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Calm

Dan'S Announcement: The World Table

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See theworldtable.org

http://theworldtable.org

Edited by calmoriah

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Profile must be open with personal positions on religious and political, and agree to be civil etc.

One will give ratings on issues, make comments etc. then people can rate you.

Edited by calmoriah

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People can rate you? I can tell you how it's going to go...

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I don't see what I am supposed to be seeing I think

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Dan showed some screen shots, but it is not up on the site yet. You can register so that they will notify you when it goes live.

Basically it will be a forum where you will be held responsible for what you say, that if you are a good representative of your faith and position, that will be reflecting in your ratings and if you are bad, same thing. May even lead you to being banned if you are too nasty.

It looks like there may be some checking to ensure there is an internet history of the individual so that they are less likely to be a troll/fake...I can see a few people though willing to go to extremes to make a faith or political position look bad by pretending to be someone who holds them who is a jerk.

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People can rate you? I can tell you how it's going to go...

What you are predicting here actually came up during the Q and A portion of Dan's address. The response was that the system will be self-policing. That is, those who rate people down merely because they disagree with them will soon gain a rep for doing so, and they themselves will be subject to being rated. So I don't think it will become a de facto popularity poll of opinions, if that's what you are saying. I am hopeful participants will be rated on their civility and not their opinions.

I'm excited for it. The biggest drawback of Internet message boards is lack of accountability for behavior, fostered by anonymity. This new venture attempts to address that. I'm eager to give it a chance.

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Dan showed some screen shots, but it is not up on the site yet. You can register so that they will notify you when it goes live.

Basically it will be a forum where you will be held responsible for what you say, that if you are a good representative of your faith and position, that will be reflecting in your ratings and if you are bad, same thing. May even lead you to being banned if you are too nasty.

It looks like there may be some checking to ensure there is an internet history of the individual so that they are less likely to be a troll/fake...I can see a few people though willing to go to extremes to make a faith or political position look bad by pretending to be someone who holds them who is a jerk.

I see the jerk pretender being rated down pretty quickly, with members of the faith he pretends to hold being among those who rate him down.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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I can't believe I missed you....Scott...darn.

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oops

Edited by mfbukowski

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oops

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So basically it is yet another message board like thousands of other message boards only with a few unique features.

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It requires people to own their own positions and faith to hopefully avoid the nastiness that comes out when one is anonymous or if one refuses to put one's own positions on the line and instead just attacks others.

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So basically it is yet another message board like thousands of other message boards only with a few unique features.

The unique features are pretty significant. I don't know of a message board that rewards civility and accountability as this new one purports to.

Dan cast it as a platform for "new apologetics" that don't necessarily require one to be a formidable debater; rather it fosters sincere expression of perspective and experience sheltered from the hostility that so often characterizes message boards where religion is discussed.

He said it won't supplant the "old apologetics," just offer another option for discourse and dialogue.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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I suppose time will tell but civil boards are generally dead boards. People come for debate, not to hear others complement each other and politely share opposing points of view.

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So basically it is yet another message board like thousands of other message boards only with a few unique features.

Actually, no. It is a high falutin blog designed for the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy (FRD), and it includes a diversity of religions. The organization is not new and you can look it up at http://www.religious-diplomacy.org/ .

FRD says that they stand for "communally responsible dialogue (CRD), and that the PILLARS of CRD are: transparency, trust, civility, and contestation " The World Table becomes effective Sept 16, 2013. Meantime it is being Beta tested. You can leave your email address at http://theworldtable.org/countdown/classic-skin/ in order to get updates.

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Freedom, on 02 August 2013 - 10:24 PM, said:

So basically it is yet another message board like thousands of other message boards only with a few unique features.

The unique features are pretty significant. I don't know of a message board that rewards civility and accountability as this new one purports to.

Dan cast it as a platform for "new apologetics" that don't necessarily require one to be a formidable debater; rather it fosters sincere expression of perspective and experience sheltered from the hostility that so often characterized message boards where religion is discussed.

He said it won't supplant the "old apologetics," just offer another option for discourse and dialogue.

I suppose time will tell but civil boards are generally dead boards. People come for debate, not to hear others complement each other and politely share opposing points of view.

Seth Payne covered all of that in his lecture on "pastoral apologetics and the LDS doubter" (which he will also present at Sunstone on Saturday).

I suppose the hard-core ice hockey, wrestling, and ultimate fighting fans will never be satisfied with civility. They want to see blood and get their adrenaline going (otherwise they don't feel alive).

Some of us old karate-kas prefer to have meaningful and civilized discussions about key issues, without the need to humiliate our opponents.

