Unexplained phenomena

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A C Kerr
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Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:32 am

I have a friend who is a devout Mormon. He frequently tells me that he knows with absolute certainty that Mormonism is true. I tell him that there are millions of people all over the world who say the same thing, but about all different belief systems. I ask him how I can differentiate – how his “certainty” is more certain than someone else’s.

One of his answers is The Book of Mormon. According to Mormon doctrine, it was translated from “golden plates” that were buried in upstate New York sometime after the time of Christ. The plates were revealed to Joseph Smith in 1830 by an angel who also gave him a divine tool by which he translated the plates into English in about 70 days.

My friend asks me how can I explain how an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy was able to write such a book in 70 days if I reject the angel story.

I haven’t read the entire book, but it appears to be roughly comparable to the Bible, which I also have not read in its entirety.

I will admit that it does appear unlikely that an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy could write such a book, but it is not impossible. I couldn’t do it and I am reasonably educated.

I would like to know about other unlikely accomplishments throughout history that seem unlikely or even impossible but actually happened.

One that comes to mind is Albert Einstein, while working as a lowly patent officer, upending all of physics without ever doing a single experiment.

Can anyone suggest any others?

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Gord » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:40 am

Ask him about the magic underwear, I've always wanted to know more about that.
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:04 pm

How is that relevant to my question?

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:09 pm

Things get non-linear here quickly. Stick to your course and you'll get good information from everybody but Gord and me.
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:10 pm

Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:29 pm

Hi there!

You could ask him why God would choose a guy who took the wives of his followers as his own, making one former husband commit suicide. And who said that an angel told him to sleep with the maid.
This is all in an official report done by the Mormon church.

Of course, we now know that Smith used one of dozens of fragments of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as proven by the Smithsonian, as the supposed text from God only he could read (he couldn't).
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Poodle » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:25 pm

Bingo! I think that settles that discussion. Meanwhile ...

"One that comes to mind is Albert Einstein, while working as a lowly patent officer, upending all of physics without ever doing a single experiment."

Einstein was a lowly patent officer who happened have a brilliant mind in which he performed thought experiments. He had to do that because, unlike nowadays, he didn't have access to trains which would achieve 'light-speededness'.
What? We don't? Damn!

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:36 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:...as the supposed text from God only he could read (he couldn't).

Nobody could.

Image
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:13 pm

You might want to tell him to visit sites like mormonthink.com and exmormon.org and see what his own are saying about those wondrous things.


ETA IIRC, mormonthink did some math on the story of his running with said golden plates and found that quite impossible. But of course, with gog, everything is kalob...
Last edited by scrmbldggs on Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:16 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:You could ask him why God would choose a guy who took the wives of his followers as his own, making one former husband commit suicide. And who said that an angel told him to sleep with the maid.
This is all in an official report done by the Mormon church.

Of course, we now know that Smith used one of dozens of fragments of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as proven by the Smithsonian, as the supposed text from God only he could read (he couldn't).

Do you have any links to back up any of that?

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:19 pm

Also look at Jerald and Sandra Tanner's work.
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:50 pm

A C Kerr wrote:I would like to know about other unlikely accomplishments throughout history that seem unlikely or even impossible but actually happened.

One that comes to mind is Albert Einstein, while working as a lowly patent officer, upending all of physics without ever doing a single experiment.

Can anyone suggest any others?
Welcome to the forum, AC! :wave:

I don't know that we can definitively say that the Book of Mormon "actually happened," at least not the way modern-day Mormons tell it. Certainly it seems "unlikely or even impossible" the way they tell it.

But for accomplishments that "seem unlikely or even impossible, but actually happened," Tesla comes to mind. Allegedly, he never built prototypes; his "Mark 1" was always the finished product that he "saw" in his mind.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:01 pm

.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:22 pm

[/quote]But for accomplishments that "seem unlikely or even impossible, but actually happened," Tesla comes to mind. Allegedly, he never built prototypes; his "Mark 1" was always the finished product that he "saw" in his mind.[/quote]

This is impressive, but Tesla was a highly trained engineer and physicist. His accomplishments can easily be attributed to brilliance. It's like the Galileo story where he was able to prove in his mind that objects fall at the same speed regardless of mass without having to actually drop anything off of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

I am looking for examples that are more like the Book of Mormon where "an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy" dictated a book that is comparable to the Bible "in one pass over about two months without reference material of any kind".

