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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:46 am 
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LifeOnaPlate wrote:
Moniker wrote:
I wondered the same thing......... ;)


Did you mean low brow?


I didn't mean anything! haha! You wrote "low brow jabs" and I just used a bit of it....

I thought it was humorous that lowbrow was written as two separate words... never mind... it was just funny to me, apparently. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:19 am 
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Moniker wrote:
LifeOnaPlate wrote:
Moniker wrote:
I wondered the same thing......... ;)


Did you mean low brow?


I didn't mean anything! haha! You wrote "low brow jabs" and I just used a bit of it....

I thought it was humorous that lowbrow was written as two separate words... never mind... it was just funny to me, apparently. :)


Ah, gotcha. My mistake. Carry on, everyone.

_________________
One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:02 pm 
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You speak in gobbly gook. I can't discern what in the world you're saying most of the time. That may be because I have my fact/truth detector calibrated in just the right frequency so that I can discern tiddlywink speak when I view it.



So let it be.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:05 pm 
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Talmage:
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… Joseph Smith (as you tacitly concede) deliberately, convincingly, and aggressively, misled others (or as it is known in Clintonian depositions and common parlance, "lied to others").


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The thrust of my comments in my discussion with you (if you re-read them, you'll see) isn't to pass definitive moral judgment on early Mormon leaders. It is to acknowledge what you yourself tacitly acknowledged above: that Smith's lying about polygamy constitutes an undeniable example of Smith's unreliability as a source of information on one of his supposedly important religious experiences.

All because he claimed he could only find one wife? You’re funny. You don’t have much of a sense of humor anymore (a common apostate malady, I’ve found), but you are funny nonetheless.

Just to clarify, however, I do not concede, tacitly or otherwise, that Joseph Smith lied about his “important religious experiences.” Your entire set of arguments to the contrary constitute nothing but a bold non sequitur.

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Emma (like you and I) finds out that Joseph Smith is an unreliable source of information about his experiences.

I did not cite, and I am unaware of any convincing evidence that would affirm the above statement. Quite to the contrary, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence would suggest that Emma Smith believed that her husband was an extremely reliable source of information about his experiences. And she continued to believe in him, and his reported experiences, to the end of her life.

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According to Smith, she then tries to murder him, twice. Later, she vicariously assents to his death.

Then again, Emma was quite emotionally volatile at times . . .

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And "therefore", I too carry an Emma Smithian (that is, murderous) "visceral moral outrage"?

To me, that's very much a non sequitir. (sic)

No, your reply is the only non sequitur here. And once again, the exmo proves wholly unable to detect or appreciate irony and/or sarcasm. It seems that’s always one of the first things to go . . .

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Yet you yourself, above, conceded that Smith indulged in some seriously misleading "private word redefinition", a la Bill Clinton, in announcing that he could "only find one" wife.

You’re starting to remind me a lot of Mr. Scratch, now. You should be concerned about that.

But let me reiterate my point: I do love when Joseph Smith plants his tongue firmly in his cheek and jerks the chain of his enemies. I think he had a much more sophisticated sense of humor than any exmo I’ve ever known. And I believe he was engaging in sophisticated word play when he employed the “I can only find one” in referring to his multiple wives. On the other hand, I understand and well appreciate the necessity of attempting to conceal, for as long as possible, the early practice of plural marriage in Nauvoo. I’m not bothered, in the least, by anything Joseph Smith did in that respect. And I’m quite amused by the feigned (or otherwise) “visceral moral outrage” of the exmos who pound their bully pulpits in mock piety when it comes to this topic.

Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage in Nauvoo. He was married to several additional women, and I’m convinced that Emma Smith knew about most, if not all, of them – sooner or later. None of the women were forced to choose marriage to him – Nancy Rigdon’s refusal is proof enough of that. I think there is persuasive evidence that he chose to not consummate some of the marriages, but there is compelling evidence that he did consummate several of them. And I say, good for him! If I were married to multiple women, I’d make sure to get around to each of them as often as possible.

By the way, is this your biggest problem with Joseph Smith? You’re outraged by his practice of plural marriage, and therefore you’re certain he lied about everything else? Amazing.

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After all, William, as believing Mormons, we could find out that Joseph Smith roasted and ate small children, or was a serial rapist, and still find a way to make that okay, couldn't we? The argument would go like this:

"The Prophet may have roasted and eaten small children; but that doesn't mean he didn't see God, or translate golden plates. I am content to leave the judging in the Lord's hands. No one ever said the prophets were perfect".

No problem, is it?

Now I understand why you have so assiduously avoided doing battle with any of the “heavyweights” in LDS apologetics. Your shtick works well as a solo act, but put it up against anyone with even a basic understanding of logic and argumentation, and you start looking pretty silly pretty fast.

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So if we only stick to orthodox sources, we must conclude (regardless of whether God approved) that:

Joseph Smith aggressively, repeatedly, and convincingly lied about a supposedly important religious experience involving an angel and revelations from God.

