Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

David Bokovoy

Internal Evidences For The BofA

Recommended Posts

And as I keep explaining, the game is not about "proof" one way or the other. As Kuhn explains at length, paradigms are neither verified, nor falsified (hence the "proof" card is not part of the game I have been playing for 18 years, but merely misdirection on your part). Paradigms are assessed according to a range of criteria which do not depend on any particular paradigm. This involves comparison of different paradigms and asking which is better. And that comparison inevitably involves value judgements. If you refuse to consider the believing paradigms on their own terms while making your comparisons, your judgement reflects ideology rather than the acceptance of the risk of considering acuracy of key predictions, comprehensiveness and coherence, simplicity and aesthetics, fruitfulness, and future promise.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

In other words, disbelief.

Share this post


Link to post

Kerry, familiarity with the Zohar is not necessary. My view is that JS deduced the plurality of gods from reading Gen 1:1 in Hebrew.

That may very well be the case. It may also be that Joseph knew the doctrine via the first vison and then found scriptural support ala his hebrew study of Gen1:1(this is what I believe).

The fact remains, Joseph saw the word "Elohiem" and read "the Gods", while the rest of the Judeo Christian world saw the pluar suffix -hiem as reflecting a compounding of divine attributes for only one God. Why he did that is a questian of theology, not history.

But even if your theory is correct Ck, that does not undercut the view that he recieved the view ala revelation.

As it says in the D&C section 9

7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.

8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must astudy it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall ffeel that it is right.

9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a astupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.

It seems to me, based on on what ive read, that the 1st temple israelites were henotheist and not monotheist in the way we understand today. The BoA does fit into a henotheistic model, now what that ultimately means......

Share this post


Link to post

Once again Vogel tries to beat the â??positivistâ? rap by playing the â??youâ??re a postmodernistâ? card in a pre-emptive attack. But labeling 21st century LDS apologists in this fashion is just Danâ??s way of distracting the focus from his essentially nihilist world view in which it isnâ??t even necessary to know how anything truly was with any degree of certainty; rather, it is sufficient to simply produce remotely plausible scenarios to reinforce his claims of what wasnâ??t.

Permit me to elaborate: I donâ??t believe for a minute that Vogel is a positivist, as has been claimed by many. Iâ??m quite certain that he is, in the final analysis, actually a confirmed nihilist -- at least insofar as history is concerned. He is completely persuaded that we can never, for example, know the truth about Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; despite his careful assemblage of the documents swirling around the events in question, he knows there is no way to state, with any degree of confidence, what really happened. He just wants to establish sufficient grounds for his arguments of what did not happen.

The crafting of theories like tin plates is not meant to provide a scientific explanation for the testimony of the witnesses as much as it is meant to give the non-believer something on which to lean in his/her insistent refusal to believe in angels and visions. Youâ??ll notice that no one ever really strongly defends the â??tin platesâ? theory. Itâ??s not meant to be the â??answer.â? Itâ??s only meant to be something about which the disbeliever may say, â??more likely that than angels and visions.â?

Vogel and his nihilist fan club arenâ??t interested in knowing what happened; they know thatâ??s an exercise in futility. But they can damn well assure us what didnâ??t happen, and to that end, any means (be it tin plates, group hallucinations, or a fantasized account of Joseph Smithâ??s own thoughts) are reasonable and justified.

Share this post


Link to post

Once again Vogel tries to beat the â??positivistâ? rap by playing the â??youâ??re a postmodernistâ? card in a pre-emptive attack. But labeling 21st century LDS apologists in this fashion is just Danâ??s way of distracting the focus from his essentially nihilist world view in which it isnâ??t even necessary to know how anything truly was with any degree of certainty; rather, it is sufficient to simply produce remotely plausible scenarios to reinforce his claims of what wasnâ??t.

Permit me to elaborate: I donâ??t believe for a minute that Vogel is a positivist, as has been claimed by many. Iâ??m quite certain that he is, in the final analysis, actually a confirmed nihilist. He is completely persuaded that we can never, for example, know the truth about Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; despite his careful assemblage of the documents swirling around the events in question, he knows there is no way to state, with any degree of confidence, what really happened. He just wants to establish sufficient grounds for his arguments of what did not happen.

