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Gee's Talk


Mortal Man

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Thanks LOAP for posting your notes on the FAIR conference. Your summaries of the talks are most excellent.

I have a few comments on John Gee's talk.

FAIR2009009-1.jpg

Some online critics with no training in Egyptology, who don't sign their names to their posts, are interesting to deal with.

Chris Smith signs his name to his posts. I don't, but Prof. Gee knows who I am.

The BoA as coming from the "long roll" is wtinessed by friends and foes to the Church.

Agreed.

The scroll of Horus is the long scroll, it is long enough to contain one other text which is not unusual.

It would have to be an incredibly short text. There is nowhere near enough space to write out the BoA in conventional Egyptian hieratic or hieroglyphics, but I suppose you could do it if use used 5th-degree JSAG symbols.

So the Breathings need not be the BoA. If it is not the long scroll, then the Doc of Breathing,...

It's always wise to keep the getaway car running.

In many cases the argument about the BoA has become so complex that many people can't keep track of the larger picture and the implications their smaller arguments have.

This is a scare tactic. BoA issues are no more complex than other apologetic issues.

1. It is not necessary to refute every statement by a critic.

This is wise, because so much is irrefutable.

2. Not every point is worth defending.

I most heartily agree.

3. Truth is not well served by a bad argument. We do not need to repeat or shore up bad arguments.Some of Nibley's arguments are this way, including sacrifice of Abraham argument. We apologists and scholars are certainly not inerrent.

I couldn't have said it better.

The BoA is not central to the Church. The first 50 years wasn;t even in the canon....

The BoA is an appendage....

Of the 102,037 scriptural citations in Conference since 1932, BoA cited 731 times, less than 1%. The D&C 38x as frequently. Etc.

For the critics, this may seem to be a vain superstition, but seem in not worthy of attack. What they attack is not important to LDS. This is not to say LDS can or should forgo the book, but to give an idea of relative importance. It is more important than some things, and less than others.

Are any other apologists on board with this downplaying of the book's importance? Are you really willing to throw the BoA under the bus just to stick it to the critics?

most critics are not trained or relatively bright

Were there cheers and high-fives at this point?

Critics insist we must believe the breathings doc is the BoA

sigh

I don't know a single "critic" who says this.

The term Chaldean did not mean the same in JS's day.

Of course "translation" didn't either. Redefining words is a favorite apologetic strategy.

1. The arguments have become so complex that critics argue the church's position: BoBreath is not the BoA

This is getting really old.

2. Critics don;t deal with aspects of the BoA that LDS actually care about.

And that would be...? I thought he just said that LDS didn't care about the book.

3. How it was translated is unimportant.

That was Brant Gardner's talk!

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Thanks LOAP for posting your notes on the FAIR conference. Your summaries of the talks are most excellent.

I have a few comments on John Gee's talk.

FAIR2009009-1.jpg

Chris Smith signs his name to his posts. I don't, but Prof. Gee knows who I am.

Agreed.

It would have to be an incredibly short text. There is nowhere near enough space to write out the BoA in conventional Egyptian hieratic or hieroglyphics, but I suppose you could do it if use used 5th-degree JSAG symbols.

It's always wise to keep the getaway car running.

This is a scare tactic. BoA issues are no more complex than other apologetic issues.

This is wise, because so much is irrefutable.

I most heartily agree.

I couldn't have said it better.

Are any other apologists on board with this downplaying of the book's importance? Are you really willing to throw the BoA under the bus just to stick it to the critics?

Were there cheers and high-fives at this point?

sigh

I don't know a single "critic" who says this.

Of course "translation" didn't either. Redefining words is a favorite apologetic strategy.

This is getting really old.

And that would be...? I thought he just said that LDS didn't care about the book.

That was Brant Gardner's talk!

