|Accountability||10/5/2001 13:35:00||Greenfrog, I will post some thoughts here later.|
|Accountability||10/5/2001 18:23:00||Grasshopper: "Why is accountability important?"|
I think, perhaps paradoxically, that your question has the same answer as this question:
Why is free will important?
One is evil without the other, yet together they are aimed at the fulness of joy.
Can you imagine accountability without free will? Only in hell! Can you imagine free will without accountability? Again, only in hell.
Would you like a warm embrace from someone who thinks you are accountable, according to your choices, for some good, some beauty or some truth? I would. Would you like to avoid the justified condemnation of someone who thinks you are accountable, according to your choices, for some evil, some ugliness or some error? I would. Embracing myself and avoiding my own justified condemnation of myself are a good start, but when this joy is exalted within a community, the former joy pales in comparison.
Zeta-Flux: "If there is no punishment (i.e. accountability for our wicked actions) then there is no reason to obey the law (see 2 Nephi). In fact there is no reason for the law in the first place."
I believe law is to a community as desire is to an individual. Where there is no desire, there is no misery. Where there is no law, there is no punishment. Where there is no misery there will be no creation of desire aimed at joy. Likewise, I agree with you Zeta-Flux, that where there is no punishment there will be no creation of law aimed at reward.
Zeta-Flux: "If we become a law unto ourselves, we can never be sanctified by eternal law and made one with God."
I agree, so long as we recognize God to be the True and Living God.
Where there are Lords many and Gods many, I can become a law unto myself and be sanctified by my law and made one with my God if my God is myself. Where there are Lords many and Gods many, I can rise up upon the throne of God, above all that which is called God, declaring myself God. Where there are Lords many and Gods many, I can seek exclusive individual salvation and exaltation . . . and if I win the War in Heaven, I can attain it.
However, my community and I have chosen to serve the True and Living God, and we fight against the Dragon. We believe in both individual <i>and communal</i> salvation and exaltation. We believe that we are joint-heirs in whatever glory we attain. We believe there is room enough in God, in the True and Living God, for all of us. Believing this, we fight against profound spiritual evil in high places, and we intend to win -- sly as those serpents yet harmless as doves.
Zeta-Flux: "Do our leaders ever have to account to us? I know they give an accounting to their leaders, but does it ever work downward?"
In the Body of Christ, do not the head and heart communicate according to their mutual understanding? Does not the head account to the heart, and the heart to the head? Without this two-way accounting, would the body thrive or survive?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "No our leaders do not have to account to us. Our agency takes the place of this 'accounting'."
I do not understand how the free will of the heart can take the place of the accounting of the head. If the heart does not receive an account from the head, it may supply too much or not enough blood to the head, thereby killing them both.
Grasshopper: "Why wouldn't the "playpen model" be better? Why is it important for us to be "adults with real lives, responsible for our choices"?"
As with free will, accountability increases our potential for joy.
The Mormonator: "We're here to be challenged, to learn and grow, to be tested, to strengthen our weaknesses, to change."
Would you agree with me, The Mormonator, that none of this has any meaning unless it is aimed at the fulness of joy?
Grasshopper: "I think perhaps accountability is a reflection of natural laws that we must understand in order to progress. These natural laws have been described as the law of cause and effect or the law of the harvest."
I believe we call this cause and effect phenomenon "action and reaction" when it is internal to ourselves. I believe natural laws are to the whole of nature as natural desires are to the aspects of nature.
Grasshopper: "We need to recognize that our actions have consequences . . ."
I agree. We should recognize, faithfully, that causes have effects and actions have reactions. If we do not recognize this then we reduce ourselves to relativists at best, perhaps solopsists, or existential nihilists at worse.
Grasshopper: "If we do not recognize the connection between our actions and their consequences, we cannot "experiment upon the word". Even the most basic learning (such as Pavlovian training) relies upon making the connection between an act and the subsequent consequences."
Existence itself requires such faith.
Grasshopper: "There are at least two aspects of accountability that go beyond this idea of cause/effect: 'Artificial' consequences . . . The Atonement . . ."
I think we might be unjustifiably arrogant to call our human reactions "artificial" while maintaining that non-human effects are natural.
Does the atonement transcend effect and reaction? Or does the atonement modify the effect and reaction? Do causes and actions simply disappear in the atonement? Or do causes and affects becomes exalted in the atonement? Is the atonement a black hole or a glorious star? Perhaps this depends on the atoning God? One God would encourage us to participate in the atonement of the all composite in one, the infinite peace which is no peace. Another God would have us participate in the atonement of glory in mutual salvation and exaltation, not ignoring or denying the causes and actions, but using the power of God to transform all effects amd reactions from evil, ugliness and error into goodness, beauty and truth, and the fulness of joy.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I believe that we are (yes you/ve heard it before) judged by the intent of an action, not its consequence."
I believe we are judged both by the intent and the results of an action. Subjectively, I believe reaction (judgment) should be informed of both. Objectively, I believe effects (judgment) will be informed of both.
Zeta-Flux: "Do you think that accountability will continue after we have figured out all cause and effect situations?"
If by "figured out" you mean something like "we can explain and predict everything through cause and effect" then, so long as there is free will, I do not think your scenario will ever be realized. If ever your scenario is realized, surely accountability will cease in any meaningful way, as all things with any meaning or significance would cease in the meaningless existence, or inexistence, of determinism and spiritual death.
