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“Into the millennium” - Pres. Nelson


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37 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The millennium is, or will be, a reality.  

Two expressions of faith.  One is hopeless, the other hopeful.  One is nihilistic, the other optimistic.

I'll take Pascal's Wager any day of the week.

Thanks,

-Smac

Oh, noes, Smac97!  Say it t'ain't so! :huh: :(  We've been downvoted by Teancum!  I am crestfallen!  Bereft!  Emptied of even the smallest drop of hope!  I have ...

lost ...

my ...

very ...

will ... 

to ...

live!!! 😢 😢 😢 

Won't someone please lower his or her cup into the Well of My Despair and lift me out?!!!! :huh: 

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30 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Good for you. If you want to live your life based on a fantasy that is great.  And it is not nihilistic to think it is a fantasy.  And it is not optimistic to think it is not. The latter may be called delusional.  Living in reality is not hopeless.

Living in "reality" (allegedly), though, on this board, must be awfully lonely!  But you go right on ahead being that Lone Voice Crying in the Wilderness! ;) :D 

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42 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Typical vapid response.

As though anything you share here is particularly groundbreaking, breathtaking, or even particularly imaginative.  You seem to be laboring under a  delusion of your very own, that none of us have ever been exposed to any point of view akin to yours before.  

:P :P :P 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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18 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Oh, noes, Smac97!  Say it t'ain't so! :huh: :(  We've been downvoted by Teancum!  I am crestfallen!  Bereft!  Emptied of even the smallest drop of hope!  I have ...

lost ...

my ...

very ...

will ... 

to ...

live!!! 😢 😢 😢 

Won't someone please lower his or her cup into the Well of My Despair and lift me out?!!!! :huh: 

Drama king! ;)

 

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30 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Drama king! ;)

 

On that post?  Yes ... yes, I was.  I admit it, readily. :D 

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Good for you. If you want to live your life based on a fantasy that is great.  And it is not nihilistic to think it is a fantasy.  And it is not optimistic to think it is not. The latter may be called delusional.  Living in reality is not hopeless.

What kind of forum do you think you are in? Your acting like this is an ex-Mormon echo chamber.

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I could likewise dismiss your assessment of things as "a fantasy."  We are both acting on faith, after all.  

I think atheism is nearly per se nihilistic.

Not sure what this means.  I think Pascal's Wager is inherently optimistic.

No.It is a hedge against going to Hell or not getting the best that people believe God has to offer.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

So can the former.

You are just being glib and insulting here. 

How so?  Just because you don't like what I say?

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Again, we are both speaking prospectively, and we are both speaking on faith.  The difference is that I think my "faith" is full to overflowing with optimism and hope and excitement, whereas yours is dreary, bleak and nihilistic.

No. I am not speaking from faith. I don't claim to know nor make assertions that cannot be proved. You do. I don't know. I am very optimistic about living life to its fullest without making religious assertions that nobody really knows.  THat is NT dreary or bleak whatsoever.  Though you need to deem it so to make you feel better about your faith in something that likely does not exist.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

In the end, you may be right.  It may be that God does not exist, that our existence is either illusory or just a matter of pure chance, that this life is all there is, that we have no souls, that "when a man {is} dead, that {is} the end thereof" (Alma 30:18).  

Alternatively, I may be right.  It may be that God does exist, that we lived prior to this life and will continue to exist after we die, that God has a wonderful plan for us, and so on.

I don't claim to be right or know for sure. You do.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Reasonable minds can disagree about these things.  I acknowledge that.  But I really believe that there are ways to ascertain, to some measure, whether God exists.  Not to a certainty (for most of us, anyway), but enough to tip the scales toward accepting Pascal's Wager, toward faith and hope and optimism.

I quite agree.  Is it your contention that belief in God is incompatible with "living in reality?"

Thanks,

-Smac

Yes reasonable minds can disagree. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

What kind of forum do you think you are in? Your acting like this is an ex-Mormon echo chamber.

Dude.  I have been here for years and years. You have not been here very long.  I Used to be a hobby apologist until could not defend the indefensible.  It is a discussion board. I thought the means we can discuss issues that one may disagree with. I don't think this board is an echo chamber.

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

No.  It is a hedge against going to Hell

Not in the Latter-day paradigm.  We're not really into the the heaven/hell dichotomy.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

or not getting the best that people believe God has to offer.

I'm not sure what you are saying here.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:
Quote

You are just being glib and insulting here. 

How so?  Just because you don't like what I say?