Besides, as Seth pointed out, I Peter 3:15-16 says

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:

and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you

a reason of the hope that is in you

with meekness and fear:

16 Having a good conscience;

that, whereas they speak evil of you,

as of evildoers,

they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

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From David T's link so it is easier to discuss details:

DANIEL C. PETERSON, “TOWARD A MORE EFFECTIVE APOLOGETICS”

I actually did write out some notes, I don’t like them at all, I’d like to talk about something else. Kirby inspired me, dang, or in the spirit of Kirby, damn! But this one is so serious, I’m bored just looking at it. A few announcements to advertise. Some of you may have heard of the Science and Mormonism conference, co-sponsoring with FAIR and LDS Agents. You can register at the Interpreter website, we would appreciate it. It’s free, but registration helps us decide how much space we need. November 9, a Saturday, “Science and Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth and Man.” One more Interpreter thing; trying to get people to subscribe to read it in hard copy. We need a minimum number to make it worth our while, so if you want, we do it at cost, I think it is 35 dollars a year or something.

Toward a more effective apologetics. That doesn’t mean I think apologetics thus far has been a failure. Even good things can approve. Efficiency refers to the degree to which expenditures of time, money or effort is used to achieve the goal in mind. Different from Effective. Efficiency is measurable, quantifiable. r=P/C. If it’s traditionally required three hours to do something, new measures that reduce that to two hours make the process more efficient. Effective more vague, not so easy to quantify. Are widgets worth producing in the first place? Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things. there are usually hierarchy of objectives, subordinate objectives below ultimate objectives. Miners mine to make money, iron produces steel, which produces pistons, which is produced for engines, produced for cars, to transport people, with many motives, etc. What is the purpose of apologetics, is it worth doing? I want to do it to defend truth. Untruths bother me. But a more human face, I also wanted to help faltering members, and help onlookers see plausibility to take gospel seriously. There’s a book I will be responding to, Myron Bradley Penner, The End of Apologetics. He is very much against apologetics, an Anglican priest. Its modern forms undercut the gospel which it wishes to protect. A serious threat to Xtian faith. I reject Penner’s judgment because I reject his postmodernism.. He’s not into objectivity, he wants approximations. I respond: airplanes do fly, a man did land on the moon, it’s nice that approximations are close. How do postmodernists fly on airplanes?

It seems to me apologetics help further the mission of the church, a small part. The three-fold mission: perfect saints, proclaim gospel, redeem dead. Perfecting the saints includes helping saints retain testimonies. Apologetics of a kind can help them. Proclaim the gospel? It can help there too. People attracted to gospel but have questions. Redeem the dead? Not sure there, thought of a few jokes on that but not appropriate. Other goals can substitute themselves for the ultimate goal of bringing people into the church. Worthy goals: The desire to win, can become dangerous. Slide into unworthy: ego gratification, revenge, satisfy righteous anger. Temptations on apolgetic path and ineffective.

Have we been inefficient? Yes, humans are idiots. But apologetics are needed. C.S. Lewis said good philosophy must exist because bad philosophy needs to be answered. I don’t believe faith comes from rational arguments, but it can be destroyed or salvaged by them. Austin Farrer’s quote, argument does not create conviction but the lack of it can make faith falter. Rational argument maintains a climate in which belief can flourish.

Penner tells a story, coming from a Protestant background. (He’s taking on a Christian apologist, William Lane Craig, an effective debater apologist, and others.) Penner tells of academic debate forums, a debate with an atheist planting seeds of doubt in hearts of many. An expert in Xtian apologetics was coming to debate. Penner liked that the debater would justify our faith. After the debate a score was given, and the Xtian won according to the poll. But the audience was mostly already believers.

Now, I think the changes are going to be made on the margins. A small percentage wavering on either side. Gary Lawrence found that 5% of Americans are willing to investigate the Church. Apologetics will appeal to some, not everyone, but some. One of my father’s friends picked up a book by Nibley, it led him to think, is this actually possible that this could be true? Not decisive, but helped him decide.

Penner tells another story, horror story. A self-described atheist Catholic met Penner, who was fascinated in Penner’s faith. Experienced loss of faith as a profound loss. Tried spending time at monasteries looking for faith. Two new friends arrived, having just completed a course on apologetics. They joked that the teacher was hired gun, to shoot down atheists, etc. The atheist friend was faced with apologetic guns, but objected to the treatment. His beliefs were treated as abstract issues rather than personal issues. What they were doing was offensive. But the apologists continued. Said they would clear garments of his blood, etc. Apologetics as battering ram only makes people barricade their doors. Penner concludes that Xtians should eschew apologetics. Argued into it against your will is wrong.

