However, if someone says that regardless of causing the seasons, Demeter invisibly and undetectably comes and goes throughout the year, then that's an untestable claim, and I would not assert objective wrongness.
Then why not also add this to your stable of beliefs, to hedge your bets?
First of all, is there a consequence of being wrong? If not, then there's no need to hedge. But more importantly, why do you think I build my stable of beliefs based in that way?
DSenette wrote:if jesus were to show up today and start talking to you, would his words now become dangerous again?
it were Jesus, as in the guy from the Bible, then no. However, if it were someone claiming to be Jesus (and I don't know for certain if it's true or not), then there would be a danger. I'm really not sure what you're missing here. Koresh has a lot less power to manipulate people now that he's dead, and that will still be true in 300 years. My claim is about danger, not enticement, not reliability, not trustworthiness. And further, my claim is not about Koresh's words, but about Koresh. Koresh was dangerous because he had a strong ability to manipulate people.
As for the teachings of Joseph Smith, I don't know because I don't know what he taught.
DSenette wrote:so you cannot hold those base axioms AND claim that you have rationally and logically evaluated your religion/faith.
That axiom is my faith. So I read your sentence as "You cannot hold your faith and say that you have rationally and logically evaluated your faith". In other words, you're saying that they are inconsistent. But that's not a point that I care to defend. I don't care if people call my faith illogical or unreasonable.
More broadly, I see logic and reason as tools, not ideals. They have a lot of value, but they don't inherently make something better. Just like faith. It's a tool, but there's a lot of bad stuff we can have faith in. So I see no inherent problem with people defending their beliefs in these various ways. Or someone simply saying "because it feels right". Of course, that can make a weak argument, and I won't necessarily agree with the justification, but I don't see it as inherently problematic.
DSenette wrote:it's not terribly difficult to see where holding such a strong irrational axiom at the core of your very being will make you more likely to accept faulty axioms in other, less important areas of life.
I can understand why you and others think that (in fact, I hear that a lot). But from my experience of observing both religious people with faith and areligious people who reject faith, I completely don't buy it. Your claim is testable. So it's up to you if you want to hold it to the standards of evidence. On the other hand, you have the full right to preach your opinions as fact.
DSenette wrote:then you cannot say that anyone who believes that demeter causes the weather changes to be objectively wrong...which you did say.
This doesn't make any sense. Testable things are testable. Non-testable things are not testable. If a religious claim wanders into the realm of testability, then gets objectively falsified, then it's false. That's really all I'm saying. If someone wants to elaborate on the Demeter theory in a way that makes it consistent with what we know through science, then fine, it moves back into the untestable realm. And I don't assert objective wrongness on things we can't test.
LaserGuy wrote:If God is going to give you what He knows is best for you, not just now, but in your eternal life, why should you be praying for anything at all?
Based on the Bible, it's because God wants us to turn to him for support. Part of God's plan is making us better people, and if we ignore what God says, or live with expectations of what God should be providing for us, then we are disrupting that process. Submitting to God is how we allow God to work through us to better ourselves and allow more good to come about.
Why do some people have longer roads of hardship, or perhaps even die before the hardship lets up? That's a good question, and even Christians don't know the answer. But it's not inconsistent from what the Bible depicts. Bad things befall good people, and not all believers come from similar places of luxury and comfort. Instead, the message of Jesus is one that can work for someone born to a rough environment, or to someone inheriting a great wealth.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.