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 Post subject: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:40 pm 
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Friends,

the Interpreter has just published the flop of the year. The President of Interpreter himself somehow got through his Journal's stringent peer review process with this disaster, and so here it is stealing the stage on a Friday afternoon.

I glanced at the abstract, skimmed the first paragraph and looked over the conclusion and the letters came forcefully into my minds eye: FLOP.

This article is a joke; I could tell that just from the initial skim of the abstract and what a waste that I bothered for another nineteen seconds glancing through to the end. If you want my opinion, don't even bother clicking on the link and reading it. I only put the link there to obey Shades' rule about linking. But do yourself a favor and chalk this one up to failed article and go on with your day.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


Last edited by Gadianton on Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:17 pm 
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I got about as far as you did, Gadiantion, and concluded similarly. I did catch the first sentence of the first comment:

Quote:
That was a weird piece–seems to have completely missed the point.

Also, I did notice that while he did name Dobelli, it seems that the majority of what he said was what the author likes to call "a close paraphrase" of someone else's intellectual work.


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:40 pm 
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Gadianton:

I see that the old Farms Review of Authors has taught you well. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:36 am 
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A researched article about not researching. What a conundrum.

I never read the interpreter regardless, not going to start now.

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:42 am 
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Dr. Peterson's premise makes sense: Remain ignorant and you will never have reason to question what you've been told.

If all members practiced this, apologists could retire to various beaches with a pile of books, on their world tours, and only make presentations and produce articles when they felt truly inspired. They could moon the Maxwell Institute from Bora Bora.

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:03 am 
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Ignorance is bliss, says professor.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Zeal without knowledge is always preferred. :wink:

Pay-pray-obey is all ya need. Gimme that old time religion. Close up the libraries and the laboratories, it's all a hoax to take you away from your true destiny. Just fall in love and make some babies and make sure they grow up to pay-pray-obey. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:09 am 
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What a hoot. Dan has some drama queens on his side, like this hysterical dude:

"Worse actually, I inhaled much of the mustard gas in Sunstone and Dialogue."

Yep, he has to come on and confess and do penance because, gasp, he used to follow Sunstone and Dialogue! O how those corrosive gases seared his poor tender yet faithful cortex! :lol: What a Celestial Snowflake. :biggrin:

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:14 pm 
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DCP responds to the first comment:

Quote:
That was a weird piece–seems to have completely missed the point.



Quote:
Daniel C. Peterson
on March 29, 2019 at 10:49 pm said:

I believe that you misconstrue President Oaks’s advice, and that, therefore, you’re not in a position to accurately construe my comments on it.


In other words, it is my opinion that your opinion about Oak's advice is wrong, therefore, in my opinion you have no right to have an opinion about my opinion about Oak's advice.

:lol: you can't make this stuff up. DCP is so insecure.


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Just fast forward to the money shot:

"President Oaks is right."

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:45 pm 
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Quote:
Gigerenzer asked a simple question of students at both the University of Chicago and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (i.e., the University of Munich, in Germany): “Which city has more residents, San Diego or San Antonio?”

Of the American students, 62% gave the right answer, “San Diego.” But fully 100% of the German students were able to answer the question correctly. Why? Because German students are so much better than American students, even at the elite University of Chicago? No. Because the German students knew less than the American students did:

All of the German students had at least heard of San Diego, whereas only a few had heard of San Antonio. So they chose the more familiar name. Both cities, however, were known to the Americans. They had more information, and for precisely that reason often chose incorrectly.11


So because younger internet Mormons know more about LDS history, and core theology as it was taught, than the chapel Mormon, they are more likely to be wrong about the truth?

I am not sure how to interpret Dan's point other than "don't confuse me with the facts, I have already been told what to believe."

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:20 pm 
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Dean, I really should have listened to your advice.

That was a crappy article and a complete waste of 5 minutes I'll never get back.

Also, why is Paranormal Peterson still using his photo from 1989? That photo is over 30 freaking years old! As we have shown over and over, Peterson is a very vain, shallow and insecure person.

Here is the 1989 photo he still uses:
Image


Here are some photos taken of Peterson in the last few years that accurately reflect his appearance:

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:07 pm 
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Maksutov wrote:
What a hoot. Dan has some drama queens on his side...