No.  Because you are being glib and insulting.  And conclusory.  To disagree with you is to be delusional, to deny reality, etc.  

1 hour ago, Teancum said:
Quote

Again, we are both speaking prospectively, and we are both speaking on faith.  The difference is that I think my "faith" is full to overflowing with optimism and hope and excitement, whereas yours is dreary, bleak and nihilistic.

No. I am not speaking from faith.

Yes, I think you are.  It's a topsy-turvy kind of faith, but faith nonetheless.  You have "complete trust or confidence in someone or something" that to believe in God is delusional, to deny reality, etc.  To believe that the Millennium will happen is delusional.

Unless you have a time machine, you are asserting these predictions not based on knowledge or empirical data, but on . . . faith.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

I don't claim to know nor make assertions that cannot be proved. You do. I don't know.

You said, without qualification, that "{t}he millennium is a fantasy."  That sure sounds like an "assertion that cannot be proved."

You said, without qualification, that my belief in the Millennium is "delusional."   That sure sounds like an "assertion that cannot be proved."

1 hour ago, Teancum said:
Quote

Again, we are both speaking prospectively, and we are both speaking on faith.  The difference is that I think my "faith" is full to overflowing with optimism and hope and excitement, whereas yours is dreary, bleak and nihilistic.

I am very optimistic about living life to its fullest without making religious assertions that nobody really knows. 

Except that you have made "religious assertions."  See above.

I'm glad you are optimistic in the moment.  Truly.  But if an when you face your mortality, or have a loved one facing it, I wonder how your state of optimism will hold up.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

THat is NT dreary or bleak whatsoever.  Though you need to deem it so to make you feel better about your faith in something that likely does not exist.

Huh.  At least here you are hedging your bets: "your faith in something that likely does not exist."

Even then, though, it sure seems like one of those "assertions that nobody really knows" that you claim to not be making.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:
Quote

 

In the end, you may be right.  It may be that God does not exist, that our existence is either illusory or just a matter of pure chance, that this life is all there is, that we have no souls, that "when a man {is} dead, that {is} the end thereof" (Alma 30:18).  

Alternatively, I may be right.  It may be that God does exist, that we lived prior to this life and will continue to exist after we die, that God has a wonderful plan for us, and so on.

 

I don't claim to be right or know for sure. You do.

Perhaps you missed the part where I said: "In the end, you may be right.  It may be that God does not exist..."  and "Alternatively, I may be right.  It may be that God does exist..."

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Yes reasonable minds can disagree. Thanks.

Strange, then, that you label my position as "delusional" and a denial of "reality."  

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, Thinking said:

We are already "into the millennium" so I'm not sure what his point is.

Now if he had said "into the next millennium..."

He was, of course, using the term as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commonly use it, to refer to the thousand year period of righteousness, peace, and happiness that will follow Christ's return in glory.

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45 minutes ago, Fether said:

Making a blanket statement that a core belief is fantasy is hardly grounds for discussion. As someone who just discovered the word “vapid”, I would consider such a statement a “vapid statement”

Whatever.  

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39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Not in the Latter-day paradigm.  We're not really into the the heaven/hell dichotomy.

Ok.  But less than the best.  

39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm not sure what you are saying here.

No.  Because you are being glib and insulting.  And conclusory.  To disagree with you is to be delusional, to deny reality, etc.  

Ok I agree my comment was to strident. It it better to say that in my opinion the idea is delusional? Probably not.  How about I just say I don't think there will ever be a millennium or second coming of Jesus?

39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Yes, I think you are.  It's a topsy-turvy kind of faith, but faith nonetheless.  You have "complete trust or confidence in someone or something" that to believe in God is delusional, to deny reality, etc.  To believe that the Millennium will happen is delusional.

I still do not claim to know. I am open to being wrong. I don't give testimony to my opinions nor actively proselyte people to my position. Can you say the same?

39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Unless you have a time machine, you are asserting these predictions not based on knowledge or empirical data, but on . . . faith.

You said, without qualification, that "{t}he millennium is a fantasy."  That sure sounds like an "assertion that cannot be proved."

You said, without qualification, that my belief in the Millennium is "delusional."   That sure sounds like an "assertion that cannot be proved."

Except that you have made "religious assertions."  See above.

So I think I have adjusted that based on my comments above.

39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm glad you are optimistic in the moment.  Truly.  But if an when you face your mortality, or have a loved one facing it, I wonder how your state of optimism will hold up.