You may certainly conclude (and obviously have) anything you choose. But, as I stated quite plainly in my previous posts, your conclusion is not shared by everyone possessing an equal or greater knowledge of the primary source materials. Nor did the overwhelming majority of his intimate contemporaries – with some notable exceptions, of course – conclude that Joseph Smith was engaged in deceptive, immoral behavior when it came to his practice of plural marriage. I concur with the judgment of Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, William Clayton, Willard Richards, et al when it comes to these questions.

Again, I ask, is this whole plural marriage thing the origin of your well-developed disbelief in Joseph Smith?

Now that I think about it, I guess it would make sense -- if that is the case. You know, the principle of projection and all . . .

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I would say, stop announcing, in lieu of rational discourse, that you "know" that those who disagree with you are guilty of heinous sins.

Did I accuse you of heinous sins, dear Talmage? Remind me where I did that. I must have missed it. Not that I doubt, in the least, that you are guilty of heinous sins. Aren’t we all?

As for the general principle to which I alluded, I stand by it: Those who accuse Joseph Smith of transgression do so, almost without exception, because they are the “children of disobedience themselves.” I’m sure, in your particular case, the accusation is apt. But I couldn’t care less what your favorite sins are.

Quote:
… we started out here with you taking issue with my claim that Mormon belief relies on a denial of the constraints imposed on what we may justifiably believe by empiricism and logic. Yet you continue to affirm just that point, just using different language.

Your failure to understand the arguments is more a reflection on the rigidity of your current dogma than it is an indictment of the arguments themselves. Nevertheless, for the sake of our readers, I will reaffirm what I have consistently argued: my beliefs do not rely on a denial (implicit or otherwise) of “constraints imposed … by empiricism and logic.” It is quite popular, in exmo circles, to insinuate just the opposite. And in your case the real problem is (as I have cited repeatedly above) your inherent inability to understand the “principle of revelation” to which I have referred. You are left with only a single avenue of investigation when it comes to these things: the sophic. And since you axiomatically reject even the possibility of a mantic avenue of approach to such questions, we are forever destined to reach an impasse. I have affirmed the fact that the “principle of revelation” consists of “more than a feeling”; that it involves the transmission of clearly-articulated intelligence. You simply ignore or deny the possibility of such a thing. Your appeal to Joseph Smith’s alleged duplicity and implied unreliability is really just a sideshow designed to argue that any “principle of revelation” that would sanction someone like him must be fatally flawed. Throwing in names like Jim Jones, Pol Pot, etc., is just your peculiarly-awkward method of poisoning the well, as it were. But none of this impacts the question upon which our discussion commenced: can logic and empiricism exist comfortably alongside the “principle of revelation” to which I allude? I argue that they can and do; that the “principle of revelation” is not what you think it is at all. Your arguments amount to little more than rhetorical fiat – a tactic I’ve observed you employ quite often and to as minimal effect as you have achieved in this particular thread.
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Bitchie:
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… sexual libertinism is only ok when God sanctions it first.

Precisely. Well, more or less. The definition of “libertine” is probably open to dispute.

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… God bestows many "privileges" among his alpha males.

Yes He does. And I am personally gratified that it bothers you so much. But don’t you worry, in the resurrection there will be no “alpha males” who will have any desire for your “Barbie doll-like” immortal body. I mean, I’m sure you’ll be nice to look at – but you’ll be good for nothing when it comes to the things that matter most. ;-)

Quote:
It's a good thing most chapel Mormons have no idea of this garbage being pedaled on internet boards. Mormonism devolves into a pathetic exercise of self-indulgent, often repulsive, mental gymnastics at the hands of gifted dramatists such as Will.

I’m quite confident that you have no idea what most Mormons, chapel or otherwise, think about these things. I think you’d be surprised at how literally most believing Latter-day Saints view the precept that “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s …” Believe me, most of them understand clearly what one does with a body of flesh and bones. They also understand that:
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… strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives …

They also believe that Joseph Smith knew exactly what he was talking about when he gave the interpretation of the following image:
Image
And they intend to do whatever is necessary to guarantee their capacity for such things in perpetuity.

_________________
... 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: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:47 pm 
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beastie wrote:
Wade,

LOL! You said "garbage in, garbage out". I assumed you were talking about my statement with "garbage out", but what in the heck was the "garbage in", if not Shermer??? Could you at least TRY to make sense?


I will at least try and help you see the sense--though such is near impossible with your closed mind. The "garbage in" is YOUR convoluted filtering (for example, see the "Beastie-isms" noted above and below) of a broad range of sources (Shermer included).

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And your next response made as little sense. I asked if intelligent people believe erroneous things and are inclined to defend those beliefs...and you replied "not that I'm aware of" and then proceeded to assert that yes, intelligent people believe erroneous things and are inclined to defend those beliefs.


I can understand how you may not be able to make sense of what I said, particularly when you can't even accurately remember what you asked. You apparently forgot that you had included the key universal adverb "completely" in both of your questions to me. Given this universal adverb, I answered both your questions correctly by saying, "no". However, for the purposes of clarification (not to be confused with weeping and gnashing), I answered "yes" using the qualifiers: "a portion" and "some". Strange, that for someone who purports to teach comprehension skills, you apparently overlooked these key differentiators/qualifiers.

