Talk:The Urantia Book/Archive 3

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12Archive 3456789

Another archive

Given that both the main talk page and archived page were the same size, it seemed like a good idea to make another archive. I hope nobody minds. Xaxafrad 03:10, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Good call HighInBC 03:22, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for cleaning up Xaxafrad, looks much better with that standard header. Wazronk 04:03, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Edits to Adherents 11-08-06

Dear Steed Holt: I hope not to offend you for your edit to the Adherents section of this article below, but I do object to it being written as if authoritarian without quoting a source, firstly and secondly I don't think it belongs in the "Adherents" section if it is from a Wikipedia defined and acceptable source. For now, I've removed the edit and placed it here for consideration and clean up if possible. I would appreciate it very much if you would go to Wikipedia for assistance in fixing this.

Thanks for your understanding! 68.52.225.175 22:24, 8 November 2006 (UTC) Anonymous


Our planet Earth is known as Urantia to the intelligences of the Universe; mankind along with the other inhabitants originated on this planet are therefore known as Urantians. What remains lacking in the consciousness of mankind is an application of the principles presented in this revelation; the pursuit and practice of which will be known as Urantianism.
Predicted in the text of this Book, a gradual acceptance of the facts and principles presented therein will emerge over time; a culture that will teach by example promoting the wisdom and teachings of this great revelation and will eventually be known as the Urantianists. The terminology is not nearly as important as the movement or the message that comes out of the practice but words are tools and it is helpful to know how to use them in the context of a new and important transformation.

recent cosmology edits

Been good to see the growth of this section, thanks everybody who has put effort into it. I tried to structure it a little more and also fixed some typos and such. Wazronk 04:09, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Restructuring has been good. Having "mapped out' the whole cosmos as TUB presents it, it now would be good to move into some cosmological specifics and perhaps other comparisons with science. Looking and researching now for a direction in which to seed the growth of this section. Ensa 18:05, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

comparison to christianity

I favor the article keeping to major points in this section, especially since Christianity covers a lot of varied traditions, and it's easy to add comparisons that might be true for some people but not for others. For instance, there are plenty who debate about whether there is truly free will (see this wikipedia writeup), so I don't think it's accurate to say that a point in common between The Urantia Book and Chrisitanity necessarily is "Free will -- people have the ability to choose". Someone from a Calvinist tradition, for example, would find that untrue.

I've made an edit to try to get to central comparisons of broadest agreement and consolidate the recently expanded list. I also am sticking to comparisons that are documented with verifiable sources to my knowledge (eg The Urantia Book directly makes the comparison (for instance regarding atonement); the comparison is in the House book cited in "References"; and / or the comparison is in the Gardner book). I'm not clear on whether some of what's been recently added is original research that's from personal comparison and isn't from sources. If there are additional sources that are being drawn from, please add so they can be reviewed.

I won't go through each line I rewrote or whittled, but I'll be happy to go through any points people care to bring up. One thing it seems to me was being done with the recent additions was insertion of more specifics about how The Urantia Book presents its concept of God and his attributes that aren't clearly presented yet elsewhere. To me a better way to do it will be to have a subsection under "Teachings" that goes into it, much could be done with a subsection like that (a summary of papers 1-5 would cover a lot to start). Wazronk 04:09, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

addition to "adherents" section?

This text was added a little while ago to the "Criticism" -> "Allegations of plagiarism" section:

"There is now, in the last twenty years, a group of believers in Urantia who say that they can talk to various spirits and entities by acheving [sic] a state of calm. They call the TR-ing, which means Transmitting and Receiving, as they transmit and receive messages from these beings. For more information on this group, go to google and search for 11:11"

It's not criticism, so I've taken it out of that section for organizational reasons. The place something like this would be a fit is "Adherents" potentially but I'm not sure about the significance of this "TR-ing" and "11:11" stuff to the article. Anyone with insights and sources? I'm going to leave a comment on the editor's page. Thanks. Wazronk 04:09, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Science and the UB

Greetings all: I'm new to this Wikipedia thing, so please forgive me if I am not up on how things should be done. I'm sure someone will correct my mis-steps.

Regarding the statement from the "Criticism of science" section:

"The book repeats the idea prevalent at the time of its origin that one side of the planet Mercury always faces the sun due to tidal locking."

This statement is not true. If one studies the sentence and paragraph structures of TUB carefully, it says is this:

"...causing a planet to revolve ever slower until axial revolution ceases, leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned toward the sun or larger body, as is illustrated by the planet Mercury and by the moon, which always turns the same face toward Urantia."

In this case "the same face toward Urantia" clearly refers to the moon and not to Mercury. Therefore, the phrase "...causing a planet to revolve ever slower..." refers to both Mercury and the moon, while the phrases "...until axial revolution ceases, leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned toward the sun or larger body..." refer only to the moon.

When reading only part of a sentence without including qualifying phrases, confusion always results. Because of the highly sophisticated sentence structures used, this is especially true of TUB. Thus the sources of the confusion in this case are the partial phrases:

"...leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned toward the sun or larger body, as is illustrated by the planet Mercury..."

When taken out of context or read carelessly, this phrase clearly means that Mercury is locked. Since the moon is specifically mentioned as the body with "the same face toward Urantia," it can be inferred that Mercury is not locked, but only slowed.

I hope I have made my case. What i think would help, is perhaps to use this both in the same section, and perhaps in a new or linguistics related section as an example on how easily TUB can be mis-read due to the sophisticated use of the English language.

I would plow into this myself, but life has other duties for me at this time.

Hope this Helps!