Led by the biggest one of them all. He must have posted this article yesterday and then waited all day long, hoping and hoping to be noticed, in any possible way, so that he could with great relief break out his usual victim stance:
DCP, happily self-victimizing, wrote:

It seems, though, rather futile to write. Why? Because at least certain people are so determined to have me say what they want me to have said that what I actually write seems, in many cases, completely irrelevant.

For example, in response to my recent essay “Research and More Research” in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, two or three of my more chronically misguided critics are agreed that my principal thesis in that short little piece is that, when it comes to the Gospel, ignorance is to be preferred to knowledge, because ignorance will help you to maintain your faith.

I would have been disappointed, in a way, if they had actually gotten it right. In a world of tumult and change, it’s nice to know that some things are constant.

:lol: drama queen.


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:43 pm 
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DCP wrote:
It seems, though, rather futile to write. Why? Because at least certain people are so determined to have me say what they want me to have said that what I actually write seems, in many cases, completely irrelevant.


why Doctor Peterson, surely you aren't suggesting that further research would have have given me greater insight into your essay beyond what was accessible from the "wisdom of [my] feelings". My intuition told me that you were up to something, as I'm generally suspicious of apologists, and "Thinking might needlessly sabotage" my "gut reaction". And so I just trusted my instincts which are "often better". Sometimes information bias lands us on the right answer -- this could be one of those times, right? And what's good for the goose is good for the gander is it not? You can't just expect gut reactions to always work in your favor. How many doors have slammed in a missionary's face due to bad information about Mormonism?

All right, I guess I should confess. I lied in my OP. I actually read the entire article on my phone while eating at Del Taco and just made up an exaggerated gut reaction based on applying an imagined visceral, cave man emotional reaction in order to prove a point. LOL! Gotcha!

I hope everyone can forgive me. I just couldn't be a sucker about it and thoughtfully review an article arguing that thoughtful reviews are for suckers. (oh I know he'll say that's a misrepresentation, but what it really comes down to is whether or not the author wants to protect the matter under review from research. Matters he doesn't care about he'll happily allow to fall in the category of those things where research can help.)

So what did I really think about the article? I didn't think it was very good, however, I don't believe one can come to such a conclusion without reading at least an adequate sample of it. To its credit, the article was of reasonable length and quite readable. I had a similar reaction as Mark when reading the example he cited -- what, we should right by accident? The largest hole, in my opinion, is that the various examples while interesting in their own right, don't even connect with the thesis statement that more research fails to answer "ultimate concerns". Neither do the examples illuminate anything about faith differences between spouses.

The thesis statement may even be a tautology. If "ultimate concern" is carefully set up to be concerns beyond human ability to resolve then there you go. Otherwise, God isn't necessarily out of bounds. If God is a humanoid, then science may one day discover God. If God is a necessary being, then a logical proof might demonstrate that. If morals are real, then ethics might uncover them. If ultimate concerns aren't out of bounds a priori, then at this time it does not appear anyone has provided an argument for why they are out of bounds.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:46 am 
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I think Oaks and Dr. P got the principle right, just applied it to the wrong area. When one is confronted early on with Joseph Smith's history of conning people with his seer stone so he could get paid to "search" for nonexistant treasure and then that he used the same fraudulent stone as a method to "translate" his bible based book, one should conclude this is an OBVIOUS fraud. Mic drop. Move on.

More and more research is not the answer in this case. It won't change the OBVIOUS conclusion that Joseph Smith made up Mormonism. One can spend a lifetime wading through apologetic nonsense looking, researching misguided "answers" to why an OBVIOUS fraud is nevertheless true. However, there isn't or shouldn't be that much time in the day to do so. Life is too short to waste it on a religion that is based on a third rate magician's trick.

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:27 am 
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Exiled wrote:
I think Oaks and Dr. P got the principle right, just applied it to the wrong area. When one is confronted early on with Joseph Smith's history of conning people with his seer stone so he could get paid to "search" for nonexistant treasure and then that he used the same fraudulent stone as a method to "translate" his bible based book, one should conclude this is an OBVIOUS fraud. Mic drop. Move on.

More and more research is not the answer in this case. It won't change the OBVIOUS conclusion that Joseph Smith made up Mormonism. One can spend a lifetime wading through apologetic nonsense looking, researching misguided "answers" to why an OBVIOUS fraud is nevertheless true. However, there isn't or shouldn't be that much time in the day to do so. Life is too short to waste it on a religion that is based on a third rate magician's trick.


