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Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

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From the beginning, I was simply pointing out the irony of the fact that Schryver suggested that the article attacked John's character (an ad hominem piece), but did not present any arguments based upon the ad hominem fallacy.

Surely you can see my point.

There was no irony in my statement.

There is a major deficiency in comprehension on your part. Indeed, I have noted that this particular species of deficiency is disproportionately common among the ex-Mormon apostate evangelist crowd. I'm not quite sure why that is.

As for the Smith article concerning John Dehlin, it is not, by any means, anything that could be reasonably characterized as an "ad hominem attack piece", considering the fact that virtually all of the damaging material is drawn directly from Dehlin's own words!

I have read many ad hominem attack pieces in my day--several of which have made me their target. I know what an ad hominem attack piece looks, sounds, and smells like. Greg Smith's article does not qualify under the pertinent criteria.

In any event, I am confident your case is hopeless. We shall never enlighten you on this particular topic.

So ........... back to the inimitable Dehlin.

As I mentioned somewhere else earlier today, a couple Saturdays back I had a long phone conversation with the venerable Lou Midgley--who, ironically enough, has been made the target of several ad hominem attacks at the hands of John Dehlin. In that conversation, I predicted that, sooner or later, Dehlin would self-destruct; that his apostasy would lead him into a lapse of judgment that would permanently cripple his influence among the Saints, just like Korihor of old.

I am pleased to have so soon seen the fulfillment of that casual prediction.

The irony at this stage of the game is that Dehlin is so completely blinded by narcissistic delusions, that he can actually state, in a public setting, bizarre things such as this:

I just think it's funny to hear believers criticizing me for going to a church leader when I feared that someone was going to do harm to the church (which is sincerely part of what I feared). That seems like the perfectly LDS thing to do.

Once more, it's pretty clear that they agreed (for whatever reason) that the piece should be scuttled....so for believers to complain about the acts of GA's and apostles...well...that's just even more bizarre.

In my mind, this wasn't about censorship. It was about using the church's own levers of power to try to keep DCP, Midgley, etc. from harming the church, LDS apologetics, BYU and many others more than they already have. It was confronting a bully. So sad that a few of you want to protect the abusers – even when the brethren have spoken on the matter. So odd -- but consistent with why I deplore LDS apologetics so much. Sleep well, I guess.

http://tinyurl.com/bm6pp3a]Link

He believes he is riding the crest of a wave; his power and influence at its all-time apex; his objectives on the verge of ultimate fulfillment. But, in reality, the events of the past few days (and no doubt the next few as well) have sealed his fate, along with that of all those who have chosen to make common cause with him.

I am a great fan of dramatic and profound ironies, and this one is almost Shakespearean in its scope and depth. I'm loving every minute of it as it unfolds …

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Where did you see vitriol from Daniel Peterson in such form that it required you to leave the Church?

I believe Rufus had already transitioned out of the Church in his heart and had formed an emotional allegiance to his new intellectual guides when he ran across Dan's work.

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I for one, am willing to take Rufus at face value...unless I have reason to think/believe otherwise. Time will tell, I suppose.Regards,MG

I have been on message boards for more than two decades. I have been the victim of countless instances of false beliefs about me. I always take people at face value and I believe that most of the time, if you suspect someone of falsehood and deception, you will be wrong. So I agree with what you said. I just do not have any more votes today.

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I believe Rufus had already transitioned out of the Church in his heart and had formed an emotional allegiance to his new intellectual guides when he ran across Dan's work.

He said he still has his testimony intact.

Daniel Peterson has never seemed to me to be particularly nasty. But I think he has gotten under some folk's skin.

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I've read the bulk of this board.

Seems like a Tempest in a Teapot. And John Dehlin was the tempest monger. But, outside of his concerns that this esoteric paper would somehow damage him, there really isn't all that much to care about here.

Except for one thing: I sorta feel funny that GA's would give this any time at all. I would think that they will tell John to grow a pair and quit bugging them.

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He said he still has his testimony intact.

I believe he said he is "inactive and lost."

Daniel Peterson has never seemed to me to be particularly nasty. But I think he has gotten under some folk's skin.

Yes, Dan's a nice guy. I think the psychology underwriting those folks' reaction to him is this: "The guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center."

Edited by Log

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Where did you see vitriol from Daniel Peterson in such form that it required you to leave the Church?

To base one's belief on the actions of the other seems quite shallow. People are people and mormons are just people. I would have a hard time believing that dan could affect anyone's testimony so much so, that they would leave the church.

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For the purposes of full full discovery, here are two of the emails that Dehlin sent.

I'm stuck wondering what this mythical beast called a PUCAG might actually be, i.e., "paranoid ultra-conservative apologetic group." Is this something we might hunt in the forest of NAMIRS? Or is it simply a Chimaera?