I agree with that, even if that surprises people. Romans 12, a relevant passage. Paul speaking of responsibilities of Xtians, present bodies as living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service. Transformed by renewing of your mind, etc. Read ch 12, I can’t tell it all for lack of time. One of most cynical lines in scripture is v. 20, therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him, thirst, give drink, for in so doing you heap coals of fire on his head. I love that, appeals to my vengeful side. But he says to be kind, loving, etc.

Penner says Human beings not adequate ourselves to discover all relevant things, shift from epistemological approach to a hermeneutical approach. Hermeneutics talks about interpreting texts, making sense, doesn’t try to establish existence from God at square one. Reason depends on logically prior Truth to situate. To me, that’s what Mormons do when they talk about revelation, that is our foundation. Once a testimony is in place you can reason about it, reflect on it. Interpreter name reflects that approach.

I wrote too many notes here, I’ll skip. Penner is saying Xtianity is not matter of pure reason. I like this passage, it says apologists assume that humans are things that think, it’s natural to assume the best I can do is to reason militantly with unbeliever, it’s true after all, and I am right. Stick to facts, evidence, etc. rather than focusing on how I engage with a person. Assuming enemies are stupid, etc. Focus on winning arguments instead of souls. It is easy to forget that in the furor of an Internet fight. My faith, Penner says, helps me understand myself, a sense of wholeness to my life. Farrar: Religion is more like response to a friend than obedience to an expert.

I was talking to a friend about Hebrews 11: desiring a better country, God is not ashamed to be called our God…” It hit me, God might be ashamed to be called our God? Matthew 7: not all who say Lord, Lord, will enter. Many will say haven’t we done wonderful works, etc.? God owuld say I don’t want to be associated with the rancor, etc. Penner noticed a deep spiritual hunger in his atheist friend, who experienced loss of faith as profound loss. That is the person we are looking for, the person who wants to have faith. We need to not lose sight of objective, do it efficiently finding the people who really do want to know. Truth and peace are virtuous cousins who rarely meet, but when they do it’s with another friend: patience. There’s an assumption of bad faith on the part of critics, doubters, evil liars, too proud to change, no alternatives, etc. This can’t precede honest, respectful dialogue. It’s a matter of trust.

Can’t bludgeon people into the church. On my mission I was asked to come meet with some Jehovah’s Witnesses to debate. In all honesty, I mopped the floor, but as it went on I felt bad about it. Accomplished nothing, man never joined the church, etc. This was the wrong way. I spent a long time learning this lesson, I should have learned it then. There’s a cartoon online where a man won’t go down to dinner because “someone is wrong on the Internet.” Lou Midgley says it’s like the doors of the tavern, you get sucked back in. I went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant and seeing an anti-Mormon harangue two young kids. I’d vowed not to talk to them, but I stepped in anyway. I sat down with steam coming out of my ears. I don’t even recall the pageant. the BoM warns against contention and it is wise to do that. You lose the spirit, and we have a hard time, mostly guys, learning that lesson.

But we still need to go online to defend the faith. Platform for the new apologetics: “The Word Table” website. We need an army of people to preach the gospel, it doesn’t mean apologetics in the conventional sense. Not everyone is an expert on all issues. A lot of it is just about presenting the gospel as an option that makes sense in your life. Answering a few questions, building up the positives in your life, is the way.

Suppose you heard a shocking report about someone, it matters whether you’ve had personal experience with the person. If you’ve had poor experience, the new news doesn’t really challenge what you already thought. If you know them as good, it is odd. Doesn’t seem consistent. You are more likely to find out more, give benefit of the doubt. This is similar to thoughts on the BoM. If you already have a deep relationship with the text, new reports will be weaker. Apologists need to build up the positives ahead of time, talk about why gospel means a great deal to us, find those inclined to accept our witness.

The World Table is a place where members of the Church can become army of apologists, to share testimony, share videos, combine resources, links of articles you like, etc. It isn’t about brilliance or being an expert. Everyone has a unique background, you can connect with someone that no one else can. Worth of souls is great in God’s sight. World Table an exciting place to do this. People have to disclose who they are, removes the masks people can wear to say anything they want. All must identify. Then you have to agree to the terms of discussion. You must disclose where you stand. Agnostic, atheist, Buddhist, Christian, etc. Also politically etc. so people know where you’re coming from. Then agree to “the way of openness.” Listen, answer tough questions, give credit, speak only for yourself, keep private private, etc. Let’s say I want to comment on the recent comments from the Pope on homosexual priests? I can rate people. Was he honest, knowledgeable, fair, likable, etc. Other people can evaluate my comment. Comments can be critiqued in return. You can block people with low ratings from your conversations. This is a place where if people continue to be, to use the technical term, jackasses, they won’t be well thought-of. People tend to want high ratings. Maybe it will elevate their approach. Peggy Fletcher-stack talked about the comments to her articles, she doesn’t read because they are toxic.

