If plates then God

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drumdude
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If plates then God

Post by drumdude »

“DP” wrote:I’m pleased to note that, in the introductory material of each of these books published by the renowned Oxford University Press, the authors clearly declare their belief in a historically authentic Book of Mormon. Thus, for example, Richard Bushman:

“A logical path for a Latter-day Saint growing up in the modern world, especially one who became a historian, would be to grow out of my childhood beliefs. The plates would be spiritualized and their meaning made allegorical. But my life did not follow that course. The plates have continued to have a hold on me, and the same is true for other Mormons. Polls show that more than three-quarters of American Mormons believe that “the Book of Mormon is a literal, historical account,” a likely indicator of belief in the plates. This makes a big difference in one’s outlook on the world. With the plates comes an angel and divine intervention in ordinary human lives. The plates imply a world where God is an active agent in human affairs in opposition to the skepticism that has eroded religion for the past two hundred years.”
Does this also strike anyone else as a profoundly weak and embarrassing argument? Coming from someone as well regarded as Bushman?
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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: If plates then God

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You mean the plates no one can see, and Joseph Smith didn't need thanks to an iStone? Their testimonkies aren't flying any more.

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Re: If plates then God

Post by DrStakhanovite »

drumdude wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:24 pm
Does this also strike anyone else as a profoundly weak and embarrassing argument? Coming from someone as well regarded as Bushman?
I don’t think it is an argument at all. I think Bushman is just making a rather noncontroversial observation that the majority of adherents in a particular religion believe a traditional account over and against other accounts that are mutually exclusive (e.g. allegorical) or hostile ( e.g pious fraud). This really isn’t surprising to anyone.

What is embarrassing is Daniel thinking this is some kind of provocative declaration that cuts against the fantasy interlocutors he is pretending to engage with.
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Re: If plates then God

Post by drumdude »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:55 pm
You mean the plates no one can see, and Joseph Smith didn't need thanks to an iStone? Their testimonkies aren't flying any more.

- Doc
This brings up an important point against Bushman’s argument. Believing the Book of Mormon should imply nothing about believing in the plates, since the seer stone was all that was used to produce the Book of Mormon, according to historical accounts.
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Re: If plates then God

Post by Philo Sofee »

DrStakhanovite wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 9:00 pm
drumdude wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:24 pm
Does this also strike anyone else as a profoundly weak and embarrassing argument? Coming from someone as well regarded as Bushman?
I don’t think it is an argument at all. I think Bushman is just making a rather noncontroversial observation that the majority of adherents in a particular religion believe a traditional account over and against other accounts that are mutually exclusive (e.g. allegorical) or hostile ( e.g pious fraud). This really isn’t surprising to anyone.

What is embarrassing is Daniel thinking this is some kind of provocative declaration that cuts against the fantasy interlocutors he is pretending to engage with.
Ho loves to imagine he is an example of how someone who is overly intelligent can believe in Joseph Smith's story and Mormonism since his intellect cannot possibly be deceived. Smart people like him cannot be deceived, they would see through the charade, therefor Mormonism is true after all. I have seen him argue this kind of argument as well. What is so amusing and entertaining to all of us is, the very premise of Mormonism guarantees vastly intelligent people can and are deceived, since Mormonism is the only true church, and so many hundreds of millions and even billions of folks are not Mormon, and many seriously intelligent people know all about Mormonism and do not believe in it, so their intelligence is deceiving them right now! :lol: And if them possible, then him possible. This last his ego will not let him go to. :roll:
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Moksha
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Re: If plates then God

Post by Moksha »

drumdude wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:24 pm
“DP” wrote:... each of these books published by the renowned Oxford University Press, ...
Wonder if Oxford University cares that they are being used solely for the purpose of lending credence to such an enterprise. Probably there is no honor among those clamoring to sell a product.
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Re: If plates God

Post by High Spy »

Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 11:22 pm

. This last his ego will not let
Letgo my ego. :lol:
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Physics Guy
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Re: If plates then God

Post by Physics Guy »

DrStakhanovite wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 9:00 pm
drumdude wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:24 pm
Does this also strike anyone else as a profoundly weak and embarrassing argument? Coming from someone as well regarded as Bushman?
I don’t think it is an argument at all. I think Bushman is just making a rather noncontroversial observation that the majority of adherents in a particular religion believe a traditional account ... .
I agree that Bushman probably wasn't really arguing that one should believe in the gold plates from an angel because it's nice to believe that angels can visit people. He was probably just observing that if you believe an angel gave Smith golden plates, for whatever other reasons, then your belief in the plates yields a nice corollary belief about miraculous things like the plates sometimes happening.

There's nothing wrong with observations like that. Mathematicians often celebrate theorems by recounting how many useful or wonderful other things they imply. They're not suggesting at all that we should believe the theorems because of how nice it would be if they were true. They're just pointing out how nice it is that they are true. It's part of understanding what a theorem means, to appreciate how much it implies.

People aren't just logic engines, however. Our brain hardware probably really just reacts to correlations, with logical implication being implemented awkwardly in software. We may not consciously invoke the pleasant implications of a belief as arguments for the belief, but the more we notice that the belief and its nice implications go together, the more I think we tend, actually, to cherish the belief because of what it implies.

The more we then dwell on how belief in plates (say) and belief in God (say) hang together so nicely, the more I suspect we come to treat the two beliefs as a package, as if each both implied and required the other. Rejoicing in "if plates, then God" slides easily into thinking "God, if and only if plates", because our brains are better at simple association than they are at logic.

You can become really convinced that the expensive rock crystals that you order each month from an online psychic are purifying the vibrations of the oxygen in your bedroom. It may start with just trying and seeing, because if the crystals work, then you'll breathe better. As you start think about the crystals doing their wonderful thing to your oxygen, you get happy thinking about breathing better. Soon the crystals have to work because you need to breathe.
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Re: If plates then God

Post by I Have Questions »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:55 pm
You mean the plates no one can see, and Joseph Smith didn't need thanks to an iStone? Their testimonkies aren't flying any more.

- Doc
I think that’s the heart of the matter. The plates, wether real or imaginary, have been rendered a “red herring” thanks to the Church’s confirmation that the Book of Mormon was produced using a seer stone. Not gold plates. So the testimony should be about belief in the seer stone. But of course, the seer stone exists and can be viewed and examined. And we know where that path line of enquiry leads…and so do the apologists. Hence why they try to distract people with the smoke and mirrors of the gold plates. It’s the best they’ve got.
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Re: If plates then God

Post by tagriffy »

I Have Questions wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2023 8:27 am
I think that’s the heart of the matter. The plates, wether real or imaginary, have been rendered a “red herring” thanks to the Church’s confirmation that the Book of Mormon was produced using a seer stone. Not gold plates. So the testimony should be about belief in the seer stone. But of course, the seer stone exists and can be viewed and examined. And we know where that path line of enquiry leads…and so do the apologists. Hence why they try to distract people with the smoke and mirrors of the gold plates. It’s the best they’ve got.
I heartily disagree the plates are a red herring. Sure, the Book of Mormon as we have it was produced through the seer stone, but the plates--or at least the stories surrounding them--are an essential part of the mythos. The plates and what they represent symbolize how valuable the Book of Mormon is.
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