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Now, after much pain and gnashing of teeth, we've established that yes, intelligent people do believe erroneous things and are inclined to defend those erroneous things.


As expected, this is a distortion of what I answered (yet another Beastie-ism). Mine was not a dogmatic declaration about who or what is erronous (as you phrase it above), but an intentionally qualified one (where the presumed erroneous beliefs are indirectly a function of differences in personal beliefs and thus a matter of personal opinion, and not fact).

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...can you bring yourself to admit the validity of Michael Shermer's statement that I paraphrased?


No. I take minor exception to the disrespectful words such as "weird" and "notsmart" as well as the way they were used. I respectfully believe that intelligent people can come to different beliefs from me, and I believe they do so through "smart" (or reasonable) means, which they then may use to defend their beliefs. I can respect, though, if Shermer believes differently.

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Smart people can, and do, have erroneous beliefs. Let's use scientology as an easy example. Let's focus on one belief that I assume you will agree is erroneous: that thetans interfere with human thoughts and beliefs and cause human beings pain, and that specific training can eliminate the influence of Thetans.

Intelligent people believe this. Intelligent people defend it. Do you concede that they believe this idea for what Shermer calls "nonsmart" reasons, but then use their smart skills to defend those beliefs?


No, I don't concede that. I am not sure if I correctly understand the Scientology notion of "Thetans" sufficiently to even determine the degree to which, or the way (if any), that I may disagree with it, let alone sufficient to deem it "erroneous" in my opinion. Certainly, though, I am disinclined to say that this belief is derived through "notsmart" reasons. I trust that it is rational, and based on their respective beliefs/premises--which they may likewise use to defend that belief.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:10 pm 
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William Schryver wrote:
Your failure to understand the arguments is more a reflection on the rigidity of your current dogma than it is an indictment of the arguments themselves. Nevertheless, for the sake of our readers, I will reaffirm what I have consistently argued: my beliefs do not rely on a denial (implicit or otherwise) of “constraints imposed … by empiricism and logic.” It is quite popular, in exmo circles, to insinuate just the opposite. And in your case the real problem is (as I have cited repeatedly above) your inherent inability to understand the “principle of revelation” to which I have referred. You are left with only a single avenue of investigation when it comes to these things: the sophic. And since you axiomatically reject even the possibility of a mantic avenue of approach to such questions, we are forever destined to reach an impasse. I have affirmed the fact that the “principle of revelation” consists of “more than a feeling”; that it involves the transmission of clearly-articulated intelligence. You simply ignore or deny the possibility of such a thing. Your appeal to Joseph Smith’s alleged duplicity and implied unreliability is really just a sideshow designed to argue that any “principle of revelation” that would sanction someone like him must be fatally flawed. Throwing in names like Jim Jones, Pol Pot, etc., is just your peculiarly-awkward method of poisoning the well, as it were. But none of this impacts the question upon which our discussion commenced: can logic and empiricism exist comfortably alongside the “principle of revelation” to which I allude? I argue that they can and do; that the “principle of revelation” is not what you think it is at all. Your arguments amount to little more than rhetorical fiat – a tactic I’ve observed you employ quite often and to as minimal effect as you have achieved in this particular thread.


Interestingly, the book Tal was disparaging earlier, the one by Dallin H. Oaks, addresses this very thing. Tal was stating his belief that the book was the attempt of a smart man to "be stupid through revelation." (My phraseology). It just so happens that I purloined a copy of the book that very day at the DI, purchased it and perused it's pages. This is the topic Tal cannot reconcile, just as Elder Oaks describes. While the Church does not disparage study Tal disparages faith. The Church can find a way to include both, while Tal denies one right at the start.

_________________
One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:51 pm 
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Will
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Bitchie:


How surprising that a pretentious, flamboyant, self-flattering* man who prefers to comment on women’s cleavage than anything of substance would revert to this.
Actually, that would be unsurprising,wouldn’t it?

*just for those folks who may have missed it, Will imagines himself singing to throngs of adoring crowds if he would sacrifice Mormonism, or something strange like that. Will is apparently quite interested in applause.

Beastie:
Quote:
sexual libertinism is only ok when God sanctions it first.


Will:
Quote:
Precisely. Well, more or less. The definition of “libertine” is probably open to dispute.


No, it’s not open to dispute. God commanded Joseph Smith to marry women who already had living husbands, for example. No dispute about “libertine”.

It is odd, however, that God was cool with the idea of SOME women having more than one so-called husband, but just had to draw the line when it came to EMMA. In fact, it is often striking how often “God” sounds just like someone named Joseph Smith would sound. Perhaps that is due to the fact that God and Joseph were so close and all.

Yes, you are quite the disciple of Joseph, aren’t you? God is far more liberal and all that. Didn’t work well with Nancy, but no worry, it worked fine with others. I imagine that this is also something you relish. Oh, goodie. You may have to restrain yourself and limit yourself to one wife in this life (and lord knows there must be so many groupies who would throw themselves at you if you were willing), but no worry. You’ll be compensated in the next life. But I bet that GOD will sound a lot like Will Schryver, and draw the line at the idea of your wife having more than one so-called husband.

beastie
Quote:
God bestows many "privileges" among his alpha males.


