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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:23 pm 
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I called it way too soon, I thought for sure Hamblin wouldn't pursue this any further. I sense the ultimate smack down coming, the likes of which I can only imagine. He has set himself up for it on so many levels that I ALMOST feel sorry for him. But not really. He should have backed down.


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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:31 am 
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Stumpy Pepys wrote:
Really? Hamblin is calling out Jenkins for being unconvinced that Akish is just a coincidence? It isn't even a coincidence. It is just plain wrong. It is a non-incidence.

I wonder why they would want to go with Akish as an evidence for the Book of Mormon anyway. It points one directly to a trope lifted straight out of the New Testament where a fetching maiden dances to please a dude which leads to a beheading. Tropes shamelessly pilfered from the New Testament pose problems for apologists, not solutions.

And the name Akish appears in variations may times in the bible, as is the case with the lions' share of other Book of Mormon names. And there is also just a little trouble that ensues when one identifies "the name, date, and royal function of Akish in the Book of Mormon" with "the name, date and function of U-Kix in the Maya tradition." Akish is a major player in the Jaredite story. Jaredites=Maya? There are a lot of facts on the ground when we are talking about Mayan history and archeology. If apologists are really going to place the book of Ether in a Mayan setting, the Book of Ether had better have a schload of consistency with the Maya and their culture and history. For instance, the Maya should have been wiped out before 100 BC, in a battle in which every Mayan man, woman, and child fought and perished by the sword, before the "days of Mosiah" (~100-ish BC) when the people of Limhi discovered the Jaredite plates. For starters.

The other explanation is that author of the Book of Mormon relied on the Bible just a smidge, and Akish is just another Bible-name remix. Achish is in the OT around 20 times. Kish is in there more times than I care to count.


Good work, Stumpy Pepys. Yes, Akish is much better evidence of the Book of Mormon's dependence on the Bible than anything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:02 am 
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Hamblin wrote:
I asked if a Book of Mormon king name appeared in Maya texts would you accept it as “objective evidence.” You said you would. I provided the evidence. You immediately changed the rules and demanded a different type king name.


If Jenkins agreed to that then he kinda got sucked into a trap and it proves that one needs experience dealing with pseudoscience and cranks, and can't just rely on naïve mutual honesty: "I'm willing to consider the evidence if you have it!"

We seem to know what Jenkins is looking for, but there are some serious unpacked assumptions at work when speaking of evidence and one might accidently leave the back door open and the next thing you know, an apologist is standing in your kitchen by the utensil drawer warning you that you're about to fall upon you're own knife. Objections to "Akish" based on dissimilarity walk right into the trap. It's not a stretch to imagine a two-syllable name of a person or place matching up between the long list of names in the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica. As Hamblin accidently proved himself one day, when incorrectly calculating the odds of the 3-letter cluster NHM, it's not a very impressive hit. But the fact that he went down that path shows he knows darn well everything Jenkins is saying is true, and that far more consideration must be at work than just a "king name" to consider it a hit. But if Hamblin got Jenkins to go with terms demanding him to acknowledge minimal evidence, then it was quite the setup.

The apologists know that no one is going to accept the Book of Mormon as a historical document. But, perhaps they can trick someone into admitting there is at least some evidence for the Book of Mormon. What a victory it would be to get a non-Mormon scholar to say there is evidence for the Book of Mormon as an ancient text! How about we start with Margret Barker? Do we have her on the record saying there is evidence for the Book of Mormon as an ancient text? Even just a little bit of evidence? A name hit, sure, it might not be proof, but we didn't ask for proof, right? We just asked for evidence. Can't a critic admit that we have a tiny, incy wincy bit of evidence? Why, it just shows the mind of a critic is shut like the door to a bomb shelter!

It's hugely problematic to even talk about what would constitute evidence for the Book of Mormon. Let's back way up with a mundane example and leave the gold bibles and angels behind for a moment.

Nature in 2011 wrote:
An Italian experiment has unveiled evidence that fundamental particles known as neutrinos can travel faster than light.