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(In this post, when I say "you", I mean the FAIR team).

I have been a active member of the LDS church for 39 years, including missionary, templemarriage, templeworker, and various callings.

I have always been strong in my personal faith, and in relation to strengthening the hands and knees in need with service or blessings.

My whole family is heavily committed to the church, including high level leadership(I live in Europe).

Until about 3 years ago, I was a firm believer and my only perception of ANTI-MORMON information was that it was evil lies made by those that chose to follow Lucifer, designed to tear holes in faithful members spiritual armor.

My only experience with ANTI-MORMON information was from hearing the rantings of ministers of other denominations on my mission, but I easily discerned that to be false accustions.

3,5 years ago several of my friends and family, who went to the US to study at BYU, suddenly became inactive. They started talking in chat and in emails about problems they had encountered in regards to discrepancies in our church history. I was able to calm and convince a few of them just based on my testimony, that this was just false information.

At the same time I decided to delve into the problems so I could show the others how these were just lies.

Now 3,5 years later I stand corrected.

I now see that what I believed and what is the real story, are two completely different things.

I know it is still possible to believe, based on a "I chose faith approach", or based on "I cant deny my spiritual experiences" approach, or "I trust other peoples testimony" approach.

I do not think it is possible to still believe based on what FAIR i trying to do.

I know that many people close to me, including my wife, is now reading what you write in hopes of finding answers.

My mother and father in law, as well as my parents, are all over your pages in hope of finding answers.

Not because I have shared any problems with them, but just because they know I dont believe anymore due to some historical issues, and they try to figure out how to help me.

I spent over 2 years reading almost every tiny bit you published in articles, wiki or faq.I believe I know why you do what you do, but It doesnt work for me.

I think it is better to leave certain things to faith, or the church leadership, than to try to make something that is spiritual and faith based, be strengthened by attempts of "scolarship" and logical approach.

I can tell you about the one thing that I did find comfort and hope in, that made my now weakened faith and spirits feel more understanding and less angry with the church.

John Dehlin and the Mormon stories. Due to his work I can find peace in my wife and children still going to church, and in not talking to my siblings and friends about the difficulties I feel regards to the church.

To me his approach is the future, and your approach is like the old days on the mission field when we thought we could win hearts with arguments.

I wish I could express the feeling I felt in my heart, when discovering the loophole reasoning and weak arguments in defence of that I believed to be the ROCK of my life.

I also wish you could know how let down I felt when browsing your boards, and seeing you demean and attack people with questions, so I decided I didnt want to come here with my questions.

The only hearts you help are those that come to FAIR and shallowly browse to get comfort, without looking in depth.

Just like putting on gym clothing can make you feel more sporty. But still you dont exercise.

It is better to say: "I dont know the answer, but I still believe due to the spirits promptings", than to say: "maby horse is tapir".. "maby JS didnt have physial intercourse with the teenagers".

I can only speak for myself, but I am appaled by the treatment you give JD, as well as the other ad hominem attacks I have seen over the years.

You removed quite a lot of them from FAIR a while ago, but I still remember.

I understand to some extent why you hare so harsh, as I recon you have recieved a lot of hostility over the years.

Many have been very rude and mean to you for defending what yo believe in.

Still I would hope you could be above that, because it is so easy to see through what you do while acting the way you do, You have no moral altitude, but am in the mire.

For the sake of those that still believe(I have a brother in deep RL problems who's ONLY hope is the church, I want him to believe), please show the strenght to have an inward look, and maby let pride fall and see that JD is not the threat you percieve him to be. The threat in the future for the church is the way it treats its questioning members..

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This has been an interesting thread, to say the least. I must say, while I'm no fan of Dehlin, I do feel that some of the glee I'm seeing on this thread is a bit over the top. No matter what JD has done, he's still a person. And while I don't agree with him and can see his flaws, well we all have them and should be careful rubbing it in.

Uther, thanks for sharing your story. I think we should all use it as a call for introspection to make sure we are not the ones who are guilty of this behavior. I used to frequent message boards years ago and I know first hand how easy it is to be drawn into the "fight". I do have issue with one part of your post, though.

I can only speak for myself, but I am appaled by the treatment you give JD, as well as the other ad hominem attacks I have seen over the years.

You removed quite a lot of them from FAIR a while ago, but I still remember.

If it's been removed, why is it still an issue for you? Obviously FAIR realized there were better ways of presenting things and repented and changed. I don't get your issue with that at all.

Good morning to all.

Edited by DeeAnn

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Why does it matter?

It's easy enough to specify that one was a clerk or executive secretary. If that's all it was, to claim past membership "in a bishopric" is not only inaccurate but strikes me as intentionally misleading, even manipulative. So I make it a practice to ask in these instances.

