[split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
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05-01-2014, 08:55 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2014 08:59 PM by freetoreason.)
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
Burning in the bosom: http://en.fairmormon.org/Holy_Ghost/Burn..._the_bosom

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way --Luke 24:32

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
— Mormon Doctrine & Covenants 9:8

'Again, the united witness of intellect and heart are essential. If either does not agree, then revelation has not yet confirmed the matter under consideration. Anyone who relies exclusively on any one faculty – either feeling or reasoning or physical sensation – does not properly understand the LDS approach to spiritual witnesses.'

'The LDS member is stymied, in a sense, because there is no good, available word for what happens during a spiritual experience. These experiences are ineffable. By definition, they defy description. Since few of us have the poetic and metaphorical powers of prophets like Isaiah and John, we are left to try our best to convey what we've experienced in words laden with secular connotations which critics can misinterpret if they so choose.'

It's unfortunate that so many Christians, Muslims and apparently Mormons have convinced themselves that an emotional experience is 'evidence' of their god. Every Christian I speak to includes experience in their apologetic repertoire. Of course the bible promises they'll have it, so...must be true
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05-01-2014, 10:07 PM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(05-01-2014 08:28 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  Mak, I know you aren't here to educate us on Mormonism, but I would appreciate your insight on a few questions.

Fair enough.

(05-01-2014 08:28 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  1. My daughters have Mormon friends. Is it true that at an older age Mormon children are encouraged to limit friendships with non-Mormons?

Absolutely not. I don't know where these ideas come from, and I'm sure there have been LDS families out there who have tried to limit their children's circles of friends, but that's completely and totally at odds with the values promoted by the Church, and I would vehemently denounce it if I ever came across it.

(05-01-2014 08:28 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  2. I see you apparently find the BOM somewhat suspect. The few Mormons I've discussed this with, college age, resorted to personal experience (burning in the bosom) when pressed to explain their belief in the face of the BOM's deficiencies. Is this common, and is personal experience with your god the basis of your belief?

The "burning in the bosom" is just one traditional conceptualization of it, but yes, experiences are very important to the Latter-day Saint worldview. I won't be talking about my own personal beliefs and experiences here, but a peculiarity I find among many hobbyist atheists, and particularly here, is the ostensible insistence that other people shouldn't be allowed to base their worldviews on their own experiences with reality, but rather exclusively on what other people tell them they are allowed to believe. It's a species of epistemological imperialism that seems to me to conflict not only with a distrust of dogmatism, but also with an accurate knowledge of what exactly is the purview of scientific inquiry.

(05-01-2014 08:28 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  3. These same Mormons claimed no knowledge of things like Mountain Meadows, Smith's seer stone, Young's racism (I saw the church finally disavowed its theology in this area in December). Are young Mormons generally ignorant of historical events that might be considered embarrassing to the church? Thanks for posting here.

Yes, many of them do tend to ignore historical and other issues, just like your average American probably doesn't know much at all about the history of their town, state, or country. On the other hand, there are plenty that make it a priority, including making it the focus of their higher education and careers.

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05-01-2014, 10:35 PM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(05-01-2014 10:07 PM)maklelan Wrote:  The "burning in the bosom" is just one traditional conceptualization of it, but yes, experiences are very important to the Latter-day Saint worldview. I won't be talking about my own personal beliefs and experiences here, but a peculiarity I find among many hobbyist atheists, and particularly here, is the ostensible insistence that other people shouldn't be allowed to base their worldviews on their own experiences with reality, but rather exclusively on what other people tell them they are allowed to believe. It's a species of epistemological imperialism that seems to me to conflict not only with a distrust of dogmatism, but also with an accurate knowledge of what exactly is the purview of scientific inquiry..