I have lost loved ones. Dear friends, a niece that was like a daughters to us that dies 10 years ago at 16 years old totally unexpectedly, parents, etc. Death and loss has been rather common to me that past 10-15 year. Some of these events are what caused me to question a loving God as it relates to the problem of evil and suffering. I am still optimistic about life even if this is all we have.

39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Huh.  At least here you are hedging your bets: "your faith in something that likely does not exist."

Even then, though, it sure seems like one of those "assertions that nobody really knows" that you claim to not be making.

Perhaps you missed the part where I said: "In the end, you may be right.  It may be that God does not exist..."  and "Alternatively, I may be right.  It may be that God does exist..."

Strange, then, that you label my position as "delusional" and a denial of "reality."  

Thanks,

-Smac

Not much else to add to the above,

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53 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I don't give testimony to my opinions nor actively proselyte people to my position. Can you say the same?

What do you call everything you have posted on this thread if not "testimony to your opinions?" Aren't you declaring them and your belief in them? Declaring our statements of belief to be "testimony" (with whatever negative imprecation you intend to convey) but yours to be whatever else commits a clear No True Scotsman fallacy. 

As for being open to being wrong, isn't @smac97 doing the same when he says the things I'm about to quote? Does "being open to being wrong" entail not having convictions or opinions, or does it mean acknowledging one's fallibility? For my part, I can't see any sort of progress being made with the first definition: if nobody has convictions, then no persuasion can take place. If you want "openness to being wrong" to be a good that everybody should seek, then it'll have to be the second definition, in which case, what do you call this:

4 hours ago, smac97 said:

 

In the end, you may be right.  It may be that God does not exist, that our existence is either illusory or just a matter of pure chance, that this life is all there is, that we have no souls, that "when a man {is} dead, that {is} the end thereof" (Alma 30:18).  

Alternatively, I may be right.  It may be that God does exist, that we lived prior to this life and will continue to exist after we die, that God has a wonderful plan for us, and so on.

Reasonable minds can disagree about these things.  I acknowledge that.  But I really believe that there are ways to ascertain, to some measure, whether God exists.  Not to a certainty (for most of us, anyway), but enough to tip the scales toward accepting Pascal's Wager, toward faith and hope and optimism.

 

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4 hours ago, Teancum said:
Quote

I'm not sure what you are saying here.

No.  Because you are being glib and insulting.  And conclusory.  To disagree with you is to be delusional, to deny reality, etc.  

Ok I agree my comment was to strident. It it better to say that in my opinion the idea is delusional? Probably not.  How about I just say I don't think there will ever be a millennium or second coming of Jesus?

The substance of your position remains unchanged, then.  Even if you are too civil to say it out loud (again), you still seem to hold that to disagree with you is to be delusional, to deny reality, etc.

If you are revising that position, then that changes things quite a bit.  But that change brings you closer in proximity to us.  Our positions would then seem to differ in degree, not kind.  

4 hours ago, Teancum said:

I still do not claim to know.

Well, I'm getting confused.  First you said "I am not speaking from faith," now you are saying "I still do not claim to know."

I agree with you more the second time around.  That is rather my point.  I said: " You are not speaking from knowledge, from empirical data.  You are speaking based on faith.  

4 hours ago, Teancum said:

I am open to being wrong.

We appear to be closer in our positions than I previously thought.

4 hours ago, Teancum said:

I don't give testimony to my opinions nor actively proselyte people to my position.

You share your opinions with no intention of persuading others to accept them?

4 hours ago, Teancum said:

Can you say the same?

Nope.  I am quite happy to attempt to persuade people to accept what I believe to be good and true.

4 hours ago, Teancum said:

So I think I have adjusted that based on my comments above.

Okay.

4 hours ago, Teancum said:

I have lost loved ones. Dear friends, a niece that was like a daughters to us that dies 10 years ago at 16 years old totally unexpectedly, parents, etc. Death and loss has been rather common to me that past 10-15 year. Some of these events are what caused me to question a loving God as it relates to the problem of evil and suffering. I am still optimistic about life even if this is all we have.

Years ago a married couple, dear friends to me and my wife, lost a baby to SIDS.  At the time the lyrics of a song from a stage musical of the novel Jane Eyre, aptly titled “Forgiveness,” came to mind:

Quote

The time will come when we will leave this world,
and then the injustice and the pain and the sin will fall away from us,
and only the spark of the spirit will remain - returning to God who created it
You must never lose faith
You must never lose heart
God will restore your trust

I believe this.