Thanks

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:46 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:Maybe also George Washington Carver?

Thanks, I was trying to remember his name earlier today.
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:41 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:Maybe also George Washington Carver?


Carver's story is inspirational, to be sure, but he was hardly uneducated. Even though raised as a slave, he did eventually attend college and even worked at one. I am specifically looking for instances of achievements that are seemingly impossible.

Thanks

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:57 pm

A C Kerr wrote:This is impressive, but Tesla was a highly trained engineer and physicist. His accomplishments can easily be attributed to brilliance. It's like the Galileo story where he was able to prove in his mind that objects fall at the same speed regardless of mass without having to actually drop anything off of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
I was referring more to the fact that he didn't have to make a model to determine whether his theory was sound. He knew it worked, and his first model was the finished product.

A C Kerr wrote:I am looking for examples that are more like the Book of Mormon where "an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy" dictated a book that is comparable to the Bible "in one pass over about two months without reference material of any kind".
I don't know that I can give you examples of that, since I don't believe that "an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy" was able to formulate such a document, and I certainly don't believe that some deity dictated it to him, simultaneously gifting him with the ability to read and write.

It sounds like you're taking the anecdote as factual, and there's no evidence that it is.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:00 pm

On the book of Abraham:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critica ... of_Abraham

On John Smith's wives:


https://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/u ... l?referer=

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... %27s_wives

Many of the wives were under 20, and in one case he married mother and daughter at the same time.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:13 pm

Nikki Nyx wrote:It sounds like you're taking the anecdote as factual, and there's no evidence that it is.


It sounds like you are reading what you want to into what I say-- assuming that you even read what I said.

I am not looking to belittle or trash Mormonism. I am looking for real life examples that are similar in nature, but that can actually be verified.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:14 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:On the book of Abraham:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critica ... of_Abraham

On John Smith's wives:


https://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/u ... l?referer=

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... %27s_wives

Many of the wives were under 20, and in one case he married mother and daughter at the same time.


Again, this has nothing to do with my question.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:20 pm

A C Kerr wrote:...
I am looking for examples that are more like the Book of Mormon where "an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy" dictated a book that is comparable to the Bible "in one pass over about two months without reference material of any kind".

Thanks


I'm not sure if you visited any of the sites I recommended, but why don't you first disabuse yourself of the notion of what (or not) Joseph Smith was, knew and did. You could start here. (Don't forget to explore the side menu "Contents for this page".)


IIRC, there also exists an earlier and very similar version of writings by someone else and of which some say Smith simply copied and altered it to taste...
.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:39 pm

TBH, I have a bit of a weak spot for the LDS, because AFAIK it is the only religion that gets regular updates from God: that is why Blacks for the most time didn't have souls, but got some in a Patch in 1978.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Cadmusteeth » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:05 pm

Some things to consider:
https://youtu.be/opx8iDvR_nU

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:24 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:TBH, I have a bit of a weak spot for the LDS, because AFAIK it is the only religion that gets regular updates from God: that is why Blacks for the most time didn't have souls, but got some in a Patch in 1978.

:lol:

Awesome upgrades, eh. Riding in on horses. Um, tapirs?
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:28 pm

A C Kerr wrote: My friend asks me how can I explain how an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy was able to write such a book in 70 days if I reject the angel story.
He made it up. The hieroglyphs that Smith "saw" were totally bogus inventions, that he badly copied from a contemporary exhibition. Secondly, the story of Jesus in America does not match the actual history as Smith didn't know cattle didn't exist in the Americas yet.
Archaeology and the Book of Mormon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeolo ... _of_Mormon

A C Kerr wrote: I haven’t read the entire book,
Read it and start identifying the anachronisms and errors.