Since Rufus has not responded to my question (that I've seen yet; I'm only now catching up on this fast-moving thread), I can't say that's what he's doing. Maybe he was a bishop's counselor.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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Log's citation of Daniel Peterson on ad hominem should help provide some clarity. According to what Schryver has shared (and Peterson's interpretation of the expression) it is very much an ad hominem piece.

An ad hominem is a personal attack rather than a recounting of the evidence pro or con for some view or position at issue. An ad hominem is a counterfeit of real argument. It is a substitute for logical process, and it attempts to use emotion as a mode of agitation and propaganda (as frequently in political campaigns).

Since neither you nor I have seen this Greg Smith piece (he's no relation to me and I have never met him), it is highly inappropriate to suggest that it contains ad hominems. In fact, nothing we have heard from those who have seen the article is suggestive of ad hominems in the piece. When we each read that piece for ourselves, we will then be able to evaluate whether it contains any personal, emotional attacks, instead of a deliberative consideration of what John Dehlin has in fact done and said on record. Until then, restraint is called for. Not censorship and a priori assertions unsupported by evidence.

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For the sake of those that still believe(I have a brother in deep RL problems who's ONLY hope is the church, I want him to believe), please show the strenght to have an inward look, and maby let pride fall and see that JD is not the threat you percieve him to be. The threat in the future for the church is the way it treats its questioning members..

I don't see john as a threat. I just see him having a podcast. However, if people wish to be critical of him and his work, they also have a right to do so. And john has a right to respond. But to squash an article because one does not want it published sounds extreme to me. Why is john afraid to have an article published about his mormonpodcasts? I think that that is the question that needs to be answered.

Also, history is made by people who are imperfect. I have never thought that church history would be perfect without any holes. If people are imperfect, human history must also be imperfect and if a church's history is made from people's actions, it also must be imperfect. Why should I expect perfection in history. Also, you haven't told us what you find troubling. You just need to start a thread and maybe we can help you along. Most who have been on this board for years know all the problems since the problems aren't many: polygamy, polyandry, first vision, book of abraham and maybe one more somewhere in-between. Just start a thread and see what happens. However, if you do so, you should receive the answers and reply as in a dialogue. And maybe all can learn from the experience.

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I am told that an apostle and several GA's were involved in telling the Maxwell Institute to stop this piece. If you support your priesthood leaders, then maybe you might consider that my escalation was a good thing -- or at least a reasonable one.

I support my priesthood leaders. But I am used to receiving their direction as it flows through established priesthood channels and as it is expressed openly from the pulpit or by means of official written sources, not from "I-am-told" rumor and innuendo.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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Since neither you nor I have seen this Greg Smith piece (he's no relation to me and I have never met him), it is highly inappropriate to suggest that it contains ad hominems.

And this is the problem. It seems that john went by what one person said and ran for a touchdown. But, since the article is not published no one can really say that it contained ad hominems. So, this thread is much ado about nothing by hearsay.

Edited by why me

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This type of reasoning is why so many people, including many of those within the Church itself, are embarrassed by Mormon apologists.

"Many people, including many" LDS members "are embarrassed by Mormon apologists"?

CFR

I have never seen this poll. When and by whom was it taken?

Also, is anyone ever embarrassed by anti-Mormon polemics? I notice that JD does not discuss that phenomenon. How do you feel about anti-Mormon polemics? Wouldn't we all be much better off sitting down to respectful and mutually beneficial exchanges on such matters -- the way JD did with Brant Gardner, Terryl Givens, and others? We should not be fearful of doing that.

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And this is the problem. It seems that john went by what one person said and ran for a touchdown. But, since the article is not published no one can really say that it contained ad hominems. So, this thread is much ado about nothing by heresy.

I think you meant "hearsay."

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I support my priesthood leaders. But I an used to receiving their direction as it flows through established priesthood channels and asit is expressed openly from the pulpit or by means of official written sources, not from "I-am-told" rumor and innuendo.

What is interesting is that this has nothing to do with supporting priesthood leaders at all. John intervened with a GA to have the GA make a suggestion not to run the piece based on what John told him. If dan decided not to run the piece he did it as a favor to the GA, nothing more. If a GA told John to shut down mormonstories would he do so? I doubt it. But it would certainly make a big play on critic boards if he divulged that the GA asked him to close mormonstories down. But he certainly would continue the podcasts. Am I right John?

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I think you meant "hearsay."

Correction made. Thanks.

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"Many people, including many" LDS members "are embarrassed by Mormon apologists"?

CFR

I have never seen this poll. When and by whom was it taken?

I made a point on a different page that critics often are critical of lds apologetics on their boards, repeating over and over again how it hurts the lds church. When doubting members read such posts over and over again they come to FAIR or to the Maxwell Institute a little biased against lds apologetics.

