The Bottom Line

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_Gunnar
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The Bottom Line

Post by _Gunnar »

Whether anyone likes it or not, the simple, undeniable fact that there are so many mutually contradictory religious belief systems, most (if not all) of which have devout adherents who sincerely claim to have arrived at what they firmly believe to be THE TRUTH via subjective faith in divine revelation, scripture study and prayer, is absolutely incontestable proof of the unreliability of that approach to discerning any kind of truth--whether religious or secular. Even if one these mutually contradictory religions or belief systems really is the "divinely revealed truth" its adherents sincerely believe it to be (which no more than one of them can be, since no two of them completely agree, even on fundamentals), the unreliability of that approach to truth is still solidly established! It will never cease to amaze me that so many, otherwise seemingly literate and competent people can manage to remain oblivious to that reality! It is like staring at the sun at high noon on a cloudless mid-summer day and insisting that it is nighttime!

Consequently, no precept, claim or belief system is more deservedly suspect and more likely to be false than one that can only be justified by claiming divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority!

It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to understand how anyone who is fully rational, studious and honest with oneself can avoid coming to that same conclusion! Believers often try to threateningly challenge doubters by warning against favoring the "precepts of men" over the "Word of God." There are two glaring problems with that response: 1. Once true believers have become convinced or have convinced themselves that they are in possession of God's Word, they almost invariably make themselves oblivious to any distinction between questioning the Word of God and questioning whether their deeply held convictions really are the Word of God. 2. It is very far from established beyond all reasonable doubt that there are any precepts or teachings available to us that are not of men.

Religious leaders are fond of warning us to beware of the "precepts of men." This is actually very good advice, because there are undeniably a great number of people who are either charlatans or are honestly mistaken about what they try to tell or teach others. However, absolutely nothing more clearly demonstrates the truth of that fact than the abundant nonsense and numerous atrocities that we humans have perpetrated on each other in the guise of religion and in the very name of God! In fact, it often seems that the more nonsensical or ridiculous the claim, the more likely it is that some solemn idiot will claim divine authority for it and threaten hell and eternal damnation to anyone who can't or won't believe it. After all, when they know their claims are false and therefore cannot be supported by or are even contradicted by the best available evidence, and they are determined to promote them anyway, what else can they do but claim divine authority for it and that humankind's "finite knowledge" and "fallible intellect" are simply incapable of correctly understanding the evidence without the help of God and his divinely appointed prophet? Consequently there are no precepts we ought to be more wary of than those that can only be supported by an appeal to divine authority!

But surely, one might argue, God is infallible. Unfortunately, this entirely misses the point! While it may be inconceivable that a being worthy of the appellation "God" could be fallible, it is certainly not inconceivable that we humans could be mistaken or dishonest about having received divine inspiration or revelation--or even about there being any such thing. Obviously, that is true of at least the vast majority of the mutually contradictory religious convictions and claims, is it not? There is a glaring dilemma here. If you are going to admit, nay, insist that we humans are all fallible, and therefore need divine guidance, we can't then turn around and claim that any of us can infallibly determine which (if any) of these numerous, mutually contradictory claims are really a product of divine revelation!
No precept or claim is more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.”
? Harlan Ellison
_subgenius
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _subgenius »

Gunnar wrote:Whether anyone likes it or not, the simple, undeniable fact that there are so many mutually contradictory religious belief systems, most (if not all) of which have devout adherents who sincerely claim to have arrived at what they firmly believe to be THE TRUTH via subjective faith in divine revelation, scripture study and prayer, is absolutely incontestable proof of the unreliability of that approach to discerning any kind of truth--whether religious or secular....

i stopped seriously reading here, because of the glaring error in common sense, reasoning, and logic...yes, i know it "seems" correct to you, but given your premise we can all easily discount what you claim is "truth", can't we?



"Even if one these mutually contradictory religions or belief systems really is the "divinely revealed truth" its adherents sincerely believe it to be (which no more than one of them can be, since no two of them completely agree, even on fundamentals), the unreliability of that approach to truth is still solidly established"
this is nonsense...if one of them is true, then obviously the method of discerning that truth is confirmed as being accurate, the idea that it is merely coincidental is absurd and unsupported by you.
In other words, the "unreliability" has just been proven to be "reliable".

