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Scott Gordon--CES Letter: Proof or Propaganda

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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

Read the examples given.  That site is awful and I'm surprised you'd use it as a source to be honest, smac.  (I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and hope you meant to link to another source?)

I've stated my position many times.

1 hour ago, ALarson said:

Oh, ok...no "lies".  Then we agree.  

Apparently not.

-Smac

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

"Legal objections?"  As if he were asking them in a courtroom or quasi-legal setting?  

Oh, my objections would be legion.  

  • Objection!  Relevance!  (Rule 402).
  • Objection!  Improper characterization (this one is huge)!  (Rule 404, Rule 405).
  • Objection!  Lacks foundation (this one is huge)!  (Rule 602, Rule 901(a)).
  • Objection!  Assumes facts not in evidence!  (Rule 611(a)).
  • Objection!  Leading!  (Rule 611(c))
  • Objection!  Argumentative (this one is huge)!  (Rule 611(a)).
  • Objection!  Ambiguous!  (Rule 611(a)).
  • Objection!  Bolstering!  (Rule 608(a)).
  • Objection!  Counsel is testifying!  (Rule 603).
  • Objection!  Compound question!  (Rule 611(a)).
  • Objection!  Best evidence rule!  (Rule 1002).
  • Objection!  Lay opinion!  (Rule 701).
  • Objection!  Misleading (huge)!  (Rule 403).
  • Objection!  Misstating evidence!  (Rule 103(c)).

Of course, this would never see the inside of a courtroom.

That's a big assumption.  Very big.  Unwarranted.  This is one of the biggest flaws of the Letter.  There's no "foundation" for it at all.  There's no rhyme or reason to it.  It reads exactly the way one would expect it to be read given its provenance (that is, he went online and solicited bits and pieces from any critic willing to respond).  He's taken an throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-how-much-of-it-sticks approach.  Lawyers and judges hate this kind of crap.  It smacks of . . . you guessed it, bad faith.

Thanks,

-Smac

Do you think these would be sustained?  It looks as though you just listed all possible objections, or a great majority of them.  Perhaps you could go through and specifically list all the questions Mr. Runnells has and then give your objection and explain why it would or should be sustained.  This would be a great exercise if you could actually give some convincing arguments as to why Mr. Runnells' questions are improper from a legal perspective.  However, counsel, you can object to anything, but whether the judge would sustain such objections is an entirely different matter.  So, I would like to see the legal reasoning behind your objections hereinabove.  Also, you were the one who alluded to a legal proceeding that you now say would never happen, obviously.

In the end, we have a long list of problems with the church that won't go away despite Mr. Runnells' attitude.

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28 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't understand.  What has changed since the Jenkins/Hamblin exchange?  Has Jenkins improved at all on the following query?

One of Hamblin's responses:

Well?  Is Gee wrong?

I don't understand.  Have Hamblin's points been addressed?  Or is it incumbent upon us to let the critics call the tune, and our duty is to hop to and dance to it?

Jenkins states (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/06/25/jenkins-rejoinder-5-persian-version/)

Shouldn't such vastly disparate perspectives be explored a bit?  Jenkins seems to be stacking the deck here, as he doesn't even recognoze ABMS as "a real academic disclipline."  Who says so?  Jenkins.  So who just unilaterally set himself up, a priori, as the arbiter of what does and does not constitute scholarship (and, presumably, "evidence") for the Book of Mormon?  Jenkins.  He gets to present the question, and he gets to frame the parameters for the only acceptable answer to that question.  Is this reasonable in your view?

Hamblin states (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/06/27/hamblin-17-the-debate-thus-far/)

Hamblin is using humor to make a salient pint.  Do you think he is wrong?  If so, how?

Hamblin goes on to challenge Jenkins presuppositions about the quantity of evidence (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/06/27/hamblin-18-quantity-of-evidence/😞

Is Hamblin correct here?  Is Jenkins uninformed?  Are his expectations re: New World Preclassic "evidence" unrealistic?  Even wildly so?

Or are you, like Jenkins, insisting that we bulldoze past such basic concepts and start dancin' to the critic's unilaterally-selected tune?

Hamblin even explains why he is calling for some epistemological ground rules (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/06/27/hamblin-19-why-methodology/😞

I think Hamblin has a point.  Shoot, I'm a total neophyte about Mesoamerica, and even I can see what's coming from a mile away: an "epistemological and methodological impasse."

