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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
William Schryver wrote:
Emma was a champion bitch and no one else would have her except Joseph.


What is the evidence which caused you to conclude that Emma Smith was a "champion bitch?"



Is there a fancy belt involved with that title?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:19 am 
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Moniker wrote:
I'm a tease.


---Evil...!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:39 am 
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By the way, if anyone cares anymore, let it be noted that:

A.) W. Schryver denies that Mormon belief relies ultimately on a rejection of the contraints imposed by logic or empirical inquiry on what we may justifiably believe;

B.) This denial inescapably commits Schryver to the proposition that Mormon belief may be shown to be unjustified by logic and/or empirical inquiry;

but, despite being so committed,

C.) Schryver consistently refuses to suggest, or even acknowledge the existence or validity of, any logical or empirical test through which Mormon belief could be shown to be unjustified.

Now that is some world-class b***s***!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:38 am 
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Tal Bachman wrote:
By the way, if anyone cares anymore, let it be noted that:

A.) W. Schryver denies that Mormon belief relies ultimately on a rejection of the contraints imposed by logic or empirical inquiry on what we may justifiably believe;

B.) This denial inescapably commits Schryver to the proposition that Mormon belief may be shown to be unjustified by logic and/or empirical inquiry;

but, despite being so committed,

C.) Schryver consistently refuses to suggest, or even acknowledge the existence or validity of, any logical or empirical test through which Mormon belief could be shown to be unjustified.

Now that is some world-class b*llsh*t!

How utterly predictable was this post?

Classic!

Quote:
Brave Sir Talmage ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Talmage turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Sir Talmage!

As for your pathetic cry that I would not answer your little pet question, I quote from my previous post:
Quote:
I will consent to answer your question on the condition that you first answer a similar question from me:

If men did not really land on the moon in July of 1969, how would you know? What would such a falsifiability test look like?

I look forward to your reply.

The offer still stands, by the way. You produce a template for falsifiability for the moon landing, and I will reciprocate vis-à-vis Mormonism.

By the way, unbeknownst to you, many people, not normally associated with or interested in this sad excuse for a discussion forum, have been following this thread in order to observe and chronicle what are popularly becoming known as "Talibachmanisms." I am pleased to report that your performance has proved satisfactory in every respect.
.
.
.
Brave Sir Talmage . . .

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:54 am 
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Quote:
William Schryver wrote:
Tal Bachman wrote:
By the way, if anyone cares anymore, let it be noted that:

A.) W. Schryver denies that Mormon belief relies ultimately on a rejection of the contraints imposed by logic or empirical inquiry on what we may justifiably believe;

B.) This denial inescapably commits Schryver to the proposition that Mormon belief may be shown to be unjustified by logic and/or empirical inquiry;

but, despite being so committed,

C.) Schryver consistently refuses to suggest, or even acknowledge the existence or validity of, any logical or empirical test through which Mormon belief could be shown to be unjustified.

Now that is some world-class b*llsh*t!


How utterly predictable was this post?


---Me noting your b*llsh*t, I guess, was every bit as predictable as your b*llsh*t itself. Why do you ask? In any case, below is your chance to dynamite (C).

Quote:
If men did not really land on the moon in July of 1969, how would you know? What would such a falsifiability test look like?


---Uh, is that supposed to be hard? Don't you have any sense of where you are on all this, William? Why no embarrassment? I don't get it. I never get that with you guys.

I suggest that a moon landing hoax could be detected the same way we could detect any other hoax - like, say, a literary hoax, like "I, Rigoberta", "A Million Little Pieces", "The Book of Abraham", "The Kinderhook Plates", or "The Book of Mormon". It is the same way you yourself detect fraud in every other area of your life other than Mormonism. It involves the critical evaluation of hard and circumstantial evidence.

For example, if we were hit by a rash of deathbed affidavit confessions by those involved in the 1969 moon landing, which agreed on the particulars and fundamentals of an elaborate hoax story, and we then discovered hard evidence bolstering that story in the form of signed NASA documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, contemporary diary entries, private letters, etc.; got corroborating witness testimony (confessions) from the likes of Henry Kissinger, etc.; re-evaluated the lunar samples with present technology and found that, in fact, they'd been taken from Death Valley; re-evaluated the photos and original negatives and found evidence of tampering; got original unedited video footage with a Hollywood director yelling cut and duct tape operators wandering off and on the soundstage during "moon filming", etc., etc., we'd eventually end up with no choice but to say that there is no good reason to believe that men actually walked on the moon.

