Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

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ed123
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Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:25 am

EDIT:

As an introduction for background on this thread, I am done here, I am not going to be provoked and come here and be derailed and run off, and then have all the blame put on me, so this is what it is. I carefully explained my reasoning for this thread, and what I was asking for, only to be grossly taken out of context. I'm not going to be mentally abused like I was on other forums and have this all turned around on me.
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Red Ryder
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:14 am

There’s a lot to unpack here Ed.
“ed123” wrote:However, in the thought experiment, it is not negotiable that Joseph Smith was a fraud. He had the core of truth. Therefore, there is some sort of truth to the Book of Abraham. For this thought experiment, it is also not negotiable for the Book of Abraham to be mere pseudepigrapha and be true. It must be historically true, and actual, basic content that was originally written by Abraham.
Before I put this straight jacket on, hasn’t this been the core narrative of the church’s position? If so, why are they currently backing away from this narrative? It seems the church leaders are aware of the problems created by these boundaries and the existing evidence? So what eventually happens is an inherent need to shift away from a literal belief which opens this up to an abstract approach where anything could be possible, to support preconceived notions of truth.

So let’s put the straight jacket on and live within your constraints and answer the overwhelming question here. How could every secular person, from Egyptologists to historians, to individual Latter Day Saints who have dug into this stuff and concluded it isn’t what it claims, be wrong?

Truth requires the pursuit of facts and the willingness to follow the facts. Not come up with evidence that contradicts, then ignore it and play THIS or THAT. Doing so is mental gymnastics which is insanity and delusional.

Wouldn’t the better thought experiment be to ask yourself “what if Joseph Smith made the whole thing up? How would that change my thinking? How would that change my purpose in life?

Your thought experiment is just painting abstract art. Some will resonate with it while others will go hiking on Sundays instead.
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ed123
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:21 am

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Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:34 am

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:47 pm

ed123 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:34 am
Nobody has put all the evidence together in the right way yet, except me, and I am trying to get the word out, and they are unaware of my work. When they are aware of my work, no thanks to the Apologists trying to put the Kabosh on it, finally people will realize that the problem is solved, including the brethren, and there is no need to back away, and so, they will be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Thank you for your kind thoughtful input.

In other words, the apologists don't comprehend what I am doing, because they are too good for it and too high and mighty to spend any thought time on what I am doing, so they don't know what they are fighting against. They don't realize that they are fighting against the very thing they seek for a solution for.
Seems quite presumptuous and arrogant to say you have it figured out and all those other defenders of the faith do not. TSCC indirectly backs the apologists and uses their watered down material to try and inoculate the TBMs; do you also feel the corporate leadership (RMN) does not have it figured out? I mean, they got the Faith Crisis Report and came out with the apologetic essays soon afterward. Why would your Holy Ghost have you on the right path but nobody else? Not trying to hammer on you too hard here, but this is the pattern of how new religions break off from current ones; we've seen it so many times before.

Many of your statements gave me this impression, but I don't want to assume too much. And I'm quite biased, not trusting any man made religion or gods: 95% Atheist 5% I don't know. I've been running my own 'spiritual' plant based experiments in nature, finding the edge of the simulation, connecting with the universe and it's beginnings, exploring the fractals, mathematics, particle physics, astrophysics, geology and the beginnings of life on this planet. So I'm probably not a good candidate for these experiments, but I'm interested to see how it plays out so let the games begin!
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ed123
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Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:55 pm

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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:34 pm

Can I be frank? So far, the discussion has ignored the meat, and gone after me as ad-hominem against my character, or calling me arrogant, or whatever, or calling me delusional. Is anyone going to actually dissect the meat and leave my character alone? I would friendly suggest this. Thank you. Otherwise there is no point to this, and you good people might as well be the same as those on MormonDiscussions where many more than 100 messages in a thread passed before anyone gave any substantial feedback. I don't need you to tell me that you think I'm nuts, or that you think this is the spawning of a new breakoff, neither of which is the case, and all of which is designed to eat at my character. Please tell me what I want to know, and lay off of my character, or I will know I have not found a new home on the web, and that you are not serious, and that I should just end this. I am serious, and I want you to think through this if you please. I have taken the time to produce this (more than a decade). I would ask that you take the time and effort to consume it. Or please tell me to just go away. Thank you.
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Hagoth
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:37 pm

I don't think anyone is calling you nuts as much as questioning the usefulness of such an experiment. You appear to be taking a bit of a martyr stance very early in the discussion.

This strikes me as a bit like what one of my philosophy professors called an Aardvark Problem. That's where everyone sits around discussing the potential qualities of the aarvark in the room without just accepting that there is no aarvark in the room.

