The most recent issue of Sunstone Magazine has a short essay from Kevin Christensen, “Determining What is ‘Real’.” He deals with several key issues that come up regularly on this blog: how does one weigh negative and positive evidence, when is a pipece of negative evidence a “show-stopper” or something to put on the back burner, and, most recently, how should we approach the issue of Mesoamerican culture in the Book of Mormon?
Though it’s almost as an aside, here is one interesting passage regarding Alma 32:
I remain mpressed that Alma 32 and Kuhn describe the same epistemology for paradigm decisions, the same values that provide rational constraints on meaning. That is, Kuhn explains that there are no rules that determine paradigm choice, there are constraining values independent of particular paradigms. One can give rational reasons for a paradigm choice—for preferring Copernicus to Ptolemy, or Einstein to Newton—based on values like accuracy of key predictions, comprehensiveness and coherence, simplicity and aesthetics, fruitfulness and future promise. Just so, Alma 32 describes faith decisions in terms of the success of key experiments, mind-expanding enlightenment, the delicious appeal of ideas, fruitfulness and future promise.
But don’t stop with this quote. The article is insightful on several levels and deserves some consideration. Thanks, Kevin!