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Published: Thursday, Jan. 27 2011 12:28 a.m. MST

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Mary E Petty
Sandy, UT

DN "That a man can envision a situation that doesn't yet exist, understand the value in bringing it into existence and then act, by choice, to make it happen, reaffirms the value of human reason and intellectual freedom, George said."

This is inspiring! It gives me hope for the future; that there is more that we can create and the world can be a better place through our efforts.

Thank you,Professor George!

Vanka
Provo, UT

George's arguments are hackneyed, dusty old arguments that have been refuted repeatedly for decades if not centuries.

Funny, I would have expected more from the Wheatley Institution organizers. A professor of jurisprudence making lame arguments as he pretends to be a free-will philosopher and psychologist? Hmmmm.

John Armstrong
Buena Vista, VA

It is true that this debate is old, but that does not make it less important or less relevant. I think that it makes it more so.

Either we always act from causal forces uninfluenced by rational judgment, or it is possible -- at least sometimes -- for reason (our intelligent selves) to judge what to do and for the causal forces to conform to that judgment. Those who think the latter is impossible will only be able to offer causal explanations of behavior. They will not be able to take seriously a person's ordinary thoughts about what is worth going for, for these thoughts are reason's attempt to discern the value of the objects to be pursued. They are attempts to justify behavior, not merely to explain it.

I welcome Professor George's interest in this issue and DN's coverage of his remarks.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Like a lot of speakers who come in and say something that the Utah audience will love, in reality, I doubt they see it like Mormons do. You have been wooed by a few well chosen, but insincere, words.

georgeman
Kearns, UT

A professor of jurisprudence making lame arguments as he pretends to be a free-will philosopher and psychologist? Hmmmm

Just like people who comment on such and pretent to be intelligent and free-willed but are just as hackneyed as the rest of the religious detractors on the comment boards.

But just so you have something else to think about... Our human behavior of creating a functioning society also points to the "God Like" attributes of man. If we didn't have these attributes, then there would be no moral law. The fact that we have internal moral values and boundaries, truly separates us from all other living creatures.

Middle of the Road
Home Town USA, UT

Re: Vanka & Esquire--

Anyone searching for truth and who is NOT afraid of finding it will know it, and find it. Professor George is one of those few who have an open mind to discovery of the truth.

On the other hand, those who scoff at the truth and are critical of it are unsure and doubters (themselves) in their own right. Food for thought.

I rather appreciated the insight of a good man, although educated he sounds very teachable. His association with the Quorum of the Twelve, and BYU professors says a lot about his character to seek out, to glean and embrace true doctrine.

After all, "Man is as God once was, and God is, as man may become." Lorenzo Snow, I believe taught this truth a century ago, and a revelation on the nature of man, and his relationship to God.

'The study of true doctrine changes behavior more than the study of behavior,' a paraphrase of Boyd K Packer.

hatuletoh
Sugarhood, UT

Interesting that Prof. George's religious views cause him to take a position that during the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods would have been considered quite humanist, and therefore, in opposition to the prevailing religious perspective. It'a also interesting that the mainstream religious thought during those periods was dominated by the church to which Prof. George belongs, and which would have argued that humanity was emotion or instinct-driven and prone indulging in base desires (the contemporaries would probably have just said "sinful"), much like Prof. George's opponents argue, according to the article.

I wouldn't call it "full-circle", exactly, but I do find it interesting how the modern religious perspective actually owes much to those wildly optimistic early humanists. Perhaps that has something to do with push-back against the weird, amoral 20th century stuff like Levi Strauss and Freddy Nietzsche? I'm not not smart enough to be a true philosopher, but I think pondering the nature of the world and our role in it, and hearing the thoughts of others on those subjects--even when we strongly disagree--is very good recreation.

kiaoraguy
Provo, UT

Would have been an interesting lecture to attend- but there was something else more 'heavenly' taking place at the same time in the Mariott Center

Eric 13
Bluffdale, UT

I can envision a west desert that does not have cows and sheep contaminating the water holes and streams.
Take a look at a stream or water hole that has no sheep or cows.
I can not envision how to change this!
The value of this change is to slow down global warming, to help stop the spread of disease,and To change our west desert into some place we all can in joy. It could be beautiful. Like the places where there are no cows and sheep.

