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In need of convincing LDS Scholarship


DanGB

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Let me clarify, and let me be honest w myself without being accused of either being an apostate or an unworthy member.

My personal conclusion that you refer to is not based on what has been posted here, but by what has not been posted here. My original request was:

I understand and accept that this area of scholarship may seem quite compelling to those within the LDS academic circles but it seems, without debating the reasons, these works are ignored by the academic community at large. Just trying to be honest here. We simply do not find such "history" being taught, discussed or accepted on our secular academic circles.

Primarily because the academic world at large is mostly wrapped up in their own concerns to pay much attention. Once more, why is it important what the academic world at large thinks? An argument falls or stand on ITS OWN MERITS.

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I'm very interested in how the words "real" and "evidence" are being used here.

They're being used in the normal, non-technical sense in which those words are used by English-speakers around the world, every day of every week. There's nothing subtle going on here, nor anything of any unique depth.

I find your apparent mystification on this matter utterly mystifying.

I wouldn't say that I'm methodologically baffled, but I am attempting to ascertain how you approach the verification of historical texts neither the production of which nor the "autograph" produced you have personally witnessed.

I cannot, for the life of me, imagine why you think this simple matter deserves the kind of reflection that might occur in a seminar on epistemology.

Now, leaving aside the intricacies of presuppositional apologetics for now (as I don't believe you are suggesting as presuppositional your belief in the authenticity of the First Watson Letter),

Good grief. Of course I'm not.

I don't see how one can credibly maintain the truth of the proposition "The First Watson Letter is authentic" while, at the same time, maintaining " have no real evidence one way or the other [that the First Watson Letter is authentic]."

This is genuinely silly, cks, and I don't see any reason for you to pursue it.

My statement wasn't a proposition advanced for analysis by clever but rather sophomoric show-offs, or even by the professor, in Epistemology 595R. I simply meant -- and, in my opinion, said clearly enough -- that I have no reason whatever to believe the earlier Watson leader fraudulent or imaginary, and so I accept it at face value. Likewise, if somebody tells me that he has two brothers and a sister, I generally take him at his word. If a letter arrives purporting to have been sent by the Democratic National Committee, I typically assume that it was really sent by the Democratic National Committee, and not by shape-shifting reptilian lizard men or the last remnants of the royal family of Atlantis. If I ask somebody to look outside and tell me what the day looks like, and she says it's sunny, I most commonly assume that she's neither lying, nor hallucinating, nor being forced to say what she did because of implanted electrodes. If somebody produces a copy of a letter from somebody else, my normal response is to credit my eyesight and trust the claimed provenance of the letter. If I have no reason to doubt that provenance, I don't doubt it.

Fair enough. What descriptor would be more accurate? You "robustly assume," or, you "unquestioningly assume," or, you "assume for obvious reasons," or, you "justifiably assume?" Something else? You apparently don't just "merely assume" (or, at least you never used that word to describe your assumption and have implied that I was incorrect to employ it), so there must be some other adverb that would fit the bill. I'm trying to get at how your assumptive reasoning is functioning here, given that you have "no real evidence one way or the other."

You simply can't be serious.

This is ridiculous, and I have more important things to do. Like just about anything.

.

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Primarily because the academic world at large is mostly wrapped up in their own concerns to pay much attention. Once more, why is it important what the academic world at large thinks? An argument falls or stand on ITS OWN MERITS.

How is "merit" judged? If the argument garners no interest outside of the author, is "merit" ever subjected to an evaluation by peers?

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How is "merit" judged? If the argument garners no interest outside of the author, is "merit" ever subjected to an evaluation by peers?

I wrote a FARMS Occasional Paper called "Paradigms Regained: A Survey of Margaret Barker's Scholarship and Its Significance for Mormon Studies." As a direct consequence, Margaret came to BYU in 2003. One of the talks she gave was published in BYU Studies, and another was published in Glimpses of Lehi's Jerusalem, alongside another essay of mine subtitlesd "Lehi's World and the Scholarship of Margaret Barker." In 2005 at the Joseph Smith Conference at the Library of Congress Margaret Barker spoke on "Joseph Smith and Preexilic Israelite Religion."

And this past year Oxford University Press published a collection of essays called "Joseph Smith Jr: Reappraisals After Two Centuries" which contains an essay by Margaret Barker and myself, titled, "Seeking the Face of the Lord: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition."

I've mentioned this on this thread in response to your questions. To this point, you have completely ignored my input. I don't wonder why because it seems quite obvious that you choose not to see things that don't re-enforce your own views.

I also mentioned Mark Wright's report of two prominent Mesoamerican scholars who have joined the church. I could mention Oxford University Press publishing Terryl Givens work, or Knopf publishing Richard Bushman. And John Welch has published on Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon in a collection of essays on Chiasmus in Antiquity.

We've tried. Some listen. Others are like you, uncritically dismissing our work.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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How is "merit" judged? If the argument garners no interest outside of the author, is "merit" ever subjected to an evaluation by peers?

Merit is judged by the case presented, the evidence and the arguments. It matters not one whit how many people have read it.