The Mormonator: "Accountability will increase exponentially once we understand everything. Lack of accountability is only justified by lack of understanding."
I think it would be more correct to reverse this statement to something like: we cannot be held accountable in ignorance. I can think of several situations in which I may not be ignorant but also quite unable to do anything to resolve a problem. Also, if you are implying that we can know everything concretely then I would disagree with that.
Zeta-Flux: "We sinned and the effect is that there must be a punishment. You can think of Christ 'circumventing' the need for us to be punished, but not circumventing the consequences of our actions (justice has to be fulfilled)."
I believe punishment occures within a context of law when an individual's actions are contrary to the desires of the community. When we act contrary to the desires of our community, there will be punishment, unless the power of our God's atonement is sufficient to modify the reaction of the community. Analogously, I believe we can say that pain occures within a context of natural law, and will occure unless the power of our God's atonement is sufficient to modify the natural law.
Which is the True and Living God? That God which can only transform abstract reactions? Or that God which can transform both abstract reactions and the concrete effects? Which is the more powerful atonement?
Of course, the power of transforming concrete effects must be displayed and manifest within concrete reality, within time and space, within differing desires and magnitudes of free will, within . . . and within . . . and the complexity of concrete transformation is, I think, the physical manifestation of the work and glory of God toward salvation and exaltation, not merely spiritually but also physically. Spiritual salvation and exaltation might be able to happen in an instant, depending on the degree of abstraction. Physical salvation and exaltation require nothing less than hard work within the complexities of the Temple of God.
Zeta-Flux: "what a merciful and awesome plan!"
I agree. :-)
Bonnie: "Accountability is an inseparable part of agency."
I agree, passionately, So long as we want to avoid hell -- and I think we want to avoid it.
Bonnie: "Free agency requires that we suffer the consequences of our choices . . ."
. . . and enjoy the blessings of our good choices, and create opportunities for ourselves and others to enjoy the blessings of atoning for our evil choices.
Zeta-Flux: "Hence a need for an infinite atonement!"
So far as I can tell, anything short of an infinite atonement is insufficient even for me alone, even without the needs of my community.
Zeta-Flux: "The funny thing is that I believe God knows what we are going to do, but we still have our own choice to do it."
Abstractly speaking, I too believe God knows the future. Concretely speaking, I don't think anyone, not even one's self, knows the details of our future choices -- we have yet to create, organize and manifest the future from its current abstract spiritual creation into its future concrete physical creation.
Zeta-Flux [to Grasshopper]: "From what you wrote (and have written earlier) you believe that God cannot know our future choices, and yet they are consequences of previous acts of others and ourselves (cause and effect is how you put it)."
I would agree that our future choices could be known concretely if we did not have free will, yet I believe you and I have free will to react to past actions in multiple ways -- hopefully atoning. Yet I would agree that, by methods analogous to but certainly not limited to statistics, our future choices can be known abstractly.
. . . so much to read, and so much I would like, ideally, to respond to, but I will skip ahead to Greenfrog's first remarks . . .
Greenfrog: "Grasshopper wrote: 'One of the things I've been trying to say throughout this discussion is that I don't understand this idea of the demands of God's justice.' Though I have not been active in this discussion, this has been my question, too, for many years."
Imagine a universe consisting of one subject-being. In such a universe, the pain and pleasure, joy and misery of this one subject being are an exhaustive basis for determining good and evil. That which the subject being desires, that which brings it pleasure and joy, is good. That which the subject being does not desire, that which brings it pain and misery, is evil. I think the same is true of our universe to a much greater magnitude of complexity.
Now imagine a universe consisting of only two subject beings. These two subject beings have some interesting and important choices to make. They can either try to come together and seek to make a community by attempting to pursue mutual pleasure and joy, or they can try to separate and seek to pursue their individual pleasure and joy. The choice of community potentially presents greater risks, yet it also potentially presents greater rewards. The potential greater risk: not only may a subject-being be pained and miserable individually, but it may also be introduced to new pain and misery through interaction with another subject-being. Likewise, the greater potential reward: not only may a subject-being find pleasure and joy individually, but it may also be introduced to new pleasures and joys through interaction with another subject-being. Assuming the subject-beings choose to pursue the potential greater rewards of community, they will encounter, at times, the negative aspects of community: they will find that there are times when their desires conflict. When their desires conflict, in effect, each is demanding of the other that which the one desires. How can they react? They can seperate or they can atone. They can allow the disagreement to destroy their commnity, or they can permit the disagreement to strengthen their community by reaching compromise or by one conceding to the other. There are demands here which must be met in some way. The community cannot simply ignore the demands because to ignore the demands is the same as to destroy the community. I think the same is true of our universe to a greater magnitude of complexity.
What are the demands of God's justice? Anthropoentheistically, they are our individual desires and the laws of our community. Panentheistically, they are the causes and effects in our environment and anatomy. My desires must be met in some way if I am to maintain a position in the community. The laws of my community must be met in some way if it is to maintain its members. The causes and effects of anatomy and environment must be if all is not to disorganize into chaos. To ignore desires, actions and reactions, or to ignore cause and effect, is to take a step toward spiritual death. However, we have choices in how to react and effects can be harnassed or modified. Wise and inspired choices of reaction and powerful harnassing and modification of effect are, I believe, the power of atonement. This is our salvation and exaltation.