TJ
Eagle Mountain, UT

Eric 13. I am eating the cows as fast as I can; but I'm only one man.

Man was created in the image of God to be like him if he is willing and obedient.

xscribe
Colorado Springs, CO

@Middle of the Road: It kinds of depends on how you define "truth," doesn't it? Would that be your truth, or my truth? Who's truth is correct? I can only assume that you use the word truth, just gleaning from your response, as believing in God. And since God cannot be proven nor disproven, the question remains: Who's truth is it of whom you speak?

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

TJ,

Because, of course, God is a carnivore, and the carnivorous nature of man is a god-like attribute!

Bring on that prime rib!

silas brill
Heber, UT

"... protecting traditional marriage..."

The very phrase is a false assumption that same-gender marriage is an attack on traditional marriage, such that traditional marriage needs protection. Traditional marriage is not under attack. Those who use such language are just anti-homosexual people making a false argument to circumvent an honest admission of their bigotry.

pikap1868
Layton, UT

The professor has an interesting argument but I disagree with it. I was taught in Sunday school that we are all created in God's image not created in It's image to be like It. Just being able to want to do something does make me feel "God-like"... I guess it can be argued that one can try to attain perfection like God but how can you obtain God's perfection when you don't know what it is?

@esquire- How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

@georgeman- There are other creatures that create societies also...

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

I think we 'think' too much.

Although I enjoy taking quiet moments and pondering how my life is going and if I'm making a difference in this world, I also think that we trail off into areas of our intellect until we 'think we are wise', but this reality exposes our prideful, or close heart/minded, side. Many of us find ourselves at times (including myself) thinking beyond the mark...into realms that simply don't matter.

A great quote I heard recently states, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication". Because of this, I basically know who I am, where I'm going, and why I'm here. There is a method of acquiring this knowledge that doesn't always jive with learned men. In my opinion, being learned is good if we hearken unto the councils of God. Having tested this numerous times in my life has resulted in keeping me from much personal chaos. I also know, whether you're religious or not, simplicity states, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

What more needs to be said?

Vanka
Provo, UT

jasonlivy,

If that is all that needs to be said, then your tithing money, and the sacred donations of the Wheatleys, are being wasted by a ton of BYU professors, and they wasted a lot of money bringing in this Princeton lawyer to talk a lot of nonsense about the supposed attributes of god (what? did somebody give God a personality test? How do they know the attributes of God?)

It might have been just as enlightening to discuss how human's share some of the attributes of Superman, Spiderman, and Santa, which proves we humans (at least some of us) have Super capacities, and Spidey senses, and -- whatever superlative stuff Santa has (a jolly demeanor?), but it doesn't prove any of them are real.

Was this professor's lecture a good use of tithing money? He told a bunch of people who are already full of their own deific potential and ambition that they have attributes like God. Is that what school is for? To tell you what you already know (or think you know)?

jasonlivy
Orem, UT

Vanka,

So I take it you don't believe in God. You belittle those who do. You call them less intelligent and worthy of intellectualism than yourself. You make my point exactly. Those who 'think' that they are wise (or who think they are smarter because they don't believe in a God) often deceive themselves. Pride cometh before the fall...

"Fools mock, but they will mourn" is directly from scripture and you fit this to a 't'. Laugh and scoff all you want. I would call you ignorant and lazy for not even trying to have some faith and believe. Most atheists are.

It is so much easier to conclude there is no God than to humble yourself, find a quiet secluded place, kneel on your knees, show a particle of faith, and sincerely ask God if He is real. Everyone who is human is capable of this. And it will be the most important thing you will do in your lifetime.

Or...you can continue on your quest to show how ridiculous those who have labored to know there is a God until you die. What lies beyond that is an accumulation of your choices.

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