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Bede

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  1. No. To some he was married, to others he was only sealed and there is no evidence he thought of the sealed ones as his wife. Try again.
  2. The question was whether Jeremy's statements are true. They are not. They are missing important pieces and are therefore heavily biased against the church. I propose that there is not a single statement made by Jeremy Runnel's in the CES letter that represents the whole truth. Do I believe that Joseph did not consider any of the women he was sealed to his wife? I'll let the experts answer that one: from josephsmithspolygamy.org
  3. I can't edit my above post, but the last line was not supposed to be in the quote. Literally every statement on the polygamy section is a half truth, totally untrue, and always disingenuous.
  4. Every statement he made is not the whole truth. Let's pick a random one from Jim's response:
  5. The information contained in the letter is not new, it shouldn't have been new to you. You ask what I disagree with other than the conclusions? The cherry-picked data The intent The plagiarism The sloppy argumentation/thinking The combativeness I like what @Kevin Christensen said above, that "there are no bear uninterpreted data." So while you seem to be suggesting that the letter contains indisputable facts, there really is no such thing. But @ALarson, there are no bear uninterpreted data! His conclusions come from his cherry picked data points. Pick a topic in the letter--any topic, and it's most likely not the whole picture.
  6. @DBMormon, let me first concede something to you. I am with you on the church's stance concerning LGBTQIA+ people. They have made a grave series of mistakes and they must turn back now, in my opinion. On to your response: I'm not sure what you mean. Are you suggesting that believing in Mormonism is the same thing as believing that the earth is flat? Do you believe that the hundreds of living highly educated professors, philosophers, legal experts, scientists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, medical doctors, engineers, mathematicians, etc. are delusional, duped, or idiots? What about the hundreds more who have passed away? Two people can look at the same data and draw different conclusions, even two experts in the same field, so how do we get to the truth? We rigorously test our hypotheses, right? Why is someone's ability to fare well in a "long form real time conversation" the test for truthfulness? What do you gain by having such a conversation that you do not gain in the written word, for example? The long form conversation is convenient for a podcast producer, who is comfortable in his own studio, with his own equipment, and no doubt with copious notes and Google at his finger tips. I believe that's why it appeals to you, because you have the "home court" advantage. The rules of logic and rational thought? Again, are you suggesting that the many LDS scholars in the fields of philosophy, law, mathematics, and like disciplines do not understand the rules of logic and rational thought? I reject your claim and note that you threw in that cute little "mental gymnastics" phrase that critics love to toss about. "Mental gymnastics" is nothing more than a conversation stopper. It doesn't mean anything, and even if it did, gymnasts do amazing things with their human bodies, which are in the very best shape. So a "mental gymnast" would be someone whose mental faculties are in the very best shape and able to perform almost superhuman mental feats. I think Stephen Hawking was a mental gymnast; so was Albert Einstein. And to that I say this: There are two slam dunks for Mormonism that have yet to be explained away by any critic, including yourself. 1) The testimonies of the witnesses 2) The coming forth of the Book of Mormon If it turns out, hypothetically, that nothing else is true about the claims of the church, these two powerful elements (really one--the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon) would still make Mormonism true. I take your anecdotal 15% and raise you the Book of Mormon. Let me see if I understand your position correctly. Are you suggesting that when discussing Mormonism, your conclusions are absolutely correct, and when someone challenges you on something that you can't answer, you will simply say "I was not equipped to answer the question"? That, if I may say so, is ridiculous. I cannot accept your "agree to disagree" because what you've created is plausible deniability to the nth degree. So what I am hoping you will do at this point is grant that the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, when approached logically and rationally, is an unprecedented miracle. Can you approach that logically and rationally, or are you too jaded towards the church to do so? But it does have to be not plagiarized from the internet to be meaningful. And Jim's response destroys JR's publication, point by point, beautifully. I just don't understand why the CES letter is worshipped so much among the ex Mormon community. It's like revering the National Enquirer.
  7. Hey @DBMormon, I see that a lot of folks are coming at you right now, and I understand that you have many other things on your plate than replying to a thread on an LDS discussion board, but I was hoping you'd give me the honor of a reply?
  8. Most of the complaints are only partial truths. They don't tell the whole story. Like conspiracy theories, they only tell the parts that fit the author's agenda. Here's an example:
  9. The entire CES letter is reductio ad absurdum that has been plagiarized from the internet. Where you see truth, I see only part of the picture--words twisted to cast the most negative light possible on the church. That's why Jim's response is so great, he points this out effectively. Can you point me to one new idea, one new piece of scholarship, or even one piece of original thinking in the CES letter?