Grasshopper: "Does God the Father demand that someone be punished for their sins, and if not them, then somebody has to suffer, so we'll punish Christ instead?"
The atonement is not misery. It is both descending below all <i>and ascending above all</i>. It is transformation of misery into joy and pain into pleasure. It is recognition of the justice of God, and it is fulfillment of justice in the most loving way -- the greatest love of all being to lay down one's life for one's friends, a proposition which if understood not merely physically, but also spiritually, is especially sobering. Yet, if we have the power to rise again, what should keep us from not using the descent as a powerful tool in our quest for atonement? Why not be the subject-being which, upon not finding means of compromise, agrees to concede her own desires for the sake of the community when she has the power later to achieve greater fulfillment of her desires? Perhaps nothing is so evil and nothing is so good as laying down one's life, one's desires, for another's -- the good being when redemption is possible, and the evil being when redemption is not possible. Yet how to know? Wisdom and inspiration.
Greenfrog: "I have wondered on a number of occasions if our use of metaphors in discussions of religion and spirituality is so pervasive that we forget that we are talking about a metaphor and start to mistake the metaphor for the objective reality we are trying to describe."
Are not all descriptions exaltations of the objective, meaningless in itself, reality? At the same time, are they not all pedagogical and aimed at something greater?
Greenfrog: "I've shared before on this Board a story (apocryphal?) about Picasso . . ."
I enjoyed the story. :-) I would like to expand on it a bit: upon seeing your physical wife with my physical eyes, might I not also react in a manner analogous to considering her small and flat? Her physical manifestations should not, in my opinion, by understood as the extent of her existence. They should be understood as wonderful manifestations and exaltations of a profound and complex spiritual being who is yet being created constantly, both physically and spiritually. Nothing short of eternal life in knowing God would be a sufficient and exhaustive description of your wife.
Greenfrog: "I think that by hanging on to an accounting metaphor for sins and atonement, we may be mistaking an metaphorical description and image of the atonement for 'reality.'"
Yet by not applying metaphors, we may not be doing our duty, using every tool in our arsenal, to co-create and exalt each other and our ideals, abstractly and concretely. That said, of course hanging on to a given metaphor dogmatically could be detrimental, as all dogmatism is damning and abominable. Where do we find the line between pedagogy and dogmatism? Wisdom and inspiration.
Greenfrog: "That said, there is much that I have seen in human interactions that suggest that, as a group, humans may have such perceptions, beliefs, and needs. Since I haven't figured out any way of understanding the accounting metaphor outside the context of human perceptions, perhaps some aspects of God's atonement was designed to address such human matters."
Sure, we as humans need to understand the atonement from a human perspective, but I believe what you are noticing is a difference in magnitude rather than a difference in kind between our understanding of the atonement and that understanding that non-human subject-beings might have. We all seek the fulfillment of our desires, human and non-human alike, and when our desires are not fulfilled, we react. Christ hopes we can react to atonement, by whatever concrete means necessary, whether it be the atonement of giving one's life or one's desires, or the atonement of requiring another's life or desires -- judging by whatever wisdom and inspiration we can muster. There will be conflict in any community -- except perhaps that ideal Celestial glory that we pursue. Generally, I think the solutions are not to dissolve the community or to <i>forever</i> allow individual desires to be subsumed by the community's laws. A sacrifice which does not lead to the fulness of joy (a paradox of altruism and hedonism) is not a sacrifice; it is murder or suicide -- and I think God has some terrible secrets here.
Greenfrog: "I need to think about that [natural consequences versus artificail consequences] more."
I think you are gazing into the infinite complexity of the infinite varieties of desire . . . and considering the awesome Godhead. :-)
. . . and yet more I would like to respond to, but I am out of time.
|Accountability||10/5/2001 19:43:00||Jeffery_LQ1W, bless you. ;-)|
You ask whether I believe in Utilitarianism. No, I do not believe in utilitarianism, except to the extent that aspects of it are similar to aspects of my beliefs. I believe the ends and the means are equally important, and I believe individuals and communities are equally important. I believe the fulness of joy is a paradox of altruism and hedonism, individual and community, present and future.
Also, you ask what I mean by "abstractly speaking" versus "concretely speaking". I am trying to make a distinction between ideals and particulars, between archetypes and their manifestations, between things spiritual and things physical, etc. I use "abstract" and "spiritual" synonymously. I also use "concrete" and "physical" synonymously.
Relative to God's knowledge, I am saying that I believe no subject-being, God or otherwise, knows the future concrete particular details of our choices, yet this does not keep God from directing the future, nor does it keep God from pursuing ever better acquaintance with us, and us with him.
|Accountability||10/5/2001 19:50:00||Was that your reaction to reading the scriptures, too? ;-)|
|Accountability||10/5/2001 20:03:00||God knows.|
|Accountability||10/8/2001 15:02:00||Jeffery_LQ1W: "Arosophos: Yes, but you do not [know whether the scriptures contain the words of great men who did not presume to compare themselves to the scriptures]."|
This depends on what you mean by "know". Judging from past exposure to your ideas, I wager your use of "know" must lead us to conclude that neither you nor I know anything whatsoever.
I understand "know" from a pragmatic perspective, which, I would argue, is also the basis for common usage of the word. Within the context of my usage of "know", your statement above is incorrect. Would you like me to explain why?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "[Arosophos' statement] means: God: 'Well what does this button do? Hmmm I don't know, but at least I am directing the future.'"