Will
Quote:
Yes He does. And I am personally gratified that it bothers you so much. But don’t you worry, in the resurrection there will be no “alpha males” who will have any desire for your “Barbie doll-like” immortal body. I mean, I’m sure you’ll be nice to look at – but you’ll be good for nothing when it comes to the things that matter most. ;-)


Darn. That Super Spiritual Detector must be getting rusty, Will. You failed yet once again. The last time it apparently whispered in your ear that I was still a member of your church, and you could tease me by threatening to call my “bishop”. This time it’s whispering in your ear that “it bothers me”. It doesn’t bother me in the least. It is patently idiotic. It bothers me about as much as the idea of thetans invading my thoughts bothers me. The idea that any of this Mormon nonsense could possibly be true concerns me about as much as finding out that Santa really does live at the North Pole and has placed me on the “naughty” list.

No, Will. Let me help you since your Uber Spiritual Detector appears to be on the blink. I engage in this with you not because it bothers me, but rather because it entertains me when defenders of the faith such as yourself actually admit, out loud, what the crux of Mormonism really is.

The Big Boss rewarding his Alpha Male Dogs with access to more females.

Now that is an idea worthy of worship. Or, at least, it’s worthy of worship for some sexually frustrated man who lusts after a more “fruitful” eternity.

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I’m quite confident that you have no idea what most Mormons, chapel or otherwise, think about these things. I think you’d be surprised at how literally most believing Latter-day Saints view the precept that “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s …” Believe me, most of them understand clearly what one does with a body of flesh and bones. They also understand that:


LOL. Of course Mormons believe god has a penis. Cuz, you know, it just makes sense for an immortal, perfected male body with a penis to stick that penis in an immortal, perfected female body and conceive… a “spirit child”.

But tell me, do Mormons also believe God stuck that penis in Mary?

Quote:
They also believe that Joseph Smith knew exactly what he was talking about when he gave the interpretation of the following image:


You live in a fantasy world. You just don’t realize it isn’t limited to the stage. You live in a fantasy world of magic rocks, and where God is some sort of mafia boss who will reward your loyalty with more poontang one day.

But apparently even that bizarre fantasy world is preferable to the reality that would otherwise face you.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:16 pm 
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I will at least try and help you see the sense--though such is near impossible with your closed mind. The "garbage in" is YOUR convoluted filtering (for example, see the "Beastie-isms" noted above and below) of a broad range of sources (Shermer included).


You are a dolt, wade. That makes zero sense. My “filtering” would precisely be the “garbage out”. Just admit that you used a silly expression without thinking about what it actually meant.

Quote:
I can understand how you may not be able to make sense of what I said, particularly when you can't even accurately remember what you asked. You apparently forgot that you had included the key universal adverb "completely" in both of your questions to me. Given this universal adverb, I answered both your questions correctly by saying, "no". However, for the purposes of clarification (not to be confused with weeping and gnashing), I answered "yes" using the qualifiers: "a portion" and "some". Strange, that for someone who purports to teach comprehension skills, you apparently overlooked these key differentiators/qualifiers.


My question:
Quote:
Do intelligent people believe in completely erroneous belief systems, wade? And are they inclined to defend their completely erroneous belief systems?


So no one, in this whole wide world, believes in a completely erroneous belief system nor do they defend it?

You see, wade, I was trying to close a weasel phrase. Sadly, after years of experience dealing with apologists and TBMs, I’ve learned you have to close weasel phrases. I didn’t want you to weasel out of my point by focusing on the very minor parts that of their belief systems that you would label “correct”.

But since you’re resistant to closing weasel phrases, we’ll go with your “portion” and “some”. As long as you concede that intelligent people can, and do, defend AN erroneous belief, then the point is made.

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No. I take minor exception to the disrespectful words such as "weird" and "notsmart" as well as the way they were used. I respectfully believe that intelligent people can come to different beliefs from me, and I believe they do so through "smart" (or reasonable) means, which they then may use to defend their beliefs. I can respect, though, if Shermer believes differently…

No, I don't concede that. I am not sure if I correctly understand the Scientology notion of "Thetans" sufficiently to even determine the degree to which, or the way (if any), that I may disagree with it, let alone sufficient to deem it "erroneous" in my opinion. Certainly, though, I am disinclined to say that this belief is derived through "notsmart" reasons. I trust that it is rational, and based on their respective beliefs/premises--which they may likewise use to defend that belief.


Look at where Mormon apologetics has brought you, Wade. Unwilling to even concede that beliefs may, in fact, be erroneous, and yes, weird.

_________________
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:48 pm 
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According to Smith, she then tries to murder him, twice. Later, she vicariously assents to his death.

Then again, Emma was quite emotionally volatile at times . . .


---Not so difficult to understand reading through "Mormon Enigma"...

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And I believe he was engaging in sophisticated word play when he employed the “I can only find one” in referring to his multiple wives.


---Well, I guess "engaging in sophisticated word play" is one way to euphemize it. Whatever works, right?