Hamblin goes on:

Is Hamblin correct?  Is Jenkins' call for "Nephite pottery" "extremely naive?"  If not, why not?

Hamblin goes on to address - again - problems with Jenkins' expectations and presuppositions (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/06/27/hamblin-18-why-no-inscriptions/😞

Hamblin makes some pretty solid points here.  Is he wrong?  Is Jenkins' question "silly?"  Are Jenkins' expections re: quantity of New World inscriptions naive and uninformed and unrealistic?

And on and on and on.

One big challenge here is your taunt: "Please answer Professor Jenkins request, if you can, and you might get some people to return."  It demonstrates the asymmetry of the situation.  Latter-day Saints obviously want our brothers and sisters "to return."  But the terms of such a reconciliation cannot be based on arbitrary and ham-fisted criteria.  But that is what you are doing here.  "Prove ______________ in the Church's history/doctrine (or disprove it) to my sole and unimpeachable and arbitrary standard, or else I'm outta here!" is manipulative.  That's not how the search for truth works.

Thanks,

-Smac

Can you answer Mr. Jenkins' query or not?  If not, perhaps a fictional view of the book of mormon is in order?

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7 hours ago, ALarson said:

 

Many of the so called "errors" were as minor as punctuation or grammar, etc.....and if those are counted in your percentages, I'm not impressed.  And Runnells has corrected most of the "errors" pointed out to him and even made other changes in the letter.   I've seen no one really be able to point to anything substantial as being a lie or wrong other than his conclusions or that he didn't give all the details or information.  But once again, that can be said about both sides of this.

Have you read all of Scott's presentation?  Go through Point 7, the Holley maps. By time you reach the part where he claims that JS got names from the Kidd stories, you might be less charitable. Because the Kidd stories didn't contain those names at all. And that is just one problem with the nonsense he presented. 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Do you think these would be sustained? 

Sustained by whom?  In what court?  What venue?  

Quote

It looks as though you just listed all possible objections, or a great majority of them. 

I picked the ones that seems applicable.  There are many, many more.

Quote

Perhaps you could go through and specifically list all the questions Mr. Runnells has and then give your objection and explain why it would or should be sustained. 

Meh.  No thanks.

Quote

This would be a great exercise if you could actually give some convincing arguments as to why Mr. Runnells' questions are improper from a legal perspective. 

Not really.  Sounds like a waste of time (I spent maybe five minutes on the last post, and that seemed like a waste of time).

Quote

However, counsel, you can object to anything, but whether the judge would sustain such objections is an entirely different matter. 

LOL.  And the basis for your guesswork is . . .?

Quote

So, I would like to see the legal reasoning behind your objections hereinabove. 

No thanks.  You can call a tune if you like, but I get to decide whether I'm going to dance.  Not gonna.  Not this tune.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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3 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Can you answer Mr. Jenkins' query or not? 

Holy cow.  Did Jenkins die?  Are you channeling him or something?

Are you going to respond to my questions or not?

Thanks,

-Smac

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Here's a bit of turnabout, where Hamblin calls the tune:

Quote

Alas, Jenkins’ thinking on Nahom is hopelessly muddled.

If NHM can not be accepted an authentic ancient sixth century South Arabian place name, and therefor an authentic match with the BOM Nahom–and hence evidence for (though not proof of) the historicity of the BOM–what additional qualities of evidence of place, personal or ethnic names would make it acceptable?    

Remember: Coincidence is not an argument, or even an explanation.  It is an excuse.

Jenkins claims that Joseph Smith took the name Nahom for an early nineteenth century map of Arabia.

Jenkin’s explanation is simply absurd.  Joseph found it on a map?  Really?  First, there is no evidence for the existence of any such map on the New York frontier in Joseph’s day, let alone that Joseph could have had access to it it.  Furthermore, we have a fairly detailed record of Joseph’s activities during the period of the writing of the Book of Mormon; no mention of a research trip to come college library to consult maps.  But let’s assume he did. Why, we might ask, would he have decided to travel to consult a map instead of making names up?  The only reason would be to create fictional verisimilitude for the book he was fabricating.  So, he looks at a map of Arabia to find place names to put in his book.  Why not mention Arabia itself?  Why not actually mention some of the major cities or regions of Arabia found on the early nineteenth century map he consulted?  Mecca?  Medina?  Sana’a?  Jedda?  Yemen?  Hijaz?  Joseph is apparently motivated enough to check maps of Arabia, but doesn’t pick any name that would be noticably Arabian to the average reader.  Instead, he picks a minor obscure place name, Nihm, which precisely none of his contemporary readers could ever recognize as Arabian.  How could that possibly add verisimilitude to his fictional book?  What would be the point of picking an obscure name?  Not only that, but he changed the spelling.  He didn’t include Nihm in his book.  He wrote Nahom, insuring that precisely no one could ever make the connection.  So, brazen fraud that he was, he steals a name from a map of Arabia to make his fictional book seem authentic, but stupidly changes the spelling so it is unrecognizable.

