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  1. 7 points
    Just_A_Guy

    Free will

    I don't think Mormonism has ever really preoccupied itself with the supposed "sovereignty" of God in quite the way many other Christian denominations seem to have. We're quite comfortable, in principle, with the notion that there are some things that God just can't do. For example, we believe the Atonement of Christ was necessary because God was obligated to bridge the gap between/satisfy the demands of both justice and mercy--He couldn't save us unless He was willing to sacrifice His own Son. And while it's not "officially" doctrinal, we also speculate heavily on the notion that God was once a mortal as we are now--a supposition which which suggests that He had other mortal peers, some of whom may have attained godhood as He has, but over whom He presumably has no dominion. I don't think we really subscribe to the idea that our God must be the only/mightiest God in all the eternities and the infinite universes that ever have or ever will existed. Nor does our faith require that our God be absolutely all-powerful within the realm that is His own. Really, we envision a council of gods who are each supremely mighty within their own spheres (and only One of which with whom, as Brigham Young put it, "we have anything to do"); and it is enough for us that God is spectacularly more powerful than we are and that He invites us to become as He is. As for humankind's "free will" or "agency" (and frankly, I think within Mormon discourse we often conflate those two concepts, but that's another discussion): God, like any parent, has kids who develop independent consciences and wills; and who can only be controlled in accordance with certain principles (and even then, only to a limited degree). In fact, in Mormonism, the kernel of each individual's identity--the "intelligence"--is co-eternal with God Himself. God can organize and refine intelligence, but He cannot create it. The will of the intelligence (or, in its later states, the spirit or the human) is subject to God's power, but is not really subject to God's will unless the intelligence/spirit/human chooses to become so. Within Mormonism, I think the more intriguing question isn't whether our "free will" is bound by God's omnipotence, but whether it is bound by His omniscience. If He can see all things past, present, and future as "one eternal now", as Joseph Smith taught--then in a sense, is my future already written? Am I just pantomiming a role in a play whose ending is already known? In my experience, that's the question that tends to keep philosophically-minded Mormons up at night.
  2. 6 points
    clwnuke

    Free will

    Romans 8:5-7 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” As taught in the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, the natural man is an enemy to God. You are right when you say we can't control the flesh. No matter how hard we think, we can't make a hair grow on our head or stop hormones from surging through our bodies. No man or woman should ever feel guilt for their appetites - they are by design. But they can still choose. The fact that your true self, your spiritual self, can stop and yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit means you have every bit of agency that was promised in the pre-earth council. However, pre-mortal existence is not a widely held doctrine outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so our members may benefit from that faith where others do not. Keep 🙏 and doing good!
  3. 4 points
    It's more the idea that we are learning more and more about the Americas. People said there were no horses before Columbus in America. And then you have this: https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/yes-world-there-were-horses-in-native-culture-before-the-settlers-came This was one of the major anti-Mormon hit points while I served my mission and after when discussing the Book of Mormon with people over the internet -- YouTube. Joe Schmoe tried to con everyone with horses because he assumed horses were upon the Americas, what he didn't know is there were no horses in the Americas before the Spaniards. @clwnuke is more saying that in time with all the new facts that scientists (with limited knowledge) said were not true, are ending up proving them incorrect. What else then can they be incorrect about? Like horses, there were "iron clad" findings --- until --- something comes along and proves them wrong.
  4. 4 points
    While looking more into this, I read that apparently some Native Americans have been insisting for a while, based on oral traditions and storytelling, that humans have been on the American continent far longer than the land bridge theory postulates. Pending peer review, it would appear that this new discovery proved the native storytellers right.
  5. 4 points
    Science is about knowledge, discovery, and understanding our world. And yes, the endeavors of science sometimes force us to rethink what we know about our world and our history in significant ways. Just ask Copernicus, Albert Einstein (whose theory of relativity was just proven this year, over 100 years after he wrote it), and Charles Darwin. That kind of thinking is the reason why Galileo spent the last decade of his life under house arrest after being tried in the Inquisition.
  6. 4 points
    LDSGator

