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Vort last won the day on November 12

Vort had the most liked content!


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    Seattle area
  • Interests
    "Let me say this again, sin changes who we are!" -james12
  • Religion
    Latter-day Saint

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  1. The exchange that never happened but should have: BENSON: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy. QUAYLE: Yes, Senator, you're right. I'm no Jack Kennedy. I sleep with my own wife.
  2. Some day I want to do a glory-versus-honor thread. My scripture study seems to indicate that "glory" is a property of God, a manifestation of his power that he possesses because of his righteousness and perfection. On the other hand, "honor" seems to be the praise and laud given him by other intelligent beings. It was God's honor that Satan coveted, not his glory, which Satan could never possibly have and can only imitate like costume jewelry. So while I agree with the thrust of what you wrote, I would put the word "honor" in place of "glory".
  3. People Aren't Really This Stupid. Are They? They Can't Be. No, They're Just Faking It. But How Come The People Who Other People Think Are Smart Turn Out To Be The Stupidest? Are They Just Lying? Or Are They Really Stupid? Maybe There Is Something Called Spiritual Stupidity, And These Supposedly Smart People Are Really Just Spiritual Imbeciles. But That Doesn't Seem Too Likely, Does It? Does It? Hmmm. I Don't Know.) Dearest Wormwood, In your latest communication, you mention The Problem of Evil, but without any apparent understanding of the brilliance and cleverness of the argumentation. Really, Wormwood. I expect more from a promising nephew. This is a clear exercise in rhetoric, one you should be able to do in your sleep. Now pay attention, and let us discuss the Problem of Parental Love. Watch and learn. If parents love their children, then they will always protect those children from evil. When capable of doing so, parents who love their children will never allow those children to experience evil. Loving parents will keep their beloved children free from the taint of evil, so will disallow any choice that leads toward evil. All parents allow their children to experience evil, in practice as well as in consequence. Therefore, no parents love their children. Do you see how easily this is done? How natural it sounds? The general form goes more or less as follows: Introduce an implicit paradox of the "Can-God-Create-A-Rock-So-Big-That-He-Can't-Lift-It?" variety. But for heaven's sake, be subtle about it! E.g. "Can the works of an all-good God ever bring about evil ends?" can be hinted at, but never overtly stated, because it's a patently ridiculous proposition. Seriously, don't show your cards. Misdirection is your friend. If you do it right, it can even confuse you, so that you can more convincingly play the part of the virtuous truth-seeker. (Though as a journeyman devil, shame on you if you ever fall for your own tricks!) Try using poorly defined words, such as "omnipotent" and "omniscient". You will be stunned at just how easily you can mislead these gullible fools by throwing around God's omnipotence. "Could God save Satan? Of course he could! God can do ANYTHING!" You may not believe me, but trust me, nephew, it is often exactly that easy. Always remember: This is not about establishing truth. (As if.) This is about using words cleverly. Introduce framing parameters that are actually not solid parameters, but rather are implicit comparisons or metaphors, or even figurative usages. E.g. "God can do anything" is wonderful, because then you can state patently false and self-contradictory things, as shown above, and support it by saying, "Well, you said that God can do ANYTHING. We're just using your own conditions." Using the poorly or ambiguously defined words and the metaphorical framing parameters, assert a contradiction. If you have laid the groundwork properly, your opponent will likely not even recognize that you are blatantly shifting the goalposts. Conclude that your initial paradox cannot be resolved, and therefore that a foundational claim must therefore be false. Voilá! You win! Seem too blatant? That's just because you're naïve and can't see how expertly this can be done. If anyone complains, assert that you have used simple, elementary logic, and all they must do is point out your logical flaws. This will work in literally 99+% of cases, because the large majority of people aren't practiced at pointing out logical flaws, if indeed they can even identify them at all. They almost always will back down in intimidation. In the rare case that someone actually dismantles what you have said or tries to point out your dishonesty in moving the goalposts, don't despair! Most listeners won't have followed the conversation closely; the large majority aren't actually interested in what is being said, just in the conclusions reached. Roll your eyes, sigh, make it clear that you are exercising your patience in what would normally be an insufferable situation, and say something that implies (but doesn't outright say) that your opponent is being obtuse, probably intentionally so. Something like, "Look, I have clearly pointed out the logical position. If you can dispute it, go ahead, but don't try to obfuscate the issue behind picky argumentation." (Which of course is exactly what YOU are doing; this makes your victory all the sweeter.) If you are a real expert, then you can sometimes even convince the dissident himself that he's wrong or has missed something. But you care only about the opinions of those witnessing the exchange; you don't care about the person arguing against you, except to destroy his credibility in the eyes of others. Be clever and say the right thing, and you will win the vast majority of such exchanges. Some few you will inevitably lose; if you're in such a situation, simply point out some logical flaw (real or imagined—it doesn't really matter) in your opponent's argument and then change the subject, perhaps with a generous-sounding, "Look, I don't want to pick your words apart." A very useful phrase in such situations is, "Let's just agree to disagree." It is truly amazing how often this little phrase will do the trick, rescuing a victory from the very jaws of defeat. Be sure to say it as if you're making a generous offer to move the conversation along, wherein you are willing to stop humiliating your opponent by just going to the next topic. If your opponent refuses to let it go, point this out in some way, so you can establish your own virtue and your opponent's lack of good faith. If he continues pressing and you can't escape his logic, simply refuse to continue the conversation. Do NOT attempt to address his concerns; at that point, you are unlikely to be able to deceive everyone, and You Never Want To Lose. So refuse to lose by refusing to continue the conversation. If you do it right, this will look like you are the mature one who is unwilling to continue in a contentious debate. That's what you're after, Wormwood. Appearance is everything. Truth is what you manage to convince people it is. Your voraciously affectionate uncle, Screwtape