No, you are incorrect. Would you like me to explain why?
More importantly, do you care? Judging from your responses to my posts up to this point, I think you are bothered by my posts to this board. Do you treat everyone with whom you disagree or whose writing does not appeal to you with equal disrespect? Is this your way, as a disciple of Christ, of demonstrating love? My impression is that you may be one of whom John speaks when he teaches that those who claim to love God, yet demonstrate by action that they hate their neighbor, are liars. Is my impression incorrect?
Jeffery_LQ1W, if you disagree with anything I have written in my previous posts, I hope you will carefully and respectfully explain why you disagree. I have the impression that you are an intelligent and articulate person. From such a person, I am sure I can learn.
Grasshopper: "Do you think it [a distinction between artificial and natural] is not a useful distinction -- perhaps as useful as the distinction between 'chance' and 'choice'?"
Yes, so long as we recognize human creations to be different only in magnitude from non-human creations -- otherwise, I am inclined to consider the distinction to be arrogant.
Grasshopper: ". . . how does it [atonement] modify effects that have already occurred?"
You and I have previously discussed the objective and subjective aspects of the past. I think that to the extent that past effects are subjective, they can yet be modified; and I believe that all past effects have a subjective aspect of some magnitude.
|Accountability||10/9/2001 0:01:00||Jeffery_LQ1W: "You took the quote out of context and erroneously. Allow me to correct you."|
Thank you for pointing out your differing perspective. You tell me that I took a quote out of context and then you proceed to present a context which you feel is more accurate. I will do the same, and let's see how it turns out . . .
1) Jeffery_LQ1W: "Did it ever occur to any of us that a truly great speaker makes himself understood rather than exercise his fingers on the Thesaurus and old college philosophy textbooks?"
2) Arosophos: "Was that your reaction to reading the scriptures, too? ;-)"
3) Jeffery_LQ1W: "In other words do I treat your words as scripture too, therefore my reaction should be equal?"
In statement (1), you appear to imply that anyone who does not make himself generally understood is not a great speaker.
In statement (2), I intended to imply that the speakers in the scriptures do not make themselves generally understood any better than I make myself generally understood, and therefore making one's self generally understood may not be the best or only criteria whereby to judge the greatness of a speaker.
In statement (3), you appear to interpret my statement (2) to mean I think you should treat my words as scripture and react accordingly.
I think I understand why you interpreted my statement (2) as you do in your statement (3): I think you extended the analogy beyond the context of the statement to which I was responding directly. All I can say in response is that your interpretation was not my intention.
That said, I think your interpretation has some merit, regardless of my original intention. I believe scripture is anything written or spoken by the Spirit and read or heard by the Spirit. I assure you that I intended to write nothing, in my original post to this thread, except that which whatever wisdom and inspiration I may have moved me to write. Whether or not I succeeded in writing by the Spirit is something which surely merits further consideration. Whether or not you received what I wrote by the Spirit appear to me to be obvious: you did not. I think this obvious judging from your response, in a word which I quote: "PUHLEEEEEZE".
Jeffery_LQ1W: "One might reply, judging by the verbiage thrown about, one hides one's ignorance or belief in nothing behind jargon used to impress rather than address."
Do you find any irony in this statement?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "There are things we know and things we have faith in."
Do you know something beyond faith? If so, can you give me an example?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "To often what we know changes with knowledge."
I don't understand. Will you clarify?
Moving on, we appear to have a disagreement concerning interpretation again . . .
1) Jeffery_LQ1W: "Perhaps the sciptures contain words of great men who did not presume to compare themselves to the scriptures. Then again perhaps not."
2) Arosophos: "God knows."
3) Jeffery_LQ1W: "Yes, but you do not."
4) Arosophos: "This depends on what you mean by 'know'. Judging from past exposure to your ideas, I wager your use of 'know' must lead us to conclude that neither you nor I know anything whatsoever."
5) Arosophos: "I understand 'know' from a pragmatic perspective, which, I would argue, is also the basis for common usage of the word. Within the context of my usage of 'know', your statement above is incorrect. Would you like me to explain why?"
6) Jeffery_LQ1W: "So are you telling me, you 'know' that your words are scripture and will be used as such, or dont 'know' if your words are scripture that will be canonized? Or do you assume it by your actions in alluding to 'well if I am difficult to read, then treat me like scripture?' Try to do it without the college textbooks this time."
In statement (1), you appear to be saying that you don't know whether the authors of scripture considered their writings to be scriptural.
In statement (2), I claimed that God knows whether these authors considered their writings to be scriptural.
In statement (3), you appear to agree with my statement (2) and you appear to tell me that I don't know whether these authors considered their writings to be scriptural.
In statements (4) and (5), I claim that my response to your statement (3) depends on our use of "know", that, according to your use of "know", I might agree with your statement (3), but that according to my use of "know", I do not agree with your statement (3), thereby implying that I think I know whether the authors of scripture considered their writings to be scriptural.
In statement (6), you appear to interpret my statements (4) and (5) to mean that I am making claims concerning the nature of my writings.
I think I understand how you may have been confused regarding my statements (4) and (5). Now that I have clarified them, as I asked before, would you like to know why I think I know that the authors of scripture considered their writings to be scriptural?
Arosophos, previously: "Would you like me to explain why [I think your God-and-button analogy is incorrect]?"