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    It’s also worth noting that your average doctor is not an expert in communicable disease either. Just because he or she is a wonderful GP doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about when it comes to Covid.
  7. 4 points
    So, did the kid get hurt, hide it from everyone, and sneak home before anyone found out? A story I'm told by the parents of a drama-queen-always-loud-about-every-little-inconvenience daughter. One time she blew up her mom's phone begging to be picked up early because she was sick and dying and dying and sick. Mom went to pick her up early. Turns out she moved heaven and earth to not let anyone in school know what was going on. Told the teacher she needed to leave and her mom was coming, sat on the steps, actually threw up on herself, snuck around and hid from everyone in the school, until mom appeared, then she made a mad dash for the car and demanded to be driven away quickly. Has she actually approached any of the leaders about this to figure out what happened? Lawsuits are what should happen when people are given the opportunity to do what they're legally required to, and refuse. People get to be fallen humans, who struggle against their own imperfect nature. Complacency is a normal thing. But folks have to be given the chance to get their act together and do the right thing, before lawyers get involved. I'm guessing the most-likely explanation, is kid got hurt on accident, it's not really anyone's fault, and there is no legal recourse. The leaders involved either will or won't stand up and do the right thing of expressing the range of emotions and outrage that your mamma bear daughter needs to have to feel ok about the whole thing. That's my guess. But no, for absolute heaven's sake, if someone at that activity was criminally negligent in some way, DO NOT PROTECT THE PERPETRATOR OF A CRIME. Do not sacrifice your grandchild at the altar of the false god of "if people knew, they might think worse about the church" or some other luceferian nonsense. That's not "glue holding family to the church", that's evil calling itself good. Don't be that guy, JJ. The church just finished paying $250 million dollars into the Boy Scout sexual abuse claim fund, because so many people used to think that way.
  8. 4 points
    Anddenex

    Free will

    First, it is this type of YouTube video that makes me cringe. It is someone who doesn't know but rambling on as if he knows because he read research. There is plenty of scientific articles that support Free Will, and I have read how a professor used the same article and findings to support biological behaviorism (no choice, our genes dictate our choice). There appear to be misunderstandings of the Church's doctrine surrounding "moral agency." First, is that our "free will" (moral agency) isn't "on loan" from God. Moral agency is a law in heaven, and without it we have the following verse of scripture, "And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away." If there is law, if their is righteousness, if there is goodness, if there is punishment, if there is wickedness then moral agency (not necessarily free will) exists. If a law that never existed until a society was created and a person can obey or disregard, then you know you have choice. Free will I believe is different from moral agency. Free will, technically, is action/choice without accountability. Moral agency is action/choice with accountability (thus the dichotomy of Heaven and Hell). Second, it is semantics but an important distinction. God didn't choose the latter course. The course was already laid before us, it wasn't like Satan presented an opportunity before God the Father. Satan presented an opportunity for our choice, our choosing. The Father simply move forward with the plan that was already laid out. Third, Jesus wanted to do the will of his Father and to obey the Father's plan. Jesus wasn't "wanting" God the Father to give mankind moral agency. Jesus was honoring the Father who understood the necessity for moral agency. Jesus was obeying and desiring -- as in life -- the will of the Father, "Thy will, not mine be done." The first is a fallacy. Our actions are subject to our: knowledge, our appetites, our passions, our dislikes, and our experiences. The second bullet is a fallacy also. In what way do we not have control over our wants? Any concept or idea is suppositions. So, I have to agree/accept (a choice) -- the irony -- with the bullet to accept their is no freedom to our wants. When I was 11 I had walking Pneumonia. At that time, this medicine was freaking horrible tasting. I wanted to throw up and gag every time I took it. I didn't "want" to take the medicine. There were many days I didn't take the medicine because it was disgusting. I "wanted" to get better without taking the medicine, and I got better even though I didn't take the medicine everyday like I should have. If two wants exists -- guess what -- you have a choice between the two wants. And the concepts of choosing the want which is the strongest is faulty also. Are we able to act against the stronger desire? Yes, indeed we are. We see it with drug addicts whose desire -- the strongest want -- is to take the drug. But they stay their hand. Driving down "free will" to one concept -- want -- is myopic.
  9. 4 points
    Jane_Doe