I don't think that insisting on a distinction between objective reality and subjective experience qualifies as "epistemological imperialism". The central point of the skepticism is that phenomenological experience is not necessarily an experience of reality. I am able to imagine, dream, hallucuinate or misperceive a multitude of things that are not real, that have no objective existence. The ability to distinguish subjective experience from objective reality is a major component of mental health and it is the breakdown of this distinction that characterises certain psychoses. Part of the application of CBT to those with psychotic conditions is re-establishing a distinction between subjective experience and objective reality.[1] That is not to say that all religious people are mentally ill but rather to demonstrate that the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity is not only legitimate but vital.

The unreliability of subjective experience is one of the main reasons that experiment design exists as a discipline. If subjectivity were an adequate means of learning about the world then there would be no need for experimentation and instrumentation.
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05-01-2014, 10:48 PM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
Hobbyist? Please don't condescend. Sure, believers can base their worldview on personal revelation if they like. But since it isn't falsifiable or independently corroborated and since their core beliefs contradict evidence-based facts (and of course the competing claims of thousands of other religions) they need not include these as the basis of any apologetic. Of course ultimately experience is all they have. My read of the D&C is that it is quite satisfied with considering these experiences as valid 'evidence' of the fantastic and bazaar claims of Mormonism.

It's disappointing that you choose not to offer the reasons for your own belief in Mormon teaching, since you appear to acknowledge that its books are in error and its most revered prophets racist. I respect your privacy, but do you care to elaborate on your reticence? I've always been very curious about how intelligent people come to believe in Mormonism in particular, since it significantly ups the ante on credulity as compared with even Christianity.
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05-01-2014, 11:39 PM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(05-01-2014 10:07 PM)maklelan Wrote:  .....a peculiarity I find among many hobbyist atheists, and particularly here, is the ostensible insistence that other people shouldn't be allowed to base their worldviews on their own experiences with reality, but rather exclusively on what other people tell them they are allowed to believe.


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06-01-2014, 05:22 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(05-01-2014 10:07 PM)maklelan Wrote:  It's a species of epistemological imperialism that seems to me to conflict not only with a distrust of dogmatism, but also with an accurate knowledge of what exactly is the purview of scientific inquiry.

I think it's also a species of marketing. We don't wanna give any credence to the enemy. Big Grin

(05-01-2014 10:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  The unreliability of subjective experience is one of the main reasons that experiment design exists as a discipline. If subjectivity were an adequate means of learning about the world then there would be no need for experimentation and instrumentation.

The guys that do experiments aren't objects. Tongue

(05-01-2014 10:48 PM)freetoreason Wrote:  Hobbyist? Please don't condescend.

Perhaps a misapplied generalization in your case, but hardly condescension.

And Taq, stop burning things. Big Grin

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06-01-2014, 05:44 AM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2014 05:56 AM by Chas.)
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(05-01-2014 10:07 PM)maklelan Wrote:  The "burning in the bosom" is just one traditional conceptualization of it, but yes, experiences are very important to the Latter-day Saint worldview. I won't be talking about my own personal beliefs and experiences here, but a peculiarity I find among many hobbyist atheists, and particularly here, is the ostensible insistence that other people shouldn't be allowed to base their worldviews on their own experiences with reality, but rather exclusively on what other people tell them they are allowed to believe. It's a species of epistemological imperialism that seems to me to conflict not only with a distrust of dogmatism, but also with an accurate knowledge of what exactly is the purview of scientific inquiry.

"Hobbyist atheists"? I call intellectual arrogance, with more than a soupçon of religious bigotry, on that.

People are welcome to view the world any way they want, but requiring evidence is not "epistemological imperialism". Someone's internal states are not objective evidence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-01-2014, 06:15 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(06-01-2014 05:44 AM)Chas Wrote:  "Hobbyist atheists"? I call intellectual arrogance...

You would know... Angel

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06-01-2014, 06:34 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(06-01-2014 06:15 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(06-01-2014 05:44 AM)Chas Wrote:  "Hobbyist atheists"? I call intellectual arrogance...

You would know... Angel

Up yours, prophet.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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06-01-2014, 06:57 AM
RE: [split] maklelan and others discuss evidence
(05-01-2014 10:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  I don't think that insisting on a distinction between objective reality and subjective experience qualifies as "epistemological imperialism".