Thanks,

-Smac

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14 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

What do you call everything you have posted on this thread if not "testimony to your opinions?"

 

Well it is certainly opinions I agree. But it is not testimony at least in the sense of and LDS testimony.  I don't stand up and claim I know and that I know this by some sort of revelation by an outside superior being telling it to me in some metaphysical way.  But sure, based on my studies, experience and such I have reached conclusions about things that I am at least comfortable with.

14 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

Aren't you declaring them and your belief in them? Declaring our statements of belief to be "testimony" (with whatever negative imprecation you intend to convey) but yours to be whatever else commits a clear No True Scotsman fallacy. 

Ok I see how I did this.  Does the above clarify my thoughts>

14 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

As for being open to being wrong, isn't @smac97 doing the same when he says the things I'm about to quote? Does "being open to being wrong" entail not having convictions or opinions, or does it mean acknowledging one's fallibility? For my part, I can't see any sort of progress being made with the first definition: if nobody has convictions, then no persuasion can take place. If you want "openness to being wrong" to be a good that everybody should seek, then it'll have to be the second definition, in which case, what do you call this:

 

Fair enough.  I agree with you.

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10 hours ago, smac97 said:

The substance of your position remains unchanged, then.  Even if you are too civil to say it out loud (again), you still seem to hold that to disagree with you is to be delusional, to deny reality, etc.

 

Yes I said that.

10 hours ago, smac97 said:

If you are revising that position, then that changes things quite a bit.  But that change brings you closer in proximity to us.  Our positions would then seem to differ in degree, not kind.  

Can you expand. I do not claim special knowledge as a revelation from God with lack of convincing evidence to conclude on my opinions and conclusions.  Latter day Saint and other religious people do.  And I realize the words convincing evidence can be subjective.

10 hours ago, smac97 said:

Well, I'm getting confused.  First you said "I am not speaking from faith," now you are saying "I still do not claim to know."

I do not think I am speaking from faith.

10 hours ago, smac97 said:

I agree with you more the second time around.  That is rather my point.  I said: " You are not speaking from knowledge, from empirical data.  You are speaking based on faith  

We appear to be closer in our positions than I previously thought.

You share your opinions with no intention of persuading others to accept them?

Nope.  I am quite happy to attempt to persuade people to accept what I believe to be good and true.

Okay.

Years ago a married couple, dear friends to me and my wife, lost a baby to SIDS.  At the time the lyrics of a song from a stage musical of the novel Jane Eyre, aptly titled “Forgiveness,” came to mind:

I believe this.

Thanks,

-Smac

A couple of other points.  Ok I share my opinions. Do I do it with the intention of persuading?  I guess yes in a low key aspect.  But I don't go out and seek con verts nor send missionaries out nor pressure those under my influence to go convince others.  I think there is a big difference in that approach as compared to how LDS people approach it and are strongly taught to do it. 

 

THe poem you shared is nice. I hope there is something beyond this life.  I do not see evidence that there is however so I try to be content.  But losing many people that I was close to is challenging and I readily admit there was more potential comfort in death when I had a testimony of the LDS beliefs about the after life than I do now.  But it was also sad when I was a kid and I realized Santa Clause was not real.  Continuing to hold that belief because it made me happy and felt good would not have been rational.  That is where I am at on religious things. 

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Can you expand. I do not claim special knowledge as a revelation from God

And yet you have reached a conclusion that God does not exist, and that belief in Him is "delusional" and a denial of "reality."  That conclusion is based on faith.  That was my point.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

with lack of convincing evidence to conclude on my opinions and conclusions. 

"Convincing evidence" is in the eye of the beholder, I think.  I have found the evidence to be quite convincing.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Latter day Saint and other religious people do. 

Yes.  

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

And I realize the words convincing evidence can be subjective.

Yes.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

I do not think I am speaking from faith.

Well, you've denied speaking from knowledge, and here you deny speaking from faith.  So on what basis do you assert that belief in the existence of God is "delusional" and a denial of "reality"?

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

A couple of other points.  Ok I share my opinions. Do I do it with the intention of persuading?  I guess yes in a low key aspect.  But I don't go out and seek converts nor send missionaries out nor pressure those under my influence to go convince others.  I think there is a big difference in that approach as compared to how LDS people approach it and are strongly taught to do it. 

Yes, but a difference in degree, not kind.

