prisonchaplain

Doing what is right in an out of control world

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We know right from wrong. Right seems so hard, and so few appreciate. Wrong seems so natural and accepted. Yet, there is a hell to shun, and a God to embrace. If we approach God with humility he will empower us to live with confidence and faith. #submittogod #livebyfaith #livewithconfidence

To see my full-length article on this topic: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/doing-what-right-out-control-world-tommy-ellis/

Questions for the forum: LDS do not address hell much, so what do you make of the phrase, "There is a hell to shun?" Next, LDS emphasis the importance of good works more than most Protestant churches. How does the Holy Spirit help one accomplish all that fruitful labor?

Edited by prisonchaplain

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So, I read somewhere that we are not punished for our sins, but by them. And somewhere else, that virtue is it's own reward. If so, and we make in this life heaven and hell for ourselves, I do not see why the next need be any different.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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6 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

LDS do not address hell much, so what do you make of the phrase, "There is a hell to shun?"

Works for me. :)  I have been known to say, in classes where the topic of rebellion is relevant, that if you feel the need to rebel, rebel against Satan.

6 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Next, LDS emphasis the importance of good works more than most Protestant churches. How does the Holy Spirit help one accomplish all that fruitful labor?

Part of the Bible Dictionary entry for Grace:

Quote

It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.

Ether 4:11-12

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11 But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.

12 And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.

Similarly, 1 Corinthians 2:11-16 (with JST corrections applied):

Quote

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, except he has the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Only through the Spirit do we learn, receive, and understand the things of God (all good things are of God).  Only by the guidance of the Spirit are we persuaded to do good.  Only by the grace of Christ do we have power to do good.

Edited by zil

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13 minutes ago, zil said:

Only through the Spirit do we learn, receive, and understand the things of God (all good things are of God).  Only by the guidance of the Spirit are we persuaded to do good.  Only by the grace of Christ do we have power to do good.

Hmmm. How do you account for the obvious virtue of the Hindu and Sikh gurus, or of the Buddha, I wonder?

Best wishes, 2RM..

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30 minutes ago, 2ndRateMind said:

Hmmm. How do you account for the obvious virtue of the Hindu and Sikh gurus, or of the Buddha, I wonder?

Best wishes, 2RM..

No matter how broken we are (regardless of faith tradition), we still bare the image of God.

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7 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

We know right from wrong. 

Do we? Really? Would that knowledge be based on rational argument, supported by evidence, or the superstitious elevation of scriptures to the undeniable 'Word of God'?

If the former, I would have no problem. But mostly, it seems to me, the people who claim we know right from wrong come at this from the point of view of the latter. And if so, it seems to me that actually, we do not know right from wrong, since reasoned justifications are not forthcoming. And that it is our God set mission to 1) discover the right, and 2) enact it.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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Just now, MormonGator said:

Yes. Humans have an innate sense of right and wrong. Usually called the natural law. 

OK. Now prove that. An assertion is not an argument.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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Just now, 2ndRateMind said:

I am sure that you could save me much unnecessary effort simply by summarising his position, so far as it is relevant here.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Oh, I'm way too stupid and ignorant to describe such a theory. 


Read Thomas Hobbes, another philosopher who wrote about it. 

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OK. So we have Hobbes and Aquinas. And doubtless many other thinkers who also thought that we 'know' right from wrong. But the standard philosophical tripartite definition of 'knowledge' is that it is 'justified true belief'. Or, as the English philosopher AJ Ayer put, Agent A knows proposition P if P is true, and A believes that P, and A has a right to believe that P. Seems to me that so far in this discussion, we are falling down on the justification, the right to believe, aspect of our alleged knowledge of right from wrong.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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8 minutes ago, 2ndRateMind said:

OK. So we have Hobbes and Aquinas. And doubtless many other thinkers who also thought that we 'know' right from wrong. But the standard philosophical tripartite definition of 'knowledge' is that it is 'justified true belief'. Or, as the English philosopher AJ Ayer put, Agent A knows proposition P if P is true, and A believes that P, and A has a right to believe that P. Seems to me that so far in this discussion, we are falling down on the justification, the right to believe, aspect of our alleged knowledge of right from wrong.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Than read Aristotle, who also wrote about natural law. 

