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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:36 pm 
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Will, please post these thoughts of yours over on MAD for our general entertainment purposes. I beg of you. Please! Make sure you include your thoughts about God obviously having sex with Mary. And don't forget the part where you call Nancy frigid and Emma a ____.

I have. Several times, in fact. Kate the Great (whom I unashamedly admire) and I have gone the rounds over my opinions vis-à-vis Emma Hale Smith.

Now, I must confess that part of me – a part that I repress to some extent – is empathetic towards Emma on account of the legitimate challenges she encountered in life. She dealt with everything pretty well, with the exception of prosperity. And I’m glad Joseph was willing to put up with her. I wouldn’t have. And since he’s the one who will have to go to hell to retrieve her, I can only say “better him than me.”

I doubt anyone’s going to bother with you. ;-)

Then again, who am I to judge? I’m probably a little harder on Emma – and you – than is warranted.

But not by much, I’m sure.

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Also don't forget the part about God's alpha males being rewarded with females. PLEASE!

Well, I’d just be preachin’ to the choir over there, right?

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by the way, how does your enthusiasm for polyamoury make your wife feel?

Did I express enthusiasm? Or is that your eisegetical conclusion?

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Does she mind that you make suggestive comments to women about their breasts?

Not particularly. To quote, “I don’t care that much if you feel the need to look at the menu, just make sure you come home for dinner.”

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Do these things make her feel secure and confident?

Her sense of security and confidence is not related to these things. Is yours?

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Do these things appease any concern she may have over your potential to "wander"?

She has no such concerns. Are you, perhaps, projecting your own fears?

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This is the post that gave me the idea that Will imagines “rocking the socks off adoring fans in smoky clubs” were he not LDS.

I rocked the socks off adoring fans in smoky clubs when I was LDS. But the appeal wore off by the end of that summer. I guess I just wasn't hungry enough for that particular kind of feast.

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… there is a certain degree of guaranteed pain and angst involved when a middle-aged person comes to the conclusion that the church isn’t true after a lifetime of sacrifices made for it.

Is that how it was for you?

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Not only does middle age potentially bring the painful realization that one may not EVER “rock the socks off adoring fans”, but it potentially brings anger and depression if that realization is accompanied by the idea that it could have been different – and the reason the “other path” was chosen turns out to be bogus.

That’s a lot of potentiality bursting at the seams of a mid-life crisis.

Of course, the “road not taken” always entails an obvious reality:
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Oh, I kept the first for another day!
But knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


And, as I noted just recently elsewhere on this message board:
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It makes much more sense to live in the present tense.


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My boyfriend’s brother is a very talented musician. He believes that he could have had a career in music had he not chosen to marry young and have eight kids. He still believes in the church so feels that sacrifice was worthwhile, but that doesn’t stop him from needing anti-depressants.

As I have discovered of late, children don’t hang around forever – although, with eight, it certainly might seem like it! And, as you would no doubt attest, life does not end at 50. Right? Then I see no reason for the regret your boyfriend’s brother is allegedly suffering. Especially now that we live in a day of facilitated self-production.

I know that if I had it to do all over again, and knowing what I now know, I would not choose differently than I did.

So much for the anger and depression to which you allude.

To whom or what is yours directed, my dear? Is it hard for thee to kick against the pricks?

Or do the anti-depressants ease that urge?

_________________
... every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol ...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:54 am 
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[I couldn't care less if Smith was gay, visited the Nauvoo whorehouse like Sarah Pratt said, had a harem of five thousand Nubian princesses, had an "open marriage". Who cares? I sure don't.

Oh, but you do! By all indications, you care very, very much.



---Obviously you can read. But can you comprehend? It doesn't seem like it. The marriages per se have never been the point here. We could just as well be talking about Smith's announcement "in the name of the Lord" that Nauvoo swampland, which he knew was malaria-infested, was "healthy", or a dozen other things.

Your habit of avoiding dealing with the point is going to make "communication" with you very difficult.

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The point here is whether Mormonism - really - is what it claims to be.

But then you promptly admit that what Mormonism claims to be is inextricably tied to Joseph Smith and

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… his credibility as a witness.


---Excellent, William. Indeed that is what I said. Good.

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And, in the mind of Talmage Bachman, the credibility of Joseph Smith is suspect primarily because . . . he attempted to conceal, to the public, his practice of plural marriage.


---I wouldn't say "primarily", no; I only chose the plural marriage example because you yourself, as you repeatedly admit, is an example in which Smith convincingly, and evidently with great cheer, told loads of whoppers to many, many people. It's an obvious one to start with. Why should you have to exaggerate my point in order to try to rebut it?

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Presumably, had Joseph Smith been completely open about his polygamy, then his credibility when it comes to gold plates and angels would be greatly enhanced. But, since he obviously dissembled when it came to his practice of marrying multiple women, then everything else becomes suspect as well.


---That Mr. Smith could lie so aggressively, so loudly, so repeatedly, so unblinkingly, to so many people, doesn't help his overall credibility, no.

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This is about one case in which you concede Smith "concealed the truth" (another nice euphemism).

Well, it may be a nice euphemism, but I didn’t employ it. It is of your manufacture. The only thing I conceded – and endorsed – was Joseph Smith’s attempts to conceal his practice of plural marriage from the general public.


---Uhhhh....you're starting to sound like BCSpace. Do you want to tell us the difference between Smith "concealing his practice of plural marriage from the general public", which you concede, and Smith "concealing the truth" about his practice of plural marriage, which you deny?

I can't wait to hear this...

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As for the general philosophy of “concealing truth” consistent with greater strategic aims, I will go on the record as also endorsing that practice, under certain circumstances.


---Sure - but who wouldn't, "under certain circumstances"?
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Indeed, in many cases, “concealing truth” is absolutely imperative. You may be familiar with the somewhat famous World War II episode where Churchill permitted a German bombing attack to occur unopposed rather than expose the truth that the German code had been broken. In that case, Churchill’s decision condemned innocent people to death for a greater strategic end.


---Sure. I think you're referring to Coventry.

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In the case of Nauvoo-era plural marriage, Joseph Smith’s secrecy also pursued a strategic end – albeit not the one that his critics assume.


---You sound deeply confused here, and are contradicting yourself. It is painful to watch.

Go back and read what you wrote. On the one hand, you fuss about me attributing to you the view that Smith concealed the truth about his "extra-marital marriages"; on the other, you openly concede he did just that, and go on to defend him for doing so!

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Nevertheless, the question remains, is there a logical connection between Joseph Smith’s dissembling on the issue of his practice of plural marriage and the “truth” of his other prophetic claims? You would have us believe (despite your inconsistent protestations to the contrary) that if he “concealed the truth” about this particular religious thing, then it follows that any other of Joseph Smith’s religious claims are likewise tainted. Is this logical? Well, of course not. Except in the minds of fundamentalist exmormons.


---Here is exactly what I said. I would like to hear a specific response by you to it:

"And by the way, that Smith "concealed" his sexual/marital behaviour from others does not mean that he "lied about everything else", nor would I ever suggest something so daft. His prowess in dissembling on this issue, however, does unavoidably tell us that he was - well, good at dissembling. And this cannot help but open the door to the serious possibility that he did so just as boldly, repeatedly, and convincingly about other issues.

"So, for example, if there were evidence that some of Smith's other claims were less than truthful, his "concealment" on plural marriage suddenly would appear quite relevant, wouldn't it? This is certainly what we would say if we were investigating the truthfulness of, say, Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard's claims about Scientology's origins. So why not do so here, when trying to get at the truth?"

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Well might we also argue that Winston Churchill is not to be believed when he informs us that Hitler is a bad man, or that Communism is a evil, since (were we privy to the “truth”) we know Churchill is someone who is willing to conceal the truth to achieve his ends.


