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Everything posted by Fiannan

  1. I think the Apprentice is a good show -- it does teach economics and business psychology much better than you get in economics classes in public schools -- oh, sorry, US schools don't really teach economics as it exists in the real world. Most programs make economics so boring that Milton Freidman would jump out the window if he had to take a course with the kids. Also, let's not make the Martha Stewart thing into a sexist witch hunt because it isn't.
  2. Love his stand on guns: "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times).
  3. Interesting. In much of Europe you HAVE to get married in a civil ceremony and then the church ceremony (no matter what church) is done afterwards. Sweden is one of the exceptions on that (more freedom) -- except Mormons have to use a Bible other than the King James in official meetings.
  4. If by Jewish we define Jew as one who holds to the teachings of the Old Testament as inspired of God than technically Christians and Muslims are merely sects of the Jewish religion.
  5. Nyborg's problem is that he seems to associate economic class with intelligence. This is not always the case that richer people tend to be bright (just because John Kerry and Paris Hilton came from rich backgrounds, I rather doubt either are super geniuses). However, the one problem with talking about intelligence and heredity is that it seems the only trait that it is politically correct and acceptable to say is a factor of our genes is to say that homosexuality is inherited. Truth is, there is ample evidence that intelligence is mostly a factor of what we are born with while there is little if any convincing data to support the idea that sexual orientation is inherited. Problem is, it's easy to say "most" this and "most" that when people may feel exactly like Nyborg does, but they are afraid of the firestorm that will develop if they express their opinions openly. I will stand by the challenge to find any scientific studies that show that environment is the most important factor in the development of IQ and specific aptitudes. Freedom of expression does not exist in today's academic world. Look at gender -- the dean of Harvard suggested that the reason there are more men in hard math oriented fields might, just might, maybe we should consider, maybe that men and women are wired differently -- and many of the faculty wanted him fired. There is not freedom to express your views if they are outside the mainstream (politically correct) areas.
  6. When I have time I intend on addressing human reproduction in more detail in another thread as it seems to mention anything about Jewish people brings out more of an attack swarm than I saw in South America when I went pirahna fishing with chunks of fresh chicken.
  7. Add to this parallels with the Koran, ancient Christian texts, etc. Boy, Joseph must have spent a lot of time researching in the awesome libraries of upstate New York in the early 1800s.
  8. The purpose for clothing appears to be a statement of who you are, not for protection from the elements. This is where I believe what we wear does have a and affect on others -- so we should be conscious of how we dress. I personally believe schools should have dress codes. You do, at some point, have a point where something goes too far and someone at some point will push the boundaries. In Europe, many young women at graduation ceremonies or formal events wear outfits that have necklines plunging as far as the outfit Jennifer Lopez was wearing for what I believe was the Oscars or something like that. I will admit, these dresses are great for young women's posture because if they don't keep their backs straight everyone will be featured to the mammaries flopping out for an appearance. Then there's the pants that plunge so far down that if you do stick your cell phone in your pocket you should be careful not to push too hard or you'll be naked. We have gals in the USA who would wear the same outfits. You have to have some code or else some will abuse their right to "express" themselves. No, I am not a prude -- I'll admit, my wife and I have even visited hotsprings in the past and gone by the local informal dress code there (I think you know what that is) but I can attest that revealing clothing is much more sexual than being around 20 or 30 people wearing only the clothes they were born in. So our surroundings will dictate what we should wear and I do believe we should dress nice for school or church -- I do not like the emphasis on white shirts and such (my wife wants we to wear white at church but I would not if it would not bug her).