I have done a similar thought experiment as a believer and it didn't' go well for me. I often think of problems like this in terms of a Venn diagram. Two circles overlap; one circle represents Joseph's and the church's claims about the Book of Abraham and its contents. The other contains the verifiable facts about the translation and setting and the known realities of the ancient world. I started my personal thought experiment with this framework, as a solid true believer, confident of the veracity of the Book of Abraham and Joseph's claims about it. My assumption was that the the more I investigated, the more two circles would come together until there was only one circle (one eternal round?). Of course, the opposite happened. I now see two circles sitting alone in space with little or no overlap.

I'm sorry if I'm not playing by the rules but I'm not much fun when it comes to playing games and I will be travelling and likely unable to participate for a while.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:39 pm

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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:42 pm

Let us define restorationism. Are we going with the version that came before Joseph Smith in the reformed baptists, the scottish enlightenment and english trained ministers such as Edwards, Hopkins, Stone, Campbell, Scott, Crawford, or only JS' later adoptions of their doctrines? It is a sad state of affairs that we believe Joseph is the only restorationist to come out of 19th century restorationism and that his revelations formed without direct influence or "borrowing".

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Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:45 pm

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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by ed123 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:58 pm

I'll respond again when I get a thoughtful, on-topic answer.
I will not be responding to things on the periphery. Any discussion on the periphery or any further jabs at my character will be considered not worthy of response in this thread anymore. Thanks.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:11 pm

ed123 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:45 pm
FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:42 pm
Let us define restorationism. Are we going with the version that came before Joseph Smith in the reformed baptists, the scottish enlightenment and english trained ministers such as Edwards, Hopkins, Stone, Campbell, Scott, Crawford, or only JS' later adoptions of their doctrines? It is a sad state of affairs that we believe Joseph is the only restorationist to come out of 19th century restorationism and that his revelations formed without direct influence or "borrowing".
Let's stick with the problem at hand, and stop going around the periphery. I see you are not serious with the job at hand.
Restorationism is the system started by Joseph Smith, continuing through with the administration of Russell M. Nelson.

Now, think through the problem, and answer it, or I will be correct in assuming that you are all mindless and lazy in your criticisms and unwilling to take the time and put in the effort to solve the problem at hand.
Hold on there bro. FiveFinger was just trying to understand how you are seeing JS as a restorationist, it just puts it into context. Mindless and lazy criticisms of the church are not a likely way most folks here have and are passing through their faith crisis. It was with much anguish, personal sacrifice, careful study, sincere prayer, tribulation, painful cogdis, etc. You can't just bungee in here with your view and start calling out those that left the church or struggle with it's claims as lazy; that's what all the other TBMs do or assume. If we poke and prod you a bit to see what you are about you should not be overly sensitive about it.

If I understand what you are tying to do here, it's that we (those who participate in your experiment) should shuffle off all our past and present bias and enter an alternate universe, wherein we have no past knowledge of historical events as we have discovered them, but take the information you are giving us and try to think through it logically? That's a sincere question by the way, I'm not trying to run you off.
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:31 pm

OK, here's my response to the thought experiment. Sorry, I'm in a hurry and only had time to scan the instructions, so I may not be following the rules.

The only way I can see to harmonize all of these issues in a way that makes the Book of Abraham true would be to assume that God intentionally created a long laundry list of diversions that create the appearance that the Book of Abraham is fraudulent. Why would God do such a thing? It fololows along the lines of the claims that fossils cannot be used as evidence of evolution because God placed them in the earth as a deception to test our faith in the scriptural creation narrative. In this scenario God is intentionally deceiving us so that we will trust the claims of authority figures above our own reasoning. Or, alternatively, that we will trust the Holy Ghost, assuming that we have felt strong spiritual confirmation specifically about the Book of Abraham. The problem here, of course, is the one you already pointed out, which is that my Holy Ghost may not be the same as yours or anyone else's. So that means that we must also accept that we may very well be listening to a false Holy Ghost (or self deception) and should remove that factor from the equation. That leaves us with two options:

1) Ignore all of the facts and believe the authority figures. Conclusion: The Book of Abraham is Historically accurate.

2) Believe the facts and ignore the authority figures. Conclusion: The Book of Abraham is either an intentional hoax or a well-meaning product of Joseph's subconscious intellect.

Considering all of the other problems in church history and hierarchy, most of us here have opted to take a wide berth around claims of authority and feel more trusting of the facts.

I hope you find this a satisfactory response. Gotta go.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:42 pm

I’m still stuck on #9
(9) Since the interpolator was the one responsible in the thought experiment for the interpolations, not Joseph Smith, we should find evidence that the interpolator had something meaningful in mind for the interpolations. To CONTAIN the text or MEANING of the Book of Abraham, scientifically and Egyptologically is not it. It was something else. Therefore, there is no mechanical exercise that will be able to "extract" the text of the Book of Abraham from the interpolated Hor Papyrus characters to produce a running, meaningful text.
Can you provide some hypothetical examples of evidence that proves the interpolator has something meaningful in mind? If it was something else? What are you proposing?

