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 Post subject: Re: Tal Bachman: Eulogy for Daniel C. Peterson
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:47 pm 
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why me wrote:
The celebration of critics over what happened to Dan is very telling. It just shows that dan has done a good job in defending the LDS church against people who are attempting to lead people out of the church. And dan is not finished. He is still around and he will find a good home. The MI may have changed, and perhaps it will be a change for the worse. But dan is still around and his future writings will be too.


I completely disagree.

This came to it's logical conclusion. The "eulogy" was spot on. This could have ended no other way, and if you can't see the difference in your style versus Dan Peterson's, Pahoran's, or Zerinus', or others like them, you will, obviously, not be able to comprehend why.

Apologetics isn't about being right. It isn't about brow beating and bullying people into changing their minds. Apologetics is about providing plausible explanations for arguments generated by critics. It is entirely reactionary.

If the goal is to convert people or to keep people in the flock, the only way your are going to do that is by coming across as some kind of authority. When someone has spent years acting like a child on the Internet, with no level of self-awareness of the fact that people in their real life will judge them because of it, it is impossible for outsiders OR insiders to perceive them as any kind of authority, anymore.

No matter how good your work is or how good your arguments are, human nature is such that it only takes one toddler-like tantrum to discredit someone forever. Dan Peterson has many such tantrums under his belt and worse. Anyone recall the time he considered himself the intellectual equal of Nietzsche? When he was 16 years old? Seriously, his lack of self-awareness is plain for everyone to see.

Mission failed. That is not how you do it. Everyone knows it. Now he is terminated. Officially, people can call it whatever they want, but the truth is Peterson has made enemies inside and out of his own social circles. Years of that piling up will, of course, result in circumventing whatever power dynamics he was participating in. He lost. He lost because he spent years building up a bad reputation for himself and he lost because he wasn't smart enough to be able to assess his own behavior and put it into context.

In ways both polite and harsh, Dr. Peterson has been told all of this for years. He has no one to blame but himself. I do mean this sincerely. I do think that Dr. Peterson needs to take a good hard look at the trajectory he has been on for years and years. Until he can fix the problems within himself, there is really no point in wasting effort on apologetics. A year or two away from the Internet might do him some good.

If the Mormon church wants to have a glimmer of hope in the online arena, they are going to all need to realize that they are representing the Mormon Church. All of us have been raised well enough in the church to know how to act right. If you aren't acting right while representing the church in a public forum, you are either very stupid, a bad person, or both. People will recognize bad behavior and won't suffer through a single sentence from a social violator.

It isn't that hard. Stop attacking people and address the evidence. If you can't address the evidence, ignore it and go on with your life.

I never considered any Mormon apologist any good with their work because they focus on unimportant minutiae. I mention this because most anti-Mormons aren't caring one iota for Dr. Peterson's work. Most people just want the recap and will ignore arguments by exhaustion.

Is it reasonable to conclude that Joseph Smith Jr did not have the ability to divinely translate texts? Yes. A small percentage of people may conclude otherwise, but everyone else has reached a reasonable conclusion. This is where the dividing line lies.

You are not smart if you don't have the ability to recognize this as a reasonable position. As soon as you act otherwise, you have discredited yourself in the eyes of a non-believer. Anyone who isn't that smart, shouldn't have a podium from which to represent the church to non-Mormons. They will just F it up.


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 Post subject: Re: Tal Bachman: Eulogy for Daniel C. Peterson
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:04 pm 
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emilysmith wrote:
It isn't that hard. Stop attacking people and address the evidence. If you can't address the evidence, ignore it and go on with your life.

If we're refering to the life/health of the church, neither strategy has found much success, if any (due to the internet).

What do you suppose plan c is?

Probably the age old fallback - pull the persecution card.

Predictable, snore.


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 Post subject: Re: Tal Bachman: Eulogy for Daniel C. Peterson
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Neither plan will find much success, because the church is not based in reality. As more nooks and crannies of reality come to light under a microscope, through a telescope, through experimentation, or by digging in the dirt, the realm of religion continues to shrink. The trend is showing no signs of slowing down, either. It isn't just Mormonism. One visit to the atheism subreddit, and it is clear that all religions are falling back against the tide of knowledge the Information Age is bringing forth.

The best plan is to live your life the best you can and not get bogged down in the petty arguments of other people. It is toxic to breathe and inhale air from the Internet Hate Machine. If you are wasting years of your life on these forums arguing with people, you have gotten nowhere in life. You have stopped evolving.

Virtually every rabbit has been chased down the hole. The details are unimportant. We get the gist. All of us.

Just because you can win an argument, doesn't mean you are right, either. It really says more about the poster who can't let things go, especially when they are all about that which is so unimportant, when you look at the big picture.

Mormonism will die. You will die. If I am wrong, Jesus will come back, and people like Dr. Peterson will still have done nothing but alienate strangers from the faith while wasting a decent percentage of their life arguing on the Internet about useless ____. The people you should worry about saving are not on the Internet. They are in your house, on your block, at your office. They are your friends and your family. They all need help. They don't need you staring at a computer screen like a zombie for half of your waking life.

The only rational alternative is to log off, shut down, and go do something that has meaning (to you) and brings joy. On an individual level, that should always be Plan A.


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 Post subject: Re: Tal Bachman: Eulogy for Daniel C. Peterson
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:32 pm 
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Quote:
Neither plan will find much success, because the church is not based in reality.


As much as I'd like this to be the case, I find I must disagree. Most of the world's population labors under delusions that have no basis in reality (i.e., Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.) There are plenty of successful religions that have no basis in reality, so that's not really the biggest impediment to the Mormon church's success.

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"The Church is authoritarian, tribal, provincial, and founded on a loosely biblical racist frontier sex cult."--Juggler Vain
"The LDS church is the Amway of religions. Even with all the soap they sell, they still manage to come away smelling dirty."--Some Schmo


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