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Bill Reel Vs. Jim Bennett

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15 hours ago, Bede said:

Your posts and the comments on your posts (which you aren't responsible for).

I allow both sides and all in between to comment.  I only remove posts and block people if they get too personal or use excessive bad language or they refuse to answer questions or are obvious trolls.  I am responsible for that

15 hours ago, Bede said:

 

The "you" on the podcast with Jim Bennett seemed like a nice, reasonable person who, while not believing in the teachings of the church anymore, can understand why reasonable people do believe in its teachings.

My friends say the same thing.  I like to believe that  I am a good human being toward other humans and I am relentless and pointed towards an institution and those who demonstrably deceive on its behalf

15 hours ago, Bede said:

The "you" on your Facebook page seems to be posting mocking memes and disdain for the church and those who believe in its teachings and nothing else.

I am direct and pointed and relentless.  And showing somebody their irrationality requires such

15 hours ago, Bede said:

So, I guess my question is this: Do you acknowledge that there are smart, reasonable, logical, earnest, and educated people on both sides of the coin? Can you acknowledge that there are members of the church who believe in its teachings while not being insane, stupid, or duped?

Yes and No.  Every intelligent "literal" believer would be walked into the irrationality of their beliefs (regardless of whether they personally see it or not)  Mormonism when laid out in all its glory and obejectively as possible, such a presentation will almost never fair well for Mormonism with most people (all systems can brag about having a few believers who know the data)

15 hours ago, Bede said:

Secondly, Jim Bennett "won" the second podcast where you both agreed that the witnesses are solid evidence for the Book of Mormon, and that it's pretty evident that they didn't change their testimonies even though some became enemies of Smith. You also both agreed that the most reasonable explanation for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is the one Joseph Smith told. Why don't you acknowledge these when you're talking about this? You just keep saying things like

I think if Mormonism is laid out objectively and Mormonism loses 15% of the issues, it loses.  Too many things have to hold up for Mormonism to be true.  Having a lone victory here or there is not going to uphold such a system with numerous truth claims with so many of them based on historical events.  By saying some would label part two a win, it must be understood what I mean by that.  Which is not that those issues are in Mormonisms favor.  Only that I lacked enough knowledge on the specifics of what we discussed to push back harder and he was able in lieu of that to argue a tenable approach to those issues (19th century material and BOM witnesses.)

15 hours ago, Bede said:

But Jim Bennett, in my view, got you to concede just as much as you got him to concede. Why not tell the other side of the story?

What all did I concede?  and then lets make a list of what he conceded and lets look at that list and then weigh which has more impact on the truth claims holding up.  I am happy for anyone to take on such a task

 

15 hours ago, Bede said:

And finally (I promise): I just want to say that the CES letter is trash--it's tabloid-level plagiarism from existing critical resources. There isn't a new idea or thought in it, and Jim Bennett, in my opinion, totally owned J.R. which his magnificent reply.

And you are more than welcome to your opinion.  While any such document will fall short, I think it presents enough of Mormonism's problems to help people shift away from Mormonism.

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14 hours ago, Calm said:

Or while having explored Mormonism to its logical conclusions without seeing it as giving up a lot of allowances and qualifiers?

The only way to see if it requires too many allowances and qualifiers is to have a long form real time conversation and allow others to make up their mind.  You almost never get the individual to see such as shown by believers in absolutely kray kray religious systems who know their faith and still believe.

 

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5 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I really liked this last part, thanks for having the follow up discussion.  

I would have liked to hear further discussion on the idea that Jim was asserting that the divine method is "reliable".  I think Jim's overall argument throughout the multiple episodes on this subject weren't logically consistent.  He admits many times that religious experience is subjective and an objective outside observer will not be able to prove religious experience in a testable and objective sense, but then he seems to want to assert that Mormonism is uniquely able to overcome this problem.  I don't understand how though.  How can he assert exclusive authority from God on one hand, and on the other hand say that all religious experience is subjective.  

