_____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers"

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Mister Scratch
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_____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers"

Post by Mister Scratch »

[MODERATOR NOTE: Keene recently dropped the hammer, which you can read about here. Therefore, I have to edit out IRL information that a person requests be edited out.]

I was perusing over at the FAIR-affiliated FARMS recently, and came across this article. I may perhaps add it to the blog eventually, if I can ever determine how it fits. But in any case, I thought it was an interesting demonstration of FARMS-style rhetoric, or what DCP has recently describes as "just more ad hominems." Anyways, a few choice quotes (you can count the ad hominems and straw men, if you'd like):


The Anti-Mormon Attackers
_____

A further self-recommendation is found in the author's introduction, which is titled, "Aggressive Apologetics: The Growing Mormon Mission." "Holding"1 takes up the theme introduced by Mosser and Owen's essay on the need for better quality evangelical apologetics2 and promises to deliver the goods in the form of "top-notch Biblical scholarship" (p. 10). This level of self-certification makes no concessions to false modesty. Whatever the actual quality of the scholarship here, the author certainly thinks it is formidable.

(bold emphasis added)

The book has a distinct apologetic handbook feel, with the key points being reiterated in summary form at the end of each chapter. This provides the reader with a useful way to survey quickly what Holding thinks he has proven in those chapters.




In contrast to this approach, Holding becomes a staunch and loyal enthusiast for majority opinion or scholarship as soon as it suits his purposes.


Holding cannot claim to be ignorant of the relevant literature since he refers to it,4 yet he fails entirely to interact with it. Is this his idea of "top-notch scholarship"?


A detailed critique of his arguments would run to many pages and would be tedious.


Holding has at least made an effort to justify this assumption with something resembling a structured argument, but that argument turns out, upon inspection, to be fatally flawed by its tendentiousness.
(Isn't this called "Begging the Question"? I.e., "The argument is flawed because it is flawed."?)

I thought this was hilarious:

Where this book really does improve on some of those of its predecessors is in its tone. It neither bristles with hostility, as most earlier productions do, nor drips with insincere, condescending friendliness, as some of the more recent efforts do.
(emphasis added)

This too:
I saw none of the usual accusations of "dishonesty" that conservative Protestant anti-Mormons tend to fling at Latter-day Saints for failing to describe our own faith in terms amenable to the hostile caricatures our opponents have fashioned and prefer. His approach is businesslike and his tone scholarly.
(emphasis added)

Does this remind anyone of FAIR?

He shifts his ground from chapter to chapter and from topic to topic as he keeps his focus on whatever angle of attack seems most profitable at the time.


All in all, I thought this was a very interesting article, which is easily accessible via google. It seems a good example of the smear tactics of which FAIR and FARMS are so fond.

[/quote]
Last edited by Mister Scratch on Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Runtu
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Post by Runtu »

Oh, wait. At first I thought Pahoran was summarizing his style of apologetics.

I wonder if his sense of irony was washed away at his baptism?

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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers&qu

Post by asbestosman »

Mister Scratch wrote:
Holding has at least made an effort to justify this assumption with something resembling a structured argument, but that argument turns out, upon inspection, to be fatally flawed by its tendentiousness.
(Isn't this called "Begging the Question"? I.e., "The argument is flawed because it is flawed."?)


I don't think so. Isn't he saying that the article is flawed because of its bias (it does not fairly consider a reasonable, opposing point of view)?
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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers"

Post by harmony »

Isn't he saying that the article is flawed because of its bias (it does not fairly consider a reasonable, opposing point of view)?


Which pretty much describes the FARMS articles I've read.

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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers"

Post by wenglund »

Scratch: All in all, I thought this was a very interesting article, which is easily accessible via google. It seems a good example of the smear tactics of which FAIR and FARMS are so fond.


Nothing you quoted of _____ can in any reasonable way be viewed as a "smear". As such, and ironically, you are the one doing the smearing of FAIR and FARMS, if not _____.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Post by Rollo Tomasi »

Runtu wrote:Oh, wait. At first I thought Pahoran was summarizing his style of apologetics.

Me, too.

Hey, _____, what's the real deal?
"Moving beyond apologist persuasion, LDS polemicists furiously (and often fraudulently) attack any non-traditional view of Mormonism. They don't mince words -- they mince the truth."

