The histrionics on this thread say something about how people deal with proof and evidence---particularly when proof and evidence do not support their cherished beliefs.
Ray Agostini and stemelbow are having kittens about this supposed hypocrisy I have in complaining about how Mopologists treat other members of the Church when I supposedly "do nothing but attack LDS folks." But I never made that complaint. In fact, I said that I don't particularly care about that issue.
Darth J wrote:
I'll post more on this in a bit, but the "un-Christlike" aspect of ad homimen attacks by Mopologists was not the real issue for me. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=23857&start=84
Stemelbow has no evidence whatsoever to support his endless, tiresome meme that I am just "hostile" to "LDS folks" (as a side note, see how he lapses back into his faux country boy persona when he is trolling, but abandons it when he wants to be taken seriously). I said something recently to MercyandGrace that was very complimentary about her character. I disagree with Brant Gardner's ideas about the Book of Mormon, but I think he is a decent person. You, dear reader, are not going to find any examples of my being hostile to Consiglieri, or Nevo, or Wiki Wonka (I specifically said that he's a good guy), or David Bokovoy. Here's another thing I've said about Mormons:
Darth J wrote:
That the LDS Church is involved is particularly disappointing, because the Church really does do a lot of humanitarian work when it puts its mind to it. And most Latter-day Saints, in my experience, tend to be kind and decent people who wouldn't feel good about demolishing a motel where poor people are living just to let the land lie vacant until Jesus' next business venture can be thought of. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=16021&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=294
In fact, as demonstrated by a quote from me that Ray has provided in this thread, I've been quite explicit that my comments about stemelbow are about him personally, not because he's a Mormon. But the abundance of evidence against stemelbow's "you just hate Mormons" meme, and the lack of evidence in favor of it, has neither stopped him nor slowed him down. The "you just hate Mormons" thing tends to increase in proportion to stemelbow's inability to address evidentiary problems with Mormonism's truth claims. Stemelbow, like an unfortunately large proportion of true believers, cannot distinguish between gainsaying of his cherished beliefs and a "personal attack." So we see at work here a time-honored fallacy for handling troublesome evidence: the red herring. Not only is "you just hate Mormons" a red herring, it is a complete fabrication.
Ray, who has now abandoned even the pretense of being rational, has repeatedly asserted that I am a pseudoskeptic because I dispute his cherished beliefs about space aliens visiting the Earth. Yet, as the evidence I provided shows, I specifically said I do not completely eliminate the possibility that space aliens exist or they have come to this planet. I just have no reliable, credible evidence that would lead me to believe those claims. That means I am not a pseduoskeptic, but Ray continues to say so even when he has been shown uncontested proof that his assertion is wrong.
Ray also has decided that I am a "liar." About what, God only knows, since Ray does not appear inclined to provide any evidence in support of his assertion. He's also incensed about alleged personal attacks on Daniel Peterson in this thread, even though I haven't made any personal attacks at all on Daniel Peterson in this thread.
Then there's Static, who is so totally not Simon Belmont that the moderators removed that picture I put up. His way of handling troublesome evidentiary issues about the faith-promoting narrative is not to handle such issues at all, but instead is so desperate to score any point of any kind that he wants to argue about whether a subset is or is not its own set regarding a role-playing game from the 1970's and 80's. I will give him this, though: in terms of ontology, relevance to the real world, and substance, his desire to argue about whether illusionists are their own class in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is indistinguishable from arguing about missing Book of Abraham scrolls or why the Book of Mormon talks about horses.
We're not robots. It's natural and expected that people will have emotional reactions to certain kinds of evidence about certain kinds of claims. But one of the main differences between a rational person and an irrational person is that a rational person determines what the evidence is, draws a conclusion therefrom, and then has whatever reaction he or she is going to have. An irrational person, by contrast, is governed almost entirely by emotion and logical fallacy. The behaviors described above are examples of that.
Coincidentally, the method of epistemology advocated by the LDS Church is the sacralization of irrationality. You're not supposed to determine that the Church is true based on evidence, and then it will make you feel good. Rather, you are supposed to feel good and leap to the conclusion that your subjective emotional state is proof of the claims of objective fact embedded in the Church's truth claims (that the Nephite and Jaredite civilizations really existed, that the Book of Abraham is an ancient document, that the human race began 6,000 years ago in Missouri, etc.). And so things like the Testimony of the Eight Witnesses are irrelevant under the Church's own methodology of determining "truth." "This proves that Joseph Smith had plates that some unqualified lay people thought looked ancient and had inscriptions on them!" So? James Strang also had plates that looked ancient and had inscriptions on them. So did Wilbur Fugate (that's one of the Kinderhook guys). But the Church touts the testimonial of the Eight Witnesses anyway. The Church draws near to evidence with its lips, but its mind is far from it; having a form of rationality, but denying the power thereof.