I agree with the statement that religious experience is subjective.  I just don't understand how Jim is saying that it is also reliable in an objective sense.  I'm fine if he's saying its reliable subjectively, that is a statement that is not testable and open to individual interpretation.  But when he tries to assert the concept of reliability in any objective sense, he needs to back that up with objective evidence that can support the claim.  Reliability is testable and I think he's making an illogical category error when he makes that claim, but I'm not entirely sure I understood why he's holding that ground.   

this was a major leg to the table that I felt would get kicked out with this type of conversation with any believing defender

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4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

A couple more thoughts this discussion has prompted for me.  

In one of the earlier episodes when Bill shares the point that people in different religions all around the world have spiritual experiences and that these spiritual experiences are authentic to them and just as real as Mormon spiritual experiences,  Jim seems to agree with this, but not entirely.  When Bill tries to claim that members of these other religions have just as strong of a conviction that their religion is true, Jim seems to push back saying that the language these other people use to describe their conviction about their religion is materially different than the language a Mormon would use to describe their experience.  I agree the language is different, but I don't agree with the conclusion I think Jim draws from this difference.  

Jim then uses Moroni's promise to illustrate the difference, and the specific instructions in Moroni's promise about reflecting on how God has blessed us and the instruction to then ask God a very specific question and look for a very specific answer to that specific question.  In this case about the truth of the BoM.  This difference seems to be important to Jim's overall argument for Mormonism. 

He seems to be using it in a way to assert that this formula (Moroni's promise) if followed as directed by a sincere individual will yield a result that will prove the efficacy of Mormonism in some kind of universal sense.   This became clearer to me in the final episode when Bill started to bring up an example using Scientology, and Jim quickly shot that down saying that Scientologists don't believe in God, as if that should disqualify their personal subjective religious experiences.  Bill quickly switched to using the Centennial Park example instead of Scientology, but I personally think this revealed a little more about how Jim is emphasizing the Mormon method for evaluating truth. 

I see the Moroni's promise method as just the unique language that Mormons use to describe their subjective religious experience.  But if Jim is saying that the Moroni's promise method is something more, that it is some kind of tool that can be more objectively used for evaluation of "reliability" then I think that undercuts all his other arguments for subjective religious experience and honoring the experiences of other religions as being just as valid as Mormon experiences.  From my vantage point, this argument is not logically consistent.  

if you can not demonstrate why centenial parks spiritual answers are less reliable than LDS answers then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable.  


If President Nelson can arrive at the Nov 2015 policy being revelation and Jim Bennett can not get to that space then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If Mormon Prophets can 180 disagree with each other on race doctrines, adam-god, nov 2015 policy, age of the earth, birth control, what causes homosexuality, etc.... then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some sincere people pray and are told there is a god and others get no answer at all then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some people get an answer that Mormonism is true and others arrive at it is not or some other faith is then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

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1 minute ago, DBMormon said:

The only way to see if it requires too many allowances and qualifiers is to have a long form real time conversation and allow others to make up their mind.  You almost never get the individual to see such as shown by believers in absolutely kray kray religious systems who know their faith and still believe.

 

But that to be seen as somehow definitive would require individuals that were themselves fully informed on every last detail, were articulate and thoughtful in their processing of that info so they could present the ideas articulately and who covered them completely effectively.  And I have yet to see anything like that anywhere.  Instead people pick and choose what they want to talk about and as Kevin pointed out, focus on what they think is important while neglecting details they don't.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, DBMormon said:

President Nelson can arrive at the Nov 2015 policy being revelation and Jim Bennett can not get to that space then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If someone uses the scientific method in an experiment incorrectly or has not completed the experiment, does that mean the method itself is unreliable in your view?