  9. If people truly lived the Gospel they would not judge each other by appearance. For instance, would you condemn a man going around telling people to repent and put their fath in God who was preaching in the nude? Extreme case huh? Well, read Isaiah 20 -- that's what God commanded him to do for a couple of years. How about a guy wearing animal skins and eating grasshoppers? Well, check up on John the Baptist. Point is, these were men of God who were certainly not conformists to the general culture in the least. So what right do we have to condemn a person who is a redneck or a hippy? How about condemning people for their particular personality? We should not even look down on the Mollys or the Peters either. Judge according to actions but not on appearance. The goal of the Gospel is to conform our individual souls to the attributes of God and progress, not to make us all look the same and act the same. A sacrament prayer is just as valid if the priesthood holder is wearing a sweater and no tie and a member can be just as devout if he wears leather, has long hair, and spends his free time riding a motorcycle
  10. Ray, do you have any studies to indicate intelligence and aptitudes are dictated by environment almost entirely?
  11. First, Mormon converts tend to be non-conformist which implies a certain level of intellect. Second, converts tend to be curious and seeking something outside of the norm -- again a general sign of intelligence. Third, the more devout tend to be the ones who study their religion the most. Most families I know with 7 or 8 kids tend to be highly intelligent and the mothers are just as intellectual as the fathers even though the woman might not have finished college. Mormons are probably the only group of primarily European origin in which more education does not lead to lower birthrates. Over time this would likely lead to an increasing IQ while the general society sees a decline.
  12. Interesting point I just thought of though, in some European nations a doner can either leave their name with the clinic, write letters to their future children (genetically speaking of course) or if the child want to they can look up the records (with no financial obligations for the woman or man). Now let's say you father (if male) 25 children in which most do accept your invitation to visit totally voluntarily. More than likely they were not raised in any religion (if in post-Christian Nordic Europe). Yet when they meet you they might just be interested in the religion of their father (and they would, while not being born under the covenant, still have your patriarchal lineage and maybe a propensity to be open to the Gospel). Gives the parable of the seeds a whole new meaning I suppose.
  13. The mere fact that this has turned into a debate on Israel I suppose demonstrates that there are no compelling arguments against the case that intelligence is inherited or that social factors which exist in Ashkenazi Jewish history and contemporary Mormon society today did or does promote higher intelligence in the gene pool while the gene pool of the dominant culture will likely fall in the future.
  14. No, the US has a policy of annonomous donation of egg and sperm -- and no legal precedent for any financial obligations. In Europe there is also no legal financial obligations on a doner but in countries like Sweden the child has a right to seek the biological parent when they reach 18 (thus the reason for sperm shortages in Sweden and many Swedish women going to Denmark where the law is not the same). Again, what are people's views on the spiritual connotations? Is there something that might make such donations a violation of God's laws or design? One wonders, God established a law in the Old Testament that if your brother died without offspring you had to take his wife (manditory polygamy I might add if you are already married) and get her pregnant -- yet the children were to look to your dead brother as thier ancestor. How might donating eggs or sperm differ? And aren't you helping create families in the long-run? Also, there is no more immorality in the act that will give the physician your sperm that there is in taking a medication that contains a powerful drug as a pain reliever. Of course, that's just my opinion.
  15. Okay, I will note that I am adopted. I have the values of my parents (those who raised me) but none of the aptitudes or personality characteristics of my family. When I met my biological family members when I was in my 20s I noticed that a half sister had a lot in common with me but my full sister had the same basic interests, aptitudes, and many of the little personality "quirks" that I have. And our scores in high school and college were remarkably the same -- and our interests were in the same subjects. My take on it is that the bodies we get (including our brains) are a factor of our genetics and our spirits are a factor of the pre-existence. The intelligence we display here on earth is not a reflection of our intelligence in the spirit world or else is a person born severely retarded going to be severely retarded in the next life? Was he/she in this condition in the pre-existence? In other words, highly intelligent people will give birth to highly intelligent people GENERALLY. Two people who marry who have an IQ of 70 will EXTREMELY rarely give birth to a genius (and if they do it is likely the low IQ score of one or both was due to a non-genetic factor such as oxygen deprivation in the womb or a mother who used drugs).
  16. Let's look at it this way. Stake presidents generally have larger families than average LDS folk(or so I have heard and read). Men marry women with about the same IQ as they have (educational levels may vary as a man might be a doctor but his wife -- whom he met while in med school while she was an undergrad -- quit school to have children. Yet her IQ is the same as her more educated husband. Now stake presidents tend to be professional men or businessmen. Like rabbis in Judaism, they tend to produce large families. This is one reason LDS IQ will remain the same while IQ in the secular world will decline.
