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 Post subject: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:52 am 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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A fresh pair of articles penned by Louis C. "Woody" Midgley have been posted to Mormon Interpreter. As with the recent invective from John Sorenson, these two pieces are very much in the "classic-FARMS" tradition: angry, designed mainly to attack, and basically substance-free (apart, I suppose, from The Emperor's compressed "history of atheism" in the longer article). What's shocking, though, is how sloppy both of these pieces are: it's as if the MI editorial team was either too busy to be bothered with doing a "professional" job, or they just didn't care. Perhaps haste was the order of the day?

In any case, the first of the articles can be found here:

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/atheis ... c-dubiety/

At some point, the yokels at the old FARMS realized that including abstracts would make their work seem more "scholarly," and indeed, this "realization" has been included here. Personally, I found bits of Midgley's abstract rather confusing. He mentions a "mass-market secular humanist magazine" without naming it, and then goes on to complain about pieces in said "mass-market secular humanist magazine" that characterize Joseph Smith thusly:

Quote:
This is done by ignoring the details of Joseph Smith’s career in order to picture him as the equivalent of a bizarre, emotionally conflicted figure like Charles Manson or as the embodiment of one of a wide range of mythical trickster figures like Brer Rabbit, Felix the Cat, or Doctor Who.


Huh? "Felix the Cat"? "Doctor Who"?

It turns out that Midgley is actually criticizing a Mormon-themed issue of the secular-humanist magazine, Free Inquiry, though the article muddles things at times. Take a look at this passage, a few "pages" in:

Quote:
The October/November Seven

The October/November issue of Free Inquiry comprises a total of sixty-six pages, of which twenty-one constitute a miscellany of opinion on Mormon topics. None of these essays make a contribution to understanding the faith of the Saints or the crucial history of the restoration. Some of the authors assume the conclusions they reach. None of these essays give the appearance of having been written with much understanding of Latter-day Saint history or faith. Each of the seven essays is reviewed separately below.


Apart from "Woody"'s casual and hubristic dismissal of the entire seven essays, the editing here is really pretty terrible. "The October/November issue" would lead you to believe that he's writing about the current issue, no? It would make perfect sense, given the current political climate, and yet, when you navigate on over to the Free Inquiry Web site, it seems that the 2012 Oct./Nov. issue isn't even out yet. It turns out that this is actually discussing last year's Oct./Nov. issue. You wonder why either Midgley or his editorial assistant failed to clarify this in the text.

As you read on, it becomes clear: this article was probably meant to be published last year, as part of a planned Mormon Review attack on John Dehlin. Just look at this passage:

Quote:
Dalton is known for having created a serial comic sketch in which he plays “Mr. Deity,” the lead role.21 “My Journey” is clearly an exit story. As is common in this genre, Dalton includes a fashionable complaint about the sense of betrayal and pain that he experienced when he went missing. [sic] A more naïve, candid, and revealing version of Dalton’s exit story has been made available in an interview by John Dehlin.

[...]

Dalton, led by Dehlin, actually claims to have read much LDS apologetic literature prior to his aborted mission call. But nothing in his interview indicates that either Dalton or Dehlin has even an elementary grasp of contemporary LDS scholarship. Dehlin gently coaches Mr. Deity to claim that DNA studies, along with hearing about seer stones, led him to reject the Book of Mormon. But did this realization come long after he had lapsed back into the pop music world, with its abundance of moral evil? Neither Dalton nor Dehlin sort any such questions.
(emphasis mine)

I would guess that substantial chunks of this now-terminated issue of the Review contained elements that were meant to attack John Dehlin--more than just the epic-length Greg Smith "hit piece." Probably, Midgley was a driving force behind the attack strategy.

In any case, he carries on in his rather crummy article, marching through each of the essays in turn, spending a few paragraphs on each to make his usual crotchety complaints: the author "doesn't understand" Mormonism; the author "doesn't have a solid grasp" of contemporary "scholarship" (read: Mopologetics); the author is "naïve"; the author is a "dogmatic atheist" and thus unable to view things fairly. And so on. You don't really have to bother reading the criticisms, because you've heard them all before. Midgley could save himself a lot of time by simply ordering a bunch of rubber stamps and using them to mark up every single non-Mopologetic publication that discusses Mormonism.

What's shocking, though, is the sloppiness that one finds throughout the piece:

Quote:
He merely brushes aside the Book of Mormon. In doing this, as Professor William Hamblin has demonstrated, Price has ignored all the literature published by Latter-day Saints on the Book of Mormon.


