Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mormon

The catch-all forum for general topics and debates. Minimal moderation. Rated PG to PG-13.
Post Reply
I have a question
God
Posts: 9415
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:01 am

Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mormon

Post by I have a question »

The initial argument by the critics that the Book of Mormon was man-made was based on the premise that Joseph Smith was too unlearned and “ignorant” to write such a comprehensive work and therefore someone allegedly much more intelligent than he, such as Sidney Rigdon or Oliver Cowdery, must have authored it. Later, arguments arose that Joseph copied it from the Solomon Spaulding Manuscript or that he suffered from a mental disorder that somehow endowed him, an untrained writer, with superior writing skills. These arguments, however, have been so thoroughly discredited that they are seldom mentioned anymore.

So, the current argument being made is that Joseph Smith was a creative genius who read numerous books, such as “View of the Hebrews” and “The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain” and then copied ideas and stories from them. This, of course, is a total flip-flop, a 180-degree reversal from the original argument that Joseph was incapable, too ignorant to write such a book. Now, all of a sudden Joseph is a skilled, creative writer with genius intellect. Why the flip-flop? Because all the previous explanations for a man-made book had failed.

https://www.thechurchnews.com/living-fa ... ith-172006

Really Tad?

This is staggering when you think about it — to claim that Joseph Smith, who could not write a coherent letter, wrote the Book of Mormon, with all of its historical complexity and profound doctrinal insights, in a single dictation draft in approximately 65 working days with no notes in front of him and with only minor changes — mostly grammatical.
Well, he did write the Wentworth Letter, and you canonised that. He did write his own History, and you canonised some of that. He wrote several versions of the First Vision, and you canonised that too.

When I recently finished writing a book about the Book of Mormon, my secretary unexpectedly asked me, “Do you know how many drafts you had?” I replied, “No.” To which she responded, “72.” I thought, “Wow. It took me two concentrated years of writing, and many previous years of thinking and collecting ideas, with multitudinous notes constantly in front of me, to write a book less than half the length of the Book of Mormon and far less meaningful, and 72 drafts to do so.”
Your point being that if you couldn’t do it, Joseph couldn’t? Really?

No wonder Emma Smith wrote: “My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity — I have not the slightest doubt of it. I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired.”
Manuscripts?

Not only do history and reason confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon, but much more importantly, the power of the Spirit does.
Ah yes, The Assumptive Close.
“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')

User avatar
Dr Exiled
God
Posts: 3157
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:48 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Dr Exiled »

This is a red herring from Bro. Callister. The book itself has been disproved as an ancient text by dna, anachronisms and many other illogical things contained therein (See Earl Wungerli's book: https://www.amazon.com/Imperfect-Book-Mormon-Tells-Itself/dp/1560852305

So, who really cares how the 19th Century book was composed? I don't need to know how the magic trick was done to see that it is a sleight of hand going on with the composition of the book of Mormon. It is interesting to speculate what really went on, but not important to the historicity question.

He used a rock in a hat for heaven sake and the plates then conveniently disappear. He couldn't redo the story contained in the 116 pgs. after losing them so he dubiously claimed that God told him not to try. It was obviously a bible meets mound builder myth operation, so, whether some others helped or whether he had sufficient intelligence to do it himself is beside the point. It ain't what it claims to be and a fiction model seems to be the only logical place for Mormons to go.
"Religion is about providing human community in the guise of solving problems that don’t exist or failing to solve problems that do and seeking to reconcile these contradictions and conceal the failures in bogus explanations otherwise known as theology." - Kishkumen 

User avatar
Physics Guy
God
Posts: 1134
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:38 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Physics Guy »

So at first people reckoned that the Book of Mormon could have been faked by Smith with help from confederates, then later people considered that it could have been faked by Smith all alone.

That sounds as though the longer people think about the Book of Mormon, the more ways they find that it could have been faked. I'd say that makes it more likely that the Book was faked somehow, not less.

User avatar
Dr. Shades
Founder & Visionary
Posts: 14059
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Dr. Shades »

The initial argument by the critics that the Book of Mormon was man-made was based on the premise that Joseph Smith was too unlearned and “ignorant” to write such a comprehensive work and therefore someone allegedly much more intelligent than he, such as Sidney Rigdon or Oliver Cowdery, must have authored it.

So far, so good. . .

So, the current argument being made is that Joseph Smith was a creative genius who read numerous books, such as “View of the Hebrews” and “The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain” and then copied ideas and stories from them.

We're still listening. . .

This, of course, is a total flip-flop, a 180-degree reversal from the original argument that Joseph was incapable, too ignorant to write such a book. Now, all of a sudden Joseph is a skilled, creative writer with genius intellect. Why the flip-flop?

Now hold on just a minute. Instead of assuming a "flip-flop," why not hybridize the two theories? Why not simply conclude that someone allegedly much more intelligent than Smith, such as Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, or Solomon Spalding, read numerous books, such as “View of the Hebrews” and “The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain,” and then copied ideas and stories from them?

