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David Bokovoy on Mormon Stories

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David was always one of my favorite participants on these forums and he is being interviewed by John Dehiln right now. This has been one of the best Mormon Stories interviews I've watched. I highly encourage everyone to watch this episode. 

 

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I would be very interested. Do you know when it will be on the site?

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1 minute ago, Gray said:

I would be very interested. Do you know when it will be on the site?

I'm watching in on Facebook live right now.  Normally these videos remain on the sight for a while. 

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Curious as to what he says about the historicity issue. He made some comments on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that seemed a bit problematic (IMO).

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And is he ever going to give us another book on the Bible?  I thought he intended a 3 or 4 part series with that.  The first one was excellent.  I've been hoping to see more ever since I read it.  

 

Guess I gotta wait to listen.  

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4 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Curious as to what he says about the historicity issue. He made some comments on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that seemed a bit problematic (IMO).

What did he say?

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35 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Curious as to what he says about the historicity issue. He made some comments on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that seemed a bit problematic (IMO).

Problematic in what way?   For example, explaining the documentary hypothesis could be problematic to a biblical literalist, or explaining that the earth really is round to a flat earther could also be problematic.  

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

Curious as to what he says about the historicity issue. He made some comments on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that seemed a bit problematic (IMO).

Has he changed his position from this 2015 post?

Quote

There’s been some question as of late on the use of terms such as “historical” and “historicity” in some of my recent blog posts. I’m going to try and provide some clarity.

“Historicity” means the act of producing a work that attempts to depict an accurate representation of the real past. “Historical” is closely related, and yet distinct. It refers to something or even someone from the past.

So in other words, Jesus was a “historical” person, but the NT lacks “historicity.” Therefore, we have to employ the skills of critical scholarship to uncover the “historical” Jesus due to the lack of “historicity” in the Gospels.

Not sure I entirely agree with him that "the NT lacks 'historicity'" (or, perhaps more specifically, with his usage of the term "historicity").  See, e.g., here:

Quote

Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history as opposed to being a historical myth, legend, or fiction. Historicity focuses on the true value of knowledge claims about the past (denoting historical actuality, authenticity, and factuality). The historicity of a claim about the past is its factual status.[1][2]

...

  1.  Wandersee, J. H. (1992). "The historicality of cognition: Implications for science education research". J. Res. Sci. Teach. 29: 423–434. doi:10.1002/tea.3660290409.
  2. Harre, R., & Moghaddam, F.M. (2006). Historicity, social psychology, and change. In Rockmore, T. & Margolis, J. (Eds.), History, historicity, and science (pp. 94-120). London: Ashgate Publishing Limited., [1]

But then, perhaps I need to study more.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Has he changed his position from this 2015 post?

Not sure I entirely agree with him that "the NT lacks 'historicity'" (or, perhaps more specifically, with his usage of the term "historicity").  See, e.g., here:

But then, perhaps I need to study more.

Thanks,

-Smac

Good points.  I've been following David, his blog from years past and his books and I think he very thoughtful and intelligent.  I think what he means about the NT lacking historicity, would be an emphasis on the word "lacking".  I don't think he would say there is zero evidence from the NT that can be looked through a historicity lens. 

I'm looking forward to listening to this interview once its posted on the podcast feed.  

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Has he changed his position from this 2015 post?

Not sure I entirely agree with him that "the NT lacks 'historicity'" (or, perhaps more specifically, with his usage of the term "historicity").  See, e.g., here:

But then, perhaps I need to study more.

Thanks,

-Smac

and then there's the history of myths and legends!