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On the other hand, I understand and well appreciate the necessity of attempting to conceal, for as long as possible, the early practice of plural marriage in Nauvoo. I’m not bothered, in the least, by anything Joseph Smith did in that respect.


---Why do you keep changing the subject? No one cares "whether you're bothered". It's completely not the point. The point is that in the polygamy case, he lied to others aggressively, easily, repeatedly, and convincingly; and that speaks to - well, his ability to lie aggressively, easily, repeatedly, and convincingly. I'm not sure why that should be so difficult for you to concede in Smith's case, since you would concede it, I presume, in any other man's case. Hm.

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And I’m quite amused by the feigned (or otherwise) “visceral moral outrage” of the exmos who pound their bully pulpits in mock piety when it comes to this topic.


---Once again you change the subject. 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.

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

It seems rather telling that you keep making this about Smith's sex life per se, when it's not about that. It's like lefties whining about how Republicans were hung up on "Clinton's sex life", when for most conservatives, it wasn't about that at all - it was about his credibility as a witness (in that case, a civil sexual harrassment suit launced by Paula Jones).

I'm not criticizing Smith here for an open or polygamous marriage. This is about one case in which you concede Smith "concealed the truth" (another nice euphemism). Well YES, William - he DID conceal the truth. And he did so over and over again, unblinkingly. You can turn his May 1844 sermon into a comedy routine if you want; yet the point, which you actually DO concede, is that Smith was very talented at...how did you put it? "Concealing the truth" and "engaging in sophisticated wordplay". Well YES. Of course.

And as long as we keep telling ourselves right after that that there was "no harm in that" - which is again, to change the subject - maybe we can just keep on believing. 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, in a tiny little box, and not let them raise questions about what else he may have gone to outrageous lengths to perpetuate, we're still sort of safe, aren't we? But the truth is, that in any investigation of Mormonism, Smith's reliability as a source about his religious experiences is an issue. After all, William - 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?

See? At some point, Smith's reliability is a big, fat issue, and that is just inescapable.

Quote:
And I say, good for him! If I were married to multiple women, I’d make sure to get around to each of them as often as possible.


---So what if he did? That's so not the point here.

Quote:
By the way, is this your biggest problem with Joseph Smith? You’re outraged by his practice of plural marriage, and therefore you’re certain he lied about everything else? Amazing.


---Tut tut, William.

Since you seemed to miss it in the rest of my posts, here it is again:

The morality or immorality of plural marriage is entirely irrelevant to my points here. But even if it was relevant, my view wouldn't matter, since I couldn't possibly care less if some dude 170 years ago had a polygamous marriage with consenting adults. I couldn't care less if a dude (or woman) does that NOW. I don't care if my neighbours are swingers; I don't care if you're a swinger. I don't care if a guy's celibate or anything else. As long as the participants are consenting adults, I couldn't care less. I think the Edmunds-Tucker Act was a joke, and I think polygamy between consenting ADULTS shouldn't be illegal now. I couldn't care less about the "marriages" or the sex itself.

But plural marriage is not the issue here, is it, William? We could be talking about any other topic about which Smith engaged in "concealment", and it would raise the same questions about trustworthiness.

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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After all, William, as believing Mormons, we could find out that Joseph Smith roasted and ate small children, or was a serial rapist, and still find a way to make that okay, couldn't we? The argument would go like this:

"The Prophet may have roasted and eaten small children; but that doesn't mean he didn't see God, or translate golden plates. I am content to leave the judging in the Lord's hands. No one ever said the prophets were perfect".

No problem, is it?

Now I understand why you have so assiduously avoided doing battle with any of the “heavyweights” in LDS apologetics. Your shtick works well as a solo act, but put it up against anyone with even a basic understanding of logic and argumentation, and you start looking pretty silly pretty fast.


---Oooooh lol. Arg. That is enough to make me wince in sympathy.

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. You may be interested to know that he also publicly refused to debate the question "Was Joseph Smith trustworthy" with Bob McCue.

I'm happy to talk to anyone on here about Mormonism, and I've made that clear repeatedly. It is only your heroes who have "assiduously avoided doing battle", William. And if you don't believe me, look up the thread I'm referring to, started by Tarski, last year, about epistemology. You'll find it in the archives here, no doubt. You'll need a while to read through it all, though.

I actually feel bad breaking the news! (I must be going soft :P)

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So if we only stick to orthodox sources, we must conclude (regardless of whether God approved) that:

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Joseph Smith aggressively, repeatedly, and convincingly lied about a supposedly important religious experience involving an angel and revelations from God.

You may certainly conclude (and obviously have) anything you choose. But, as I stated quite plainly in my previous posts, your conclusion is not shared by everyone possessing an equal or greater knowledge of the primary source materials. Nor did the overwhelming majority of his intimate contemporaries – with some notable exceptions, of course – conclude that Joseph Smith was engaged in deceptive, immoral behavior when it came to his practice of plural marriage.


---Once again, the "MORALITY" of Smith's sexual life, or even of his deception - sorry, "concealment" - about it, is NOT AT ISSUE HERE, WILLIAM. It's not the point. The point is the deception itself, and what kind of deception it was, and about what sort of thing. NOT whether God "approved" of it, or whether you approve of it, or whether I approve of it. Let's stay on point.