Edited by Calm

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12 minutes ago, Calm said:

But that to be seen as somehow definitive would require individuals that were themselves fully informed on every last detail, were articulate and thoughtful in their processing of that info so they could present the ideas articulately and who covered them completely effectively.  And I have yet to see anything like that anywhere.  Instead people pick and choose what they want to talk about and as Kevin pointed out, focus on what they think is important while neglecting details they don't.

it is always removing Mormonism one layer away from that which can decide the outcome.  This is a wood tool and this advice works inside any faith system.  It can no more inform the truth of Mormonism than it can Scientology.  hence it is useless

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Calm said:

If someone uses the scientific method in an experiment incorrectly or has not completed the experiment, does that mean the method itself is unreliable in your view?

if we are going to blame all people who don't arrive at the answer for which we think is true in spite of them following the process we laid out and our inability to pinpoint the faulty piece, then we have simply created another wood tool.  On top of that regardless of whether it was the method that was faulty or the person using it, if you are unable to discern and pinpoint the defective component, it is still unreliable regardless

Edited by DBMormon

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, DBMormon said:

if you can not demonstrate why centenial parks spiritual answers are less reliable than LDS answers then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable.  


If President Nelson can arrive at the Nov 2015 policy being revelation and Jim Bennett can not get to that space then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If Mormon Prophets can 180 disagree with each other on race doctrines, adam-god, nov 2015 policy, age of the earth, birth control, what causes homosexuality, etc.... then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some sincere people pray and are told there is a god and others get no answer at all then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some people get an answer that Mormonism is true and others arrive at it is not or some other faith is then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

This is all you need to know about Bill Reel; aka; DMBormon; aka Steve J (seriously, who needs so many monikers?).  If you need any other warning about Bill, this is it:

1. If you cannot prove a negative comparison of some undefined amorphous "answers," then a divine method is...unreliable?  Yeah, that doesn't make sense.

2. If President Nelson and Jim Bennett cannot agree on something then...wait, what?  What does Jim Bennett have to do with sweeping claims of spiritual reliability?

3. Silence to one (on one point) is unreliability to all (on every point)?  That's utter nonsense.

4. That people "get" differing answers (to say nothing of the questions they ask, their preparedness to receive, their predisposition to obey, or any other number of context) means...what?

Bill, how are you using all the dough you're making from your podcasts to 'strengthen feeble knees and lift hand that hang down?'  I'm genuinely curious.  Because if your misnamed monikers are any sort of indication of your penchant for honesty, I bet you're keeping it all for yourself, huh?

Bill Reel would deny the sun shining at noon day if it suited him.

Edited by PacMan
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Bede said:

I just want to say that the CES letter is trash--it's tabloid-level plagiarism from existing critical resources. There isn't a new idea or thought in it, and Jim Bennett, in my opinion, totally owned J.R. which his magnificent reply.

It doesn't matter what you think the CES letter is, it's been highly effective.  We still have members who come .... and often (to see a member of the Bishopric) who have just read it for the first time and are ready to leave after reading it.  Many never recover after they discover the information it contains.  I think it's been so effective because it's kind of a one stop reading.  You can say what you want about how it was put together....it's having the effect that it was intended to have.

Also, it does contain much of the truth.  Can you point to where Runnells gave incorrect details or information?  I'm not talking about his conclusions....those are his own and I disagree with some of them.  But I honestly have not seen anyone point to something he's presented that was not accurate (church history, past doctrines, etc.).

And, it appears that Bennett and Runnells "broke bread today and had a good time" (5 days ago):

jdbo85eqpsk21.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=c82bec2565347f5032211e699a59a722e1b303d5

Edited by ALarson

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, PacMan said:

This is all you need to know about Bill Reel; aka; DMBormon; aka Steve J (seriously, who needs so many monikers?).  If you need any other warning about Bill, this is it:

1. If you cannot prove a negative comparison of some undefined amorphous "answers," then a divine method is...unreliable?  Yeah, that doesn't make sense.

2. If President Nelson and Jim Bennett cannot agree on something then...wait, what?  What does Jim Bennett have to do with sweeping claims of spiritual reliability?

3. Silence to one (on one point) is unreliability to all (on every point)?  That's utter nonsense.

4. That people "get" differing answers (to say nothing of the questions they ask, their preparedness to receive, their predisposition to obey, or any other number of context) means...what?

