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Benjamin McGuire

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About Benjamin McGuire

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    Separates Water & Dry Land
  • Birthday August 16

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    Northern Michigan

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  1. Proof Texting

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prooftext The challenge we have isn't that we prooftext from time to time. We actually have the idea of prooftexting built into our scripture (and thus into our doctrine, right?). Nephi's likening scripture unto himself is nothing less than prooftexting. The idea that prooftexting is bad is a predominantly protestant idea that comes out of certain ideas about the nature of scripture (that we don't generally hold to). Where it becomes bad for us (as Latter-day Saints) is when we confuse the prooftext and our intention/interpretation based on the prooftext with the intention/interpretation of the original author of scripture. It's okay for Nephi to repurpose Isaiah in the context of his people and their situation. It's not okay for Nephi to then claim that this is really what Isaiah intended all along ....
  2. How can one trust the Holy Ghost

    I think that part of the problem is that we assume that everyone starts in the same place, and ends in the same place. And this simply isn't true. The Book of Mormon illustrates this problem really well in the narrative in First Nephi that deals with the vision of the Tree of Life. Lehi has this vision. He describes it to his children. And Nephi describes to us two completely different responses. Nephi goes and asks to receive the vision, while Laman and Lemuel argue over what it means based on the description that their father gave them. Not long afterwards, Nephi receives the vision himself, and then finds Laman and Lemuel still arguing about it. Now, Nephi, who has seen the vision can help Laman and Lemuel in a third approach (not as good as the first, and better than the second). But what comes out in Nephi's explanation fascinates me (so much so that I have written about it). Nephi writes this for us: What happens here? Nephi experiences the vision. Even if the vision that he is shown is completely identical to the vision that his father saw, he can see things that his father doesn't because he pays attention to different aspects of it. At the same time, it seems quite likely that as Nephi's mind was swallowed up looking at the water, that he may have missed other things that his father saw in greater detail than he did. Revelation (at least in the sense that Nephi provides it here) is always a personal experience. It can only be experienced through our own experience (through our own language and understanding, and our own experience of the world that we are in). There is a certain irony, when we get to this lesson in the lesson manual for Sunday School, because inevitably we are presented with interpretations of the vision. In other words, if we liken the scriptures unto ourselves, we (the class) are treated as Laman and Lemuel, being fed interpretations made by others. In fact, the point of the narrative in the Book of Mormon is not to encourage us to be like Laman and Lemuel, but to become like Nephi, and to witness the vision for ourselves. But we have to understand that even as witness the vision, our experience of that vision (especially now, some two and a half millennia later) could be radically different from the vision that Nephi experienced, and our interpretation or understanding of that vision could be in places quite different from what either Lehi or Nephi understood. I think, sometimes, we start from a set of assumptions about revelation that turn out to be incorrect or even inappropriate. We like to think that revelation reveals absolutely truth (and does so in some sort of absolutely clear way). We like to think that revelation would be the same for everyone. We like to think that revelation would be completely consistent. This certainly fits a certain model of Biblical understanding by Evangelicals in particular, right? But, in Mormonism, the revelation is always contextual, and the best revelation is personal. If we took everyone who participates in this forum, and created a map of sorts, with all of us as dots in space, and way over there in the distance is perfect knowledge and understanding, and we drew lines to that place of perfection, we would have as many lines as we have participants. And the point of revelation is to bring us closer to that eventual goal. It isn't the point to get us to follow the same path. And so the Holy Ghost can give us personal revelation that moves us, but which doesn't necessarily look like what someone else will get. And it certainly isn't experienced in the same way or with the same understanding. This is true of ourselves as we change. The 'us' of twenty years ago (for those who are old enough for that to be meaningful) may not at all resemble the 'us' of today in many significant ways. So for us to receive even the same revelation today that we received decades ago, we might well experience it very differently and understanding it in ways that our past self simply couldn't comprehend. Because of this conflict (the gap between what personal revelation is, and what we think it ought to be), we sometimes are presented with this idea of the untrustworthy Holy Ghost. But, I think that much of our struggle has more to do with our assumptions about revelation, and our occasional unwillingness to accept ambiguity, than it does over the accuracy of the message. When we deal with prophets, we naturally run into a couple of challenges. The first is that we are increasingly in a different place than they were. Brigham Young is a particularly good example of this (and he has his own way of expressing these ideas that I am discussing). Unlike many of us (myself included), Brigham Young did not begin his mortality in an LDS family. He brought to his newfound religion a host of beliefs and assumptions. And the Mormonism that he knew was in many ways very different from the Mormonism that we practice today. So his lens for understanding issues (like Adam-God that is mentioned in the OP) is quite different from our own. Without that same experience, our own understanding of what Brigham Young received can be very different (even contradictory) from Brigham Young's understanding. And this shouldn't surprise us. It isn't that the revelation was wrong, or that Brigham Young received in poorly. It just was presented to him in a way that would move him from where he was to where he needed to be. Our own trajectories are very different. So our obligation is not to be like Laman and Lemuel, but to be more like Nephi. We should receive our own revelation, not simply wait for someone else to explain it to us (through their lens of understanding). And we should be aware that the revelation (and corresponding understanding) that we receive may well be different from what others receive - but, it will be aimed at moving us in a direction appropriate for ourselves. And we should expect this difference - as an indicator that we are receiving personal revelation, and not as an indicator that the Holy Ghost is in someway untrustworthy.
  3. The existence of evil