I don't think "insisting on a distinction" is an accurate description of what I'm describing. Sure, it begins as a criticism of using subjective experience as evidence others are supposed to take seriously, but not far behind is the insistence that one may only construct their worldviews on what other tell them they're allowed to, namely testable and repeatable empirical data of which---in many iterations---the science-hobbyist understands that Dawkins approves.

(05-01-2014 10:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  The central point of the skepticism is that phenomenological experience is not necessarily an experience of reality.

But there's a big difference between "not necessarily" and "necessarily not," and it goes beyond phenomenology. I'll give you an example of something that a friend of mine has long appealed to as one of the clearest indicators to him that his faith is in something real. I don't share this story in an effort to convince anyone here of any truth claim at all, but to show what kinds of things lead others to believe. When I was a missionary for the LDS Church in Uruguay many years ago, I was playing softball with a group of missionaries against a local organized team. A friend of mine was on first base and I was third base coach. A grounder was hit to the shortstop, who ran over to tag second and then try to turn the double play. My friend was just loping along unaware of most everything, and as I yelled for him to slide, the shortstop swung his body around and rocked him in the side of the head with the softball from about three feet. My friend went down like wet spaghetti and started rolling around clutching his head. We couldn't find any signs of injury at all, but he said it hit him right above the right ear. We carried him off the field and two other friends gave him what is called a priesthood blessing, promising him that he would recover and would experience no lasting effects from the injury. After a few minutes he complained that his head was hurting more and more, so we put him in our vehicle and began the 30-minute drive back to Montevideo. He was unconscious when we pulled up to the British Hospital, and they immediately took him in to surgery. We were told his heart had stopped and that they were unlikely to be able to save him. We found out a bit later that the softball has ruptured his internal carotid artery, which was bleeding into his skull and crushing his brain. They opened up his skull to relieve the pressure and cut out what portions of his brain appeared to have been damaged. The next morning he was still alive, but in a coma. They had gotten his heart beating again rather quickly. They told us if he came out of the coma, he would be in the hospital for quite some time before he moved on to months of rehab, and that he would probably have severe cognitive damage. Long story short, two weeks later he was back out on the streets with a shaved head and a huge scar and has never experienced a single side effect from the injury or the surgery, apart from having to grow his sideburns out a bit on the right side so the bottom of the scar doesn't show. The surgeon came by a couple weeks after his release to talk to him and told me that he shouldn't be alive, and definitely shouldn't be in such good condition. He called it an inexplicable miracle (in Spanish).

Now, whatever you believe about what happened to this friend of mine, other friends who were there and witnessed it have long since decided to understand it as miraculous. Many people might insist there has to be some natural explanation, but at that point the explanations are really just a matter of preference. If one of my friends were to come here and say that they would never use that story to convince anyone else of the reality of their beliefs, but that it is a close personal witness to them that their worldview works, on what grounds do you tell them they are not allowed to think that?

(05-01-2014 10:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  I am able to imagine, dream, hallucuinate or misperceive a multitude of things that are not real, that have no objective existence. The ability to distinguish subjective experience from objective reality is a major component of mental health and it is the breakdown of this distinction that characterises certain psychoses. Part of the application of CBT to those with psychotic conditions is re-establishing a distinction between subjective experience and objective reality.[1] That is not to say that all religious people are mentally ill but rather to demonstrate that the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity is not only legitimate but vital.

That's not really what I'm talking about, but existentialism is a discussion for another day.

(05-01-2014 10:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  The unreliability of subjective experience is one of the main reasons that experiment design exists as a discipline. If subjectivity were an adequate means of learning about the world then there would be no need for experimentation and instrumentation.

So no one should ever say they're in love, since that's not really testable in any truly objective way. They certainly shouldn't be allowed to say they experienced love at first sight. Pain is another thing that people need to stop talking about, since it's entirely subjective.

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