-- Mike Quinn, writing of the FARMSboys, in "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View," p. x (Rev. ed. 1998)

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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers&am

Post by Mister Scratch »

wenglund wrote:
Scratch: All in all, I thought this was a very interesting article, which is easily accessible via google. It seems a good example of the smear tactics of which FAIR and FARMS are so fond.


Nothing you quoted of _____ can in any reasonable way be viewed as a "smear". As such, and ironically, you are the one doing the smearing of FAIR and FARMS, if not _____.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


_____ is a hack and a wannabe. A thing such as a review is pretty small potatoes, and his poor attempt at logic and exegesis in this instance are remarkably lame. I suspect that what we're seeing in this article is somebody trying to make an impact---i.e., someone who wants to impress the more "bonafide" scholars at FAIR, and yet who is failing pretty miserably. Of course, there are other ways to get people's attention....

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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers&am

Post by wenglund »

Mister Scratch wrote:_____ is a hack and a wannabe. A thing such as a review is pretty small potatoes, and his poor attempt at logic and exegesis in this instance are remarkably lame. I suspect that what we're seeing in this article is somebody trying to make an impact---i.e., someone who wants to impress the more "bonafide" scholars at FAIR, and yet who is failing pretty miserably. Of course, there are other ways to get people's attention....


Thanks for further demonstrating my point. -Wade Englund-

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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers&am

Post by Mister Scratch »

wenglund wrote:Thanks for further demonstrating my point. -Wade Englund-


Oh, I see! You're holding up your mirror again. And thus, by mirroring Pahoran, you yourself have become a slobbering, bootlicking ass-kisser. Bravo, Wade! Yet another coup!

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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers&am

Post by OUT OF MY MISERY »

Mister Scratch wrote:Oh, I see! You're holding up your mirror again. And thus, by mirroring Pahoran, you yourself have become a slobbering, bootlicking ass-kisser. Bravo, Wade! Yet another coup!


I am laughing out loud !!!!!!!!!
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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers"

Post by Pahoran »

coffeecat wrote:I am laughing out loud !!!!!!!!!


You find foul-mouthed, abusive trash-talk amusing, do you?

Regards,
Pahoran

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Post by Kevin Graham »

== You find foul-mouthed, abusive trash-talk amusing, do you?

Apparently your fans do.

For those interested, JP Holding wrote up a response to Pahoran's "review" and it can be accessed here:

http://www.tektonics.org/mordef/funnyfarm.html

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Post by Runtu »

That is a pretty devastating (and accurate) summary of _____'s review. But it's par for the course: derisive misreadings, attribution of sinister motives, and simple ad hominem. I wouldn't have expected anything less.

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Post by gramps »

Wow! Devastating is right. I think I will go over and read Pahoran's piece now. I am intrigued. Thanks Mr. Scratch for the heads up and to Kevin for the link. Wow!

What's your bet that Pahoran won't be invited to do another review for sometime?
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FARMS Reviews the New Testament

Post by Runtu »

I posted this on RfM and thought it was applicable here. I wondered what a FARMS book review of the New Testament would look like (and no, this isn't aimed at Brother _____ or anyone else).

FARMS Review of Books

"The New Testament"

Reviewed by Daniel Midgley-Welch

"The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11).

Every generation has its rebels, who seek to overthrow the previous generations values and traditions, often resulting in great upheaval and destruction. Ironically, the cycles of history usually mean that a newer generation will react against the original rebels and begin the cycle again. Such is the case with the ironically titled "New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

In a sense, this title tells us all we need to know about this upstart volume. Given the bold proclamation of a new testament, one wonders what was wrong with the old one? And the brazen attempt to associate the book with the Savior is astounding; someone apparently has an inflated sense of self-worth.