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I listened to about 40 minutes at work when I had a chance.  He sounds very devoted to the Church, Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as important, spiritual sources of truth.  He seems to say that the Book of Abraham and to some extent the BOM are apocryphal, but truthful witnesses of the gospel.  If you have read his book, you know that it is nuanced, but he is an intellectual that has made the Church still work for him.  Then his daughter came out as gay.  That added to the November policy pushed him to a point where he can no longer support the Church.  I think he made the analogy of still believing that the Kingdom of God is relevant, but the Church has some real problems.  I really like him and I didn't listen to all of it.  Having seen John Dehlin, it could be a many hour interview.  Its still hard not to like David and its kind of like someone breaking up with you, but with the nicest manner ever.  In other words his relationship with the Church is ruptured or changed with these issues, but as cordial as possible.  .  

Edited by readstoomuch

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4 hours ago, stemelbow said:

And is he ever going to give us another book on the Bible?  I thought he intended a 3 or 4 part series with that.  The first one was excellent.  I've been hoping to see more ever since I read it.  

Guess I gotta wait to listen.  

It is a three-part series.  I too want to see the next two installments.

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4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Problematic in what way?   For example, explaining the documentary hypothesis could be problematic to a biblical literalist, or explaining that the earth really is round to a flat earther could also be problematic.  

Good points.  However, these are only problematic to the closed-minded.

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2 hours ago, readstoomuch said:

I listened to about 40 minutes at work when I had a chance.  He sounds very devoted to the Church, Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as important, spiritual sources of truth.  He seems to say that the Book of Abraham and to some extent the BOM are apocryphal, but truthful witnesses of the gospel.  If you have read his book, you know that it is nuanced, but he is an intellectual that has made the Church still work for him.  Then his daughter came out as gay.  That added to the November policy pushed him to a point where he can no longer support the Church.  I think he made the analogy of still believing that the Kingdom of God is relevant, but the Church has some real problems.  I really like him and I didn't listen to all of it.  Having seen John Dehlin, it could be a many hour interview.  Its still hard not to like David and its kind of like someone breaking up with you, but with the nicest manner ever.  In other words his relationship with the Church is ruptured or changed with these issues, but as cordial as possible.  .  

Yes, David is definitely a very nice guy, and very intelligent as well.

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8 hours ago, smac97 said:

Has he changed his position from this 2015 post?

Not sure I entirely agree with him that "the NT lacks 'historicity'" (or, perhaps more specifically, with his usage of the term "historicity").  See, e.g., here:

He uses historicity to mean an accurate description in the text of actual events or the attempt to do the same. That is his focus is on the epistemological trustworthiness of texts relative to events. I think most of the debate uses it is a somewhat similar fashion but more in a gross sense. i.e. neglecting the details, are there general statements that as historically accurate. i.e. were there really Nephites who crossed the ocean. What he often does (IMO) is focus on the details and neglect questions of the big picture. So in that sense the NT isn't terribly accurate historically but has historicity in the big items. i.e. there was a Jesus, were Romans, were Jews in Palestine, and so forth. It's that question of attempt that I think things get messy with since it may well be that whomever finally recorded Mark (which was originally an oral presentation akin to a stage play) thought they were getting at the actual historical events. I tend to think those questions of intents matter less, but for him I think they matter more since for him most scripture isn't intentionally trying to be historical. I disagree for various reasons.

The recent comments I was referring to was the following in a Facebook post:

  • "It has become increasingly popular for younger Mormon apologists to argue that the Book of Abraham is a Ptolemaic copy of an ancient Abrahamic text.   The traditional dates for the Ptolemaic Egyptian kingdom are ca. 332-30 BCE.   This means that the text itself is not what Latter-day Saints have traditionally believed, i.e. that the Book of Abraham was written by Abraham himself upon papyri and then translated by Joseph Smith.

    This new argument allows apologists to see the book Joseph Smith produced as an inspired translation of an ancient source, while still acknowledging the anachronisms in the work and the date of the papyri Smith used to produce the Book of Abraham.

    As a student of Mormonism and the Bible, I have serious issues with this argument.   I do not believe that it is  intellectually or spiritually honest.  The only way an apologist could argue that the Book of Abraham is a Ptolemaic copy of an ancient Abrahamic text is by using the tools of historical scholarship that allow us to date the papyri and identify Jewish influences in Ptolemaic sources.