    Mormonism, I think, handles this issue rather well. My favorite passage of scripture which responds to this question is 2 Nephi 2. Lehi tells us that part of the purpose of mortality is to experience a limited agency - where we both act and are acted upon. This comes from the fall. And the atonement reverses aspects of the fall, leading to a post-mortal state where we experience real agency: "And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given." (verse 26). The further explanation is that accountability only exists where we act (and not where we are acted upon). And Lehi tells us that this limited agency is sufficient for God's purposes of using mortality as a probationary state. Because of this approach to agency (that it is limited both in scope and in consequences) in mortality, we don't actually end up with the question asked in the OP: "The trouble with the "free will" argument - god does not protect the free will of victims." The notion of a limited free will assumes exactly this. But, it also doesn't require free will in any absolute sense for everyone all the time. So it isn't exactly a "trouble". And then next: "The trouble with the "evil is educational" argument: If you want to learn something, say to learn what "love" is, who/what would be the best way to teach this lesson?" The challenge is that (at least according to Lehi), an intellectual or theoretical knowledge of Good and Evil is insufficient as a basis for absolute free will. A limited (and perhaps purely theoretical) knowledge may be sufficient within a mortal probation (depending on the circumstances). But, on some level, we all have to experience the fall that Adam and Eve experienced just so that we can come to this knowledge. God's purposes (in 2 Nephi 2), are about the end of man, and not about his creation, or even so much about this probationary state. I don't think that this creates the same sort of trouble that you mention here. I think that the sort of example you provide doesn't begin to approach the issue from that longer perspective (from a perspective external to mortality). Lehi tackles this a bit further in his discussion of opposition. Finally: "The trouble with the "have to be tested" argument: Why are some people tested more than others? Why are some people tested beyond their limits of endurance? Why are some people sent to outer darkness by their tests, while others are given easy tests which allow them to enter the celestial kingdom?" I think that this fundamentally misunderstands the nature of the probationary state. People aren't tested beyond their limits of endurance. That doesn't meant that people aren't pushed beyond those limits in mortality - merely that at that point, it is no longer a part of the "test". Mormonism doesn't have a 'finish line' so to speak, because the test is completely individual. And the destination for one person isn't the destination for anyone else. In this way, people simply aren't sent to outer darkness. On the other side of this coin is of course, an old debate in Mormonism over progression on the other side of mortality. I tend to side with those who believe that progression is something that happens - and that those who struggle the most in mortality simply find that they have a farther distance to go than others in their progression in the next life. As President Clark noted: "I am not a strict constructionalist, believing that we seal our eternal progress by what we do here. It is my belief that God will save all of His children that he can: and while, if we live unrighteously here, we shall not go to the other side in the same status, so to speak, as those who lived righteously; nevertheless, the unrighteous will have their chance, and in the eons of the eternities that are to follow, they, too, may climb to the destinies to which they who are righteous and serve God, have climbed to those eternities that are to come.” (J. Reuben Clark, Church News, 23 April 1960, p. 3). What is especially significant, I think, in all of this discussion, is that our awareness of issues like rape (that you bring up) creates for us a moral and ethical obligation to be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem. We can also bring up the other great ills of our mortality - issues like displaced people and the issues that cause their situation (war, famine, prejudice). We need to keep in mind that these are all God's children, and we bear a collective responsibility to "bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and ... mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death ..."
  4. Scrutinizing general conference