And not only that, but then he never bothers to mention to anyone: look here, an authentic Arabian name in the Book of Mormon!  Really?  The theory is simply preposterous.  It makes no sense.  It’s only purpose is to create a post hoc explanation for a clear authentic sixth century BC Arabian place name in the Book of Mormon.

Second, it is a baseless assertion that most or even many of the place names on early nineteenth century maps of Arabia can be correlated with 6th century BC toponym inscriptions.  Hogwash.  Evidence please.  You are not privledged to assert and assert and assert and never be required to do actual research and provide any evidence.  It’s time to put up or shut up.  

And thus we see the epistemological muddle that was the totally foreseeable consequence of Jenkins' refusal to address methodology et al.

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Sustained by whom?  In what court?  What venue?  

I picked the ones that seems applicable.  There are many, many more.

Meh.  No thanks.

Not really.  Sounds like a waste of time (I spent maybe five minutes on the last post, and that seemed like a waste of time).

LOL.  

No thanks.  You can call a tune if you like, but I get to decide whether I'm going to dance.  Not gonna.  Not this tune.

Thanks,

-Smac

Of course you won't.  You brought up the issue and won't see it to it's conclusion.  Ok.

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Holy cow.  Did Jenkins die?  Are you channeling him or something?

Are you going to respond to my questions or not?

Thanks,

-Smac

There is no faithful answer to Dr. Jenkins question because there isn't any evidence.  I thought you were going to say that perhaps in the future, the Lord will provide.  I think that is the only rational answer to the question, other than admit that the book of mormon is perhaps just inspired fiction.

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5 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Here's a bit of turnabout, where Hamblin calls the tune:

And thus we see the epistemological muddle that was the totally foreseeable consequence of Jenkins' refusal to address methodology et al.

Thanks,

-Smac

Right.  If in a weak negotiating position, focus on the size of the negotiating table or the worthiness of the questioner.

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6 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I met with Richard personally over lunch and visited with his pastor on one occasion and found them both to be sincere but very misguided and insistent in their ignorance.

Not much you can do with those kind of folks.

Were you at the FAIR conference that he attended? I got the same impression when I met him there. He seemed genuinely surprised that there were answers to his questions. I think he was a nice fellow, but a bit naive. 

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8 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Of course you won't.  You brought up the issue and won't see it to it's conclusion.  Ok.

Oh, brother.  I brought it up as an analogy, dude.  "Let me illustrate my point..."

-Smac

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4 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Right.  If in a weak negotiating position, focus on the size of the negotiating table or the worthiness of the questioner.

"If."

Your posts are becoming progressively less substantive.

-Smac

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6 minutes ago, Exiled said:
Quote

Holy cow.  Did Jenkins die?  Are you channeling him or something?

Are you going to respond to my questions or not?

Thanks,

-Smac

There is no faithful answer to Dr. Jenkins question because there isn't any evidence. 

That's just not so.  

So no, you're not going to answer my questions?

6 minutes ago, Exiled said:

I thought you were going to say that perhaps in the future, the Lord will provide. 

Profaning the Lord's name does not impress.

6 minutes ago, Exiled said:

I think that is the only rational answer to the question, other than admit that the book of mormon is perhaps just inspired fiction.

There is evidence.  Quite a bit, in fact.

Thanks,

-Smac

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29 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Oh, brother.  I brought it up as an analogy, dude.  "Let me illustrate my point..."

-Smac

My point, dudester, is that the analogy fails .... but please illustrate.

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29 minutes ago, smac97 said:

"If."

Your posts are becoming progressively less substantive.

-Smac

Of course, he said as he tried to make an exit stage left ....

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1 minute ago, Exiled said:

Of course, he said as he tried to make an exit stage left ....