Jeffery_LQ1W: "It would be interesting to see how your long statement is different from my short one."
Is this a response to my question? If this is not a response, I ask again: would you like me to explain why your analogy misrepresents my beliefs? If your statement was a response, was it a "yes" or a "no"?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "No disrespect intended."
Do you sincerely expect me to believe this? :-)
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I do question words bandied about to impress."
I have intended and do now intend my words to be accurate, persuasive, wise and inspired -- whether or not I have succeeded. Is this the same as bandying about to impress?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "It is not disrespectful to cut through hype to core issues."
I agree. Were you cutting through the hype to the core issues of my original post when you responded: "PUHLEEEEEZE"?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "As to your impressions of John's scripture might I also add a more appropriate 2 Nephi 28:9."
I do not see how this responds to my criticism, except perhaps in the same way a primary school child would chid: "I know you are, but what am I". I am yet interested in reading your response to my impression.
That aside, I would like to respond to your impression of the applicability of the 2 Nephi 28:9 scripture to my posts. Do I teach false and vain and foolish doctrines? I don't think so, and I hope not. That Spirit which I recognize as the Spirit of God and that which I recognize as wisdom have led me to believe and share that which I believe and share. I recognize, despite all, that I may be a fool. I recognize, despite all, that I may be in error. Indeed, relatively speaking, I am confident that I am a fool in error, but this does not keep me from trying. Am I puffed up in my heart? Maybe. Do I seek to hide my counsels from the Lord? Nothing can be hidden from the God which I worship. Are my works in the dark? Not so far as I can tell.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "You may be correct that Arosophos wants to choose his words carefully."
Who could say? ;-)
Jeffery_LQ1W: "But well chosen words are not so well chosen before an audience that becomes confused by them."
I agree that, to the extent that the intended primary audience is confused, the choice of words is inadequate. However, in this case, my intended primary audience has not claimed that my choice of words was inadequate -- although I am sure my intended primary audience could point out areas where I could have improved.
That aside, I believe one is regularly justified in purposefully confusing intended secondary audiences. To begin with, if this were not the case, I can think of no way to fully justify scriptural syntax. Beyond that, I think we all recognize the need to sometimes tell our audience that they do not understand what we are saying. An easy way to tell the audience that they do not understand is to use a word we think they may not understand. Is this immoral? Arrogant? Evil? No, I don't think so. I think it is a practical necessity at worst, and an act of charity at best. None of us can explain everything we believe in a few sentences or paragraphs (or perhaps even in entire books). If ever we desire to explain something beyond the basic foundations of our beliefs, we have to take shortcuts. A risk, in taking a shortcut, is that someone who is not familiar with the foundations of our beliefs may make undesirable assumptions concerning the foundations. I think there are at least two ways in which these undesirable assumptions might be made: first, with a sense of confidence; second, with a sense of confusion. In the first case, our audience is confused but does not know it; in the second case, our audience is confused and knows it. Therefore, I think the first to be dishonest relative to the second. The best way to pursue the second, I think, is to use words which cause persons unfamiliar with them to become confused. Then why should we bother addressing an intended secondary audience? Because we hope that those persons who are among the intended secondary audience for some portions of the address will be among the intended primary audience for other portions of the address -- and we hope not to give them confidence in their misunderstandings when they are not among the intended primary audience.
All of that said, I do not claim to achieve these goals perfectly; I do claim to try to achieve these goals. I think, also, the scriptures make it clear that they try to achieve these goals. If you care that I propose a scriptural justification for these beliefs, I will do so -- and I think it a strong justification.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "We are not all of great knowledge (let alone wisdom here), plain speaking can be accomplishing without using philosophical jargon, and complex matters can also be explained this way."
Jeffery_LQ1W, I believe there is an important time and a place for plain and simple. I believe also there is an important time and a place for moving beyond plain and simple. That which is beyond plain and simple requires consideration and articulation beyond that which is plain and simple.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "By jargon I mean a professionally trained vocabulary in a single area. One should not expect us all to understand Jung or Nietchze . . ."
Nothing I have written in this thread requires professionally trained vocabulary. Nothing I have written in this thread requires an understanding of Jung, Nietzsche, or any other professionally recognized philosopher or psychologist. Some of what I have written in this thread requires familiarity with some of my beliefs which I have not made time to articulate fully due to practical constrai1nts. Much of what I have written in this thread requires familiarity with the LDS canon.
Jeffery_LQ1W: ". . . we want to understand Christ, and generally that can be done (as far as our limited language goes) to a certain extent with plain speaking."
So long as the "to a certain extent" is maintained, I agree.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "Generally my meter goes off when people use Jargon [professionally trained vocabulary in a single area] . . ."
Apparently, it also goes off when people use scriptural and personal vocabulary that you do not understand.
Jeffery_LQ1W: ". . . it means they cannot explain what they want to say outside their own immediate circle."
Maybe. It may also mean, among other things, that they have not chosen, due to practical constraints, to explain everything to everyone outside their intended primary audience.
|Accountability||10/9/2001 2:50:00||Jeffery_LQ1W: "It would appear that a few simple straight forward words are lost in the vast cornucopia whose quality and quantity, in my opinion remain questionable, as it your overlong and tedious review of two simple statments and then immediate request that "I" yeah verily "I" answer yes or no."|
I don't understand. Will you clarify, please?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "A statement of such brevity that its very use must be as alien to you as the word omniscience."
