Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

An Interesting Philosophical Argument

December 07th, 2017 by G.

1.  “Reality is . . . in a realm untouched by communication, not dependent on communication – a realm that we can know directly – each for himself.”
2. “we can only know that reality we conceptualise, and conceptualising means thinking – we cannot know anything of un-thought reality, because to know is to think.
Therefore assuming God wants us to know reality, things must be set-up such that we can know reality by thinking…”
3.  Reality is itself a kind of thinking; else we could not know it.  Reality therefore seems to be God’s thinking, and God’s thinking is knowable creation.
4.  If we ourselves are to participate-in reality, we must affect the universal divine thinking – which (I believe) implies that we ourselves need to be divine.

It’s not laid out with the rigor of analytic philosophy, which is all to the good.
I am also not a philosopher, thanks be to God.  So I will only say that I have my doubts about #1–I find it hard to express, but I am pretty sure that sociality is inescapable and is part of how we know things.  In fact, I think that the latter parts of the argument would entail that reality is a form of divine communication–and #3–because our own ability to participate in reality implies thoughts that are not thought by God, which implies an outside to divinity, which need not be limited to us.  In other words, I reject the notion (though I don’t think this is precisely what Bruce C. intends) that our delight in the sun and the moon and the wind in the pines is solely a delight in some aspects of God.  I reject it because it is not my experience.  I don’t think #3 is flat wrong either, of course.
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December 07th, 2017 06:36:32

Ennobling the Line

December 06th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

Image result for housecarls

Housecarls at Hastings

God is first described as a father and second as a king.  We could stand to be more patriarchal than we are, but we at least have experience of fatherhood and take God’s fatherhood seriously. Small r-republicans that we are, we ignore exploring His monarchy.

Let’s fix that.

We in the Church are an elite group who are oath-bound to God and to each other.  We live a stricter rule than most Christians.  The God to whom we have pledged everything in return gives us magnificent gifts and in certain places marvelous titles of power.  He calls us his noble and great ones and has sworn fellowship with us.  Because of us, he also promises the same to our ancestors and our descendants.

We are God’s housecarls, we are his warband.  He has ennobled us, us and our whole lines.

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December 06th, 2017 08:55:11

A Ridiculous Made-Up Example

December 06th, 2017 by G.

From Scott Alexander’s review of Inadequate Equilibria:

Or, to take a ridiculous example from the text that will obviously never happen:

Suppose that there’s a magical tower that only people with IQs of at least 100 and some amount of conscientiousness can enter, and this magical tower slices four years off your lifespan. The natural next thing that happens is that employers start to prefer prospective employees who have proved they can enter the tower, and employers offer these employees higher salaries, or even make entering the tower a condition of being employed at all. The natural next thing that happens is that employers start to demand that prospective employees show a certificate saying that they’ve been inside the tower. This makes everyone want to go to the tower, which enables somebody to set up a fence around the tower and charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to let people in.

Now, fortunately, after Tower One is established and has been running for a while, somebody tries to set up a competing magical tower, Tower Two, that also drains four years of life but charges less money to enter. Unfortunately, there’s a subtle way in which this competing Tower Two is hampered by the same kind of lock-in that prevents a jump from [Facebook to a competing social network]. Initially, all of the smartest people headed to Tower One. Since Tower One had limited room, it started discriminating further among its entrants, only taking the ones that have IQs above the minimum, or who are good at athletics or have rich parents or something. So when Tower Two comes along, the employers still prefer employees from Tower One, which has a more famous reputation. So the smartest people still prefer to apply to Tower One, even though it costs more money. This stabilizes Tower One’s reputation as being the place where the smartest people go.

In other words, the signaling equilibrium is a two-factor market in which the stable point, Tower One, is cemented in place by the individually best choices of two different parts of the system. Employers prefer Tower One because it’s where the smartest people go. Smart employees prefer Tower One because employers will pay them more for going there. If you try dissenting from the system unilaterally, without everyone switching at the same time, then as an employer you end up hiring the less-qualified people from Tower Two, or as an employee, you end up with lower salary offers after you go to Tower Two. So the system is stable as a matter of individual incentives, and stays in place. If you try to set up a cheaper alternative to the whole Tower system, the default thing that happens to you is that people who couldn’t handle the Towers try to go through your new system, and it acquires a reputation for non-prestigious weirdness and incompetence.