    Free will

    An important refinement on this to make (speaking as an LDS Christian lady) Free will is foundational to what it is to be. It is intrinsic to whom person is. The Father acknowledges this. Christ (whom was always the chosen to be the Savior) choose to follow in His Father's wisdom in this regard. It was Lucifer whom then said (in essence) "Time out-- no no, that's a horrible idea. I'll force everyone to behave. I'll be the Savior I"ll be the most High!". The Father already had the Plan, Lucifer's rebellion was never a valid option. But Lucifer did always have the option to obey or rebel, and he choose rebellion. You can't get a more anti-Calvinist view point than LDS Christians. The "sovereignty of God" is... not a concern. Just zero. We have all have choices- you, me, the Father, etc. They are intrinsic. Obviously some things aren't possible and consequences comes with choices. Even the Father acknowledges this and works within that framework.
  10. 4 points
    To me, it seems like the answer to a question like this is a product of trying to balance the potential ill effects and efficacy of the vaccine itself, versus the ill effects and mortality rate of the disease the vaccine is supposed to protect against, and factoring in the severity of punishment imposed upon those who refuse to comply with the vaccine. That's the calculation that a lot of the folks who are citing Jacobson v. Massachusetts for the proposition that "heck yeah, the government can force you to take a vaccine" are missing: a) the disease in question was smallpox which IIRC had 30%+ mortality amongst European-Americans (and far higher amongst Native Americans), b) the defendant failed to provide any technically-admissible evidence as to why he, specifically, was an unfit subject for vaccination, and c) the penalty imposed against him for noncompliance was fairly minimal (a $5 fine, equivalent to less than $200 today) In the hypothetical you offer: Ebola, I understand, has a mortality rate that averages around 50%; and I will presume that "90% effective" means "90% of the people who receive it neither become symptomatic with, nor spread, the disease thereafter". I will further presume that the evidence that this hypothetical vaccine is harmful is statistically sketchy at best, and that it is impossible to take any particular individual and make a sound medical argument as to why this individual would be better off remaining unvaccinated. And so in that case, I'd say "sure, let's do a mandate". But let's remember that when it comes to COVID-19: The disease's mortality is somewhere on the order of 5% or less (possibly *much* less; I'm too lazy to look up the stats and refresh my memory); It has been demonstrated that at least a few people have good medical reason not to receive some particular versions of the vaccine; The penalty being bandied about is, effectively, your employability--your ability to support yourself. While I freely support the right of individuals and corporations to associate with and disassociate from whomever they please, I believe that should be a grass-roots process rather than the result of government effectively hanging a scarlet letter around your neck. And frankly, based on things "mainstream" wags like Jimmy Kimmel and others have said lately, there seems to be a spreading perception that "we really don't mind if these unvaccinated rubes just die off altogether"; which is downright scary. While (last time I dug into it) there had been good evidence that the various COVID-19 vaccines could limit one's likelihood of being infected with/spreading some earlier variants of COVID; my takeaway at present is that with the Delta variant the traditional indicia of "effectiveness" for the various COVID vaccines have been seriously compromised (significant portions of the vaccinated can still get it, and it appears a majority of the vaccinated can still transmit it even if they don't "get" it themselves). The one overwhelming remaining benefit to vaccination seems to be that it appears COVID-19-infected folks tend to manifest less-severe symptoms if they had been vaccinated prior to infection--which is a great reason for you to get the vaccine; but which really has very little to do with me. Now, all that said: I think COVID vaccination is a good thing; I am inclined to think most of the arguments against vaccination are overblown; I am upset that so many people shillyshallied about getting it back before the Delta variant became a thing. And I support the right of overloaded hospitals to triage their ICUs and, if necessary, give preferential treatment to patients who did get the vaccine. But, would I want to see the unvaccinated jailed, fired from their jobs, or forcibly exiled from the rest of society? No. I think the punitive regimens that are being bandied about at this point impose penalties that are disproportionate to the misbehavior they seek to address, and most likely represent a White House that is lashing out at an enemy it thinks it can beat after having just had its clock cleaned by the Taliban.
  11. 3 points
    Just when it was safe to assume that modern anthropology / archaeology / genetics had proved the Book of Mormon is fiction (hence some felt they needed to leave the church or are still dealing with a faith crisis) another piece of evidence disrupts the previous iron-clad truths scientists had about the Americas. Or is constant disruption and change what science is all about to begin with 😲!? I say we need to stop researching in order to stop these kinds of unorthodox discoveries that bring change and anguish to our happy world and cause students stress at test time. https://www.science.org/content/article/human-footprints-near-ice-age-lake-suggest-surprisingly-early-arrival-americas
  12. 3 points
    Ironhold