But I think this is no more than any average ten or twelve year old would say. It's certainly no more than you should already know.

Quote:
By the way, unbeknownst to you, many people, not normally associated with or interested in this sad excuse for a discussion forum, have been following this thread in order to observe and chronicle what are popularly becoming known as "Talibachmanisms." I am pleased to report that your performance has proved satisfactory in every respect.


---? What weirdos you guys are lol.

You charitably gave me some unsolicited advice above. I'd like to return the favor here: I suggest that you respond to the specific points. For example, this particular discussion is about one point in particular: your claim that Mormon belief does not ultimately rely on a denial of the constraints imposed by empirical inquiry and logic on what we may justifiably believe. I'm surprised you would have made this claim - I'm not sure I would have made it myself as a member. But that's the claim you made; and that in turn commits you to acknowledging the validity of falsifiability tests which do not reject those constraints. So my question to you is: what are those tests? This is your chance to successfully defend your claim, or take it back. What are those tests? If Mormonism were a fraud, how would you know?

P.S. If you can't think of an answer which doesn't require just that rejection you began by denying was inevitable, then I think you might as well take back your original claim. And honestly, that's okay - everyone who's not crazy ends up having to revise certain beliefs upon further consideration. Taking it back doesn't mean "Mormonism is a fraud", obviously; it would just mean that upon further reflection, you've come to conclude that ultimately, it does reject those constraints we've mentioned. No big deal, in and of itself.

Although, a more important point is what not being able to imagine any sort of real falsifiability test seems to say about the extent to which our Mormon belief is attributable to psychological, versus other-worldly, causes...

Last point of advice:

Try to ignore the fact "you're being watched" by your buddies. This is about you, your life, and what you believe - not them. Let's just focus on this point.

What are those tests?

Email me if you want.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:32 am 
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Quote:
For example, if we were hit by a rash of deathbed affidavit confessions by those involved in the 1969 moon landing, which agreed on the particulars and fundamentals of an elaborate hoax story, and we then discovered hard evidence bolstering that story in the form of signed NASA documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, contemporary diary entries, private letters, etc.; got corroborating witness testimony (confessions) from the likes of Henry Kissinger, etc.; re-evaluated the lunar samples with present technology and found that, in fact, they'd been taken from Death Valley; re-evaluated the photos and original negatives and found evidence of tampering; got original unedited video footage with a Hollywood director yelling cut and duct tape operators wandering off and on the soundstage during "moon filming", etc., etc., we'd eventually end up with no choice but to say that there is no good reason to believe that men actually walked on the moon.

But I think this is no more than any average ten or twelve year old would say. It's certainly no more than you should already know.

Very well done!

Now my answer for you:
If there were a discovery of deathbed affidavit confessions by either the three or eight witnesses to the plates of the Book of Mormon; if we were to locate diaries of Joseph Smith and/or Oliver Cowdery (and/or Sidney Rigdon and others) containing entries that made it clear they were involved in “making up” the Book of Mormon as they went along. Or if we were to find the 116 lost pages of Book of Mormon manuscript and they contained material that was completely contradictory to the existing Book of Mormon manuscript. That should do for now.

Of course, this is no more than any average ten or twelve year old would say. It’s certainly no more than you should already know.

However, I will add the falsifiability test I would personally require: God himself would have to come to visit me, and say, in essence – “Hey, you remember what I told you those other times? Well, I was just pulling your leg. Joseph Smith made all that stuff up.”

Quote:
What weirdos you guys are lol.

You should be flattered. Granted, you’ve come a long way down the backside of fame, fortune, and glory. But you’re still a big enough “name” to attract some people’s attention – even if it is just a handful of dorky Mormons who have an uncontrollable fascination for the train wreck lives of LDS apostates.

Quote:
… this particular discussion is about one point in particular: your claim that Mormon belief does not ultimately rely on a denial of the constraints imposed by empirical inquiry and logic on what we may justifiably believe. I'm surprised you would have made this claim - I'm not sure I would have made it myself as a member.

You have repeatedly and mistakenly asserted that I have claimed “that Mormon belief does not ultimately rely on a denial of the constraints imposed by empirical inquiry and logic.” I have, more accurately, qualified the degree to which empiricism informs my beliefs:

Quote:
… I will as easily appeal to the metaphysical as to the empirical, and to regard metaphysical discernment as being, generally speaking, more reliable, in terms of its use as a sensor of fact/truth, than the tools employed in any laboratory.