---But the proposition "Hitler is a bad man" has no affinity, epistemic or otherwise, with propositions like "an angel will kill me if we don't get married and have sex", or "the sun gets its light by 'borrowing' it from a star called Kolob". This is a totally bizarre and inappropriate analogy.

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As long as we keep the outrageous lengths Smith went to, to perpetuate a matter which very much was not a laughing matter to the husbands whose wives he slept with, to the women he slept with, to his own wife …

Yes, I can see that you don’t really have a problem with Joseph Smith’s sex life, per se. And, were it not immaterial to our particular discussion, I might note that I have yet to see any persuasive evidence that Joseph Smith ever consummated his eternal sealings to previously-married women.


---Well, suppose he did - what would it matter to you? I'd like an answer to that.

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But the truth is, that in any investigation of Mormonism, Smith's reliability as a source about his religious experiences is an issue.
The problem, dear Talmage, is that even if Joseph Smith ran amok in Nauvoo, became a sexual predator, and lied to anyone and everyone about it, there is no logical reason to conclude that EVERYTHING he ever claimed was a lie.
[


---Very good, William. That is very true.

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And by the way, that Smith "concealed" his sexual/marital behaviour from others does not mean that he "lied about everything else", nor would I ever suggest something so daft.

What? Can you not see how ridiculous you sound when you say this?

This is precisely the conclusion you desire us to reach when you point to Joseph Smith’s public dissembling on the question of plural marriage. Your argument is implicit throughout: Joseph Smith lied about his practice of polygamy, therefore the Book of Mormon, the alleged visions, the angelic ministrants – it’s also all a lie.


---Your exaggeration of my remarks so as to cast them as a blatantly invalid syllogism is understandable enough, I guess. But the truth is that their plain meaning just doesn't permit that (remember those pesky constraints...!).

My remarks in fact make a couple of simple, common sense points, which I daresay you would instantly accept if we were talking about L. Ron Hubbard, O.J. Simpson, or anyone else. They are that when a man makes extraordinary claims, especially when they are prima facie entirely out of the realm of any reliably documented human experience, his credibility (as can be gauged from available indications) is relevant to the question of whether his claims should be believed. This sounds like a tautology, and maybe it is - but it is hard to write anything so bleedingly obvious any other way.

Let's take a hypoethetical involving a genuine "child of disobedience". Let's say I tell you I just got back from Puerto Rico, and I tell you that on Friday the tenth of the month, there was a huge tidal wave on the beach down there which swept me up fifty feet high and left me stuck in a giant palm tree. And while I was there, elves appeared to me and told me you should follow me and give me some money.

You check my travel records, passport, etc., get the climatology reports, and find out that a.) I've never been to Puerto Rico, and b.), there was no tidal wave in Puerto Rico on the tenth - and there hasn't been one there in years. Witnesses also confirm that on the tenth, I spent the day at home in Alaska mowing my lawn and watching baseball. In short, you find out that I lied to you.

Logically, does this mean that every story I've ever told you is a lie? No. Does it mean that I've never communicated with elves? No. Does it mean that I've never gotten stuck in a palm tree, ever? No. It doesn't mean an infinite amount of things.

Yet next month, when I come over and tell you that I just got back from Barbados, and I saw a mermaid while I was scuba diving, and she spoke to me, etc., etc., you will be even less inclined to believe me than you were before. And thinking back on other fairly wild tales I'd told you in the past (seeing a yeti in Nepal, hanging with the Sultan of Brunei at a discotheque in Berlin, flying on the back of a giant chupacabra, etc.), you will be less inclined to believe those, too. And your reluctance to grant me credit will only increase with every exaggeration, omission, or lie you discover I've told.

Won't it?

My question to you is: why?

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You state:
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… wherever did we even get the idea in the first place that you could read and pray about the Book of Mormon to find out it was an authentic historical record? Nowhere but the Book of Mormon. And who brought us the Book of Mormon?

Interesting that on this very point, your apostate forbears don’t agree with your analysis. How could that be? Perhaps because they perceive the very things I do when considering these questions:

1. The Book of Mormon can be considered independent of any questions surrounding Joseph Smith.

2. The Book of Mormon has other witnesses besides Joseph Smith.

3. The Book of Mormon invites readers to obtain a witness of its truthfulness via means independent of Joseph Smith.



---What nonsense.

And by the way, if you really want to align yourself with "discerning apostate forebears" like Martin Harris, who himself claimed "never to have seen the plates, but in vision" three days after the NON-sighting in the forest, and who joined, I think, eight churches throughout his life, and who claimed to believe in one of his later religions "more than he'd ever believed in Mormonism", and who once saw Jesus running down the road "in the shape of a deer", and who revealed that NONE of the witnesses had ever literally seen the plates, go ahead. I can see why you feel such affiliation with such types; they are as free from anything even close to hard, rigorous, constrained thought as you are.

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We could be talking about any other topic about which Smith engaged in "concealment", and it would raise the same questions about trustworthiness.

Again, your failure to understand that, in an adult world, there are times, places, and circumstances where it is not only appropriate, but in fact morally incumbent upon one to conceal information, is a telling commentary on your particular brand of naïveté.


---Why do you keep misrepresenting my arguments in order to attack them?

There is no sane person I know of who would disagree that sometimes deception is ethically unobjectionable, or even ethically required. That is so NOT THE POINT. It is as though there is a giant blur in the middle of all my comments where my actual point is, which you cannot see., and so you keep responding to points I'm not making. Why do you think that is, William?

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His prowess in dissembling on this issue, however, does unavoidably tell us that he was - well, good at dissembling.

And?


---Yeah, exactly. That about says it all: "and?". That's just brilliant.

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And this cannot help but open the door to the serious possibility that he did so just as boldly, repeatedly, and convincingly about other issues.
As I indicated above, we may likewise justifiably doubt Winston Churchill’s conclusions about Adolf Hitler.


---I bet even Wade Englund could see through this. So lame...just beyond ludicrous. There's like no Mormon on this entire board who can engage sensibly about Mormonism, that I know of. Your analogy is just....totally embarrassing.

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I hope for your sake that Tarski, Beastie, Dr. Shades, and others aren't reading this thread - the people who were around when Runaway Dan Peterson himself refused to engage with ME on this very board last year.
I was around then. I followed what happened. Your characterization of the episode is, to say the least, comical.


---How so? If you indeed read that thread, show the world how unreliable I am by showing I've so comically misrepresented it. I look forward to your answer.

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If you think you have the balls to venture onto the much larger stage of the MAD board, I’m sure you could be granted “Pundit” status for the purpose of engaging in intellectual discussions of these questions.


---I think the question you should be asking is whether the MAD mods have the balls to let me have the privileges any other poster has there. But anyone familiar with that board should be able to guess the answer to that.

As they've done to so many others, the moderators over there banned me from starting threads after claiming, without any good justification that I could find out about, that I was "breaking the rules". I emailed repeatedly asking which rule in particular I'd broken, promising to stop disobeying it if they'd tell me what I'd actually done - I got no answer, until finally a mod emailed me and basically, told me to stop emailing!

But since it means that much to you, why don't you email the mods over there, and if you can convince them to give me the privileges that any other poster over there has, with the proviso that I obey the rules (and that they don't ban me just because I make Peterson look like even more of a dork that he already makes himself look like), I'll go over no problem. And then you can see how your hero responds. Obviously his refusal to engage with me on the Tarski thread I mentioned wasn't enough for you.

Deal?

I thought not.

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Of course, that would mean that you’d have to abandon the security of this little pond of sycophants in which you seem to have found a comfortable home of late.


---You talk a big game, William, but you do a very good impression of being just as full of ____ as your hero. If you're not, prove it by convincing them to give me a full-privilege trial period. OR, even better, convince your heroes to come over here where there is virtually NO MODERATION, which would actually be more of the open contest you seem to be aching for. Show us what a bigshot you are, and do it.

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And most of all, it would mean that you would have to meet the standards of decorum required there. If you don’t understand what those standards are, you should speak with The Dude, or Dan Vogel, or Brent Metcalfe, who have mastered the art of being a critic without being an asshole.


---You mean like accusing people of having the opinons they do just because of the particular sins they wanted to commit? What a fraud you are.

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I would be more than willing to initiate a thread in the School of the Pundits on a question that would engage your interest, and instead of us bantering back and forth before an audience of a half dozen or so, we could take this show to a venue that sees over a thousand unique users each week.


---Like I said - be my guest. Get the paranoid mods over there to give me the same privileges others have, or at least a trial period, and then you can watch just how rational, polite, and utterly convincing all your heroes are.

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I come over here and play with the piranhas quite frequently, despite the fact that believers are the distinct minority here. Are you brave enough to present your “ironclad” arguments in a highly-moderated setting that demands a dispassionate approach?


---Wake up, Willie. Bring them over if you can't get the mods to stop freaking out over there. But just one question: would it even matter to you? Once your heroes make idiots of themselves by refusing to engage...or spontaneously reinventing Mormonism just to protect it from being falsified...what then? Does it matter? Do you change your mind? Or do you just keep repeating the same things over - and over - and over again? What, actually, is the point? Judging from my conversation with you, I could make perfectly sensible points which your heroes simply refuse to acknowledge or exaggerate in order to refute - just like you're doing here - and you'd probably be announcing, "Talmage got torpedoed!". Meanwhile, all that would have happened is that I'd been talking to people who weren't even listening...not even actually engaging with my points...and starry-eyed acolytes would be peeing their pants in excitement, never even noticing their heroes can't think clearly about Mormonism.

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Finally, speaking of the question of revelation, and my characterization of it as “articulated intelligence,” you wrote:

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I think, rather, that the important question is the one you yourself would ask of a local Baptist who came over to your house and told you you would go to hell if you didn't leave the Mormons, and who said he knew that was true because "Jesus himself" had told him that. In other words, you and I are in the same boat when it comes to all other claimants to "clearly-articulated intelligence from heaven". If a Muslim told you that God had told him X (that you should join Islam, that we should impose sharia, etc.), you would simply wonder the same things I do know, even though you would know how real that experience was for the Muslim. Wouldn't you? I think you would, and that is only where I am now with you (I'm exactly the same as YOU, with a 100% certain Muslim, Catholic, or Moonie, who also claims to have received intelligence). Once again, in truth there is very little difference between us on this point, isn't there? It is just that you make an exception for these "transmissions" when received in your very own case.

You exhibit an extraordinarily deficient understanding of the religions to which you refer above. You see, none of them believe in nor make appeal to personal revelation. A Muslim would never tell you that God told him anything, nor a Baptist. They entirely reject Latter-day Saint notions of communication with God. Your entire paragraph, and the thoughts that surround it, is nothing but a non sequitur.


---A "non sequitir" is a statement which does not follow from what comes before. But leaving that aside, your statement is just false. While members of other religions may not use the same phraseology as Mormons do, or interpret that process of communication in the same way, Christians, including Baptists, and even Muslims, absolutely DO claim that God has communicated important information to them, and in a variety of ways. But even if that were not the case, all we would need to do for my point to still stand, is to make reference to, say, a member of the FLDS church, or maybe a psychic channeler.

The point is still the same; it doesn't go away even if it were the case that Baptists and Muslims never claimed that God communicated anything to them, in any way. So, nice try, but no cigar. The reality is that you would be asking an FLDS or a psychic channeler the same questions as I'm asking you - and you're not really answering - here; so really, we're not different in this respect, except that you grant yourself, and those who agree with you, an exemption. Don't you?

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I think what is fundamentally at issue here, though, [is] … whether Mormon belief, at its core, ultimately accepts or denies the constraints imposed by empiricism and logic.

Why don’t you describe for us how you believe “Mormon belief, at its core, ultimately accepts or denies the constraints imposed by empiricism and logic.” Let’s see if you can make a compelling argument, without making an appeal to the inherent unreliability of anything Joseph Smith ever said, purely on the basis of his public pronouncements regarding the practice of plural marriage.


---See my comments below
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Consider, William, that for Mormon belief to accept those constraints, is inexorably for Mormon belief to allow the possibility of the exposure of Mormonism as a fraud via empirical evidence and/or logical proof. There is no way around this; so I ask you here, in front of everyone:

Is that really what you believe? Yes or no?


What I believe is that you are incapable of understanding that “empirical evidence” and “logical proof” are language constructs used to describe a wide range of arguments – from the reproducible objective properties of gravity to the highly-debatable “evidence” of anthropogenic global warming. As such, one man’s empirical evidence is another man’s unproven theory.

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That said, I discern no substantial difference between the intelligence I obtain via “supernatural” means and that which I obtain through exclusively “naturalistic” means. Truth, regardless of its origin or means of transmission, does not conflict with itself. Any perceived conflict is always incident to a flaw in the one making the observation.


---You can fuss and stomp and throw scat all you want, but my question remains, and it was raised by your very own points. Since you didn't even acknowledge it, let alone attempt to answer it, here it is again:

You deny that Mormon belief ultimately rejects the constraints of logic and empiricism. This commits you to acknowledging that there must be falsifiability tests for Mormonism. So I ask: what would such a falsifiability test look like? If, by some chance, Mormonism were not what it claimed, how would you know?

How would you know?

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That’s right, Talmage. Get your good friends here to reinforce your self-image. They can be counted on, I’m sure. They’ll tell you, over and over again, that Dan Peterson and Bill Hamblin and all those FARMS-related bozos (not to mention amateurs like Will Schryver and Russ McGregor) are simply shaking in their boots at the prospect of having to engage a rhetorician of your stature.


---Well like I said, get them over here into an unmoderated ring - where MAD mods aren't giving moderating cover to your favorite fake superheroes - or get me privileges at MAD - and we'll chat. I sure don't mind. Just let me know what the actual point is, by answering my question:

Once again -

If Mormonism weren't what it claimed...how would you know?

I await your answer.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:31 pm 
God
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The marriages per se have never been the point here. We could just as well be talking about Smith's announcement "in the name of the Lord" that Nauvoo swampland, which he knew was malaria-infested, was "healthy", or a dozen other things.

I get it. You’re convinced that Joseph Smith was a congenital liar; that he was deceiving and manipulating people throughout his entire mortal career – from duping local yokels into believing he could find buried treasure to enthralling his family with stories of ancient “Nephites” to concocting elaborate faux ancient “scripture” in order to convince gullible religionists of his status as a bona fide prophet.

In short, you would be hard pressed to identify a single sincere thing that Joseph Smith ever did. In your judgment, every step he took in life was calculated to serve shady ends – ends which invariably revolved around his insatiable appetites for pleasure, power, and wealth.

Am I on the mark here?
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I have yet to see any persuasive evidence that Joseph Smith ever consummated his eternal sealings to previously-married women.

To which you replied:
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… would it matter to you?

To which I respond:
No, not really. I suppose I have a soft spot in my heart for women like Etta Place and the men who love them.

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It is as though there is a giant blur in the middle of all my comments where my actual point is, which you cannot see.

Why do you think that is, William?

I have noticed that you invariably end up saying the same kind of thing to your opponents in every debate in which you take part. Why do you think that is, Talmage?

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I think the question you should be asking is whether the MAD mods have the balls to let me have the privileges any other poster has there. But anyone familiar with that board should be able to guess the answer to that.

As they've done to so many others, the moderators over there banned me from starting threads after claiming, without any good justification that I could find out about, that I was "breaking the rules". I emailed repeatedly asking which rule in particular I'd broken, promising to stop disobeying it if they'd tell me what I'd actually done - I got no answer, until finally a mod emailed me and basically, told me to stop emailing!

Here’s where you just can’t see past the insuperable obstacle of your own vanity.

Tal, the fact is that, unless you radically change your habits of discourse, you are the kind of person that will never be able to take part in the greater discussion on Mormonism that is occurring today in the world – whether on the MAD message board or within the pages of Sunstone and Dialogue. Simply put, you lack the necessary social graces.

Now, don’t misunderstand, I actually empathize with you to an extent. I also can tend to be a little uncouth; a little “rough around the edges” when it comes to the diplomatic arts. I’ve gotten much better in the past couple years, but I am still prone to the occasional “uncivilized” outburst. And if you want to be taken seriously in the ballroom of LDS-related discourse – especially if that ballroom contains people from both expanses of the belief spectrum – then you have to learn how to govern your passions and moderate your tendency towards exaggeration, hyperbole, and extremist pronouncements.

Let me attempt to illustrate my point: Dan Vogel, who is probably the most effective exmormon critic in current practice, was shouted down and shown the door over at RfM, whereas you and Steve Benson and others find an adoring and accepting audience for your vitriolic rants. And yet the very thing that made you popular at RfM is the thing that disqualifies you from participating in the upper echelon discussions/debates that are occurring. If you are satisfied taking the stance that believing Mormons are nothing but intellectually-challenged dupes clinging in near-desperation to the last vestiges of a thoroughly-discredited epistemological burlesque, and insist on dealing with them as though they are merely freak show caricatures worthy of nothing but mockery, then you will quickly find yourself forever banished to the fringes of the discussion.

There are a great many exmormon critics who participate regularly on the MAD board (and in the larger circles of LDS-related scholarship) who do so without making enemies of everyone with whom they come in contact. In fact, I have come to be quite fond of many of them. The poster who goes by the moniker of Alf Omega is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Also The Dude, Don Bradley, and Uncle Dale. I’ve already mentioned Dan Vogel and Brent Metcalfe. I’ve learned much from the whole lot of them in terms of how one may converse on a subject matter that evokes feelings from the deepest recesses of our respective psyches. You could also learn from them.

I believe I understand you much better than you think. It is a small hinge upon which the door of faith swings, and I am quite cognizant of how a vantage point shift of only a few degrees can transform the entire vista before one’s eyes. But things are seldom as simplistic as you seem inclined to believe. You like to take your oversize crayons and draw bold pictures of a Joseph Smith who is an audacious and conscious deceiver and manipulator, and yet a careful examination of the available documentary evidence comes into conflict with that conclusion – something which Dan Vogel is honest enough to admit, hence his current proposition of the “pious fraud” theory, and its corollaries.

You are fond of disparaging someone like Dan Peterson with statements like:
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… I make Peterson look like even more of a dork that (sic) he already makes himself look like …

And you can certainly find many people on this particular message board who will laugh and applaud every time you say things like that. The problem is that, although they certainly don’t agree with his views, few critics would dismiss Daniel Peterson as casually and flippantly as you do. Why? Because they recognize that Dan is a formidable logician and debater with an incisive mind and a broad and nuanced intellect that has garnered widespread respect for him in both his specialized field of study and in his avocation as an LDS apologist. If you truly desire to be taken seriously as a critic of Mormonism, then you will have to learn to respect your adversaries, otherwise you will, in short order, be consigned to the dustbin of long-forgotten apostates who weeped, wailed, and gnashed their teeth for a time, and then faded into obscurity.

Of course, it could be that you’re only interested in venting your spleen of the anger you feel over having wasted so much time in the grip of a cultish mentality that robbed you of a good portion of your brief and fleeting mortal existence. If so, then why not find one last thing to break, smash it to pieces as a vicarious sacrifice for Mormonism, then move on to the next chapter of your life?

On the other hand, if you are really motivated to “help” the poor souls who are still wrapped in the tentacles of the monster Joseph Smith unleashed all those years ago, then you need to seriously consider the advice I have given you above.

Quote:
You talk a big game, William, but you do a very good impression of being just as full of s*** as your hero. If you're not, prove it by convincing them to give me a full-privilege trial period. OR, even better, convince your heroes to come over here where there is virtually NO MODERATION, which would actually be more of the open contest you seem to be aching for. Show us what a bigshot you are, and do it.

I’m not a “bigshot,” Tal. I’m in the same league you are.

As far as participating on the MAD board is concerned, that is entirely up to you. If you proved willing and able to employ the finesse of the critics I mentioned above, you would be more than welcome, I’m sure. In fact, I’m certain your evident language skills, relative familiarity with the subject matter, strong opinions, and moderate prominence would also qualify you to receive “Pundit” status, which would enable you to participate in discussions that are limited to a more “select” group.

Few LDS believers are willing to venture into the septic alleys here in Shadyville. Obviously, I don’t adhere to such high standards myself, but most self-respecting LDS believers are not willing to carry on a serious discussion in the same room where people like Mercury, Polygamy Porter, and others of their ilk like to hang out, do shots of Jagermeister, and play pocket pool while fantasizing about skanky women who drive rusted out TransAms and will drop to their knees for a Bud Light and a five dollar bill.

So, if you’d like to try your hand at humiliating the accomplished LDS apologists, you’re going to have to clean up your act to a considerable degree. Otherwise, you’re left with nothing but this tawdry roadhouse as a permanent venue – unless, of course, you’d like to go back to the fine folks at RfM.

Quote:
Wake up, Willie. Bring them over if you can't get the mods to stop freaking out over there. But just one question: would it even matter to you? Once your heroes make idiots of themselves by refusing to engage...or spontaneously reinventing Mormonism just to protect it from being falsified...what then? Does it matter? Do you change your mind? Or do you just keep repeating the same things over - and over - and over again? What, actually, is the point? Judging from my conversation with you, I could make perfectly sensible points which your heroes simply refuse to acknowledge or exaggerate in order to refute - just like you're doing here - and you'd probably be announcing, "Talmage got torpedoed!". Meanwhile, all that would have happened is that I'd been talking to people who weren't even listening...not even actually engaging with my points...and starry-eyed acolytes would be peeing their pants in excitement, never even noticing their heroes can't think clearly about Mormonism.

This paragraph clearly illustrates your most serious obstacle. You see, my friend, you aren’t going to ever convince any of your adversaries to acknowledge that you’re right! The sooner you abandon that fantasy, the sooner you will be in a position to pursue the discussion in a rational and polite fashion. Your objective should be to present your arguments in the most persuasive manner you can, and then to let the readers be the judges. And, I guarantee you, the “most persuasive manner” will not be to treat your adversaries to a steady diet of derision, disdain, and accusations of delusion. Don’t get me wrong, you can slip in a few barbs here and there, just to keep the teapot of your frustration from exploding. But you have to do it with words carefully chosen, and a smile on your face.

Quote:
A "non sequitir" is a statement which does not follow from what comes before.

That’s funny. All along I’ve thought it was a non sequitur that was a statement which does not follow from what comes before. I guess it really is true that you can learn something new every day.

Finally:

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You deny that Mormon belief ultimately rejects the constraints of logic and empiricism.

What I actually have done, in the course of my several posts, is to qualify the degree to which Mormon belief accepts the constraints of logic and empiricism.

Quote:
This commits you to acknowledging that there must be falsifiability tests for Mormonism.

Within the context of my belief paradigm, there are such tests. But they’re probably not the same kinds of tests that you think effectively falsify LDS beliefs.

Quote:
So I ask: what would such a falsifiability test look like? If, by some chance, Mormonism were not what it claimed, how would you know?

I will consent to answer your question on the condition that you first answer a similar question from me:

If men did not really land on the moon in July of 1969, how would you know? What would such a falsifiability test look like?

I look forward to your reply.

_________________
... every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol ...


Last edited by William Schryver on Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Tal Bachman wrote:
You really are gone, aren't you, BC?



Tal will only debate on his own terms, by his own rules, and on his own turf. He will not float freely and move with the argument and the flow of ideas. That's much, much to dangerous for his fragile, gossamer post LDS world view to handle.

