Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets/Considering Joseph Smith/Paradigm debate/Values Applied

Values Applied in Paradigm Debate

The existence of values that are not paradigm dependent provides the only way to escape the self-referential standards within paradigms. Kuhn and Barbour identify the most important of these as follows.

  • Accuracy of key predictions (Kuhn 153, 185. Cf. Alma 32:27, 33)

Those who accept the authority of the Bible should accept the tests as the key predictions to test.

  • Comprehensiveness and Coherence (Kuhn, 169, 185, Barbour 92, 143. Cf. Alma 32:34)

These values come into play with further study, experience, and comparisons.

  • Fruitfulness (Kuhn, 154-5. Alma 32:36-41)

“Led by a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. Even more important, during revolutions scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before.” (T. Kuhn, 111)

  • Simplicity and Aesthetics (Kuhn 155-6, Barbour 92. Cf. Alma 32:28, 42)
  • Future Promise (Kuhn 157-8. Cf. Alma 32:41)

“The man who embraces a new paradigm at an early stage must often do so in defiance of the evidence provided by problem solving. He must, that is, have faith that the new paradigm will succeed with the many large problems that confront it, knowing only that the older paradigm has failed in a few. A decision of that kind can only be made on faith.” (Kuhn, 157-8)