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Again, I ask, is this whole plural marriage thing the origin of your well-developed disbelief in Joseph Smith?


---Stop embarrasing yourself, bro.

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Now that I think about it, I guess it would make sense -- if that is the case. You know, the principle of projection and all...


---There's an old saying in politics: "never interfere with your opponent when he's making himself look bad". So I'm keeping mum after this one!

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I would say, stop announcing, in lieu of rational discourse, that you "know" that those who disagree with you are guilty of heinous sins.
Did I accuse you of heinous sins, dear Talmage? Remind me where I did that. I must have missed it. Not that I doubt, in the least, that you are guilty of heinous sins. Aren’t we all?


---Ah, of course - you didn't use the word "heinous", but merely insinuated as much. I stand corrected!

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As for the general principle to which I alluded, I stand by it: Those who accuse Joseph Smith of transgression do so, almost without exception, because they are the “children of disobedience themselves.” I’m sure, in your particular case, the accusation is apt. But I couldn’t care less what your favorite sins are.


---So let's see, William: You care enough about my sins to do the old character assassination smear routine, but all of a sudden, when pressed for details, you don't care about them anymore. Is it the Holy Spirit who tells you to behave this way? (Is public smearing "holy"?).

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… we started out here with you taking issue with my claim that Mormon belief relies on a denial of the constraints imposed on what we may justifiably believe by empiricism and logic. Yet you continue to affirm just that point, just using different language.


Your failure to understand the arguments is more a reflection on the rigidity of your current dogma than it is an indictment of the arguments themselves. Nevertheless, for the sake of our readers, I will reaffirm what I have consistently argued: my beliefs do not rely on a denial (implicit or otherwise) of “constraints imposed … by empiricism and logic.”


---So then, taking you at your word, let me ask you then: What is Mormonism's falsifiability test? If Mormonism actually were a fraud, how would you know?. I'd like an answer to that.

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It is quite popular, in exmo circles, to insinuate just the opposite. And in your case the real problem is (as I have cited repeatedly above) your inherent inability to understand the “principle of revelation” to which I have referred. You are left with only a single avenue of investigation when it comes to these things: the sophic. And since you axiomatically reject even the possibility of a mantic avenue of approach to such questions, we are forever destined to reach an impasse.


---But if in fact, as you imply, both the sophic and mantic approaches embrace the constraints imposed on what we may justifiably believe by empiricism and logic, why ever would we reach an impasse? Or could it be, William...that in fact...there [i]is some deep, if perhaps as yet unidentified, rejection of just those constraints, on one or both of our parts? [/i]

And one follow-up I hope you will answer: Why does it even matter to you so much that Mormon belief might require an ultimate rejection of those constraints? Isn't that the whole point of a "leap of faith"? Why else are there all those "my ways are not your ways" sayings? Why else would Mormons have to "put things on the shelf"? Your position almost seems to be that not only IS Mormon belief compatible all the way down with those constraints, but that it must be. Why do you think it "must be", though?
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I have affirmed the fact that the “principle of revelation” consists of “more than a feeling”; that it involves the transmission of clearly-articulated intelligence. You simply ignore or deny the possibility of such a thing.


---I certainly don't ignore or deny the reality of the experience of believing that one is receiving transmissions of "clearly-articulated intelligence". I am also not denying or ignoring that such a thing is "possible".

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.

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Your appeal to Joseph Smith’s alleged duplicity and implied unreliability is really just a sideshow designed to argue that any “principle of revelation” that would sanction someone like him must be fatally flawed.


---Actually, no.

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Throwing in names like Jim Jones, Pol Pot, etc., is just your peculiarly-awkward method of poisoning the well, as it were.


---Funny how you left out Mother Theresa, who I also mentioned.

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But none of this impacts the question upon which our discussion commenced: can logic and empiricism exist comfortably alongside the “principle of revelation” to which I allude? I argue that they can and do; that the “principle of revelation” is not what you think it is at all. Your arguments amount to little more than rhetorical fiat – a tactic I’ve observed you employ quite often and to as minimal effect as you have achieved in this particular thread.


---You have once again shifted the goalposts here. I guess anything can exist "alongside" "the principle of revelation". I think what is fundamentally at issue here, though, isn't "alongsidedness", but whether Mormon belief, at its core, ultimately accepts or denies the constraints imposed by empiricism and logic. 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?


Last edited by Tal Bachman on Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by the way, Will, you must have a lot of admiration for Warren Jeffs. He's living the dream! He's even beat the record of Joseph Smith! All with the firm belief he has God's approval. Sounds like you hooked up with the wrong branch of Mormonism.

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Hey Beastie

I think you hung around on the long Tarski thread last year about epistemology - the one where Peterson once again refused to engage. What'd you make of poor William's triumphant claim about me being the one who assiduously avoids "battle" with Mormonism's apologetic heavies?

I actually feel sorry for the guy! It's like I'm starting to relive all my own sobering realizations of just how lame those guys really were....ouch.