Because all the previous explanations for a man-made book had failed.

Nope. See above.

User avatar
Dr Moore
Endowed Chair of Historical Innovation
Posts: 551
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:19 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Dr Moore »

The creative genius theory, or CGT, has absolutely been around since the beginning, and it has absolutely not failed. Proving a negative almost always fails.

There have been many iterations of the CGT since the time immediately following publication.

Royal Skousen, after careful study, concludes the BofM is a "creative and cultural translation" and "not literal translation." Tad, where is your commentary on Skousen's good work on this meteoric leap toward affirming CGT? "Creative and cultural translation" are just fancy apologetic-speak for "creative genius."

Tad's scornful mocking of creative-genius notions shows me that he is defending an internal faith experience, which is 100% totally fine. But he should not, under any circumstances, be out pedaling that in a pretended scholarly rundown.

It's the same thing Jenkins asked of Hamblin, a dozen times over:

Jenkins wrote:If you reply that no piece of external evidence could shake your belief, however overwhelming it might seem, then you are stating explicitly that your view is a matter of faith, and not of science, scholarship or history. If that is so, then there is no point in trying to argue the issue in such terms. It is purely internal to you. Just don’t pretend that you have any claim in the realm of science, scholarship or history.


Did Hamblin ever answer this question? No, he did not. Someone should find a way to ask Tad Callister the same question. I am certain that he too would either not answer, or would evade. Jenkins laid out the what and the why with perfect clarity.

kairos
God
Posts: 1848
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by kairos »

I have wondered how the Isaiah chapters got into the Book of Mormon - did Joseph Smith grab his Bible and tell OC copy from here to here while i take a smoke break or did OC tell Joseph Smith, we can copy about xx chapters of Isaiah while you figure out what to do next- or did Emma come and say Joseph, you know i been areading in your bible bout what this prophet Isaiah writes and it sounds lot like the stuff you have been dictating to OC- can you put some of it in the BOM-pretty please. Or did Rigdon slip in the back with the manuscript pages and tell Joseph Smith to just grab some KJV pages until Rigdon can figure out how to restart the dictation given the 116 were toast?

ideas?

k

User avatar
Shulem
Son of Perdition
Posts: 10954
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:48 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Shulem »

Elder Tad R. Callister
Image wrote:
So, the current argument being made is that Joseph Smith was a creative genius who read numerous books, such as “View of the Hebrews” and “The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain” and then copied ideas and stories from them. This, of course, is a total flip-flop, a 180-degree reversal from the original argument that Joseph was incapable, too ignorant to write such a book. Now, all of a sudden Joseph is a skilled, creative writer with genius intellect. Why the flip-flop? Because all the previous explanations for a man-made book had failed.


Flip-flop or not that is beside the point. Tell us what you know about Late War and how it compares to things in the Book of Mormon? Can you do that Callister? How about you address that issue rather than run your silly mouth and act like there are no problems with the Book of Mormon.

You disgust me, Callister.

:mad:

User avatar
Shulem
Son of Perdition
Posts: 10954
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:48 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Shulem »

Elder Tad R. Callister wrote:Not only do history and reason confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon, but much more importantly, the power of the Spirit does.


I dare you to say that about the Explanations of Facsimile No. 3!

You liar for the Lord!

You disgust me.

:mad:

User avatar
Philo Sofee
God
Posts: 6122
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:04 am

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Philo Sofee »

So apologists and Mormons of all stripes at first claimed totally that The Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. Joseph Smith could not have done it. Now one of the most out front vocal apologists after literally dozens of years research claims it was translated by creative genius. Flip flop Callister?

On the Book of Abraham literally every Mormon around Joseph Smith and he himself claimed direct translation of the Egyptian hieroglyphs off the papyri for decades. Only with the rise of modern apologetics has the need arose to completely ignore what Joseph Smith himself said, and is it necessary to come up with not just one or two offhand theories, but almost a dozen different, contradictory theories of how Joseph Smith got the Book of Abraham. May I conclude as Callister did that it is because the original theory of Joseph Smith has been proven false? If not why not?
Is Midgely serious? Peterson's blog is a patty-cake, surface only, all too frequently plagiarized bit of ephemeral nonsense. Why would anyone suppose avatars must be real? Midgley has lost his tiny little mind. Maybe he can go over to never-neverland and harass Peter Pan for not really knowing how to fly. -Lemmie-

User avatar
Shulem
Son of Perdition
Posts: 10954
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:48 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Shulem »

Philo Sofee wrote:On the Book of Abraham literally every Mormon around Joseph Smith and he himself claimed direct translation of the Egyptian hieroglyphs off the papyri


That's exactly right. Apologists reject Joseph Smith's testimony that he literally translated the papyrus and therefore flip and flop the Mormon Church on its back. In effect they murder the memory of their prophet and his apostles that testified at his side. Elder Callister and his modern apologetic cohorts are guilty of spiritual murder having slain the memory and testimony of their prophet. They have no conscience in what they do. They are like snakes and poisonous animals. Beware!

