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Greg Smith

Will Schryver's Book of Abraham talk

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It seems that unexamined the critics are rejecting it and the apologists are accepting it. How is one an example of a fixed position and the other is not?

The only thing you know is that you contramopologists have not examined it. :P

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Suppose I have a 20 dollar bill that I claim is genuine. However, the experts say that it is a counterfeit. The say that the paper is wrong, the serial numbers aren't correct, the ink isn't the right quality, the signatures are from the wrong people and there are several spelling errors on the bill. My supporters however insist that it is real. The acknowledge that I, in fact printed them, but they say it is genuine and that I had authority from the Federal reserve to print them. There is no evidence I had any such authority.

Now, one of my supporters is about to release a paper explain why my methodology shows that it is real. The problem is two fold, the very nature of the twenty shows that it isn't real, it is full of mistakes. Secondly I have not demonstrated that the Fed gave me authority. The means of my production are irrelevant.

Please continue. :P

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It seems that unexamined the critics are rejecting it and the apologists are accepting it. How is one an example of a fixed position and the other is not?

I have seen it. That's why I started the thread.

The only people who I've seen here declare a conclusion without actually examining the evidence are--wait for it--not the Mormons.

Funny that.

You guys need to relax. Your unfaith can persist even if WIll has a good argument, just as my faith would have not been shaken to its core if I decided Will was out to lunch.

GLS

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Wow, are you serious? Gold? Claiming, acting, critical? LMAO-

(j) Avoiding the substantive issue(s) by laughter, mockery, derision without providing a reasoned response.

You could teach a critical thinking class on logical/epistemological fallacies on this thread alone. :-)

GLS

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It seems that unexamined the critics are rejecting it and the apologists are accepting it.

CFR for the apologists who have accepted it before examining it.

How is one an example of a fixed position and the other is not?

How can one reasonably answer a question with a false presupposition?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Suppose I have a 20 dollar bill that I claim is genuine. However, the experts say that it is a counterfeit. The say that the paper is wrong, the serial numbers aren't correct, the ink isn't the right quality, the signatures are from the wrong people and there are several spelling errors on the bill. My supporters however insist that it is real. The acknowledge that I, in fact printed them, but they say it is genuine and that I had authority from the Federal reserve to print them. There is no evidence I had any such authority.

Now, one of my supporters is about to release a paper explain why my methodology shows that it is real. The problem is two fold, the very nature of the twenty shows that it isn't real, it is full of mistakes. Secondly I have not demonstrated that the Fed gave me authority. The means of my production are irrelevant.

Suppose that key portions of your analogy are self-servingly made of straw.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Suppose that key portions of your analogy are self-servingly made of straw.

(k) Suppose that key portions of your analogy are self-servingly made of straw.

:-)

GLS

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I have seen it. That's why I started the thread.

The only people who I've seen here declare a conclusion without actually examining the evidence are--wait for it--not the Mormons.

Funny that.

You guys need to relax. Your unfaith can persist even if WIll has a good argument, just as my faith would have not been shaken to its core if I decided Will was out to lunch.

GLS

I don't believe that the critics will be silent about Will's presentation. They will be out in full force to debunk it. Now they may attempt to debunk it through ways that can cast doubt. That is their game as doubt enhancers. But they will not be silent. And if I am right, Will should get his fencing skills in order because the critics will attempt to take the high ground.

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See what happens,GS, when you try a little positive thinking?? The horses***** come out of the barn to " naaaaaaaayyyyyyyy "

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I predict that Greg, Wade and Nomad will experience their own personal rapture during Will's presentation.

lol!

Nah, I'm a post-tribulationist, so I haven't had near enough tribulation on this topic yet.

double lol!

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I am looking forward to Will's presentation, which I will be attending (thanks to his generous efforts to get me in at no charge). I do not expect to agree with him, but I do expect that his paper will contain interesting observations and insights, and that I will learn some things I didn't know before. Will may have an extremely one-sided way of looking at things, but there's no question that he has a keen and inquisitive mind.

In the meantime, Will: if you are circulating an advance copy to solicit feedback, I'd be happy to offer a critical perspective.

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I don't believe that the critics will be silent about Will's presentation. They will be out in full force to debunk it.

I hope so. You would want there to be no opposition to an hypothesis?

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No. It's an explicit claim that the "game" is going to change with regards to the translation date of the Book of Abraham text, and the meaning of the KEP.

GLS

Here is how Wikipedia summarizes the KEP and the different explanations put forth for their origin:

The Kirtland Egyptian Papers (KEP) are a collection of documents related to the Book of Abraham during the Kirtland period of early Mormonism (early to mid 1830s). The papers include an "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" written in the hand of Joseph Smith, Jr., and other ostensible Egyptian language materials and early manuscript versions of the Book of Abraham in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, Warren Parish, Willard Richards, and Frederick G. Williams.