If your so wise please put in a paper for next year's event. I'd love to hear your views and perspective instead of your constant criticizing of apologist who are much more knowledgeable and informed than you. Please your constant whining and discipleship to Chris is getting old. Your math skills are impressive Mortalman but you are not in the same league as John Gee on the Book of Abraham nor anywhere close to his expertise on Egyptian scrolls and you are not even close to Brant Gardner on his insights and views of the Book of Mormon. So again please stop the talk and start the walk. I look forward toward a presentation from you next year, I will try not to take the low road and tear it down as you seem to delight in doing to others. Of course you have every right to your opinion as do I as do they do. But when I research past posts yours are filled with quick jabs of negativity and theirs well with backed up sources and years of experience.

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Anijen,

Mortal Man and I agree about a great deal and have become e-friends, but he has hardly simply parroted my views. In fact, he has taken the mathematical analysis of the Hor fragments to a level considerably beyond what I had done, and it is not unlikely that his analysis will result in the publication of an article. Calling someone a yes man or sockpuppet because they are in agreement with someone else is hardly a constructive approach to dialogue. Are you a yes man to Pahoran or Will Schryver because you agree with their negative assessment of me and my views? Are you a yes man to John Gee or to other authors whose work you find persuasive enough to repeat at the dinner table?

Thanks,

-Chris

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Anijen,

Mortal Man and I agree about a great deal and have become e-friends, but he has hardly simply parroted my views. In fact, he has taken the mathematical analysis of the Hor fragments to a level considerably beyond what I had done, and it is not unlikely that his analysis will result in the publication of an article. Calling someone a yes man or sockpuppet because they are in agreement with someone else is hardly a constructive approach to dialogue. Are you a yes man to Pahoran or Will Schryver because you agree with their negative assessment of me and my views? Are you a yes man to John Gee or to other authors whose work you find persuasive enough to repeat at the dinner table?

Thanks,

-Chris

Perhaps I am. I apologize I will work on being more objective.

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You guys make the choice on who is the Book of Abraham and Egyptian expert.

Chris Smith

Has an MA in Christan History from Wheaton College and a BA in Biblical Studies (with a minor in Classics) from Fresno Pacific University.

John Gee

Has a Ph.D. in Egyptology, Yale University, is William "Bill" Gay Assistant Research Professor of Egyptology at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, where he is a series editor for Studies in the Book of Abraham and a member of the editorial board of the Eastern Christian Texts series. He is also on the board of directors for the Aziz S. Atiya Fund for Coptic Studies at the University of Utah.

Hugh Nibley

Nibley began his studies at University of California, Los Angeles, graduating summa cum laude, and earned a doctorate as a University Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. A prolific author and professor of Biblical and Mormon scripture at BYU, he was fluent in numerous languages, including Classical Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Egyptian, Coptic, Arabic, German, French, English, Italian, and Spanish. He also studied Dutch and Russian

Facts;

1. The Book of Abraham parallels so many nonbiblical stories it is clearly part of the same tradition. ~ Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham, Tvedtnes, Hauglid, Gee pg xxxv intro

2. The Lion Couch is associated with sacrifice. Compare P. Leiden I384 with Abr 1:11

~ Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham, Tvedtnes, Hauglid, Gee pg 501

3. Joseph Smith procured five scroll's, only eleven fragments of two scrolls have survived. No one knows with any certainty which scroll the Book of Abraham was attached to.

4. An estimated 40% of known Sensen texts have other texts attached to them. It would not be unusual to have the Book of Abraham attached.

~ http://en.fairmormon.org/Search_for_the_Truth_DVD/Book_of_Abraham

5. Ancient Israelites sometimes used Egyptian symbols to convey religious teachings.

~ see the Instructions of Amenemope compared to the Book of Proverbs

6. The four sons of Horus, are represented as coptic jars that guard the organs and entrails of the deceased. These four were also associated with the four cardinal points: north, south, east, west, respectively. In the explanation of the Book of Abraham facsimile #2 fig 6 it says; "Represents this earth and its four quarters."

