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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:08 am 
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beastie wrote:
See, Wade, this is an analogy that would work. If I have a history of signing on to internet discussion boards using screen names that are not my real name, and sign onto a new internet board with a screen name, then some people would conclude that I'm still not using my real name.


Perhaps.

However, were they to use your "logic", they may conclude that you have previously and repeatedly lied about who you are in order to keep your identity secret. They would then give 9.0 for mental gymnastics for your attempt above to justify your actions.

For my part, though, I would give you a 0.0 for failing to get my point.

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They lied about polygamy - spare me your "semantics" game. People who use semantics to mislead others are lying. So the fact that they previously, repeatedly, lied about polygamy makes their denials this time absolutely useless as evidence.

Of course, this has already been repeatedly explained to you, and you still don't grasp it, so I just wasted two minutes of my life typing this.


Please provide the credible documentation for your accusation that the McIIwricks "previously, repeatedly, lied about polygamy".

Please also do the same for each of the other 4 principles mentioned in Martha's affidavit (Vilate Kimball, Heber Kimball, Brigham Young, and Joseph Smith).

I am asking for this documentation knowing that with at least half of the six counter-claimants you will not be able to find a single instance to back up your charge (thereby demonstrating the falsity of your charge in their regard), and the other half you will be hard pressed to to come up with more than a few instances.

Once we have taken this first step, I will then walk you painstakingly through each of my previous counter-arguments in hopes of providing you with at least some measure of cognition.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:21 am 
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Runtu wrote:
beastie wrote:
See, Wade, this is an analogy that would work. If I have a history of signing on to internet discussion boards using screen names that are not my real name, and sign onto a new internet board with a screen name, then some people would conclude that I'm still not using my real name.

They lied about polygamy - spare me your "semantics" game. People who use semantics to mislead others are lying. So the fact that they previously, repeatedly, lied about polygamy makes their denials this time absolutely useless as evidence.

Of course, this has already been repeatedly explained to you, and you still don't grasp it, so I just wasted two minutes of my life typing this.


In a legal proceeding, they refer to this as establishing a pattern.

I find it interesting that we're reduced to saying that church leaders resorted to semantics, which is just a nice way of saying they lied.


I suppose that in a binary sense that is true. But, those who think in such terms would likewise be reduced to considering those who resort to the semantics of "screen names" as just a nice way of saying they are lying about who they really are.

However, I look at it a little differently (seeing a broad range of departures from disclosing the full and unvarnished truth), and tend to reserve the charge "lie" for the most serious of infractions.

But, to each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:34 am 
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wenglund wrote:

I suppose that in a binary sense that is true. But, those who think in such terms would likewise be reduced to considering those who resort to the semantics of "screen names" as just a nice way of saying they are lying about who they really are.


Yep, we binary thinkers are severely handicapped when it comes to apologetics.

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However, I look at it a little differently (seeing a broad range of departures from disclosing the full and unvarnished truth), and tend to reserve the charge "lie" for the most serious of infractions.

But, to each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


Yep, that's really the only way to make the public and private contradictions in polygamy work.

Me, I prefer the unvarnished truth. But to each their own. :-)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:43 am 
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Analytics wrote:
wenglund wrote:
Analytics wrote:
Wade,

Perhaps we could formulate the analysis using Bayesian logic.....


As I see things, there are several problems with your reasoning:

1) It is overly selective in terms of the probabilities it considers. For example, at the very least it failed to consider what to me is the most striking probability: the likelyhood that one person would be telling the truth and six people would be lying.


A: I considered that; my argument is that if the six people were in a conspiracy to keep polygamy secret, then whether or not they are lying doesn't matter because it doesn't give us any information; they were going to deny this story regardless of whether or not it is true.


If you are going to consider probabilities, you need to consider the probabilities at each level and for each respective variable. Perhaps you did so in your mind. But I didn't see where you had with the 1 to 6 probability or some of the other permutations I alluded to.