  10. Yes, and you are entitled to do that. It's your Facebook page. I guess I was hoping to find the Facebook page of the person I heard in the podcast. The opinionated but respectful seeker of understanding. The person who, it seemed, was able to see both sides of an issue and understand why a rational, reasonable, earnest person would hold a different view than theirs. Instead I found offensive reductionist memes and posts mocking Latter-day Saints for their beliefs. I don't know you, but it feels like you hate me and everything I believe in, and I am pretty sure you've never met me. Of course that is completely false on multiple levels. Assuming someone is actually irrational, being "direct and pointed and relentless" is probably the worst possible way to get them to see their irrationality. Instead, try love and kindness backed up with facts and data. But we aren't talking about irrational people, are we? Is Jim Bennett irrational? He didn't seem so on the podcast. So who, or what group, exactly, do you believe is irrational? And are you certain they are irrational and not you? I'm not sure what you mean by "walked into the irrationality of their beliefs," but if you are suggesting that the hundreds of active LDS scholars from various academic fields (and the hundreds who have passed) are duped, fools, idiots, or deliberately blind, what makes you think you are the only one who knows the truth? Do you think that celebrated LDS historians don't know LDS history; that you know more than they do? The church has a long and celebrated tradition of higher education and scientific endeavors. To sweep that away with a reductionist "all systems can brag about having a few believers who know the data" is neither honest nor fair. This isn't true, either. Your first statement is a textbook all-or-nothing fallacy. Where did this 15% number come from? Why does the whole thing fall apart if 15% of it does? Oh, Bill. That is such a cop-out. So any time you concede a point, it's because you didn't have enough knowledge about the specifics of what was being discussed? Of course, then, if you had the knowledge, Mormonism wouldn't stand a change. Okay, then Jim can just claim that all of the points you believe he conceded was for the same reason. So where does that leave us? I guess it doesn't matter now, does it? You'll just say that you lacked enough knowledge on the specifics of what you discussed. There was no concession. Bit, I've already told you the two most important things you conceded. 1) For 180+ years critics have been trying to debunk the Book of Mormon. They've tried every tactic, researched every possible scenario, and yet all secular explanations have been duds. The most rational explanation for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is the explanation that Joseph Smith gave. You conceded this point in the second episode. 2) No one has been able to discredit the Witnesses testimonies. They never denied their testimonies even when some of them became fierce enemies of Joseph Smith. These testimonies stand as one of the most powerful evidences for the Book of Mormon. You conceded this in episode 2. Of course it falls short. It's a rehashed gish gallop of old critical chestnuts. JR just copied and pasted from the internet. Is there one new idea? One new piece of scholarship? Anything worth anything in the CES letter?
  11. Your posts and the comments on your posts (which you aren't responsible for). The "you" on the podcast with Jim Bennett seemed like a nice, reasonable person who, while not believing in the teachings of the church anymore, can understand why reasonable people do believe in its teachings. The "you" on your Facebook page seems to be posting mocking memes and disdain for the church and those who believe in its teachings and nothing else. So, I guess my question is this: Do you acknowledge that there are smart, reasonable, logical, earnest, and educated people on both sides of the coin? Can you acknowledge that there are members of the church who believe in its teachings while not being insane, stupid, or duped? Secondly, Jim Bennett "won" the second podcast where you both agreed that the witnesses are solid evidence for the Book of Mormon, and that it's pretty evident that they didn't change their testimonies even though some became enemies of Smith. You also both agreed that the most reasonable explanation for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is the one Joseph Smith told. Why don't you acknowledge these when you're talking about this? You just keep saying things like But Jim Bennett, in my view, got you to concede just as much as you got him to concede. Why not tell the other side of the story? And finally (I promise): I just want to say that the CES letter is trash--it's tabloid-level plagiarism from existing critical resources. There isn't a new idea or thought in it, and Jim Bennett, in my opinion, totally owned J.R. which his magnificent reply.
  12. Hey @DBMormon I really enjoyed the exchange between you and Jim. I thought you both were kind, respectful, friendly, and also had an intellectually rigorous discussion. I am familiar with your story, and know you are no longer a member. If you have time, I have two questions: 1) I visited your Facebook page. I saw mostly mocking and vitriol towards the church. I saw hateful words and memes. This is not the Bill Reel of the podcast I listned to—the respectful, kind, gracious host who has a different opinion but can understand the other side. This isn’t the “every kid gets a toy” Bill Reel from southern Utah. This seems to be an entirely different person. Why? Can you help me understand? 2) You say “we” a lot in the podcast, as if you still consider yourself a member. Do you? If not, why use “we” and not “they?” Thanks in advance.
  13. #3: the witnesses testimonies are some of the most powerful evidences of the Book of Mormon. #4: there has never been an adequate secular explaination for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon
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