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I think you hung around on the long Tarski thread last year about epistemology - the one where Peterson once again refused to engage. What'd you make of poor William's triumphant claim about me being the one who assiduously avoids "battle" with Mormonism's apologetic heavies?

I actually feel sorry for the guy! It's like I'm starting to relive all my own sobering realizations of just how lame those guys really were....ouch.


Yes, I remember it. This is par for the course for DCP. He rarely actually engages with critics in regards to the meat of the issue being discussed. He prefers witty one liners, peppered liberally with reminders that exmormons say really mean things about him.

I have seen DCP engage in the past. He usually doesn't fare very well, and often quickly retreats to the witticisms, expressing disdain for the critic in question. He's better off writing articles for FARMs, where he's not challenged.

I doubt that Will will have any sort of realization of how lame these apologists really are, however. Will gleefully believes in the most fanciful and frankly idiotic things. IMO, he prefers this "magic rock" and "future harem" fantasy land to mundane reality. I doubt any dose of reality can pry him from these cherished fantasies.

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beastie wrote:
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I think you hung around on the long Tarski thread last year about epistemology - the one where Peterson once again refused to engage. What'd you make of poor William's triumphant claim about me being the one who assiduously avoids "battle" with Mormonism's apologetic heavies?

I actually feel sorry for the guy! It's like I'm starting to relive all my own sobering realizations of just how lame those guys really were....ouch.


Yes, I remember it. This is par for the course for DCP. He rarely actually engages with critics in regards to the meat of the issue being discussed. He prefers witty one liners, peppered liberally with reminders that exmormons say really mean things about him.

I have seen DCP engage in the past. He usually doesn't fare very well, and often quickly retreats to the witticisms, expressing disdain for the critic in question. He's better off writing articles for FARMs, where he's not challenged.


He seems to definitely be phoning it in lately. I sometimes wonder if he even reads the threads on which he posts his witty, self deprecating sarcasm.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:48 pm 
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by the way, there are other examples that also demonstrate Tal's point. Joseph Smith was willing to lie about seeing magic treasures with the exact same stone that he used to "translate" the Book of Mormon. Of course, Will thinks that Joseph Smith really did see slippery treasures guarded by spooky ghosts underground, with the help of his magic rock, so this example may not work with him. It will work with most reasonable adults, however.

The second example that has always troubled me was Joseph Smith willingness to tell newly arrived immigrants that HIS swamp land was the "healthiest" land in Nauvoo, and he told them this IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. Yet he had previously called this same land a sickly death hole in a private correspondence to the man from whom he had purchased the land.

Whatever else he was or was not, I think it is clear that Joseph Smith was willing to lie about significant issues, and apparently was a convincing liar.

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beastie wrote:
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I will at least try and help you see the sense--though such is near impossible with your closed mind. The "garbage in" is YOUR convoluted filtering (for example, see the "Beastie-isms" noted above and below) of a broad range of sources (Shermer included).


You are a dolt, wade. That makes zero sense. My “filtering” would precisely be the “garbage out”. Just admit that you used a silly expression without thinking about what it actually meant.


Actually, the false conclusion you just came to is "garbage out", as is also most everything you post on these boards, including what you post below.

For those actually aware of the cognitive/communicative process, in terms of interpretation, one filters what comes IN to one's brain, not what come OUT (though, in your case, the world may be better served if you had a banality filter on what comes OUT--which would conceivable render you mute, if not moot) ;-)

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I can understand how you may not be able to make sense of what I said, particularly when you can't even accurately remember what you asked. You apparently forgot that you had included the key universal adverb "completely" in both of your questions to me. Given this universal adverb, I answered both your questions correctly by saying, "no". However, for the purposes of clarification (not to be confused with weeping and gnashing), I answered "yes" using the qualifiers: "a portion" and "some". Strange, that for someone who purports to teach comprehension skills, you apparently overlooked these key differentiators/qualifiers.


{quote]My question:
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Do intelligent people believe in completely erroneous belief systems, wade? And are they inclined to defend their completely erroneous belief systems?


So no one, in this whole wide world, believes in a completely erroneous belief system nor do they defend it?


There may well be someone or some people who do. But, I am not aware of them (hense, my previous reply: "Not that I am aware".)

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You see, wade, I was trying to close a weasel phrase. Sadly, after years of experience dealing with apologists and TBMs, I’ve learned you have to close weasel phrases. I didn’t want you to weasel out of my point by focusing on the very minor parts that of their belief systems that you would label “correct”.


It may help your attempts to close a so-called "weasel phrase" by NOT asking "skunky" questions that you later forget key portions thereof, and misguidedly think I am the one that can't comprehend, and then falsely blaming your investigative shortcomings onto me.

As it was, I previously closed the so-called "weasel phrase" for you (contrary to your banal assertion below) by helpfully giving the qualified answers to the rosy question you should have asked. But, you have been as "blind as a bat" in not seeing it.

I also closed the so-called "weasel phrase" just now (contrary to your banal assertion below) by answering your rephrased question. Hopefully, you won't forget again what you asked, and will finally get closure you have needed.

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But since you’re resistant to closing weasel phrases, we’ll go with your “portion” and “some”. As long as you concede that intelligent people can, and do, defend AN erroneous belief, then the point is made.