A C Kerr wrote: I would like to know about other unlikely accomplishments throughout history that seem unlikely or even impossible but actually happened.
That's a silly question. How can an event be almost impossible if we know that it happened and was thus possible?

A C Kerr wrote: One that comes to mind is Albert Einstein, while working as a lowly patent officer, upending all of physics without ever doing a single experiment.
Complete crap. Read what Einstein studied and read, before qualifying for and accepting the Patent office job.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby ElectricMonk » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:57 am

concerning the OP:

all major shifts in paradigm (heliocentric worldview, germ theory, quantum theory, DNA etc.) were preceded by years or centuries in which intelligent people were convinced they already knew everything that was to know on the subject.

but it would be moronic to use this imply that this makes the story of Smith more credible.
All these new theories need to prove themselves rigorously before they replaced the prevailing wisdom.
If Mormonism were to provide some proof, like for example signals from dead Mormons now living on one of their promised planets, we can start to take the randy goat more seriously.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Phoenix76 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:10 am

A C Kerr wrote:
But for accomplishments that "seem unlikely or even impossible, but actually happened," Tesla comes to mind. Allegedly, he never built prototypes; his "Mark 1" was always the finished product that he "saw" in his mind.[/quote]

This is impressive, but Tesla was a highly trained engineer and physicist. His accomplishments can easily be attributed to brilliance. It's like the Galileo story where he was able to prove in his mind that objects fall at the same speed regardless of mass without having to actually drop anything off of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

I am looking for examples that are more like the Book of Mormon where "an uneducated and semi-literate farm boy" dictated a book that is comparable to the Bible "in one pass over about two months without reference material of any kind".

Thanks[/quote]

Well ACK, my question to you is simple. Can you show proof that the Book of Mormon was in fact dictated by this semi-literate farm boy? And while we at it, can you show us some proof about these golden plates or whatever? Where are they now? Can I go and see them?

Sorry friend, but this appears to be no more than another so called "true religion". I do not know of any so called religion that has been proven as anything but a con.

I don't belief any of it, and I don't have to. You are making a claim, in this case, about the Mormon religion, so it is up to you to offer proof. I am not obliged to offer anything by way of dis-proof.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:40 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:I'm not sure if you visited any of the sites I recommended, but why don't you first disabuse yourself of the notion of what (or not) Joseph Smith was, knew and did.

Why don't you read what I actually wrote. Maybe you can disabuse yourself of what I asked for.

IIRC, there also exists an earlier and very similar version of writings by someone else and of which some say Smith simply copied and altered it to taste...


Now that would be helpful. Do you have any references?

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Nikki Nyx » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:08 pm

A C Kerr wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:It sounds like you're taking the anecdote as factual, and there's no evidence that it is.
It sounds like you are reading what you want to into what I say-- assuming that you even read what I said.
I clearly read exactly what you wrote. This is what you actually wrote:
A C Kerr wrote:I would like to know about other unlikely accomplishments throughout history that seem unlikely or even impossible but actually happened.

A C Kerr wrote:I am not looking to belittle or trash Mormonism. I am looking for real life examples that are similar in nature, but that can actually be verified.
I never said you were; I said you appeared to be considering the Mormon's anecdote as factual. Previously, you said "actually happened." Here, you are saying "can actually be verified," which the Mormon's anecdote cannot.

So, you've twice written that the Mormon story of the semi-literate farm boy creating the Book of Mormon is factually accurate. Is that what you believe?
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:10 pm

Cadmusteeth wrote:Some things to consider:
https://youtu.be/opx8iDvR_nU


That is an interesting piece. Thanks.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Nikki Nyx » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:12 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:TBH, I have a bit of a weak spot for the LDS, because AFAIK it is the only religion that gets regular updates from God: that is why Blacks for the most time didn't have souls, but got some in a Patch in 1978.
Have you read Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment? The deity in the story, Nuggan, updates the list of abominations regularly and insanely. It's hilarious. Near the end of the story, Nuggan had declared babies and the color blue to be abominations.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:22 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:concerning the OP:

all major shifts in paradigm (heliocentric worldview, germ theory, quantum theory, DNA etc.) were preceded by years or centuries in which intelligent people were convinced they already knew everything that was to know on the subject.

but it would be moronic to use this imply that this makes the story of Smith more credible.