I value the things I have learned and believe about God, about Jesus Christ, about the Plan of Salvation, about the Restoration, and so on.  I value these things to the extent that I have devoted substantial time and effort to share these things with others.  People do this all the time - spend real time and effort - to share and persuade others to their views on any number of topics: politics, business/moneymaking, education, sports, healthcare, exercise, weight loss, dating/sex, art/music, movies/TV, alcohol, marijuana and other recreational drugs, food, vacationing/travel, foreign languages, home improvement, emergency preparedness, and on and on.

I appreciate and respect that people can and do feel strongly about these things, and - broadly speaking - I do not begrudge devotees of these areas of interest the choice to spend their time, money and effort in exploring and sharing and propagating these things.  

Do you resent people who are ardent and vocal in their views on these topics?  Do you fault them for choosing to spend their time/money/effort on such things, and on persuading others as to the merits of these things?  If you can accommodate the sharing viewpoints on these topics (politics, education, etc.), then why resent and find fault with people who, like me, want to spend time/money/effort on propagating and sharing my views about God?

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

THe poem you shared is nice. I hope there is something beyond this life. 

I hope so, too.  I have faith that there is.  I have found ample grounds for such belief, but I also recognize that reasonable minds can disagree about such things.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

I do not see evidence that there is however so I try to be content. 

I respect that.  

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

But losing many people that I was close to is challenging and I readily admit there was more potential comfort in death when I had a testimony of the LDS beliefs about the after life than I do now. 

I also find more comfort in it.  And since we cannot know definitively either way, and since I find belief in God to be well within the bounds of reasonableness, I choose the option that has more joy and optimism and comfort in it.  If I'm wrong, then when I die I will blink out of existence and anything I will have done will not matter a whit.  If I am right, however, then I have changed my behaviors and worldview to a moral code which is, in my view, inherently and overwhelmingly good and decent, which makes me a better person, which makes me help others, and which is what God wants me to do.

Pascal was really on to something.  But I have found grounds to move past Pascal and onto . . . Joseph Smith.  

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

But it was also sad when I was a kid and I realized Santa Clause was not real. 

You seem to be veering back to the "belief in God is delusional and a denial of reality" viewpoint.  I hope you can get past that.

1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Continuing to hold that belief because it made me happy and felt good would not have been rational.  That is where I am at on religious things. 

I can see that.  I think having belief in God should arise predominantly because it is true, with it creating happiness and hope and strength and purpose and guidance being consequent to it.

Belief in God is not all grape juice and roses.  There are plenty of things I believe God has commanded me to do that push me out of my comfort zone, that are difficult, and/or time-consuming, and/or not always enjoyable.  There are Sunday mornings when I want to stay in bed.  I served a mission for two years, and have since spent considerable amounts of time in various callings in the Church.  There are things I'd like to buy that I can't afford because I need to pay tithing instead.  There are things that I have never experienced and never will, like a fine wine or whiskey, or shrooms or peyote or LSD.  

On the other hand, there are all sorts of things I have experienced consequent to my belief in the Restored Gospel.  I served a mission and learned the value of service, of hard work, of getting along with other missionaries, of learning about and respecting other peoples and cultures, and so on.  I felt the Spirit many times, both in teaching and in everyday experiences.  I saw practical and substantial blessings and improvements in the lives of people who joined the Church and followed its teachings.  I returned home and met a young woman who shares my beliefs.  We started a family together, and have spent the last quarter century living our lives according to the precepts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have had many struggles, but far more blessings.  And we have avoided many pitfalls.  And we have raised children together. 

Overall I think my quality of life is substantially better with the Restored Gospel than it would have been without it.  It has helped me a lot in overcoming my bad habits and inclinations.  It has helped me recognize the value of family, service, education, hard work, persistence, and so on.  I am a better husband and father, a better neighbor and citizen, a better person because of it.

Again, it may just be that I may just be pursuing a pipe dream.  A "delusion" as you have put it.  If so, then I hardly seem the worse for it.  However, as time goes on I find myself more persuaded that God does exist, that Jesus Christ is His Son, and that there is a plan for us in this life.  I also believe that we can ascertain the truth of such things for ourselves, that we can move past the flip-of-a-coin sentiment in Pascal's Wager.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

And yet you have reached a conclusion that God does not exist, and that belief in Him is "delusional" and a denial of "reality."  That conclusion is based on faith.  That was my point.

"Convincing evidence" is in the eye of the beholder, I think.  I have found the evidence to be quite convincing.

Yes.  

Yes.

Well, you've denied speaking from knowledge, and here you deny speaking from faith.  So on what basis do you assert that belief in the existence of God is "delusional" and a denial of "reality"?