Sometimes the towers take more than four years off your life.  For women, sometimes they destroy their chance for family.

Some towers offer a Satanic bargain when you walk in the door.  They will give you your four years of life back–but you have to agree to drink and drug until you can tolerate strangers having sex with you. But this isn’t wildly recognized as a Satanic bargain because Satan is clever.  He doesn’t offer it as a bargain at all.  Instead, there is a cultural expectation that anesthizing yourself like a whore to let your body be used like a whore is the exciting part of Tower Time.  It is as if there were a widespread notion that the best part of receiving riches and power from the devil was the chance to offload your soul.

There are a few niche towers where in exchange for not losing four years of your life you get marriage and maybe a first child.  These are viewed as retrograde and oppressive.

There is a rumor that there used to be a mythic tower where you didn’t lose four years of life if you sought beauty and wisdom.  The employers don’t like the rumor, because if there were another reason to go to the Towers other than getting a good job,  you couldn’t count on the aspirations of Tower alums.  The Towers hate the rumors as a vampire hates garlic.

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December 06th, 2017 07:24:30

To Hold the Priesthood is to be a Man under Authority

December 05th, 2017 by G.

Nathan Eldon Tanner - Natural Gas - Alberta's Energy Heritage

Every now again you find something new from the General Authorities, on a question you’d never even thought to ask.

Elder N. Eldon Tanner offered a heuristic for priesthood work and a way of thinking about priesthood authority that I had never seen before.


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December 05th, 2017 07:30:06

The True Meaning of Christmas

December 03rd, 2017 by G.

And now I have to touch upon a very sad matter. There are in the modern world an admirable class of persons who do long for the old feasts and formalities of the childhood of the world.  William Morris and his followers shoed how much brighter were the dark ages than the age of Manchester.  Mr. W.B. Yeats frames his steps in prehistoric dances, but no man knows and joins his voice to the forgotten choruses that no one but he can hear.  Mr. George Moore collects every fragment of Irish paganism that the forgetfulness of the Catholic Church has left or possibly her wisdom preserved.  There are innumerable persons with eye-glasses and green garments who pray for the return of the maypole or the Olympian games.  There there is about these people a haunting and alarming something which suggests that it is just possible that they do not keep Christmas.

It is painful to regard human nature in such a light, but it seems somehow possible that Mr. George Moore does not wave his spoon and shout when the pudding is set alight.  It is even possible that Mr. W.B. Yeats never pulls crackers.

If so, where is the sense of all their dreams of festive traditions?  Here is a solid and ancient festive tradition still plying a roaring trade in the streets, and they think it vulgar.  If this is so, let them be very certain of this, that they are the kind of people who in the time of the maypole would have thought the maypole vulgar; who in the time of the Canterbury pilgrimage would have thought the Canterbury pilgrimage vulgar; who in the time of the Olympian games would have thought the Olympian games vulgar.  Nor can there be an reasonable doubt that they were vulgar.

-thus G.K. Chesterton

The problem with “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” is the “for tomorrow we die.”It is the justification.  Seizing a last few defiant gasps of happiness before the great dark is a lie.  Rejoicing now in anticipation of greater rejoicing later is the true rule of the universe.



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December 03rd, 2017 06:51:15

Books vs. Records

November 30th, 2017 by G.

The Bible is a bunch of different records made into a book.  So is the Book of Mormon–it tells us itself.

What difference does assembling records into a book make?  It means the parts should add up to a whole.  We should read the different parts of the book as in agreement with each other.  We should see a theme or a narrative that ties them all together.

Can Zappos Bulldoze The Brick-And-Mortar Shopping Model?


A pile of bricks is just a pile, but bricks mortared together better be something.