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2) You seem to be arbitrarily applying a single probability to six separate individuals, whereas I see them as quite different people and cicumstances, and thus different probabilities for each. I believe it is less likely for Martha's sister to say what she did even if her sister was telling the truth, than it would be for BY to say what he did under the same circustances.

A: I didn't mean to be arbitrary about it. Could you list the six people? My understanding is that they were all a part of the conspiracy to keep the truth about polygamy out of public view.


They were: Mary McIIwrick, John McIIwrick, Vilate Kimball, Heber Kimball, Brigham Young, and Joseph Smith.

The sweeping claim you mention has been made, but not substantiated at all in certain cases, and insufficiently in other cases.

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3) It is uncertain what factors you used to figure your probabilities, so there is no way to test your probabilities to see if they are valid and sound, or whether one may agree with them or not.

A: The whole arguement hinges on whether or not Brigham Young et. al. could have been relied on to be honest about polygamy. The model is robust with regards to the other probabilities.


Whether that is true or not, you have yet to deliniate the evidence you considered for certatin variables and the specific probabilities you assigned to them. For example, when you calculated the probabilities that Mary McIIwrick would say what she did even were her sister, Martha's, statement to be true, what factors (evidence) did you use to come up with your probability, and what was the probability you came up with?

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4) Your reasoning requires the respective concessions. Whereas, as I view things, I wouldn't conceed to either. I have not found sufficient cause to believe that any one of the six, let alone all six, would say what they did even if what Martha said were true--and this even in light of the presumed desire of some to keep the practice of polygamy secret and also some having on rare occasions played semantics when addressing questions about the practice. I see those things as quite different from proactively lying about and discrediting what someone else said. I think it more likely that were Martha's allegations true, the six would have remained silent (particularly the McIIwricks, who weren't practicing polygamy at the time, nor to my knowledge ever did). And, I am not certain that Martha wouldn't lie in some or all of what she said.

A: "the respective concessions"? Not sure what you mean by this. I believe there was a conspiracy by the Nauvoo polygamy insiders to keep the truth from polygamy in the dark. They were willing to lie, slander, and falsify records in order to keep their secret works secret. I'll make this point in another thread though.


In your innitial argument you had two premises which began: "If you conceed...". That is what I was referring to interms of concessions. In other words, I didn't conceed to those things, and thus your conclusion (which is dependant upon those consessions) did not follow--at least not for me.

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5) As indicated previously, I don't see the sealing, which took place 30 years after the alleged incident, as material (probability or otherwise) to determining who was telling the truth. Much could have happened in the interim that we don't know about, and precious little information to enable us to read BY's mind on this case.

A: Do you believe it indicates that the powers believed that Martha would be a suitable wife for Brigham?


I am not sure they took that into consideration. Were I to venture a guess (which I am disinclined to do), I would think the sealing was more for Martha's benefit than BY's.

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In short, I see your reasoning as falling prey to the fallacy of A Priorism (attempting to deduce facts from abstractions and principles rather than inducing from facts).

And, probabilities are not a valid indicator of truth (the probability of a broken clock not telling the right time, will be incorrect at least twice a day). Probabilities, or Bayesian Logic, may be a useful tool when formulating a hypothesis, but not
in testing or verifying the hypothesis, as you seem to be doing.


I disagree.


Nevertheless, in order for your argument to work with me, I would need to be in agreement, and I am not. (see above)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:53 am 
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Runtu wrote:
wenglund wrote:

I suppose that in a binary sense that is true. But, those who think in such terms would likewise be reduced to considering those who resort to the semantics of "screen names" as just a nice way of saying they are lying about who they really are.


Yep, we binary thinkers are severely handicapped when it comes to apologetics.

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However, I look at it a little differently (seeing a broad range of departures from disclosing the full and unvarnished truth), and tend to reserve the charge "lie" for the most serious of infractions.

But, to each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


Yep, that's really the only way to make the public and private contradictions in polygamy work.