The crafting of theories like tin plates is not meant to provide a scientific explanation for the testimony of the witnesses as much as it is meant to give the non-believer something on which to lean in his/her insistent refusal to believe in angels and visions. Youâ??ll notice that no one ever really strongly defends the â??tin platesâ? theory. Itâ??s not meant to be the â??answer.â? Itâ??s only meant to be something about which the disbeliever may say, â??more likely that than angels and visions.â?

Vogel and his nihilist fan club arenâ??t interested in knowing what happened; they know thatâ??s an exercise in futility. But they can damn well assure us what didnâ??t happen, and to that end, any means (be it tin plates, group hallucinations, or a fantasized account of Joseph Smithâ??s own thoughts) are reasonable and justified.

What I call:

"usto could, maybe,possibly,probably,concievably",

This type of though has a built in escape hatch. When you are called to task on proving the tin plate theory or whatever, all one has to say is"I never said thats how it happend, I only said thats(pick a word from the quoted list) have happend", thus allowing you to win over the uncritical, while not recquiring you to defend your position.

If Joseph the Prophet recquires faith to be believed in,

then Joseph the cartographer/hebraist/hypnotist/mettalurgist recquires faith to be believed in also.

Share this post


Link to post

Tarski and Dude's replies simply make David's point. They are more than willling to focus on the translational issues but don't want to go anywhere near the content of the text itself.

Deal w/ the material David actually posted, not the straw dog of translation.

C.I.

But that is exactly the point.

The content doesn't mean anything if it wasn't actually "translated"; it came out of thin air, from Joseph's imagination.

I can say that God told me that Jesus was in reality a visitor from another planet, and that there is an ancient text which I've "translated" which tells me so.

If you read the actual text I used, and it's really about fishing, then you know I'm not being truthful.

At that point, who cares what I wrote that it said (or the "content of the text itself"), it's not right.

Share this post


Link to post

At that point, who cares what I wrote that it said (or the "content of the text itself"), it's not right.

I think the content of what you translated should be investigated. If you produced a manuscript mirroring themes and events documented in 2 - 3 thousand year old ANE documents without any knowledge of those belief systems, your claims should be at least investigated.

Share this post


Link to post

I think the content of what you translated should be investigated. If you produced a manuscript mirroring themes and events documented in 2 - 3 thousand year old ANE documents without any knowledge of those belief systems, your claims should be at least investigated.

You miss the point.

If what I've produced is proven to be wrong, then it doesn't matter what I've said.

Share this post


Link to post

You miss the point.

If what I've produced is proven to be wrong, then it doesn't matter what I've said.

"Proven" wrong?

Share this post


Link to post

You miss the point.

If what I've produced is proven to be wrong, then it doesn't matter what I've said.

As an aside, even if I "mirror" themes that were written thousands of years ago, it doesn't mean that I've had supernatural intervention.

It just means that human themes do repeat themselves.

I also think it's a stretch to think that someone would never have had any exposure to those things.

"Proven" wrong?

Yep. The BOA has been proven, by the papyri that Joseph Smith used, to be a complete fabrication.

It was NOT a translation of what he was looking at.

Share this post


Link to post

Kevin,

And as I keep explaining, the game is not about "proof" one way or the other. As Kuhn explains at length, paradigms are neither verified, nor falsified (hence the "proof" card is not part of the game I have been playing for 18 years, but merely misdirection on your part).

I guess you haven't realized that your attachment to Kuhn is both outdated and quite irrelevant since Kuhn was wrong that paradigms are closed. If this were true, then one could never form counter arguments or present counter evidence, which forces those in another paradigm to invent ad hoc rationalizations to protect their central thesis. The Quine thesis that a theory can never be disproved (or proved) in absolute terms, or the problem of under-determinism, is only a subtle philosophical point, which has little bearing on the present discussion. To update your views on the nature of scientific debates, I would point you to Larry Loudan's works, among others. I believe Kuhn and post-modernists are wrong in the relativistic notions of "turth" and knowledge.

