The Relations Between Evangelicals and Mormons

Ms. Jack is someone I think I could get along with because she is obviously full of integrity. She is an Evangelical that married a Mormon and is now an active part of the bloggernacle. I certainly don’t agree with her on many things. In fact, this post will be a series of (partial) disagreements with one of her comments.

But from what I’ve seen of her comments online, she is making an honest attempt to understand Mormons. Though I feel she often fails in her quest — I would ask all to remember how incredibly difficult it is to get past our own intrenched meaning-memes for the sake of understanding someone else’s. Ms Jack rocks when it comes to making the sincere attempt to communicate and understand.

Consider, for example, this post from T&S a while back.

It led to a discussion about why Evangelicals call Mormons ‘not Christian.’ Ms. Jack said the following on this subject:

I would say that Mormons consider themselves the only true Christians and Protestants return fire by arguing that Mormons aren’t really Christians in the first place.

Please note that I am not endorsing the “Mormons aren’t Christians” argument. That’s not my position by a long shot. I’m just saying it isn’t a one-way thing. Giving lip service to my Christianity whilst insisting that my faith is corrupt and incomplete, my baptism into Jesus Christ is invalid, and I’m not indwelt by the Holy Spirit (i. e. I don’t have the gift of the Holy Ghost) isn’t exactly a flattering assessment of my faith.

 

 

The very fact that Ms. Jack is willing to not call Mormons “non-Christians” should make it clear that Ms Jack is sincerely trying to understand Mormonism and is unwilling to settle for lame platitudes and pat answers. Continue reading

Word Policing: The Difficulty of Words and Meaning

Touching (from dictionary.com)

  1. affecting; moving; pathetic: a touching scene of farewell.
  2. that touches.

Last night my wife made a comment to my daughter about “touching her teeth to her tongue.” My son quickly corrected my wife and said “should you have said that you touched your tongue to your teeth?”

 A child’s naïve comment, right?

 Or is it? Continue reading

Thoughts on Word Defining vs. Word Policing in Discussions

This post is some of my thoughts on a comment made by LDS Philosopher. In it I hope to illustrate why Karl Popper was correct that battling over the meaning of a word has political ramifications, but never rational ones. My desire is to put this issue to bed (at least for myself) so that I can just put a link to this post when this issue comes up again. As such, the post is not actually about ‘taxes as theft’ per se, though I’m sure many will desire to respond to it as such. (And that is okay.)

Here is the comment in question:

Taxes are only objectively unlike theft in certain ways if you define theft as “forcible seizure of property, in which the victim has no token of a say in what happens with it.” I define theft as “forcible seizure of property, regardless of what happens next.” So your argument only works if you define theft in your specifically narrow way, which conveniently precludes taxation.

This argument is, in style, a common sort of argument of which I wish to illustrate a hidden logical fallacy in it.

The idea being expressed is that because I (in LDSP’s view) defined the word ‘theft’ wrongly, my whole argument is wrong. But, in fact, this isn’t rationally the case. In fact, I will illustrate that – rationally speaking – it simply does not matter who ‘has the correct definition.’ Continue reading