Quote:
… revelation, as it is understood and has been experienced by many, is much, much more than a feeling. Subjective “feelings” might attract and even convince a considerable number of people to pursue a life path, but the level of communication to which I refer goes far beyond any fleeting sensation of well-being. Rather, as stated previously, it consists of articulated intelligence

I have made it clear that, in the case of those who have “grown into the principle of revelation” there is far less of a distinction between the so-called “empirical” and the so-called “metaphysical.” The perceived gap between the two is narrowed considerably; the “spiritual” communications coming to be regarded with as much, if not more, credibility than any fact “empirically” established.

Hence my requirement, as stipulated above, that any “falsification” of Mormonism, as far as I’m concerned, would have to entail a definitive reversal of the “articulated intelligence” I have previously received.

Quote:
Try to ignore the fact "you're being watched" by your buddies.

Thanks for the advice, but I’ve never been one to suffer from performance anxiety. Studio work has always been a struggle, but live performances bring out my best. Did I mention my new favorite alternate tuning? I tune to an open F minor chord (C, F, C, F, Ab, C) then capo the first fret (keeps the loose strings from rattling). I love it.

Quote:
Email me if you want.

Likewise you. I’ve sent you a PM with my email address.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:36 am 
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[quote]
You have repeatedly and mistakenly asserted that I have claimed “that Mormon belief does not ultimately rely on a denial of the constraints imposed by empirical inquiry and logic.” I have, more accurately, qualified the degree to which empiricism informs my beliefs:

--- My apologies if I've misunderstood you. Before we go on then, let me ask: do you agree, or disagree, that at some point, Mormon belief ultimately rejects the constraints imposed by empiricism and the rules of logic on what we may justifiably believe?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:16 am 
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LDS belief most certainly accepts the reality of supernatural beings (Gods, angels, devils), supernatural communication (revelation, prayer), and supernatural events (walking on water, persons raised from the dead, etc.). I use the word “supernatural” here because these things appear to defy to natural laws. As such, it is often argued that these things, if they exist at all, exist outside the bounds of empirical investigation. I, however, maintain that everything that seems supernatural is actually conforming to natural laws -- albeit laws of which we are either currently ignorant, or which are only operative under certain conditions. In other words, these things would respond to empirical investigation if we knew more. But we don’t.

Of course, the last thing men like to admit in any age is that they aren’t on the “cutting edge” of knowledge, technology, etc. And so they comfort themselves with the thought that superstition has been banished to the past, logic and reason now rule, and the “demon-haunted world” of our ancestors has finally been subdued by the cold, hard empiricism of the present. And until and if angels are seen flying through the air sounding their trumps, I’m sure their sense of self-assurance and self-reliability will continue uninterrupted.

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... every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol ...


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:24 am 
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Quote:
Brave Sir Talmage ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Talmage turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Sir Talmage!




Riot, riot...

I have to admit I'd forgotten about this tidbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but its appropriateness regarding Mr. Bachman is undeniable (as his performance here and on other threads demonstrates). For some reason, the first thing that enters my mind when I think of Tal is Slade's Run Run Away, but this I couldn't have done better here myself. Hat's off to William.

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The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance.


- Thomas S. Monson


Last edited by Coggins7 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:44 pm 
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Quote:
William Schryver wrote:
I, however, maintain that everything that seems supernatural is actually conforming to natural laws -- albeit laws of which we are either currently ignorant, or which are only operative under certain conditions. In other words, these things would respond to empirical investigation if we knew more. But we don’t.


---I think I understand what you are trying to say here. I think it is problematic in some important ways.

For example, your acceptance of empiricism "in principle" follows an initial outright rejection of empiricism "in principle". For if there weren't an initial rejection of empiricism, consider that you would have no basis in the first place for the [prior] belief that "everything that seems supernatural is actually conforming to natural laws - albeit laws of which we are currently ignorant, or which are only operative under certain conditions". No "empirical investigation" led, or could have led, to that conclusion, William. And in any case, according to you, this original pure "intelligence" was transmitted to you via "occult sources".