Perhaps you should search this forum for the many many threads and posts dealing with Moroni's challenge, etc....because honestly you need a primer.
Seek freedom and become captive of your desires...seek discipline and find your liberty
I can tell if a person is judgmental just by looking at them
what is chaos to the fly is normal to the spider - morticia addams
If you're not upsetting idiots, you might be an idiot. - Ted Nugent
_Gunnar
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Gunnar »

subgenius wrote:
Gunnar wrote:Whether anyone likes it or not, the simple, undeniable fact that there are so many mutually contradictory religious belief systems, most (if not all) of which have devout adherents who sincerely claim to have arrived at what they firmly believe to be THE TRUTH via subjective faith in divine revelation, scripture study and prayer, is absolutely incontestable proof of the unreliability of that approach to discerning any kind of truth--whether religious or secular....

i stopped seriously reading here, because of the glaring error in common sense, reasoning, and logic...yes, i know it "seems" correct to you, but given your premise we can all easily discount what you claim is "truth", can't we?


Of course, you stopped seriously reading there! You don't like that conclusion and you know you can't refute it!


"Even if one these mutually contradictory religions or belief systems really is the "divinely revealed truth" its adherents sincerely believe it to be (which no more than one of them can be, since no two of them completely agree, even on fundamentals), the unreliability of that approach to truth is still solidly established"
this is nonsense...if one of them is true, then obviously the method of discerning that truth is confirmed as being accurate, the idea that it is merely coincidental is absurd and unsupported by you.
In other words, the "unreliability" has just been proven to be "reliable".


Nonsense! Even if one of these thousands of mutually contradictory belief systems is true (a very big IF indeed!), the simple fact that all but one of the these religions failed to arrive at that one via that approach still is incontrovertible proof of the extreme unreliability of that approach.

Perhaps you should search this forum for the many many threads and posts dealing with Moroni's challenge, etc....because honestly you need a primer.


I have been lurking at this website for a long time, and have read many of the threads and posts dealing with Moroni's challenge. If you still believe that you have successfully shown that challenge to be a valid and reliable means of ascertaining whether the Book of Mormon is true, I would have to conclude that you epitomize the old adage "None are so blind as those who will not see." If I were to devise a procedure for how to go about deluding oneself, it would be hard to come up with a more effective procedure than that proposed by Alma 32 and the Moroni challenge!

If you think I never tried that challenge, you couldn't be more wrong! I tried for years, especially when I was on my LDS mission. I never received any impressions about the Book of Mormon one way or the other that I could unequivocally attribute to anything more than my imagination and/or fervent desire to believe. This, plus the fact that I encountered so many non-Mormons who, as far as I could tell, testify just as sincerely and firmly as any Mormon I have ever met to having received answers via prayer confirming their own religious convictions, including the conviction that Mormon theology and the Book of Mormon are nothing more than Satan inspired fiction, eventually made it no longer possible for me to avoid the sad conclusion that whatever answer one receives or thinks one receives in answer to prayer depends far more on what one is predisposed to believe than on what the actual truth is.

On the very threads you mentioned about Moroni's challenge there were participants (such as Albion and Little Nipper) who stated their firm conviction that God confirmed for them that the Book of Mormon and Mormon theology is false. Both sides were repeatedly asked by others why their own spiritual insight should be regarded as more reliable than the other side. Neither you nor they were able to come up with an answer to that question that would be even the slightest bit plausible to any honest, rational party not already predisposed to believe one side over the other. Either there was no answer at all, or the assertion or implication that merely asking the question indicated that the questioner was hopelessly out of tune with the spirit of God and in need of repentance. Such vacuous responses or lack of response only further confirms the weakness and unreasonableness of your position! I would guess that you think that the mere fact of not being predisposed to believe what you already believe is itself an indication of a serious character flaw or mental deficiency.
Last edited by Guest on Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
No precept or claim is more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.”
? Harlan Ellison
_Tobin
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Tobin »

Gunnar, I think you are missing the point of Moroni's promise. It is to get one to speak with God directly and do what God says. That is the TRUTH and that is really all Mormonism is about. It is really a true religion because it is free of people inbetween telling you what to believe. It is just between you and God - figure it out from there.
"You lack vision, but I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night.... Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see. My God, it'll be beautiful." -- Judge Doom
_Gunnar
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Gunnar »

Tobin wrote:Gunnar, I think you are missing the point of Moroni's promise. It is to get one to speak with God directly and do what God says. That is the TRUTH and that is really all Mormonism is about. It is really a true religion because it is free of people inbetween telling you what to believe. It is just between you and God - figure it out from there.