But, Kevin, what paradigm are you in? If it's just the BOM is actual history paradigm, then there is something to discuss. But if it's the BOM is real history because I have a testimony paradigm, then perhaps we don't. The first paradigm would mean that you would have to acknowledge that for whatever reason BOM historicity the lacks direct evidence and therefore your case rests on question-begging interpretations of the evidence. You also wouldn't get to retreat into the testimony paradigm to blunt the force of anachronisms and counter evidence. So which paradigm are you in?

It is not misdirection to acknowledge that there is no direct evidence for the BOM. That doesn't automatically make the BOM historically false, but it does force apologists to try to make their case with the kinds of evidence you have admitted is extremely paradigm dependent. Isn't in misdirection to take refuse in the extreme and unreasonable skepticism of relativistic post-modernism? By their own admission, apologists can't prove the BOM is real history, and so they have settled on demonstrating it is plausibly a historical document. But a plausible case can be made for anything. Are people convicted and sent to prison because the state has made a plausible]/i] case? No. They must prove or demonstrate their case beyond a reasonable doubt. What does it mean to prove something? On this matter, philosophers Theodore Schick, Jr., and Lewis Vaughn have observed:

Although no amount of evidence logically compels us to reject a hypothesis, maintaining a hypothesis in the face of adverse evidence can be manifestly unreasonable. So even if we cannot conclusively say that a hypothesis is false, we can often conclusively say that itâ??s unreasonable.

--Theodore Schick, Jr., and Lewis Vaughn, How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age (Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co., 1999), 156-57.

There are always going to be those on the fridge [=fringe] who hold to unreasonable doubts, whom Kuhn calls diehards. Should we not place BOM apologists fortified by the unreasonable doubt of post-modernist philosophy in that category as well? It is this extreme skepticism and justification for relativism demand for proof in absolute terms ("infalliblism") that makes post-modernist philosophy a form of positivism. The demand that a thesis be disproved before it be rejected is an infallibilist position, which is at the bottom of some post-modernist arguments. I agree with Loudan assessment of Kuhn, Quine, and their intellectual heirs:

... the central tenets of cognitive relativism--far from being a counter-reaction to positivism--are positivist through and through."

--Larry Laudan, Beyond Positivism and Relativism: Theory, Method, and Evidence (Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 1996), 5.

Paradigms are assessed according to a range of criteria which do not depend on any particular paradigm. This involves comparison of different paradigms and asking which is better. And that comparison inevitably involves value judgements. If you refuse to consider the believing paradigms on their own terms while making your comparisons, your judgement reflects ideology rather than the acceptance of the risk of considering accuracy of key predictions, comprehensiveness and coherence, simplicity and aesthetics, fruitfulness, and future promise.

If the criteria are the same, as you say, then the value judgements will also be the same. The reason your value judgements are different is because you devalue negative evidence and value positive based on your testimony. When you do that, you have opted out of the game and abandoned the scientific method, which is your choice. But understand that you have entered the realm of the pseudoscience, where you keep company with the likes of so-called Creation science.

Given you own self-referential incoherent relativism, when you say my "judgement reflects ideology rather than the acceptance of the risk of considering accuracy of key predictions, comprehensiveness and coherence, simplicity and aesthetics, fruitfulness, and future promise", what you really mean is that this is your judgement based on your "ideology" and testimony. Your predictions are only accurate because you declare them to be, not because they are obvious to those without a testimony. Of course, your attack on my "ideology" is a subtle ad hominem and irrelevant to the presentation and acceptance of sound arguments and evidence. It is one of those consistent fallacies post-modernists commit, and the reason some of them eventually attack reason altogether. So this brings us back to my original statement to you, which you have tried to avoid with you diversionary tactics:

Kevin, do you not know what a tu quoque ("you too") fallacy is? Your post-modernist deconstructionist tactics are only a subtle ways to shift the burden of proof, the onerous of which rests squarely on the apologists, not the critics. Critics are therefore not obligated to prove the BOM is not history, which can't be done in absolute terms. Parallels to JS's environment are therefore not counter-evidence in a definitive sense, but are offered only as plausible counter explanations, which is all the critics are obligated to do. It's up to the apologists to demonstrate the BOM is real history, and similar kinds of parallels won't do that. It's not enough to contextualize the BOM based on the assumption that it reflects ancient Near Eastern and Mesoamerican cultures, since that merely begs the question.