Your use of both empirical and supposedly reliable occult epistemologies, at different times, or even concurrently with respectively different and changing weightings, raises several important questions. One is, what base criterion determines which epistemology is used in what circumstances, for what specific tasks, etc.? I suggest that the base criterion is not the discovery of truth, but the maintenance of Mormon belief, or to be more specific, the maintenance of a particularly pleasing psychological state.

If true, it means that both empirical and occult epistemology have been gutted, without us as believers really noticing, of whatever epistemic potential they may have had, and now exist only to serve as props for that particular psychological state.

Consider the following comments, which reveal just this.

This is Mormon anthropologist John Sorenson on DNA testing and its implications for the proposition that the Book of Mormon is an authentic history book, written by Israelite immigrants to the Americas millenia ago (as opposed to a young man in the late 1820's):

"With [DNA] sampling, you may or may not find evidence of a connection to the Old World. If you do, that says something. If you don't, that says more research needs to be done."

(See "BYU Gene Data May Shed Light On Origin Of Book of Mormon's Lamanites", Salt Lake Tribune, November 30, 2000).

Or consider the remarks of Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, in the February 2004 "Ensign" magazine. talking about the Book of Mormon:

"The evidence for its truth, for its validity in a world that is prone to demand evidence, lies not in archaeology or anthropology, though these may be helpful to some. It lies not in word research or historical analysis, though these may be confirmatory." (See "The Cornerstones of Our Faith").

What sort of thinking is this, William?

I want to suggest to you that it, in truth, it is deeply ad hoc. It is one which concedes the validity of fact when fact props up the psychological state, but denies that validity when it doesn't.

And this, I suggest, should be a big warning flag to all sincere believers. It is strong evidence that what we have cherished as deriving from other-wordly sources, in fact is more attributable to very common psychological operations, most notably, plain old confirmation bias. (Hinckely could not have been more explicit). Methodologies which we believed would help us discover truth end up being conscripted into the more emotionally-crucial task of remaining convinced that we've already found it.

Quote:
Of course, the last thing men like to admit in any age is that they aren’t on the “cutting edge” of knowledge, technology, etc. And so they comfort themselves with the thought that superstition has been banished to the past, logic and reason now rule, and the “demon-haunted world” of our ancestors has finally been subdued by the cold, hard empiricism of the present. And until and if angels are seen flying through the air sounding their trumps, I’m sure their sense of self-assurance and self-reliability will continue uninterrupted.


---We might see the particulars differently, but I also think that secular humanism (unwittingly) carries with it its own myths; i.e., that it is not nearly as "a-religious" as it flatters itself. I would even go further and say that some of secular humanism's myths are more dangerous, and untrue, than the religious myths they attempt to replace...but that is perhaps a subject for a different thread.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:30 pm 
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Quote:
For example, your acceptance of empiricism "in principle" follows an initial outright rejection of empiricism "in principle". For if there weren't an initial rejection of empiricism, consider that you would have no basis in the first place for the [prior] belief that "everything that seems supernatural is actually conforming to natural laws - albeit laws of which we are currently ignorant, or which are only operative under certain conditions".


You miss the point. William's acceptance of the Gospel does not in any necessary way preclude his acceptance of empirical phenomena and scientific explanation of them. What he said was that the "leap to absolute naturalism" precludes the secularist from the exploration of any other forms or channels of knowledge acquisition. Accepting the Gospel logically requires no overarching rejection of the empirical, nor does taking the empirical seriously imply some in toto rejection of "supernatural" phenomena. There is a semantic question here as well. There is nothing in LDS claiming that the Gospel and the powers of the Priesthood operate upon "natural principles" that obviates its "supernatural" (I rather prefer "metanatural") character or the existence of "natural principles" in the purely empirical, mortal realm. Indeed, LDS theology makes no distinction between "natural principles" and any set of principles that would be unnatural, or counter-natural, as counter-natural principles, by definition, could not exist. It does make distinctions between the natural principles operating at different planes, or levels of existence, but not between natural principles and any principles that could be understood to be in contradiction to these.


Quote:
Your use of both empirical and supposedly reliable occult epistemologies, at different times, or even concurrently with respectively different and changing weightings, raises several important questions. One is, what base criterion determines which epistemology is used in what circumstances,
for what specific tasks, etc.?


If one desires to know whether Joseph was a real prophet, whether her really saw the Father and the Son or whether Moroni really delivered gold plates to him, the "occult" channel of knowledge acquisition is the only viable channel open.