That's what I used to think until I repeatedly tried it without ever getting it to work for me. The fact still remains that numerous people have tried it and come up with mutually contradictory answers. Suppose I did get what I thought was an answer from God. Other than sheer arrogance and hubris, what justification would I have for assuming that my own spiritual insight was superior to or more reliable than that of anyone who got a contradictory answer?
No precept or claim is more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.”
? Harlan Ellison
_Tobin
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Tobin »

Gunnar wrote:
Tobin wrote:Gunnar, I think you are missing the point of Moroni's promise. It is to get one to speak with God directly and do what God says. That is the TRUTH and that is really all Mormonism is about. It is really a true religion because it is free of people inbetween telling you what to believe. It is just between you and God - figure it out from there.


That's what I used to think until I repeatedly tried it without ever getting it to work for me. The fact still remains that numerous people have tried it and come up with mutually contradictory answers. Suppose I did get what I thought was an answer from God. Other than sheer arrogance and hubris, what justification would I have for assuming that my own spiritual insight was superior to or more reliable than that of anyone who got a contradictory answer?


Faith in God doesn't work that way. You can't snap your fingers and have God just appear for you. You're unlikely to get anywhere with that kind of approach. And you don't exercise faith in God through arrogance. You do so by loving other people, serving them, showing them kindness, acceptance, and so on. It is by showing your love of God through how you act and think that you can grow closer to God.
"You lack vision, but I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night.... Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see. My God, it'll be beautiful." -- Judge Doom
_Themis
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Themis »

subgenius wrote:this is nonsense...if one of them is true, then obviously the method of discerning that truth is confirmed as being accurate, the idea that it is merely coincidental is absurd and unsupported by you.
In other words, the "unreliability" has just been proven to be "reliable".



http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reliable

It doesn't matter if you get it right with an unreliable method. It is still an unreliable method if most don't get it right. That's how something unreliable works. If I roll the dice to try and get the number two to show up, it will come up on average almost 3 times for every 100 roles. This is a very unreliable method even though some will get a 2 on their first role.
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_Themis
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Themis »

Tobin wrote:
Faith in God doesn't work that way. You can't snap your fingers and have God just appear for you. You're unlikely to get anywhere with that kind of approach. And you don't exercise faith in God through arrogance. You do so by loving other people, serving them, showing them kindness, acceptance, and so on. It is by showing your love of God through how you act and think that you can grow closer to God.


It never worked for you. You admit you were not doing these things but doing the opposite, yet so many who are doing these things are not getting God to show up, so they interpret their internal experiences usually with how they have been taught to. Maybe God really didn't show up.
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_Tobin
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Tobin »

Themis wrote:
Tobin wrote:
Faith in God doesn't work that way. You can't snap your fingers and have God just appear for you. You're unlikely to get anywhere with that kind of approach. And you don't exercise faith in God through arrogance. You do so by loving other people, serving them, showing them kindness, acceptance, and so on. It is by showing your love of God through how you act and think that you can grow closer to God.


It never worked for you. You admit you were not doing these things but doing the opposite, yet so many who are doing these things are not getting God to show up, so they interpret their internal experiences usually with how they have been taught to. Maybe God really didn't show up.


Or maybe you need to understand God a bit better. I think that would make a huge improvement in your life. I'd start by reading the account of the Lord interceding in Saul (Paul's) life. That should help you.
"You lack vision, but I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night.... Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see. My God, it'll be beautiful." -- Judge Doom
_Themis
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Re: The Bottom Line

Post by _Themis »

Tobin wrote:
Or maybe you need to understand God a bit better. I think that would make a huge improvement in your life.


Maybe, but them no one in the church is doing any better. My life is quite fine and even better understanding many of Joseph's claims are not in reality true.

It's funny though that you couldn't have understood God better then me or others as an apostate atheist. :)
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