    I can't seem to post anything that is very long - I have no idea why. In response to Kiwi earlier, here is the really short version. I never said or implied that the Church believed that things we do not choose are sinful. What I have repeated is that the Church's view shifted from believing that same-sex attraction was itself a choice (and so sinful) to the view that it wasn't (and so stopped being sinful). That is the change.
  5. God probably won't allow us to find Nahom

    I am not personally vested in any geographic model - so I am not all that concerned with specific interpretations of the directions. But I have a lot of reasons for not believing that Mormon and Moroni rewrote the writings of Nephi.
  6. Greg Prince - Homosexual Policy and Church Fallout

    Polygamy is very much a regional issue. There are no polygamists that I know of in Michigan (at least in the Mormon related populations). The last Mormon related polygamy we had ended when the Strangites went away. But in my branch, we have at least three families (that I know of) with gay children. And a District President who spent a good half hour in our last District Conference going over the Church's policy towards same-sex marriage. And I don't expect that this is that unusual, where polygamy is quite unusual in the context of the larger Church. To put it in another way, the first time I had ever seen polygamists in person, was on the family road trip last summer to the FairMormon conference. We drove to the Grand Canyon (north side) after leaving Provo, taking us through Manti, and saw a polygamist family at a gas station. Most people don't know any polygamists. They don't encounter them on a daily basis. Gay people are an entirely different group. Lots of people know someone who is gay (personally). Many people know someone who is in a same-sex relationship (or even a married gay couple). I know quite a few. I even have a nurse at my place of work that I interact with regularly who had a gender reassignment surgery a few years back. These issues are much more up front and center to most Americans than the question of polygamy - because outside of Utah, polygamy doesn't really register for us. So I don't think that the comparison sets you up to draw appropriate conclusions.
  7. Scrutinizing general conference

    I can do that Scott. Perhaps the best place to start is with President Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness. He wrote: There is this fun thing in here about how homosexuality is a result or development of earlier sins - and is a progressive behavior that starts with masturbation. (Actually, if masturbation leads to homosexuality, we ought to expect humanity to have disappeared ages ago ....). But you can see that homosexuality is defined as both "sexual desire" (same-sex attraction) and as sexual relations between same-sex individuals. This is the ambiguity where the behavior and the attraction are clearly connected, and identified as part of the same issue. Both are defined as perversions, and as sins. This was published in 1969? So in 1984, we a memo written by Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, on August 7, 1984, titled "Principles to Govern Possible Public Statement on Legislation Affecting Rights of Homosexuals" So Elder Oaks confirms that we had this language that was ambiguous and used for both the attraction and the sexual relations. But we also see this as part of a change to create a distinction (in the early 80s) forged by separating these earlier statements in the way that Elder Oaks does here. However, and this is part of the reason I used this particular document, what we see here is that in the early 1980s, there is a clear view that while being an active homosexual was a grave sin, having the feelings still remains as being sinful (just not as sinful). Further, the memo later goes on in some depth to discuss issues that spring from the assumption that same-sex attraction is primarily a learned preference, and that same-sex attraction is largely a matter of choice. While the Church has been consistent in its opposition to practicing homosexuality (as sinful), these other issues have clearly changed. The Church has stopped using ambiguous language. The Church has decided that same-sex attraction is largely not a choice. And the Church has also decided that same-sex attraction is not itself sinful as was earlier believed. It is the decision that same-sex attraction isn't a choice that really drives the changes of the last few years. Because as long as it is a choice, then the same-sex attraction is an outcome of earlier bad choices (and the jump to seeing this a sin in a chain of sins is a natural leap). I think that any reasonable person would agree that while the Church hasn't changed its stance on homosexual relations, their view of same-sex attraction has changed quite dramatically.
  8. God probably won't allow us to find Nahom

    If you were going to create a division for the Book of Mormon in this regard, it couldn't come at a better place internally. Why? The Book of Mormon alleges that the first two books of the Book of Mormon were written by Nephi some time in the mid 6th century B.C. The Book of Mormon alleges that the rest of the Book of Mormon was written by the father-son duo of Mormon and Moroni in the middle of the 4th century AD (a millennia later).
  9. Greg Prince - Homosexual Policy and Church Fallout