What is really moronic is to impute motives that are clearly not in evidence. At no time did I say anything that suggests that I am trying to prove or even support the Book of Mormon story. In fact, the exact opposite is the case. I merely asked if anyone knew of any similar seemingly unlikely events that could actually be confirmed. My intent was to counter arguments that it must be true because there is no other way it could have happened.

Then the "morons" in this group just ran with it.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby A C Kerr » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:26 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Things get non-linear here quickly. Stick to your course and you'll get good information from everybody but Gord and me.

That has to be the understatement of the year. Do these knuckleheads even read before going off on some rant? Almost every response has been 100% irrelevant to my original question. This place appears to be a vast wasteland inhabited (or infected) by loose cannons looking for a soapbox, because no one in real life will give them the time of day. The signal to noise ratio is far below my tolerance. Bye.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Cadmusteeth » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:04 pm

So long and thanks for all the fish.

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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:07 pm

A C Kerr wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Things get non-linear here quickly. Stick to your course and you'll get good information from everybody but Gord and me.

That has to be the understatement of the year. Do these knuckleheads even read before going off on some rant? Almost every response has been 100% irrelevant to my original question. This place appears to be a vast wasteland inhabited (or infected) by loose cannons looking for a soapbox, because no one in real life will give them the time of day. The signal to noise ratio is far below my tolerance. Bye.

Well, it's the custom to hold the feet to the fire to see who's going to stand the heat. As you can see, it works.
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:42 pm

A C Kerr wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:I'm not sure if you visited any of the sites I recommended, but why don't you first disabuse yourself of the notion of what (or not) Joseph Smith was, knew and did.

Why don't you read what I actually wrote. Maybe you can disabuse yourself of what I asked for.

IIRC, there also exists an earlier and very similar version of writings by someone else and of which some say Smith simply copied and altered it to taste...


Now that would be helpful. Do you have any references?

Yes. That - and more - at the link you so blithely omitted:
scrmbldggs wrote:...You could start here. (Don't forget to explore the side menu "Contents for this page".)
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=28667&p=608180#p607949
.

Lard, save me from your followers.

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scrmbldggs
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:50 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
A C Kerr wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Things get non-linear here quickly. Stick to your course and you'll get good information from everybody but Gord and me.

That has to be the understatement of the year. Do these knuckleheads even read before going off on some rant? Almost every response has been 100% irrelevant to my original question. This place appears to be a vast wasteland inhabited (or infected) by loose cannons looking for a soapbox, because no one in real life will give them the time of day. The signal to noise ratio is far below my tolerance. Bye.

Well, it's the custom to hold the feet to the fire to see who's going to stand the heat. As you can see, it works.

He ignores pertinent information but whinges about not getting any = Mormon/religious apologist.
.

Lard, save me from your followers.

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scrmbldggs
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:56 pm

Oh btw, ACK, at that offered link you'll also find one of those stories (and even better than Joe!) you're looking for. Sadly, the mystery has - like so many others - also been debunked.



(A tenner sez s/he won't even take a look. ;))
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Nikki Nyx
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby Nikki Nyx » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:03 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
A C Kerr wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Things get non-linear here quickly. Stick to your course and you'll get good information from everybody but Gord and me.

That has to be the understatement of the year. Do these knuckleheads even read before going off on some rant? Almost every response has been 100% irrelevant to my original question. This place appears to be a vast wasteland inhabited (or infected) by loose cannons looking for a soapbox, because no one in real life will give them the time of day. The signal to noise ratio is far below my tolerance. Bye.

Well, it's the custom to hold the feet to the fire to see who's going to stand the heat. As you can see, it works.
The rant is always different, but the meaning is the same: "You're not telling me what I want to hear."
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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scrmbldggs
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Re: Unexplained phenomena

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:13 pm

Exactly. And will we see what cart s/he'll put in front of what dead horse next?
Last edited by scrmbldggs on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lard, save me from your followers.


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