--Lone Stranger 02:53, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi Lone Stranger,
Welcome here, thanks for the comments and for dipping your toes in with a contribution to the article the other day. Always feel free to bring up suggestions or comments that could lead to an improved article.
A common misconception is that wikipedia is a place where people add what they think is true, and it all comes together as an article. This isn't quite the case. Wikipedia has three specific policies that people use to guide the growth of articles and resolve differences over what should be written. I highly recommend giving them a read if you haven't had a chance yet:
The "verifiability" policy is the one that I think comes into play most here with your suggestions:
"The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader must be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, because Wikipedia does not publish original thought or original research."
The viewpoint and argument that TUB says Mercury has one side that always faces the sun was published in Gardner's book, which is cited in the article. So in that regard, the statement about Mercury meets the threshhold for inclusion and is appropriate. In a moment, I'll address his "reliability".
You offer an alternative viewpoint and argument for what TUB is saying, but in order for it to be considered for the article, what will be necessary is for you to cite a published analysis by a reputable source about how this particular "sophisticated use of the English language" has led to such differing interpretations on the Mercury issue.
This is also the mindset that's needed with the idea of a "linguistics" section. I personally think it would be great to have a more detailed assessment of the use of language in The Urantia Book. I'm not personally aware of a reputable published source that can be drawn on to support a whole section like that though. Offer one for people to look into if you know about something out there.
Regarding the reliability of Gardner and his assessments, I've seen a number of times people take issue with him, but whatever the opinion people have of him, it is the case that he researched his positions, cited numerous references to support his arguments, presented them in a book that is published and verifiable, and he is reputable as a professional writer on science and mathematics topics with a long career.
To a degree it's beside the point for me to give you my own take on the Mercury issue, since the actual threshhold for inclusion has already been met, but in reading your take on the issue and re-reading the wording in The Urantia Book, I will say I do find that Gardner's assessment makes a lot more sense to me.
For the benefit of other people who might be reading, the original TUB text is in paper 57, section 6, the second paragraph.
While you say that the interpretation seems to come from confusion and taking small phrases out of context, you actually didn't provide the full context with your own proposed interpretation. To focus on the Mercury issue, I'm going to paste the whole paragraph, except for just a moment I'll leave the moon clause out from the end:


"The planets nearest the sun were the first to have their revolutions slowed down by tidal friction. Such gravitational influences also contribute to the stabilization of planetary orbits while acting as a brake on the rate of planetary-axial revolution, causing a planet to revolve ever slower until axial revolution ceases, leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned toward the sun or larger body, as is illustrated by the planet Mercury..."


Highlights in bold are mine, of course. The entire paragraph is in reference to planets slowing in their revolutions and eventually locking with the sun, and to me it all leads to an unambiguous statement that Mercury is an illustration of just such a planet whose revolutions have slowed until "axial revolution ceases".
I personally don't see that the clause the paragraph ends with about the moon in any way changes this unambiguous statement. This is what comes after the ellipsis: "...and by the moon, which always turns the same face toward Urantia."
Instead, it only adds another illustration. But this second illustration is about the "moon", and no longer about a "planet", so it's a shift in context for the paragraph. You suggested that "the phrase '...causing a planet to revolve ever slower...' refers to both Mercury and the moon". But that wouldn't be the case. The Moon isn't a planet but a satellite.
And the writer(s) of TUB understood this. After they talk so much about planets and planetary braking of revolutions, you see that the wording broadens a little to state "...leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned to the sun or larger body". This opens up the opportunity to then mention not only Mercury but "the moon, which always turns the same face toward Urantia".
Mercury as an example of a planet that has one hemisphere always turned to the sun.
The moon as an example of a non-planet that has one hemisphere always turned to a "larger body".
On a side note, you may be interested to know that there is actually a second mistake in the science here, which Gardner also caught and described, but it's not included in the article for purposes of clarity. The article isn't trying to document a comprehensive list of discrepencies with science but only highlight examples.
It's arguably a bigger mistake, because at the time that TUB was written it was known to be wrong. TUB describes that gravitational influences will cause "a planet to revolve ever slower until axial revolution ceases, leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned to the sun or larger body."
But axial revolutions don't "cease" and leave "one hemisphere" always turned to the larger body. In order for one hemisphere to be turned to the larger body, the tidally-locked planet or moon must revolve with a periodicity equal to the periodicity of the orbit around the larger body.
Even though we always see the same hemisphere of the moon when we look at it in the sky (actually a little more, because of libration), the moon is revolving once on its axis every 27.3 days. It is *because* it is revolving that we only see one side of it. Wazronk 07:02, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Notes on formatting

I have corrected the use of headings to no longer skip H3. I also converted quotations into blockquotes, instead of just indentations. I was unable to convert the quote in Origin, History, and Destiny to blockquote because I wasn't sure when it ends.

There are a lot of bullets in this article, and some confusing (though I am sure well-meaning) use of indentation on them. Mediawiki's Monobook stylesheet doesn't handle bullets uniquely well, in my opinion at least, and it makes these bits challenging to read. Further on the issue of readability, the links in the Overview section are very excessive, and make it unreadable. Given that the "Parts" are linked immediately above, and are just pages with links to the "papers" anyway, virtually all of those links serve no purpose other than improving their targets' Google rankings. — Aluvus t/c 15:34, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for improvements to the style. I'd be interested in additional people's votes on whether the links in "Overview" help or hurt with readability, since it's subjective. The titles of papers have been there for a while, but when the links were added the other month, my first impression was that I liked them. I didn't have the readibility problem, and I didn't see it as an intent to game PageRank (the web pages are only chapters out of a book, not personal pages or pages with ads). To me the paper titles have value as a sampler of the topics in the book, and the links added more value in taking advantage of the public domain status of the book and full availability on the Internet to provide direct links. The book is gargantuan, in my experience to just go through the detailed table of contents and actually read it takes nearly an hour for all four Parts. The links seem like useful shortcuts to highlights. But, if they are a visual overload, it's true it defeats the purpose, so will be good to hear more people's opinions.
On bullet points, I think the "Cosmology" section is the place where information is conveyed the roughest. Personally, even though I'm the one who shaped up some of the text recently into the current bulleted list, I don't see that as more than a stepping stone of improvement over what it was before. I'd like it if eventually this could be in summary style with 2-4 really solid paragraphs on an overview of Cosmology and a link to a daughter article dedicated to the topic, where the details in the current bulletted list could be developed more fully. Wazronk 05:51, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Recent Edits

Sorry I am a neophyte and did not understand edits on each change. Will try next time I edit.