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Merit is judged by the case presented, the evidence and the arguments. It matters not one whit how many people have read it.

One would have thought this fairly obvious, no?

Water was composed of hydrogen and oxygen even before chemists existed, let alone before they recognized its composition. Two and two equal four whether or not polling data suggests that a plurality of florists' assistants, geologists, shop stewards, wheat farmers, cosmologists, dental hygienists, archaeobotanists, and/or parking attendants grant the conclusion.

If the logic is sound, and if the evidence deployed in its support is adequate, it's a good argument -- whether many read it or agree with it or not. If the logic is invalid and/or the supporting evidence is inadequate, it's a weak or fallacious argument, no matter how enthusiastically it's received.

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I wrote a FARMS Occasional Paper called "Paradigms Regained: A Survey of Margaret Barker's Scholarship and Its Significance for Mormon Studies." As a direct consequence, Margaret came to BYU in 2003. One of the talks she gave was published in BYU Studies, and another was published in Glimpses of Lehi's Jerusalem, alongside another essay of mine subtitlesd "Lehi's World and the Scholarship of Margaret Barker." In 2005 at the Joseph Smith Conference at the Library of Congress Margaret Barker spoke on "Joseph Smith and Preexilic Israelite Religion."

And this past year Oxford University Press published a collection of essays called "Joseph Smith Jr: Reappraisals After Two Centuries" which contains an essay by Margaret Barker and myself, titled, "Seeking the Face of the Lord: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition."

I've mentioned this on this thread in response to your questions. To this point, you have completely ignored my input. I don't wonder why because it seems quite obvious that you choose not to see things that don't re-enforce your own views.

I also mentioned Mark Wright's report of two prominent Mesoamerican scholars who have joined the church. I could mention Oxford University Press publishing Terryl Givens work, or Knopf publishing Richard Bushman. And John Welch has published on Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon in a collection of essays on Chiasmus in Antiquity.

We've tried. Some listen. Others are like you, uncritically dismissing our work.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Kevin,

Don't want to fence where itnis not needed.

My inquiry was very specific.

I was looking for specific LDS scholarship, supporting the evidence of the history claim in the BOM by our secular academic community. The discovery of ancient civilizations, and the merits or acceptance of this related scholarship should not an academic issue based on faith or religion. It should, and is, based on the evidence, research, theory I suppose and arguments presented. I have come to find out that Lds schars lime Sorenson, has great respect from his professinal colleagues in his area of archaeolgy. Perhaps there are others within the Church as well.

Accordingly my specific inquiry was to seek where the works of these respected LDS scholars, or their scholarship, specificaaly demonstrating the history of claim within the BOM, has been accepted or found of any interest by their peer academic group?

I admit I don't know a lot about Margaret Barker. I have found that she has some expertise in ancient scriptures and have been told that she has been hired to speak at some Church events. Indont know If she is a professional archaelogist or published on the existence of the history claim of the BOM. And I have no reason to believe that whatever essays youpublished with her were not od great value. I just don't see where she, or the other authors you referred to above , have anything to do with the acceptance or convincing LDS scholarship in the history claim within the BOM.

I know we have great, published, LDS scholars. I am looking for a specific area d focus here which, apparently, and perhaps rightfully so, may not exist at this time.

Thanks none the less.

Thanks.

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Dan, you seem to put great stock in popularity as a way to measure the strength of an argument.

No, I put stock in professional peer and academic acceptance. That is the underwriting for great scholarship. It's a little different than: "who's your favorite teacher"!!!

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Water was composed of hydrogen and oxygen even before chemists existed, let alone before they recognized its composition. Two and two equal four whether or not polling data suggests that a plurality of florists' assistants, geologists, shop stewards, wheat farmers, cosmologists, dental hygienists, archaeobotanists, and/or parking attendants grant the conclusion.

And the existence of history is not dependent upon a testimony!

We finally agree on something!!

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I know we have great, published, LDS scholars. I am looking for a specific area d focus here which, apparently, and perhaps rightfully so, may not exist at this time.

You appear to not be putting any in depth effort into looking at the individuals and information that is being given you. I base this assumption on the vagueness and admitted ignorance that is exhibited in your above post.

I am now wondering how you will even know when your "specific area of focus" is addressed if you are not engaging what is given you.

What is your own methodology in determining what will meet your needs?

You have still not answered what you've said in the past when questioned by members and nonmembers about the BoM. I would like an answer.

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And the existence of history is not dependent upon a testimony!

We finally agree on something!!

Note that you had to put words in his mouth to do so.

Kin of like how we were on the same page despite my rejecting your position.

Please note that the existence of history (what a bizarre statement) is not dependent on peer reviews and acceptance either. Five hundred scholars could give some scholars work a favourable review and it could still be wrong.

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On the second Watson letter:

I have a contact at the FARMS office, who located a copy of the letter from John Sorenson's files (their offices moved fairly recently, and that's how it got mislaid). It is still on the original fax paper from the First Presidency's office, and it has a note on it discussing a bit more about the provenance.

My contact is snail-mailing me the copy, and I have permission to post it to the FAIR wiki when it arrives. It was mailed today; it will probably be up by early next week depending on the vagaries of the US and Canadian postal services.