    Let me tell you, Spencer, about my experience with this policy. I had a gay uncle. I have brothers who have been in same sex relationships. I have a gay child. My parents have decided to become inactive because of this policy. Several of my siblings have left the Church. And my wife told me that she no longer considers herself a Mormon. All because of this specific policy. I think you have no place to lecture about others about how this policy has affected them. You have no clue how much pain this policy change caused for many members of the Church. You want to minimize anything that reflects negatively on the Church. Well, in my personal life, that isn't really possible in this situation. In comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy, the policy at its core still embraces the idea that same-sex attraction is largely a matter of choice (as polygamy is). That it was implemented when Russell M. Nelson became president of the Q12 doesn't seem to me to be a coincidence. In a few years, when certain of the senior apostles have passed (and old age is something we do not recover from) and the historical animus towards those who experience same-sex attraction will diminish in the leading quorums of the Church, then the approach that the Church takes will shift again (much as happened historically with the question of blacks and the priesthood). I am absolutely certain of this.
  10. Why argue the bible is infallible?

    If you like the question of infallibility of the text, and the implications this has more generally for reading and interpretation, you might enjoy this book: https://www.amazon.com/There-Meaning-This-Text-Scholarship/dp/0310324696 I got interested in it through a review by Hugh Pyper, who ended his review with this comment This description caught my attention. So I bought the book, read it, and argued with it's author at every turn. Of course, it might be helpful to start with more than a passing awareness of speech-act theory, but even without that, it is a book I recommend.
  11. God probably won't allow us to find Nahom

    You simply drain the blood from the carcass (as indicated in verse 13). Rabbinic texts suggest that there is a proper way to slaughter an animal to remove as much blood as possible. However, since (as you imply) not cooking the meat results in some blood being left, the same texts mention that you can use salt to draw out the remaining blood. After of course, you cut out the major arteries and veins, and so on. The time that the meat should be salted is the time that it takes to walk a mile (about 18-20 minutes or so). At any rate, once this is done, the meat is considered to be properly prepared, and cooking isn't necessary. The idea though that you pour the blood out into the dust if you kill the animal while hunting, is of course meant to be a contrast with the earlier verses, where the blood is supposed to be used to make an offering (which you would do with a domesticated animal being butchered). The fact that the meat is eaten raw doesn't violate Leviticus 17.
  12. Scrutinizing general conference