I believe God is omniscient. I think this is sufficient to demonstrate that the word "omniscience" is not alien to me.
Jeffery_LQ1W: ". . . a man who was a great writer and well understood by his fellow man and did not view his words as scripture."
By which criteria do you determine Shakespeare to be a great writer?
To what extent do you believe Shakespeare was understood by his contemporaries? How generally do you think Shakespeare intended to be understood by his contemporaries? To what extent do you believe we understand Shakespeare today?
By which criteria do you determine that a person views her writings as scripture? How does or does not Shakespeare meet this criteria?
How do you think your answers to these previous questions apply to me?
Perhaps most importantly, how do you think Shakespeare's words reflect back on himself?
Jeffery_LQ1W: ". . . often we use words to hide ignorance rather than truthes."
I agree. That said, you appear to be implying by this that you think I am hiding ignorance by my vocabulary. Why do you think this?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "In the scriptures Christ did speak plainly . . ."
My four-year-old son generally does not understand Christ, as his words are portrayed in the Bible. My one-year-old son does not understand Christ whatsoever, as his words are portrayed in the Bible. Many adults with whom I am acquainted, myself included, find with time that they have not understood Christ as his words are portrayed in the Bible. Apparently, plain speaking is relative to an audience. I think this demonstrates that your generalization, that Christ spoke plainly, merits qualification in the least.
Jeffery_LQ1W: ". . . his words were often of such portent those around Him often chose not to understand."
Maybe. Maybe also some of them simply did not understand? Have my sons chosen not to understand the words of Christ as portrayed in the Bible? Did Christ's disciples, who frequently asked him for explanations, choose not to understand?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "In general, yourself included, a speaker that does not make himself well understood to communicate, is not communicating to his audience. Hence a poor communicator or speaker."
I will repeat, since apparently you are ignoring me or you missed my statement, that my intended primary audience, Greenfrog, at whose invitation I posted here, went out of his way to comment that he understood my post. In addition, I have already shared my views concerning the nature of addressing intended secondary audiences. I will not repeat that here.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I am skipping the analysis of what I said, I thought I said it plainly enough . . ."
Yes, you said it plainly enough, and it was plainly a misrepresentation of what I had said previously. I demonstrated that you misrepresented my words, but you now tell me that you will ignore my demonstration. You pretend that you are ignoring it because you explained yourself clearly enough. I think, in actuality, you are ignoring it because you recognize you made a mistake and do not feel inclined to admit it.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "As to PUHLEEEZE--sometimes form speaks louder than words."
Yes, but of what does it speak louder? So far as I can tell, it speaks loudest of your character. Do you think differently?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I will call it an Arosophism or is it Arosophistry?"
Either is fine. ;-) Truth shall cut its own way, whether I write it or not, and whether you mislabel it or not.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "To often what we know changes with knowledge. At one time everyone knew the sun revolved around the earth and that changed."
I still don't understand. I understand that knowledge can change, but I do not understand what you mean by knowledge changing with knowledge -- even in the context of the sun example. Will you clarify?
Arosophos, previously: "Would you like me to explain why [I think your God-and-button analogy is incorrect]?"
Jeffery_LQ1W: "It would be interesting to see how your long statement is different from my short one."
Arosophos, previously: "Is this a response to my question? If this is not a response, I ask again: would you like me to explain why your analogy misrepresents my beliefs? If your statement was a response, was it a 'yes' or a 'no'?"
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I think the answer can be interpeted as a yes . . ."
You think it a "yes"? Or "yes"?
Jeffery_LQ1W: ". . . however, please try to do so without the penchant for words your so liberally show."
Do you see any irony in this statement?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "Do not confuse my personal view of your ideas to my personal view of your life. I cannot disrespect what I do not know."
You know my words. You appear to disrespect my words. You claim: "No disrespect intended." I ask whether you think I will actually take your claim of respect seriously. You say I should take it seriously because you know nothing of my personal life . . . and you label me a sophist!?! Jeffery_LQ1W, if you make me any more dizzy, you may easily convince me to take your claim of respect seriously. ;-)
Arosophos, previously: "Were you cutting through the hype to the core issues of my original post when you responded: 'PUHLEEEEEZE'?"
Jeffery: "Why, yes it was. Consider it a cry from the ignorant darkness for brevity in the greater light and knowledge department."
Have you asked God for the same thing? The scriptures do not appear to be brief -- but if they are brief then I don't know how best to describe the infinite brevity of my posts.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I can but reply....in a most Arosophistic manner"
If it is Arosophistic to reply as I reply, and if you intend to reply Arosophistically, then perhaps you should provide me a more pertinent reply? Please do not ignore my question, again: what do you think of my impression that John's criticism, (that those who claim to love God yet demonstrate in action that they hate their neighbor are liars) applies to you?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I think you use vain and foolish words in an attempt to impress rather than 'dialogue'."
Is an attempt to persuade an attempt to impress? If so, I attempt to impress. That aside, I certainly attempt to have dialogue; unfortunately, you ignored my attempt at theological dialogue and commenced an ad hominem attack dialogue against me, from which attack I now defend myself.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "A reflection perhaps of a heart perhaps a tad bit puffed up with vocabulary and a secure feeling of, dare I say superiority, in ones judicious use of jargon? I do not accuse, but do present the possibility that perhaps you have even blinded yourself to the possibility."