    So the argument is made using the tools of historical inquiry.  The problem, however, is the only way that this argument could be true is if Joseph Smith had the ability given to him by God to translate from Egyptian papyri.   And that position can NEVER be used in a historical assessment of the work.   The second a historian makes an argument that something occurred via divine intervention they are no longer addressing the issue as an historian.  They are acting as a theologian.

    If we really use the tools of historical scholarship with consistently to assess the Book of Abraham there is only one conclusion historians can ever make:  the book is a 19th century text influenced by the KJV of the Bible and Masonic, as well as later Jewish lore.   So to make an apologetic argument that only uses some aspects of historical inquiry that allows the apologist to still retain religious belief in an inspired translation of an ancient source is methodically unsound.    It is an argument that would never pass through peer review in any academic context outside of BYU.

    Now, as a Mormon myself, I really do not have an issue with Latter-day Saints who ignore scholarship and who choose to believe that the Book of Abraham is an inspired translation of an ancient text.  My issue is when apologists deceive themselves and our community into believing that they can use the tools of scholarship to make an argument for their religious convictions.  They can’t.   It doesn’t work."

Now it's pretty easy to see the flaws in this argument. For one it equates apologetics, which is largely focused upon what is plausible, with academic scholarship, which is largely focused upon what is most likely based upon public evidence. It's just a category error to treat one as the other. Second he's more or less saying that only the most likely reading based upon public evidence matters. He seems to disparage this as "theology" but I guess I don't understand his dismissal there. I'd actually agree apologetics is more theology than history, albeit a very historically informed theology. 

From what I can tell he largely thinks all of Joseph's scriptures are purely fictional and 19th century works. Which isn't a terribly strong sense of Mormonism. Since if you dismiss the accuracy of the key texts it's pretty easy to be dismissive of the theology too. (IMO)

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

He uses historicity to mean an accurate description in the text of actual events or the attempt to do the same. That is his focus is on the epistemological trustworthiness of texts relative to events. I think most of the debate uses it is a somewhat similar fashion but more in a gross sense. i.e. neglecting the details, are there general statements that as historically accurate. i.e. were there really Nephites who crossed the ocean. What he often does (IMO) is focus on the details and neglect questions of the big picture. So in that sense the NT isn't terribly accurate historically but has historicity in the big items. i.e. there was a Jesus, were Romans, were Jews in Palestine, and so forth. It's that question of attempt that I think things get messy with since it may well be that whomever finally recorded Mark (which was originally an oral presentation akin to a stage play) thought they were getting at the actual historical events. I tend to think those questions of intents matter less, but for him I think they matter more since for him most scripture isn't intentionally trying to be historical. I disagree for various reasons.

The recent comments I was referring to was the following in a Facebook post:

  • "It has become increasingly popular for younger Mormon apologists to argue that the Book of Abraham is a Ptolemaic copy of an ancient Abrahamic text.   The traditional dates for the Ptolemaic Egyptian kingdom are ca. 332-30 BCE.   This means that the text itself is not what Latter-day Saints have traditionally believed, i.e. that the Book of Abraham was written by Abraham himself upon papyri and then translated by Joseph Smith.

    This new argument allows apologists to see the book Joseph Smith produced as an inspired translation of an ancient source, while still acknowledging the anachronisms in the work and the date of the papyri Smith used to produce the Book of Abraham.

    As a student of Mormonism and the Bible, I have serious issues with this argument.   I do not believe that it is  intellectually or spiritually honest.  The only way an apologist could argue that the Book of Abraham is a Ptolemaic copy of an ancient Abrahamic text is by using the tools of historical scholarship that allow us to date the papyri and identify Jewish influences in Ptolemaic sources.

    So the argument is made using the tools of historical inquiry.  The problem, however, is the only way that this argument could be true is if Joseph Smith had the ability given to him by God to translate from Egyptian papyri.   And that position can NEVER be used in a historical assessment of the work.   The second a historian makes an argument that something occurred via divine intervention they are no longer addressing the issue as an historian.  They are acting as a theologian.