Kevin, do you believe BOM historicity can be determined without resorting to a testimony paradigm? Which is your objective: determining historicity, or defending? If the game is: you can't prove it wrong, then you are safe. But if you are beginning outside the testimony paradigm and asking the BOM to prove itself, then you risk of acknowledge the lack of direct evidence, the presence of literary and historical anachronisms, and are less impressed with clever ad hoc rationalizations.

P.S. Log, it is entirely ad hominal to claim that everyone who rejects BOM historicity does so simply because they are unbelievers, as if there are no legitimate reasons. In the absence of direct evidence, apologists should be willing to acknowledge that the kind of evidence being offered is highly interpretive and ambiguous to say the least.

P.S.S. Will, I don't think you know what you are talking about. It's Kevin's post-modernism that leads to nihilism. To suggest that I have offered counter explanations disingenuously is utterly false; I have no idea where you came up with that.

Share this post


Link to post

There are always going to be those on the fridge...

Dan, tell those people to get off of your fridge! With the cost of groceries today, it's hard enough feeding family members. :P

Mike

Share this post


Link to post

Yep. The BOA has been proven, by the papyri that Joseph Smith used, to be a complete fabrication.

It was NOT a translation of what he was looking at.

Who said it was? That is the basic fallacy of your argument.

Share this post


Link to post

P.S. Log, it is entirely ad hominal to claim that everyone who rejects BOM historicity does so simply because they are unbelievers, as if there are no legitimate reasons. In the absence of direct evidence, apologists should be willing to acknowledge that the kind of evidence being offered is highly interpretive and ambiguous to say the least.

I haven't rejected your analysis because you're an unbeliever. But I would like to point out that belief and unbelief are choices, which choices are oft governed by our perceived desired ends.

Share this post


Link to post

Dan, tell those people to get off of your fridge! With the cost of groceries today, it's hard enough feeding family members. :P

Mike

I shouldn't write on an empty stomach.

Share this post


Link to post

Who said it was? That is the basic fallacy of your argument.

JS said he did.

The translation refers to the facsimiles.

JS explained and translated the facsimiles.

That is the basic fallacy of the apologists' catalyst theory.

Share this post


Link to post

I haven't rejected your analysis because you're an unbeliever. But I would like to point out that belief and unbelief are choices, which choices are oft governed by our perceived desired ends.

We are not talking about belief vs. unbelief. Believers can be wrong about their arguments and interpretations, and unbelievers can know the sources better than believers. Just because one is a believer doesn't make them imune to ciriticism. So stop the ad hominem and discuss the evidence.

Share this post


Link to post

We are not talking about belief vs. unbelief. Believers can be wrong about their arguments and interpretations, and unbelievers can know the sources better than believers. Just because one is a believer doesn't make them imune to ciriticism. So stop the ad hominem and discuss the evidence.

Where have I said "Dan's argument is invalid, because he's an unbeliever"?

Or, even, where have I insulted you?

I will leave you to your regularly scheduled talk over things which cannot be determined by any amount of poring over texts, nor any amount of debate.

Share this post


Link to post

Log,

Where have I said "Dan's argument is invalid, because he's an unbeliever"?

Or, even, where have I insulted you?

I will leave you to your regularly scheduled talk over things which cannot be determined by any amount of poring over texts, nor any amount of debate.

I'm not insulted, because I'm not complaining about an ad hominem abusive, but an ad hominem circumstantial when you said:

I haven't rejected your analysis because you're an unbeliever. But I would like to point out that belief and unbelief are choices, which choices are oft governed by our perceived desired ends.