Me, I prefer the unvarnished truth. But to each their own. :-)


Funny, I don't see you going around calling yourself a "liar" on this board--certainly not with the same frequency you seem disposed to mention regarding your former faith. But, maybe I am the one who is handicapped in viewing as consistent the critics of my faith.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:57 am 
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wenglund wrote:
Funny, I don't see you going around calling yourself a "liar" on this board--certainly not with the same frequency you seem disposed to mention regarding your former faith. But, maybe I am the one who is handicapped in viewing as consistent the critics of my faith.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


When I've lied, I admit to it. And despite your perception, I don't throw the word "liar" around, either. I reserve it for the obvious distortions and masking of the truth. And for the record, I did not call anyone on this thread a liar. I did say that your "semantics" approach seems to be a nice way to say they lied. It's not the same thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:08 pm 
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wenglund wrote:
Runtu wrote:
beastie wrote:
See, Wade, this is an analogy that would work. If I have a history of signing on to internet discussion boards using screen names that are not my real name, and sign onto a new internet board with a screen name, then some people would conclude that I'm still not using my real name.

They lied about polygamy - spare me your "semantics" game. People who use semantics to mislead others are lying. So the fact that they previously, repeatedly, lied about polygamy makes their denials this time absolutely useless as evidence.

Of course, this has already been repeatedly explained to you, and you still don't grasp it, so I just wasted two minutes of my life typing this.


In a legal proceeding, they refer to this as establishing a pattern.

I find it interesting that we're reduced to saying that church leaders resorted to semantics, which is just a nice way of saying they lied.


I suppose that in a binary sense that is true. But, those who think in such terms would likewise be reduced to considering those who resort to the semantics of "screen names" as just a nice way of saying they are lying about who they really are.

However, I look at it a little differently (seeing a broad range of departures from disclosing the full and unvarnished truth), and tend to reserve the charge "lie" for the most serious of infractions.

But, to each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


Wade, you are misunderstanding the terms. It is not correct to say that "the semantics of 'screen names' [is] just a nice way of saying [you] are lying about who [you] really are." After all, nobody is being fooled, tricked, or manipulated by these screen names. On the other hand, the Church leaders use of "semantics" to downplay polygamy was clearly a kind of trick. The leaders knew that if the knowledge leaked, they would be in a lot of hot water, would possibly face criminal charges, and would probably cause a mass exodus of members.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:11 pm 
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Analytics wrote:
Consider the following analogy.

W: There are six clocks that say it is noon, and there is one clock that says it is 7:00 A.M. Therefore, it is very likely that the correct time is noon—its’ more likely for one clock to be wrong rather than six to be wrong.

A: The thing is, the six clocks that say noon don’t run. Those clocks always say noon, regardless of the actual time. Now, the a priori chances that they are right are 1/1440, but what the clocks say has no bearing on what the time actually is.

On the other hand, the clock that says 7:00 A.M. is in fact running. If you look outside, you’ll see very heavy traffic going into the city. This is consistent with 7:00 A.M. If you look inside of Denny’s, people are eating breakfast food. This is consistent with 7:00 A.M.

Now, it’s possible that it really does happen to be noon, and that there are other explanations for the events that are consistent with it being 7:00 A.M. But by appropriately weighing all of the evidence the most likely time is in fact 7:00 A.M.


I get the point of your analogy, but I don't see that it applies very well in the case in question. While the "clocks" in Brotherton case may all be saying noon (i.e. they all essentially said that the things Martha claimed in her affidavite were false), what is the evidence that they "don't run" and "they always say noon"?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:29 pm 
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Runtu wrote:
wenglund wrote:
Funny, I don't see you going around calling yourself a "liar" on this board--certainly not with the same frequency you seem disposed to mention regarding your former faith. But, maybe I am the one who is handicapped in viewing as consistent the critics of my faith.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


When I've lied, I admit to it. And despite your perception, I don't throw the word "liar" around, either. I reserve it for the obvious distortions and masking of the truth. And for the record, I did not call anyone on this thread a liar. I did say that your "semantics" approach seems to be a nice way to say they lied. It's not the same thing.


