DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

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Physics Guy
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

Post by Physics Guy »

I think I just don't have the right temperament to appreciate Mormonism in the ways that it can be appreciated. I don't think the movement can have grown as well as it has without having some good points, even if they're not the kind of good points that I happen to like.

So maybe I'm just tone deaf on this, but it really seems to me that Mormon metaphysics is not one of the strong points of Mormonism. Spirit as tenuous matter, God having a body—that all just sounds like 19th-century hick thought, I'm afraid. Maybe Joseph Smith had some interesting original ideas, but I have a hard time classing this stuff among them.
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

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Physics Guy wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2024 5:18 pm
I think I just don't have the right temperament to appreciate Mormonism in the ways that it can be appreciated. I don't think the movement can have grown as well as it has without having some good points, even if they're not the kind of good points that I happen to like.

So maybe I'm just tone deaf on this, but it really seems to me that Mormon metaphysics is not one of the strong points of Mormonism. Spirit as tenuous matter, God having a body—that all just sounds like 19th-century hick thought, I'm afraid. Maybe Joseph Smith had some interesting original ideas, but I have a hard time classing this stuff among them.
It absolutely is all very bad. There are no Mormon philosophers who would touch Mormon metaphysics with a ten foot pole. On the whole, they've been smarter than their peers who take up Book of Mormon archeology. But even Hugh Nibley literally said he wouldn't touch Book of Mormon geography with a ten foot pole. The only angle that's gaining traction today (at the new MI) is postmodernism, in order to excuse all the factual and logical and moral screw ups.
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

Post by Chap »

Physics Guy wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2024 5:18 pm
Spirit as tenuous matter, God having a body—that all just sounds like 19th-century hick thought, I'm afraid.
As one might have expected?
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

Post by Physics Guy »

Well, exactly.

You try not to go ad hominem on Smith and dismiss him just for living when and where he did. Great ideas can appear anywhere, at least sometimes. Michael Faraday was a contemporary of Smith who was mostly self-educated but the list of his scientific discoveries is ridiculous.

Smith’s metaphysics really does not seem to exceed expectations, however, no matter how much I try to squint in his favor. It’s just silly.
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

Post by Chap »

Physics Guy wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:03 am
Well, exactly.

You try not to go ad hominem on Smith and dismiss him just for living when and where he did. Great ideas can appear anywhere, at least sometimes. Michael Faraday was a contemporary of Smith who was mostly self-educated but the list of his scientific discoveries is ridiculous.

Smith’s metaphysics really does not seem to exceed expectations, however, no matter how much I try to squint in his favor. It’s just silly.
Faraday certainly came from a poor background, with little formal education. There are however two differences between Faraday and Smith:

1. Faraday always earned an honest living. Glass looking and treasure seeking played no part in his labours.

2. Faraday worked hard to educate himself. There he had one great advantage over Smith: he lived in London. Had Smith lived in New York City, rather than upstate New York, maybe things might have worked out differently?

See the start of the article on Faraday here:

Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday was born on 22 September 1791 in Newington Butts,[7] Surrey (which is now part of the London Borough of Southwark).[8] His family was not well off. His father, James, was a member of the Glasite sect of Christianity. James Faraday moved his wife, Margaret (née Hastwell),[9] and two children to London during the winter of 1790 from Outhgill in Westmorland, where he had been an apprentice to the village blacksmith.[10] Michael was born in the autumn of that year. The young Michael Faraday, who was the third of four children, having only the most basic school education, had to educate himself.[11]

At the age of 14 he became an apprentice to George Riebau, a local bookbinder and bookseller in Blandford Street.[12] During his seven-year apprenticeship Faraday read many books, including Isaac Watts's The Improvement of the Mind, and he enthusiastically implemented the principles and suggestions contained therein.[13] During this period, Faraday held discussions with his peers in the City Philosophical Society where he attended lectures about various scientific topics.[14] He also developed an interest in science, especially in electricity. Faraday was particularly inspired by the book Conversations on Chemistry by Jane Marcet.[15][16]

Adult life

In 1812, at the age of 20 and at the end of his apprenticeship, Faraday attended lectures by the eminent English chemist Humphry Davy of the Royal Institution and the Royal Society, and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society. Many of the tickets for these lectures were given to Faraday by William Dance, who was one of the founders of the Royal Philharmonic Society. Faraday subsequently sent Davy a 300-page book based on notes that he had taken during these lectures. Davy's reply was immediate, kind, and favourable. In 1813, when Davy damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride, he decided to employ Faraday as an assistant. Coincidentally one of the Royal Institution's assistants, John Payne, was sacked and Sir Humphry Davy had been asked to find a replacement; thus he appointed Faraday as Chemical Assistant at the Royal Institution on 1 March 1813.[2]
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

Post by Physics Guy »

Man, Faraday also discovered benzene. The guy was too much.

