I haven't had the time nor the inclination to follow this thread closely, but I have prepared the following reply to our esteemed interlocutor:
I perceive no such restraints, for in my defense of my beliefs, 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. Of course, the inherent difficulty of using metaphysical sensors is the degree of fine calibration required – calibration parameters which seldom have relevance for someone else. We communicate “beyond the veil” on a frequency peculiarly our own, and learn how to make judgments based on the peculiar nature of the signals we discern.
To which Talmage replied:
---Hence, the success of science over tarot card reading.
By the way, is it just me, or did you finish this paragraph by undermining your very first words in it? You began by saying that you don't see Mormonism as denying that empirically-established facts and logic impose constraints on what we may justifiably believe, but then ended by championing a wholly occult (in the true sense of the word) "epistemology" - which by definition DOES deny those constraints. You began by disputing my characterization, but ended by agreeing with it. How does that work?
And thus Talmage once again reveals his seeming incapacity for three-dimensional thinking. He would have us believe that if we appeal to the existence and reliability of occult knowledge – the metaphysical, then we cannot simultaneously appeal to the empirical.
This, of course, is quite predictable – for once one makes the jump to absolute naturalism, then there can be no further accommodation of the metaphysical in the equations that seek to explain our existence. Needless to say, those who have experienced, firsthand, the concrete clarity of such occult transmissions, have come to recognize that everything in this world is, at its most fundamental level, transitory
and therefore inherently unreliable – whereas the communications from beyond the veil speak of things as they really are and as they really will be.
All you have to do to feel 100% metaphysical certitude about something is to be human, William. And yes, I've felt the same 100% level of certainty about Mormonism as you have, though I understand how difficult that will be for you to believe right now. I have also come to accept the fact that feeling certain that something is so, is not equivalent to it actually being so.
I never said anything about “feelings” in all of my response to your initial post. That is your definition of “metaphysical sensors,” not mine.
You see, I was quite clear in my descriptions of the nature of the metaphysical communications to which I referred – and to which many others have referred over the years. I’m talking about articulated intelligence.
That all you (and many others) ever experienced in your days as a “believer” was some kind of vague “feeling” is not my problem, nor is it an indictment of the means by which intelligence is communicated across the divide of the veil.
I also wrote:
… those who have paid the price to “grow into the principle of revelation” are not likely to be very impressed by your insistence that such things are not real.
To which Talmage replied:
---You seem to have mistaken me for someone else...
Have I now?
I will admit that you are quite similar to many others I have known.
Although I will give you credit for a measure of unique eloquence, you’re following a very typical pattern here; one which I have observed several times over the course of my life. In a way, I feel a sense of sorrow for you. By all indications, you might have excelled in righteousness. On the other hand, your apparent inability to resist the urge to cover your sins, gratify your pride, and aspire to the honors of men has rendered you defenseless against the malady which has now consumed you.
In any event, I will simply reiterate, for the benefit of our readers, that 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
– although its “articulation” often challenges and sometimes defies the capacity of human language to convey second-hand. But those who know also recognize others who know, and according to the capacity of each, are able to share that knowledge; combining together (and thus augmenting) their strength in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Thus my statement:
Those who have grown “into the principle of revelation” are cognizant of others who are like them. They have seen that there is consistency to what they and others have learned through this unique sensory pathway. They form a whole, and combined as such, they constitute a power you cannot understand and they create a gravity that pulls into their orbit others who are attracted by the light and intelligence they exude.
So, I welcome you to continue “to kick against the pricks,” but, in time, you’ll see – like all those who have preceded you in this venture – that it was all an exercise in futility.