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A Challenge From John Gee


Chris Smith

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It looks like to me that this is the level of response we will have to be satisfied with when those who rely on badmouthing instead of demonstrating their knowledge can't put out what they demand from others. It is unfortunate that posters with no background in what they are criticizing resort to this instead of facing the problems with their approach with the same honesty they claim is lacking in others. Claiming that a critic doesn't need to know what an Egytologist knows to determine if that Egyptologist is lying or interpreting obscure translations correctly is laughable and pathetic. I don't know how to say what needs to be said about what we have seen nicely and we have been given no reason to try to. Dr. Gee has been a poster here and the scoffers will talk about what he says instead of throwing out schoolyard taunts when they are in our house. Critics can use all the phoney baloney justifications they can muster but the challenge stands unanswered and that tells us what we need to know.

... and I am afraid the refusal by Prof. Gee to address the so clear and obvious

discrepancies between what JS wrote and what the facsimiles depict, unless some

very demanding requirements are met, tells many non-LDS all they need to know

to confirm the delay and distract tactics that replace straighforward answers to

clear and straightfoward problems of discrepancy. I wish LDS apologists would

behave in ways that would show they don

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Dr. Gee has added the following:

I have two other addenda to add to the test based on various posts:

Late Magical Text Addendum (6/7/2007):

22. What is meant by the designation "late" in Egyptian chronology?

23. What is the Egyptologist's functional definition of "magical" as

applied to texts?

24. What types of texts are included by Egyptologists under the heading

"magical texts"?

25. What is the chronological distance between the Joseph Smith Papyri

(whichever Egyptologist you chose to follow on that issue) and the

so-called "magical" papyri on the one hand and the New Kingdom tombs on

the other?

26. Where in Egypt are the magical papyri from?

27. What other Theban texts fall in the chronological distance between

the Joseph Smith Papyri and the magical papyri?

Unique Text Addendum (6/7/2007):

28. What percentage of Middle Kingdom literature is found in only one

manuscript?

29. What percentage of Demotic literature is found in only one manuscript?

30. What percentage of Letters of Fellowship Made by Isis have other

texts appended to them?

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

Posts that have no other purpose than to evade the questions are about to be deleted.

Since I think I was the one who mentioned magical texts, this could be for me.

What all these questions mean when the main fact appears to be that the invocations

of a woman seeking magical solutions to her sentimental problems quoting a number

of exotic names, Abraham included, as words with magical power, have **absolutely

nothing to do** with the BoA and JS renderings of the facsimiles?

Many LDS people can think for themselves and decide what is relevant or reasonable

and what is not coming from BYU scholars, so it would be perhaps desirable for them

to behave openly and honestly so we could all be proud of them.

Sincerely,

Jimmy

We have more than enough posters who can do nothing but question other people's honesty so you aren't needed here. ~ Mods

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Since I think I was the one who mentioned magical texts, this could be for me.

What all these questions mean when the main fact appears to be that the invocations

of a woman seeking magical solutions to her sentimental problems quoting a number

of exotic names, Abraham included, as words with magical power, have **absolutely

nothing to do** with the BoA and JS renderings of the facsimiles?

Many LDS people can think for themselves and decide what is relevant or reasonable

and what is not coming from BYU scholars, so it would be perhaps desirable for them

to behave openly and honestly so we could all be proud of them.

Sincerely,

Jimmy

Was that an answer? Or did you spill something on your keyboard?

Next time you compose a post, please try complete, coherent, and logical sentences.

Yeesh!

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Was that an answer? Or did you spill something on your keyboard?

Next time you compose a post, please try complete, coherent, and logical sentences.

Yeesh!

Maybe you can be so kind as to clearly show where I have been

incomplete, incoherent or illogical in my reply.

Sincerely,

Jimmy

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Interesting... when was the "Seyffarth addendum" added, and why are you throwing it in my face as if it's been part of the OP all along?

I think it would be more correct to say you threw it in Dr. Gee's face. Why won't you answer how much you have read to be qualified to comment on Dr. Gee's incorrect desparate extrapolotion?

CaliforniaKid

Yesterday, 02:25 PM

I have criticized Gee's work for two reasons: 1) his extrapolation from Seyffarth's statement is desperate and frankly incorrect,

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Maybe you can be so kind as to clearly show where I have been

incomplete, incoherent or illogical in my reply.

Sincerely,

Jimmy

What all these questions mean when the main fact appears to be that the invocations

of a woman seeking magical solutions to her sentimental problems quoting a number

of exotic names, Abraham included, as words with magical power, have **absolutely

nothing to do** with the BoA and JS renderings of the facsimiles?

Would you like to diagram this sentence for me?

I wasn't able to find anything resembling subject/verb agreement.

It is incoherent- much like most of the anti's (and their sockpuppet's) criticism of Dr. Gee, and their desperate, failing, and hyper-hypocritical attempts at self-justification.

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Unique Text Addendum (6/7/2007):

28. What percentage of Middle Kingdom literature is found in only one

manuscript?

29. What percentage of Demotic literature is found in only one manuscript?

30. What percentage of Letters of Fellowship Made by Isis have other

texts appended to them?