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The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Quote:
You’re convinced that Joseph Smith was a congenital liar; that he was deceiving and manipulating people throughout his entire mortal career – from duping local yokels into believing he could find buried treasure to enthralling his family with stories of ancient “Nephites” to concocting elaborate faux ancient “scripture” in order to convince gullible religionists of his status as a bona fide prophet.

In short, you would be hard pressed to identify a single sincere thing that Joseph Smith ever did. In your judgment, every step he took in life was calculated to serve shady ends – ends which invariably revolved around his insatiable appetites for pleasure, power, and wealth.

Am I on the mark here?


---Actually, you sound just as incapable of rational conversation about Mormonism, and Smith's credibility in particular, as every other Mormon on this board, with a couple of exceptions. You sound, in a word, like you're not even worth trying to engage with, since you constantly construct straw men, change the topic, etc.
.
.
.
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I wrote:
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I have yet to see any persuasive evidence that Joseph Smith ever consummated his eternal sealings to previously-married women.

To which you replied:
Quote:
… would it matter to you?

To which I respond:
No, not really. I suppose I have a soft spot in my heart for women like Etta Place and the men who love them.


---Precisely - you wouldn't care at all. So why the disingenuous implication of your original comment?

Quote:
Quote:
It is as though there is a giant blur in the middle of all my comments where my actual point is, which you cannot see.

Why do you think that is, William?

I have noticed that you invariably end up saying the same kind of thing to your opponents in every debate in which you take part. Why do you think that is, Talmage?


---The reason why I usually end up pointing this out to Mormons, is that almost without exception, they do just what you're doing here: ignore the relevant point in order to flail away at irrelevant points which I haven't made.

Maybe a more interesting question is why Mormons so often do this; my guess is that it's the same reason that J Dubs, Moonies, and Scientologists, and most people to some degree, do it. It's just that the greater the burden of belief, the more obvious the attempts at maintaining it will be. And for what it's worth, I think you're doing a pretty good job - although perhaps unconsciously - of demonstrating this tactic.

Quote:
Tal, the fact is that, unless you radically change your habits of discourse, you are the kind of person that will never be able to take part in the greater discussion on Mormonism that is occurring today in the world – whether on the MAD message board or within the pages of Sunstone and Dialogue. Simply put, you lack the necessary social graces.


---All the more reason to invite your Mormon superheroes over here, where there is virtually no moderation, and my perfidious, outrageous vulgarity in lieu of good arguments can be put on display for the world to see.

Quote:
Now, don’t misunderstand, I actually empathize with you to an extent. I also can tend to be a little uncouth; a little “rough around the edges” when it comes to the diplomatic arts. I’ve gotten much better in the past couple years, but I am still prone to the occasional “uncivilized” outburst. And if you want to be taken seriously in the ballroom of LDS-related discourse – especially if that ballroom contains people from both expanses of the belief spectrum – then you have to learn how to govern your passions and moderate your tendency towards exaggeration, hyperbole, and extremist pronouncements.


---I couldn't care less if cult or quasi-cult apologists - Moonie, Mormon, or otherwise - "take me seriously". Why don't I? Because ideological fanatics, especially those on salary, don't take ANY critics seriously anyway. Besides, I'd like you to point out for me which "exaggerated, hyperbolic, or extremist" pronouncements I've made that I can't back up with facts...if you can find any, I'll take them back. If not, then perhaps it is time to stop embarrassing yourself...

Quote:
Let me attempt to illustrate my point: Dan Vogel, who is probably the most effective exmormon critic in current practice, was shouted down and shown the door over at RfM, whereas you and Steve Benson and others find an adoring and accepting audience for your vitriolic rants.


---I haven't posted on RFM for two years, and what other RFM posters might have done to Dan Vogel - I can't believe I'm even having to point this out - has nothing to do with me.

Quote:
And yet the very thing that made you popular at RfM is the thing that disqualifies you from participating in the upper echelon discussions/debates that are occurring.


---? Is there some "debate" I'm trying to "get into", that I don't know about? How do you "debate" someone who ultimately rejects the constraints imposed by physical evidence and logic on what we may justifiably believe?

All I know is that the MADness mods are doing an excellent imitation of people who provide cover, via banning and censoring, for buck-naked apologetic emperors; and since that seems to be what they're into, they can have it. And by the way, I was perfectly civil over there as far as I remember. Anyway - my invitation to you still stands: get me normal posting privileges and I'm fine to go over, if it means that much to you. You really think Runaway Dan will engage with me? I doubt it; but if he wants to, I sure don't mind.

As I said before, I'm happy to engage with anyone about Mormonism. Last time your hero came around, he sniped from the sidelines and then, as per usual, rather than "show the world how wrong the evil anti-Mormons are", announced some stupid excuse about why he wouldn't engage with me. I keep using the word "embarrassing", but that's what it is to me. I almost can't believe, even now, that dudes can act that way and not feel embarrassed.

Quote:
If you are satisfied taking the stance that believing Mormons are nothing but intellectually-challenged dupes clinging in near-desperation to the last vestiges of a thoroughly-discredited epistemological burlesque, and insist on dealing with them as though they are merely freak show caricatures worthy of nothing but mockery, then you will quickly find yourself forever banished to the fringes of the discussion.


---You know what I'd really like, William? I'd like some good evidence that Mormons AREN'T that. Where is it? This very thread shows you repeatedly exaggerating my points so as to make them easier to refute; flailing away at points I've never made and which aren't even germane; and dodging pertinent questions (see below). Nor is this sort of behavior unique to you. So why should I, or anyone, presume that Mormons are really capable of having clear-eyed, rational conversations about Mormonism, when in virtually every conversation, Mormons sound just like devout astrologers or Moonies? You're showing it here yourself. Show me the Mormon who can engage without instinctively shifting into "cult belief protection mode", and I'll acknowledge it. Where is he or she?

Quote:
I believe I understand you much better than you think. It is a small hinge upon which the door of faith swings, and I am quite cognizant of how a vantage point shift of only a few degrees can transform the entire vista before one’s eyes. But things are seldom as simplistic as you seem inclined to believe. You like to take your oversize crayons and draw bold pictures of a Joseph Smith who is an audacious and conscious deceiver and manipulator, and yet a careful examination of the available documentary evidence comes into conflict with that conclusion – something which Dan Vogel is honest enough to admit, hence his current proposition of the “pious fraud” theory, and its corollaries.


---Speaking of mendacity, it is not the case that I believe that Smith consciously lied about everything; although I do think it is clear that he consciously lied about certain things. I've written for years about how I think the "pious fraud" theory, and the "full-tilt conscious fraud at every step of the way" theory, are hopelessly crude. To my mind, the truth is more complex.

For example, it is, in fact, quite easy to come to believe that we have powers and attributes which we do not have. Consider this example. Suppose we could induce everyone around "Albert" to begin laughing at all his jokes, even when they are not really funny. How long would it take Albert to start believing that he really was funny? Not long.

Our vanity is such that flattery can make us believe almost anything about ourselves. This makes it easy to believe, for example, that once he heard the convictions of others that "the Book of Mormon" HAD to have come from God, since it had "changed their lives", that young Joseph could have come to start thinking, "Hm...yes....how could I have come up with that all by myself? Dozens upon dozens now have been telling me about the power of God they felt through this book...what right do I have, to presume that I did it on my own? No....this was a gift from God...it must have been!". Etc. And then, when he gets up and says, "I 'translated' this book through the gift and power of God", is he really "lying" anymore? Not so sure.

And that's why, I think, it pays to be pretty cautious when we talk about lies, rather than simply "untrue claims". One may issue an untrue claim without being fully clear anymore that it is an untrue claim. Obviously, I think - as do you - that Smith's deception about polygamy couldn't have been anything other than deliberate, but that is just one case.

Quote:
You are fond of disparaging someone like Dan Peterson with statements like:
Quote:
… I make Peterson look like even more of a dork that (sic) he already makes himself look like …

And you can certainly find many people on this particular message board who will laugh and applaud every time you say things like that. The problem is that, although they certainly don’t agree with his views, few critics would dismiss Daniel Peterson as casually and flippantly as you do. Why? Because they recognize that Dan is a formidable logician and debater with an incisive mind and a broad and nuanced intellect that has garnered widespread respect for him in both his specialized field of study and in his avocation as an LDS apologist.


---Guess what, William? I don't agree with this assessment. Daniel Peterson has sarcasm down; I'm not sure he has much else down when it comes to defending Mormonism. Certainly he has an advanced talent in talking about everything but the relevant point, just as you show you do here.

And as for your claim that Peterson's "garnered widespread respect" in his specialized field of study, this is not true. I emailed a bunch of the department heads of the top American university departments in Near Eastern Studies a couple of years ago, and not one single department chair had even so much as heard of Daniel Peterson. That EVEN included the department chair at UCLA - Peterson's own alma mater! (Dr. Shades posted something on this a couple of years ago, no doubt it is in the archives if you want to look it up). And if you think I cheated, I encourage to send a simple email to the department heads of the world's top Near/Middle Eastern Studies programs, asking them if they've ever heard of one Professor Daniel C. Peterson, and if so, what their professional opinion is of his "research". Then you can posts the results here. I'd be surprised if one in ten had even heard of him.

Quote:
If you truly desire to be taken seriously as a critic of Mormonism, then you will have to learn to respect your adversaries, otherwise you will, in short order, be consigned to the dustbin of long-forgotten apostates who weeped, wailed, and gnashed their teeth for a time, and then faded into obscurity.


---Almost all of us, Mormon or non-Mormon, "fade into obscurity", bro. No problem there. But believe it or not, I couldn't care less what church apologists think of me. I can't think of one convincing argument that they've ever made in defense of Mormonism, with the exception of their touches (too-shays) with the evangelicals. Most Mormons have never heard of them, they don't make any sort of convincing arguments, and...as far as I'm concerned, they're just inconsequential.

Quote:
On the other hand, if you are really motivated to “help” the poor souls who are still wrapped in the tentacles of the monster Joseph Smith unleashed all those years ago, then you need to seriously consider the advice I have given you above
.

---Many dozens of formerly devout Mormons have come to the conclusion that Mormonism is a fraud after we've chatted. But I don't speak to you the way I do to people who seem really, truly sincere about their faith. See, I don't really get that impression from you. I think you posture and pose and shout, but deep down, I think you're fighting a different sort of enemy, and it's one, I think, that doesn't really have anything to do with me.

This is a short way of saying that I doubt you'd acknowledge error on the matter of Mormonism, no matter what. That's certainly the impression I get from the Petersons of the world. In a sense, when it comes to "what is true or not true in Mormonism", they're write-offs.

Quote:
As far as participating on the MAD board is concerned, that is entirely up to you.


---No it's not, but nice try. Like I said, talk to the mods, and then get back to me.
Quote:
If you proved willing and able to employ the finesse of the critics I mentioned above, you would be more than welcome, I’m sure.


---That sounds almost quaint. Go ahead and email them and see what they say.

Quote:
In fact, I’m certain your evident language skills, relative familiarity with the subject matter, strong opinions, and moderate prominence would also qualify you to receive “Pundit” status, which would enable you to participate in discussions that are limited to a more “select” group.


---Well, I guess that's TWO things you're "certain" about, that you're also wrong about.

Like I said, talk to the mods if you want me to go over, and if they promise not to censor me or limit my privileges on condition that I stick to their rules, then I'll post. Stop the chatter, and do it.

Quote:
So, if you’d like to try your hand at humiliating the accomplished LDS apologists, you’re going to have to clean up your act to a considerable degree.


---What in the hell are you talking about? You sound like my self-appointed coach in achieving a "goal" I'm not even aiming for. As far as I'm concerned, LDS apologists do a wonderful job of humiliating themselves already. They don't need my help. All I've said is that if your heroes want to engage, here I am on a largely unmoderated board. Let them come if they want.

Quote:
Wake up, Willie. Bring them over if you can't get the mods to stop freaking out over there. But just one question: would it even matter to you? Once your heroes make idiots of themselves by refusing to engage...or spontaneously reinventing Mormonism just to protect it from being falsified...what then? Does it matter? Do you change your mind? Or do you just keep repeating the same things over - and over - and over again? What, actually, is the point? Judging from my conversation with you, I could make perfectly sensible points which your heroes simply refuse to acknowledge or exaggerate in order to refute - just like you're doing here - and you'd probably be announcing, "Talmage got torpedoed!". Meanwhile, all that would have happened is that I'd been talking to people who weren't even listening...not even actually engaging with my points...and starry-eyed acolytes would be peeing their pants in excitement, never even noticing their heroes can't think clearly about Mormonism.

Quote:
This paragraph clearly illustrates your most serious obstacle. You see, my friend, you aren’t going to ever convince any of your adversaries to acknowledge that you’re right! The sooner you abandon that fantasy


---What I keep repeating to you is that I don't have that "fantasy". My guess is that Mormon apologists like the one you mention will NEVER - no matter what - EVER abandon Mormonism. Monson could sit them down and tell them it's all a fraud. They could watch a videotape of Joseph Smith eating a child. They could find the original Book of Abraham papyri and discover that Smith's book wasn't what it claimed (oh - wait...). And NOTHING will get them to change. Nothing.

There is a point in human endeavor where the truth ceases to matter. From what I can see, they're beyond it.

When I think about giving someone the opportunity of knowing that whatever else the church is, it cannot be what it claims, I don't think about bought-and-paid-for apologists who would destroy every last Mormon doctrine in order to defend it. I think about normal, sane, decent, sincere, humble people who want the truth. Those are the people I like talking to; not guys inventing "tapir loan word" theories, "cryptogram" theories, and every other sort of nonsense they've come up with down there.

Quote:
,
Quote:
You deny that Mormon belief ultimately rejects the constraints of logic and empiricism.

What I actually have done, in the course of my several posts, is to qualify the degree to which Mormon belief accepts the constraints of logic and empiricism.


---On this thread? Where?

Quote:
Quote:
This commits you to acknowledging that there must be falsifiability tests for Mormonism.

Within the context of my belief paradigm, there are such tests. But they’re probably not the same kinds of tests that you think effectively falsify LDS beliefs.


---But we're not talking about "the context of your belief paradigm", are we? You have stated explicitly several times, as a thread review will show, that Mormon belief does not ultimately rely on the rejection of constraints imposed on belief by empiricism and logic. So - let us hear the falsifiability tests for Mormonism which conform to those constraints.
[/quote]


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:30 pm 
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wee Willie:
Quote:
I have. Several times, in fact. Kate the Great (whom I unashamedly admire) and I have gone the rounds over my opinions vis-à-vis Emma Hale Smith.

Now, I must confess that part of me – a part that I repress to some extent – is empathetic towards Emma on account of the legitimate challenges she encountered in life. She dealt with everything pretty well, with the exception of prosperity. And I’m glad Joseph was willing to put up with her. I wouldn’t have. And since he’s the one who will have to go to hell to retrieve her, I can only say “better him than me.”

I doubt anyone’s going to bother with you. ;-)

Then again, who am I to judge? I’m probably a little harder on Emma – and you – than is warranted.

But not by much, I’m sure.


Yes, you wouldn’t have put up with a woman who pitched a fit about you “marrying” other women behind her back. I’m not surprised.


Wee Willie, in regards to the “alpha male”:
Quote:
Well, I’d just be preachin’ to the choir over there, right?


I imagine that there are quite a few believers who might find your conception a tad objectionable. Go over and posit it. God rewards his alpha males with female access. Let us know when you do it so we can watch with popcorn.

Wee Willie
Quote:
Did I express enthusiasm? Or is that your eisegetical conclusion?


Yes, you seem quite exuberant about being an “alpha male” who will be rewarded by God.

Wee Willie
Quote:
Not particularly. To quote, “I don’t care that much if you feel the need to look at the menu, just make sure you come home for dinner.”


So she wouldn’t mind you actually making suggestive comments to women on the internet? That’s one step beyond “looking at the menu”. To follow your lead, why don’t you give me her name and number, and we’ll find out.

Quote:
Her sense of security and confidence is not related to these things. Is yours?


Of course, and you’re fooling yourself if you imagine your wife’s is not. If my boyfriend were making suggestive comments to women on internet boards, it would bother me for several reasons. And of course it would erode my confidence. Thankfully, he is nothing like you and would never imagine doing such a thing.

Wee Willie
Quote:
She has no such concerns. Are you, perhaps, projecting your own fears?


No, I have no such fears, but my boyfriend isn’t making suggestive comments to women on the internet, either. “Looking” is normal and isn’t a cause for concern. Actually making suggestive comments is another matter altogether. Again, why don’t you give me your wife’s name and number and we’ll find out if she thinks it’s all the same?

Wee Willie
Quote:
I rocked the socks off adoring fans in smoky clubs when I was LDS. But the appeal wore off by the end of that summer. I guess I just wasn't hungry enough for that particular kind of feast.


Then your comments I quoted were quite odd. Maybe it was your twin.

Wee Willie
Quote:
Is that how it was for you?


I was only in the church 15 years, and was a convert. But yes, I certainly experienced pain over the sacrifices I made for a church that is a fraud.

Wee Willie
Quote:
To whom or what is yours directed, my dear? Is it hard for thee to kick against the pricks?

Or do the anti-depressants ease that urge?


No anti-depressants, no depression. My “anger” is more accurately called “disdain” and it is directed right at you. You are a jerk. There are many reasons that I think you’re a jerk and disdain you, not the least of which was your treatment of runtu. I blame you, and a couple others, for the fact that he, and others, can no longer tolerate this board. That’s the main cause of my disdain. But it’s always given me the creeps to see men who tout themselves as faithful, devout LDS making suggestive comments to women on these boards, and you’re not the first one I’ve seen do it, nor will you be the last. I can only speculate about why you all do it, and sexual frustration seems the most likely cause. It seems particularly suspicious in combination with someone who seems to relish God’s penis and a future of being rewarded by females.

_________________
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:45 pm 
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beastie wrote:
But it’s always given me the creeps to see men who tout themselves as faithful, devout LDS making suggestive comments to women on these boards, and you’re not the first one I’ve seen do it, nor will you be the last.


Verbal flashing!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:45 pm 
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William Schryver wrote:
Emma was a champion ____ and no one else would have her except Joseph.


What is the evidence which caused you to conclude that Emma Smith was a "champion ____?"

_________________
"Belief is driven by psychology, not intelligence."

--Analytics, 09-11-2019


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:05 pm 
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Quote:
Verbal flashing!


You read my mind!

See, Will, you're just the latest tired rendition of this old song. We've discussed it before here:

my old post:
Quote:
Regarding whether or not LDS are prudes – I have heard more than once that LDS men can be quite vulgar among themselves. My boyfriend was raised as a Mormon, and has shared some of the jokes they used to tell each other. :P I also remember on Z when I finally got FED UP with some of the lewd statements that some of the supposedly upright Mormon men couldn’t resist saying and protested it, calling it “verbal flashing”. Boy was I made fun of by the LDS for that. (although I suspect some must have supported me, I don’t quite recall)


http://mormondiscussions.com/discuss/vi ... g&start=63

and my comments as seven of niine on the old Z board:
Quote:
Frankly, Pent grosses me out when he does this, and it's not the first time. I would think there would be more believers than cal telling him to censor himself. It is just GROSS. And I'm far from a prude, but I often am offended at his explicit comments. And did I mention it's gross? Maybe you guys don't have the same reaction, but it's creepy to me to read these sexualized comments from a "religious" man (it's creepy reading them from any man on the internet, but the religious component makes it creepier to me, like there's some dark side hidden from the real world going on there, being expressed in anonymity to strange women on the internet, a form of verbal flashing)

I'm sure I've said too much, and it'd be better to ignore him, but I'd rather read his string of censored swear words than read his graphic sexual comments.

In fact, now that I thought of the term "verbal flashing", I realize that's exactly what it is, and that's exactly why it creeps me out. You should think better of defending it by blaming it on serenity.

Just as a warning, Pent. The next time I, and other women, are verbally flashed by you on a thread I intend to file a complaint and include your other recent verbal flashings to demonstrate your pattern.


http://p094.ezboard.com/fpacumenispages ... 1&stop=120

I wonder if this verbal flashing is indicative of some sense of entitlement and being the object of "desire" (not exactly sexual desire). LDS men grow up in an environment where, if they are active, they don't even have to be attractive or interesting to be seen as desirable by LDS women, because "marriage" to a "worthy priesthood holder" is so idealized. So they get on the internet and think that the women there actually want to hear their verbal flashing and would be flattered by it. Just speculation, who the heck knows what prompts it. But I've been on boards with LDS and nonLDS, and nonLDS men do not engage in this to the same degree as LDS do (and exLDS often demonstrate the same trait). And yeah, I do believe LOTS of LDS men are sexually frustrated - so maybe that sexual frustration, combined with obsessing about chastity (giving in once too often to porn on the net) combined with that old LDS entitlement just mixes up to make a toxic verbal flashing stew.

I go on record again saying: GROSS.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:21 pm 
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beastie wrote:

I wonder if this verbal flashing is indicative of some sense of entitlement and being the object of "desire" (not exactly sexual desire). LDS men grow up in an environment where, if they are active, they don't even have to be attractive or interesting to be seen as desirable by LDS women, because "marriage" to a "worthy priesthood holder" is so idealized. So they get on the internet and think that the women there actually want to hear their verbal flashing and would be flattered by it. Just speculation, who the heck knows what prompts it. But I've been on boards with LDS and nonLDS, and nonLDS men do not engage in this to the same degree as LDS do (and exLDS often demonstrate the same trait). And yeah, I do believe LOTS of LDS men are sexually frustrated - so maybe that sexual frustration, combined with obsessing about chastity (giving in once too often to porn on the net) combined with that old LDS entitlement just mixes up to make a toxic verbal flashing stew.

I go on record again saying: GROSS.


I second that GROSS! It is.

I must say I've never been about so many disrespectful men. Ever. Ever. Ever. I've been on plenty of boards and never seen the likes of what I've witnessed from some LDS and ex-LDS. I do think that they may believe some women are flattered by it. Actually I think there are a few women flattered by it -- NOT ME! I find it sexually immature to the extreme. Absurd sexual innuendos and boob talk is something I can do without.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:40 pm 
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Hey Moniker

Just to let you know: I AM ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS. BEASTIE CAN VOUCH FOR ME - I AM A TRUE GENTLEMAN.

I would NEVER - EVER - unlike these Mormon guys - EVER mention a woman's pamelas, EVER!

Egalitarianly yours,

Roger

P.S. Are you from England? Weird how Samantha Fox turned out to be a lesbian, innit?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:46 pm 
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Yes, if Tal will quit editing his post, I can vouch for him. ;) I've never seen him engage in juvenile, sexualized commentary.

And, I rush to add, there are others I've never seen engage in this behavior, either. Even when sex is the actual topic, there are quite a few male posters who approach the subject with maturity and sensitivity - Jason Bourne immediately comes to mind. His wife would be proud of his behavior, and there's little doubt he really loves her.

So I don't mean to disparage the majority of male posters, just a select few who seem to enjoy titillating themselves with verbal flashing that the rest of us, unfortunately, have to endure.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:17 am 
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TB:
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you sound just as incapable of rational conversation about Mormonism, and Smith's credibility in particular, as every other Mormon on this board, with a couple of exceptions.

