The truth of ALL things

From Greg Williams (930523)

Joel Judd 930521

This is what I was referring to when I said I'd like to think that
such reference signals can be influenced by "other" influences,
not necessarily because another level has developed. But, AGAIN,
there's no current scientific way to prove this.

The first step toward evaluating a hypothesis is making that
hypothesis clear with regard to what it entails. I previously asked
you to provide a model (even a crude one) for how "free will" can
arise from PCT (as is or augmented), but you begged off. How about a
model (even a crude one) for how reference signals can be "influenced
by 'other' influences"?

The bottom line is this--I find PCT the best explanation for human
behavior offered so far, but I don't think such a theory (ay least
as far as I understand [or want to understand?] it) necessarily
means human beings evolved in a Godless universe, any more than
it proves they were created in a Divine one. So far, I don't think
it provides a convincing case either way.

Nor do I. However, I do currently think that there is sufficient
extra-PCT evidence against there being a Unique God of the universe as
described in detail by any single religion (among those which worship
their own Gods). It is possible that with additional evidence, I might
be persuaded to change my mind about this and come to believe that
there is a God as described by the, say, Jehovah's Witnesses. But it
is clear a priori that there cannot be a single God capable of being
described by several religions in contradictory ways (i.e., One who
says these Scriptures are Holy, but NOT those "Scriptures"), unless you
adopt the standpoint (maybe taken by at least some Unitarian
Universalists) that "really" all of the religions are about the same
God at a deeper level, and that the seemingly great doctrinal
differences among some of those religions are, in some sense,
illusory. So, without U-U leanings (which seem to me to beg too many
questions), the need is for evidence about there being a God AS
DESCRIBED BY a PARTICULAR religion. I fail to see how PCT models
incorporating interactions with a God or incorporating a mechanism for
free will (an oxymoronic phrase, perhaps!) could provide evidence for
or against there being a PARTICULAR God. But you might be able to
convince me otherwise if only you had some models to show.

Greg - I probably should have said "...representative from a
PROSELYTIZING religion..." since I don't consider Buddhism in
such a category.

If you don't think Buddhism has been and continues to be a religion
with missonaries, you are wrong. Some sects are actually OFFENSIVELY
proselytizing, in my experience (e.g., followers of Nichiren). How do
you think Buddhism came to be the major religion in the East,
spreading far beyond its roots in India? (Hint: One of its secrets of
success is melding with the already existing local religions, such as

With respect to his apparent "disinterest," this was intentional as
we consider that for two years we'd like to talk to as many people
as possible interested in listening; we have the rest of our livesd
to listen. This may sound rude, but it's not that different from
the kind of focus considered acceptable in other domains.

Do post-missionary Mormons often go around to other churches to listen
to other views? This might sound rude, but I doubt that if somebody
starts off with a one-way attitude, they'll later adopt an open-minded
attitude. I suspect that the Mormon missionary business is a stroke of
genius which neutralizes adolescent rebelliousness by directing it
toward non-Mormons rather than one's family, resulting in a hardening
of attitudes about which religion is the True one. Does the Mormon
church sponsor educational opportunities for older folks to learn
about other religions? Such learning was crucial to the success of

I'd like to ask you
to check out just three verses [in the BOOK OF MORMON) first, and
tell me what you think--to cut to the chase, if you will. (This can
be continued privately, I just didn't bring your e-mail address with
me today). Towards the end, look at a book called Moroni, chapter 10,
verses 3-5. What do you think about such promises? Do they lead to
undesirable consequences?

I went to a library book sale yesterday and found a copy of the BOOK
OF MORMON for a quarter. Moroni 10:3-5 reads as follows:

"3. Behold, I [a person, Moroni] would exhort you that when ye shall
read these things [in the BOOK OF MORMON], if it be wisdom in God that
ye shall read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath
been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down
unto the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in
your hearts.
4. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye
would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these
things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with
real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it
unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all

My interpretation of this is that if I seriously ask the Mormon God
what is True, the "power of the Holy Ghost" will tell me. I wonder
how I am supposed to know I have REALLY gotten the answer(s) from the
Mormon Holy Ghost? I think that THINKING one knows "the truth of all
things" certainly could have undesirable consequences -- for instance,
if that "truth" includes statements to the effect that somebody else
DOESN'T have the truth. Joel, you have to realize that (MANY) non-
Mormons think (their equivalents of) the Holy Ghost's power has
revealed "the truth of all things" to THEM, also -- and "the truth" is
DIFFERENT for each sect. If the above passage could be interpreted
more literally (with regard to "all"), there would be less reason for
equivocation. So, does the Holy Ghost power teach the truth of general
relativity? If so, a lot of scientific types would climb aboard the
Mormon bus for a shortcut to understanding the universe. Alas, I
suspect that the "all" doesn't extend so far. How broadly DOES it



Rick Marken (930521.1100)

When was the last time there was a war between physicists (the War
of the F =ma)? or a purge of chemists?

When was the last time there was a battle of competing paradigms in
the behavioral sciences?!?!?!


Bill Powers (930521.1800 MDT)

A little science-fiction:

So I ask whether this story is any less plausible than many others
that have been offered as an explanation for the same kinds of

Where are the miracles and wonders? Where are the multitudes who have
been converted to your idea? Where is the "inner peace" due to belief
in these notions? And where is your tax-exempt certificate? Call me
back when you're a Real Church, with a tithe requirement.

As ever,