I already responded to this criticism earlier, simply, in a word: "Maybe." Do you think I should expound on why I answered this way?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "If I may be so blunt, your audience here are largely average everyday "Joes" that want to talk about the gospel and implications without having to run to their dictionaries . . . Consider the audience more Norman Rockwell in their view of the world and gospel."
I disagree with your generalization concerning the participants here. Regardless, my intended primary audience was not the general audience; it was Greenfrog. The general audience here is my intended secondary audience. I already explained my perspective on this matter.
Jeffery_LQ1W: ". . . someone wants to quote Jung or use the words concrete and abstract while in the same breath stating they are synonomous"
You appear to imply here that I have quoted Jung and that I have used "concrete" and "abstract" synonymously. Both of these implications are incorrect, with the possible exception that I quoted Jung without knowing it -- stranger things have happened.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "We are not here for academic impressionism."
What is academic impressionism?
Jeffery_LQ1W: "Perhaps Beleifnet offers a greater chance at a verbal tango, but generally here its more a sincere attempt to speak plainly of plain truthes so that all may agree and disagree."
I speak and write as plainly or as complexly as I feel I should, judging by whatever wisdom and inspiration I may have, regardless of the forum. I hope all will agree and disagree with me, judging by whatever wisdom and inspiration they may have.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "So do you choose to be the author of confusion where the gospel is concerned?"
As I already explained, and you appear to be ignoring, I choose to try to minimalize confusion by trying not to allow a person to think she understands when she does not. Perhaps it would be better to explain my postion with these words: I would rather a person be ignorant and know it than be ignorant and not know it.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "Is it immoral. Goes to intent. If the intent is to impress, yes it is. If the intent is to confuse the faithful, yes, from a mere mortal, definately."
Again, if to intend to persuade is to intend to impress then I intend to impress. Also, my intent toward secondary audiences is not so much to confuse them as to make sure they do not think they understand when they do not understand.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I find your overlong word play far, very far from short cuts."
I believe you. :-)
Jeffery_LQ1W: "In essence the iron rod has would be a pretzel in your hands, not so simple or straight."
I understand the Iron Rod to be the Word of God, which I believe to be the Spirit of God. I believe, as the scriptures teach, that the Spirit of God will lead us from a simple to a profound understanding of all things, and that there is a time and a place for each.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "Familiarity with the foundation can be found in those who can easily follow or live by the foundation."
I agree, as the scriptures teach: by their fruits ye shall know them. However, you are using "foundation" differently than I was using it. You are using it to refer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was using it to refer to the foundation of a person's individual beliefs (which may or may not include the gospel of Jesus Christ, depending on the person).
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I find the basic foundation still far from obvious grasp given so many still have trouble living the gospel . . ."
I agree; however, again, you are using the word "foundation" differently than I was using it.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I do not believe in short cuts . . ."
In the sense you use the word, I agree. However, once more, you are using "short cuts" differently than I was using the phrase. You are referring to a short way of advancing in one's personal understanding. I was referring to a brief way of explaining one's already achieved personal understanding. For example, we can describe a chicken or we can use the word "chicken"; the word is a shortcut to the description. Similarly, I have several shortcut words that I use regularly, and I direct them at a primary audience of persons who understand the words. These words also work, to some degree, as a means of warning others that they should seek more clarification before assuming they understand what I am saying.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "Well gosh darn it, I don't [believe there is a time and place for moving beyond plain and simple]."
I disagree with you, then, as do several authors of the Bible. Here is one of many examples:
"Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." (Proverbs 1:20-33)
There are other examples, too. Please do not suppose, however, that I am saying there is not a time and a place for simplicity. To the contrary, I think simplicity to be as important as complexity. However, I believe the one to be insufficient (even damning) without the other.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "I think those who believe they are speaking beyond the plain and simple, generally find themselves lost in a forest of words and cannot see the forest for the trees around them."
My experience, and my understanding of others' experience, has led me to think differently.
Jeffery_LQ1W: "All this being said (and exhausting) perhaps a return to the question of accountability and why it is important."
Has your ad hominem run its course? :-)
|Accountability||10/9/2001 12:43:00||Hi Kathryn.|
Thank you for sharing your perspective on this matter. In what specific ways do you feel that I have acted as a ninnie?
Is defending my character by responding to Jeffery's ad hominem attack an act of a ninnie? Would it be more appropriate for me to allow him to defame me without comment? I have done so once before at Nauvoo, when he labeled me a "devil". Now, when I post here at the invitation of a friend, he ridicules my post. Should I continue to ignore him and allow him to taint people's perspectives of that which I have written? Kathryn, I believe appeasement of bullying is an error, and I feel it would be a breech of my integrity not to respond to Jeffery.
Please recognize, Kathryn, that I did not invite Jeffery to label me a devil in your Nauvoo forum, neither did I invite him to ridicule my first post at Nauvoo nor to misrepresent my words repeatedly. I think it would be injudicious to allow readers here at Nauvoo to think an attempt to defend one's character and words from repeated ad hominem attacks is somehow reprehensible.