~see Ancient Egypt, Lorna Oaks and Lucia Gahlin pg 413, compare to facsimile #2 fig 6

7. While it is generally thought that the geography of Ur of the Chaldees is in Iraq, it is not so problematic or as dubious as critics enjoy suggesting (see here http://www.mormonapologetics.org/topic/44736-john-gees-fair-presentation/page__view__findpost__p__1208702872) The fact is that there is considerable evidence to place it near Harran (Turkey) some of these would be;

names in Abraham's family that correspond to place-names near Harran, patriarchal customs such as adoption and inheritance, and early traditions and writings about Ur. "...there is another city specifically called "Ur in Harran." "An especially intriguing notice," write the editors of the Biblical Archaeology Review, "is a reference to 'Ur in Haran.' Does this mean that the Ur from which Abraham originally came was near Haran rather than a thousand miles further away in southern Mesopotamia where 'Ur of the Chaldees,' is supposedly located?" ~ "Promise of Ebla," 42

. These are only a few gems about the Book of Abraham there are many more such as astronomy but the real treasure is in the spiritual values that the Book of Abraham offers such as the council in Heaven, the eternal nature of spirits, the pre earth life, the creation and many others. I hope that all that frequent these boards are not so simply persuaded by critics who jump at the slightest chance to disparage other well researched works.

I see critics such as Chris Smith post in almost every subject of the KEP, Book of Abraham and related topics and endeavor to place wedges of doubt into the minds of sincere students of interest. I see others (Mortalman) jump to Chris' defense whenever he is scrutinized. I see posters such as Vance who felt insulted that since he doesn't know as much on the topic or disagrees with Chris, he (Vance) must be wrong. I see posters like William Schriver who very rarely returns because of constant harassment and negative posts aimed at him. I view this as a sad outcome and a valued opinion is missed. I see a beautiful mind and one of the most intelligent persons I have met and know in Brother Gee and it also saddens me to see attacks on him and his scholarship. Is it no wonder he does not participate here at MADB. He would be such a welcome and valued asset to apologetics. Perhaps because of his absence it encourages other smaller minds to attack without fear of rebuttal from him.

I am such a poor replacement to take up the cause. I invite Brother Hamblin and Peterson to post more often. As I read their works I am lifted and educated. I am happy also that some youth such as Rommulator, they have taken up the torch of apologetics and I look forward to their contributions.

To Chris and Mortal man I apologize for my constant nagging on you guys, may I humbly offer some advice? If you want me and others like me to take you guys with any sincere credibility, place at times into your posts the uplifting and positive points, perhaps what you may seem as a pro and con. Why the constant disparagement? Chris I have seen it in so few of your posts. Mortalman your posts on the scrolls and their dimensions are brilliant and have yet to be refuted on these boards, but your critiquing of other apologist is gloomy and you infatuation with Chris is enlightening. It seems as if you have your own person doubts and are showing a faltering testimony. If you could at times pepper your post with some more personal beliefs in this wonderful church I think it would do go along ways toward respect. I admit as a non pundit but avid researcher I study the subjects in a serious manner and decide for myself and I do not adhere to one person or another. I have a deep and burning testimony of the church and its scriptures. I hope that I also can learn and not be so negative in my post in the future. God bless.

Anijen

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Are any other apologists on board with this downplaying of the book's importance? Are you really willing to throw the BoA under the bus just to stick it to the critics?

I don't think anyone has talked about throwing it under the bus. But as far as faithful LDS the issue of how we got it is irrelevant except as a point of interest. I find that most LDS I talk to love the BOA and find it an important piece of scripture and really are not interested in the debate on the fragments. However, from an Apologetic viewpoint, and for the sake of the few who get hung up on the details, I think it is important to have scholars with real credentials who are willing to answer the critics with their expertise based on real life examination of the fragments and with the historical context their background gives them.

You guys ought to wait for Gee to publish his latest findings which I think are very important to the discussion.