Yes, but a difference in degree, not kind.

I value the things I have learned and believe about God, about Jesus Christ, about the Plan of Salvation, about the Restoration, and so on.  I value these things to the extent that I have devoted substantial time and effort to share these things with others.  People do this all the time - spend real time and effort - to share and persuade others to their views on any number of topics: politics, business/moneymaking, education, sports, healthcare, exercise, weight loss, dating/sex, art/music, movies/TV, alcohol, marijuana and other recreational drugs, food, vacationing/travel, foreign languages, home improvement, emergency preparedness, and on and on.

I appreciate and respect that people can and do feel strongly about these things, and - broadly speaking - I do not begrudge devotees of these areas of interest the choice to spend their time, money and effort in exploring and sharing and propagating these things.  

Do you resent people who are ardent and vocal in their views on these topics?  Do you fault them for choosing to spend their time/money/effort on such things, and on persuading others as to the merits of these things?  If you can accommodate the sharing viewpoints on these topics (politics, education, etc.), then why resent and find fault with people who, like me, want to spend time/money/effort on propagating and sharing my views about God?

I hope so, too.  I have faith that there is.  I have found ample grounds for such belief, but I also recognize that reasonable minds can disagree about such things.

I respect that.  

I agree.

You seem to be veering back to the "belief in God is delusional and a denial of reality" viewpoint.  I hope you can get past that.

I can see that.  I think having belief in God should arise predominantly because it is true, with it creating happiness and hope and strength and purpose and guidance being consequent to it.

Belief in God is not all grape juice and roses.  There are plenty of things I believe God has commanded me to do that push me out of my comfort zone, that are difficult, and/or time-consuming, and/or not always enjoyable.  There are Sunday mornings when I want to stay in bed.  I served a mission for two years, and have since spent considerable amounts of time in various callings in the Church.  There are things I'd like to buy that I can't afford because I need to pay tithing instead.  There are things that I have never experienced and never will, like a fine wine or whiskey, or shrooms or peyote or LSD.  

On the other hand, there are all sorts of things I have experienced consequent to my belief in the Restored Gospel.  I served a mission and learned the value of service, of hard work, of getting along with other missionaries, of learning about and respecting other peoples and cultures, and so on.  I felt the Spirit many times, both in teaching and in everyday experiences.  I saw practical and substantial blessings and improvements in the lives of people who joined the Church and followed its teachings.  I returned home and met a young woman who shares my beliefs.  We started a family together, and have spent the last quarter century living our lives according to the precepts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have had many struggles, but far more blessings.  And we have avoided many pitfalls.  And we have raised children together. 

Overall I think my quality of life is substantially better with the Restored Gospel than it would have been without it.  It has helped me a lot in overcoming my bad habits and inclinations.  It has helped me recognize the value of family, service, education, hard work, persistence, and so on.  I am a better husband and father, a better neighbor and citizen, a better person because of it.

Again, it may just be that I may just be pursuing a pipe dream.  A "delusion" as you have put it.  If so, then I hardly seem the worse for it.  However, as time goes on I find myself more persuaded that God does exist, that Jesus Christ is His Son, and that there is a plan for us in this life.  I also believe that we can ascertain the truth of such things for ourselves, that we can move past the flip-of-a-coin sentiment in Pascal's Wager.

Thanks,

-Smac

More thoughts later but let's move beyond the delusional issues.  I should jot have said that and I apologize for using it. I do not think I was delusional when I believed all you believed with as much fervor as you have. So I retract that. I do not think you are delusional.  So can we move past that? It may help better in our discussion. I will work on not being as strident. Apparently I have a reputation for it here as others have noted it and I am really not that way in person. I would guess we could have a fun and enlightening discussion over lunch dinner.  Kennego may even enjoy my company. 😁

 

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12 minutes ago, Teancum said:

More thoughts later but let's move beyond the delusional issues.  I should jot have said that and I apologize for using it. I do not think I was delusional when I believed all you believed with as much fervor as you have. So I retract that. I do not think you are delusional.  So can we move past that?

Yes.  Thanks.

I am fine with you thinking I am ultimately incorrect as to the existence of God.  That is substantially different from saying that belief in God is delusional and a denial of reality.

12 minutes ago, Teancum said:

It may help better in our discussion. I will work on not being as strident. Apparently I have a reputation for it here as others have noted it and I am really not that way in person. I would guess we could have a fun and enlightening discussion over lunch dinner.  Kennego may even enjoy my company. 😁

Sounds good!

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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