Usually referred to as three persons of Diety or personalizations of Diety. Book presents a unique concept of actual and potential Diety. Could be infered as less defined, similar to Christian concept, which might confuse other monothesists. Clarified, and used definition in Forward.

The term misconceptions could be constructed as negative connotation, made more explicit. Converted to quote in Forward.

Instead of encapsulating entire legal history just reverted to a more neutral position of stating what domain it is presently in.

Hell is an concept of many meanings. Place accurately represents this concept.

Earthly reincarnation can be construed to mean one might reincarnate on another planet. Changed for confusion.

Changed Christian traditions to biblical traditions. The term Made in God’s image is not exclusively Christian.

The Urantia Book is redundantly used in article.

Added Quaker inner light because of the Quaker's participation in the founding of the British colonies in America.

The former sentence stated that the Adjuster then serves noncoercively as a divine partner for the rest of life, constantly attempting to lead the person toward more mature, spiritualized thinking. Because of the speculation, by a solitary messenger in 108.4.5, it was changed it from constantly attenpting to lead which could be an assumption to known quality which is the power.

Removed the sentence, The Urantia Book presents a cosmological concept that God resides at the center of creation on the eternal Isle of Paradise because the term God is not well enough defined with this small summary to accurately represent Diety residing on Paradise.

God is described as the Father of each individual through the direct gift of a fragment of his eternal spirit. This passage was changed because it could be misconstrued that he is only a Father of all creatures by virtue of possession of a thought adjuster.

Hope these edits are okay.

Hershberger 12:14, 20 August 2006 (UTC)Hershberger

Anonymous deletions or reverts

A frequent but anonymous contributor (IP 69.137.116.242) to this article has twice deleted links I added to the http://www.ubhoax.org web site (properly placed in the "External Links" section), which rejects the supernatural origin of the Urantia Book.

These edits or reverts appear to violate the NPOV stance of the Wikipedia community, by excluding hyperlinks to dissenting views. The first revert was on 2006-06-19 with the explanation: "removed link to UBHoax website. No authors are accredited, and this claims to be Christian Apologetics, but no real authors exist in the piece or at the site." The second revert was on 2006-09-05 with the remark, 'removed ubhoax.org as it is "original authorship" and its sources are not verifiable as either copyrighted materials nor is it the view of an adherent group holding the same view'.

The explanation of the reverter is unsound. Dale Essary identified himself as the author on mulitiple pages, even in June 2006. All writing is "original authorship" with someone, even if the author is anonymous (maybe he/she is confusing this with original research in the text of Wikipedia articles?). Essary asserts copyright here, but even if he did not, there seems to be no warrant for suppression. Finally, other texts or movements on Wikipedia contain links to critical sites, such as the Book of Mormon, Science and Health or the Hare Krishna movement.

What would be the next step to resolving this issue? EricP 17:59, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the IP is thinking of the fact that WP:External links#Links_normally_to_be_avoided says that external links are held to the standard of WP:Reliable sources, and WP:Reliable sources#Issues_to_look_out_for point 2 says: Do they have an agenda or conflict of interest, strong views, or other bias which may color their report?. HighInBC 18:15, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Dear Eric and HighInBC, and All;
I didn't see this entry until now. I'm sorry for the delay in my writing to you and also for any confusion my reverts may have caused. Yes, HighInBC, WP:Reliable sources, and WP:Reliable sources#Issues_to_look_out_for are yet other reasons not to use that link. As Wazronk has pointed out in another issue back in July regarding the arguments about the meaning and intention of the comment on the planet Mercury in the science section, reliability and verifiability is a big part of appropriate material here. I would say that if there is some other, published reliable and official source connected with a Christian Apologetic's view or opinion about The Urantia Book, then that would then be the best source to cite. Websites can be tricky sources of information where both reliability and original authorship are concerned. The author of UBHoax is an individual whose website is a "blog" type of website. Anyone can do this and there are lots of websites out there doing that. Further, the supernatural origin idea for the book is commonly debated, accepted and rejected by every individual who ever looked into it. This article covers that quite nicely, I think and so there really isn't a need to connect to a blog site whether it be anti-Urantia Book or pro-Urantia Book, those types of links do not serve the purpose of making a good article in accordance with the quality that Wikipedia seeks to present. And, because there are so many individuals with websites having to do with the book, allowing one would start a trend that would amount to a lengthy link section of individual links to websites that aren't appropriate publications. 69.137.116.242 13:44, 21 September 2006 (UTC) anonymous

the intent of tub as summed up in intro

This text was recently re-inserted to describe the intent of TUB:

... TUB's intent is to present concepts and truth... " in response to the evolutionary development of confusion regarding the words God, divinity and deity amidst the peoples of the planet"

Similar wording about "confusion" and "God, divinity and deity" has been here before. It comes from the first part of the foreword. I think it was an improvement to replace this a few months ago with the current wording because that more accurately represents the statements in the foreword. If there is another quote that reducing "confusion" about "the words God, divinity and deity" is the intent of the whole book, I ask that it be posted to support this wording in the article's intro. The foreword doesn't support this interpretation, the part about an intent to reduce confusion regarding "the words God, divinity, and diety" isn't said to be the intent of the book as a whole but only the foreword, as is evident when the fuller context about this is looked at:

From the foreword (highlights mine):

In the minds of the mortals of Urantia -- that being the name of your world -- there exists great confusion respecting the meaning of such terms as God, divinity, and deity. Human beings are still more confused and uncertain about the relationships of the divine personalities designated by these numerous appellations. Because of this conceptual poverty associated with so much ideational confusion, I have been directed to formulate this introductory statement in explanation of the meanings which should be attached to certain word symbols as they may be hereinafter used in those papers which the Orvonton corps of truth revealers have been authorized to translate into the English language of Urantia.