The existence of unique texts doesn't answer the problem of constructing a probable, rather than a merely possible argument.

Enough of the vague and indirect responses. Your original post needs clarifying. You said:

Occasionally, I have friends who direct my attention to this and

other message boards where I am regularly vilified as incompetent by

people who in some cases have not attended college, and usually

masquerade behind pseudonyms. Yet, when I read their responses, I

wonder about the competence of these critics.

What exactly are you talking about? Rather than the critics trying to guess what you mean and more or less causing problems that may not exist, please outline what accusations you are addressing with this test.

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The existence of unique texts doesn't answer the problem of constructing a probable, rather than a merely possible argument.

Enough of the vague and indirect responses. Your original post needs clarifying. You said:

What exactly are you talking about? Rather than the critics trying to guess what you mean and more or less causing problems that may not exist, please outline what accusations you are addressing with this test.

This is Dr. Gee's thread and no one else get's to control the topic. Sorry but the topic is his questions and nobody elses.

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Let us (for the sake of argument, and because it is probably true, given that he has a PhD from a reputable university) concede the point that John Gee no doubt wishes to make with his ever-lengthening list of questions:

**He is technically qualified in the discipline of Egyptology**

There - now that is done!

Of course, as John Gee would be the first to concede (no?), being technically qualified in a subject does not mean that one's opinions are always correct and beyond question, does it? After all, there are (are there not?) some Egyptologists who have strong disagreements with other Egyptologists about significant questions, and they cannot all be right at once. So John Gee could be very well qualified technically, and also very wrong - about (for example) the papyri relating to the 'Book of Abraham' question.

But how are us ignoramuses to judge whether John Gee is right or not? I suppose we might look to see if there are any other Egyptologists who have written about these papyri, and who have in doing so expressed an opinion on the views that Gee generally supports.

Are there any such Egyptologists? What is their view of John Gee's work?

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But how are us ignoramuses to judge whether John Gee is right or not?

By having similiar knowlege and experience in the topic you are taking on when the goal is to insult a Mormon expert. Stop wasting our time with strawman questions. The problem with what has been happening to stop discussion has been said lots of time by more than one of us. If you can't comprehend that much then you need to go back to your other board.

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This is from CK on his other board where the insults continue.

Seyffarth article

According to Gee's reasoning, Seyffarth would only have identified the JSP fragment as an "invocation" if it had the phrase "beginning of the book of" on it. He therefore concludes that the now-lost JSP fragment in the St. Louis Museum contained this phrase. And, implicitly, the "book" this phrase was referring to was the Book of Abraham.

This rests on at least two major assumptions:

1) Seyffarth only used the word "invocation" to refer to hymns, and would not have used it of other kinds of texts.

2) Seyffarth would not have identified the JSP fragment as a book of hymns unless it contained the phrase "beginning of the book of".

I believe both these assumptions are in error. "Invocation" has a broad meaning that is not limited to hymns. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen it used to describe a hymn. And we also know that in the case of the other Book of Breathings Seyffarth noticed the repetition of the names of Osiris and the deceased. If he saw the same pattern in the JSP fragment, it would be only natural for him to conclude it was a similar kind of text.

According to Ritner, Books of Breathings often have as their bookends vignettes like facsimile 1 and facsimile 3. So we would not expect an additional record to appear between the BoB text and facsimile 3. Seyffarth's observations confirm our expectation. Seyffarth's comments also seem to imply that facsimile 3 was the end of the roll, and there was no additional record after it.

Gee is trying to overturn the obvious conclusion by means of a highly speculation extrapolation and reinterpretation of Seyffarth's statements. Presumably this is a faith-based endeavor, which removes it from the realm of critical scholarship. That's fine, if Gee acknowledges that that's what he's doing. But he does not. In fact, he went on to state almost casually in his Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri that there was another text after the BoB on the JSP roll, but that only the phrase "the beginning of the book of" has been preserved. The statement seems to indicate that this phrase has actually been "preserved" on an extant fragment. But of course it has not. It has only been "preserved" in the sense that Gee can extrapolate it from Seyffarth's comments. This is where I suspected Gee of duplicity; his statement seems designed to lead people to believe there is more evidence for the missing papyrus theory than really exists.

Hopefully that clarifies the issue.

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This is Dr. Gee's thread and no one else get's to control the topic. Sorry but the topic is his questions and nobody elses.

Hello? I asked for clarification. I'm calling him to document his accusations. So far, they are vague and for all I know fictitious. We are allowed to call for sources, aren't we?

If it's Dr. Gee's thread, why isn't he here?

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It has only been "preserved" in the sense that Gee can extrapolate it from Seyffarth's comments. This is where I suspected Gee of duplicity; his statement seems designed to lead people to believe there is more evidence for the missing papyrus theory than really exists.

It is exactly this point at which Dr. Gee could, if he so chose, chime in with a relevant rejoinder. I have no doubt that he has thought through this issue. To my mind, at least three possibilities exist here:

(1) Gee would now distance himself from this apparent extrapolation, for good reasons.

(2) Gee would not now distance himself from this apparent extrapolation, for good reasons.

