Why The Urantia Book is not Plagiarism: An Argument For Free License From God
From the Forward:
Accordingly, in making these presentations about God and his universe associates, we have selected as the basis of these papers more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universe meanings. -Page 17.
From Paper 101, The Real Nature of Religion:
#4. The Limitations of Revelation(Blogger Note: While I quote from 2 different sections of The Urantia Book regarding source materials and apparent limitations of revelation, I stress that these statements and their impact must be evaluated within the context of their papers. These statements from the Revelators are simply that, and not a discount of the historical and spiritual concepts presented therein. Thus, please read the sections from which these statements are pulled in order to gain a better understanding of their context and nature.)
"....our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries. These new developments we even now foresee, but we are forbidden to include such humanly undiscovered facts in the revelatory records. Let it be made clear that revelations are not necessarily inspired. The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired." -Page 1109
(Thanks to Joer, Paula, Andre, and Steve Dreier for inspiration).
When I attended the IC94 conferernce in Arizona, I first came upon Matthew Block's efforts through his presentation on the human source authors. At the time, I didn't understand the full positive impact of his statements and discoveries. In contrast, I was quite taken aback and was moved to contradict him publicly during the session about a matter of semantics concerning the Midwayers (I don't remember the exact details). I later felt embarrassed about the whole thing, even though I never sought an apology. Years later, my correspondence with Matt has been cordial. Later, I also realized that I had forgotten about my father's controversial Time Bombs and his personal admonitions to me about the human content, the implications and limitations of revealing eternal truth, and presenting the nature of an infinite being in a limited material sphere in our limited material language.
In my total evolving view of truth, human thought, and spiritual concepts, I have come to realize that despite the fact that The Urantia Book uses concepts from human authors, I no longer perceive plagiarism for these reasons:
- The Revelators never explicitly claim sole authorship. They are portrayed as sponsors, presenters, etc. Never are they portrayed as sole authors, or do they express sole authorship except in the Table of Contents. (There are claims that the TOC was written by a Bill Sadler).
- The Revelators edited and expanded borrowed material in order to provide a further insight into a concept explored by the human authors. Additionally, they made corrections to material as well.
- The Urantia Book is not sold for profit. All of the associations (Urantia Foundation, Truthbook, Urantia Book Fellowship, are non-profits). The Urantia Book has never been marked up to a true retail price. Comparable college textbooks of that size and depth would be upwards of $50.00. This, in and of itself, does not lend directly to a discount of supposed plagiarism. It is the implied exclusion of the book from the true retail price range that would imply this statement.
- If one is truly embedded by the Faith of God, then the conclusion that all glory belongs to God. There are no visible authors to take credit for the concepts of The Urantia Book. Because of this, all credit needs to go to God, the originator, creator, and establisher of all that is, including our faith, and our creative minds that come up with the ideas about God. Do we not realize that the highest ideas about God come from God through the ministry of Spirit and the Father's indwelling Thought Adjusters? This abrogates all past, present, and future claims of ownership to "exclusive spiritual knowledge" .
I wish you all peace.
Some links I have explored today: