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 Post subject: The Problem with Snite
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:41 pm 
Seedy Academician
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Dean Robbers brought to my attention an old post from the keyboard of DCP about an allegory Nibley offered to address concerns regarding the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. In this allegory, a man finds what he claims is a large uncut diamond in his field. He puts it on display, and experts in many fields opine that the diamond cannot be real.

See https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2016/11/the-book-of-mormon-and-an-indigent-jeweler-named-snite.html

Then a jeweler named Snite comes forward:

Quote:
Finally an indigent jeweler named Snite pointed out that since the stone was still available for examination the answer to the question of whether it was a diamond or not had absolutely nothing to do with who found it, or whether the finder was honest or sane, or who believed him, or whether he would know a diamond from a brick, or whether diamonds had ever been found in fields, or whether people had ever been fooled by quartz or glass, but was to be answered simply and solely by putting the stone to certain well-known tests for diamonds. Experts on diamonds were called in. Some of them declared it genuine. The others made nervous jokes about it and declared that they could not very well jeopardize their dignity and reputations by appearing to take the thing too seriously. To hide the bad impression thus made, someone came out with the theory that the stone was really a synthetic diamond, very skilfully made, but a fake just the same. The objection to this is that the production of a good synthetic diamond 120 years ago would have been an even more remarkable feat than the finding of a real one.


You probably see the problem with this allegory. In the case of the Book of Mormon, there is no diamond, i.e., nothing to examine. No, a closer parallel to the Book of Mormon would be a farmer who claims he had found a diamond but could only produce a drawing of it. Then experts might opine on the degree to which the drawing looked like a drawing of an uncut diamond, but most would say that they were unable to say much about what the farmer had found without being able to examine the uncut diamond itself.

We can set aside the issue of how the farmer claimed to find the diamond. If he could not produce the diamond for examination, and also claimed an angel had helped him locate it, only to take it away, then what are experts likely to say? Those who are very restrained might simply refuse to opine on what they cannot examine with their own eyes, hands, and instruments.

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 Post subject: Re: The Problem with Snite
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:00 pm 
God
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There were some very interesting comments that Dan has deleted for some reason. It looks like Dan has deleted around 50 comments. Too bad. It was a lively discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: The Problem with Snite
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:57 pm 
God
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Kishkumen wrote:
Those who are very restrained might simply refuse to opine on what they cannot examine with their own eyes, hands, and instruments.

What if the farmer had his friends and relatives witness that the Giant Turnip was real and that it had special powers? Surely that must count for something, enough to become incorporated and start a colossal investment empire.

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 Post subject: Re: The Problem with Snite
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:17 pm 
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Everybody Wang Chung wrote:
There were some very interesting comments that Dan has deleted for some reason. It looks like Dan has deleted around 50 comments. Too bad. It was a lively discussion.


That is the advantage of curating your own comments section.

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 Post subject: Re: The Problem with Snite
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:19 pm 
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moksha wrote:
What if the farmer had his friends and relatives witness that the Giant Turnip was real and that it had special powers? Surely that must count for something, enough to become incorporated and start a colossal investment empire.


I don’t know, maybe a rutabaga. Turnip? No way!

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“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith


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 Post subject: Re: The Problem with Snite
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:23 pm 
Hermit
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Quote:
You probably see the problem with this allegory. In the case of the Book of Mormon, there is no diamond, i.e., nothing to examine.


You are quite right about this.

However, in the case of the plates hefted and testified to by John Pratt, there most certainly is something to examine. My guess is DCP's response will be:

Guaranteed DCP response or your money back wrote:
The others made nervous jokes about it and declared that they could not very well jeopardize their dignity and reputations by appearing to take the thing too seriously. To hide the bad impression thus made, someone came out with the theory that the stone was really a synthetic diamond, very skilfully made, but a fake just the same.


John Pratt wrote:
I have bachelor's degrees in physics and math from the U. of Utah, and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the U. of Arizona


I would also like to know why John hasn't been asked to submit his testimony to Mormon Scholars testify. Surely, the same brain that got him the Ph.D. in astronomy didn't just turn off when he examined these gold plates.

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"...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: The Problem with Snite
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:40 pm 
Sunbeam
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This is a more recent DCP post on Snite that maybe you are referring to. He has a habit of recycling some posts.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... snite.html


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