For the record: 1) I didn't assume nor suggest that you had called anyone a liar on this thread (certainly I didn't think you were calling me a liar); 2) I didn't assume or suggest that you "throw the word 'liar' around", rather, I just mentioned what I see as a disparity in the number of times I have seen you refer to yourself by that term (I vaguely recall once where you admitted to having lied at times in your life, though I don't remember if there were any specifics), and when you have applied it to your former faith.

Just out of curiousity, do you consider various people's use of "screen names" to be an "obvious distortion" and/or "masking of the truth"? I am just wondering how "nice" you are willing to be to them. ;-)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:36 pm 
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wenglund wrote:
For the record: 1) I didn't assume nor suggest that you had called anyone a liar on this thread (certainly I didn't think you were calling me a liar); 2) I didn't assume or suggest that you "throw the word 'liar' around", rather, I just mentioned what I see as a disparity in the number of times I have seen you refer to yourself by that term (I vaguely recall once where you admitted to having lied at times in your life, though I don't remember if there were any specifics), and when you have applied it to your former faith.

Just out of curiousity, do you consider various people's use of "screen names" to be an "obvious distortion" and/or "masking of the truth"? I am just wondering how "nice" you are willing to be to them. ;-)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


I try to be nice to everyone, Wade (though I have failed at times, for which I apologize). Do screen names constitute distortions and masking of the truth? I suppose it depends on the intent. If, for example, I went back on MADB and used another screen name to conceal that it was me, then yes, that would be a lie. But the use of a screen name does not in itself constitute a lie, in my opinion. Considering that my real name has been displayed on FAIR, RfM, and alt.religion.Mormon, I don't think using the name "runtu" is anything more than a fun nickname.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:44 pm 
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W: I get the point of your analogy, but I don't see that it applies very well in the case in question. While the "clocks" in Brotherton case may all be saying noon (i.e. they all essentially said that the things Martha claimed in her affidavite were false), what is the evidence that they "don't run" and "they always say noon"?

A: “The clocks always say noon” because the Kimball, Young, and Smith always denied polygamy (until 1852). If you asked in general if they did it, they said no. If you asked if they were married to somebody they were married to, they said no. If you asked if they were married to somebody they weren’t married to, they said no. They always said no, just like a broken clock always says noon. My argument for this rests on the idea that Young and Kimball were following Joseph’s lead, and I flesh it out in the Conspiracy thread. But here are some highlights:

1- Smith directly denied polygamy in the sermon I quoted.

2- Joseph and his scribes falsified his records so that they “proved” that he never taught and never practiced polygamy.

3- Neither Joseph Smith nor the church made any record of the polygamous “marriages” they performed.

Regarding the McIlwrick testimonies, they basically said that Martha was not an honest person. Perhaps that is so, and the weight given to Martha’s testimony can be discounted based on that. But the fact remains that Martha’s account is consistent with the way that polygamy actually operated, on a level of detail that she probably couldn’t have known unless she actually experienced it.

So in the analogy, what we have is a few people who don’t know what time it is but are claiming that in general, the 7:00 A.M. clock isn’t reliable. But based upon corroborating evidence, what we know is that 7:00 A.M. is a plausible time.

So putting it all together, we know that Martha’s story is plausible and that there is some corroborating evidence that it is true. On the other hand, we have some (contested) evidence that Martha is a liar. But other than the broken clocks, we have no evidence that she is lying in this particular case.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:29 pm 
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Analytics wrote:
W: I get the point of your analogy, but I don't see that it applies very well in the case in question. While the "clocks" in Brotherton case may all be saying noon (i.e. they all essentially said that the things Martha claimed in her affidavite were false), what is the evidence that they "don't run" and "they always say noon"?