This article appeared everywhere in September 2011 and so we have to ask, on the twenty-second of February, was there evidence that the speed of light had been broken? We didn't say proof -- just evidence. The finding came from CERN -- not a FARMS two-ring circus. It's really hard to say, isn't it? We don't want to just rule it out of hand as evidence because then we make the word "evidence" (in favor of x) meaningless. Are we only going to say something is evidence in retrospect? How honest is that? But don't we want to say: hey let's first double, triple, and quadruple check the results before considering it (mere) evidence (in favor of x)? I don't have a clear-cut answer, but it seems like when the facts of the matter are interpreted in favor of something beyond our wildest imagination, then they are equipped with way too much leverage to ever be considered "evidence" (in favor of x). It seems talk about evidence in favor of or against should be reserved for mundane matters like the existence of the Higgs. Oh, we don't get symmetry breaking at that energy level? Maybe it's not true. But wait a second, at this slightly higher level maybe it's checking out? Feels a bit more like a scale situation where we're adding beans on either side and watching it tip.

The face on Mars? Before the discovery, if the probability of an ancient civilization on mars was 1 in 100, now the face has appeared isn't the probability at least 2 in 100? If so, then the face is evidence in favor of it. The pseudoscientist has won and it's time to go on to the energy readings for that over-unity engine. All the crank needs is a modicum of legitimacy, because legit is legit. My guess is there is absolutely no way to discuss civilization on Mars (still relatively likely compared to Book of Mormon) or the Book of Mormon as a real historical document in terms of evidence that slowly builds the case. It's pretty much all or nothing. Either bring the undeniable proof or go home. So critics have to be a little cautious and not get sucked in to asking for minimal evidence because there just isn't such a thing, it's all or nothing, when it comes to radically fringe and paranormal claims.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:19 pm 
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Jenkins has responded, though it's unclear if this was meant to address Hamblin's most recent, "Shifting the Goal Posts" entry. In essence, Jenkins has boiled down the entire debate to this:

Quote:
It’s hard to debate any issue when the other side is so confused about basic definitions and terms. Should I really have to explain such critical issues?

But it does raise an interesting thought. If the apologists are so fundamentally in error about core issues of methodology, does that explain why they get into such total absurdities?


Earlier, Jenkins writes:

Philip Jenkins wrote:
If you want to see such verification and testing at work in the discipline of History strictly defined, then observe the national scandal involving Michael Bellesisles, who made far-reaching claims about the possession and use of firearms in early American history. His claims, which were heavily quantitative and (apparently) empirical in nature, were examined and debunked by other scholars, and his whole argument was shown to be false. Bellesisles presented what he claimed to be objective evidence, and other scholars showed that it wasn’t. The scientific process worked beautifully.

Obviously, most examples of testing and falsification are nothing like as thoroughgoing and traumatic, and subsequent researchers merely modify and adapt the claims in light of further research. But testing is indeed what they do.

I assume Dr. Hamblin is not arguing that because data need interpretation, therefore they cannot be objective?


Actually, I'm pretty sure that this is more or less *exactly* what Hamblin has been arguing. His posts on "Akish" and battles and the names of rulers are all meant to support that point--he and the Mopologists count those as legitimate evidence and no one else does, and the reason for this discrepancy can be chalked up to "interpretation." Thus, the case for Book of Mormon historicity is purely subjective! QED!

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:55 pm 
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There is a complex, important debate in philosophy of science over what it means for some set of observations to constitute evidence. In some schools of thought, somthing like "Akish" would be, in others it would not. This is totally irrelevant to discussion at hand, though. Either you are left with no evidence, or evidence so weak that it doesn't at all match what a person means when they ask for evidence. When Jenkins is asking for is evidence sufficient for cogency or at least a case that gives some sense of persuasiveness. What is being offered is is incredibly weak - designed to shift the terms of debate over to definitions of evidence and whether that counts. Jenkins should short circuit that and point out there is evidence of the Book of Mormon being an ancient document in the same way that the existence of oceans is evidence that Atlantis existed.


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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:51 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
There is a complex, important debate in philosophy of science over what it means for some set of observations to constitute evidence. In some schools of thought, somthing like "Akish" would be, in others it would not. This is totally irrelevant to discussion at hand, though. Either you are left with no evidence, or evidence so weak that it doesn't at all match what a person means when they ask for evidence. When Jenkins is asking for is evidence sufficient for cogency or at least a case that gives some sense of persuasiveness. What is being offered is is incredibly weak - designed to shift the terms of debate over to definitions of evidence and whether that counts. Jenkins should short circuit that and point out there is evidence of the Book of Mormon being an ancient document in the same way that the existence of oceans is evidence that Atlantis existed.