The papers are a source of controversy, because according to Egyptologists they show a lack of understanding of the Egyptian language, and cast doubt on the Book of Abraham as a literal translation of the Joseph Smith Papyri. To support their religious view of the Book of Abraham as a translation of an ancient work, Mormon scholars have speculated that many of the papers may have been produced by Joseph Smith's scribes without Smith's involvement, or that the manuscripts were a speculative effort to reverse-engineer an Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar from an existing, inspired Book of Abraham translation.

--------------------------------------------------------

Egyptologist I. E. Edwards stated that the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar was "largely a piece of imagination and lacking in any kind of scientific value."[6] Hugh Nibley commented that the Grammar was "of no practical value whatever."[7] In part because of this Egyptological inaccuracy, there has been some controversy as to the authorship of the Alphabet and Grammar and its relationship to the Book of Abraham. The Tanner and Marquardt publications of the KEP assumed that Joseph Smith was the author of the whole collection, but this has been challenged by some believing Mormon scholars.

In 1968, Jay Todd suggested that the Grammar may have been reverse-engineered from an inspired Book of Abraham translation.[8] In 1971, Hugh Nibley expanded on Todd's argument, explaining that the Alphabet and Grammar materials were largely an uninspired production of Joseph Smith's scribes, who had turned against him and were working independently of him at the time.[9] This view is also accepted by John Gee.[10] Samuel M. Brown has argued for a slightly more nuanced version of this view, attributing to W. W. Phelps a "major" role in authoring the Alphabet and Grammar, while at the same time conceding that the project was carried on under Smith's direction. Brown asserts that it is "unlikely, though not impossible, that the Grammar was actively used in producing the Book of Abraham."[11]

In 1970, Richard P. Howard proposed the opposite view: that the Alphabet and Grammar was the modus operandi of the Book of Abraham's translation.[12] Edward H. Ashment has also adopted this view, arguing against Nibley that the scribes of the KEP were all loyal to and in good standing with Joseph Smith at the time the manuscripts were produced.[13] More recently, Christopher C. Smith has argued at some length that Joseph Smith was the primary author of the Alphabet and Grammar documents, and that those documents served as the source or modus operandi for the translation of at least the first three verses of the Book of Abraham. According to Smith, "This undoubtedly accounts for the choppiness and redundancy of these three verses, which stylistically are very different from the remainder of the Book of Abraham. Verse 3, for example, reads as though it has been cobbled together from a series of dictionary entries."[14]

These being the current theories offered (e.g. "the game"), which aspect should we expect to be "changed" after Will's presentation? In other words, how will the Wikipedia article need to be edited?

Will another theory have to be added on to the end? Will one of the existing theories need to be noted as having more support than before? Will the basic facts of what the papers are and where they came from need to be changed to reflect new information?

Believers and critics alike should benefit from having realistic expectations going into this. Anyone can be let down by an experience that is over sold as being better than it really is.

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Believers and critics alike would benefit from a Wikipedia that wasn't controlled by an evangelical anti-Mormon. What a lousy synopsis.

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First of all, my sincere expressions of gratitude to Greg Smith and others who have posted in my behalf on this thread. I also want to thank Wade Englund for abiding by my wishes to not speak about certain things that he started to figure out several months ago on a thread related to these things. To his credit, he had made some very astute observations that threatened to

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Here is how Wikipedia summarizes the KEP and the different explanations put forth for their origin:

Wow Chris, you're on Wikipedia already!

Millions of people look at those pages every day. This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, your name in print, that makes people.

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Here is how Wikipedia summarizes the KEP and the different explanations put forth for their origin:

They're all wrong, and not viable, if Will is right.

These being the current theories offered (e.g. "the game"), which aspect should we expect to be "changed" after Will's presentation? In other words, how will the Wikipedia article need to be edited?

All of 'em. That's why I called it a "game changer." I wouldn't normally use that language, and I was somewhat skeptical when I heard what Will figured he could do. But, dang it if he didn't.

And, I'm not typically given to hyperbole.

So, if critics want "realistic expectations" going on, they should not count on being able to salvage the old models of the KEP.

Thanks, though, for reminding us of how dominant that view of the KEP has been among critics. Hopefully that will forestall claims after the fact that this was "no big deal."

As I said, even Nibley got this one wrong. One of those things I wish I'd figured out myself. It really is one of those cases where you say, "Oh--of course. That's obvious." But, as is so often the case, the obvious is anything but until someone forces you to look at it and see it. :-)

GLS

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I also want to thank Wade Englund for abiding by my wishes to not speak about certain things that he started to figure out several months ago on a thread related to these things. To his credit, he had made some very astute observations that threatened to

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I don't believe that the critics will be silent about Will's presentation. They will be out in full force to debunk it. Now they may attempt to debunk it through ways that can cast doubt. That is their game as doubt enhancers. But they will not be silent. And if I am right, Will should get his fencing skills in order because the critics will attempt to take the high ground.

