

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