Exactly right. Hamblin's arguments about the subjective nature of history are a transparent attempt to distract readers from realizing he has no evidence.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:11 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
There is a complex, important debate in philosophy of science over what it means for some set of observations to constitute evidence. In some schools of thought, somthing like "Akish" would be, in others it would not. This is totally irrelevant to discussion at hand, though. Either you are left with no evidence, or evidence so weak that it doesn't at all match what a person means when they ask for evidence. When Jenkins is asking for is evidence sufficient for cogency or at least a case that gives some sense of persuasiveness. What is being offered is is incredibly weak - designed to shift the terms of debate over to definitions of evidence and whether that counts. Jenkins should short circuit that and point out there is evidence of the Book of Mormon being an ancient document in the same way that the existence of oceans is evidence that Atlantis existed.


Thanks for this, EAllusion.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:27 am 
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Jenkins has updated his latest post:

Jenkins wrote:

JUST AS AN UPDATE.
Bill Hamblin has a new post at
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticm ... oal-posts/
in which he accuses me of not accepting the “evidence” he has offered for the Book of Mormon. Here is my reply:
Oh my. I actually asked for credible and plausible evidence, which did not begin to apply (for instance) to your offerings concerning the alleged entrada of the 370s, the supposed king-name Akish, the homonyms, etc. In each case, I pointed out why your explanations were silly and or groundless, and that you should be embarrassed to proffer such weak evidence.
And let’s look at those shall we?
*You WITHDREW Akish yourself when you were told that the name could not have sounded like that – yet here it is?
You write,
I asked if a Book of Mormon king name appeared in Maya texts would you accept it as “objective evidence.” You said you would. I provided the evidence. You immediately changed the rules and demanded a different type king name. The fact that the name, date, and royal function of Akish in the Book of Mormon matches the name, date and function of U-Kix in the Maya tradition means nothing–mere coincidence.
Then in the SAME POST you write this,
NOTE: My friend Mark Wright, a professional Maya scholar and linguist, just informed me that recent phonetic interpretations of the glyph traditionally rendered as “kix/kish” below are now thought to read “kokan.” If the new interpretation is correct, then this argument is rendered moot.
ie, it can’t be Akish in the first place. Consistency, anyone? Or mere professorial absent-mindedness?
Even if Mr. Akish had been there, I also explained at length why there is no conceivable way it could be the same one as in the Mayan lists. What on earth are you talking about? Did you even read my thorough demolition of your claim?
*And you freely admitted that your homonyms were all so speculative. – yet here it is? By the way, “Random Choice Homophyny” would be a great name for a progressive rock band.
*I have already trashed the Nahom claim beyond repair. Read my NAHOM FOLLIES piece again, if you like. I’m also writing something new at greater length on this.
In each case, therefore, he presented evidence, which I shot down, needing little time or effort to show why the suggestions were ludicrously weak. That is, I analyzed his evidence, and showed why it was utterly wanting. Yet somehow, he presents this as me cynically “moving goalposts.” That’s an interesting rhetorical technique….
Just to show how thoroughly and specifically I have answered Dr. Hamblin’s alleged evidence on each point, please check out some or all of the following:
http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/p/jpj1/akish.htm
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticm ... incidence/
and pretty much anything else from our “debate”. Is that “moving goalposts”? Or rather just picking up garbage littering the field?
So that Rule of One thing is still applying. Good luck.
Oh yes, and he also asks this:
Do you, to be consistent, reject the historicity of Abraham, since he is first mentioned in surviving texts in the Bible a good thousand years after he lived, and there is no contemporary evidence of his existence? Do you think your colleagues at Baylor are cranky pseudo-scholars if they accept the historicity of Abraham?
The question speaks volumes for your approach. Nothing in the story of Abraham as we have it in Genesis is impossible or implausible, according to what we know of the time and place. Abraham follows a style of life that is very well known from documents and archaeological remains from that period. He comes from a known city, travels to a known kingdom, and mixes with known peoples and tribes in known places and cities. By “known” I mean confirmed from contemporary documentary and archaeological sources. Whether he did exist is another issue, on which scholars will disagree. If they do make that case, they are certainly not cranky pseudo-scholars.
Now compare any of the Book of Mormon characters: Nothing in their story is possible or plausible, according to what we know of the time and place. They follow a style of life that is utterly unknown from New World documents and archaeological remains from that period, and in many crucial respects, contrasts sharply with what we do know. On no occasion do they come from a known city, travel to a known kingdom, or mix with known peoples and tribes in known places and cities. By “known” I mean confirmed from contemporary documentary and archaeological sources. Therefore, people who claim that those peoples did exist are, indeed, to use your phrase, cranky pseudo-scholars.
Let’s be absolutely consistent in applying the same criteria of evidence in both cases, as you rightly insist. And the lesson we learn about the relative historical value of the Bible and the Book of Mormon is that they are, to coin a phrase, apples and oranges.
And while it is not for me to teach you your job, if I was a Book of Mormon apologist, I would be very cautious indeed about even invoking the name of Abraham, because it raises so many intriguing questions about the Book of Abraham, and what that actually suggests about Joseph Smith’s highly – shall we say – individual techniques of translating ancient documents.


