Darth J wrote:
The answer is no.
Interesting. So on what basis do you not doubt the existence of plates? As you said you don't doubt that there were plates.
You are also continuing to mischaracterize the issue. WHY did Joseph Smith show some plates to the Eight Witnesses? It was not simply to prove he had some metal plates. If that's the end of your story, then big deal. Show them to everyone on Earth. But that isn't what Joseph Smith was trying to get people to believe. He was trying to convince people that he had plates made by the ancient Nephites that an angel gave him and that he translated by miraculous means. The testimony of the Eight Witnesses was supposed to corroborate this claim, not simply, "Yes, Joseph has some metal plates. The End."
BUt first he had to establish there were ancient looking plates with writings on them. That is the purpose, it seems clear to me, for the testimony of the 8 Witnesses.
And you are continuing to misrepresent what their testimony actually was. They said they they saw as many leaves as Joseph translated. That is an affirmative statement that an event had happened, and they had no possible way of knowing whether he had in fact translated the plates they were shown.
It's not misrepresenting. Perhaps you and I disagree a little. I do not see the wording of saying they saw the plates, as many as were translated, as an attempt to affirm correct or useful translation, but as a way of describing that they saw each plate.
The method and circumstances that Joseph Smith used to procure the Testimony of the Eight Witnesses is consistent with a con game. Showing a prop to a select group of intimates under carefully controlled circumstances, and then using a testimonial to try to get other people to believe your claim, is standard operating procedure for a con artist. The OP you didn't understand, the blog post you didn't read, and the follow-ups that sailed over your head are all about distinguishing between proof and evidence. So, for the third time, are you willing to admit that the Testimony of the Eight Witnesses is evidence that the Book of Mormon is a hoax?