If critics repeat something over and over again as they do, it must be 'true'. This tactic has been used by many as a brainwash technique when information is wished to be believed. It has happened throughout history. The more information is repeated, the more it becomes implanted in the brain.

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(In this post, when I say "you", I mean the FAIR team).

I spent over 2 years reading almost every tiny bit you published in articles, wiki or faq.I believe I know why you do what you do, but It doesnt work for me.

I think it is better to leave certain things to faith, or the church leadership, than to try to make something that is spiritual and faith based, be strengthened by attempts of "scolarship" and logical approach.

I can tell you about the one thing that I did find comfort and hope in, that made my now weakened faith and spirits feel more understanding and less angry with the church.

John Dehlin and the Mormon stories. Due to his work I can find peace in my wife and children still going to church, and in not talking to my siblings and friends about the difficulties I feel regards to the church.

To me his approach is the future, and your approach is like the old days on the mission field when we thought we could win hearts with arguments.

So, if I understand what you are saying, it was not so helpful reading scholarship, but it was helpful listening to stories of people who are not believing... did I get that right?

Looks to me like you are from Europe. That is where I "grew up". I believe that being people of faith in Europe is a challenge because you are surrounded by a sea of skeptics.

I am a convert to the Church and I took a year to study Church History before I joined. I had read Fawn Brodie and the first volume of the History of the Church before I joined. As a result I was aware of many of the things that bother people before I joined. And, as a result, I am not really able to understand the issues people have with Church History -- how they say it affects their testimony. I just don't get it.

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Uther said: I also wish you could know how let down I felt when browsing your boards, and seeing you demean and attack people with questions, so I decided I didnt want to come here with my questions.

Clarification: This board is not FAIR. It has not been owned by or run by FAIR in many, many years. If you think that the views expressed on this board represent FAIR, you are mistaken.

Uther said: I can only speak for myself, but I am appaled by the treatment you give JD, as well as the other ad hominem attacks I have seen over the years. You removed quite a lot of them from FAIR a while ago, but I still remember.

I believe the "FAIR engages in ad hominem" charge is a myth. See my open letter concerning the topic.

-Allen

Edited by awyatt

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I don't really think that there is a problem with ad hominem declarations/attacks/defenses simply because they are ad hominem. The truth is that many anti-Mormons are anti-Christ, evil, hard-hearted, and liars. Every single one of them is in error and is seeking to undermine and destroy the work of God. That is just the way it is. That is why they are anti-Mormon.

Correctly describing them and their motives is not wrong or invalid.

The worst that you can say is that if a discussion devolves to ad hominem with negative, personal declarations going back and forth, that nothing is accomplished. But with anti-Mormons, what is accomplished in discussions with them anyway?

Anti-Christs and their fellow travelers will object, but Jesus righteously used ad hominem in His day and we are encouraged to emulate His path. The Apostles and Prophets have also done the same.

My favorite examples are:

Marcion: "Dost thou know me?

Polycarp: "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan."

Jesus: "Go tell that fox....." "Ye hypocrites"

Jesus: Woe be unto them who offend my little ones... for "It were better for them that a millstone were hanged about their necks and they were drowned in the depths of the sea"

Are we somehow "better" than Jesus if we do not respond with correct labels?

(Note: I have not addressed the error in describing ad hominem as being an automatic fallacy. That's a whole different issue. I am speaking to it as an emotional issue --- where the charge of ad hominem is used as a complex way of saying "You hurt my feelings by insulting me somehow")

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As a semi outside observer to this hubaballoo, I do have one observation. Both Rufus and Uther-and others on other threads-have come on and said (very loosely paraphrased) I was a TBM, had some doubts, went to apologetic sources, and because their arguments were so weak and those who wrote them so nasty to me, I now have completely left the church-or at least don't believe anymore. For some reason however, they are not willing to disclose just exactly what their issues were. I find that puzzling, it smacks of arrogance-your just a bunch of pinheads posting on an internet forum, unworthy of my time, except to let you know that you are collectively out to lunch, while I, on the other hand, have seen the light.

Contrast that with reelmormon a few threads ago. Once he started talking specifics, there was some substantive back and forth (not without a few hurt feelings, but this is the internet after all), and unless my perception is wrong, I think all parties involved felt like some questions were actually resolved by the time the thread wound down. Reel, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that.

I guess my experience is so completely different that it leaves me scratching my head. Maybe I just have an appreciation for dry humor, because I do see marginal snideness in some FAIR articles, but on the whole, I find the scholarship sound, the insights valid and elucidating, and have added to my testimony. I'm not brilliant, but am reasonably intelligent, I think I could spot at least some scholarly BS if it was thrown out there. Perhaps it is because I have read those articles as a believing member looking for further light and knowledge rather than someone with one foot out the door looking for and excuse to stay in the church-or leave, perhaps.

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