Bill, how are you using all the dough you're making from your podcasts to 'strengthen feeble knees and lift hand that hang down?'  I'm genuinely curious.  Because if your misnamed monikers are any sort of indication of your penchant for honesty, I bet you're keeping it all for yourself, huh?

Bill Reel would deny the sun shining at noon day if it suited him.

Did you listen to the podcasts?  

I'm working my way through them (albeit slowly....podcasts are not my thing....).  I think both of them are expressing their views well and being respectful.  But, are you listening to these or have you finished them?  Or are you just here to personally attack Bill?

Edited by ALarson

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Bill, let's have a reasonable conversation on material issues.  I think you sandbagged Jim.  You were out to prove the church was false.  Jim was not proving anything one way or the other.  He was just talking about issues, without giving particular convincing weight to those issues.  After all this, you talk about "allowances" in a non-debate to close the door in your favor--something you said you were not going to do in this discussion.  I thought that was tremendously unfair.  But since you opened the door, let's talk about "allowances."

1. Are all the purported "allowances" you refer to of the same quality and nature?

2. If not (and they are not), does not the same logic apply to the critical "allowances?"

3. If it does (and it does), what "allowances" over weigh the witnesses' testimony of the Book of Mormon?

You need to admit that you have no answer for many of the critical "allowances," as opposed to many of the faithful "allowances" that you simply decide to reject.  I don't think that's intellectually honest.  Still, I'm interested in you addressing #3.

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33 minutes ago, PacMan said:

This is all you need to know about Bill Reel; aka; DMBormon; aka Steve J (seriously, who needs so many monikers?).  If you need any other warning about Bill, this is it:

1. If you cannot prove a negative comparison of some undefined amorphous "answers," then a divine method is...unreliable?  Yeah, that doesn't make sense.

2. If President Nelson and Jim Bennett cannot agree on something then...wait, what?  What does Jim Bennett have to do with sweeping claims of spiritual reliability?

3. Silence to one (on one point) is unreliability to all (on every point)?  That's utter nonsense.

4. That people "get" differing answers (to say nothing of the questions they ask, their preparedness to receive, their predisposition to obey, or any other number of context) means...what?

Bill, how are you using all the dough you're making from your podcasts to 'strengthen feeble knees and lift hand that hang down?'  I'm genuinely curious.  Because if your misnamed monikers are any sort of indication of your penchant for honesty, I bet you're keeping it all for yourself, huh?

Bill Reel would deny the sun shining at noon day if it suited him.

Ouch. I have only used one username account (though I did change the username early on from my real name to dbmormon)  CFR for me being steve j

We brought in 29k two years ago.  We brought in 31k last year.  We 30k in Mormon Discussion Inc's account and i personally spent about 5k each of those years to pay for costs that any entity of this type would re-imburse.  the entity follows all the rules laid out for a 501-c3.  Any other questions?   

Can you actually counter my argument here laid out or has a stupor of thought given you permission to dismiss me?

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37 minutes ago, DBMormon said:

if you can not demonstrate why centenial parks spiritual answers are less reliable than LDS answers then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable.  


If President Nelson can arrive at the Nov 2015 policy being revelation and Jim Bennett can not get to that space then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If Mormon Prophets can 180 disagree with each other on race doctrines, adam-god, nov 2015 policy, age of the earth, birth control, what causes homosexuality, etc.... then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some sincere people pray and are told there is a god and others get no answer at all then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

If some people get an answer that Mormonism is true and others arrive at it is not or some other faith is then you have shown spiritual answers or the divine method to be ..... unreliable

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this point Bill, and i appreciate you pushing this issue with Jim on the podcast.  I don't always agree with you on everything, but to me, this is a crucial point and demonstrates a serious problem in Mormon apologetics.  The line of reasoning that you explored with Jim shows serious fallacies in the way he was articulating his position.  I don't know if he got the opportunity to fully flesh these ideas out though, so I worry that I might be missing part of how he connects all the dots.  From my vantage point, these arguments show elements of selective and confirmation bias. 