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    Everything I'm seeing about Ivermectin says that there's a *massive* difference between what happens when it's given in a clinical setting and what happens when people buy it off the shelf and try taking it on their own. Problem is, because the mainstream media (that is, the big-name publishers) have all decided that Ivermectin is bad and only foolish people attempt it, any talk of its use in clinical settings is now being classed as "fake news".
  13. 3 points
    NeuroTypical

    Disney wokeness

    Oh, agreed. There's really nothing objectionable about Luca. - When you figure out you are different than everyone else, to an extreme that makes you wonder about your core identity, it is scary. - It's normal for your parents and loved ones to not have the faintest clue what's up with you, and maybe act out in blundering ways that are at least unhelpful, at most dangerous to you. - After you transform to your new state of being, it's normal for the people that see the 'new you' to react in fear, disgust, or violence. - As you go back and forth between your two worlds, you can become lost as to who you actually are. - The older kid who becomes your hero, who seems to have it all figured out, is probably carrying around his own unresolved crap too. - You may find unexpected allies and foes, in unexpected places. - In the end, staying true to yourself is your best bet. - In the end, your parents and loved ones may even want to join you in transforming to new selves to be around the people in your new world. I mean, I'm not Luca, I'm just a regular old landcrawling human. When I get into the water, I just get wet, I don't transfer into a brightly colored sea creature (except on halloween). But for all the Lucas of the world, it's a very very very relevant movie. And pretty much every transgender person out there is a Luca. And half the LGB folks too, depending on how they're raised.
  14. 3 points
    As a "scientist" I wrote with a great deal of sarcasm. It has never ceased to amaze me how quickly people will make rash spiritual decisions based upon a rather incomplete knowledge of events and histories, etc., and when those sandy foundations shift under their feet they panic. If people are patient, the Lord will one day reveal all scientific things about the Book of Mormon and even my PhD cousin whom I love dearly, but who left the Church because he couldn't reconcile native American genetics with the Nephite/Lamanite narrative, will be able to see that all truth is indeed wrapped up in our imperfect but wonderful faith.
  15. 3 points
    I have had impressions to draw attention that we are perhaps living in the greatest time of miracles. I thought about starting a new thread. A few weeks ago I was involved in a serious cycling accident. I was ridding a decent (which means I was going fast - in this case faster than the speed limit). The road took a hard right turn. I have ridden this route at least a hundred time but this time there was sand and gravel in the road (where there have never been before). Some pictures: I was knocked unconscious. Had x-rays but no broken bones (leg and hip were worse but do not have a picture). I received a blessing and two weeks later there were no bandages - no more bleeding or infections. I had no pain meds nor pain. The only pain I experienced was cleaning at the hospital and showers (I had to change dressings and bandages every 24 hours). I had lost all skin on part of my arm and leg. After 2 weeks; I have no scabs - just new scars. The scars are quite cool and look like I was attacked by a tiger or something. I believe my recovery was a miracle. During this time we had some flood damage at one of our rental units. I was able to do most of the cleanup (which involved 3 truck loads to the dump) using just one arm. I was given promptings how to get things done. I do not like to talk about personal things but in this case I think I need to in order to make a point about miracles. I also had my last mission companion call - his call led to many things including taking a trip to my last area (over 50 years ago). All the individuals I baptized had moved but I did encounter some members that remembered me. This area was the most difficult area of my mission and had lots of problems - I never felt I had done enough. As it turns out I was never intended to solve the problems but it was intended that many contribute. Another great miracle and revelation. There are now 20+ missionaries working my old area. I have pondered what to post - there are so many miracles and blessings. And so I believe that I should speak to this great age of miracles and blessings. And that as the Latter-days come to a conclusion - that we have faith that we are living in a day and age of so great miracles and blessings that our time was told of and prophesied of. All we need is the faith to realize and see. The Traveler
  16. 3 points
    This is silly on a few levels. A. What does reading it "all the way" through have to do with the promise given? B. The Lord's promises are the Lord's promises and He will fulfill them. C. The promise is not "if you read it all the way through you'll have a spiritual experience". It is, that when we read these things if we: remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men ponder it in our hearts. ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ And if we do those things, He promises that He will manifest the truth of it unto us, by the power of the Holy Ghost. Period. He will manifest the truth of it unto us by the power of the Holy Ghost. If He does not it is because we haven't done our part. So what is our part? It's obedience. ALL blessings (including spiritual confirmation of truth) are predicated upon obedience to law. If we obey, we will have spiritual experiences. So in that regard, I think there's a level of merit (sort of) to the suggestion that we stop seeking spiritual experiences....sort of. But not really though. It's a matter of focus. For example, if your objective is to drive to the store, then to say you should stop worrying about driving to the store to drive to the store makes little sense. But if you're unable to drive to the store, then it's probably reasonable to ask why you cannot. Is the car out of gas? Is it otherwise broken? Do we know how to drive? Is a road built that goes to the store? Etc., etc. The spiritual experience is the means whereby we know God. It is imperative. We should seek it above all else. But..... that means looking at the how of it. What is the how of it? I'll restate: Obedience. So, yeah. Focus on obedience to that end, instead of merely that end. There's some validity in that idea. To just cast of spiritual experiences as unimportant is severely flawed though.
  17. 3 points
    mordorbund