Quote:
I suggest that the base criterion is not the discovery of truth, but the maintenance of Mormon belief, or to be more specific, the maintenance of a particularly pleasing psychological state.


This could, in principle, be the case. It may also just as plausibly, irrespective of whether the Church is true or not, that this represents little more than precisely the nature of your own epistemological and metaphysical beliefs, including those regarding the Church.


Quote:
If true, it means that both empirical and occult epistemology have been gutted, without us as believers really noticing, of whatever epistemic potential they may have had, and now exist only to serve as props for that particular psychological state.


And how might positivist, empirical science save us from this unhappy state of affairs?


Quote:
And this, I suggest, should be a big warning flag to all sincere believers. It is strong evidence that what we have cherished as deriving from other-wordly sources, in fact is more attributable to very common psychological operations, most notably, plain old confirmation bias.


Does anyone but me here see the circularity of this entire exercise? If everything in the universe not amenable to observation or experiment, and empirical confirmation by independent observers, can be explained as nothing more than "confirmation bias", then this implies that not a single thought, feeling, emotion, or perception we, as human beings have ever had, need be considered 'real" even to ourselves. Our stated feelings toward our wives and children can never be known to be authentic because our inner lives, whatever the behavioral manifestations of them (and these can always be explained in utilitarian or pragmatist terms, just ask Kimberlyann or Moniker) are forever and utterly unavailable for empirical study or confirmation. It has also already been pointed out that most of the axioms upon which science and its language, mathematics, are predicated, are not verifiable or falsifiable through empirical means, even though science and mathematics would be impossible without them (and this opens a new Pandora's Box in its own right).

Further, as the Uncertainty Principle makes clear, human uncertainty, even about the fundamental nature of empirical reality, extends to the very core of that reality itself. The quantum world is not a world you can put in a jar and say "see, its behaving in such and such a manner." What is the empirical universe in any case? Mostly empty space; a vast ocean of probability waves, emergent properties, and particles that seem to respond to observation of them.

Tal, like his heroes Sagan and Dawkins, is not really defending science so much as a personal philosophy which, in a broad epistemological and metaphysical way, uses science as a universal proof text.


Quote:
(Hinckely could not have been more explicit). Methodologies which we believed would help us discover truth end up being conscripted into the more emotionally-crucial task of remaining convinced that we've already found it.


Secularists, to be brutally honest, really should admit they have no real concern with "truth". Truth, in relative, accidental, randomly generated universe of which we are a part, is important to our advanced simian brains only because they have evolved, again by vast fortuitous accident, to appreciate them. When we are gone, the argument we are having here will have been no more meaningful then whether or not we all blow ourselves up in a global thermonuclear war or don't'. It really doesn't matter because the universe itself doesn't matter. It just is and we all just happen to be.

Tal is arguing against the Church ultimately, because he is, in some manner, threatened by it, not because of some noble quest for that which he calls 'truth". If we were facing the red giant phase of our sun's lifespan, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. When we die, consciousness ends. Existence is extinguished. When our planet dies, this phenomena is no more important, within the context of the universe, than if one ant dies in one ant hill or in another.

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The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance.


- Thomas S. Monson


Last edited by Coggins7 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:36 pm 
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I believe one reason Tal attacks the Church is because it helps provide his current existentialist positivist view with a semblance of meaning. If you lack a foundation you better make sure you either build on someone else's or rip them all down.

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One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:39 pm 
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LifeOnaPlate wrote:
I believe one reason Tal attacks the Church is because it helps provide his current existentialist positivist view with a semblance of meaning. If you lack a foundation you better make sure you either build on someone else's or rip them all down.


Interesting point...

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The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance.


- Thomas S. Monson


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:56 pm 
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Coggins7 wrote:
LifeOnaPlate wrote:
I believe one reason Tal attacks the Church is because it helps provide his current existentialist positivist view with a semblance of meaning. If you lack a foundation you better make sure you either build on someone else's or rip them all down.


Interesting point...


He posits his analysis as something of a pseudo-psychological study. But man, the more I read him the more I feel like I'm reading some post-World War II study on reason and truth penned in the 50s.

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One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:01 pm 
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I know. As a matter of fact, it reminds me as much as anything of H.G. Wells' stuff from the twenties (if not The Professor from Gilligan's Island).

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The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance.


- Thomas S. Monson


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:17 am 
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Logical positivism is the cool.

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One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:11 am 
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Still waiting for Schryver to respond to my last post here.


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