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"The Obligation To Do Apologetics"


Scott Lloyd

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If the quote Scott posted is accurate, DCP mentioned different approaches, despite what his own emphasis is on, including the sort of positive testimony we're talking 'bout, willis.

What do you mean, if my quote 'was accurate'? :P

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On my mission plenty of elders had large binders full of non-sense that they would use to build and sustain their own and others' faith. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I think every mission has elders with those folders of tenth-generation photocopies of bad apologetics and "faith-promoting lies."

Sure, some of my own "apologetics" consists of clearing away some of that rubbish.

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So can bad apologetics and "faith-promoting lies."

On my mission plenty of elders had large binders full of non-sense that they would use to build and sustain their own and others' faith. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I think every mission has elders with those folders of tenth-generation photocopies of bad apologetics and "faith-promoting lies."

Just curious if you ever operate on the assumption that most people are well intentioned and sincere? I don't think anyone is running around MADB telling stories about how Zelph's ghost appeared to some Sister missionaries and saved them from a Cain like Sasquatch last week.

throwing the word "faith-promoting lies" around is a little inflammatory and is what got you booted last time. Put your Fonzie jacket on.... and be....Cool.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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That's not what I have in mind. As has been demonstrated repeatedly, bad apologetics ultimately do more harm than good when individuals eventually find out the truth.

How can one be sure that a supposed "good apologetic" is actually a good one and not a bad one? It seems that most "bad apologetics" started out as good ones that were later deemed bad ones.

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How can one be sure that a supposed "good apologetic" is actually a good one and not a bad one? It seems that most "bad apologetics" started out as good ones that were later deemed bad ones.

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My reply was in reference to reason and the Doctrine and Covenants verses. You said "let me also add that the call for reason in those passages [in the D&C which I linked to] are hardly calls to engage in apologetics." I agreed, and explained I posted them in response to your comments about the role of reason.

You pointed to 1 Peter before you pointed to the D&C. Not sure how the former could be in reference to the (then) non-existent latter.

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How can one be sure that a supposed "good apologetic" is actually a good one and not a bad one? It seems that most "bad apologetics" started out as good ones that were later deemed bad ones.

Hence the ongoing discussion. How do you distinguish good history/argumentation from bad history/argumentation in books you edit? I assume you don't claim infallibility for the stuff you work with, but are you saying we should stop the presses until everything is known for certain?

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How can one be sure that a supposed "good apologetic" is actually a good one and not a bad one?

You evaluate it as you do any form of reasoning from evidence. Even then after that, you never regard it as infallible.

That's why apologetics will never supplant faith.

It seems that most "bad apologetics" started out as good ones that were later deemed bad ones.

I'm not so sure; some apologetics is pretty bad on its face.

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"faith-promoting lies"

Indeed, it implies purposeful dishonesty. I didn't take narrator to be accusing those who have published for FAIR, FARMS, DCP etc. of such things, but if he was, it wasn't too kindly. :P

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You pointed to 1 Peter before you pointed to the D&C. Not sure how the former could be in reference to the (then) non-existent latter.

You brought up 1 Peter again after I believed we'd already moved on to the subject of the legitimacy of reason. We were talking about giving an "answer" as 1 Peter says, as well as the place of "reason," which led me to reference D&C. Maybe re-read the thread and you'll see the context better.

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Just curious if you ever operate on the assumption that most people are well intentioned and sincere?

I usually do. I think that most everyone engaged in apologetics and FARMS, FAIR, and this board--including DCP--are well intentioned and sincere.(though I think a handful are plain nuts). What made you suppose that I thought otherwise?

I don't think anyone is running around MADB telling stories about how Zelph's ghost appeared to some Sister missionaries and saved them from a Cain like Sasquatch last week.

No, that just was the other part of my fast sunday meetings in Hawaii :P

throwing the word "faith-promoting lies" around is a little inflammatory and is what got you booted last time.

No. I got banned for telling Pahoran that he needed to actually watch the Prop 8 movie before he continued making fallacious claims about it.

I don't see the problem to referring to "faith-promoting lies." My understanding is that that phrase (which I intentionally left in quotations) was fairly common nomenclature to refer to the many faith-promoting stories shared my members (and especially missionaries) that had no basis in truth. I have known many who have used these "FPLs" to support and bolster their own testimonies and the testimonies of others.

My point was that simply saying that apologetics is good because it bolsters testimonies is problematic because FPLs and "bad apologetics" often bolster testimony, but are not considered good.

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So, then, to clarify - are you suggesting that there's no such thing as "good apologetics"?

Well as LOAP wants to point out, merely testifying by the spirit is apologetics. So yes.

Also, I could stretch myself and say that "apologetics" which is simply pointing out problems in a critical argument/claim could be considered good. Though, I would much rather just cal it good scholarship. If it is done with the hope of proving or affirming a specific religious claim, then I don't care for it, and ultimately see problems with it.

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I don't see the problem to referring to "faith-promoting lies." My understanding is that that phrase (which I intentionally left in quotations) was fairly common nomenclature to refer to the many faith-promoting stories shared my members (and especially missionaries) that had no basis in truth. I have known many who have used these "FPLs" to support and bolster their own testimonies and the testimonies of others.