    If we really use the tools of historical scholarship with consistently to assess the Book of Abraham there is only one conclusion historians can ever make:  the book is a 19th century text influenced by the KJV of the Bible and Masonic, as well as later Jewish lore.   So to make an apologetic argument that only uses some aspects of historical inquiry that allows the apologist to still retain religious belief in an inspired translation of an ancient source is methodically unsound.    It is an argument that would never pass through peer review in any academic context outside of BYU.

    Now, as a Mormon myself, I really do not have an issue with Latter-day Saints who ignore scholarship and who choose to believe that the Book of Abraham is an inspired translation of an ancient text.  My issue is when apologists deceive themselves and our community into believing that they can use the tools of scholarship to make an argument for their religious convictions.  They can’t.   It doesn’t work."

Now it's pretty easy to see the flaws in this argument. For one it equates apologetics, which is largely focused upon what is plausible, with academic scholarship, which is largely focused upon what is most likely based upon public evidence. It's just a category error to treat one as the other. Second he's more or less saying that only the most likely reading based upon public evidence matters. He seems to disparage this as "theology" but I guess I don't understand his dismissal there. I'd actually agree apologetics is more theology than history, albeit a very historically informed theology. 

From what I can tell he largely thinks all of Joseph's scriptures are purely fictional and 19th century works. Which isn't a terribly strong sense of Mormonism. Since if you dismiss the accuracy of the key texts it's pretty easy to be dismissive of the theology too. (IMO)

 

I think his distinction would come down once you invoke God/Supernatural that what you are doing now is theology, even though your theology might be shaped by scholarship. For example, my belief that Jesus rose from the dead in /near Jerusalem is pure faith, but the fact that I believe he rose in/near Jerusalem it is shaped  by basic historical scholarship.. e.g. the texts originate from that area during that time period, etc... I think though that apologetics is normal since everyone’s  theology is shaped in some extent by scholarship. Atheists theology is shaped by it, Bokovoy himself states his biblical studies has shaped his current belief system ...

 

Now I think it’s completely true how he frames the BOM having ancient motifs in a 19th century context, but I see this more as a result of it being a type targem /communitive act translation.  Also, I can see how it can be properly labeled as pseudographic.Now, I don’t see the whole BOM as easily as explainable as they suggest, but I agree with what Grant Hardy has stated that if he wasn’t  Mormon (or in other words didn’t have faith) that he would see no reason not to see it as a 19th century text. 

 

From what I can tell he largely thinks all of Joseph's scriptures are purely fictional and 19th century works. Which isn't a terribly strong sense of Mormonism”... I think a more accurate statement would be that he sees no reason that they can’t be seen and interpreted as “purely fictional and 19th century works” and is agnostic to if they are “miracles” in that they represent more than that. I don’t think that whether or not they are miracle texts and in someway have “historicity” matters to him anymore in the way he views deity and scripture. 

Now, I agree with 85% of what he says, but I do find find it important to have faith that there is some level of historicity behind the BOM, even though I don’t have a problem classifying the text as a 19th century work and think that we can’t prove the BOM ancient text. Although, like Bokovoy I find it fruitful Avenue to study these texts using an ancient lens. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I listened to all of it.   Or the first (4 hour) one.  I haven't seen the other one about the higher criticism.  I love hearing stories of people's life journey.  I have a great respect for Brother Bokovoy from the few incidental interactions I have had with him on this board in the far past; and for the study and work he has chosen in this lifetime.  This interview confirmed and strengthened my opinion.  God bless him and his family.

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7 hours ago, Steve J said:

I think his distinction would come down once you invoke God/Supernatural that what you are doing now is theology, even though your theology might be shaped by scholarship.