    Free will

    I think what’s getting lost here is YouTuber isn’t just dealing with dichotomies, even when he only offers 2 choices, instead there’s an unstated hierarchy of wants. My want at level 50 is “don’t sound pretentious” while my lower want at level 75 is “shake it up a little”. Given the rankings I will greet you with “Hello” instead of “Bonjour”. That’s how it’s going to play out. And it will play out like that every time. That being the case, why did I say “Bonjour”? YouTuber says it’s because there’s actually another want at play. At level 38 is “I want to prove YouTuber wrong about free will.” The problem as you’ve stated is that, although it is sel-consistent, it’s also circular. For addicts, “take a hit” ranks higher than “don’t” but there are addicts who don’t. Therefore they must have a third want that you don’t know about. They want “in tact family” or “steady job” or “stop breaking mom’s heart” or some other want. This philosophy is unfalsifiable. The implication of this model is if we want to change behavior we need to add a new want to the hierarchy in a higher rank, or alter the ranking al an existent want. This then leads to the second issue with this philosophy. (I’ll get there after the following paragraph). In the Hello/Bonjour example another solution that YouTuber didn’t discuss at all is that maybe there wasn’t a third want - maybe my hierarchy shifted. Every time I say “Hello” my “shake it up” want moves up the hierarchy a notch. Once it’s at 49 I say “Bonjour” and it drops down again. This is something like the infinite prisoners dilemma (there’s a good TedEd video on that) (this is also the problem with the stable marriage algorithm - it only works if everyone’s rankings stay the same). Whether Bonjour comes from a new rule or a shift in the hierarchy, it highlights the same question: Where does the hierarchy of wants come from? YouTuber is arguing a mechanical-style of free will based on the hierarchy of wants which means (hopefully I’m not presuming too much) this hierarchy falls under the nature/nurture debate but must ultimately be nurture. That is, if it is mechanistic then the current example can come from how a person was raised (outside influences) or genetics (natural influences) but if it’s ultimately mechanistic then the outside influence (culture, counter culture, parents, etc) is the result of meta-evolution and the natural influence is from evolution. Since YouTuber hasn’t expressly made this argument I won’t engage it further, but I’ll leave it here for consideration. Beyond nature and nurture I can think of two other sources for this hierarchy of wants. How bout God? The challenge here is a theological one @Traveler often raises. If a person sins because of the hierarchy God set, who is ultimately responsible for that sin? Is God just for condemning the man He preset to sin? This lead to the fourth option, that there’s something independent within the individual uncreated by God. @Just_A_Guy wrote previously about “intelligences” and while Latter-day Saints are comfortable with it, it creates a divide when discussing with credal Christians about Creation or God’s relationship to man.
  18. 3 points
    Jamie123

