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“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who
has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect
has intended us to forgo their use.”
~ Galileo Galilei
For, behold, it is written
that the glory of God is intelligence, which intelligence is the light of truth.
...there is no knowledge where God is not.
Let us then prove most resolved both you and I together,
and weave with care
your life and faith
to make them be as one...
7th Endowment 2:3
...in the shadow of beauty is every truth revealed.
4th Endowment 27:53
...for in the presence
of beauty do you glimpse again your truer selves.
4th Endowment 27:22
...Know, therefore, that all knowledge is environment,
and nothing else beside.
4th Endowment 25:22
It is morally wrong to kill a human in the name of religion, nationalism, or justice, for whenever we kill our fellow man, we strike at the very birthseed of God.
LAWS OF INTELLIGENT THOUGHT
Scripture Study Guide
To understand (in a truly profound way) the teachings found in the Song of God, we must apply ourselves to the laws which govern intelligent thought. If God is intelligent, then our approach to understanding God must also be intelligent. Any methodology used to answer spiritual questions must be rooted in reason.
Reason empowers faith, it does not end it.
Reason helps to create a solid framework of belief wherein given premises and propositions work in support of every other premise and proposition within the framework. Propositions and premises conflicting with one another strongly imply the framework is false and does not come from God. Any system of belief which does not adhere to the laws of intelligent thought creates not only confusion, but nonsense; and nonsense, regardless of how sincerely one might believe it, can never be true.
FOUNDATIONS OF INTELLIGENT THOUGHT
I. Law of Explicandum
II. Laws of Intelligent Thought
III. Truth Systems
IV. True Faith
V. Relevant Beliefs
I. LAW OF EXPLICANDUM
1. Criteria of Plausibility
a) Testable: For any hypothesis to be acceptable, we must be able to test it using
a methodology which has been constructed for the purpose of proving or disproving
b) Conservative: Does not violate what we already know to be true.
c) Simplistic: Ockham’s Razor – given that all sides are equal, the answer which requires the fewest assumptions to be made, tends to be the correct answer.
B. Law: describes how the natural world works
C. Theory: provides humanity with the ability to predict and manipulate natural law, as we have come to understand it
II. LAWS OF INTELLIGENT THOUGHT
A. Law of Identity
This law states that an object is the same as itself.
- ie: A is A
B. Law of Non-contradiction
This law states that an object cannot be itself and not itself at the same time.
- ie: one cannot say that “A is A and not A” at the same time
C. Law of Excluded Middle
This law states that an object cannot be itself and something other than itself at the same time; a proposition must be either true or not true, there is no middle ground.
- ie: one cannot say that “A is A and A is B” at the same time
Polygamy not from God:
Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.
Polygamy from God:
David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
~ Doctrine and Covenants 132:38-39
God condemns murder:
Thou shalt not kill.
~ Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17
...and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.
~ Exodus 23:7
God commands murder:
And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
~ Exodus 32:27
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
~ I Samuel 15:2-3
And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;
Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better
that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
~ I Nephi 4:12-13 (Book of Mormon)
How can one come to know God (or what is good) using a book filled with conflicting premises?
- Logic can only tell you what is false. It cannot tell you what is true.
- Propositions and premises which conflict with one another strongly imply that the framework is false and does not come from God.
- Propositions which conflict and contradict create nonsense, and nonsense can never be true.
When all the propositions and conclusions are in agreement, how can we know if something is true?
III. TRUTH SYSTEMS
A. Truth as: COHERENCE
All propositions ‘cohere’ (all propositions support each other)
B. Truth as: CORRESPONDENCE
The proposition ‘corresponds’ to observable fact
C. Truth as: “WHAT WORKS”
The argument of utility: the truth principle which allows humans to create the future reality of what shall be real. Truth as “what works” is a creative process. It is the realm of dreamers, mystics, and visionaries.
D. Truth as: BEAUTY
The proposition advanced by God that all things which are beautiful contain, within the essence of their nature, a truth which can only be felt by the touch of the ineffable.
»Topical Guide: BEAUTY
“Find the thing that is beautiful, and in its shadow you will find the truth.”
IV. TRUE FAITH
A. True faith is not rooted in mere feelings, it must also be rooted in reason. Faith must be reasonable so that the fewest assumptions need to be made.
B. The ‘reason’ which underlies true faith becomes the conceptual construct which empowers the mind, soul and spirit of a true believer.
C. True faith produces feelings of awe and wonder — feelings which are sublime and ineffable that leave the true believer calm, peaceful, kind, humorous, etc.
D. True faith is the force which reveals the mind of God in your life. It is not rooted in ignorance or mere feelings, it is rooted in intelligence. Why? Because God is an intelligent, exalted, glorified human being.
E. Faith and reason are like the shoes on your feet: you need both to make the journey. Without one or the other, you are likely to cripple yourself, making the journey more difficult. Reason without faith is blind, and faith without reason is dangerous.
»Topical Guide: FAITH , BELIEF
V. RELEVANT BELIEFS
In order for any belief in God to be relevant, then such a belief must have real world value. For any belief in God to have real world value, it must:
A. accept the real world for what it is. This entails accepting the real world as defined by nature and by such sciences that strive to explain the real world.
B. by using the Law of Explacandum, explain the real connection between man and nature, ie: the rise of human society with all its art and science, as well as the Great Leap Forward as acknowledged by anthropologists.
C. promote the continuing evolution of the human species.
For you know yourselves
how that if a house be divided against itself, it is unable to stand;
for such divisions and contentions do fill the whole of you with all manner of uncertainty
and confusion regarding the issues
of this life.
2nd Endowment 6:10
Be you, therefore,
wise and deeply knowing, for the purpose of beauty is revelation...
4th Endowment 27:23
For at no time have I commanded that one man should slay another. For this is an abomination unto me.
For belief is the
foundation on which you would build your life, constructing through faith or doubt
the house wherein you dwell...
4th Endowment 27:48