...

In the hope of facilitating comprehension and of preventing confusion on the part of every mortal who may peruse these papers, we deem it wise to present in this initial statement an outline of the meanings to be attached to numerous English words which are to be employed in designation of Deity and certain associated concepts of the things, meanings, and values of universal reality.

Thanks. Wazronk 20:19, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Greetings Wazronk, Well, I disagree that this should not be inserted for Wikipedia readers who are interested in learning about what the Urantia Book is and why it was written, that is the crux of adding the authors intention for presenting the Urantia Papers to begin with. (According to the authors view, all this "ideational confusion" abounding on the planet with regard to these word symbols, and with what they intended to present in the following papers, the foreword addresses it directly, while the papers themselves actually DO in great depth and detail. I don't understand your argument as presented because you actually make a case FOR putting that in rather than taking it out... except that perhaps you question yourself the validity, which doesn't matter since this is about the papers in the book. This is not about whether editors agree on whether what the authors say is valid or not, just fact about what is presented as a whole. So, what is it, really, that you object to? It can't certainly be that the comment is only for the Foreword - again, as I said above, all the papers DO this from the author's point of view. If the UB authors do not present material addressing all these notions what DO they do? One does not have to believe in it to see that, IMO. Also, aren't you the author of a big list of definitions? If you actually wrote all that according to the UB, then you should be able to enlarge the picture to see that the UB was written to do what they said they were doing. I vote put it back in - that IS what the authors did, and what they say they were doing for. I feel this is valid from a reader standpoint, but only being questioned with regard to a reader's own pre-existent religious, scientific, or philosophic belief or opinion about God, deity and divinity, etc. If that's the case, then Wazronk, I assert that a NPOV be sought. 68.52.225.175 19:02, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Greetings Wazronk, HighInBC, Editors, again. I've signed in as "Sweet Bear". I think the meat of matter in differences about what you are saying on this issue vs. editors like me who desire this information be included into the article has to do with this sentence: Human beings are still more confused and uncertain about the relationships of the divine personalities designated by these numerous appellations. While the Foreword gives definitions, the rest of the book is dedicated to clearing up the matter - as part of it's "revealed" information. Does this make sense? Do you have any suggestions as to how this might be summarized, or presented in the intro or elsewhere that might satisfy everyone and still ring true to both the book and Wikipedia? Thanks! Sweet Bear 16:03, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Sweet Bear,
The meat of the matter to me is the sentence afterwords that keeps being left off from your interpretation like it's not there:
"Because of this conceptual poverty associated with so much ideational confusion, I have been directed to formulate this introductory statement ... "
This is what that sentence would need to say in order to support how you keep wishing to use it in the article:
"Because of this conceptual poverty associated with so much ideational confusion, I have been directed to formulate this new revelation in a series of papers ... "
Or something like that.
You seem to read these sentences...
"In the minds of the mortals of Urantia -- that being the name of your world -- there exists great confusion respecting the meaning of such terms as God, divinity, and deity. Human beings are still more confused and uncertain about the relationships of the divine personalities designated by these numerous appellations."
...And then stop completely and cut off the rest of the paragraph and ignore it, holding up those two sentences artificially as the entire purpose of the entire book.
But that's not the meaning of those words, that's only half of a paragraph and half of the context.
The other half is that...
"Because of this conceptual poverty associated with so much ideational confusion, I have been directed to formulate this introductory statement ... "
The foreword being the introductory statement.
My point is that I think that the article should solidly be grounded on verifiable documentation of the author(s) direct statements about what their intent for the whole book is. Not take an out of context statement about their intent for a part of the book and inflate it as if it's a statement about the whole book when it's not.
If the wording you've wanted to use really is an accurate statement of the intent of the author(s) -- where is it *actually* stated to be? To me, Hershberger identified a more direct summary of the intent of the *whole book* -- not just the foreword -- and that's why it's my preference.
If you have the chance, what would help is if you could dig a little deeper for additional quotes that directly touch on overall intents and purposes.. I'll see if I can also. Thanks. Wazronk 06:05, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Wazronk, OK, Will dig deeper!
Yet, with deepest respect and sincerity, I do not intentionally ignore the fact that the authors are addressing the Foreword and their intentions for writing it. However, they are addressing the reader --- people of "Urantia" --- "your world". After reading the Foreword, and using the meanings in the words they define there as well as applying the concepts and newly expanded cosmic and spiritual material found there and then going on to the rest of the papers, it is simply the case that their opinion is there is a conceptual poverty, one that has to do with concepts about God, divinity and deity, one which required them to crank out 2097 pages to address as "the truth concerning the Paradise Deities and the universe of universes". To them there is enough of a problem to address it in a Foreword which applies the papers overall - the foreword being the beginning of a long series of presentations.
I don't know anything about Hershberger, or who that is, only one post here. But, I do have a Urantia Book and have read it several times and studied it for many, many years - as well as perused Wikipedia for a couple of years. I agree that BOTH things are true as stated in the paragraph (not one or the other): The Foreword defines the words, and the papers expound on those concepts presented which, apparently, created a difficulty in communicating the "revealed" text. This is WHY they presented the papers at all - mankind on earth had a spiritual, a conceptual poverty - in their opinion and view. They simply could not fulfill the "mandate" without doing that.
It all happens to be a part of what they "reveal" -- revelatory information. As for begging quotes. Why not just post the book here? Because one must perforce be able to summarize, paraphrase and generalize in order to make the article here. I think summarizing should be fine, and editors should work together to make it as efficient as possible.
Here is more about it, right in the Foreword, the first four paragraphs - "...there exists great confusion respecting the meaning of such terms as God, divinity, and deity. "Human beings are still more confused and uncertain about the relationships of the divine personalities designated by these numerous appllations." etc... as posted above" and "It is exceedingly difficult to present enlarged concepts and advanced truth, in our endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception, when we are restricted to the use of a circumscribed language of the realm. But our mandate admonishes us to make every effort..."etc. "But in order to formulate this Foreword of definitions and limitations of terminology it is necessary to anticipate the usage of these terms in the subsequent papers"... and so on to the end of the Foreword where it says "[Indited by an Orvonton Divine Counselor, Chief of the Corps of Superuniverse Personalities assigned to protray on Urantia the truth concerning the Paradise Deities and the universe of universes]" If this is not the MANDATE (same as purpose for the papers) summed up, what is?
Well, I don't know what this mixture of words adds up to exactly, it's not a summary of the book or a description of a mandate though.
Take the idea of a "mandate" ... it's found two times in the foreword in the context you're using.
The first occurance is when the foreword says: "But our mandate admonishes us to make every effort to convey our meanings by using the word symbols of the English tongue." This is the one you seem to be referencing. But it isn't making any statement about the purpose of the book. It's saying that the celestial beings will write in English.
The second is in the acknowledgment, where it says: "...we are to be guided by the mandate of the superuniverse rulers which directs that we shall, in all our efforts to reveal truth and co-ordinate essential knowledge, give preference to the highest existing human concepts pertaining to the subjects to be presented." Sorry, but again, no statement is here about the purpose of the book. It's just saying they'll make use of what other people say first before inventing/revealing other stuff.
That's the extent of what the "mandate" is in the foreword. Although, this maybe is a good line to investigate more, I don't know if there will be more luck in searching throughout the rest of the book for mentions of "mandates" that more directly would serve as a reference.
Again, for all the bits and pieces of phrases you pull out of the foreword, you only are selectively using what you feel like and other parts are being disregarded.
In the first four paragraphs this is what you left out:
  • "Because of this conceptual poverty associated with so much ideational confusion, I have been directed to formulate this introductory statement in explanation of the meanings to be attached to numerous English words".
  • "In the hope of facilitating comprehension and of preventing confusion on the part of every mortal who may peruse these papers, we deem it wise to present in this initial statement an outline of the meanings which should be attached to certain word symbols" ...
  • "But in order to formulate this Foreword of definitions and limitations of terminology" ... etc.
I think you would agree that the author(s) were perfectly capable of saying whether they were laying out a summary explanation for the entire "revelation" with those four paragraphs if that's what they wanted to say.
But they didn't.
Instead they said very specifically -- multiple times -- in those four paragraphs that you point to, that they are describing the purpose of the foreword. Wazronk 09:11, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
If we can sum up the Urantia Book as being spiritual, or philosophical, or even cosmological, or all three we can also sum it up by saying that the Urantia Book clears up these misconceptions. Again, the question goes back to how to write it up here? Could we say "An Orvonton Divine Councelor, Chief of the Corps of Superuniverse Personalities was assigned to present the truth of the Paradise Deities and the universe of universes to the mortals of Urantia"? If one had never read those papers of course in a Wikipedia article about the book then this would be like reading some kind of mythological joke. But that IS the intention of the authors as so stated. Whether one believes it or not. Sweet Bear 18:33, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
That isn't a statement about the intent of the author(s) for the entire book. It's a statement about Part I -- the so-called "superuniverse personalities" only are "assigned" to write Part I. Wazronk 09:15, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Jesus as being held in "higher regard" in TUB versus Christianity