    Free will

    I suspect that is too narrow a definition of "want". When we say that God "wants" something (i.e. that we should become His true disciples) are we talking about things "temporal, flashy or earthy"? Yes, many people do perform their duty against their immediate wants, but do they not also "want" to avoid the later shame of not having done their duty? I don't think the argument is dismissed quite so easily as this. True...but do you not also "want" to act in a logical rather than an illogical manner, because that will ultimately lead to greater happiness? Again, the problem here is defining a "want" as only something immediate and carnal. Our "wants" exist on many different levels. Like askandanswer, you are defining a "want" too narrowly. A want could be a very spiritual and noble thing, as well as a bestial or sensual thing. Did you (for example) not want to be baptized? I was (like most Anglicans) baptized as a baby, but I can remember later on wanting very much to be confirmed. And it had nothing to do with any sensual or carnal pleasure. (In fact it was in total opposition to the sensual sins I was struggling with at the time.) I have a book somewhere by Alistair McGrath - an introduction to theology - which asks the questions "could God draw a four-sided triangle" and "could God create an object too heavy for himself to lift" and "could God commit an evil act" - from which he develops the theory that divine omnipotence cannot be summarised as "God can do anything". He ends up with the conclusion that God's omnipotence means that He is unlimited in His ability to achieve His purposes. (Or words to that effect - I don't have the book to hand.) Cringeworthy or not, he raises points which I think deserve thoughtful consideration. Even if we don't agree, it's instructive to consider why we don't. And don't forget he's a kid. A clever kid I grant you, but a kid all the same. We can cut him some slack. Thanks for clarifying that. I guess the idea of "free-will-on-loan" has more to do with the Arminians (originally an off-shoot of the Calvinists, who were similarly preoccupied with divine sovereignty). Isn't that rather like saying that "free will" is deciding whether to chuck your litter in the bin when there's no one looking, and "moral agency" is the same when there's a policeman watching? OK thank you. I stand corrected. One could argue that Jesus still "wanted" to obey his father because he loved Him, and this was for him (being who he was) a stronger desire than his wish not to be crucified. Though I agree that "thy will" and "my will" presented as a dichotomy is rather suggestive. You are falling into the same trap as everyone else, namely of thinking that a "want" can only be something"bestial", or "sensual" or "irrational". I could just as easily argue that you wanted to get better, and your rational mind told you that getting better required you to take your medicine, Therefore you took your medicine (on the occasions when you did) not because you wanted the taste of the medicine but because you wanted the benefit of its other properties - namely its ability to make you better. It's exactly the same as with the pneumonia medicine. The drug addict is presented with two wants - the want for the drug, and the want to be free of his addiction. His "bestial" self will choose the drug, while his "rational" self will realise that greater long-term happiness will be had by resisting it. It could still be argued (though I wouldn't do so myself other than to play "Devil's advocate") that he is still responding to the stronger want. I think you are basically correct, though not for the reasons you have given. This comes closer to what I think myself. Let me try to explain (though it's not going to be easy)... CosmicSkeptic's arguments have a hidden assumption about what the human "will" really is: namely that it's a causal machine which takes inputs in the form of wants and produces outputs in the form of actions. It is like a thermostat responding to the relative strengths of "hot" and "cold" and adjusting the heating or A/C accordingly. But that is in essence also his conclusion, so the argument is circular. You see the same sort of idea in Freud - the idea of "man as a machine" whose actions are programmed into him by "complexes" which can be explained in a causative manner. But if the mind is nothing but a mechanism, where is the...whatever-it-is...that experiences the effects of its operation? I was never convinced by Freud: if I had gone into psychology, I would be a Jungian, not a Freudian. (Most likely I would have driven myself nuts.) I mentioned in my original post that even if the want>action model is (at some level) correct, perhaps God has a kind of "freedom" which goes beyond it. (I put the word "freedom" in quotes because I don't know how to define it.) But perhaps we also have that same sort of freedom ourselves: either "on loan" from God as the Arminians would claim - or perhaps inherent as Jane Doe says - or perhaps (in kind of "Pullmanish" way) as a result of original sin. Quite what this is I could not really contemplate - but could an entity ever really contemplate itself? In a similar vein, I remember once seeing Susan Greenfield on TV talking about how consciousness was a "sensation" which we would one day - by science - understand. I thought at the time that this was wrong: a "sensation" requires someone (or something) to experience it, and would not that experiencer need to be conscious in order to do so? You stand at the beginning of an infinite regression. To make sense of anything there has to be something "above and beyond" - and that whatever-it-is could be the real seat of free will. But what that whatever-it-is is... Pope said "Know then thyself presume not God to scan". Maybe both are unattainable. (And by the way, thanks to everyone for replying!)
  19. 3 points
    Just_A_Guy

    Stewardship vs Trust vs Joe-Schmoe

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it doesn’t matter at all; but I don’t think there’s a problem with asking a trusted friend or sibling to do the blessing instead of someone in the traditional stewardship/line of authority (husband or father or home teacher or whatever).
  20. 3 points
    askandanswer