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10 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Than read Aristotle, who also wrote about natural law. 

Whilst I appreciate your appeals to authority, unless those authorities have something pertinent to say on this matter, that you can quote, I cannot perceive their relevance. I could just as easily list Rene Descartes, David Hume, and Karl Sagan, and pretty much the entire modern field of epistemology. But, I would be loath to suggest you read all those combined works, unless you have more than a passing interest in this matter, out of respect for your valuable time.

Best wishes, 2RM

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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1 minute ago, 2ndRateMind said:

Whilst I appreciate your appeals to authority, unless those authorities have something pertinent to say on this matter, that you can quote, I cannot perceive their relevance. I could just as easily list Descartes, Hume, and Karl Sagan, and pretty much the entire modern field of epistemology. But, I would be loath to suggest you read all their combined works, unless you have more than a passing interest in this matter, out of respect for your valuable time.

Best wishes, 2RM

Read CS Lewis, who also spent a great deal of time discussing natural law as well. 

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5 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Read CS Lewis, who also spent a great deal of time discussing natural law as well. 

At least give me a clue! Which of Lewis' several books tackles the issue!?

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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Just now, 2ndRateMind said:

At least give me a clue! Which of Lewis' several books tackles the issue!?

Best wishes, 2RM.

First few chapters of "Mere Christianity".


Finally, read the basics of Immanuel Kant, who also discusses natural law. Anyone who says they understand Kant is a compulsive liar, so take it very slow, read lots of cliff notes and summaries. In college (my minor was philosophy) a professor said "No one understands Kant. Not even Kant." I still laugh at that.  

 

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Ah. Well, I have that CS Lewis book. I may well return to it in due course, and see if I can't get a handle on why you think it pertinent here.

As for Kant; to be sure. Tough going. For the moment I am reading commentaries, so that when I eventually get to tackle the primary texts, (Critique of Pure ReasonCritique of Practical Reason and the Metaphysics of Morals) I may just have have some notion about where he is headed.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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14 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Plato?  Aristotle?  Socrates?

Morons.

Anyone who reads or name drops those philosophers is a pretentious, pseudo- intellectual snot who is trying to show the world how smart they are. You know, people like @MormonGator

Edited by MormonGator

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10 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

[1]Questions for the forum: LDS do not address hell much, so what do you make of the phrase, "There is a hell to shun?"

[2]Next, LDS emphasis the importance of good works more than most Protestant churches. How does the Holy Spirit help one accomplish all that fruitful labor?

1). I think I lean towards @2ndRateMind opinion in that “hell”—whether in this life or the next—is largely the state of being confined in the company of hellish people.

2). One way is by harnessing and magnifying our innate ability to do good.  Thus Parley P. Pratt:  

[Man] is an intelligent being, in the Image of God, possessing every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, and affection that is possessed by God Himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word.  Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo, and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud, a germ, which gradually develops into a bloom and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit after its own kind. The Gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections and adapts them by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to give health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.

 
In the presence of such persons (who have been thus affected by It), one feels to enjoy the light of their countenance, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy of Spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview- "Oh, what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in the presence of this person. What confidence and sympathy he inspired. His countenance and spirit gave me more assurance than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters." Such is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and such are it's operations, when received through the lawful channel-the Divine, Eternal Priesthood.

 

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2 hours ago, 2ndRateMind said:

Do we? Really? Would that knowledge be based on rational argument, supported by evidence, or the superstitious elevation of scriptures to the undeniable 'Word of God'?

If the former, I would have no problem. But mostly, it seems to me, the people who claim we know right from wrong come at this from the point of view of the latter. And if so, it seems to me that actually, we do not know right from wrong, since reasoned justifications are not forthcoming. And that it is our God set mission to 1) discover the right, and 2) enact it.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Do we bare the image of God? Undoubtedly. We are made in that image. Whether we always know what is right and wrong is another question. We usually do, though. I know I should eat less and move more. I know I should save more and spend less. I know I should work harder and better, and should cut far fewer corners. The Apostle Paul bemoans the reality that those things he knows he should do (and wants to!) he does not do, and that which he hates (because it is wrong) he ends up doing. The just Lord will judge is justly, and many will be undone when they realize what they did and how aware they were, and how wrong they were.

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