Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets/Considering Joseph Smith/Paradigm debate/Religious Differences

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Paradigm Debate and Religious Differences

Most religious debate takes place at the level of paradigm differences. A paradigm is a framework for ordering and interpreting experience. Thomas Kuhn compares normal science to puzzle solving, like a chess puzzle, with the board, pieces and rules in place and agreed upon. Puzzle solving occurs within a paradigm. Another apt description of a paradigm is the relation of map and territory. We use our religious paradigms as maps to guide us through the territory of life and the hereafter. Exploration of the territory may demonstrate both strengths and weakness in our current maps. The best way to test the validity of maps is the exploration of the territory, though, not always the territory we have already explored. We may need to move into the unknown to best compare competing maps.