*All* of it? Interestingly, Midgley provides a pair of endnotes to substantiate this. In note 37, he writes:

Quote:
See Hamblin’s complaints about this devastating lacuna in his “‘There Really Is a God,’” 79 n. 2 (see n. 36 above). In addition to the studies mentioned by Hamblin, the list could now be increased substantially. Price also ignored Terryl Givens’s By the Hand of Mormon (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).


And in note 36, he writes:

Quote:
William J. Hamblin responded to Price in a devastating essay impishly entitled “‘There Really Is a God, and He Dwells in the Temporal Parietal Lobe of Joseph Smith’s Brain,’” Dialogue 36/4 (2003): 79–87. See the revised version of Professor Hamblin’s response entitled “Priced to Sell,” Review of Books on the Book of Mormon 16/1 (2004): 37–47. Price was back at it again with an essay entitled “Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon,” Dialogue 36/4 (2003): 89–96. See also his self-published essays in Latter-day Scripture.


A sharp-eyed editor would immediately notice the repeated use--in a short span--of the word "devastating." (The word gets used four times in this essay.) Yes: we get that Midgley wants to emphasize how badly Bill Hamblin whooped up on Price, but still--it's time to get out the thesaurus. Even worse is the bit I've underlined. Has such a publication--with that title--ever existed? Of course, Midgley is referring to the FARMS Review (or Mormon Studies Review, or perhaps the FARMS Review of Books). Maybe he's still living in the past?

Finally, there is the issue of whether or not Price really is guilty of a "devastating lacuna" [sic]. To show how poorly read on the scholarship Price is, Hamblin cites (drumroll....) a bunch of FARMS authors:

Hamblin wrote:
2. Dr. Price seems to be completely unaware of, or at least unwilling to engage, a large body of scholarship which challenges his prejudices on this issue. For the most recent popularizing sum- mary (with detailed notes to numerous technical studies), see Donald Parry, Daniel Peterson, and John Welch, eds. Echoes and Evidences, (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002); see also Noel Reynolds, ed., Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: the Evidence for Ancient Origins, (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1997).


Of course, Price's original quote reads, ""virtually all critical scholars . . . agree that Joseph Smith did not discover the Book of Mormon but rather created it" (emphasis mine). Does Hamblin really think that DCP, Parry, Reynolds, and Welch are "critical scholars"? At least Midgley seems smart enough to throw someone respectable--Terryl Givens--into the mix, though this works against him, too, since it implies that Midgley himself is aware of the problem of trying to make the case using only FARMS authors.

Later, we come again to a strange mention of "Doctor Who":

Quote:
However, Price cannot distinguish between the “trickster” as found in fable and fiction, such as Bugs Bunny or Felix the Cat, and actual human beings. In his essay he muddles the two notions together, making it possible for him to neglect to demonstrate a historical influence or connection between, say, Charles Manson or Doctor Who and Joseph Smith.


Is he really saying this? Does he really mean this? Price doesn't know the difference between cartoon characters and "actual human beings"? Is this meant to be serious? Was this "peer reviewed"? Price's article can be read here:

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.ph ... price_31_6

Can you find the spot where Price makes any mention whatsoever of "Bugs Bunny or Felix the Cat" or "Doctor Who"? Or are these just Midgley's well-poisoning additions?

On and on it goes. In his discussion of the Alcock piece, Midgley feels compelled to mention that Alcock is "an amateur magician." I still can't figure out why this is relevant, though I'm sure both Midgley and the MI editorial team had their reasons.

In his discussion of the C.L. Hanson article, Midgley stops just short of using a sexist epithet to describe Ms. Hanson:

Quote:
She pictures herself as “a mild mannered mom” who posts up a storm on the Internet promoting what she calls “the middle ground where ‘nice,’ tactful atheism can occur” (p. 41). Her blogs—Main Street Plaza and Letters from a Broad—strike me as a bit raunchy and as lacking intellectual content.


Midgley helpfully supplies a link to help illustrate what he finds "raunchy":

Quote:
For example, it really is ludicrous for Hanson to describe her teenage efforts to seduce boys or to describe what she claims to have managed in the library at BYU. See http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/2006/07/my ... point.html, including the comments for one of many similar examples of childish rubbish.