You have thus sidestepped the argument to discuss the arguer and your perceptions about bias and motives.

You bolded Kevin's statement: "If you refuse to consider the believing paradigms on their own terms while making your comparisons, your judgement reflects ideology rather than the acceptance of the risk of considering acuracy of key predictions, comprehensiveness and coherence, simplicity and aesthetics, fruitfulness, and future promise."

This statement by Kevin was itself an ad hominem circumstantial, but you added the comment: "In other words, disbelief." So you were agreeing with Kevin in saying my judgement of BOM historicity is only a reflection of my disbelief, which has nothing to do with the validity of my arguments.

Share this post


Link to post

I have seen the criticism of LDS scholars that their arguments are less credible because they can't entertain the possiblity that the Book of Abraham is not inspired of God, by some means. So shouldn't the converse be true? That any person who maintains that the Book of Abraham cannot possibly be inspired of God also loses crediblity?

Share this post


Link to post

Dan Vogel:

JS explained and translated the facsimiles.

That is the basic fallacy of the apologists' catalyst theory.

Actually, this shows us more of what Joseph Smith had in mind for the idea of what translation meant to HIM, and how HE uses the word. Look at his explanations when he notes there is a translation! It's concerning pictures. HOW does one translate pictures? There is no scholarly word for word, or exact literal translation (hardly the only legitimate form of translation either). Joseph is using the word "translation" here in the facsimiles to mean more of an explanation. How is this a fallacy of the catalyst theory for revelation? In *many* of the Prophet's revelations, as you well know, things are explained to Joseph, not translated from an original language, as in D&C

Hence the reason for Nibley's very apt, very spot on assessment of translation in his Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, 1st ed., (1975): pp. 47-48:

For what is a translation? The most carefully thoughtout definition is that of Willamowitz-Moellendorf: "A translation is a statement in the translator's own words of what he thinks the author had in mind." A little reflection will show that this is the best if not the only possible definition. Gardiner defines a sentence as "any set of words in which he [the hearer] can discern a reasonable intention on the part of the speaker." A translation must therefore be not a matching of dictionaries but meeting of minds, for as the philologist Entwhistle puts it, "there are no mere words ... the word is a deed"; it is a whole drama with centuries of tradition encrusting it, and that whole drama must be passed in review every time the word comes up for translation.

The ablest Egyptologists have always insisted that the main difficulty that confronts them is not a matter of grammar or vocabulary but a complete ignorance of what the Egyptian writer really had in mind. "The most perfect knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar of Egyptian does not suffice to pierce the obscurity," Renouf wrote long ago. "The difficulty resides not in the literal translation of the texts, but rather in the sense which is hidden behind the words with which we are familiar." Or as Naville put it, "... a sentence that is easy to understand philologically, whose words and grammar cause us not the slightest perplexity, may all too often present a strange and even burlesque appearance; we have understood the form, but have not penetrated to the idea that lies behind it." The Egyptian terms, Maspero noted, "always end up by escaping us, dragging us in the direction of our own present-day concepts." "Too often we know approximately what a sentence means," Erman admitted, "but its exact translation is not yet possible in the present state of our knowledge," in which case he takes refuge, he says, in the "ars nescendi" of frankly admitting that he does not know, with a " 'das verstehe ich nicht,' und 'Gott weiss,' " whatever his students may think.

Nibley brought out the importance of translation and its barriers even for Egyptologists, by using their own words:

It should be kept in mind that every translation is a mere function of the translator's expectations." From which it would seem that no matter how well one knows one's Gardiner, or how many years one has spent in Egypt, one may still be totally excluded from the real meaning of any Egyptian text. Many scholars have known Greek better than any man alive knows Egyptian, yet to this day Greek literature is full of texts that no scholar even pretends to understand; is Egyptian so much more obliging?

And by far, without question, the MOST IMPORTANT POINTS Nibley makes are continually *ignored* by those who wish to make Joseph Smith appear to be incorrectly translating. Why not deal with this argument of Nibley's and use the evidence in context? I have highlighted some points I have never seen understood, and mostly simply ignored. Again why?