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Anijen,

I appreciate your sincere post. As it happens, I have discussed the positives more often than I get credit for. Not so much of the missing papyrus theory, which I don't think has very many positives at all. But I have openly endorsed the catalyst theory in podcasts, on the Internet, and at academic conferences. I have also frequently given Joseph Smith credit for the genius of his production. And where I have seen evidences of the Book of Mormon or other LDS doctrines that I find relatively persuasive (e.g. "if...and" conditionals, "land of Jerusalem," etc.), I have not been loath to say so. There is much about the LDS faith I admire and there are many faithful LDS researchers I respect and with whom I have a good relationship (like Kevin Barney, David Bokovoy, and even-- the occasional spat notwithstanding-- the good Dr. Peterson).

But to the degree that I have been more acerbic than necessary, I can only apologize and promise that I am doing my best to progress toward greater compassion and knowledge and glory, just as I believe my LDS friends and associates are doing.

Peace,

-Chris

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Anijen,

I appreciate your sincere post. As it happens, I have discussed the positives more often than I get credit for. Not so much of the missing papyrus theory, which I don't think has very many positives at all. But I have openly endorsed the catalyst theory in podcasts, on the Internet, and at academic conferences. I have also frequently given Joseph Smith credit for the genius of his production. And where I have seen evidences of the Book of Mormon or other LDS doctrines that I find relatively persuasive (e.g. "if...and" conditionals, "land of Jerusalem," etc.), I have not been loath to say so. There is much about the LDS faith I admire and there are many faithful LDS researchers I respect and with whom I have a good relationship (like Kevin Barney, David Bokovoy, and even-- the occasional spat notwithstanding-- the good Dr. Peterson).

But to the degree that I have been more acerbic than necessary, I can only apologize and promise that I am doing my best to progress toward greater compassion and knowledge and glory, just as I believe my LDS friends and associates are doing.

Peace,

-Chris

I also will try not to be so myopic in my criticizing of you.

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Chris,

Thanks for putting up with the bumps and bruises here with grace.

MM,

I've seen Gee's presentation characterized online a few times now as throwing the BOA under the bus. I was there yesterday, and I simply disagree with this assessment (as Gee himself did during the Q&A period). He reiterated several times that he thinks the BOA is defensible, should be defended, and that he has spent much time doing so. You may have been expecting the next word in a linear conversation, but I think he was simply doing what he said he was doing--trying to add some needed context to the larger picture.

Regards

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"Critics insist we must believe the breathings doc is the BoA"

I don't know a single "critic" who says this.

I guess you are not following the thread "the Lies of Mormonism" with Expose in it . He said that the BoA came from teh BoB and was just mis translated. It isn't the first time I have heard it either. Now I have never heard you or Chris or even Tarski say that it was, but I have heard it.

I guess somewere, from someone, apologist and critics alike, they make bad arguements.

I believe I worded this sentance funny. To many commas oh well.

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Anijen,

I value your opinion and consider you a key barometer of MADB cordiality and respect. If you found my comments overly harsh, then I'm sure others did as well and for that I apologize.

Please be aware however, that I make my comments in the spirit of healthy debate and I never intend them to be taken personally. I furthermore assume that nothing I say here

will have any affect on anyone's testimony. The last thing I want to do is damage anyone's faith in the church. If I have offended you in this regard, again I apologize.

I think my view of this board may be slightly different that other people's. When I see someone viciously attacked, I actually see it as a sign of respect. The attacker is saying,

"Your opinion means enough to me that I have to get all worked up about it." People like DCP intuit this and revel in it. So you see, by slandering and denigrating Prof. Gee,

I am actually paying him homage.

Now concerning credentials, Prof. Gee's Egyptological skills are impressive and a key reason people are eager to engage him on this subject. Nevertheless, I don't think it's

wise to base judgement soley on who has the most degrees from the best universities. I have my own set of credentials but I've resisted trotting them out here because:

( A ) anyone can claim anything on an anonymous message board and ( B ) I believe people should be judged by the strength and eloquence of their arguments, without

appealing to their authority.

Now you'll have to excuse me; Chris' shoes need shining. wink.gif

MM

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One more thing.

I will try not to take the low road and tear it down as you seem to delight in doing to others.

This again is where our styles differ. I want people to do their darndest to tear down what I have done. You determine how good something is by finding where it breaks. What good is dogma that's so fragile it takes an army of apologists to prop it up?