That's certainly his distinction. The problem is the extra claim which basically reduces down to doing theology is bad. The following claim in particular is just deeply problematic:

  • My issue is when apologists deceive themselves and our community into believing that they can use the tools of scholarship to make an argument for their religious convictions.  They can’t.   It doesn’t work.

Certainly public evidence and scholarship alone can't. But then even within academics we depend upon a common set of beliefs that enable us to use scholarship to make arguments. I suspect David wouldn't be up in arms if a medical ethicist makes an argument about some medical procedure. I suspect he'd concede that would be scholarship. However anything tied to ethics is non-empirical and falls prey to the same problem he sees besetting apologetics. More or less what he's arguing for is positivism. Which is fine. But there's a reason why positivism was rejected. And those who embrace positivism (which again I'm fine with) should at least be forthright about all the other things their position entails rejecting. A significant portion of scholarship in the humanities would be rejected.

It's just that typically what goes on is a double standard where certain positions are fine (say medical ethics) but others (usually religious) are disallowed.

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19 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

That's certainly his distinction. The problem is the extra claim which basically reduces down to doing theology is bad. The following claim in particular is just deeply problematic:

  • My issue is when apologists deceive themselves and our community into believing that they can use the tools of scholarship to make an argument for their religious convictions.  They can’t.   It doesn’t work.

Certainly public evidence and scholarship alone can't. But then even within academics we depend upon a common set of beliefs that enable us to use scholarship to make arguments. I suspect David wouldn't be up in arms if a medical ethicist makes an argument about some medical procedure. I suspect he'd concede that would be scholarship. However anything tied to ethics is non-empirical and falls prey to the same problem he sees besetting apologetics. More or less what he's arguing for is positivism. Which is fine. But there's a reason why positivism was rejected. And those who embrace positivism (which again I'm fine with) should at least be forthright about all the other things their position entails rejecting. A significant portion of scholarship in the humanities would be rejected.

It's just that typically what goes on is a double standard where certain positions are fine (say medical ethics) but others (usually religious) are disallowed.

I agree with your points. However, I think there is a difference between moral ethics and a common set of belief of a religion. I guess the questions is who the apologists are making an argument to.... I think with a common set of beliefs that they can make an argument to their religious community (as long as they let them know that they are doing theology with the assumption that supernatural events can occur), but not to a secular scholarly community who don’t share those common set of beliefs...

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18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

He uses historicity to mean an accurate description in the text of actual events or the attempt to do the same.

Hmm.  That seems like sort of an ideosyncratic usage of the term.  Overly restrictive.  I'll think on it.

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

That is his focus is on the epistemological trustworthiness of texts relative to events. I think most of the debate uses it is a somewhat similar fashion but more in a gross sense. i.e. neglecting the details, are there general statements that as historically accurate. i.e. were there really Nephites who crossed the ocean.

Yes.  The "macro" instead of the "micro."  

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

What he often does (IMO) is focus on the details and neglect questions of the big picture. So in that sense the NT isn't terribly accurate historically but has historicity in the big items. i.e. there was a Jesus, were Romans, were Jews in Palestine, and so forth. It's that question of attempt that I think things get messy with since it may well be that whomever finally recorded Mark (which was originally an oral presentation akin to a stage play) thought they were getting at the actual historical events. I tend to think those questions of intents matter less, but for him I think they matter more since for him most scripture isn't intentionally trying to be historical. I disagree for various reasons.

Interesting.

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

The recent comments I was referring to was the following in a Facebook post:

  • "It has become increasingly popular for younger Mormon apologists to argue that the Book of Abraham is a Ptolemaic copy of an ancient Abrahamic text.   The traditional dates for the Ptolemaic Egyptian kingdom are ca. 332-30 BCE.   This means that the text itself is not what Latter-day Saints have traditionally believed, i.e. that the Book of Abraham was written by Abraham himself upon papyri and then translated by Joseph Smith.

    This new argument allows apologists to see the book Joseph Smith produced as an inspired translation of an ancient source, while still acknowledging the anachronisms in the work and the date of the papyri Smith used to produce the Book of Abraham.