I concede (actually it is what I have contended all along) that intelligent people can and do reasonably believe and defend beliefs that differ from my own (and by implication are erronous in relation to my opinion--though in interfaith dialogue I have the good graces not to proactively assert such), if that is the point being made (though I doubt this round peg yet fits the square hole you seem intent on fitting it in).

Said another way, I believe that intelligent people may have erroneouus beliefs that they may defend.

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No. I take minor exception to the disrespectful words such as "weird" and "notsmart" as well as the way they were used. I respectfully believe that intelligent people can come to different beliefs from me, and I believe they do so through "smart" (or reasonable) means, which they then may use to defend their beliefs. I can respect, though, if Shermer believes differently…

No, I don't concede that. I am not sure if I correctly understand the Scientology notion of "Thetans" sufficiently to even determine the degree to which, or the way (if any), that I may disagree with it, let alone sufficient to deem it "erroneous" in my opinion. Certainly, though, I am disinclined to say that this belief is derived through "notsmart" reasons. I trust that it is rational, and based on their respective beliefs/premises--which they may likewise use to defend that belief.


Look at where Mormon apologetics has brought you, Wade. Unwilling to even concede that beliefs may, in fact, be erroneous, and yes, weird.


Actually, you have yet to state the issue using the passive voice ("may"). Had you done so, I would have been pleased to answer in the affirmative regarding "erroneous" (having done so already), though still choosing to decline conceding to the misleading use of the phrase "in fact" (since it is a matter of opinion) as well as the disrespectful word "weird" (which I do not illogically equate with "erroneous" like you do).

Perhaps if you take more thought for what Mormon apologetics may bring you (at least by me), you may yet learn how to intelligently and effectively phrase your questions, even if you later forget key portions of what you asked, and even if you misinterpret the answers as usual, and misdirect your blame for the breakdown in communication.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Indeed! As another poster recently eloquently stated, just shoot me in the head, please.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:41 pm 
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Tal Bachman wrote:
Hey Beastie

I think you hung around on the long Tarski thread last year about epistemology - the one where Peterson once again refused to engage. What'd you make of poor William's triumphant claim about me being the one who assiduously avoids "battle" with Mormonism's apologetic heavies?

I actually feel sorry for the guy! It's like I'm starting to relive all my own sobering realizations of just how lame those guys really were....ouch.


I'm amused by those who speak of alleged "triumphant claims" of others, as they, themselves, proceed to verbally strut, with dramatic flare (sobering?) and condescending pity, before those of like minds and in presumed desparate need of mutually favorable nods of affirmation. Tis good that Tal and Beastie have each other. ;-)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:17 am 
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Ok, Wade, let's test your weaseling skills with this one:

The NAMBLA organization teaches that it's beneficial to young boys to have sex with older men.

Do you concede that this is, in fact, a totally erroneous idea?

Do you concede that intelligent men may actually believe this totally erroneous idea?

Do you concede that these intelligent men who believe this totally erroneous idea have formed this belief as a result of a process that has nothing to do with their intelligence?

Do you concede that, while this belief was formed in a process that has nothing to do with their intelligence, these same intelligent men may use their intelligence and skills to defend this belief?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:40 am 
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Actually, the false conclusion you just came to is "garbage out", as is also most everything you post on these boards, including what you post below.

For those actually aware of the cognitive/communicative process, in terms of interpretation, one filters what comes IN to one's brain, not what come OUT (though, in your case, the world may be better served if you had a banality filter on what comes OUT--which would conceivable render you mute, if not moot) ;-)


Of course we filter what comes IN. But it becomes garbage AFTER that filtering.

This is how little sense your statement makes.

Person X reads the Book of Mormon and decides that this scripture means that God sanctions bigotry and bias against people with dark skins.

In the world at large (ie, the nonwade world) if someone said "garbage in, garbage out", that would mean that the Book of Mormon itself is garbage. Therefore, it is no surprise when garbage is produced as a result of reading it.

In wade's world, to say "garbage in, garbage out" doesn't mean that the Book of Mormon itself is garbage, but rather that the FILTERING process is garbage. Of course, the FILTERING process is what produces what comes OUT.....and that's what the second "garbage" refers to... but then the first "garbage" refers to it, too....so the "garbage IN" doesn't refer to what actually comes IN to the brain, but the FILTERING of the brain.. but the FILTER doesn't come IN to the brain, it's just the brain's process itself....

and at that point, the person trying to understand wade's world will have the same expression as my avatar.

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by the way, Wade, I'm going to nag you with these questions over and over, so you might as well bite the bullet and answer them.



The NAMBLA organization teaches that it's beneficial to young boys to have sex with older men.

Do you concede that this is, in fact, a totally erroneous idea?

Do you concede that intelligent men may actually believe this totally erroneous idea?

Do you concede that these intelligent men who believe this totally erroneous idea have formed this belief as a result of a process that has nothing to do with their intelligence?

Do you concede that, while this belief was formed in a process that has nothing to do with their intelligence, these same intelligent men may use their intelligence and skills to defend this belief?

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