Ah.  Taunts.  I'll leave you to it.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Right.  If in a weak negotiating position, focus on the size of the negotiating table or the worthiness of the questioner.

Are you perhaps explaining the methodology of your own post because I am not seeing where Smac is focusing on Jenkin's worthiness myself or worried about the negotiating table?

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, juliann said:

Have you read all of Scott's presentation? 

I am just now working my way through it....

3 hours ago, juliann said:

Go through Point 7, the Holley maps. By time you reach the part where he claims that JS got names from the Kidd stories, you might be less charitable. Because the Kidd stories didn't contain those names at all. And that is just one problem with the nonsense he presented. 

I am not there yet, but I have read of the Captain Kidd connection attempts....I'm not impressed if that's been presented in the CES Letter.  I'll take a look...thanks!

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I'm actually grateful for it. Right along with Christopher Hitchens. Even South Park! 

Nothing has made it clear that those of faith had to step up their explanations and rebuttals, which were notoriously weak at the time.

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16 hours ago, Duncan said:

I think some have and have been proven wrong or debated at least, i.e. this whole debate about where the Hill Cumorah is. I wonder if Jeremy Runnells has examined every scrap of whatever, wherever and decided that this isn't BOM evidence it's evidence for something else and therefore no BOM remains exist. I don't think he's done that! nobody has done that! and what is found academics can disagree on what it is and what it is evidence for

This issue with where Cumorah is and what evidence has been found or not found is just chapter one of the CES letter.  There are sixteen chapters in the Letter.  The amount and breath of issues that the letter presents is what is devastating to many.

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11 hours ago, smac97 said:

The entire premise of the letter is deceptive.  His "questions" are presented in bad faith.  He compiled them well after he had lost his faith.

Thanks,

-Smac

You know what I think is deceptive?  JFS cutting the first vision account out of a historical record and hiding it for thirty years because what was written by JS himself conflicted with the "official" first vision account.  The church has practiced 100 years of deception when it comes to presenting its history and early doctrine.  For years and years there was very little, if any mention of JS polyandry and little mention of his polygamy by the church.   For years members were told not to read or study non-church approved materials, because the leaders knew what was being hidden.  These are examples of deception.  So maybe you should come off your high horse a little bit.  Jeremy did nothing but shed light on many of these issues.  Thinking adults who read the CES Letter have the option to research and vet what he is asserting.  And that is where the big problem for the church is.  The more someone researches, the more issues that are uncovered.   No wonder Dallin Oaks is saying, research is not the answer.

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7 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

You know what I think is deceptive?  JFS cutting the first vision account out of a historical record and hiding it for thirty years because what was written by JS himself conflicted with the "official" first vision account. 

doug-up-squirrel.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

You know what I think is deceptive?  JFS cutting the first vision account out of a historical record and hiding it for thirty years because what was written by JS himself conflicted with the "official" first vision account.  The church has practiced 100 years of deception when it comes to presenting its history and early doctrine.  For years and years there was very little, if any mention of JS polyandry and little mention of his polygamy by the church.   For years members were told not to read or study non-church approved materials, because the leaders knew what was being hidden.  These are examples of deception.  So maybe you should come off your high horse a little bit.  Jeremy did nothing but shed light on many of these issues.  Thinking adults who read the CES Letter have the option to research and vet what he is asserting.  And that is where the big problem for the church is.  The more someone researches, the more issues that are uncovered.   No wonder Dallin Oaks is saying, research is not the answer.

Just as an aside how do you know if was JFS who did that? is there a journal entry that he says he did? He wasn't the only Smith from 1832 to a hundred plus years later. I don't agree with your assertations, Dan Bachman wrote a MA thesis on Joseph Smith's polygamy in the 1970's, he got material from somewhere. it was the same Elder Oaks who gave this talk in 1989 with this quotation, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not attempt to isolate its members from alternate voices. Its approach, as counseled by the Prophet Joseph Smith, is to teach correct principles and then leave its members to govern themselves by personal choices."

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1989/04/alternate-voices?lang=eng

How many times have people read or not read "seek ye wisdom out of the best books"? DC 88:118. How many times have we heard on conference and lessons to study the Gospel? To paraphrase someone who said years ago, Why give up the Gospel of Christ for lack of an arrowhead? The Runnells of the world are classic examples of why we should go to Church and not miss the gospel, otherwise you miss the "simplicity that is in Christ" 2 Corinthians 11:3

Edited by Duncan
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