This is in the process of beta testing. You can go to the beta testing now at www.theworldtable.org. We’re looking for normal users and computer geeks to see how the website works. This can revolutionize communication on the web. People out there really want good communication. Not really a replacement of the old apologetics all together. there is a bunch of stuff out there already, and it will continue, but that isn’t all there is. Not just intellectual issues. Need whole-souled LDS to go out and share their experiences. I bear my testimony that the Lord wants you to do this, we should use every tool we have. Thanks for supporting FAIR, a wonderful organization, you can help in so many ways including donating or participating with your own voice, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Q: Who was the critic, cradlerobberjosephsmith, you quoted? It’s a conglomeration of a bunch of things, a mythical person.

Q: How will you verify real names? There are ways to verify; through Facebook, etc. There are ways of falsifying, I suppose.

Q: How do we separate Muslim belief from social objectives [?] There are a variety of Muslims, not a monolithic people. As varried as a faith can be. there are even jack Muslims if you will, etc.

Q: Is it possible to get low ratings on the site by people just disagreeing with you? A: In theory you could, but you can start to detect who is rating and why, etc. like the BoM on Amazon.com.

Q: Who originating, running, the site? Originated under Foundations for Interreligious diplomacy, a small organization that is trying to make chapters for various faiths, etc. Idea is to model civil disagreement and discussion. where people become friends, etc. Not ecumenical in the sense of trying to merge traditions, but to learn to speak frankly openly fairly and respectfully about their similarities and differences.

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I suppose time will tell but civil boards are generally dead boards. People come for debate, not to hear others complement each other and politely share opposing points of view.

This new kind of board won't appeal to everyone.

But Dan seems to feel -- and I agree -- that there are people who won't respond to the message of the gospel in an atmosphere of rancor who might otherwise do so.

Moreover, with such a message board, such people might be self-selecting. He drew an analogy of people who come to a Church visitors center vs those who are contacted by missionaries during tracting. Those who come to the visitors center are bound to be more likely to receive the message because they are, by definition, people who are interested in it. They are self-selecting.

The new message board may not get masses of participants, but perhaps the organizers are prioritizing quality above quantity.

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It will have a lot wider religious base. Most message boards have one main faith that then talks about its relationship without others.

This one will have everyone talking about their own, about others.

With a very strong and active moderating team that respects the sacred aspects of each faith, then it could be fantastic, but it will be a lot of work.

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From David T's link so it is easier to discuss details:

In the past I was always amazed with Blair's ability to go online so quickly, accurately and thoroughly with notes from the FAIR conferences. That he is now doing it for the Maxwell Institute amounts to a real asset for them.

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From David T's link so it is easier to discuss details:

Ok I balked before but I have to say it

I reject Penner’s judgment because I reject his postmodernism.. He’s not into objectivity, he wants approximations. I respond: airplanes do fly, a man did land on the moon, it’s nice that approximations are close. How do postmodernists fly on airplanes?

I know that this thread is not about postmodernism and I hope the new "board" or whatever it is- is successful. But I have to tell the good Dr. that nearly all philosophers on both sides of the Atlantic are now, to one degree or another, "postmodern" and none that I know of have any problem getting onto an airplane.

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So basically it is yet another message board like thousands of other message boards only with a few unique features.

No. It's not. As you (and others) will shortly see.

Ten minutes isn't enough to give a complete tour of the thing. It was only an attempt to whet appetites, and to attract volunteer beta testers.

I suppose time will tell but civil boards are generally dead boards. People come for debate, not to hear others complement each other and politely share opposing points of view.

People come for debate, and that's what The World Table will permit them to have. Real discussions. Without the distraction of insults and with a minimum of irrelevancies. Debate isn't fostered by name-calling and the rantings of ignorant jackasses. Civility will be valued on The World Table, and so will opposing points of view. Don't judge it before you have at least some actual sense of what it really is.

And, by the way, it won't be a specifically Mormon board. Nor will it be restricted to religious discussions. It will be useable for debates and discussions on politics or on any other topic (e.g., the merits of different varieties of roses, the pleasures of touring Somalia) that members of The World Table want to talk about.

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But I have to tell the good Dr. that nearly all philosophers on both sides of the Atlantic are now, to one degree or another, "postmodern" and none that I know of have any problem getting onto an airplane.

Myron Penner should, given his expressed views.

And I was only talking about Myron Penner.

It all depends on what you mean by postmodernism.

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