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Anijen,

I value your opinion and consider you a key barometer of MADB cordiality and respect. If you found my comments overly harsh, then I'm sure others did as well and for that I apologize.

Please be aware however, that I make my comments in the spirit of healthy debate and I never intend them to be taken personally. I furthermore assume that nothing I say here

will have any affect on anyone's testimony. The last thing I want to do is damage anyone's faith in the church. If I have offended you in this regard, again I apologize.

I think my view of this board may be slightly different that other people's. When I see someone viciously attacked, I actually see it as a sign of respect. The attacker is saying,

"Your opinion means enough to me that I have to get all worked up about it." People like DCP intuit this and revel in it. So you see, by slandering and denigrating Prof. Gee,

I am actually paying him homage.

Now concerning credentials, Prof. Gee's Egyptological skills are impressive and a key reason people are eager to engage him on this subject. Nevertheless, I don't think it's

wise to base judgement soley on who has the most degrees from the best universities. I have my own set of credentials but I've resisted trotting them out here because:

( A ) anyone can claim anything on an anonymous message board and ( B ) I believe people should be judged by the strength and eloquence of their arguments, without

appealing to their authority.

Now you'll have to excuse me; Chris' shoes need shining. wink.gif

MM

MM,

I only put college credentials up there to show expertise in certain areas. I respect any who endeavor to further their education. I was not judging solely on most degrees or which university and I did not even leave that impression. I placed the college credentials because in one post Mike Reed implied that Chris was an expert on the Book of Abraham. I have seen both you and Chris critique Professor Gee and his research. Professor Gee (I know him too)is a humble guy and does not exchange in argument over the internet and very rarely will he even comment here or anywhere else. Since he does not and Chris is very active in almost all post with the BoA I as a friend come to his defense. I am not even in his league but never the less feel obligated by that friendship to at least put up some token resistance otherwise it is heavily one sided. His credentials place him in elite level on the subject. If I want to know more say about understanding the Apostle Paul I might go to Chris first but hardly when it comes to the Book of Abraham.

Like you I have also furthered my education past the dime a dozen BA or BS degrees. Even with my post graduate credentials I have never used them, my profession is in business and I have forgotten much of what I have learned of my majors(Psychology and Communications). Again I emphasize the respect to all those who further their education or understanding. I did not place them out of pride or flaunt them as a belittling tool. I simply placed them to show who is the expert on Egyptian and the Book of Abraham.

I also would like to take this opportunity to remark here (since I cant in the pundit forum)your scroll math is impressive and wish another bright math guy/gal would delve into your post and place their own evaluations for or against. Though no one has yet does not mean it is irrefutable.

I disagree with your comment about Professor Peterson. From my review of many of his posts. He has a wonderful unique sense of humor, he does not post by "intuit" obligation but because of a sincere desire to defend the church. IMO when DCP see's a scholar "viciously attacked" he does not participate out of respect for the attacker. Furthermore I am sure he does not feel that slandering and denigrating another scholars work (especially since that scholar Gee does not defend himself on the boards) as paying them homage. So when I was beat up by the bully in Jr. High because he couldn't copy my homework in sense he was paying me a compliment? I kinda see your logic but disagree.

When you say "...I believe people should be judged by the strength and eloquence of their arguments.." I agree but you judged and then attacked not the argument but 2nd hand notes whose author (LOAP) even said they were written very quickly and should wait until Professors Gees paper is published.

In ending my rather long diatribe I also value yours and Chris' opinions. I find myself later regretting somethings some harsh words I have typed and wish I had not of said some things. I am quick to shoot and find out that then its too late for questions. If I have offended I also add my apology.