The text is reportedly as printed in the FARMS Review article by Hamblin. It is also made clear by an annotation on the fax that the First Presidency wished to clarify the impression left by Bro. (now Elder) Watson's first letter.

But, doubters can soon see the text for themselves, it seems.

I will try to remember to post an announcement in this thread when it is up. I expect the FAIR blog or newsletter will also contain a mention.

Best,

Anything ever come of this?

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Kevin,

Don't want to fence where itnis not needed.

My inquiry was very specific.

I was looking for specific LDS scholarship, supporting the evidence of the history claim in the BOM by our secular academic community. The discovery of ancient civilizations, and the merits or acceptance of this related scholarship should not an academic issue based on faith or religion. It should, and is, based on the evidence, research, theory I suppose and arguments presented. I have come to find out that Lds schars lime Sorenson, has great respect from his professinal colleagues in his area of archaeolgy. Perhaps there are others within the Church as well.

Accordingly my specific inquiry was to seek where the works of these respected LDS scholars, or their scholarship, specificaaly demonstrating the history of claim within the BOM, has been accepted or found of any interest by their peer academic group?

I admit I don't know a lot about Margaret Barker. I have found that she has some expertise in ancient scriptures and have been told that she has been hired to speak at some Church events. Indont know If she is a professional archaelogist or published on the existence of the history claim of the BOM. And I have no reason to believe that whatever essays youpublished with her were not od great value. I just don't see where she, or the other authors you referred to above , have anything to do with the acceptance or convincing LDS scholarship in the history claim within the BOM.

I know we have great, published, LDS scholars. I am looking for a specific area d focus here which, apparently, and perhaps rightfully so, may not exist at this time.

Thanks none the less.

Thanks.

Margaret's talk in 2005 took this approo:

"What I offer can only be the reactions of an Old Testament scholar

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What people care about significantly impacts their choices of what to read, and how (or whether) to integrate an argument's conclusions into their worldview. Yet it has essentially nothing to do with whether the argument is persuasively reasoned or adequately evidenced.

To illustrate: Between them, my friends David Paulsen (of the BYU Philosophy Department) and Carl Griffin (of the Maxwell Institute at BYU) have published four articles in the Harvard Theological Review, arguing very convincingly (in my judgment), on the basis of careful readings of Origen, Clement, and Augustine, for a widespread belief in divine anthropomorphism among ancient Christians (not excluding the young Augustine himself and his mother, St. Monica).

Such publications cannot be dismissed, as a couple of the more limited critics on another board obsessively do, as having been published "only in Provo" and/or without any peer review. But have they fundamentally changed anybody's view of the Christian doctrine of God?

Not that I can see.

I asked Carl once, a few months after the publication of their article on Augustine, what the reaction of mainstream Christian scholars had been. Had they rejected the evidence Carl and David had cited? No. Had they denied the logic of the argument? No. Were they angry, or defiant, or baffled? No. According to Carl's report, the overwhelming response has been along the lines of "You're right. So what?"

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My statement wasn't a proposition advanced for analysis by clever but rather sophomoric show-offs, or even by the professor, in Epistemology 595R. I simply meant -- and, in my opinion, said clearly enough -- that I have no reason whatever to believe the earlier Watson leader fraudulent or imaginary, and so I accept it at face value.

I'm sorry you find it silly. I'm not trying to show off. I'm attempting to understand this particular statement: "I assume it [the First Watson Letter]'s real, but have no real evidence one way or the other." That and the statement I've underlined above just don't carry the same meaning. I assumed you initially meant something like the rephrasing you've now substituted. But, surely, you can see that your initial statement has implications for the manner in which you approach the verification of historical texts.

You simply can't be serious....This is ridiculous, and I have more important things to do. Like just about anything.

I get that you're not going to answer the questions I posed regarding your initial statement.

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I'm sorry you find it silly. I'm not trying to show off. I'm attempting to understand this particular statement: "I assume it [the First Watson Letter]'s real, but have no real evidence one way or the other." That and the statement I've underlined above just don't carry the same meaning. I assumed you initially meant something like the rephrasing you've now substituted. But, surely, you can see that your initial statement has implications for the manner in which you approach the verification of historical texts.

I get that you're not going to answer the questions I posed regarding your initial statement.

cksalmon, I think Daniel Peterson has explained himself adequately here. At this point, it seems quite clear you are being intentionally argumentative -- and threatening to derail the thread.

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cksalmon, I think Daniel Peterson has explained himself adequately here. At this point, it seems quite clear you are being intentionally argumentative -- and threatening to derail the thread.

Well, he hasn't answered any of the questions I've asked; I accept that he's not going to. But, his responses hardly seem adequate to the questions I've asked. Again, I assumed he misspoke but wished to clarify.

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Well, he hasn't answered any of the questions I've asked; I accept that he's not going to. But, his responses hardly seem adequate to the questions I've asked. Again, I assumed he misspoke but wished to clarify.

Let me put it more bluntly then: Your continued pointless badgering has become quite tedious.

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