You kind of have to wonder what sort of sleuthing Midgley had to do in order to track this material down. The link takes you to Hanson's account of her loss of faith--as Midgley indicates, you really have to read down into the comments to learn that Hanson is (in?)famous for having had sex in/at the BYU library. The question I'm left with here is: Why was Midgley perusing this material? How much time did it take him to track this stuff down? And, is anyone else as creeped out by the thought of this man:

Image

not only reading material of this nature, but saving links to it, probably sharing them on Skinny-L, and using them in an article like this? There is clearly a voyeuristic component to Midgley's complaints, and I personally think that he and his article would have been better off if he'd omitted this. The posting is over half a decade old, and I'm sure that he could have zeroed in on something that was more indicative of "Letters from a Broad" as a whole. Instead, in rather pervy fashion, he chose to focus on the author's recollections about her teenage sexuality. He ought to limit this kind of behavior to watching provocative videos on SocialCam.

But it doesn't end there! The Emperor goes on to cook up a conspiracy theory about how Free Inquiry founder Paul Kurtz was in cahoots with Signature Books chief George Smith:

Quote:
Beginning in 1984, through various conferences and publishing ventures, including Free Inquiry, Kurtz and Company, at times working with George D. Smith and Signature Books, have sponsored or published a series of attacks on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.


What is this supposed to prove, exactly? That Smith and Kurtz are friendly to one another?

As you might expect, Midgley begins to wrap things up with the accusation that atheism is actually a religion:

Quote:
One reason for not wanting to be known as a religion is that, in the United States, if secular humanism is seen as a religion, then it could face big trouble in the courts because of the First Amendment. One can understand Kurtz’s concern over this matter. But otherwise, efforts to shed the religion label seem to me to be a bit callow, given the fact that secular humanists have not abandoned the idea that there is an atheist community and in this sense even a kind of church or assemblage of peoples.


So yet again we have the peculiar situation whereby Midgley is angry that the "militant atheists" are dismissive of religion, and so his strategy is to try and characterize them as a kind of religion. "Take that you guys! See! You actually are the very thing you hate!" Yep, that'll get 'em, Woody.

I have to say that, as bad as some Mopologetic articles have been in the past, this one really may take the cake: I think it may rank among the worst five or so Mopologetic articles ever written. It is mind-numbingly stupid, weighed down not just with anger and vindictiveness, but with creepiness and pettiness, too. It was clearly written in the spirit of revenge, and the fact is, the thing was really poorly edited. In addition to the items I already noted--pure carelessness, by the way--there is a paragraph that wasn't indented on "page" 129.

Seeing this, it's hard not to think that Gerald Bradford had truly legitimate reasons for wanting to keep this stuff away from the BYU imprimatur. Apart from being nasty and mean-spirited, this is just flat-out unprofessional and sloppy. It's as if Midgley banged this out the night before it was due, and yet as is quite obvious, this was written close to a year ago. What is their excuse? And what will their supporters say? The lower-tier Mopologists have always pointed to the Skinny-L/FARMS crowd as the model for "Mormon scholarship." What excuses can they possibly have for work this is this transparently awful?

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:47 pm 
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What a pearl-clutching embarrassment.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
A fresh pair of articles penned by Louis C. "Woody" Midgley have been posted to Mormon Interpreter.
In any case, the first of the articles can be found here:

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/atheis ... c-dubiety/


Scratch,

When I started reading your comments, I recalled Louis doing a review for the AML in November 2011 on the Council For Secular Humanism, 2011 Magazine. I am unwilling to read the current review in MI, but is this an expanded review from his AML review found here?

http://www.aml-online.org/Reviews/Review.aspx?id=5025

Which I did read when published on the AML board and I believe I questioned some of Louis' conclusions and assertions.


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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Joe Geisner wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:
A fresh pair of articles penned by Louis C. "Woody" Midgley have been posted to Mormon Interpreter.
In any case, the first of the articles can be found here:

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/atheis ... c-dubiety/


Scratch,

When I started reading your comments, I recalled Louis doing a review for the AML in November 2011 on the Council For Secular Humanism, 2011 Magazine. I am unwilling to read the current review in MI, but is this an expanded review from his AML review found here?

http://www.aml-online.org/Reviews/Review.aspx?id=5025

Which I did read when published on the AML board and I believe I questioned some of Louis' conclusions and assertions.


