Our Prophetic Church

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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jmb275
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 02 Jun 2009, 16:16

Valoel wrote:So use them both?
Ah the great challenge of life.
Valoel wrote:I would reverse that and say the other emphasis is equally flawed -- that of pure, conscious logic alone. It doesn't have to be only one or the other. They are both a part of what makes us human.
All I know is that in my life, my subconscious thoughts, which I thought were the "Spirit," rarely turned out to be accurate. This is why I began doubting my orthodox testimony of the church. I could sit here all day and come up with reasons why I was "prompted by the Spirit" to do things that turned out to be pointless, but that exercise would also be pointless since I can't reliably know that information. For me, in the aggregate, using my rational, cognitive, critical thinking skills has proven far more useful than following various "promptings." That's not to say that kind of thinking always gets it right.

Don't misunderstand, I don't reject my subconscious thoughts, and intuitions. I have just learned to be more suspicious of them in general. The subconscious serves a purpose in life - although we're just starting to figure it out - but I'm not sure it's to convey inherent universal Truths from God. For me, I research everything as much as possible and then form an opinion, or make a preliminary decision. If I really don't feel it is right, I will examine why, and redo my analysis. In all, I attempt to make decisions that are rationally sound, logically thought through, and which I still feel good about. However, I must confess, that the former influences the latter quite a bit.

I'm curious, why is using logic and rationality equally flawed in your view?
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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Heber13
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jun 2009, 16:22

jmb275 wrote:I research everything as much as possible and then form an opinion, or make a preliminary decision. If I really don't feel it is right, I will examine why, and redo my analysis.
Have you read Malcolm Gladwell's book "Blink"?

An interesting cut on how sometimes what we see in the blink of an eye can be intuitively more accurate than months and months and mounds and mounds of analysis. If it "feels" wrong, there could be a good chance it is, maybe something you can't describe in an analysis, but can be more valid than the intellectual reasoning allows.

Its an interesting book. I don't agree with all of it, but Gladwell is a good writer.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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jmb275
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 02 Jun 2009, 17:04

I'll take a look at it.

It has been my personal experience that even when I feel something is "wrong" there is a valid reason, even if I haven't discovered it yet, or can't describe it just yet. Just because I haven't discovered it, or "can't describe it in analysis" doesn't mean it was planted there by God, or is some sign of some external reality.

Of course it could be.
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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Heber13
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jun 2009, 21:23

jmb,
I wasn't really suggesting that the gut feel comes from God, just mentioning the book which suggests (among other things) that research suggests the brain processes things sometimes faster than we can put into language and therefore picks up on some things and we get a gut feeling, but it is really based on micro expressions or body language or some small thing the brain picks up on.

I was agreeing with your point.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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jmb275
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 02 Jun 2009, 22:15

Heber13 wrote:jmb,
I wasn't really suggesting that the gut feel comes from God, just mentioning the book which suggests (among other things) that research suggests the brain processes things sometimes faster than we can put into language and therefore picks up on some things and we get a gut feeling, but it is really based on micro expressions or body language or some small thing the brain picks up on.

I was agreeing with your point.
Ah, sorry, my misunderstanding. Thank you for clarifying. I was discussing a very similar topic in another thread with HiJolly, and probably was in the wrong frame of mind to understand what you were saying. I apologize for that.
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Brian Johnston » 09 Jun 2009, 14:08

jmb275 wrote:I'm curious, why is using logic and rationality equally flawed in your view?
I say this because people seem to come to flawed conclusions via this route too. It isn't that logic in itself is bad, just that we never really seem to have all the information. Once upon a time it was logical and rational to "know" that the earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun and all the stars moved around us. People watched these things move through the sky and came to logical conclusions.

The earth was also flat, once upon a time. Look in any direction where mountains don't obstruct your view -- you can clearly see that the whole world is flat. Every place we did this, the earth was flat. Therefore, we "knew" what was right. The earth was a big flat disk. If you went too far out in the ocean, you fell off and sea monsters ate you. It was all very logical and rational based on the information people had available to them.

Here's one last example. I can look at the world and make a logical and rational conclusion that most of the people need to be removed. That would be the best and most efficient use of the resources. We are making a big mess of everything. Let's kill all them except 500 million people. We can pick the best and the brightest for survival. Then we can make sure that the population never gets larger than that ever again. My gut and my feelings tell me that is not a "good" solution :shock: . It is irrational though, and just based on a feeling I have that murdering other people is wrong.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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jmb275
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 14 Jun 2009, 23:45

Valoel wrote:I say this because people seem to come to flawed conclusions via this route too. It isn't that logic in itself is bad, just that we never really seem to have all the information. Once upon a time it was logical and rational to "know" that the earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun and all the stars moved around us. People watched these things move through the sky and came to logical conclusions.
Ah, I see what you're saying. Sure, I concur.
Valoel wrote:Here's one last example. I can look at the world and make a logical and rational conclusion that most of the people need to be removed. That would be the best and most efficient use of the resources. We are making a big mess of everything. Let's kill all them except 500 million people. We can pick the best and the brightest for survival. Then we can make sure that the population never gets larger than that ever again. My gut and my feelings tell me that is not a "good" solution :shock: . It is irrational though, and just based on a feeling I have that murdering other people is wrong.
Let me give an example to the contrary. Suppose a bat and a ball together cost $1.10. The bat cost $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Or how about this one: In a small pond the number of lily pads doubles each day. It starts out with a single lily pad in the pond. If it takes 14 days to cover the entire pond with lily pads, on which day was the pond half covered?

I don't think I ever said we should only use rational, or logical thinking. I think we are agreeing that they ought to be used in conjunction. My beef comes in when people proclaim external "truth" based on spiritual experience, without checking it against the logic and reason. To me, the logic and reason that should be used is described in the "baloney detection kit" by Carl Sagan (search for it on google).
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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Heber13
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by Heber13 » 16 Jun 2009, 23:46

Sometimes it seems to me that following my heart is the logical thing to do, if I have searched and truly feel it is what I want. I got married at 22 a year after my mission. I remember wrestling logically that I was just getting back into school, only had $700 to my name, and should wait until I was done with school and started my career before getting married. But I didn't want to. I felt my prayer was answered, I felt my heart was right, and I plunged ahead without it being reasonable.

Maybe that's a different context than spiritual matters, but I think its kinda the same. If you have studied it out in your mind, then get a spiritual witness, it becomes logical and reasonable to believe in, even if others think it is illogical.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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jmb275
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Re: Our Prophetic Church

Post by jmb275 » 17 Jun 2009, 17:20

Heber13 wrote:Sometimes it seems to me that following my heart is the logical thing to do, if I have searched and truly feel it is what I want. I got married at 22 a year after my mission. I remember wrestling logically that I was just getting back into school, only had $700 to my name, and should wait until I was done with school and started my career before getting married. But I didn't want to. I felt my prayer was answered, I felt my heart was right, and I plunged ahead without it being reasonable.
That's interesting. I got married 8 months after getting home to a girl I knew (but hadn't dated) in High School. I had no education, no job, about $2000 to my name. I actually didn't get an answer to my prayer, was very unconvinced it was the right thing to do, but went ahead with it based on pressure from fiance, social pressure (didn't want to be one of those mid-twenty "menace to society" types). It's worked out great for me and I love my wife very much, but I never really felt it was right.
Heber13 wrote:Maybe that's a different context than spiritual matters, but I think its kinda the same. If you have studied it out in your mind, then get a spiritual witness, it becomes logical and reasonable to believe in, even if others think it is illogical.
I think you're right, I think it is kinda the same.
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)

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