As a never-Mormon that is and has been exactly my reaction. No Mormon apologetics has ever come close to my triage point of seeming to warrant serious further invetigation. I'm interested in Mormonism as a phenomenon, but my take on it as a proposition is the one that my brother expressed when he heard of my interest: "Mormonism is the world's most obviously made-up religion."

I don't blame anyone for believing it after having been born into it, or even for having converted to it during a stressful time in their life. I don't blame anyone for trying to hang onto their belief after having invested in it. But for me it just does not pass the first sniff test.

So I think Exiled is dead right. Peterson has made a clear articulation of why no non-Mormon should pay any attention to Mormon apologetics. To all the angry cries that critics will not "engage", the answer is that research is not the answer—for the very sound reasons that Peterson has now explained.

We should make a point of citing this paper.


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:34 pm 
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World’s most obviously made-up religion? I dunno. There are a lot of pretty obviously made up religions—like all of them, in fact. Viewed in the larger scheme of things, I don’t see how any religion is not immediately seen as obviously made up. Practically the only one that does not seem totally made up is the one was born in or somehow miraculously converted to—and that is only if you continue to believe.

I can’t see how almost any intelligent person can really swallow their religion as anything other than a human construction.

Scientology. Really?

Anything connected to the collection of myths, poetry, and hagiography known as the Bible is most certainly “made up.”

What truly makes Mormonism, and moreso Scientology, incredible, is that they remind us how, even in a world where there are people who know enough to invalidate—immediately—the claims of the religion, there are yet many people who will line up to believe it.

Why?

Because, when all is said and done, we are a very limited species. We have always bought into our own fictions and we always will.

Yeah, Mormonism is pretty obviously made up. Isn’t every religion?


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:12 am 
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This was my brother's judgement. He is not religious, and he has lived on five continents and seen a lot of different religions at least superficially.

Of course all religions are human products, but I found I agreed with my brother on this point because Mormonism just seems most obviously made up by one guy, at one time, as a deliberate hoax. The other religions that I know either emerged over a lot of time from a lot of people, or at least can seem predominantly sincere if you give them a reasonable benefit of doubt.

Scientology certainly gives anything a run for its money as a made-up religion. I think Mormonism edges it out, though. Scientology only even started posing as a religion as a deliberate tax dodge; at the beginning it was claiming to be more of an alternative therapy, and that's still a big part of its rather incoherent identity. And there are two wildly oversold but genuine elements in Scientology which Hubbard did not make up, but discovered—likely not as the first person to do so, but independently.

If you sit for 90 minutes answering oddball questions from an intent listener, with or without a slight electric current running through your body, you are likely at some point to experience an odd kind of euphoria. This high is clearly related to a lot of other kinds of euphoria, including religious ones, but it seems to come on strongly and suddenly after the long one-on-one sessions that Scientology calls "auditing", and I don't know of anything exactly like it in other practices. It's at least somewhat related to hypnotism, but it's not exactly just stage hypnosis. (I have never experienced it myself. My knowledge of Scientology is all second-hand.)

Furthermore, after a lot of auditing or other repetitive exercise, a few people even have out-of-body experiences. Scientology calls this "going exterior". It and the auditing high—two quirks of human psychology—are the active ingredients in Scientology that keep people hooked.

Evidence is overwhelming that neither the "auditing high" nor "going exterior" imply any of the lasting benefits that Scientology says they do, or occur for the reasons that Scientology gives for them. They are not the first steps on any longer road that anyone has identified. They do not seem to go anywhere. But Hubbard did stumble onto these weird effects, and it seems that he drank enough of his own Kool-Aid to think that they really were some kind of big deal. He tried quite consciously to squeeze every penny out of them that he could, but he did at least think he had a real product to sell.

So to me Scientology still has a lot of made-up religion in it, but it doesn't seem as purely and obviously made-up as Mormonism does.


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:33 am 
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Quote:
Abstract: Young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have grown up with a plethora of information available to answer the questions they may have about the Gospel. This, in turn, has allowed discordant information to cause concern in many members, ultimately drawing some away from the Gospel. In a recent address to young, married members of the Church in Chicago, President Dallin H. Oaks advised that more research is often not the way to approach these concerns, but rather that members should rely on their faith in Jesus Christ. While many may not agree with this advice, when it comes to questions that will never have a provable answer, particularly of a religious nature, President Oaks’s words are correct. Research can never completely replace true faith, only supplement it.