In the Comparisons to Christianity section, there has been a statement for a while about Jesus being held in high regard by TUB similar to how he is held in high regard in Christianity. This is how it used to read (and which I've returned the text to say):

"Jesus is held in high regard by The Urantia Book, as he is in the New Testament of the Bible."

Periodically, this has been changed by an editor to claim that a preferential "higher regard" is taught in TUB versus the New Testament. For example, this is how it was recently reworded:

"Jesus is held in even higher regard in The Urantia Book, than he is in the New Testament of the Bible."

I've always objected to this change and edited it back, but since periodically it has returned, I think I need to explain my objection more completely here.

Considering how this is suppose to be an encyclopedic entry for a diverse audience, the general statement to me is valuable in that it places TUB's position on the broad expanse of all the different religions and religious figures out there. Does TUB teach that Vishnu should be held in high regard, Zeus, Mohammed, Ra, or any of the thousands of other possibilities? No, the article narrows things down for the reader, it's Jesus that's of high importance. It's consensus and amply demonstrable with quotes that TUB teaches a high regard for the person of Jesus. I think everyone can agree about that. Also, it's definitely consensus that Christianity has a high regard for the person of Jesus.

And both teach that the high regard for Jesus comes about because he's considered divine and a Son of God. To me it's a simple, plain, neutral statement to say: "Jesus is held in high regard by The Urantia Book, as he is in the New Testament of the Bible."