  4. This is simply false. "The cases" have shown no such thing. If they have, I invite you to demonstrate such. There were many irregularities in the 2020 vote, and the Democrats actively suppressed investigation until the audit trail was too cold to follow. We follow the reported results not because they have been demonstrated to be accurate, but because the alternative is the end of our republic. The Democrats are much better at cheating, lying, and corruption than the Republicans. It's not because many Republicans wouldn't do so if they could; it's because the Democrats have many generations of experience. To think that had no bearing at all on the election returns is, at best, naive. Whether or not it changed the outcome is a different matter. Did Biden actually, truly win the majority of votes in the electoral college? We will never know the answer. But don't pretend that some reliable third party has validated the 2020 election results.
  5. Honestly, with the exception of failing to address fiscal irresponsibility, that's probably all that any Republican candidate needs to say. "It'll be like when Trump was president, only Trump won't be president." Sounds pretty not awful, especially compared with our experiences under Uncle Joe and WonderKamala. I still class Trump as much more Morianton than king Noah. Biden, or for that matter any Democrat at the national level, is flat-out Noah.
  6. If I recall correctly, before about the time I received my own endowment, one practice was for some endowed members of a stake to meet together at the stake meetinghouse and follow the temple ritual described as the "true order of prayer". This was before my time, so I'm passing on what I have been told rather than what I participated in. I suppose this practice would have ended maybe as late as the 1970s. So if this practice had been resurrected in the 1990s, that might have been not all that long after it had been suspended, so perhaps would not have been as outrageous and scandalous as it might sound to us now.
  7. How very, very wrong I was. In fact, rereading this thread reminds me of just how prejudiced and media-influenced my own opinion was. I'm still no Trumpster, but I do maintain that, all things considered, he was our best and most effective president since Bush, maybe since Clinton (I dare not bring Saint Ronald into the conversation). I believe that Trump will win the Repub nomination, even though I would prefer another. And when he does win the nomination, I will certainly vote for him in the general election, barring a believable revelation with proof that Trump was actually behind the January 6 foolishness or otherwise acted in a seditious manner beyond his puerile whining about election rigging (which I don't entirely disbelieve, btw).
  8. An inspiring example for the young folks.
  9. I first heard this as a WWII-era joke. "In the Navy, they teach us to wash our hands after we pee." "Well, in the Marines, they teach us not to pee on our fingers."
  10. Well, that's pretty sad. Speaks kinda poorly about your congregation. Reminds me of the old joke about the educational institution an hour north of my alma mater: [Educational institution an hour north of my alma mater] planned to present a dramatization of Luke 2, but they couldn't find three wise men or a virgin. It occurs to me that that joke might work equally well for almost any institute of higher education not named with the name of my alma mater.
  11. Republicans didn't do that. The Supreme Court did, in a correct yet stunningly courageous decision, giving the victory to honor, common sense, and Constitutional review. The liar Democrats made hay, of course. Dogs vomit, cows piss, and Democrats politicize events to their advantage. (Republicans do as well, of course. But Republicans are not the main threat to Constitutional government.)
  12. All Saints, latter-day and otherwise, view this life as a sojourn—a place we visit, where we do not belong but are passing through. Jesus had family and friends who, we may assume, loved and accepted him, imperfectly perhaps, but still honest love. The world did not love Jesus. "The world" included not just the Roman Empire, which frankly paid Jesus little mind, but also the established religious authorities. Heretical or even apostate though they may have been, they were those who proclaimed God's name and claimed inheritance therein. And they rejected Jesus. I don't believe the Restored Church of Christ will ever wholesale turn their backs on the suffering Saints, or the suffering anyone else. I don't believe the highest leadership of our Church is corrupt; quite the opposite. I'm not saying anything of the sort. Rather, what I'm saying is that, if we are living right and worshipping God as he would have us do, we have no part in the world. They will reject us just as surely as they rejected him. We try to make common cause with various religious groups, who view us suspiciously through narrowed eyes and proclaim us a cult. We try to make common cause with societal conservatives who seem to recognize the blessings we have been given and that can easily be lost if we don't work to preserve them. yet they view us with contempt. We are most at home with our fellow homeless people, whom the world also despises and rejects. This is the lot of a follower of Christ: You will never be championed by the powerful and beautiful. If you intend to be a faithful follower of Christ, my considered advice is: Get used to rejection. True Christians have never, in the history of the world, been popular with the masses. Never. Has never happened before and will never happen in the future. That is not the nature of Christianity.
  13. As I'm sure you're aware, there is very much an LDS doctrine of election, though it does not involve predestination (in the sense of one's path through life being already written and determined beforehand). Only through election do we inherit all that God has and wishes to give us. This idea of election ties in very closely with another LDS doctrine you may have heard of, the doctrine of having one's calling and election "made sure".
  14. No, I agree with you. I just think we would be wise to view our mortal life as a privilege and a gift from God. Your post reminds me of this LDS-oriented NDE: https://www.ldsscriptureteachings.org/2016/12/ella-jensen-raised-from-the-dead-by-lorenzo-snow/