I rebuke you Callister and the wool you pull over the eyes of your sheep.
Last edited by Shulem on Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Agosh
Nursery
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:58 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Agosh »

Dr Moore wrote:Royal Skousen, after careful study, concludes the BofM is a "creative and cultural translation" and "not literal translation." Tad, where is your commentary on Skousen's good work on this meteoric leap toward affirming CGT? "Creative and cultural translation" are just fancy apologetic-speak for "creative genius."

Isn't Skousen meaning both creative, cultural and literal. I have trouble understanding. Thank you.

User avatar
Gadianton
Hermit
Posts: 9460
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:12 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Gadianton »

You could go on and on with the flaws in his thinking, but his article is well worth having just for the mention of the Late War. At least a few curious Saints are going to look that one up and while it might not destroy their faith, the light will go out from their testimonies just a little. It will put a worry in their minds.
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

User avatar
Dr Moore
Endowed Chair of Historical Innovation
Posts: 551
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:19 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Dr Moore »

Agosh wrote:Isn't Skousen meaning both creative, cultural and literal. I have trouble understanding. Thank you.


He isn’t saying that. He says it is not a literal translation of the plates, indeed cannot be.

User avatar
Equality
God
Posts: 3362
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:44 am

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Equality »

Let me see if I can play this apologetic game with other controversial matters.

"Critics first said crop circles were made one way, but then they hypothesized a different method for their creation; this flip-flop proves that crop circles were made by aliens."

"Skeptics first hypothesized that the magician's card trick was performed one way, but then they changed their minds and hypothesized that it was done a different way; therefore, it must have actually been magic."

The logic is unassailable!
"The Church is authoritarian, tribal, provincial, and founded on a loosely biblical racist frontier sex cult."--Juggler Vain
"The LDS church is the Amway of religions. Even with all the soap they sell, they still manage to come away smelling dirty."--Some Schmo

User avatar
Shulem
Son of Perdition
Posts: 10954
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:48 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Shulem »

The critics flip-flopped which proves the church really is true!

:surprised:

All hail the MORON Church!

:rolleyes:

Church on Sunday for Philo Sofee!

:lol:

User avatar
Gadianton
Hermit
Posts: 9460
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:12 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Gadianton »

Equality wrote:Let me see if I can play this apologetic game with other controversial matters.

"Critics first said crop circles were made one way, but then they hypothesized a different method for their creation; this flip-flop proves that crop circles were made by aliens."

"Skeptics first hypothesized that the magician's card trick was performed one way, but then they changed their minds and hypothesized that it was done a different way; therefore, it must have actually been magic."

The logic is unassailable!


beautiful.
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

User avatar
Agosh
Nursery
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:58 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Agosh »

Dr Moore wrote:
Agosh wrote:Isn't Skousen meaning both creative, cultural and literal. I have trouble understanding. Thank you.

He isn’t saying that. He says it is not a literal translation of the plates, indeed cannot be.

I wrote Skousen an email, asking specifically about this. He replied and said that of course he accepts that there is a large amount of language that can be regarded as the result of a fairly literal translation.

User avatar
Dr Moore
Endowed Chair of Historical Innovation
Posts: 551
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:19 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Dr Moore »

Agosh wrote:
Dr Moore wrote:He isn’t saying that. He says it is not a literal translation of the plates, indeed cannot be.

I wrote Skousen an email, asking specifically about this. He replied and said that of course he accepts that there is a large amount of language that can be regarded as the result of a fairly literal translation.


I imagine he also reserves the right to pick and choose which is literal and which isn’t?

User avatar
moksha
God
Posts: 21638
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by moksha »

Sometimes arguments need to be based on misstatements and strawmen when better arguments are unavailable. Elder Callister should be given some credit for his efforts at misdirection. Perhaps he received some pointers from an Early English Hasty Pudding Club Debating Spirit Society. (EEHPCDSS)
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace

User avatar
Gadianton
Hermit
Posts: 9460
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:12 pm

Re: Callister claims critics have flip-flopped on Book Of Mo

Post by Gadianton »

My hunch is that Skousen has some broad impulses regarding the meaning of his discoveries, but 99.9% of his thinking is in the weeds on the nuts and bolts of the 15th century text. He probably isn't trying to be deceptive with anyone, he likely just doesn't know how to describe the big picture and probably doesn't want to spend that much time thinking about it. He probably assumes there's a neat way to wrap it all up to ensure something he's comfortable with wins out, but we can already show Kansas has gone bye-bye. Maybe he can figure out a logical way to preserve a historical Book of Mormon, but if so, it's one of many possibilities, and not necessarily the one even most compatible with traditional Mormonism if taking the really big picture into account.
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

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 8 guests