I think Jim recognizes this to some extent.  He is very willing to admit that the leaders make mistakes, but he also wants to claim that they still have access to special powers to get things right.  I would argue that they have no access to special powers of prophecy any more than a random person on the street does, and I don't believe he can produce any evidence to support this claim in any objective sense.   Conversely, I don't like pushing the idea that church leaders are more frequently behind the times on social issues, because even though I am sympathetic to that view and there are some seriously important issues that they have been behind the times on, I think its also has too much subjectivity to the claim.  

 

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14 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Did you listen to the podcasts?  

I'm working my way through them (albeit slowly....podcasts are not my thing....).  I think both of them are expressing their views well and being respectful.  But, are you listening to these or have you finished them?  Or are you just here to personally attack Bill?

I listened to them all.  But thank you for being the uninvited podcast police.  If you actually have something of substance you'd like to discuss, please do so.  Otherwise, don't respond to my posts.

By the way, what elementary school did you go to?  I wonder if I actually know you.

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5 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Bill, let's have a reasonable conversation on material issues.  I think you sandbagged Jim.  You were out to prove the church was false.  Jim was not proving anything one way or the other.  He was just talking about issues, without giving particular convincing weight to those issues.  After all this, you talk about "allowances" in a non-debate to close the door in your favor--something you said you were not going to do in this discussion.  I thought that was tremendously unfair.  But since you opened the door, let's talk about "allowances."

1. Are all the purported "allowances" you refer to of the same quality and nature?

2. If not (and they are not), does not the same logic apply to the critical "allowances?"

3. If it does (and it does), what "allowances" over weigh the witnesses' testimony of the Book of Mormon?

You need to admit that you have no answer for many of the critical "allowances," as opposed to many of the faithful "allowances" that you simply decide to reject.  I don't think that's intellectually honest.  Still, I'm interested in you addressing #3.

1.) each allowance varies in weight.  Feel free to come on for a long form real time discussion and we can discuss those at length.  And while I won't sandbag you, you will in fact be sandbagged.

2.) it applies both ways.  but the weight and number of those allowances differ significantly on one side.

3.) a written back and forth is insufficient for such a fruitful dialogue.  You are welcome on anytime to discuss with as much time given to you as you need.  essentially though one must valuate what makes a witness credible.  And if a spiritual witness is in fact credible if other faiths deemed not true also have them.  Again, I am happy to conversate anytime in a recorded conversation, but your personal attacks have me skeptical of your sincerity.

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3 minutes ago, PacMan said:

I listened to them all.  But thank you for being the uninvited podcast police.  

LOL...I was just wondering.  I'm still working through them.  It's interesting to read about the last podcast as it sounds like they really got to the meat of the discussion.  

What specifically did you disagree with Bill regarding what he stated during the podcasts?  Anything specifically?

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this point Bill, and i appreciate you pushing this issue with Jim on the podcast.  I don't always agree with you on everything, but to me, this is a crucial point and demonstrates a serious problem in Mormon apologetics.  The line of reasoning that you explored with Jim shows serious fallacies in the way he was articulating his position.  I don't know if he got the opportunity to fully flesh these ideas out though, so I worry that I might be missing part of how he connects all the dots.  From my vantage point, these arguments show elements of selective and confirmation bias. 

I think Jim recognizes this to some extent.  He is very willing to admit that the leaders make mistakes, but he also wants to claim that they still have access to special powers to get things right.  I would argue that they have no access to special powers of prophecy any more than a random person on the street does, and I don't believe he can produce any evidence to support this claim in any objective sense.   Conversely, I don't like pushing the idea that church leaders are more frequently behind the times on social issues, because even though I am sympathetic to that view and there are some seriously important issues that they have been behind the times on, I think its also has too much subjectivity to the claim.  

 

if the believer is unwilling or unable to qualify  and quantify what they get right versus what they get wrong and it is admitted that in the moment it is impossible to discern when they are right and when they are wrong (history makes this demonstrably messy) then again it is unreliable. (they being Church leaders)

Edited by DBMormon

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50 minutes ago, Calm said:

If someone uses the scientific method in an experiment incorrectly or has not completed the experiment, does that mean the method itself is unreliable in your view?