    The thing about raising the authority of the Proclamation on the Family, is in the one issue where it really does introduce an old idea as doctrine in a new way - and part of what makes it a new way is the way that it interacts with our our expanded (even if still quite limited) knowledge of gender and sex. And eternal gender cannot really be substituted with the idea of biological sex. The one doesn't change (we are told), and the other can (and does). This means, in the long run, that we are already doing certain things (even if in a very limited way). We probably have eternally gendered women who live as biological men, who have been ordained to the priesthood. We probably already have eternally gendered same sex couples, even if they are biologically heterosexual couples. The answer to these kinds of issues - at least for the present, is that the Church isn't really interested in focusing on how these kinds of issues will impact doctrine and policy. But, we see because of things like these issues, inconsistencies in the policies - because of the focus on choice within the policies. What I mean by that is this - gender reassignment surgery only creates barriers through policy when it occurs as a matter of choice. Children who have these kinds of surgeries don't get the permanent mark, don't get the stigma of sin - even though we may recognize that they do keep all of the uncertainties that go along with such a thing. And we currently have a growing view in the health profession that gender dysphasia is something that should be in some circumstances corrected by surgery. (We might decide in the future that we are wrong on that point, just as we have decided that same-sex attraction and gender dysphasia aren't simply some form of insanity). At any rate, while policy can be pointed towards what is normal (and exceptions then get made in special circumstances), doctrine doesn't work that way. And if we are already forced to rely on some future knowledge to make things right - then I can see more and more of these issues pushed into that future awareness. The second issue that the Church faces, is this problem of inclusion. We often view marriage, and temple ordinances, as the most important part of the gospel. And we talk of exaltation as requiring these things. And then we identify certain groups who because of these issues aren't really given this sort of opportunity in this life, and who are excluded from those kinds of blessings in this life. The Church has yet to articulate any real understanding of how these individuals can fit into the Church, and how they should see themselves as participating in the Church. It is this second issue that will be the motivating factor to keep us returning to the questions above. Because of all of this, I can certainly envision a future in which the Church recognizes same-sex marriages as time-only marriages - without needing to expand the notion of eternal marriage. I can also see the Church recognizing gender reassignment surgery as not sinful when it accompanies a medical diagnosis. I also expect that some of these kinds of decisions (assuming that they occur at all) will be helped along by a growing scientific understanding of biological sex and the issues related to it. I can also see a future where no change is made at all. There are a lot of options here - and like some of the similar sorts of shifts in the past, any change like this will take a great deal of time (if it happens at all) - and that they all may not occur in my lifetime even. But, I think, as with issues like blacks and the priesthood, if change comes, it will in part require a willingness on the part of the whole Church (leadership and members) for the change to occur. When the push to lift the priesthood ban started, it was stopped by only a very few people. When they were dead, the push started again, and was successful. Perhaps our present days society's normalization of these minority groups will be a part of a future where we better understand God's plan for them, and the way that the Church should encourage them.
  13. This doesn't work for me. Why? Because none of this is really true. Language doesn't fit into windows like this. And so this becomes something of an illusion that appears from reading the literature. Why? First, there is a lot of EME that remains in Modern English. Much of the Book of Mormon comes to us in this language. 1 Nephi 1:1 - "make a record" is still in current use. It isn't obsolete by any stretch of the imagination, even if it was also used in EME. So while you can claim that it EME, you can also claim that it is Modern English. So does while it may fall into "that window," it isn't evidence that it came from "that window." In the larger discussion, the fact that the King James Bible kept language in use that otherwise might have become obsolete makes this even more complicated. This is why Skousen and Carmack tend to exclude language found in the King James from much of their discussion. It isn't all that helpful in dating language, because it is language that becomes at least somewhat common across a much larger date range. So when we talk about the language in the Book of Mormon, and dating it, language that appears reasonably commonly across many of these time segments isn't very useful. Special attention is paid to language that is used in unusual ways - language that can be more narrowly dated. And this language represents a fairly small portion of the language used in the Book of Mormon. Second, and piggybacking on this issue, this is why language that comes after these windows, while a relatively small proportion of the Book of Mormon overall, is much more significant than that proportionality indicates. Because, if we ignored for a moment EME entirely, and compared the text of the Book of Mormon to 19th century literature, we would find that a majority of the language in the Book of Mormon "falls into that window with a little bit being apparently obsolete before." So this idea that you offer isn't meaningful in the scope of the larger question - because we cannot determine any sort of narrow dating range for a majority of language in the Book of Mormon that would be meaningful in any significant manner. This doesn't change the fact that there are elements in the Book of Mormon that seem to be obsolete by the time the Book of Mormon is produced in 1829, nor does it change the fact that there are elements in the Book of Mormon that don't seem to exist in that narrow window you specify. Once we get to this point, our explanations need to cover both ends. Whether this means (as Carmack has recently suggested here) that there were multiple translation 'events,' or that there was some divine intervention, or some other more naturalistic explanation, these features in the language are difficult to explain purely through the idea of an original text written by Joseph Smith (and I agree with him there). At the same time, there is another entirely different side of this research that is really necessary. I found the comments that were made in the other thread he started about the phrase "outward privilege" interesting, because of course, most of the offered suggestions didn't make a lot of sense in context. What do I mean by that? For a siege to be successful, there as to be a legitimate threat to the lives of those under siege. And while we can talk about the notion of "outward" meaning external in the sense of outside the city, that doesn't fit the context very well. On the other hand, I found a very interesting text when I spent a few minutes looking a while back: An Humble Attempt to Investigate and Defend the Scripture Doctrine, Concerning The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit (James Purves - although the copy I link to in a moment is dated to 1819, the date of it's being completed was closer to 1784, and Purves himself passed in 1795.) Why was it interesting? Because it defined the phrase "outward privilege" explicitly, and in a way that didn't match any dictionary expression directly, but in a way that did provide a potential explanation of the text. https://books.google.com/books?id=7qc-AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA133#v=onepage&q&f=false In this context, the phrase in the Book of Mormon would be referring to the essentials necessary for living - food (from crops), animals, and so on. The Book of Mormon then flips this around. because they had sufficient provisions, and those waiting outside the city did not, they had all of the "outward privileges" they needed. It was the attackers who were eventually forced to leave because they couldn't meet their own needs. The siege of course, didn't prevent the Nephites from leaving the city in any case. The book I quote from is interesting because not only does it create a specific context for the phrase, which could be used to understand the text of the Book of Mormon, but because it defines it explicitly, it suggests that the author (Purves) believed it would be necessary to define the phrase (was it uncommon? did he coin it?). At any rate, getting back on topic, having gone through the text, and identified all of these uncommon phrases that come from the narrow window that Carmack and Skousen suggest, the next step is to go through as much early interpretation as we can find of the Book of Mormon that overlaps these areas of the text, and see how those phrases and words are interpreted by its earliest readers. In other words, did they understand it differently (even incorrectly) because the language wasn't in use anymore? Did they understand it appropriately (in which case, that argument is diminished)? You can see how this creates a check of sorts on the theory - a way to test its predictive nature. And only at this point can we really start discussing a textual profile of the Book of Mormon at the edges of its language. What Skousen and Carmack are doing is really very important (and something I am personally happy not having to do). But it is effectively just a first leap forward in this investigation.
  14. It's worth noting that much of what Lance Owens wrote about Joseph's use of Hebrew is entirely dependent on his incorrect assessment of Louis Zucker (his Dialogue article "Joseph Smith as a Student of Hebre), 3/2, 1968). Zucker only had access to a single edition of the Seixas grammar (which created some issues for him), and drew some wrong conclusions. Owens doesn't understand some of what Zucker wrote, and makes the errors worse. With the texts easily accessible on the internet these days, it's easy enough for anyone to have a look and see much more material than Zucker had available to him in 1968. So, for example, Owens quotes Zuker as follows: Owens then comments: Owens misunderstands Zucker, and he also doesn't have any idea of what Seixas does in his grammar. Page 85 of the 1834 edition of the Seixas grammar (noted above) presents just such a breakdown of the first word of the Bible as Joseph uses, introducing a prefix, and a suffix (called, just as Joseph calls it, a 'termination') leaving the middle of the word as the root. So while Seixas does provide a translation of the Hebrew word, he also breaks the word into those three component pieces, and then refers the reader to the Lexicon entry for reshith (Seixas references the Gibb's lexicon, and Joseph had in his possession an 1828 Gibbs student lexicon - the shorter edition). Joseph's explanation is linked to the grammar, and his Hebrew instruction, making the argument that Owens raises far less likely than Owens thinks. https://books.google.com/books?id=wkRAAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA85#v=onepage&q&f=false At any rate, those interested can find the earlier edition here: https://books.google.com/books?id=g0YDAAAAMAAJ There was a much later edition in 1852, which I also have, but isn't really all that useful for these discussions.
  15. T shirt maker has gay customers, gay employees, still sued