  17. Didn't God command that certain ethnic groups in Palestine when the Hebrews were givin the land upon finally leaving their wandering after Egypt be totally destroyed?
  18. If I have tome to prepare I wear my Sunday clothes to the temple. If not (i.e. once driving past the Portland Oregon temple and deciding I had time for a session, I went in wearing jeans and a short sleaved shirt. No problem. I know a guy has been a member of the church for two decades and has never once put on a tie to go to church or to the temple -- and no he isn't some sort of hick, he's a Jewish convert from a very intellectual background who is a professor of physics. He just contends that it's what is in your heart and spirit that counts, not the clothes you wear.
  19. A college teacher I know recently got his class going on the matter of nature v. nurture. He quoted a few sources to make the proposition that Jews and Mormons are smarter than the average persons in society because, in the case of Jews, they were denied the right to own property in much of Europe so they had to go into business or education. The ones with brains could provide for a wife and kids while the others couldn't -- so smartness was passed on to an increasing amount of the children. In the case of Mormons the observation was presented that even the most gifted and talented Mormon women tend to have large families (traditionally) and maybe even reproduce at a higher rate than less intelligent women because of a variety of factors. Gifted and talented non-LDS women tend to have fewer children than they would need to even replace themselves. So what do you think? I have read quotes from church leaders that seem to suggest the exact arguments that this teacher is except he was using a neo-Darwinistic approach rather than one coupled with spiritual insights. However, if you took out the word "God" out of our church leader's comments they sound very Darwinistic.
  20. Interesting topic in our local newspaper today (not in the USA though). There was a story about the shortage of men donating, well, germinal cells to fertility clinics so women can use these donations to become pregnant. I once read the official stance of the church on women using these services. It frowns on single women using these when marriage prospects look bleak -- and they feel time is running out for babies. Didn't look like there would be any actual sanctions on women doing this though since no sexual relations have taken place. For marrieds where the man is sterile or maybe has a bad genetic disorder there seemed only a mild type of advise to consider everything first but still no sanctions appear to exist. Now what about for those who donate sperm or egg cells? Should a worthy priesthood holder or sister feel bad about making such donations? They are, after all, allowing spirit children to come down and while you may not be able to control the religion of the women who use these services it seem apparent that these are VERY wanted children. However, since one could argue that certain people are destined for certain family lines (Moses was, after all, a Hebrew even though he was raised an Egyptian by loving parents). Would one be throwing connected spirits to the wind, so to speak, if they donated or since God knows all wouldn't these spirits have been destined to be raised by these recipeints of egg or sperm in the first place? My wife thought it would be cool to donate egg cells (our children are healthy, intelligent, etc.) but found out they don't take female doners in their late 30s. I wouldn't have a problem personally with it (her or me) and I did read an article about a Mormon businessman in Australia who donates because when his wife innitially couldn't have kids (later did) he decided he couldn't bear others not having the opportunity to raise kids because of one of the partners being sterile. Curious as to what people think.
  21. I am wondering, when I joined the church in the late 70s almost every active LDS family had five or more kids. The size of the church was smaller though. Now it is much larger but I see very ideological-traditional LDS families are still large but many others seem to justify small families (many interpret the Bishop's Handbook's comments in regards to birth control as an endorsement of the practice based on the world's standards. However, the Bishop's Handbook carries no doctrinal significance.). Since I believe the birthrate probably started falling off in the late 80s then does that mean we have less missionaries in total or less missionaries per capita? I have heard that even leaders in the church predict curtailment of missionary work due to less children being born. Have others heard this? If it is true is that the reason the church is taking a more agressive approach to encouraging women to stay at home as well as emphasizing the reasons for having large families again?
  22. Hi everyone. I am new here. Hope this is an interesting site. I am fairly conservative (although somewhat unconventional by Mormon "people" criteria), married, 7 children and working outside of the USA.