The book purports to recount the life and ministry of one Jesus of Nazareth (also referred to as "the Savior" and the "Son of God"--make up your mind, already) and then the later work of his disciples. If this is so, why the disjointed nature of the book? Couldn't the authors have come up with a compelling yet cohesive narrative? The first four books (pretentiously called "gospels") repeat the same story, as if the authors are so insecure that they need to repeat themselves; or perhaps they disdain their readers, who they believe are not capable of basic reading comprehension after only pass through the story. The remainder of the book is a hodgepodge of travel narrative, victimology, and "epistles" (why can't they just be straightforward and call them letters?). The number of increasingly smaller letters betrays a need to substitute volume for substance, as if ten verbose letters are better than one concise one. And the final book is so bizarre that it's worth recounting only for comic relief; one imagines that hallucinogenic drugs were involved (which shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the anti-Mormon crowd).

The first book (the "Gospel of Matthew") begins with a tedious recitation of Jesus' alleged genealogy, a clear appeal to authority. Obviously the authors believe that Jesus would not be worthy of consideration were he the descendant of goatherds; no, he must be the progeny of kings. What follows is a story so preposterous that only the most credulous would believe it; of course, it goes without saying that these are precisely the sorts of people at which anti-Mormon literature is aimed. But virgins being overshadowed by spirits? Angelic visitors? Dumbstruck priests? Please. Even the Tanners have more credibility than that.

The child Jesus is then born, and we are expected to believe that he lived a perfect, sinless life. The unwritten comparison, of course, is to a supposedly debauched and fraudulent Joseph Smith (they can't leave the prophet alone, can they?). So Jesus goes through his life, doing a little miracle here (water into wine, again a natural for the crowd that hangs out on exmormon.org) and spouting the most vacuous platitudes: "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." One wonders what intellectual giant came up with that one? What's next: "Blessed are the Norwegians, for they shall eat lutefisk"?

The authors then recount the last days of the aforementioned Jesus. His emptyheaded pronouncements, we are told, result in his execution at the hands of the Roman authorities. Nevermind the clear anachronisms in the book; this part simply requires a massive suspension of disbelief. After being nailed to a cross for "blasphemy" (couldn't they have come up with something more original?), Jesus is buried and--wonder of wonders!--rises from the tomb on the third day. But who saw him? That's right; only his followers. There's some real evidence for you. Their testimony might have had some credibility if any of them had renounced his discipleship yet refused to deny the testimony. Then we could put these witnesses on par with the more reliable Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris.

What follows is a repetitive recitation of cheerless sermons, executions by various means, and nearly incomprehensible letters to several churches. Why the authors think we're interested in interoffice mail is beyond me. The result is gray and boring; this is the one book that even manages to make a shipwreck seem uninteresting and dull.

Such is the state of anti-Mormon literature. To quote this pathetic tome, it's all "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

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Post by Pahoran »

Kevin Graham wrote:== You find foul-mouthed, abusive trash-talk amusing, do you?

Apparently your fans do.

For those interested, JP Holding wrote up a response to Pahoran's "review" and it can be accessed here:

http://www.tektonics.org/mordef/funnyfarm.html

And you are impressed by Holding's tantrum?

Regards,
Pahoran

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Post by Runtu »

I thought the tantrum was more substantive than the original review, but that's just me.

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Post by Kevin Graham »

Holding is an exceptional writer, far better than you'll ever be. Even if he were to write up tantrums, he would make them far more interesting and entertaining than that hack job of a "review" you wrote up.

DCP told me he would receive a FROB review, and I had informed JP of this many months before yours appeared. I am the one who handed DCP 12 copies of the book, hoping he would give copies to compenet reviewers only. DCP had been in correspondence with Holding prior to this and he actually called on Holding to help him out with a notorious atheist on ZLMB, so we all assumed it would be DCP who provided the review.

I don't see how anyone could blame Holding for being atad upset since he expected a quality response by an LDS scholar he respected, and ended up reading some crap written for TBMs.

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Re: FARMS Reviews the New Testament

Post by Pahoran »

Runtu wrote:I posted this on RfM and thought it was applicable here. I wondered what a FARMS book review of the New Testament would look like (and no, this isn't aimed at Brother _____ or anyone else).

FARMS Review of Books

"The New Testament"

Reviewed by Daniel Midgley-Welch

"The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11).

Every generation has its rebels, who seek to overthrow the previous generations values and traditions, often resulting in great upheaval and destruction. Ironically, the cycles of history usually mean that a newer generation will react against the original rebels and begin the cycle again. Such is the case with the ironically titled "New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

In a sense, this title tells us all we need to know about this upstart volume. Given the bold proclamation of a new testament, one wonders what was wrong with the old one? And the brazen attempt to associate the book with the Savior is astounding; someone apparently has an inflated sense of self-worth.

