DS wrote...You can see some of this in the "Comments" thread of the "Sic et Non" post, where Dr. Peterson is practically frothing at the mouth over getting to trash people he doesn't like.
I'm not sure which is more important to him.. trashing folks he does not care for, or exchanges like those in the comment section allowing him to play out his need to be a victim. But either way it has got to be hard for him to not be able to be the DCP he once was, leading his "army of apologists against the enemy."
Looking back over the years at Mopology, specifically FARM's, NMI, and all the "board wars"...what were the "victories" for them? Honestly the only one that I can think of, that I said to myself..."okay, I'll give you that one" is "adieu" being a french word only, and even then their work unwittingly proved it was a word that gave support to the Book of Mormon being a American 19th century work.
If you were to be objective, and you were hired to write DCP's resume, what would you list as his greatest accomplishments in regards to LDS apologenticts? I would love to read how his resume would read from your (or anyone else's) point of view, being as objective as you can? If this interests you maybe it deserves it's own thread.
That's a provocative and interesting request, Mark. First and foremost, it raises the question: What *at all* have the Mopologists accomplished? They published some stuff, held quite a few conferences, posted thousands of things on the Internet, and they've hosted a decent number of conferences. Have they produced any ideas or theories? Sort of. There is the LGT. There was Welch's stuff on chiasmus. There is--for better or worse--Gee's material on the Book of Abraham. There is also Skousen's ghost committee thing. So, yes: they were drumming up things like that.
As for DCP himself? I would argue that his greatest "accomplishment" is simply providing leadership for the movement. He's the one who always gives the keynotes at the FAIR Conference. He was the editor of FROB for a long time, and so on. Is that an "accomplishment"? I would say so. Managing to get elected president is a pretty big accomplishment, even if we acknowledge that there is a huge gulf between, e.g., Abraham Lincoln and Chester A. Arthur. What I'm saying is that he's been an influential leader--a figurehead.
Apart from that, I would argue that he's had a profound influence on the direction and tone of the movement. The snarkiness and sort of gossipy quality that a lot of Mopologetic writing has? I think that stems primarily from him: you can find hundreds (if not thousands) of pieces of evidence from him that illustrate what I'm talking about. (I recently linked to his old--1994, IIRC--FARMS essay called "Questions to Legal Answers," which is a good example, as are any number of email exchanges posted to SHIELDS.) I don't think that most people would label this an "accomplishment," but I nonetheless think there is something to be said about a person who was able to execute a vision in this way, even if the vision itself is pretty juvenile and evil. And I hasten to add that the entirety of the blame cannot be laid at his feet. As we know, there is really a whole coterie of people that have pitched in on this "vision," including Midgley, Greg Smith, Allen Wyatt, and lots of others.
I noticde, by the way, that you asked him about his accomplishments over in the comments on "Sic et Non," and I see that he's refusing to answer, and that he isn't doing so out of modesty--a trait he seems to have been born without. As Symmachus and others have pointed out, he doesn't seem to have any of the traditional academic accomplishments. You may remember several years back, during the Brian David Mitchell trial, when DCP's 80+ pg. CV was posted on the Trib's website, and the bulk of it was either FARMS publications, or service for the Church. So, there's nothing he can point to in that sense. Still, I'm disappointed that he's not willing to stand behind his Mopologetic work. I'd be curious to know if any of his FARMS articles stand out as a personal favorite.
For what it's worth, I think you should pose the same question to Midgley. To my mind, Midgley's primary contribution was his aggressive push to accuse EV ministries of being in it for the money. You see those same kinds of accusations to this day
being leveled at, e.g., John Dehlin and the FIRM people. (Will the Mormon Transhumanists be next?). I think it also helps to explain why the Mopologists themselves--especially DCP--are so touchy on the subject. It's pure hypocrisy, but, hey: human nature is what it is.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14