    It's irrelevant Scott. Completely irrelevant. Just because its persuasive to someone doesn't change what it is. It just calls into question a person's critical thinking skills. The challenge (and here is where it becomes a challenge), it get introduced like this: This is like helping my daughter with her second year English class at the local university (they are working their way through this text: https://www.amazon.com/Everythings-Argument-2016-MLA-Update/dp/131908575X You see the appeal to authority here? Why the need to connect the video to Daniel Peterson's blog? Certainly Dan (who I respect very much, and who I work with from time to time) doesn't do this sort of thing. And then we look at the comments that come afterward. Your comments. Which don't take it critically at all. It isn't a "sticky issue" - unless we accept the premise that the video is promoting - that there isn't any difference between the two issues being raised. And you, by accepting that premise (and not engaging in your own critical thinking) reinforce the idea that they are in fact exactly the same. When, anyone who spends a little time thinking about it, will realize that they aren't the same at all. And if we were to take the same interview and use the exact same, but take for my subject the 1968 civil rights case over the man who claimed a right because of his religious beliefs, to refuse to serve a black man in his restaurant, we can all predict the outcome - even from most who would support the cake maker or the photographer. Of course it is. I think they actually talked to a bunch of real people. And I think that they kept only the ones that helped them make their point. Probably anyone who responded like I do didn't make the cut. But that's hardly the point. Can you demonstrate otherwise? The publisher of the video is hardly a hotbed of journalistic integrity, is it .... What I do know is that the video suggests (dishonestly) that the scenarios they are presenting are equivalent. They aren't equivalent. And obviously, I am not the only one to notice, since the third comment on the Youtube page reads: So let me ask you a direct question Scott - do you think that the issues raised in the video are the same as those raised in this case? Do you think that confronting people without explaining to them the technical issues that are at the heart of the question was in fact a way of getting informed responses or discussion. I certainly don't think so.