Doubtless. Nor should be any different.

I just find it extraordinarily telling that some who haven't even seen the data, have already dismissed it.

One nice thing about being involved in such things is that Will knows going in that any contrary bit of data is going to be seized on. It keeps you honest (though some will scoff at the idea, of course, regarding the entire exercise as dishonest). But, if only from a pragmatic point of view, Will has to know that anything he ignores or can't account for is going to be seized upon. Far better to account for it early than to have it "blow up" on him. [Critics have not, traditionally, been so concerned, strangely. I suppose that's the difference between being in an offensive vs defensive posture. cf The entire corpus of Jerald and Sandra Tanner, for example....]

Were I a betting man, I would suspect that Will knows all this, and is more than prepared. But, I suspect that while one may niggle about small details in Will's model, the basic thesis will probably be so self-evidently clear that I suspect it will be the accepted wisdom fairly quickly, critics will go silent about the KEP, and move on to more fertile (they hope) fields. The sun will continue to rise in the east, people will fall in love, politicians will be self-aggrandizing, and the world will spin madly on.

GLS

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But, I suspect that while one may niggle about small details in Will's model, the basic thesis will probably be so self-evidently clear that I suspect it will be the accepted wisdom fairly quickly, critics will go silent about the KEP,

GLS

Haven't they already gone silent on their first round of character assassination? I recall a lot of unhinged tales being brought over from certain quarters about FAIR wanting nothing to do with Will. As we were planning a conference with him as a speaker. In fact, weren't they triumpantly announcing he was denounced by the scholars he was collaborating with the entire time or something? Now all I hear is the sound of crickets chirping....

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BTW, I'd like to point out to those interested that in the thread Will is most likely referring to Wade produced a handy dandy translation timeline, which is still available for download.

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Haven't they already gone silent on their first round of character assassination? I recall a lot of unhinged tales being brought over from certain quarters about FAIR wanting nothing to do with Will. As we were planning a conference with him as a speaker. In fact, weren't they triumpantly announcing he was denounced by the scholars he was collaborating with the entire time or something? Now all I hear is the sound of crickets chirping....

I'm not sure character assassination ever stops at the Great and Spacious Trailer Park, if that's the "quarters" of which you speak.

I wager Round Two of How Terrible Will Is is probably in the offing, if Round 1 has, indeed, ceased--which would please me only slightly less than it would astonish me.

But, yeah, that was a particularly bizarre bit of speculation--which I found doubly funny and strange since I (like Julie) probably hear most of what people at FAIR say. And, nothing could be further than the truth....

And, people don't usually get to measure or examine BoA papyri if the scholars involved think they're loons or unhinged.

[PS, I note in passing what I suspect is a typo in the link to Wade's bit above--the first date should be 1835, not 1825, I suspect.]

GLS

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They're all wrong, and not viable, if Will is right.

All of 'em. That's why I called it a "game changer." I wouldn't normally use that language, and I was somewhat skeptical when I heard what Will figured he could do. But, dang it if he didn't.

And, I'm not typically given to hyperbole.

So, if critics want "realistic expectations" going on, they should not count on being able to salvage the old models of the KEP.

Thanks, though, for reminding us of how dominant that view of the KEP has been among critics. Hopefully that will forestall claims after the fact that this was "no big deal."

As I said, even Nibley got this one wrong. One of those things I wish I'd figured out myself. It really is one of those cases where you say, "Oh--of course. That's obvious." But, as is so often the case, the obvious is anything but until someone forces you to look at it and see it. :-)

GLS

I'm afraid I don't understand why this thread is so focused on the theoretical reactions of "critics", and I suspect some people are using "critic" as a synonym for "anti-mormon". Until a knowledgeable "critic" has reviewed the presentation (either beforehand, or at the conference), all that can be really ascertained is the reaction of "critics" to a post by Greg Smith effusing praise on a subject (while at the same time admitting his ignorance).

Are the critics supposed to preemptively accept whatever Will's theory might be just based on this thread? And in not doing so are they demonstrating stubbornness or some other moral failing?

If so, then to the degree that I represent any form of "critical" thought, allow me to attempt to atone for the failings of other critics with the following declaration:

"I, cinepro, being critical of some of the claims the LDS Church has made in the past, do heretofore renounce all theories and suppositions I may have had about the Kirtland Egyptian Papers (of which there are admittedly few) in light of the post made by Greg Smith. Based on this post, I admit that the game has changed, and that this new and unspecified information supercedes all other theories and perspectives on these papers. I hereby waive my right to withhold judgment until after being presented with even the slightest info on what this new model presents, and do heretofore promise to ecstatically accept Will Schryver's presentation regardless of any material flaws in logic or assumption, should there be any."

After reading this thread, I suspect you will accept nothing less from the "critics", and so there you go.

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