    As a student of Mormonism and the Bible, I have serious issues with this argument.   I do not believe that it is  intellectually or spiritually honest.  The only way an apologist could argue that the Book of Abraham is a Ptolemaic copy of an ancient Abrahamic text is by using the tools of historical scholarship that allow us to date the papyri and identify Jewish influences in Ptolemaic sources.

    So the argument is made using the tools of historical inquiry.  The problem, however, is the only way that this argument could be true is if Joseph Smith had the ability given to him by God to translate from Egyptian papyri.   And that position can NEVER be used in a historical assessment of the work.   The second a historian makes an argument that something occurred via divine intervention they are no longer addressing the issue as an historian.  They are acting as a theologian.

    If we really use the tools of historical scholarship with consistently to assess the Book of Abraham there is only one conclusion historians can ever make:  the book is a 19th century text influenced by the KJV of the Bible and Masonic, as well as later Jewish lore.   So to make an apologetic argument that only uses some aspects of historical inquiry that allows the apologist to still retain religious belief in an inspired translation of an ancient source is methodically unsound.    It is an argument that would never pass through peer review in any academic context outside of BYU.

    Now, as a Mormon myself, I really do not have an issue with Latter-day Saints who ignore scholarship and who choose to believe that the Book of Abraham is an inspired translation of an ancient text.  My issue is when apologists deceive themselves and our community into believing that they can use the tools of scholarship to make an argument for their religious convictions.  They can’t.   It doesn’t work."

Now it's pretty easy to see the flaws in this argument. For one it equates apologetics, which is largely focused upon what is plausible, with academic scholarship, which is largely focused upon what is most likely based upon public evidence. It's just a category error to treat one as the other.

Yes, it does seem to be a strange argument.  Academic scholarship is a tool.  Bokovoy seems to be saying it can't be used for theological / apologetic ends.  That would be like saying "Yes, a contractor can use a hammer to help build a university building, but not to build a church."

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Second he's more or less saying that only the most likely reading based upon public evidence matters. He seems to disparage this as "theology" but I guess I don't understand his dismissal there. I'd actually agree apologetics is more theology than history, albeit a very historically informed theology. 

His comments about more recent approaches to The Book of Abraham are pretty strange.  He seems to be privileging "what Latter-day Saints have traditionally believed," as if 19th-century "traditional" approaches to the text and its source are necessarily binding and definitive.  He also seems to be a bit irked that the "Ptolemaic copy" approach resolves many of the issues that inhere to the "traditional" approach.  That seems sort of strange.  Does the "Ptolemaic copy" approach to the evidence work?  Is it a reasonable framework for evaluting The Book of Abraham?  I think the answer is rather clearly "yes."

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

From what I can tell he largely thinks all of Joseph's scriptures are purely fictional and 19th century works. Which isn't a terribly strong sense of Mormonism. Since if you dismiss the accuracy of the key texts it's pretty easy to be dismissive of the theology too. (IMO)

Yep.  I like this summary from Book of Mormon Central:

Thanks,

-Smac

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35 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

That's certainly his distinction. The problem is the extra claim which basically reduces down to doing theology is bad. The following claim in particular is just deeply problematic:

  • My issue is when apologists deceive themselves and our community into believing that they can use the tools of scholarship to make an argument for their religious convictions.  They can’t.   It doesn’t work.

Certainly public evidence and scholarship alone can't. But then even within academics we depend upon a common set of beliefs that enable us to use scholarship to make arguments.

Yep.  I utilize my training as an attorney (a form of scholarship) all the time to advance apologetic arguments.  Of course I can do this.  Of course it works (IMO).

35 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I suspect David wouldn't be up in arms if a medical ethicist makes an argument about some medical procedure. I suspect he'd concede that would be scholarship. However anything tied to ethics is non-empirical and falls prey to the same problem he sees besetting apologetics.