Gotta love the Abraham jab.


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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:39 am 
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Interesting that there are almost no comments, and as far as I can tell, the only comment from a Mormon apologist is this hilarious one:

Quote:
"Now compare any of the Book of Mormon characters: Nothing in their story is possible or plausible, according to what we know of the time and place. They follow a style of life that is utterly unknown from New World documents and archaeological remains from that period, and in many crucial respects, contrasts sharply with what we do know."

This is obviously an incorrect statement.


Makes me think that even Hamblin's supporters realize he's getting spanked badly.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:08 pm 
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All of this is yet another reminder of one of the key reasons why the classic-FARMS crew was booted out of the Maxwell Institute: what they did/do just isn't scholarly. BYU and the administration wants academic respectability, and the fact of the matter is that the Mopologists were standing in the way of that. This exchange between Hamblin and Jenkins demonstrates this so plainly, and I think that Jenkins's en passant observation to Neal Rappleye--i.e., that apologists tend to keep their discussions insulated away from tough criticism--is crucial.

I'm reminded, too, of the postings from Midgley, Hamblin, and DCP in the wake of their "ouster" where they complained that colleagues at the MI told them to their faces that their work for FARMS is *not* scholarship. The Mopologists have continued to complain that the "new MI" isn't going out of its way to defend Book of Mormon historicity, and it's perfectly clear why that is: because nobody considers those arguments to be "scholarly" other than the Mopologists.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:39 pm 
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Putting on my apologist/troll cap for a second, the way to reply to that Jenkins reply is to point out broad, superficial similarities between Book of Mormon descriptions and mesoamerican peoples and claim that his assertion the Book of Mormon style of life is utterly known to New World people's is false.

I'm reminded of an old, old ZLMB thread where various apologists were arguing with celebratory tone that the discovery of a throne in Mesoamerica was hefty confirmation of the Book of Mormon. This is batty, but I think it was sincere. To attack Jenkins here, you could just point out things like that and posture that what he's saying is obviously false.


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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:50 am 
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This has been a complete fiasco for the apologists. It has placed a white hot light on the complete methodological bankruptcy of Ancient Book of Mormon Studies of the FARMS variety. Hopefully this drubbing will awaken thoughtful LDS scholars to that fact so that they cease supporting, boosting, and participating in this stuff. In my view, Givens' real low point in his otherwise fine academic career was when he lent his credibility to FARMS scholarship in Ancient Book of Mormon Studies. It was a human and understandable thing for him to do but a mistake.

I do think there is a place for learned Mormon musing on the Book of Mormon in comparison with the ancient Western Humanities. What bothers me most about Ancient Book of Mormon Studies is the way it distorts or overwrites actual Ancient American civilizations and their cultures. The Book of Mormon was perhaps well meaning colonial literature from the imperialist perspective, but it is imperialist and distorts historical reality. The best thing to be done with it is to revitalize its study as Anglo-American scripture of the 19th century engaging ancient traditions in its own distinctive way.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:01 am 
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Kishkumen wrote:
This has been a complete fiasco for the apologists. It has placed a white hot light on the complete methodological bankruptcy of Ancient Book of Mormon Studies of the FARMS variety. Hopefully this drubbing will awaken thoughtful LDS scholars to that fact so that they cease supporting, boosting, and participating in this stuff. In my view, Givens' real low point in his otherwise fine academic career was when he lent his credibility to FARMS scholarship in Ancient Book of Mormon Studies. It was a human and understandable thing for him to do but a mistake.


It's quite telling that there's no big thread on the Hamblin-Jenkins dust-up on MADB, probably because no one wants to bring attention to what is indeed a drubbing. No one's even commenting on Jenkins's blog anymore. At this point, my main interest is in seeing how long Hamblin keeps going.