Is that what eternal polygamist Dallin Oaks actually said?

Quote:
President Oaks acknowledged that some Latter-Saint couples face conflicts over important values and priorities. Matters of Church history and doctrinal issues have led some spouses to inactivity. Some spouses wonder how to best go about researching and responding to such issues.

“I suggest that research is not the answer,” he said.


It seems Peterson is leading people to believe something which is not true. What oaks actually said was, that people who lose faith because of the facts they are now learning about Church History etc and their still believing spouses should not do further research because it won't help them return to faithfulness. In actual fact, Oaks is advising members not to read apologetics. He's really throwing Peterson et al under the bus in order to stop the attrition of members and to try and stop their spouses going the same way.

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Last edited by I have a question on Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:35 am 
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Scientology became a church to dodge taxes. It was always a religion, as it was clearly intended to be from the moment LRH decided to create one. Frankly, I don’t see how Scientology isn’t more obviously made up than Mormonism. The galactic emperor Xenu is as made up as it gets. Mormonism at least offered continuity with the Biblical tradition and its myths. Its creator was not a science fiction writer obviously writing a science fiction theology.


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:09 am 
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Yeah, Xenu is pretty hokey. But his story is super-secret within Scientology. Until the internet most Scientologists never used to hear about Xenu at all. They would honestly swear that that ridiculous story had nothing whatever to do with Scientology as they knew it.

What Scientology is to most of its practitioners, and what is pitched as Scientology by its evangelists, is not Xenu but auditing. The Scientology spiel about what auditing is and does is made up, but auditing and its frequent euphoric effect are not just made up. So sure, Scientology as a religion is just as made up as Mormonism, but its claims about auditing make it less immediately obvious that Scientology is made up.

That really was my own perception, anyway. I got interested in Scientology as a phenomenon several years ago, and learned a fair amount about it from ex-Scientologists on message boards. My interest in Mormonism came after that. I hadn't known anything about Mormonism besides A Study in Scarlet. I knew an old rhyme about Brigham Young but I was surprised to learn that Mormonism's founder had such a bland name as Smith. I came to Mormonism from Scientology thinking that for a change I would now learn about a weird but genuine religion.

Perhaps it was just that my experience with Scientology had sharpened my senses, but I was disappointed at how transparently fake everything was. I kept thinking You cannot be serious, more than I ever did with Scientology.


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 Post subject: Re: New Interpreter Article a flop: Don't bother reading it
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:14 am 
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I ultimately agree with Kishkumen that Mormonism isn't anymore obviously untrue than any other religion (don't get too excited apologists!) Forget about Scientology, just read the book of Deuteronomy from beginning to end. You can't possibly think: boy, maybe these guys might have been onto something?

But I also agree with Physic's Guy's point in the context of this thread regarding the apologist exhortation to use our evolutionary wired gut reaction processing that helped us survive attacks from bears from way-back-when to make our most important life decisions. If we do that, then most likely Mormonism is going to lose. In that respect, Mormonism just might be the world's most obvious made up religion because it so closely follows tropes about the rockstar conman: Grade A asshole dupes all his friends into giving him their money and letting him bang their girlfriends, and then when he runs into trouble, his balls are so freaking huge that he makes up revelations about "ultimate concerns" right there on the spot to get him out of one pickle after another.

That just shows, however, that even intelligent people outside Mormonism are prone to the same kind of errors in analysis that got dyed-in-the-wool believers suckered into their religion in the first place.

In plain-to-understand terms, I think Sartre put it pretty well in his example about deciding between staying home to help grandma or going off to find in the revolution. How does the small amount of good that you will do in a matter of grave consequences measure up against a large amount of good you can do right now for a local concern? "Ultimate Questions" have had a lot of brilliant people banging their heads against them and still coming up short. So how much time should the average person realistically spend thinking about it verses getting on with life? The wisdom of DCP here was put in stark terms by Tommy Boy's Father when he said, "I could shove my head up a bulls ass to get a good look at a T-bone, but I'd rather take the butcher's word for it."

Dallin Oaks is DCP's butcher, but we all have one -- those who don't have a tough road ahead.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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