An excellent point.  "The tools of scholarship" can only take us so far.  But to suggest that these tools cannot be used to advance religious ideas is weird. 

35 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

More or less what he's arguing for is positivism. Which is fine. But there's a reason why positivism was rejected. And those who embrace positivism (which again I'm fine with) should at least be forthright about all the other things their position entails rejecting. A significant portion of scholarship in the humanities would be rejected.

It's just that typically what goes on is a double standard where certain positions are fine (say medical ethics) but others (usually religious) are disallowed.

This is one of the reasons I have generally been happier away from academia.  Today's college campuses have quite a bit of rigidity and orthodoxy and intolerance, including toward religious ideas.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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I listened to the whole thing. 

He was very distraught over the 2015 LGBTQIA policy. He came to see himself on the wrong side of history. This was heightened by his daughter coming out as gay. 

His wife and his sons stopped attending church over The Policy. As of July, 2018 he has stopped attending church. He rsigned all callings.

He has left the Church Educational System. He took a pay cut to administer higher educational services to persons in prison. 

He says he loves The Church, but he clearly no longer believes. He is grieved by what is happening to Bill Reel but is not going to be surprised if at some point it happens to him as well. 

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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

His comments about more recent approaches to The Book of Abraham are pretty strange.  He seems to be privileging "what Latter-day Saints have traditionally believed," as if 19th-century "traditional" approaches to the text and its source are necessarily binding and definitive.  He also seems to be a bit irked that the "Ptolemaic copy" approach resolves many of the issues that inhere to the "traditional" approach.  That seems sort of strange.  Does the "Ptolemaic copy" approach to the evidence work?  Is it a reasonable framework for evaluting The Book of Abraham?  I think the answer is rather clearly "yes."

It's an odd argument. There's lots of arguments against the Ptolemaic copy theory but he's just disparaging all religious thinking more or less.

Of course if he doesn't believe any of the basic truth claims of Mormonism this makes sense. But he should just be forthright that's his argument. Heaven knows there's tons of people who think that way.

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

This is one of the reasons I have generally been happier away from academia.  Today's college campuses have quite a bit of rigidity and orthodoxy and intolerance, including toward religious ideas.  

Yes and effectively they are quasi-religious in that they take a bunch of beliefs as given which are non-empirical and are treated as unassailable dogma. 

 

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2 hours ago, flameburns623 said:

I listened to the whole thing. 

He was very distraught over the 2015 LGBTQIA policy. He came to see himself on the wrong side of history. This was heightened by his daughter coming out as gay. 

His wife and his sons stopped attending church over The Policy. As of July, 2018 he has stopped attending church. He rsigned all callings.

He has left the Church Educational System. He took a pay cut to administer higher educational services to persons in prison. 

He says he loves The Church, but he clearly no longer believes. He is grieved by what is happening to Bill Reel but is not going to be surprised if at some point it happens to him as well. 

he used to post on here as Enumalish or something like that

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5 hours ago, flameburns623 said:

I listened to the whole thing. 

He was very distraught over the 2015 LGBTQIA policy. He came to see himself on the wrong side of history. This was heightened by his daughter coming out as gay. 

His wife and his sons stopped attending church over The Policy. As of July, 2018 he has stopped attending church. He rsigned all callings.

He has left the Church Educational System. He took a pay cut to administer higher educational services to persons in prison. 

He says he loves The Church, but he clearly no longer believes. He is grieved by what is happening to Bill Reel but is not going to be surprised if at some point it happens to him as well. 

That is too bad.  People end up giving up everything over small potatoes stuff.  I am always curious about people who make the appeal to the right or wrong side of history.  Whether one is on the right or wrong side of history really depends on the moment in time one lives and changes over time.  I am sure many people who say they are are on the right side of history today will be viewed on the wrong side of history during the Millennium as it will be said of them of our day "where are they now?"  I am sure many in Noah's day viewed Noah on the wrong side of history.  Then the rains came and they all were washed away in history while Noah remained.

Edited by carbon dioxide

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