That is indeed what it is. And it includes many of the same sentences and phrases.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:55 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Joe Geisner wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:
A fresh pair of articles penned by Louis C. "Woody" Midgley have been posted to Mormon Interpreter.
In any case, the first of the articles can be found here:

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/atheis ... c-dubiety/


Scratch,

When I started reading your comments, I recalled Louis doing a review for the AML in November 2011 on the Council For Secular Humanism, 2011 Magazine. I am unwilling to read the current review in MI, but is this an expanded review from his AML review found here?

http://www.aml-online.org/Reviews/Review.aspx?id=5025

Which I did read when published on the AML board and I believe I questioned some of Louis' conclusions and assertions.


Joe: yes, it seems that you are absolutely right. Check out this passage, from the MI article:

MI Midlgely wrote:
She pictures herself as “a mild mannered mom” who posts up a storm on the Internet promoting what she calls “the middle ground where ‘nice,’ tactful atheism can occur” (p. 41). Her blogs—Main Street Plaza and Letters from a Broad—strike me as a bit raunchy and as lacking intellectual content.45 Hanson needs a sense of solidarity with Latter-day Saints, even though her own nice “atheist community” (p. 41) should take care of her emotional needs by providing her with friends, a sense of [Page 135]meaning, and an identity. She believes that “atheists who were raised in other religions can form the same sort of bridges with their own communities” (p. 41).

The fact is, however, that both substance and civility are in rather short supply on lists, boards, and blogs, where the most violent and uninformed are free to opine up a storm. And this goes, unfortunately, for both Latter-day Saints as well as their critics.


Compared with the similar passage in the AML piece:

Midgley AML wrote:
She pictures herself as "a mild mannered mom" who posts up a storm on the 'nacle promoting what she calls "the middle ground where nice,' tactful atheism can occur" (p. 41). Her blogs--Main Street Plaza and Letters from a Broad--strike me as lacking intellectual content, and a bit raunchy. She needs a sense of solidarity with Latter-day Saints, even though her own nice "atheist community" (p. 41) should take care of her emotional needs by providing her with friends, a sense of meaning, and an identity.

She believes that "atheists who were raised in other religions can form the same sort of bridges with their own communities" (p. 41). The fact is, however, that both substance and civility are in rather short supply on lists, boards, and blogs where the most violent and uninformed are free to opine up a storm. And this goes, unfortunately, for both Latter-day Saints, as well as their critics.


It's the same save for the differences in paragraph breaks and the addition of endnotes in the MI version.

Now compare this sentence, from the MI:

Quote:
Alcock (b. 1942) is an amateur magician who, much like Nielsen and Cragun, is a severe critic of parapsychology. He argues—correctly, I believe—that “religion is attractive to many people because of the emotional needs that it serves” (p. 39).


With the one from AML:

Quote:
James Alcock, much like Nielsen and Cragun, argues correctly that "religion is attractive to many people because of the emotional needs it serves. It provides a structure for comprehending the world and giving meaning to our existence; it provides a sense of certainty and stability in times when uncertainty and ambiguity seem to pilgrimage; it provides a social network that furnishes friendship and a sense of belonging; it provides succor in times of grief; it provides relief from loneliness" and so forth (p. 39).


The bit about him being an "amateur magician" was added into the MI version. Was that something that Midgley personally wanted to include? Or did the editorial team think that it was relevant in some way?

In the section on the Brian Dalton article, there is no mention whatsoever about John Dehlin, which again just goes to show you how agenda-driven the Mopologists actually are. When you get an editor in place who is more interested in substance rather than ad hominem attack, magically a lot of this stuff is suddenly toned down or omitted. (Cue Mike Parker or some other functionary claiming that there are no examples at all of this sort of thing in any of the Mopologists' writings.)

The comparison of the two articles provides a lot of insight into what the Mopologists do. The AML piece, while it still suffers from some of the same problems that plagues so much of Midgley's writing, is quite a bit tamer. The MI piece has been amped up to emphasize the attack elements.

Really, though, this just underscores even more heavily my initial observation that the editing of this was atrocious. There should have been some mention here that a version of the article had previously appeared with the Association for Mormon Letters. (Cf. Bill Hamblin's own mention in his FARMS article that a previous versoin had already appeared in Dialogue, and Midgley's own demonstration that this is proper protocol in endnote 36.) To leave out that fact seems borderline dishonest, though given the other obvious sloppiness and errors in this, I guess we can assume that Midgley and the editors were simply asleep at the wheel.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:07 pm 
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Blixa wrote:
That is indeed what it is. And it includes many of the same sentences and phrases.