It's interesting to wonder how much difference it made to live in a big city. Faraday had a long apprenticeship in a bookstore, which apparently gave him lots of time to read the books, and he attended public lecture series that seem to have been detailed enough for him to take hundreds of pages of notes just from one speaker. So although Faraday may count as self-educated, he had a lot of resources for educating himself.

On the one hand Faraday was probably an unusual bookstore apprentice and lecture attender. I don't think I've heard him mentioned as one of that big group of 19th-century self-educated scientists who all made big contributions. On the other hand, though, Smith was probably an unusual farmhand, who seems to have put quite a lot of thought into his historical fantasies and religious theories. Maybe Smith would have done more constructive things, too, if he had had Faraday's kinds of chances.
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

Post by Chap »

Physics Guy wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 10:11 am
Maybe Smith would have done more constructive things, too, if he had had Faraday's kinds of chances.
Indeed he might. But he did not, so he turned to glass-looking, treasure seeking and religious fantasy.
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

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He was probably pretty desperate to get off the farm. I think a lot of people were in those days.

Most of them sighed and got on with the miserable job, but maybe that was as much because they lacked Smith's talent as because he lacked their virtue. Maybe Smith wasn't really more unscrupulous than many others, just smarter and luckier, up to a point.

A few decades later, he probably would just have sold his manuscript and become an honest fantasist as a popular writer. I wonder whether in fact he was fully committed to a cult leader career right from the start of the Book of Mormon, or whether he spent a while thinking of all the seer stone props and what-not as a publicity stunt for a book that he would eventually acknowledge as fiction, once it was selling. Wasn't he noticeably more keen, at first, on selling books than on building a church?
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

Post by Chap »

Physics Guy wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 12:21 pm
He was probably pretty desperate to get off the farm. I think a lot of people were in those days.

Most of them sighed and got on with the miserable job, but maybe that was as much because they lacked Smith's talent as because he lacked their virtue. Maybe Smith wasn't really more unscrupulous than many others, just smarter and luckier, up to a point.

A few decades later, he probably would just have sold his manuscript and become an honest fantasist as a popular writer. I wonder whether in fact he was fully committed to a cult leader career right from the start of the Book of Mormon, or whether he spent a while thinking of all the seer stone props and what-not as a publicity stunt for a book that he would eventually acknowledge as fiction, once it was selling. Wasn't he noticeably more keen, at first, on selling books than on building a church?
On your last point - yes, as you no doubt know he did in fact send a small group of his followers to Canada to attempt to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon (they failed). This fact is not disputed by the CoJCoLDS and its apologists, as instanced by this page by FAIR:

Attempt to sell the Book of Mormon copyright in Canada

I mean, as that page records, he even got a revelation commanding him to sell the copyright!
...it Pleaseth me that Oliver Cowderey Joseph Knight Hyram Pagee & Josiah Stowel shall do my work in this thing yea even in securing the Copyright & they shall do it with an eye single to my Glory that it may be the means of bringing souls unto me Salvation through mine only Be{t\gotten} Behold I am God I have spoken it & it is expedient in me Wherefor I say unto you that ye shall go to Kingston seeking me continually through mine only Be{t\gotten} & if ye do this ye shall have my spirit to go with you & ye shall have an addition of all things which is expedient in me. amen & I grant unto my servent a privelige that he may sell a copyright through you speaking after the manner of men for the four Provinces if the People harden not their hearts against the enticeings of my spirit & my word for Behold it lieth in themselves to their condemnation &{◊\or} th{er\eir} salvation.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.
Mayan Elephant:
Not only have I denounced the Big Lie, I have denounced the Big lie big lie.
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Re: DCP goes all-in on pseudo scientific quackery

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“DCP” wrote:gemli: "You must keep in mind that "near death" is another way of saying "still alive.""

No. You must keep in mind that you don't know what you're talking about.

Like you, some ancient and medieval philosophers argued scientific questions from definitions, seeing little or no need for empirical evidence. But they were better at it than you are, and, anyway, that kind of reasoning is long since out of style for science.

gemli: "There is no evidence of the "other side" that is not a story perpetuated by believers."

You're simply too uninformed to have a meaningful opinion on this subject. And you've become, candidly, a repetitious and quite uninteresting bore.
There’s a palpable anxiety seeping out of DCP’s recent blog posts.

He’s clinging to decades old observational and anecdotal “evidence” for the reality of NDEs. And completely ignoring any criticism.

Perhaps DCP has been diagnosed with something, or is wrestling with the stark realization that his death is coming sooner rather than later?

I personally would be very anxious if I put my eternal salvation in the hands of a corporation masquerading as a religion.
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