Webster gives as the primary meaning of "translate," "to bear, remove, or change from one place, condition, etc., to another; to carry over; to transfer." Only when we get to his seventh choice do we find, "To render into another language. ... Broadly, to carry over from any one form or mode of expression to another; to interpret into another medium." Even here the idea of a "literal" translation must yield to that of interpretation, which is something quite different.

It is in this true and correct sense that Joseph Smith uses the word translation, while his crities, by employing it in a more narrow and limited sense, would ever turn it as a weapon against him. "While we were doing the work of translation which the Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the 28th verse of the 5th chapter of John, which was given to us as follows." (D&C 76:15.) Right here we can see that the critics of the papyri are wasting their time. The Prophet never claims to be operating as a linguistâ??the translation is given to him. We are reminded that he translated large parts of the Bible in the same way. Why, then, do scholars waste their time manipulating dubious Egyptian texts when a whole volume of Joseph Smith's translations lies to hand for comparison with countless translations by competent scholars of the very same biblical material? Take this passage from John, for example; are there not hundreds of scholars in the world today who can translate it "from the original Greek" better than Joseph Smith ever could? There are, and that should settle the matter. Only it doesn't. For if Willamowitz is right, how can any scholar ever be sure that he knows what John himself had in mind when he wrote those words which have baffled the doctors to this day? The "Johannine mystery" is today as much of a mystery as ever, and until we know just what John meant by the words attributed to him, we are in no position to claim that his words have been correctly translated.

Only within recent years have scholars such as Klaus Koch arrived at an estimate of the Apocrypha that exactly matches that of D&C 91, namely, that "there are many things therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly," but also that "there are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. ... Therefore it is not needful that the Apocrypha be translated at this time." Here we are reminded that the problem is not one of translating from one language into another, for the incorrect interpolations are in the same languages as the rest, and no knowledge of language could produce a correct translation, which calls for nothing less than the original manuscript free even of all errors, even those made by the original writer; and it is doubtful whether any such text ever existed, for the hand is never completely obedient to the mind. To put it bluntly, short of revelation no real translation of John is possible, and that is why Bible experts today assure us that all translations are tentative and imperfect. But in section 91 translation plainly means transmission, which, as we have seen, is what a translation really is; we are told that certain parts are not translated correctly because they are false interpolations, yet they are in the same language as the rest and just as easy to "translate" as far as that goesâ??but that is not the point, which is that regardless of the language, they do not tell us what the original author wanted to say. No one ever stated the case more clearly than the Prophet Joseph himself when he said concerning 2 Peter, chapter 1, "the things that are written are only hints of things which existed in the prophet's mind. ..." (DHC 5:402.)

In 1835 the Prophet speaks of himself as being "continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham," using translation as the equivalent of decipheringâ??which it is. Again, speaking of what he entitled the "Explanation of the Above Cut" in the Book of Abraham, he writes, "the above translation is given as far as we have any right to give it at the present time," here identifying translation with interpretation or explanation of a picture in which there was no writing whatever. When we are told that "a few leaves, opened by Mr. Chandler for exhibition were shown to Professor Anthon of New York and Dr. Mitchell of Philadelphia, each of whom commenced a translation," we can be sure that those men were not translating as they did from the Classical languages which they knew so wellâ??it was perfectly correct in this case to call any attempt at interpreting any old document a translation. When we read in the eighth Article of Faith, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God," we are given to understand that the latter work, though containing "the mistakes of men," is still translated more correctly than the Bible. Well, why translate the Bible at all? Can't we study Hebrew and Greek and read it in the original? We can, but again that is not the point, which is that it is not only the English Bible which has not been translated correctly, but that the ancient texts also have suffered in transmission. When Joseph Smith announced in the King Follett Discourse that "some old Jew without any authority" had altered the first verse of Genesis, he served notice that that verse as it stands cannot be translated correctly no matter how well one knows Hebrew. By using the word translation in one sense while Joseph Smith uses it in another, his critics have sought to do him great damage. What he means by translation is clearly apparent from a revelation given while the Prophet was producing the Book of Moses, in December of 1830: "Soon after the words of Enoch were given [these are contained in the Book of Moses], the Lord gave the following commandment: '... Behold, I say unto you that it is not expedient in me that ye should translate any more until ye shall go to the Ohio. ...' " (DHC 1:139; D&C 37:1.) In what language were "the words of Enoch" which Joseph had been translating? Where was the document? All we know is that Joseph Smith did produceâ??"translate"â??a book of Enoch, which, matched with many ancient texts discovered since the Prophet's day, must be accepted as an authentic piece of the large and growing corpus of Enoch literature.