I certainly did not desire to disrupt your forum, Kathryn. I would have rather participated briefly and peacefully. To the extent that my participation here was an error, I sincerely apologize. I respect your efforts and I wish you well. Goodbye, for now. :-)
|Insult and Injustice||2/26/2002 1:05:00||"The accused, in all cases, has a right to one-half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice. And the councilors appointed to speak before the council are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice. Those councilors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice. In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have a privilege of speaking for themselves before the council, after the evidences are heard and the councilors who are appointed to speak on the case have finished their remarks." (D&C 102: 15-18)|
KathrynHJanitor, would you please consider restoring my deleted post?
|Insult and Injustice||2/26/2002 1:40:00||Does public insult and injustice merit private rebuke?|
|Beliefnet (again)||2/26/2002 1:44:00||Nghthawke: "Jeffrey, I've just become you're #1 fan!"|
|Insult and Injustice||2/26/2002 2:24:00||"Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest." (D&C 71: 7)|
"Thy voice shall be a rebuke unto the transgressor; and at thy rebuke let the tongue of the slanderer cease its perverseness." (D&C 112: 9)
"We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense . . . for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment." (D&C 134: 8)
See also D&C 123.
What is the scriptural precedent?
|Insult and Injustice||2/26/2002 2:38:00||KathrynHJanitor, I think you may also find the following precedent, an occurrance at Bnet on February 22, to be of interest . . .|
Bnet Participant: "I think OSC attitude is about half a step from people who would kill homosexuals . . . I consider him exactly the same as I do Robertson, Falwell, and Osama Bin Laden . . . for me the gloves are off on this issue. If somebody got up and said something harmful or hateful they'd get an earful . . ."
Arosophos: "[Bnet Participant], I am going to say something harmful and hateful: I too think your comment that Card is a half step away from killing homosexuals was absurd."
Card is welcome to defend himself at Bnet. Am I welcome to defend myself at Nauvoo?
Would you please consider restoring my deleted thread?
|Beliefnet (again)||2/26/2002 11:17:00||KathrynHJanitor: "The Jeffery thread was deleted by me because Nauvoo does not allow threads that are created to insult one person."|
KathrynHJanitor, you know, as well as I, that my deleted post did not insult Jeffery_LQ1W. I am disappointed by your characterization of my post, and I am disappointed by your decision not to restore it. I'll get over it.
|An apology||2/26/2002 11:27:00||Jeffery_LQ1W,|
Thank you for the apology.
The purpose of my original deleted post was to engage you in a discussion of your negative feelings regarding me or things I have written. I am more interested in acknowledging and perhaps resolving our disagreements than in apologies.
You mention in your post that you generally do not like what I write or how I write. What, more particularly, about my writing bothers you? Maybe I can make a change for the better.
|Beliefnet (again)||2/26/2002 11:29:00||Truthseeker: "Hi, Arosophus! My sympathy to you and the other moderators on the Mormon boards at BNet."|
Hope life is better here
|2/26/2002 14:07:00||"And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. (1 Nephi 8: 26-27)|
|Beliefnet (again)||2/26/2002 14:37:00||You left because of me, and now, because of that, you encourage others to insult me. Do I understand that correctly?|
What, more particularly, encouraged you to leave? Did I insult you?
Also, who are you quoting in your final paragraph?
Hope life is better here
|2/26/2002 14:49:00||Jeffery_LQ1w, my post is not directed at you.|
I have had a second post, directed at Fuzzybones, deleted from this thread. Fuzzybones claims in this thread that I have attacked him personally. I asked, in the deleted post, that he quote my personal attack. I asked this as a means of demonstrating that his accusation is unfounded.
I apologize, Jeffery_LQ1W, for giving the impression that I had not accepted your apology.
Jacare, I respect the appeal in your post. I do not want to destroy anything you have here. That said, false accusations have been directed at me in public, and I would like to respond to them in public. If I am not allowed to respond to them in public, I hope the accusations, along with my rebuttals, will be removed. Do you think my request is justified?
Hope life is better here
|2/26/2002 14:56:00||A thought, too, concerning contention: there was no contention spoken of in describing the great and spacious building; indeed, according to the description, everyone in that building felt quite uplifted -- they could make false accusations without facing consequences and be congratulated for it.|
By this, I do not want anyone to understand that I think Nauvoo evil. Far from it, I think it generally has an excellent purpose and fills a needed and unique role. Yet, if Nauvoo allows its participants to make false accusations concerning others while being protected from rebuttals, then I think Nauvoo is doing its participants a disservice in this particular. Nauvoo, already a good place, may be yet better if it manages to find a manner of resolving this.
|An apology||2/26/2002 15:12:00||Let's resolve them. I am willing to resolve the concerns privately, as KathrynHJanitor requests, so long as you are willing, too. I think you can demonstrate your willingness to do this privately by refraining from continuing to make your accusations public, as you have to present.|
If you prefer public accusations, I hope you will recognize the justice of going public in a place where I am permitted to rebut without having my posts deleted.
Hope life is better here
|2/26/2002 16:11:00||KathrynHJanitor: " If you'll read this thread in its entirety, there is no mention of you by Fuzzybones anywhere here."|
Unfortunately, you overlooked it -- or it is appearing only on my screen. Here is the quote, from above: "I really liked being attacked by Aros as well . . ." Am I the only one that sees it? Maybe I have become deluded in paranoia. ;-)
KathrynHJanitor, I respect your desire and impressive efforts to avoid disagreements here. We have a board at Bnet dedicated to a similar atmosphere, and, like you, we do our best to enforce it. In so doing, however, we find it unjust to allow persons there to criticize others without also providing a place for the others to rebut the criticisms. Do you disagree with our sense of justice?