Kishkumen wrote:
I do think there is a place for learned Mormon musing on the Book of Mormon in comparison with the ancient Western Humanities. What bothers me most about Ancient Book of Mormon Studies is the way it distorts or overwrites actual Ancient American civilizations and their cultures. The Book of Mormon was perhaps well meaning colonial literature from the imperialist perspective, but it is imperialist and distorts historical reality. The best thing to be done with it is to revitalize its study as Anglo-American scripture of the 19th century engaging ancient traditions in its own distinctive way.


Exactly right. As a religious text, the Book of Mormon is important for the meaning it has in the lives of millions of people. As a historical text, however, its value lies squarely within the frontier American context from which it sprang.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:52 am 
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The ad I was served up at Jenkin's latest patheos post:
Quote:
Bible and Book of Mormon?
Discover how the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon support each other.


The church must be spending a fortune on ad placement. They need to get a better sense of context, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:03 am 
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Hamblin declares victory...

Quote:
Random coincidence is not a legitimate counter-explanation. It is an excuse to not do your homework. Your responses are not scholarship. They are mere sophistry. You don’t get to decide what is or is not evidence. You can reject the evidence for the Book of Mormon based on your personal prejudiced, biased, and uninformed opinion. But that is only your opinion. You are not the arbiter of what is or is not evidence. You are only the arbiter of what you think about the evidence.

It has become quite clear that any and all evidence I might present will be immediately declared by you to be mere coincidence.

Note, too, that, as I stated to begin with when you were constantly badgering me with the “Rule of One,” that the real issue is the interpretation of the meaning of the evidence for the Book of Mormon, not whether such evidence exists. I was obviously correct.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticm ... ncinnati-2

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:31 am 
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Runtu wrote:
Kishkumen wrote:
This has been a complete fiasco for the apologists. It has placed a white hot light on the complete methodological bankruptcy of Ancient Book of Mormon Studies of the FARMS variety. Hopefully this drubbing will awaken thoughtful LDS scholars to that fact so that they cease supporting, boosting, and participating in this stuff. In my view, Givens' real low point in his otherwise fine academic career was when he lent his credibility to FARMS scholarship in Ancient Book of Mormon Studies. It was a human and understandable thing for him to do but a mistake.


It's quite telling that there's no big thread on the Hamblin-Jenkins dust-up on MADB, probably because no one wants to bring attention to what is indeed a drubbing.

Instead, the lack of a thread on MADB is more likely because those of us who have followed some of the Hamblin-Jenkins dialogue consider it a non-event.

But I respect your right to conclude otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:14 am 
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hagoth7 wrote:
Instead, the lack of a thread on MADB is more likely because those of us who have followed some of the Hamblin-Jenkins dialogue consider it a non-event.

But I respect your right to conclude otherwise.


That's entirely possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:36 am 
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hagoth7 wrote:
Instead, the lack of a thread on MADB is more likely because those of us who have followed some of the Hamblin-Jenkins dialogue consider it a non-event.

Completely understandable. After all, when a well known Mormon apologist has each of his treasured Book of Mormon defenses systematically obliterated by a neutral third party academic, and still just keeps on digging (thus compounding the damage), how could any faithful Mormon consider it otherwise, if at all?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:29 am 
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hagoth7 wrote:
Instead, the lack of a thread on MADB is more likely because those of us who have followed some of the Hamblin-Jenkins dialogue consider it a non-event.

But I respect your right to conclude otherwise.


Hi Hagoth7,

I follow MADB threads.

The claim that for MADB this is a "non-event" is easily testable.

Start a thread over there regarding the interchange and watch how much of a non-event it becomes.

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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:38 am 
God
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Fence Sitter wrote:
Start a thread over there regarding the interchange and watch how much of a non-event it becomes.


That is referred to as a ban-able event


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 Post subject: Re: Hamblin Accuses Jenkins of Anti-Mormon Prejudice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:57 pm 
God

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RockSlider wrote:
Fence Sitter wrote:
Start a thread over there regarding the interchange and watch how much of a non-event it becomes.


That is referred to as a ban-able event


ah, so... a non-event--because to decide that the fact that an apologist is getting the ass-whooping of his career is indeed an event is to step off the straight and narrow. If somehow Hamblin were to emerge victorious it would be an event and have a thread, yes?

So we can conclude that over there, the general consensus is that Hamblin has failed, otherwise, they would be talking about it.


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