Those exceptions being, of course, the ones who largely agree with your conclusions and points of view.

Quote:
… perhaps it is time to stop embarrassing yourself...

I’m quite conscious of the fact that I’ve been violating the first Hamblin law of apologetic discourse from the very moment I commenced to participate in this thread.

Quote:
Is there some "debate" I'm trying to "get into" …?

Apparently not. You’re content to talk to yourself in this little corner of Shadyville, like some mumbling final stage Alzheimer’s patient dripping drool on his jammies in a darkened corner of a rest home.

“And he was so young . . . “

Quote:
All I know is that the MADness mods are doing an excellent imitation of people who provide cover, via banning and censoring, for buck-naked apologetic emperors; and since that seems to be what they're into, they can have it. And by the way, I was perfectly civil over there as far as I remember. Anyway - my invitation to you still stands: get me normal posting privileges and I'm fine to go over, if it means that much to you. You really think Runaway Dan will engage with me? I doubt it; but if he wants to, I sure don't mind.

As I said before, I'm happy to engage with anyone about Mormonism. Last time your hero came around, he sniped from the sidelines and then, as per usual, rather than "show the world how wrong the evil anti-Mormons are", announced some stupid excuse about why he wouldn't engage with me. I keep using the word "embarrassing", but that's what it is to me. I almost can't believe, even now, that dudes can act that way and not feel embarrassed.

And thus the delusional man crafts historical memories of events that never actually occurred.

I wrote:
Quote:
If you are satisfied taking the stance that believing Mormons are nothing but intellectually-challenged dupes clinging in near-desperation to the last vestiges of a thoroughly-discredited epistemological burlesque, and insist on dealing with them as though they are merely freak show caricatures worthy of nothing but mockery, then you will quickly find yourself forever banished to the fringes of the discussion.


To which you revealingly reply:
Quote:
You know what I'd really like, William? I'd like some good evidence that Mormons AREN'T that. Where is it?

You’re starting to evoke images of a raving Salieri, slashed neck and wrists wrapped in bloody rags, cursing God and babbling incoherently to anyone who will listen about forgotten songs you’ll never hear . . .

I guess I’ll have to say I saw it coming when we met back in October of 2006. Clinging to the remnants of a six pack while swaying randomly in front of the urinal, the proverbial writing on the wall screamed with graffiti boldness from the rusted boxcar sides of your increasingly dismal existence.

The only thing that’s changed in the interim is that the scope of your ravings has narrowed to a few tired phrases punctuated by outbursts of random rage.

Quote:
… it is, in fact, quite easy to come to believe that we have powers and attributes which we do not have.

Just as easy as it is to come to believe that others could not possibly have powers and attributes we, ourselves, do not have.

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Our vanity is such that flattery can make us believe almost anything about ourselves.

No doubt the explanation for your attraction to the fawning few here in Shadyville.

Quote:
Many dozens of formerly devout Mormons have come to the conclusion that Mormonism is a fraud after we've chatted.

I’m sure you’re a regular evangelist for the cause!

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Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.


Quote:
But I don't speak to you the way I do to people who seem really, truly sincere about their faith.

I’m glad to learn that you consider me exceptional.

Quote:
See, I don't really get that impression from you. I think you posture and pose and shout, but deep down, I think you're fighting a different sort of enemy, and it's one, I think, that doesn't really have anything to do with me.

Maybe it’s the sexual frustration that beastlie is convinced afflicts most LDS men.

Quote:
When I think about giving someone the opportunity of knowing that whatever else the church is, it cannot be what it claims, I don't think about bought-and-paid-for apologists who would destroy every last Mormon doctrine in order to defend it. I think about normal, sane, decent, sincere, humble people who want the truth. Those are the people I like talking to …

Go out and get ‘'em, Elder Bachman! They’re out there waiting for you right now, simply blinded by the sophistries of men and only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it. You can be the one to bring them the truth, just like one of Helaman’s warriors!

You, dear Talmage, are an unbalanced zealot. I suspect you always have been. It’s just like Sethbag and several others I have observed in the ranks of the exmormons. They were extremists when they were in the church, and nothing changes once they’re out of it. Nothing but the focus of their zealotry, that is.

You repeat your one-note mantra over and over again:

Quote:
If Mormonism were not what it claimed, how would you know?

Convinced that there is a definitive acid test for every question in life, and especially the questions that swirl around Mormonism and Joseph Smith.

As Dan Peterson cogently observed:
Quote:
It’s part of Bachman’s fundamentalist/dogmatic mindset, which once made him a wannabe Mormon suicide bomber and now makes him an anti-Mormon zealot, that he thinks there’s some clear, decisive test out there that will render an unambiguous black-and-white verdict.


And so it is that we reach the point in this discussion where we consent to the logic of its inexorable futility.

I wish you well. I really do. To paraphrase G. K. Chesterton:

Quote:
I don’t feel any contempt for a man limited and constrained by his own logic to a very sad simplification.


In your case, the irony is that you are convinced of your own liberty as you glare mockingly through the bars of your latest favorite delusion.
.
.
.
Until we meet again . . .

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:37 am 
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William Schryver wrote:
Now, I must confess that part of me – a part that I repress to some extent – is empathetic towards Emma on account of the legitimate challenges she encountered in life. She dealt with everything pretty well, with the exception of prosperity. And I’m glad Joseph was willing to put up with her. I wouldn’t have. And since he’s the one who will have to go to hell to retrieve her, I can only say “better him than me.”


Joseph won't have to go to hell to get Emma. He's already there. He and King David have the same punishment, for much the same reason. God doesn't take kindly to disobedient prophets who can't curb their libidos.

God will not be mocked.

Quote:
I doubt anyone’s going to bother with you. ;-)


No one will have to. Trixie will be granted her reward... either Telestial or Terrestial. But she will not be with Joseph. Joseph and King David were both unable to handle the most important part of their lives. It is a great comfort to those of us who understand the perfidy involved in Sex 132 to know that God is no respector of persons.

Quote:
Then again, who am I to judge? I’m probably a little harder on Emma – and you – than is warranted.


And at this point, I can only say: live your religion, Will. You're making an ass of yourself (again) and embarrassing us all.

Good grief.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:15 am 
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Joseph won't have to go to hell to get Emma. He's already there. He and King David have the same punishment, for much the same reason.


Says who?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:18 am 
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Harmony:

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God will not be mocked.

You mean like when people lie to their bishops and stake presidents during temple recommend interviews?

Quote:
It is a great comfort to those of us who understand the perfidy involved in Sex 132 to know that God is no respector (sic) of persons.

It’s a greater comfort to those of us who understand that you understand very little.

Quote:
You're making an ass of yourself (again) and embarrassing us all.

Believe me, dear, I never knowingly pass up an opportunity to embarrass you.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:23 am 
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beastie wrote:
LDS men grow up in an environment where, if they are active, they don't even have to be attractive or interesting to be seen as desirable by LDS women, because "marriage" to a "worthy priesthood holder" is so idealized.


That is far from my experience in the culture of the Church found in Utah. Very far!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:29 pm 
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That is far from my experience in the culture of the Church found in Utah. Very far!


Heh. You ought to move to the "mission field". BYU was almost as bad.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:31 pm 
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Believe me, dear, I never knowingly pass up an opportunity to embarrass you.


Wee Willie,

How does you acting like a verbally flamboyant, preening, drama-queen jerk embarrass other people??

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Hey, by the way - Moniker's got that sultry photo of - who is it, Audrey Hepburn? - as her avatar; and then she complains about all the aroused boys. That's like Nigella Lawson batting her eyes and sucking her finger on screen, and then complaining that many men see her more as a sex object than a serious cook. NO FAIR.

I'm calling on Moniker to put a photo instead of Janet Reno or Cherie Blair on - I'm pretty sure all the wolf-whistling will die down...

At least Beastie has the good sense to post a picture of a baby ape :P


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:42 pm 
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I'm a tease.


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