Put a nice shine on Chris shoes

Anijen

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Anijen,

Mortal Man and I agree about a great deal and have become e-friends, but he has hardly simply parroted my views. In fact, he has taken the mathematical analysis of the Hor fragments to a level considerably beyond what I had done, and it is not unlikely that his analysis will result in the publication of an article. Calling someone a yes man or sockpuppet because they are in agreement with someone else is hardly a constructive approach to dialogue. Are you a yes man to Pahoran or Will Schryver because you agree with their negative assessment of me and my views? Are you a yes man to John Gee or to other authors whose work you find persuasive enough to repeat at the dinner table?

Thanks,

-Chris

I believe the challenge was that if write a paper. Otherwise it really is just carping, if you are going to say someone is wrong, be very specific as to why. Throwaway lines like "keep the car running" reflect a certain intellectually deficiency when the author cannot respond.

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One more thing.

This again is where our styles differ. I want people to do their darndest to tear down what I have done. You determine how good something is by finding where it breaks. What good is dogma that's so fragile it takes an army of apologists to prop it up?

Let us know when you do something.

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I believe the challenge was that if write a paper. Otherwise it really is just carping, if you are going to say someone is wrong, be very specific as to why. Throwaway lines like "keep the car running" reflect a certain intellectually deficiency when the author cannot respond.

What about throwaway lines about people having intellectual deficiencies? :P

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Do us all a favor and publish it without the pithy insults against Book of Abraham critics.

You know, Chris, I think you'd do yourself a favor if you would read the paper before commenting on it.

I'll tell you this: Professor Gee said nothing in his presentation on Thursday to compare with things that I've seen you and some of your fellow-travelers say about him over the past several years. It has been, from my point of view, a campaign of character assassination laced with quite unmerited personal hostility and contempt.

Do yourself another favor, and drop the self-righteous indignation. It seems, candidly, a bit hypocritical. He named nobody.

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Do us all a favor and publish it without the pithy insults against Book of Abraham critics.

If you are so sure of your position I wonder why you go ballistic at what you thought someone might have said in reference to you specifically. You must not have that much confidence in your own position.

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You know, Chris, I think you'd do yourself a favor if you would read the paper before commenting on it.

I suppose it's possible that LoaP has misreported Dr. Gee's remarks, though I trust LoaP enough to rather to doubt that. But even if these particular remarks are misreported, this is not the first time that Dr. Gee has directed his remarks toward the critics themselves rather than their views. On p. 117 of FR 20:1, for example, he launched into a diatribe about BoA critics' psychology and motivations that refused to take seriously the possibility that critics disbelieve in good faith.

Do yourself another favor, and drop the self-righteous indignation. It seems, candidly, a bit hypocritical. He named nobody.

No, he made a derogatory remark about a large group of people who disagree with him in good conscience and with good reason. That's much better than naming somebody, I'm sure. For example, it would be much better if I said most Republicans are stupid and uneducated than if I criticized Michael Savage's ignorant views and offensive methods, giving specific reasons for my disapproval. And it's much better for you to call all evangelicals idiots than to attack specific instances of deception from, say, the Tanners or Decker.

But forget my self-righteous indignation for a moment and consider this: Gee's remarks about critics are distracting. Presumably at least part of the mission of the FR is to reach and persuade unbelievers. As an unbeliever, I don't like to read work by apologists who think most people who share my views are stupid. And it certainly doesn't make me receptive to their arguments. If you believe that his substantive arguments about the Book of Abraham are compelling and persuasive, then the best thing you can do is to help him present them in a way that will create receptivity in his audience.

I'll tell you this: Professor Gee said nothing in his presentation on Thursday to compare with things that I've seen you and some of your fellow-travelers say about him over the past several years. It has been, from my point of view, a campaign of character assassination laced with quite unmerited personal hostility and contempt.

Really? I'm waging a campaign of character assassination against John Gee? I have personal hostility and contempt for him? That's news to me, Dan. I hope that if in the future you find specific instances of me assassinating his character, you will bring it to my attention so that I can correct my behavior. And I'm not kidding about that, either. Frankly I think that Will Schryver and others who have strong disagreements with my views on the Book of Abraham have constructed an image of my attitude toward John Gee that owes more to fantasy than reality. I've never met the man, and while I think his apologetics are largely wrong and his attitude toward critics is highly distasteful, I have no feelings about his person whatsoever. The only time I ever talked to him over the phone he seemed nice and intelligent enough. To disapprove of someone's views and tactics-- even to disagree as passionately as I disagree with Dr. Gee-- is quite different from engaging in character assassination. You of all people should understand that. You've seen enough real character assassination to last a dozen lifetimes, and you've done plenty of strong disagreeing of your own.