A: “The clocks always say noon” because the Kimball, Young, and Smith always denied polygamy (until 1852). If you asked in general if they did it, they said no. If you asked if they were married to somebody they were married to, they said no. If you asked if they were married to somebody they weren’t married to, they said no. They always said no, just like a broken clock always says noon. My argument for this rests on the idea that Young and Kimball were following Joseph’s lead, and I flesh it out in the Conspiracy thread. But here are some highlights:

1- Smith directly denied polygamy in the sermon I quoted.

2- Joseph and his scribes falsified his records so that they “proved” that he never taught and never practiced polygamy.

3- Neither Joseph Smith nor the church made any record of the polygamous “marriages” they performed.

Regarding the McIlwrick testimonies, they basically said that Martha was not an honest person. Perhaps that is so, and the weight given to Martha’s testimony can be discounted based on that. But the fact remains that Martha’s account is consistent with the way that polygamy actually operated, on a level of detail that she probably couldn’t have known unless she actually experienced it.

So in the analogy, what we have is a few people who don’t know what time it is but are claiming that in general, the 7:00 A.M. clock isn’t reliable. But based upon corroborating evidence, what we know is that 7:00 A.M. is a plausible time.

So putting it all together, we know that Martha’s story is plausible and that there is some corroborating evidence that it is true. On the other hand, we have some (contested) evidence that Martha is a liar. But other than the broken clocks, we have no evidence that she is lying in this particular case.


Let's simplify things a bit by looking at just three of the opposing "clocks"--i.e. Mary and John McIIwrick and Vilate Kimball, and see if your argument holds up.

For one, the McIIwricks affidavits says more than just "Martha was not an honest person". They specifically concurred that "the statements which she [Martha] has reported in different places [presumably including her affidavit] are quite contrary to those she related here." (It should be noted that in Martha's own affidavit, she mentions having written the alleged conversation down the following day and having given it to her sister, who "was not a little surprised".)

Vilate Kimball said: "conversation said to have taken place between her and her husband in presence of Martha Brotherton is false: that nothing of the kind as stated in the affidavit of the 13th July 1842, made by the said Martha Brotherton at St. Louis, ever occurred, but is a base fabrication."

Now, what evidence do you have that these three "clocks" "don't run" and "they always say noon"? (Please keep in mind that there is no evidence that McIIwricks were practicing polygamy at the time, let alone even knew about the practice, and were not speaking to the practice in their affidavits, but to Martha's claims about her being proposed to by BY and so forth. Please also keep in mind that Vilate, while perhaps a participant in the practice of polygamy at the time--amounting to sealings done by her husband to more than one woman, her affidavit was not in reference to the practice, or even specifically in reference to the alleged proposal, but rather specific to the alleged conversation between she and her husband Heber, which had nothing to do with polygamy, but rather an alleged lie about going to Joseph's store).

Then, if necessary, we can then proceed to examine the other three "clocks" (I don't think this will be necessary since I believe you will find that your argument fails with the three clocks--Mary, John, and Vilate--and that should reasonably suffice.)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:49 am 
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wenglund wrote:
Let's simplify things a bit by looking at just three of the opposing "clocks"--i.e. Mary and John McIIwrick and Vilate Kimball, and see if your argument holds up....
Thanks, -Wade Englund-


I said above,

“If you’ll concede that Brigham Young and the other insiders would have denied the allegation regardless of whether or not they were true, then it follows that their testimony is absolutely useless in helping us know what actually happened.”

“The whole arguement hinges on whether or not Brigham Young et. al. could have been relied on to be honest about polygamy. The model is robust with regards to the other probabilities.”

“The clocks always say noon” because the Kimball, Young, and Smith always denied polygamy (until 1852).”

As far as I know, Mary and John weren't polygamy insiders. Thus they aren’t “clocks” in my analogy. Their testimonies are peripheral—they weren’t there when then alleged proposal took place.


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