Easy, you determine the rules to the experiment and setup proper controls.  But there is a potential flaw in any experiment if you assume that results from the experiment are limited to only certain outcomes. 

Is Mormonism really willing to say that every human who tries Moroni's promise and doesn't come away from that experience believing that the BoM is true, that they must have incorrectly approached the experiment?  Is Mormonism that confident in its truthfulness that you'll cast judgement on millions of people who come away from their interactions with Mormonism and aren't converted?  Sounds awfully prideful to me.  

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45 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Bill Reel would deny the sun shining at noon day if it suited him.

Please don't make this personal, you're violating the board rules and this is uncalled for.  I want to see the thread not get shut down because I like the conversations happening, but this kind of a response from you puts things in jeopardy and changes the tone of the thread.  Consider this a polite request from myself to police yourself on this matter and cut out the uncalled for behavior.   Your post is out of line.  

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19 minutes ago, Calm said:

Excellent, thanks for posting this, I'm not always connected to all the conversations happening at various venues, this will help!  

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51 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Bill Reel; aka; DMBormon; aka Steve J (

It looks like Steve J was quoting Reel without using a quote box or quotes to me.

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1 minute ago, Calm said:

It looks like Steve J was quoting Reel without using a quote box or quotes to me.

True... I thought it was obvious since he has his own account. Next time I quote somebody I will make sure it is in quotations 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/12/2019 at 2:42 PM, Steve J said:

Tomorrow Morning we release Pt 7 of my ongoing conversation with Jim Bennett. This conversation was my favorite

Posted at the same time as Steve's above post, sorry if this makes it confusing...

Steve, you need to put this in a quote box or at least in quotes as it is confusing as to whether you are saying something or Reel.  When I first started reading it, I was thinking "they added another podcast host?".

added:

 

Quote

True... I thought it was obvious since he has his own account. Next time I quote somebody I will make sure it is in quotations 

You should edit it as it will continue to confuse people who come to read the thread, imo.

Edited by Calm
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      MP
    • By rockpond
      In an interview with Gina Colvin on the A Thoughtful Faith podcast, Greg Prince discusses *this* Mormon moment.  Here's a link to the podcast page.  It's a great podcast -- worth the listen regardless of your opinion on the issues.
      “I don’t know the way forward yet.  I think that it’s going to be a combination of people at the top exercising their inspiration and the people at the bottom exercising their inspiration as well and somehow coming to a comfortable interface in the middle that takes advantage of both sources.” ~~Greg Prince
      He talks about the new policy.  Church growth, activity, and the future.
      He asked an interesting question:  What happens when today's 25 year old eventually becomes a Stake President?
      Also, he's currently writing a book on the Church and LGBT issues.  Should be a fascinating read.
       
    • By HappyJackWagon
      Bill Reel was recently interviewed on Mormon Stories about FAIR erasing him from their history. It's a fascinating discussion where they talk about the state of apologetics in general and Bill's personal experience with FAIR and other apologists like Brian Hales who kindly told Bill "I hope your podcast dies." I'm curious if anyone else listened and has any thoughts about the state of FAIR and apologetics in general or about Bill's experience in specific.
      http://mormonstories.org/bill-reel-discusses-his-falling-out-with-fair-and-his-faithful-dissent-with-lds-policy/
    • By Robert F. Smith
      TheSkepticChristian has asked me to post this new topic based on the extensive debunking by FAIRMORMON at http://debunking-cesletter.com/ of the ever-changing "Letter to a CES Director."
       
      TheSkepticChristian finds that that letter "is full of bad arguments and patternicity," and calls particular attention to what the FAIRMORMON debunking says at the end:

      "By academic standards, The CES Letter is inadequate. It makes numerous non-peer reviewed claims that ignore what the actual peer-reviewed literature has said on these matters. Due to their biases and incomplete representations of the topics they address, such publications are often classified as spin or propaganda by scholars" 
       
      Does FAIRMORMON do an adequate job in this case, or do you find it lacking in some way?
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