-Chris

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If you are so sure of your position I wonder why you go ballistic at what you thought someone might have said in reference to you specifically. You must not have that much confidence in your own position.

I don't think it was said of me specifically. I think it was directed at Book of Abraham critics generally, a group of which I am a part. And I have not "gone ballistic". I have expressed my distaste for the remark and defended my expression of distaste when others jumped all over me and accused me of various kinds of bias and personal animosity. I think I have as much right to be offended by such catch-all statements about critics as you have to be offended by broad characterizations of Mormons.

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And it's much better for you to call all evangelicals idiots

Have I done this?

Where?

But forget my self-righteous indignation for a moment and consider this: Gee's remarks about critics are distracting. Presumably at least part of the mission of the FR is to reach and persuade unbelievers. As an unbeliever, I don't like to read work by apologists who think most people who share my views are stupid. And it certainly doesn't make me receptive to their arguments. If you believe that his substantive arguments about the Book of Abraham are compelling and persuasive, then the best thing you can do is to help him present them in a way that will create receptivity in his audience.

The editors of the FARMS Review (if that's where it's finally published) will edit the piece. It's our job. It's why they pay us the big bucks. (Just ask my Malevolent Stalker over at the Scratch Board.)

Really? I'm waging a campaign of character assassination against John Gee?

Hardly a systematic one. But you surely can't deny that you have made (and tacitly or implicitly endorsed) remarkably negative statements about Professor Gee. For a very long time. I'm not relying on somebody else's portrayal of you; I've watched it myself.

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Have I done this?

Where?

I was being ironic. You have not. And that's my point. You recognize that it is better to address specific grievances or errors committed by specific people than to generalize about large groups of people in a derogatory way.

Hardly a systematic one. But you surely can't deny that you have made (and tacitly or implicitly endorsed) remarkably negative statements about Professor Gee. For a very long time. I'm not relying on somebody else's portrayal of you; I've watched it myself.

It is true that I once long ago casually referred to one of Gee's arguments as a lie. And then I was threatened with a lawsuit and crucified on the board for a month by dozens of people including moderators even after I sincerely apologized several times and stated-- again sincerely-- that I should not have made the statement and that upon further reflection I did not think Gee's motive was to deceive.

It is also true that some have recently imputed to me the belief that Gee must be either incompetent or a liar since I'm convinced he is so wrong about so many things. Even though I have repeatedly insisted that I only think he has been misled by his own confirmation bias, I'm sure that my protestations are not believed by all. And, if I'm to be honest, I do think that scholars have a moral responsibility to make a greater effort to determine the truth, to communicate it responsibly, and to empathize with those of different views than I perceive Gee to often have done. So I suppose I am not completely willing to absolve him of culpability, even if I think his vice is hardly uncommon or particularly reprehensible.

I'm not sure what statements about Gee you think I have tacitly endorsed, but I don't consider it my job to police MDB or to challenge every wrong thing that is said there. I once publicly challenged Kevin Graham at some length to be more charitable in his message boarding, but people are who they are and will say what they say, and ultimately I am not their keepers. I consider Kevin a friend despite his vices, but that does not mean I endorse them. I would be happy to consider Gee a friend, too, if we could open a line of communication and agree that we will not allow our public disagreements to result in personal animosity. And although I disagree with some of what you do and say, Dan, I consider you a friend. (Or at least a sort of chummy acquaintance, since we've not really gotten to know each other enough to qualify as friends, I suppose).

I certainly do not perceive myself to be engaged in a public campaign of defamation, but again, I encourage people to bring things I say to my attention if they come across as defamatory.

-Chris

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