If there’s no mechanical exercise to extract then we have to rely on what Joseph and the church narrative tells us. This is where the conflict lies.

Your implying that the BOA was a portal of supernatural meaning that needed a secret decoder ring that Joseph Smith conveniently was able to use and that anyone trying to understand it today has it wrong due to the elicit iconotropy.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by Mormorrisey » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:17 pm

I'll take a stab at this, having read some of your material on your website. I'll focus solely on number 11 for brevity, where you state, "since the Hor Papyrus text characters interpolated into the Book of Abraham text are NOT information containers from which the text of the Book of Abraham is mechanically extracted, then they have some other purpose, a purpose that was "literal" (i.e. in the sense of someone's ability to reason through them and to make a literary work out of them). Therefore, there is some reason for them to exist there to be part of a literary composition that also includes the text of the Book of Abraham."

Is it entirely possible that the BOA can be "decoded" to use RR's term, that the Hor papyrus can have multiple interpretative meanings depending on its ultimate authorship? And that Joseph managed, using God's help, to decode the right meaning, the original meaning, out of the papyrus? Absolutely it's possible. I'll even go you one further and having read the material on your website, I think you come up with some interesting parallels from antiquity that illustrates this very thing. It's entirely possible. However, do I think it's PROBABLE? Well, that's another question, and I'm not sure that this is a plausible explanation for the existence of the BOA.

I have two hesitations on this score. The first, and the most important, is that Joseph himself was not convinced of this - he was absolutely certain that the Hor papyrus was in Abraham's own hand, and that is the biggest stumbling block. Whether or not he was wrong, or misguided, or just didn't understand the different layers of meaning in the possibly different texts contained in the papyrus is not a large problem in and of itself. But when you couple this with Joseph's certainty that the BOM plates were written in Reformed Egyptian and that he could translate them, or that he could translate the Kinderhook plates, or re-translate the Bible, this is a pattern of behaviour that illustrates a complete belief that all of these materials were literal translation jobs. No catalysts, no interpretative information containers, but TRANSLATIONS of ancient materials. It's not just the BOA which is problematic, but the pattern. Jospeh absolutely believed that he was literally translating these materials. Whether or not he actually was is just so problematic that it stretches credulity, particularly given the anachronisms in the BOM, the Kinderhook fakes, and the BOA itself.

And this is what leads me to the second problem. If there are layers of meaning held within the BOA, who is to say that what we have now in our modern-day PoGP is the "real" interpretation of the BOA? Could Joseph have gotten it completely wrong, and the actual book of Abraham is still not be translated? If you concede that Joseph was not accurate in his assessment of the translation container, could he also have been wrong about the actual text? That in actuality the "real" BOA is still out there? Once you go down this slippery slope all sorts of ambiguous possibilities open up, which I would be in favour of, but still rather implausible that this is how it went down.

Which leads me to RR's conclusion at the end as well. Why would God do it this way, instead of just having the RIGHT BOA for Joseph to translate, instead of this chaotic mess? Just seems a little farfetched.
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by moksha » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:47 pm

Hey Ed, welcome to the NOM forum. I hope you find this a kind and welcoming group with whom you can relate and share ideas. Some here have demonstrated remarkable flexibility in their thought process, which I believe is exactly what you are looking for in having some good sympatico dialogue.

Was able to glance at your A Horse is a Horse, of Course, of Course thread at the Mormon D&D board today. Things have certainly changed since I was in college. Such a dissertation as presented by that lady from Alaska would have been shot down before it ever got to the page due to being long on anecdote and short on documented evidence.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by Exiled » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:23 am

Ed:

I think the "god as trickster" conclusion is a big problem for you to overcome. It's a problem with mormonism itself because of the utter lack of evidence for the Nephites in the Americas, the changing of the D&C "revelations" and Joseph's evolving theories of deity, etc. over time. Either one has to believe that Joseph was making this stuff up or that god was a trickster, as others have shown above and as was at least implied, if I remember, over at mormondiscussions.com. One can believe still that Joseph meant well, but it looks to me like he invented his stuff. Your apologetic attempts here, while well-meaning, confirm the more probable conclusion of invention.

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Post by ed123 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:17 pm

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Re: Thought Experiment 1: Correct Faithful Worldview/Paradigm for BOA

Post by ed123 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:24 pm

moksha wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:47 pm
Hey Ed, welcome to the NOM forum. I hope you find this a kind and welcoming group with whom you can relate and share ideas. Some here have demonstrated remarkable flexibility in their thought process, which I believe is exactly what you are looking for in having some good sympatico dialogue.

Was able to glance at your A Horse is a Horse, of Course, of Course thread at the Mormon D&D board today. Things have certainly changed since I was in college. Such a dissertation as presented by that lady from Alaska would have been shot down before it ever got to the page due to being long on anecdote and short on documented evidence.
That's not my thread. That is the thread of Clark Goble who may be a distant cousin of mine. I am not the same person.

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