"Faith-promoting rumors" is the phrase I've heard, and I think it's an important distinction and much more common than "faith-promoting lies." I ran it through the omniscient Google:

"Faith-promoting lies"

About 199 results (this thread wast he third result)

"Faith-promoting rumors"

About 2,220 results.

FWIW

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Hence the ongoing discussion. How do you distinguish good history/argumentation from bad history/argumentation in books you edit? I assume you don't claim infallibility for the stuff you work with, but are you saying we should stop the presses until everything is known for certain?

No. However, I do my best (as Brian Hales can vouch) to make sure that scholarly books are only making scholarly claims and not presuming to prove or defend particular religious claims.

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Here's a hypothetical for narrator.

Suppose a friend or family member approaches you and says "I am beginning to have doubts about my testimony. There are things from the history of the Church which I never knew about, but which concern me. For example, my friend said that Joseph Smith stole the temple endowment from freemasonry. I was told the endowment was revealed by God, and now I am really having some confusing doubts."

What would you do, narrator? Would you say, "well your problem is that you are using 'reason' to assess the claims of the gospel. I think what you need is more faith. If you just have faith and pray about it it will be OK." Would you say something else? What would you do?

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Well as LOAP wants to point out, merely testifying by the spirit is apologetics. So yes.

Also, I could stretch myself and say that "apologetics" which is simply pointing out problems in a critical argument/claim could be considered good. Though, I would much rather just cal it good scholarship. If it is done with the hope of proving or affirming a specific religious claim, then I don't care for it, and ultimately see problems with it.

So, in your mind, what is the appropriate response to address our critics?

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No. However, I do my best (as Brian Hales can vouch) to make sure that scholarly books are only making scholarly claims and not presuming to prove or defend particular religious claims.

Yet some people would call what Hales does apologetics. You could say his work is something else entirely, yet some folks would simply disagree (especially in cases where people disagree with Hales's conclusions, etc.) One person's history is another person's apologetics. And besides, you are assuming that apologetics by definition does not use the exact methods or approach Hales uses. I think that's simply incorrect.

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Indeed, it implies purposeful dishonesty. I didn't take narrator to be accusing those who have published for FAIR, FARMS, DCP etc. of such things, but if he was, it wasn't too kindly. :P

No. I am not accusing those persons or entities to be employing purposeful dishonesty. However, I'll be bold enough to say that they have all at one time or another engaged in bad apologetics.

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Yet some people would call what Hales does apologetics. You could say his work is something else entirely, yet some folks would simply disagree (especially in cases where people disagree with Hales's conclusions, etc.) One person's history is another person's apologetics. And besides, you are assuming that apologetics by definition does not use the exact methods or approach Hales uses. I think that's simply incorrect.

And he seems to want to exclude theology from apologetics altogether. So much for C.S. Lewis.

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No. I am not accusing those persons or entities to be employing purposeful dishonesty. However, I'll be bold enough to say that they have all at one time or another engaged in bad apologetics.

I don't think it takes boldness to admit that, really. It takes much more boldness (and effort) to actually confront specific examples and provide a corrective or better way. Otherwise we're just complaining from the peanut gallery or ivory tower, wherever we feel most comfy.

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"Faith-promoting rumors" is the phrase I've heard, and I think it's an important distinction and much more common than "faith-promoting lies." I ran it through the omniscient Google:

"Faith-promoting lies"

About 199 results (this thread wast he third result)

"Faith-promoting rumors"

About 2,220 results.

FWIW

Ironically, Google is so fast that at least one of those 199 is referring to this very thread.

Regardless of what Google says, I was referring to FPL's to refer to those faith promoting stories which are cognitively dishonest from the beginning, such as those engineered by Paul H. Dunn. While they are less common than those generated by gossip (FPRs), they are nonetheless used to support and build faith.

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I usually do. I think that most everyone engaged in apologetics and FARMS, FAIR, and this board--including DCP--are well intentioned and sincere.(though I think a handful are plain nuts). What made you suppose that I thought otherwise?

No, that just was the other part of my fast sunday meetings in Hawaii :P

No. I got banned for telling Pahoran that he needed to actually watch the Prop 8 movie before he continued making fallacious claims about it.

I don't see the problem to referring to "faith-promoting lies." My understanding is that that phrase (which I intentionally left in quotations) was fairly common nomenclature to refer to the many faith-promoting stories shared my members (and especially missionaries) that had no basis in truth. I have known many who have used these "FPLs" to support and bolster their own testimonies and the testimonies of others.

My point was that simply saying that apologetics is good because it bolsters testimonies is problematic because FPLs and "bad apologetics" often bolster testimony, but are not considered good.

IIRC, the moderator note said that you brought a bad vibe to the board (my wording obviously). I'm just saying that you could use some more Fonzie and less... whatever. Anyway, your tone seemed extremely accusatory and aggressive.

Thanks for the comments though. I'm the last person to comment on this because of my quick temper. It's been more than one year since I mentioned a physical beating or an automatic weapon in a post! Yeah for me!

Big UP!

Lamanite

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