But, when this statement is modified to make a claim that TUB teaches a "higher" regard, that is certainly not consensus and certainly not a summary of all published opinions. That is presenting a very one-sided assertion. To preserve neutrality, if this would be the direction to go with the wording, it would very much be necessary to also present the views of those who assert that TUB teaches a much lower regard for Jesus, since it teaches that there are over 700,000 other Jesus-type Creator Sons and he isn't considered the second person of the Trinity. Also, Jesus can easily be perceived to be less important in TUB because it teaches he didn't sacrificially buy back God's favor for all of mankind. The entire "mission" of Jesus in the Christian view turns out to be unnecessary.

These are big deal differences, and I can make edits to include these perspectives. The edits will be verifiable and be attributed to specific people.

Can the same be done about the claim that TUB teaches a "higher" regard? To be honest, I don't even see how it's supported by TUB itself. Here's a representative quote where TUB acknowledges its teachings put Jesus on a level lower than the second person of Trinity that Christianity teaches:

It has been difficult for many who are cosmic minded to believe that the Second Person of Deity, the second member of an infinite Trinity, once dwelt on Urantia; and while in spirit this is true, in actuality it is not a fact. The Michael Creators fully embody the divinity of the Eternal Son, but they are not the absolute personality.

To me the change to "higher regard" crosses the line of neutrality and I'm not satisfied about whether it's even verifiable within TUB. Also, in my opinion, the change only leads to an unnecessary accentuation of conflict in opinions and argumentation from both sides about "higher" and "lower". To me it's better to just state that both teach Jesus is important. Then from the list of similarities and differences that follow, people who read the article can come to their own conclusions about "higher" versus "lower", if they want to think in those terms.

Wazronk 20:36, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

This is reflective of the more general problem of comparing two beleif systems together. I certainly agree that saying in "higher regard" is POV and unverifiable. The original wording saying he is held in high regard as he is... is good as it does not attempt to say one is greater or lesser or even equal.
If this change is reverted without discussion and you are worried about 3RR just leave me a message and I will try to talk with the person aswell. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 20:42, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
Will do. Thanks for commentary on the topic. Wazronk 23:13, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
OK, High in BC and Wazronk, I agree it could be construed to cross the line of neutrality, however, Michael of Nebadon, Jesus, being a CREATOR OF A LOCAL UNIVERSE doesn't appear in Christianity and actually IS from that perspective holding Him in "higher regard". Perhaps more neutral wording can be found, but the fact is, Jesus in TUB is much more than he is in Christianity. The details in TUB show it so. Just some thoughts. 68.52.225.175 19:07, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Unless an established reliable source for that interpretation is provided, that constitutes original research which is not allowed here. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:57, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
THank you for the info, High in BC. However, there is no original research to do. Verifiability is the UB, if paraphrasing or summarizing is original research than Wikipedia is hornswaggled, by that I mean we can't summarize the book and what's in it?! I don' think that's what they mean. 68.52.225.175 21:57, 15 November 2006 (UTC) what I think is going on here is POV and not really reading the actual wording. "In the Urantia Book, Jesus is held in higher regard than he is in Christianity". The problem may be resolved by writing, "In the Urantia Book, Jesus is held in higher regard than he is in the Bible." Or something similar. It is not "teaching" someone or anyone in what regard to hold Jesus, it is how the BOOK represents him that is "higher". However, I still agree that better wording could be found to represent this difference which is a critical difference existent between the Bible and UB. It may be necessary to qualify that UB is not a religion interchangeable with a nomer like the Bible is with Christianity. Some day, if the UB becomes a "holy book" like the Bible has become, then perhaps "Jesusonian" will be the relgion at that time. But none exists now. 68.52.225.175 22:53, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Does the Urantia book say it holds Jesus is held in a higher regard than christianity? If not then simply interpreting the fact that the books considers Jesus to be a CREATOR OF A LOCAL UNIVERSE to mean he is held in a higher regard is indeed original research.
You could say,
While Christianity merely considers Jesus to be the son of god, the Urantia book goes further in saying that he is also the creator of the local universe.
But if you said
Jesus it held in higher regard by the Urantia book than christianity
then you are delving into original research(unless a published reliable source made the same interpretation, then a citation would be needed). A subtle distinction but an important one. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:16, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, High in BC, I like your wording much better because it sounds more efficient to what I intended, but I don't agree it has anything to do with "original authorship" simply because if that argument was valid, then the entire section on plagiarism allegations would be "original authorship" as well as many other parts of the article that summarize what the UB says or "teaches" as many editors have written. It may have more to do with "interpretation" or use of accurate words to describe how The Urantia Book (its authors) regard "Jesus". Thanks for the help in wording. 68.52.225.175 23:39, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
That section is not original research as it is based on a reference[1] to an external source. It is an interpretation, but it is a previously, independently published interpretation. I am glad you liked my wording. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:44, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks again High, I think that the only part of the section on plagiarism that is not "original authorship" is any part that is not referenced as a quote from the published source. Of course, that is a strict interpretation. But then, if we would be so strict with all the whole Wikipedia, then who needs editors to find better words? 68.52.225.175 23:58, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
The line between cited information and original research is blurry and even a bit arbritrary. However we use discussion and consensus to resolve this ambiguity. You seem like a reasonable and helpfull editor, you should consider making an account so I can call you something other than 68.52.225.175 hehe. It is free, and anonymous. It will prevent others from seeing your IP address. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:04, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

\

OK Wazronk, HighInBC, and Editors at large, I'm now "Sweet Bear". Sweet Bear 03:43, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


