Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

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Roy
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by Roy » 06 Jun 2017, 17:25

I appreciate all the thoughtful replies. This gives me much to think about.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by Ray DeGraw » 06 Jun 2017, 22:30

Yes - but there is little proof involved in religious belief.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by Heber13 » 07 Jun 2017, 07:56

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
05 Jun 2017, 15:08
When I joined the church, the bom was an actual historical record.
...
Then I gravitated to an agnostic approach on historicity, and at times felt that it was plausibly made up.
I think the proof is not in the details themselves, but how we use them to do good.

That is not to dismiss all logic, all emotion, all science. Simply, those are different fields from spirituality. The proof is how we bring them all together to become a greater person who can add goodness to the world, how it "feels" to us, or what we call the "spirit".

BOM as a historical approach...vs...agnostic approach on historicity. Which path leads to growth and fulfillment for you? That is not to say we just believe and anything goes. You can't just claim proof the sun orbits the earth just by believing it to be so and living a happy life. Some things can be proven with science, and we should seek that truth and seek that knowledge and build on it and fit spiritual beliefs around proof.

We have "theories" about BOM historicity, but not proofs. As more information becomes available, we adjust our theories. As we do that, we "practice" our religion, with those who believe differently. I have not found proof the BOM is false.

One explorer may take one position. One explorer the other. Both may be right.

Part of my journey has been letting go of a need to be certain in all things and have proofs before I choose a path, or to get others to agree and prove what I believe to others. It has opened up greater gospel meaning to me knowing that it matters less which path, and more on how I walk the path I choose. In those ways...I get more proof of gospel principles, and let go of needing church facts in order to have faith.
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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dande48
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by dande48 » 07 Jun 2017, 21:13

I recently watched an interview of the Dalai Lama, and he mentioned some of the discussions he's had with scientists. With psychology, astronomy, biology, physics... when the Dalai Lama comes into contact with scientific evidence which contradicts Bhuddist scripture, the Dalai Lama corrects it. Better still, he is open about correcting it. "As Bhuddist, we must accept the reality. We should not rely blindly [on] scripture. So I publically told the monastic institution, over 10,000 monk students, I no longer believe [in] Mount Meru (The holy mountain originally taught to be the center of all universes)... Bhuddha [taught] four noble truths... Whether [the earth is] round or flat, it doesn't matter."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl9ycLV7IKA

I wish our Church was more acknowledging of when we are in error, and had that willingness to adjust, like the Dalai Lama. "Proof" certainly swayed him. And I'll admit, "Lack of proof" pulled me away from the LDS Church.

DoubtingTom
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by DoubtingTom » 07 Jun 2017, 22:22

As some others have stated, there are very few "proofs," especially in the context of religion, or even of history. Proofs tend to occur in mathematics, but when it comes to religious or historical questions, we merely have evidences. We can weigh the data, and try to draw the most likely or logical conclusion. Sometimes that conclusion is wrong, and when new information becomes available we adjust our conclusions. That is essentially what the scientific method is.

For me, the evidence certainly does matter, both when it comes to spiritual issues and historical questions. I weigh the evidence and try to draw the most rational and logic conclusion. But I try to remain open to the possibility that my conclusions are wrong - and I look forward to new information that could cause to reevaluate and assess again. For me, this is one of the beauties of my faith transition - I no longer feel bound to only come to conclusions that church tells me to come to. I feel free to draw my own conclusions about things and that has been very liberating.

I sometimes wonder if Joseph Smith was still around today, how different our doctrines and teachings might be. He was very universalist in some of his approaches, and I wonder if he would be much more embracing of some of the evidence available and humble enough to change certain things. I tend to think he would on many issues.

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Sheldon
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by Sheldon » 15 Jun 2017, 08:45

Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.

Jonathan Swift

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DarkJedi
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by DarkJedi » 15 Jun 2017, 11:07

Sheldon wrote:
15 Jun 2017, 08:45
Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired

Jonathan Swift
Good one Sheldon. :thumbup:
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SamBee
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by SamBee » 15 Jun 2017, 15:08

Sheldon wrote:
15 Jun 2017, 08:45
Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.

Jonathan Swift
Sort of... I prefer Charles Fort here (although don't get me wrong I am a huge fan of Swift.):
Almost all people are hypnotics. The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, and the people believed properly.
This doesn't just apply to religion or the people in religion.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Heber13
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Re: Does 'proof' sway your belief either way?

Post by Heber13 » 16 Jun 2017, 08:18

DoubtingTom wrote:
07 Jun 2017, 22:22
As some others have stated, there are very few "proofs," especially in the context of religion, or even of history. Proofs tend to occur in mathematics, but when it comes to religious or historical questions, we merely have evidences. We can weigh the data, and try to draw the most likely or logical conclusion. Sometimes that conclusion is wrong, and when new information becomes available we adjust our conclusions. That is essentially what the scientific method is.

For me, the evidence certainly does matter, both when it comes to spiritual issues and historical questions. I weigh the evidence and try to draw the most rational and logic conclusion. But I try to remain open to the possibility that my conclusions are wrong - and I look forward to new information that could cause to reevaluate and assess again. For me, this is one of the beauties of my faith transition - I no longer feel bound to only come to conclusions that church tells me to come to. I feel free to draw my own conclusions about things and that has been very liberating.
Good comments. I agree. I pickup in your comments how some areas have a bit more "choice" on what to use to draw conclusions, not that evidence doesn't matter (historical evidence, for example) but that there is some understanding it won't be the same as mathematics or other things. So we accept what we have and make a choice based on experience and feeling...then it seems some people long for that "proof" and so they search to attach those things that can do that for them (what we call "proof texting", for example)...even if it is a bit futile for some things, like teachings or bible writings or things like that. They try to use more rigorous means...but...there really isn't when things were written the way they were written, and the proof is sometimes not of this world, making it difficult to use tools of this world to apply to the mystical and spiritual side of things. But they try. Almost like a hobby, they want to try to do it. It is usually limited in it's applications. I find that letting go of need for certainty is freeing and helpful. And instead, focus on the proof through experience...what works for me is good for me to listen to. I can also frame things in religious speak to make it feel good....like...saying God intentionally will hide things from this side of the veil from us so we have our mortal experience achieve it's purpose...therefore...the proof will always be hidden intentionally.

Believe in God, or not believing God, either way...there is a design of no proof available for some things. That helps to embrace that.
I sometimes wonder if Joseph Smith was still around today, how different our doctrines and teachings might be. He was very universalist in some of his approaches, and I wonder if he would be much more embracing of some of the evidence available and humble enough to change certain things. I tend to think he would on many issues.
I've often wondered that also. But, which Joseph do you think you are thinking about with that statement? The young prophet leader of the church, or the even younger prophet just starting the church...or perhaps...what would Joseph have thought if he lived to be a 90 yr old prophet like Monson? My guess is those are 3 separate responses.
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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