(3) Gee doesn't have an opinion on the matter.

I find (3) highly unlikely. My guess is that either either (1) or (2) obtain.

Dr. Gee: I both realize and affirm that you are more than competent to hold justifiably to either (1) or (2). But, one wonders, which is it? If (2), then it would be highly useful to all interested for you to state your good reasons. It wouldn't be the first time a cogent LDS response has silenced a particular criticism. The ever-growing list of test questions has little bearing on whether you hold to (1) or (2).

Perhaps someone could start a new thread inviting Dr. Gee and anyone else interested in defending the missing scroll hypothesis to comment on these issues.

Would that Dr. Peterson were back in town. I have little doubt that he would chime in with something substantive and relevant (and quite probably also a little snarky as well) and possibly point the board toward a more productive discussion on the matter. The ever-growing test is getting the discussion nowhere fast.

Best.

CKS

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I don't see accusations, I see a list of clearly phrased questions. We would appreciate it if critics would have the courtesy to tackle the questions rather than adding things that aren't there.

The questions were preceded by the following accusations:

Occasionally, I have friends who direct my attention to this and

other message boards where I am regularly vilified as incompetent by

people who in some cases have not attended college, and usually

masquerade behind pseudonyms. Yet, when I read their responses, I

wonder about the competence of these critics.

Who has accused him of being incompetent? Incompetent in what? What exactly did they say that makes this test applicable? Perhaps with some clarification, I might even agree with him. So far, I'm not sure what his point is.

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It is exactly this point at which Dr. Gee could, if he so chose, chime in with a relevant rejoinder. I have no doubt that he has thought through this issue. To my mind, at least three possibilities exist here:

(1) Gee would now distance himself from this apparent extrapolation, for good reasons.

(2) Gee would not now distance himself from this apparent extrapolation, for good reasons.

(3) Gee doesn't have an opinion on the matter.

I find (3) highly unlikely. My guess is that either either (1) or (2) obtain.

Dr. Gee: I both realize and affirm that you are more than competent to hold justifiably to either (1) or (2). But, one wonders, which is it? If (2), then it would be highly useful to all interested for you to state your good reasons. It wouldn't be the first time a cogent LDS response has silenced a particular criticism. The ever-growing list of test questions has little bearing on whether you hold to (1) or (2).

Perhaps someone could start a new thread inviting Dr. Gee and anyone else interested in defending the missing scroll hypothesis to comment on these issues.

Would that Dr. Peterson were back in town. I have little doubt that he would chime in with something substantive and relevant (and quite probably also a little snarky as well) and possibly point the board toward a more productive discussion on the matter. The ever-growing test is getting the discussion nowhere fast.

Best.

CKS

And you still refuse to take the challenge and rather make this a thread about what you think it should be about. Look, I think your questioning on unrelated issues to the OP is fine, but it would be more appropriate if you and the many other critics who have joined in would start another thread for such a purpose. In fact, CK you could see if they would start a Pundit thread just for you and Gee to have that death match you seem to crave... I promise to bring some popcorn to the event.

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And you still refuse to take the challenge and rather make this a thread about what you think it should be about. Look, I think your questioning on unrelated issues to the OP is fine, but it would be more appropriate if you and the many other critics who have joined in would start another thread for such a purpose. In fact, CK you could see if they would start a Pundit thread just for you and Gee to have that death match you seem to crave... I promise to bring some popcorn to the event.

I've already admitted that I would be unequivocally bound to lexicons in order to answer Gee's challenge. And so what? The purported purpose of this thread strikes me as both irrelevant and inane.

I'll start the new thread (one dedicated to the actual issue at hand), though it would seem that Dr. Gee is not particularly interested in contributing to a relevant discussion of the quite limited issue involved.

CKS

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I've already admitted that I would be unequivocally bound to lexicons in order to answer Gee's challenge. And so what? The purported purpose of this thread strikes me as both irrelevant and inane.

I'll start the new thread (one dedicated to the actual issue at hand), though it would seem that Dr. Gee is not particularly interested in contributing to a relevant discussion of the quite limited issue involved.

CKS

Then wouldn't it have been best to have posted this initially and then go about the "actual issue at hand"?

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Who has accused him of being incompetent? Incompetent in what? What exactly did they say that makes this test applicable? Perhaps with some clarification, I might even agree with him. So far, I'm not sure what his point is.

Well, I believe you know who dartagnan is, right? He has many samplings of such things-- in fact; I believe he has just disseminated another grand dissertation on the subject.

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Why is it that you can't seem to get it... this is not a thread about his work but about those who question his competence.

If that truly is the point of this thread, then perhaps it would be instructive to detail with quotations from this board those posts that have questioned his competence.

CFR.

Best.

CKS

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Has anyone answered the questions yet?

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If that truly is the point of this thread, then perhaps it would be instructive to detail with quotations from this board those posts that have questioned his competence. CKS

Why?

I'm willing to do it to the best of my ability, but having already done a search that came up with 27 pages of posts with his name and finding that some of these posts have sections deleted by the mods (surprise on that one) thus likely losing us the most egregious examples, what is it you think will be accomplished by collecting these posts?

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