Hi Sweet Bear and HighInBC and any others,
Congratulations on the account Sweet Bear. Thanks for the compromise suggestion HighInBC. In looking directly at how TUB describes this though -- going to the source -- a more accurate statement to me is more like:
While Christianity considers Jesus to be the only Son of God, The Urantia Book says that he is one Son of God out of thousands, a "lesser ruler" who is the creator of a local universe."
The book says that there are 700 thousand local universes so that isn't so big of a deal as it sounds actually, Jesus' domain is only one of these local universes. "lesser ruler" is a direct description of the creator son role from paper 2.
To put it in perspective, the US recently passed the 300 million population mark. If you take the population of the US to represent the total "grand universe" in the Urantia Book, Jesus' authority as a creator son extends to 1:700,000 of this.
That amounts to 438 people.
Take the town of Redbird Smith, Oklahoma, population 438 according to a google search (411 from 2000 census per wikipedia but I guess it's grown a little since then) and that's the proportional amount of Jesus' administrative domain compared to the US population. He's the mayor of Redbird Smith.
Then, like how above the Redbird Smith administrative level as a town there's the county government in Sequoyah County, above Jesus are the "minor sectors" and "major sectors".
And like how above that even is the state level of government in Oklahoma with their higher figures, there is then the level of superuniverse government and authority. The Ancients of Days said to rule up there are considered a lot more powerful than Jesus.
Then at the biggest level -- federal level -- eventually is the pinnacle of power and authority. Not just one president but the trinity of figures, so it breaks the metaphor. But Christianity considers Jesus to be one of these pinnacle Trinity presidential members.
A "local universe" is a speck on the map, comparatively speaking, and that's in the so called "grand universe" scale... in taking into account the immensity of the "master universe" scale, the domain of Jesus' oversight as a "creator son" becomes microscopic.
All of this is why I don't agree at all with getting into "higher" regard versus "lower regard". To me I see it as POV to even interpret The Urantia Book as saying Jesus is "higher" compared to Christianity. The book plainly says everywhere that he's on a lower level than the one Christianity places him on, it's not something the author(s) were being subtle about or hiding. Wazronk 05:15, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
While Christianity considers Jesus to be the only Son of God, The Urantia Book says that he is one Son of God out of thousands, a "lesser ruler" who is the creator of a local universe.
I like it. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 05:24, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Wazronk and HighInBC, The intention was not SAY the Urantia Book SAYS that directly as was addressed earlier in this discussion. But, Jesus, being a CREATOR of a LOCAL Universe is nowhere near the same thing as being a mayor of a small town - all you've shown is a proportion which is not even pertinent to the intentions and meanings being discussed. The idea is to point out how much different and how much his status and being are of a "higher" order Jesus is in TUB than in the Bible. In the Bible, Jesus is but a "sacrificial lamb", a man, a holy person, a teacher, a human, a son of God, and a few other things, but he doesn't have the capability to create a whole universe from scratch - and Mayors only get voted in, btw - having little to do with creating the whole town and being the 'father' of it from the ground up. I'm really not meaning to offend you, and you seem to be a bit sensitive to that, so I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I honestly don't think the analogy works for anything except a ratio, or proportion comparison - a statistical faux pax. This analogy is also POV and an inaccurate one. Mayors don't have near the number of assistants, children, solar systems and planets to look after. They also don't pour out their spirits over every one and knock on the door to the hearts of every individual in town. They also don't have to plan life forms and be a part of designing whole planets either. I do agree that wording needs improvement to make the point intended. I don't know about other editors, but comparing TUB to Christianity is like comparing apples to oranges, just as it is comparing mayors to Creator Sons. Though, I get the point you are trying to make. Words like Greater, Lesser, inferior, superior are words that people have come to use as gauge whether to be offended rather than to use in the appropriate context. So with due respect, I agree with HighInBC's wording. In Christianity, Jesus is but a son of God, and with some Christians - not all - He was God IN Man, but in NO Christianity is Jesus capable of creating a Universe and ruling it. I like the fact you understand Universe government levels and the cosmos, which is also NOT in Christianity, or the Bible. I do agree to use a quote, or go back to HighInBc's suggestion and whittle some more. Now, the second question, for Wazronk is if put into the article, where would you suggest? Sweet Bear 15:21, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
All of your argument is just your POV that you think a creator son is more impressive than it actually is. I don't at all share that interpretation, and I'll provide my verifiable sources on the topic instead of opinion:
While Christianity considers Jesus to be the only Son of God, The Urantia Book says that he is one Son of God out of thousands, a "lesser ruler" who is the creator of a local universe.
1 - "Christianity considers Jesus to be the only Son of God" - see the Nicene Creed
2 - "The Urantia Book says that he is one Son of God out of thousands" - see paper 21 ("I do not know the exact number of Creator Sons in existence, but I have good reasons for believing that there are more than seven hundred thousand.")
3 - "a "lesser ruler" who is the creator of a local universe" - As you point out you agree he's creator of a local universe and as I've referenced already "lesser ruler" is a direct description of the creator son role from paper 2.
The *best* that can be done in this scenario is to provide the different points of view from verifiable, published sources, which very much includes the view that he is much less in TUB than he is in Christianity. You haven't even yet provided a verifiable source for a direct comparison that makes a creator son more than the concept of Jesus in Christianity as the second person of the Trinity but only your personal analysis and opinion. I already even provided a quote from TUB addressing exactly that comparison in my very first post. The source is TUB. The comparison says that the idea of Jesus as the Eternal Son - the Christian viewpoint - overstates his position and from TUB's perspective he is less than what Christians believe. Wazronk 16:56, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Wazronk, I know the quote, and understand your use of it, but it doesn't address the intention of what I was trying to convey - I did address it by saying I understood your problem with lesser and greater or even superior and inferior. That is why I've not entered into what I think is moot and even dry point - that is not in line with the problem, but out of line. Jesus is MORE in the Urantia Book -- both God in man, and man in God. One WITH God, a Creator of a local universe, A Divine Son of God of the Creator Son type. He is less by Urantia Book Universe stair stepping (the hierarchy) from the top down with his authority. But by all the more that he does by description, in this way is more than the Bible. Again it is in the summarizing how he is different, Being a Creator Son, ONE WITH GOD and having created a whole local universe is MORE than being a sacrificial lamb standing now at the right hand of God as his only begotten son. He IS more in TUB. Have you read the book, Wazronk, or just the Cult Mystery by Gardner? I sure appreciate all your help here. You seem to act like a "guardian" over the article and have displayed numerous times (yes, I perused the discussion archives) a sort of defense mechanism over what you have written. I don't think your POV is being tamed any better than mine. So, with that, I'm taking a break.