To have even more fun with this thread! :lol:

I checked out Louis' The Signature Books Saga and what he writes about George Smith and his connection with humanism. I found sixteen times Louis used "humanism" in this earlier hit piece. Most of it wanting to tie George with these evil people. :lol:

His dependence on this previous hit piece to this current hit piece is striking.

Louis is consistent.

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publica ... cat_id=474


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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Since DCP's implosion and casting out from FARMS, it is beginning to seem that there are no longer any mopologists worthy of an anti-mormon's steel out there.

Is this really the best they can manage? Where is the fun to come from in future? Even Butthead acrostics would be more amusing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Chap wrote:
Since DCP's implosion and casting out from FARMS, it is beginning to seem that there are no longer any mopologists worthy of an anti-mormon's steel out there.

Is this really the best they can manage? Where is the fun to come from in future? Even Butthead acrostics would be more amusing.


It also makes me wonder who was doing the real editing at FARMS. While those articles often has serious problems, they were nowhere near as sloppy as this.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Seeing this, it's hard not to think that Gerald Bradford had truly legitimate reasons for wanting to keep this stuff away from the BYU imprimatur. Apart from being nasty and mean-spirited, this is just flat-out unprofessional and sloppy. It's as if Midgley banged this out the night before it was due, and yet as is quite obvious, this was written close to a year ago. What is their excuse? And what will their supporters say? The lower-tier Mopologists have always pointed to the Skinny-L/FARMS crowd as the model for "Mormon scholarship." What excuses can they possibly have for work this is this transparently awful?



This article (and I use that term loosely) by Midgley should completely clear up any lingering doubt one might have about whether Gerald Bradford did the right thing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:53 pm 
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You know as I was reading through that, reading the "abstract" that is nothing like an abstract and more of an rambling introductory paragraph, reading dated phrases like, "the pop music world, with its abundance of moral evil," reading declarative sentence after declarative sentence, reading the predictable (and also dated) conflation of atheism/Marxism/the Soviet Union, reading an attack on an author via thread comments from a personal blog, etc., etc., I wondered who on earth is the audience for such writing?

Not the average latter-day saint. They aren't bothered by, nor even interested in, the alleged outrages that have got Midgley so worked up. I mean half the "criticism" here is just implied in those endless declarative descriptions, as if that in itself is enough damnation: "My Journey is clearly a exit story." "It turns out that Dalton grew up with a guitar and not faith." "Ms. Hanson proclaims that she is an atheist but “grew up Mormon," and so on.

I mean look at the beginning of the section on Robert Price:

Quote:
Dr. Price (b. 1954), depending on his mood, either doubts or flatly denies that there ever was a Jesus of Nazareth. Even as fellow of the Westar Institute’s rather bizarre Jesus Seminar, he goes much further than many or most of his skeptical associates by turning Jesus into a mere literary figure with no historical reality. Be that as it may, he boasts that he has undergone a “faith journey.” He tells of having once been a fundamentalist. He is now anxious to exorcize his initial pugnacious, passionate fundamentalist background. He likes to explain that he began when he was in his teens by being “born again” in a fundamentalist Baptist church. He zealously engaged in witnessing to the unsaved. But he soon realized that “accepting Jesus” didn’t seem to change anything here and now. His new “enthusiasm” turned sour; it was, as is often the case, both poorly grounded and ephemeral.


Wow. A summary. A summary of the essay you are supposed to be discussing. But instead of which you are describing. In these maddeningly declarative sentences.

I can only think the audience for such writing is a small group of friends who communicate via their own shorthand and code. Thus, what seems puzzlingly stilted and pointless to me, would read quite differently to those in the know. I'm guessing there is an in-group semiotics of humor here.

Which is fine. I just can't imagine any kind of larger audience for it, though.

But then I can't imagine how someone can quote that famously beautiful passage from "A Criticism of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right," in which Marx refers to religion as "the heart of a heartless world" as an example of a dismissal of religion as "silly myth and magic."

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Last edited by Blixa on Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:02 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:35 pm 
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WTF @ the abstract. If I submitted a abstract like that as an undergrad they'd give it right back to fix.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:44 pm 
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MrStakhanovite wrote:
WTF @ the abstract. If I submitted a abstract like that as an undergrad they'd give it right back to fix.


I know, right? And DCP is trumpeting this material on his blog. He's got a readership at least in the hundreds, which means that those of them that click on the link are going to be taken to this utter trainwreck. So was Dan completely clueless about the state of this? Or does he just not care?

