Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rules of Discovery - Part I

Rene Descartes, an early 17th century French philosopher and writer, who is considered the Father of Modern Philosophy, with much of modern Western Philosophy a response to his writings, and whose work is studied closely today as a standard text at most university philosophical departments, and whose influence in mathematics is equally apparent where he is considered the Father of Analytical Geometry, set forth four rules of discovery. These rules are so important, they overshadow all discovery in all fields of endeavor.

These four rules are: 1) Accept nothing as true which you do not clearly recognize to be so; 2) Divide up each of the difficulties examined into as many parts as possible; 3) Carry
on reflections in due order, beginning with the object that is the most simple and easy to understand in order to rise a little by little or by degrees to a knowledge of the most complex, assuming such an order; and 4) Make enumeration so complete and reviews so general that you are certain of having omitted nothing.

Thus, one of the most respected minds in the field of discovery tells us how to discover the meanings of the scriptural record in relation to locating the Land of Promise, and how to understand it.

First, Accept nothing as true which you do not clearly recognize as true. In this approach, we know the writings of Mormon are true. We know the writings of Nephi, Alma, and the others are true. We also know these writings were inspired by the Spirit and set forth for us today. Therefore, we need to accept their writings as they wrote them and understand their meaning that their writings give us.

Second. Divide each concept written into as many parts as possible. In this sense, we need to list as many references to the Land of Promise as possible that Mormon, Nephi, Alma, etc., wrote about. A compiled list must include ALL of the items—we cannot pick and choose those we want—we MUST include all those given. As shown in the book “Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica,” a list of at least 65 items can be compiled. Now, Descartes tells us that with all these items, start with the most simple and build to the complex. Therefore, it should be noted, that the first and simplest clue Nephi gave us is that he was “driven forth before the wind to the promised land.” Next, Jacob tells us that “the Lord hath made the sea our path and that we are upon an isle of the sea.” Which has got to tell us that the Lehi colony sailed before the wind, or went where the wind blew them, and that they landed on an island reachable by the ocean sea.

Thus, we must conclude that any location NOT accessible directly by the ocean sea CANNOT be the area of the Land of Promise! Even Descartes tells us that. More importantly, Nephi and Jacob tells us that!

Third. Carry on reflections in due order, beginning with the most simple and easy to understand in order to rise to a greater knowledge. First of all, “reflections” as used here means “a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.” So, we are to carefully consider the words of Nephi, Jacob, Mormon and the other prophets of the scriptural record. What exactly did they say?

It cannot be ignored that they tell us of a land held in reserve, unknown to the rest of the world at that time and long after, of an island area surrounded by four seas, accessible by winds (and currents) from their point of embarkation to their point of landing, reachable by a sailing ship “driven forth before the wind,” and landing upon an unknown land full of precious metal ore, animals (of which two were unknown to Joseph Smith in 1830 New England America), two grains basically equal to corn, wheat and barley (unknown to Joseph Smith in 1830 New England America), where forts (large areas of defense) and resorts (small areas of defense) were built of stone with stone walls all around the cities and defensive positions throughout the land.

Now, taking just one of these items as a carry on from the last two posts—that is, the rock walls and fortresses, let us apply Descartes rules of discovery.

1) We know to be true that the Nephites built with stone in great amounts because Mormon tells so and we know Mormon to have written the truth;

2) This stone work could be found in the construction of cities, walls, forts, resorts, and defensive positions throughout all the land;

3) This construction consisted of very strong, high walls, meant to keep an invading army from entrance or passage, and therefore would have been built with great strength and care;

4) Stone walls and construction last over long period of time; stone is not stacked in nature to form walls, buildings, etc., but done so by man; any area so built will last at least two thousand years or more as evidenced by findings in the Near East, Europe, and South America.

Thus, it must be concluded that any place claiming to be the Land of Promise MUST have in evidence numerous locations of walls, buildings, and forts, made of stone, at least in some semblance of identification. This stonework, out of necessity, must show a defensive position of a northern area against an invading force from the southern area.

When Mormon writes “rock walls” it means rock walls—rock does not disintegrate. It may deteriorate, fall, crumple to some degree, but would always be apparent over long periods of time, especially if the original structure was large. There are no such edifices in any state of degradation in the Great Lakes. Thus, this eliminates immediately the area of the Great Lakes, Northeastern United States, the Heartland, and ALL areas within the continental borders of North America! However, it points a direct finger to the Andean Area of South America as has been shown in the last two posts!

(See the next post, Rules of Discovery Part II, to see how Descartes Rules of Discovery apply to other landmarks mentioned by Mormon)

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