Here are some quotes to show how Jesus is more, held in higher regard in the Urantia Book than in the Bible:


PAPER 5 - GOD'S RELATION TO THE INDIVIDUAL, Oct 19 2000

line 77: The Creator or Sovereign Sons who preside over the destinies of the local universes stand in the place of both the Universal Father and the Eternal Son of Paradise. These Universe Sons receive, in the name of the Father, the adoration of worship and give ear to the pleas of their petitioning subjects throughout their respective creations. To the children of a local universe a Michael Son is, to all practical intents and purposes, God. He is the local universe personification of the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. The Infinite Spirit maintains personal contact with the children of these realms through the Universe Spirits, the administrative and creative associates of the Paradise Creator Sons.


PAPER 33 - ADMINISTRATION OF THE LOCAL UNIVERSE, Oct 19 2000

line 38: The Creator Son is the vicegerent personalization of the Universal Father, the divinity co-ordinate of the Eternal Son, and the creative associate of the Infinite Spirit. To our universe and all its inhabited worlds the Sovereign Son is, to all practical intents and purposes, God. He personifies all of the Paradise Deities which evolving mortals can discerningly comprehend. This Son and his Spirit associate are your creator parents. To you, Michael, the Creator Son, is the supreme personality; to you, the Eternal Son is supersupreme--an infinite Deity personality.


Foreword p.12 - The Creator Sons in the Deity association of God the Sevenfold provide the mechanism whereby the mortal becomes immortal and the finite attains the embrace of the infinite. The Supreme Being provides the technique for the power-personality mobilization, the divine synthesis, of all these manifold transactions, thus enabling the finite to attain the absonite and, through other possible future actualizations, to attempt the attainment of the Ultimate. The Creator Sons and their associated Divine Ministers are participants in this supreme mobilization, but the Ancients of Days and the Seven Master Spirits are probably eternally fixed as permanent administrators in the grand universe.


PAPER 8 - THE INFINITE SPIRIT, Oct 19 2000

line 91: When a Creator Son of God accepts the creatorship charge of responsibility for a projected local universe, the personalities of the Infinite Spirit pledge themselves as the tireless ministers of this Michael Son when he goes forth on his mission of creative adventure. Especially in the persons of the Creative Daughters, the local universe Mother Spirits, do we find the Infinite Spirit devoted to the task of fostering the ascension of the material creatures to higher and higher levels of spiritual attainment. And all this work of creature ministry is done in perfect harmony with the purposes, and in close association with the personalities, of the Creator Sons of these local universes.


Paper 5 - God' Relation to the Individual: The Creator or Sovereign Sons who preside over the destinies of the local universes stand in the place of both the Universal Father and the Eternal Son of Paradise. These Universe Sons receive, in the name of the Father, the adoration of worship and give ear to the pleas of their petitioning subjects throughout their respective creations. To the children of a local universe a Michael Son is, to all practical intents and purposes, God. He is the local universe personification of the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. The Infinite Spirit maintains personal contact with the children of these realms through the Universe Spirits, the administrative and creative associates of the Paradise Creator Sons.


And there is much more depending on POV. POV is about how much more the UB gives in details about Jesus than the Bible does, and this creates a scenario where not being a sacrificial lamb is a higher regard: You will not portray him as a man of sorrows. And yet, much MORE. However to take it the way you do, Wazronk is something other readers could -. With this point and POV - I agree - and it is POV that is causing me to see why you object. Better wording is needed - I think TUB hold Jesus in higher regard than the Bible does not because he is only a creator of a local universe, but for all the things that UB expounds upon about him and all the things he is not in the Bible. How can this be shown in the article? Now for that break! Sweet Bear 19:13, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


I think I can clear some of this up Sweet Bear, one of the most often misunderstood parts of our original research policy is the section Wikipedia:No_original_research#Synthesis_of_published_material_serving_to_advance_a_position. It says that if you can show valid citations for A, B, and C, you cannot say A+B+C=D unless a valid citation is found stating that A+B+C=D.
I may not be explaining it well, the policy does better: Wikipedia:No_original_research#Synthesis_of_published_material_serving_to_advance_a_position. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:07, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks HighInBC! Will read over AGAIN. Must be our POV's sticking out. Ha ha. I'm taking a break, and hope all goes well with you and the article for now. Sweet Bear 19:13, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

published sources for these statements in the intro

This paragraph recently was added to the introduction and I'm not clear what the published, verifiable sources are behind it, could someone provide those please in order for these to be included?:

"There is no organized religion stemming from The Urantia Book. People read and study the book to decide on their own whether they believe the content. The Urantia Book's growth in readership is thought by some followers to be an intentionally slow process as it is sought out and discovered on an individual basis. While the Urantia Foundation has outreach programs concerned with dissemination of the book at libraries and prisons, distribution through common means such as book fairs, and assistance in fostering study groups, they do not utilize traditional religious evangelism and preaching to gain followers or to spread the book."

Thanks. Wazronk 09:25, 18 November 2006