Share this post


Link to post

But, Kevin, what paradigm are you in? If it's just the BOM is actual history paradigm, then there is something to discuss. But if it's the BOM is real history because I have a testimony paradigm, then perhaps we don't. The first paradigm would mean that you would have to acknowledge that for whatever reason BOM historicity the lacks direct evidence and therefore your case rests on question-begging interpretations of the evidence. You also wouldn't get to retreat into the testimony paradigm to blunt the force of anachronisms and counter evidence. So which paradigm are you in?

It is not misdirection to acknowledge that there is no direct evidence for the BOM. That doesn't automatically make the BOM historically false, but it does force apologists to try to make their case with the kinds of evidence you have admitted is extremely paradigm dependent. Isn't in misdirection to take refuse in the extreme and unreasonable skepticism of relativistic post-modernism? By their own admission, apologists can't prove the BOM is real history, and so they have settled on demonstrating it is plausibly a historical document. But a plausible case can be made for anything. Are people convicted and sent to prison because the state has made a plausible]/i] case? No. They must prove or demonstrate their case beyond a reasonable doubt. What does it mean to prove something? On this matter, philosophers Theodore Schick, Jr., and Lewis Vaughn have observed:

There are always going to be those on the fridge [=fringe] who hold to unreasonable doubts, whom Kuhn calls diehards. Should we not place BOM apologists fortified by the unreasonable doubt of post-modernist philosophy in that category as well? It is this extreme skepticism and justification for relativism demand for proof in absolute terms ("infalliblism") that makes post-modernist philosophy a form of positivism. The demand that a thesis be disproved before it be rejected is an infallibilist position, which is at the bottom of some post-modernist arguments. I agree with Loudan assessment of Kuhn, Quine, and their intellectual heirs:

Why should anyone believe in the historicity of the BOM (or anything else, for that matter) without compelling evidence? Like Log, Latter-day Saints want people to accept the BOM on faith. Yes, they present enough evidence to demonstrate that its claims are possible, but not nearly enough to show they are probable. Faith only requires the possibility of something being so.

Share this post


Link to post

Why should anyone believe in the historicity of the BOM (or anything else, for that matter) without compelling evidence? Like Log, Latter-day Saints want people to accept the BOM on faith. Yes, they present enough evidence to demonstrate that its claims are possible, but not nearly enough to show they are probable. Faith only requires the possibility of something being so.

What counts as evidence? Says who? Upon what grounds?

Then we can start answering questions about probability.

Share this post


Link to post

What counts as evidence?

whatever facts support or contradict the hypothesis

Says who?

the scientific community

You know, stuff like peer-reviewed journals.

Upon what grounds?

scientific methodology

Then we can start answering questions about probability.

Okay, but you're not going to like it.

If there was a scientific case for the validity and historicity of the BOM, Mormon scholars would have made it in scientific journals. Until that happens, you may be confident that the evidence doesn't begin to approach probability.

Share this post


Link to post

If there was a scientific case for the validity and historicity of the BOM, Mormon scholars would have made it in scientific journals. Until that happens, you may be confident that the evidence doesn't begin to approach probability.

Please believe me when I say your approach is both dated and naive.

PS - Dan, you misinterpret both Kevin's, and my, intent, which was not to undercut or sidestep your argument. But I just won't talk to you anymore about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...