Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets/Considering Joseph Smith/Paradigm debate/Critical Realism

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Ian Barbour’s Critical Realism

  • Theory influences observation with the result that all data are to some degree theory-laden. Although proponents of rival theories inevitably talk through each other to a degree, adherents “of rival theories can seek a common core of overlap . . . to which both can retreat.”
  • “Comprehensive theories are indeed resistant to falsification, but observation does exert some control over theory; an accumulation of anomalies cannot be ignored indefinitely.”
  • “There are no rules for choice between paradigms but there are criteria of assessment independent of particular paradigms.” (Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms, 113-15)

I suggest that the Bible keys collected here can provide a beginning core of overlap to which people can retreat in discussing prophets. For those who may not accept the authority of the Bible, I have suggested other places of common ground to which we can retreat for which I have links in the Author’s Note.