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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Paul Osborne wrote:
Dr. Shades wrote:
Do you still believe that President Monson is a true prophet of God, Paul?


Yes I do. But, I'm not happy that, he, along with the rest of them, has passed the ball off to school teachers to explain things that they can't properly explain. I would say that to his face. If I was the prophet, I wouldn't do that. Either I'd get the revelation to tell the saints or I'd tell saints I don't have the revelation. Then let the saints take what they will on faith. But oh my goodness, please don't elevate school teachers above the level of prophets! That is what has happened in the church. People listen to Nibley about the BofA and KEP and not prophets because they have duct tape on their mouths.

Paul O

Careful what you wish for, Paul. It would be tragic if Monson came out and endorsed the missing papyrus theory!

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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:31 pm 
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And then it only works half the time.


Half the time is better than no time at all. Your husband is a lucky man!

Paul O


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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:38 pm 
Quote:
Careful what you wish for, Paul. It would be tragic if Monson came out and endorsed the missing papyrus theory!


I can assure you he won't do that. That would be a real black mark on the church and I don't think God will put up with that right now. Besides, if he did, I would simply pray about it and complain to the Lord about how bad things are these days. Then, in his own good time, the Lord would fix it.

The missing roll theory can go to hell.

Paul O


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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:40 pm 
Valiant B
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CaliforniaKid wrote:
I have read them, and I am actually quite aware that Gee understands the basic outlines of the critics' position. I was using irony to turn his own accusation against him, and my statement was not meant to be taken literally.

A poor way to argue your point in this venue, but whatever.

CaliforniaKid wrote:
Actually, I think that if Gee understands our position and chooses to misrepresent it then that's actually more problematic than if he simply misunderstood it, don't you?

You presume that detractors have a single, unified set of criticisms against the Book of Abraham--which they don’t. As I had just said in my previous post, "Most critics that I’ve encountered assume that merely by proving that the Book of Breathings portions of the scrolls are not the Book of Abraham that they’ve somehow settled the entire issue." For whatever reason, you failed to respond to that portion of my post, and yet it’s just as relevant now since Gee was obviously referring to this perceived majority of critics.

CaliforniaKid wrote:
What he said, at least according to LOAP's notes, was that they are uneducated and not relatively bright. That's quite different from saying that they aren't trained in Egyptology.

The "uneducated" bit is likely referring to education in the relevant field of Egyptology, on which point Gee is absolutely correct. And the "relatively bright" bit makes me smile, as I have little doubt that Gee has had to deal with even more idiots than I have when entering into apologetics on the matter.

CaliforniaKid wrote:
Not that Egyptology makes much difference anyway when one is evaluating the eyewitness evidence about how much papyrus Joseph Smith originally had in his possession.
Sethbag wrote:
I don't see what Egyptology really even has to do with the arguments that the apologists are left with. There's only the weakest of links between Egyptology and the missing scroll theory, ie: speculations on how much longer the scroll might have been. That's about it. What has Egyptology got to contribute to "the scribes did it", or the catalyst theory, or the mnemonic device theory?

By pulling actual Egyptologists into the debate, are they going to rescue Joseph Smith's explanation of the facsimile and the characters on it, that we know to have been attached to the BoB, and not to translate out to what Joseph Smith said it did? Hardly. If anything, Egyptologists simply confirm that nothing that the church possesses today, including the original of that facsimile, has really much of any resemblance at all to what Smith said it was.

I guess I'm not seeing your point, Manfred. Sure, Gee has a doctorate in Egyptology. Fat lot of good it does him, however, when he's stuck trying to defend the Book of Abraham using arguments that really have little or nothing to do with Egyptology.

Off the top of my head, I’d say that beyond being able to tell us what average scroll lengths were, or just how long we could reasonably expect scrolls to be, Egyptologsts can also provide information on whether long scrolls tend to contain more than one text, whether vignettes from one text end up next to or within another text, whether there are any other extant vignettes comparable to those found in the JSP that relate themselves in some way to Abraham, how much vignettes tend to change over time when copied from scribe to scribe, and so on...

Do you honestly believe that an Egyptologist can’t bring anything to the table of apologetics here, or are you simply attempting to downplay Gee given the startling absence of any qualified Egyptologists arguing against him?

Sethbag wrote:
Find me the colleagues or teachers of his in Egyptology that actually respect and agree with his Book of Abraham apologetics. Are there any other PhD Egyptologists in the world willing to say there's the remotest chance the contents of the KEP have anything to do with what the Book of Abraham contains?

Again, find me an Egyptologist (and not one who purchased their degree through a diploma-mill) who’s familiarized himself with the issue and provided conclusions contrary to Gee’s. How many non-Mormon Egyptologists have even bothered to look into this in the first place?


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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Manfred,

If Gee really was including in the category of "critics" everyone who dislikes or disbelieves in the Church, as you seem to imply, then he may have a point. Most such people don't know much about the Book of Abraham debate and can hardly be expected to. But why is he responding to such people in an academic presentation? Normally when an upper-tier apologist speaks of "the critics", everyone assumes he is referring to his peers: the upper-tier critics.

Similarly, if I asserted in an article that most apologists claim Joseph Smith never had more than one wife, you would laugh in my face. Never mind that in my experience a majority of lay-Mormons are completely unaware of Smith's polygamy and will argue vociferously that he was monogamous if challenged on the subject. It would hardly make sense for me to lump such people together under the header of "apologists" in an academic publication, even if they might fit a basic definition of the word. In fact, if I refer in an article to "apologists" for Smith's polygamy then it's safe to say that I have no more than about a dozen people in mind, all of them credentialed and most of them published, themselves.

This assumption that people talk to their peers means that when someone like Gee refers to "most critics" without clarifying that he is referring to the unwashed masses, Gee's peers can hardly be blamed for taking offense or feeling that their views have been misconstrued. At best, Gee has committed something of a faux pas. At worst, he has used a little sleight of hand to score a cheap point against the real critics.

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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:07 pm 
Quote:
Again, find me an Egyptologist (and not one who purchased their degree through a diploma-mill) who’s familiarized himself with the issue and provided conclusions contrary to Gee’s. How many non-Mormon Egyptologists have even bothered to look into this in the first place?


http://www.geocities.com/martsego/Mormons.html

Paul O


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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:34 pm 
Valiant B
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We’re not talking about a book that Gee wrote, or a review of any specific critic’s work, or a concise article that he wrote on any particular issue. What we have here is a transcript of a lecture that Gee gave in which he advised Mormons on how to deal with the average critic that they’d likely run into. What do we expect from this? In CaliforniaKid’s case, too much.


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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:51 pm 
God

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Manfredjinsinjin wrote:
What do we expect from this?


The truth would be too much to expect.

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 Post subject: Re: John Gee's FAIR talk
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:28 pm 
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Manfred wrote:
What do we expect from this? In CaliforniaKid’s case, too much.

No doubt. :rolleyes:

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