The book purports to recount the life and ministry of one Jesus of Nazareth (also referred to as "the Savior" and the "Son of God"--make up your mind, already) and then the later work of his disciples. If this is so, why the disjointed nature of the book? Couldn't the authors have come up with a compelling yet cohesive narrative? The first four books (pretentiously called "gospels") repeat the same story, as if the authors are so insecure that they need to repeat themselves; or perhaps they disdain their readers, who they believe are not capable of basic reading comprehension after only pass through the story. The remainder of the book is a hodgepodge of travel narrative, victimology, and "epistles" (why can't they just be straightforward and call them letters?). The number of increasingly smaller letters betrays a need to substitute volume for substance, as if ten verbose letters are better than one concise one. And the final book is so bizarre that it's worth recounting only for comic relief; one imagines that hallucinogenic drugs were involved (which shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the anti-Mormon crowd).

The first book (the "Gospel of Matthew") begins with a tedious recitation of Jesus' alleged genealogy, a clear appeal to authority. Obviously the authors believe that Jesus would not be worthy of consideration were he the descendant of goatherds; no, he must be the progeny of kings. What follows is a story so preposterous that only the most credulous would believe it; of course, it goes without saying that these are precisely the sorts of people at which anti-Mormon literature is aimed. But virgins being overshadowed by spirits? Angelic visitors? Dumbstruck priests? Please. Even the Tanners have more credibility than that.

The child Jesus is then born, and we are expected to believe that he lived a perfect, sinless life. The unwritten comparison, of course, is to a supposedly debauched and fraudulent Joseph Smith (they can't leave the prophet alone, can they?). So Jesus goes through his life, doing a little miracle here (water into wine, again a natural for the crowd that hangs out on exmormon.org) and spouting the most vacuous platitudes: "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." One wonders what intellectual giant came up with that one? What's next: "Blessed are the Norwegians, for they shall eat lutefisk"?

The authors then recount the last days of the aforementioned Jesus. His emptyheaded pronouncements, we are told, result in his execution at the hands of the Roman authorities. Nevermind the clear anachronisms in the book; this part simply requires a massive suspension of disbelief. After being nailed to a cross for "blasphemy" (couldn't they have come up with something more original?), Jesus is buried and--wonder of wonders!--rises from the tomb on the third day. But who saw him? That's right; only his followers. There's some real evidence for you. Their testimony might have had some credibility if any of them had renounced his discipleship yet refused to deny the testimony. Then we could put these witnesses on par with the more reliable Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris.

What follows is a repetitive recitation of cheerless sermons, executions by various means, and nearly incomprehensible letters to several churches. Why the authors think we're interested in interoffice mail is beyond me. The result is gray and boring; this is the one book that even manages to make a shipwreck seem uninteresting and dull.

Such is the state of anti-Mormon literature. To quote this pathetic tome, it's all "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

I suppose you think that was funny. Caricatures are supposed to be so.

As a believing Latter-day Saint, who treasures the New Testament, I find it faintly offensive, like the odour of five-day-old fish. Not to mention false.

Holding's silly and poorly-written rant amuses me. Scratchy's splenetic frothings are entertaining in a foul-mouthed sort of way. Kevin's blatant double standard--Holding's tantrum being infinitely more ad hominem than the FARMS review it is whining about--is interesting.

But the above is mostly just ho-hum boring.

I just thought you'd like to know.

Regards,
Pahoran

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Re: FARMS Reviews the New Testament

Post by harmony »

But the above is mostly just ho-hum boring.

I just thought you'd like to know.

Regards,
Pahoran


And yet, you are still here, taking up bandwidth.

Go figure.

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Re: _____'s "The Anti-Mormon Attackers"

Post by wenglund »

Mister Scratch wrote:Oh, I see! You're holding up your mirror again. And thus, by mirroring Pahoran, you yourself have become a slobbering, bootlicking ass-kisser. Bravo, Wade! Yet another coup!


No mirror. You are proving my point all on your self-discrediting own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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