Three (surprising) General Authority Statements on Tolerance (in Conference)

April 14, 2013    By: Administrator @ 9:54 pm   Category: Life

Here is another guest post from NCT regular, DavidF

I’m sure most people are sick of conference posts by now. Timing isn’t my best quality. That being said, I’m not sure what to make of these three statements about tolerance from conference:

Packer: “Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the “tolerance trap” so that we are not swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result of the violation of God’s law of chastity.”

Oaks: “Latter-day Saints understand that we should not be “of the world” or bound to “the tradition of men”… These failures to follow Christ … range all the way from worldly practices like political correctness and extremes in dress and grooming to deviations from basic values like the eternal nature and function of the family.”

Monson: “May we be tolerant of, as well as kind and loving to, those who do not share our beliefs and our standards. The Savior brought to this earth a message of love and goodwill to all men and women. May we ever follow His example.”

These three statements don’t technically clash. They are all vague enough to allow all of them to be right. But the implicit messages are wildly different. Should we beware of tolerant practices (i.e. political correctness, Oaks), embrace tolerance (Monson), or show some kind of measured restraint on being tolerant (Packer)?

Moral Rightness and the Same Sex Marriage Debate

March 26, 2013    By: Administrator @ 10:41 pm   Category: Ethics

This guest post was submitted by NCT regular commenter, DavidF

Hot off the presses, you can listen to the oral arguments over the Same Sex marriage debate before the Supreme Court. I highly recommend it.

I want to bring up some of the highlights by comparing the competing value structures that the two sides rely on to make their case. So you’re getting a philosophical post and a political post for the price of one. But why the philosophy? Because the moral values both sides bring to the debate rest at the very heart of how they justify their positions. This is a useful tool to get at the bias inherent to each side’s argument.

Consequentialism and Deontology Crash Course

There are two moral systems colliding in this debate: consequentialism and deontology. The conservatives rely mainly on deontological arguments and the liberals rely mainly on consequentialist arguments. What’s the difference?

Guest Post: A Mormon Moral Paradox-Gettier Style

February 6, 2013    By: Administrator @ 11:04 pm   Category: Ethics

The following guest post was submitted to us by DavidF:

Suppose you are sitting at home reading a book. You glance at your watch. It reads 5:23. So you go back to reading now knowing the time. But unbeknownst to you, the battery in your watch died yesterday. By sheer coincidence it stopped at 5:23. It turns out your belief that it’s 5:23 is correct, but only by accident.

This is a Gettier problem. Gettier invented problems like this one to challenge the foundational claims of epistemology, that knowledge is justified true belief. In this scenario, the watch-reader would have a true belief and think it is justified. In reality, the justification is wrong, but the belief is still true. Gettier came up with the first problems in 1963; they vex epistomologists to this day. Gettier’s paradoxes are interesting in their own right. But what happens when you turn an epistemological paradox into a moral one? And what happens when you make it a specifically Mormon one? Let’s see. (more…)

Guest Post: What is Mormon Doctrine? What is common consent?

January 9, 2007    By: Administrator @ 9:01 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices,Theology

[This guest post was submitted by Matt W., a regular contributor to discussions here at the Thang.]

Sometimes I like to pretend I am pretty smart about my faith and religion. At other times, I accept that I am just an eight year old in the Church. This is one of those times.

In a recent thread, Blake made a statement which has bothered me. He noted that one article on Agency “hasn’t been accepted by common consent…” as a basic way of debunking what was said therein. This bothered me not because I didn’t agree with Blake on that point, but because I have a hard time following the reasoning that Mormon Doctrine only equals those things sustained by common consent in General Conference. (more…)

Introducing: Jacob

July 27, 2006    By: Administrator @ 4:28 pm   Category: Life

We’ve had guest posts here in at the Thang in the past but we’ve never had an official guest blogger before. That ends today. Jacob Morgan has agreed to be a guest blogger here at the Thang for the next few weeks. Regulars here know him simply as Jacob and some of you might recognize him as the author of an excellent article on the atonement in a recent issue of Dialogue. Jacob hails from Oregon (near Beaverton if I remember correctly) and is happily married with three children. He has proven to be a clear thinking and insightful participant here in the past and we are pleased to have him join us. Welcome Jacob! (more…)

Guest Post: Qualifying for the Telestial kingdom?

May 16, 2006    By: Administrator @ 2:33 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

[The following is a guest post from Jacob, a thoughtful Mormon from Oregon who I met at this year’s SMPT conference.]

In a recent series of posts, Geoff has been discussing various models of the plan of salvation, and as you might expect, advocating his favorite “multiple mortal probations” model. During that discussion, the question of telestial salvation came up a number of times, and Geoff graciously offered to host this guest-post of mine on one aspect of that subject. My question is geared toward the more traditional models of the plan of salvation.

In the Church, there seem to be two main camps on telestial salvation: (more…)

She Is Different from Cro-Magnon Man

March 5, 2006    By: Administrator @ 5:48 pm   Category: Life

[The following guest post was submitted by bloggernacle regular, DKL. Enjoy!]

I am not a woman, not by sex and not by gender construction. Even so, I have a considerable and active interest in women. I am, of course, heterosexual, and I am–thankfully, for the single women of the bloggernacle–married. I also have a mother, two sisters, and four daughters. I have some stake in the avenues of opportunity available to the women who influence my life, not the least of whom are my daughters. I am unequivocally committed to their having every worldly avenue of opportunity open to them. Am I necessarily starting off on the wrong foot with regard to women's rights if I adhere to some form of gender essentialism? (more…)