We keep a lot of records in the Church.  This is by commandment.  (more…)

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November 30th, 2017 06:36:55

Success is Dynastic

November 29th, 2017 by G.

Roots to Now | Family Tree Tracking from Fatherhood Poetic

By their fruits shall ye know them.  One point of this scriptural acid test is to point us towards the future and permanent effects of what we do and say.  Fruits are the future of a tree.  Fruits are posterity.  And fruits come over and over again.

Does it last (or is it capable of being incorporated into and leading into something meaningful and lasting?)  Does it endure?  If not, it is not of God. (more…)

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November 29th, 2017 06:58:48

Accumulated Testimonies

November 28th, 2017 by G.

Mostly the General Authorities close their talks with testimony.  The testimonies are never novel.  But they are not rote, nor the least important part of the talks.  The best message from a General Conference may simply be the accumulation of testimony.

Consider for example the Saturday afternoon session of the April 1978 General Conference, which I did not select because the testimonies stood out to me.  It was merely the next conference on the schedule.  Here are the testimonies from it. (more…)

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November 28th, 2017 07:30:17

Glory and Gratitude

November 27th, 2017 by G.

Live in Thanksgiving always. – Alma 34:38

Glory is the reciprocal of gratitude.


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November 27th, 2017 06:53:42

The Gods We Know

November 22nd, 2017 by G.

There is an object of wonder. It is vast, complex, and heart-stoppingly beautiful. It is miraculous. It was created by the very God of GodsHimself. It is ever in His thoughts.

But this creation, lovely and holy beyond words, now fades into the background. It now becomes the setting for even greater beings, so much greater that this ineffable object is only worthy, barely, to be their stage.

On this object, this creation, three Gods meet. (more…)

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November 22nd, 2017 12:17:30

Neal A. Maxwell on Women

November 21st, 2017 by G.

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November 21st, 2017 06:53:37

The Burning Glory of Meaning

November 21st, 2017 by The Junior Ganymede

Meaning has been a theme on the winds the last few years.


The great danger of modern society is not so much that it pushes us toward evil—though it does—but that it sucks us into its unreflective, myopic, consumerist frame.  The popular understanding is that this is “bad because it leads us to sin,” but now I understand that blinding us is one of the primary aims, not merely a tactic. 


How much meaning do small events carry?   Is a chance encounter on a train foreordained, or simply one in a random stream of events?  Is there such a thing as coincidence?   And here is the real question: which do we hope, and why?


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November 21st, 2017 06:39:09

Shocking the Youth

November 20th, 2017 by G.


How much of that stuff about youth rebellion and kids loving to shock their parents is myth?

The shock at least I have found to be the other way around.  It is easy as easy to shock youth, and just about that much fun. (more…)

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November 20th, 2017 06:43:22

The Big Dog who had a Sticker

November 16th, 2017 by G.

A big dog was howling in pain because of a sticker in his foot.

The wise old owl asked him about his childhood experiences and fears that drove him to take risks near stickers.

The coyote ran around accusing various animals of driving the dog to hurt himself with their sticker culture and microagressions.

The mouse pulled the thorn out and told the dog to watch where he was going.

Moral: Don’t overlook the obvious.

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November 16th, 2017 07:10:56

“Here I AM,” God Thundered Subtly

November 15th, 2017 by G.

Some Book of Mormon thoughts.

The Sign is too Big for Me to See It

After another of his inevitable wrangles with his brothers, the Lord tells Nephi that they will receive a sign of Jerusalem’s destruction.  The sign will be arriving in the promised land.  It made me realize that while many of God’s interactions with us are too subtle for the unwilling mind, a great many evidences of Him are just too obvious to be noticed.

How do we know that Jerusalem was really destroyed?

Well, here we are, aren’t we?

But, no, the facts as they are are just “how things have always been” or are “historically inevitable.”

Collapsing birth rates?  Nothing to worry about.

We have in front of us daily the experience of creation, of beauty, of the inner working of our soul, of meaning.  But those are too obvious. (more…)

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November 15th, 2017 07:04:24