And what does this sentence mean?:

Woody wrote:
Neither Dalton nor Dehlin sort any such questions.


"Sort"?

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
So was Dan completely clueless about the state of this? Or does he just not care?


I’m pretty confident that Dan doesn't cares a whit. Scholarship gets in the way when it comes to furthering your own ideological agenda. It is why he does such a terrible job in his political analysis, he just rehashes what he reads with no insight added.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Just for fun I ran Woody’s entire essay (sans footnotes) through a Readability index calculatorand got this:

Quote:
Method used: Flesch-Kincaid (English).
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 12.
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score: 40.

The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score indicates how easy a text is to read. A high score implies an easy text. In comparison comics typically score around 90 while legalese can get a score below 10.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade level indicates the grade a person will have to have reached to be able to understand the text. E.g. a grade level of 7 means that a seventh grader will be able to understand the text.


Then I ran a Chris Smith postthrough it and got this:

Quote:
Result

Method used: Flesch-Kincaid (English).

Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 18.
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score: 10.


Way to write in legalese Chris!

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:02 pm 
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It would just try to reconsitute FARMS. Name it the same.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:35 am 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Quote:
One reason for not wanting to be known as a religion is that, in the United States, if secular humanism is seen as a religion, then it could face big trouble in the courts because of the First Amendment.


This post is made in memoriam to all of the brain cells that died from being exposed to the above statement. Lest we forget, lest we forget.......

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:48 am 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
On and on it goes. In his discussion of the Alcock piece, Midgley feels compelled to mention that Alcock is "an amateur magician." I still can't figure out why this is relevant, though I'm sure both Midgley and the MI editorial team had their reasons.


May I suggest that the relevance is in demonstrating how a little knowledge can be dangerous. An amateur magician, who may have limited experience in being paid to practice magic, may not fully understand all of the nuances of Mormonism. A professional magician---such as Joseph Smith, Jr.---would have a richer background to draw upon when contemplating the Restored Gospel.

Quote:
Quote:
But otherwise, efforts to shed the religion label seem to me to be a bit callow, given the fact that secular humanists have not abandoned the idea that there is an atheist community and in this sense even a kind of church or assemblage of peoples.


And none of us would want to be callow, so we better acknowledge that any grouping of people, either by common traits or by their association with each other, is equivalent to a church.

The NRA, the National Geographic Society, your local community theater, that book club you're in, the Federalist Society, the Rotary Club, the AAA, and fantasy football leagues are all churches, too.

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:55 am 
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bcspace wrote:
It would just try to reconsitute FARMS. Name it the same.

They really missed an opportunity there by naming their endeavour "Mormon Interpreter" - going for the "MI" - instead of recapturing FARMS with "Foundation for Anger and Ramblings, Mopologetic Style".

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:57 am 
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Instead of 'Mormon Interpreter' shouldn't they just be called 'Urim & Thummim', or perhaps, more accurately 'Rock'?

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 Post subject: Re: The Downward Spiral Continues at "Mormon Interpreter"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:06 am 
God
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Darth J wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:
On and on it goes. In his discussion of the Alcock piece, Midgley feels compelled to mention that Alcock is "an amateur magician." I still can't figure out why this is relevant, though I'm sure both Midgley and the MI editorial team had their reasons.


May I suggest that the relevance is in demonstrating how a little knowledge can be dangerous. An amateur magician, who may have limited experience in being paid to practice magic, may not fully understand all of the nuances of Mormonism. A professional magician---such as Joseph Smith, Jr.---would have a richer background to draw upon when contemplating the Restored Gospel.

Quote:
But otherwise, efforts to shed the religion label seem to me to be a bit callow, given the fact that secular humanists have not abandoned the idea that there is an atheist community and in this sense even a kind of church or assemblage of peoples.


And none of us would want to be callow, so we better acknowledge that any grouping of people, either by common traits or by their association with each other, is equivalent to a church.

The NRA, the National Geographic Society, your local community theater, that book club you're in, the Federalist Society, the Rotary Club, the AAA, and fantasy football leagues are all churches, too.


Once again - the tactic of dealing with difficult issues by breaking down the fences that separate words and concepts from one another, thereby rendering them useless to convey meaning

Examples:

"bar-room fortune-teller" and "prophet"
"making stuff up while looking at a text you can't read" and "translating"
"feeling emotional about some idea" and "knowing"

Now we have:

"any social group" and "church"

There will no doubt be many more.

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