    Free will

    I think this arguement only becomes possible because of a slippery and unjustifiably broad definition of the term wants. Many people perform their duty, whether they want to or not, and the performance of their duty has nothing to do with what they want. I think that faith, beliefs, values, and knowledge, seperated from our wants, are equally powerful drivers of actions. Wants are temporal, fleshy, earhly drivers of our actions, and we should all be striving for our actions to be driven by higher things than just what we want. One of Satan's main tools it to tempt us through our wants, and one of God's main tools is to influence us through our conscience. I have difficulty seeing how it could be said that both God and Satan attempt to influence us by appealing to our wants. I also disagree that we have do not freedom to control our wants. I think it is perfectly possible to arrive at a wholly logical decision, completely uninformed by any personal desires, and to then act in a manner consistent with that decision. We always have the freedom to decide if and how and to what extent we will be influenced by our wants and whether or not we will ever notice or respond to them. I think it would be unwise to try and limit or downplay human capacity or freedom.
  21. 3 points
    clwnuke

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    @Godless looks like the vaccination rate mentioned is based on getting both doses according to Harvard's Covid site. 90 million people have the first shot, but only 16 million have the second. Even with 90 million we are only talking a 37.5% vaccination rate. I think you are brushing off the data without analysis. Here are some August 5th, 2021 stats from Johns Hopkins for different India states with and without the use of Ivermectin. They show a clear difference. You are right - we are all not informed about Ivermectin because the FDA/CDC and media are doing everything in their power to suppress information that contradicts their narrative. You are not being given a fair picture. The question is why? Uttar Pradesh on Ivermectin: Population 240 Million [4.9% fully vaccinated] COVID Daily Cases: 26 COVID Daily Deaths: 3 The United States off Ivermectin: Population 331 Million [50.5% fully vaccinated] COVID Daily Cases: 127,108 COVID Daily Deaths: 574 Let us look at other Ivermectin using areas of India with numbers from August 5, 2021, compiled by the JHU CSSE: Delhi on Ivermectin: Population 31 Million [15% fully vaccinated] COVID Daily Cases: 61 COVID Daily Deaths: 2 Uttarakhand on Ivermectin: Population 11.4 Million [15% fully vaccinated] COVID Daily Cases: 24 COVID Daily Deaths: 0 Now look at an area of India that rejected Ivermectin (like Utah). Tamil Nadu announced they would reject Ivermectin and instead follow the dubious USA-style guidance of using Remdesivir. Knowing this, you might expect their numbers to be closer to the US, with more cases and more deaths. You would be correct. Tamil Nadu went on to lead India in COVID-19 cases. Tamil Nadu continues to suffer for its choice to reject Ivermectin. As a result, the Delta variant continues to ravage their citizens while it was virtually wiped out in the Ivermectin-using states. Likewise, in the United States, without Ivermectin, both the vaccinated and unvaccinated continue to spread the Delta variant like wildfire. Tamil Nadu off Ivermectin: Population 78.8 Million [6.9% fully vaccinated] COVID Daily Cases: 1,997 COVID Daily Deaths: 33
  22. 3 points
    mikbone

    Free will

    Ser also Alma Chapter 42 See also Korihor, Alma 30: 6-60 These are the best LDS responses that I can link to the above perception of “free will.”
  23. 3 points
    LDSGator

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    Right. Ebola would be a different game totally.
  24. 3 points
    I remember creating this in like March of 2020. It aged rather well, I think.
  25. 3 points
    Traveler

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    When I was a kid I had the smallpox vaccine 3 time because it did not take. We knew when it did not take because when it took it left a scar. It was finally established that the reason it did not take is because I have natural immunity to smallpox. If someone has had COVID-19 and is immune there is absolutely no reason to get the vaccine. After my quarantine for testing positive for COVID-19 I was informed by my health care professionals (including the Utah State health department) that I would not need the vaccine. But interestingly this was all before the "vaccine" was released. I have been informed that having recovered from COVID-19 and having had the "vaccine" (for no other reason than to calm my wife) that I am now 7 times less likely to be re-infected, require hospitalization or die. There is a report out of Israel that says that those with natural immunity that have not had the "vaccine" are 7 time less likely as well. I have yet to see any data that the "vaccine" benefits someone with natural immunity. Which ought to make sense because the "vaccine" was reverse engineered from those those with natural immunity to create the exact same RNA messaging of those with natural immunity. Until our government accepts natural immunity I am convinced that ALL the call for "vaccine" mandates are as corrupt as the FBI and Olympic committee has been concerning young female gymnasts. The Traveler