Three Powerful Books

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Res Ipsa
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Res Ipsa »

Let me get this straight. I’ve read the book several times, but I shouldn’t rely on what I think about it. Instead, I should read three other books so other guys can tell me how I should think about the book. But, I should never, ever ask anyone here about those three books because I should make up my own mind.

I hope you and your family are well, MG.
​“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”

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mentalgymnast
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Dr Moore wrote:Givens reminds me of reading Bushman: the words are there, but the facts and the logic around them feel too often like conclusion before reason, masked in a "but actually, this is the reason before conclusion."
I think we all bring in our own biases and life experiences that impact the conclusions that we make.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Res Ipsa wrote: I hope you and your family are well, MG.
Thank you. A lot of running and cycling to fill in the gaps.

I hope you’re doing well too.

A lot more time for reading!

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Morley »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:29 pm
Dr Moore wrote:Givens reminds me of reading Bushman: the words are there, but the facts and the logic around them feel too often like conclusion before reason, masked in a "but actually, this is the reason before conclusion."
I think we all bring in our own biases and life experiences that impact the conclusions that we make.

Regards,
MG
Isn’t this a little like saying “Water flows downhill.” or “Red is a color.”?

I have a question
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by I have a question »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:38 pm
Truth be told, however, it was Callister’s book that I believe gives the best all around evidentiary basis/foundation for the truth claims of the Book of Mormon.
What a sad indictment on the Book Of Mormon.

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

I have a question wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:08 pm
mentalgymnast wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:38 pm
Truth be told, however, it was Callister’s book that I believe gives the best all around evidentiary basis/foundation for the truth claims of the Book of Mormon.
What a sad indictment on the Book Of Mormon.
Have you read his book cover to cover? If so, what did you think about the chapter on witnesses?

Why do you believe that his book is a sad indictment on the Book of Mormon? Would you be willing to specify what you’re referring to?

I appreciate the fact that when he’s referencing character witnesses, he not only refers to those that have negative opinions but he also then balances it out with referencing folks, with positive opinions, that I actually hadn’t heard from in the historical record before. I guess I had read too much of the negative. :wink:

He did a good deal of digging for information, pro and con. Nice job with the footnotes too.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

Morley wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:47 pm
mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:29 pm


I think we all bring in our own biases and life experiences that impact the conclusions that we make.

Regards,
MG
Isn’t this a little like saying “Water flows downhill.” or “Red is a color.”?
Yes it is. But it’s true. And it bears repeating.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by I have a question »

I have a question wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:08 pm
mentalgymnast wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:38 pm
Truth be told, however, it was Callister’s book that I believe gives the best all around evidentiary basis/foundation for the truth claims of the Book of Mormon.
What a sad indictment on the Book Of Mormon.
A wavering member, however, might want to know how to address the fact that Joseph Smith used a seer stone in a hat to “translate” the Book of Mormon, or to address the question of how intertwined the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is with Smith’s treasure seeking. Smith used the stone and hat for both translating and treasure seeking. Hidden/slippery treasure is very much enmeshed in the Book of Mormon narrative (for instance see Helaman 12:18, 13:18-20, 31-37). The seer stone recently was revealed to still exist with the church and made worldwide news. This is problematic for wavering members and yet Callister doesn’t address it at all. Like any well trained attorney he is confronting only the questions where he already has an answer.

Another problematic issue that would be of interest are racist elements of the Book of Mormon that comport to early 19th century thought. Again, Callister is silent.

He inadequately addresses anachronisms by pointing out some anachronisms critics may have had but were later resolved (he points to writing on metal plates, cement, and barley several times). But he leaves a myriad of anachronisms unaddressed, for instance the Book of Mormon’s Deutero-Isaiah problem, or the Book of Mormon’s reliance on the 1769 version of the King James edition of the Bible (identified by the 1769 version’s errors being included in the Book of Mormon). His approach to anachronistic items such as horses, cattle, elephants, silk, and steel is to complain it is rash to point to these things “when one recalls that “experts” in prior years were absolutely certain there were no such things in the Book of Mormon times as metal plates, cement, or barley”. He un-ironically seeks to bolster his argument here by quoting George Santayana “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
https://www.amazon.com/Case-Book-Mormon ... merReviews

Callisters’ intellectually dishonest cherry picking of data points is specifically disapproved of by his own Church.
Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... y?lang=eng

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Philo Sofee »

Dr Moore wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:35 pm
Aren't the rest of you supposed to be acting like squealing swine in response to a faith-promoting believer posting on this board? I'm shocked, shocked by the civility shown here. Where is all of the morally nonequivalent venom, sarcasm and disrespect I was promised? :)
Over at Sic et Non..... :lol:
Peterson, Midgley and Kiwi have always been noted for their lack of comprehension of others coming to different conclusions than they think everyone should come to. And thus it is no surprise they misunderstand this message board.
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by mentalgymnast »

I have a question wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:57 pm
I have a question wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:08 pm
What a sad indictment on the Book Of Mormon.
A wavering member, however, might want to know how to address the fact that Joseph Smith used a seer stone in a hat to “translate” the Book of Mormon, or to address the question of how intertwined the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is with Smith’s treasure seeking. Smith used the stone and hat for both translating and treasure seeking. Hidden/slippery treasure is very much enmeshed in the Book of Mormon narrative (for instance see Helaman 12:18, 13:18-20, 31-37). The seer stone recently was revealed to still exist with the church and made worldwide news. This is problematic for wavering members and yet Callister doesn’t address it at all. Like any well trained attorney he is confronting only the questions where he already has an answer.

Another problematic issue that would be of interest are racist elements of the Book of Mormon that comport to early 19th century thought. Again, Callister is silent.

He inadequately addresses anachronisms by pointing out some anachronisms critics may have had but were later resolved (he points to writing on metal plates, cement, and barley several times). But he leaves a myriad of anachronisms unaddressed, for instance the Book of Mormon’s Deutero-Isaiah problem, or the Book of Mormon’s reliance on the 1769 version of the King James edition of the Bible (identified by the 1769 version’s errors being included in the Book of Mormon). His approach to anachronistic items such as horses, cattle, elephants, silk, and steel is to complain it is rash to point to these things “when one recalls that “experts” in prior years were absolutely certain there were no such things in the Book of Mormon times as metal plates, cement, or barley”. He un-ironically seeks to bolster his argument here by quoting George Santayana “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
https://www.amazon.com/Case-Book-Mormon ... merReviews

Callisters’ intellectually dishonest cherry picking of data points is specifically disapproved of by his own Church.
Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... y?lang=eng
It’s a little difficult to adequately respond to questions/issues that you don’t have satisfactory answers for.

That shouldn’t come as any great surprise.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Philo Sofee »

MG
Who’s to say that both Lehi and Nephi were given the same vision/dream by God and thus it’s doctrinal?
Doctrines are simply men's opinions......again I see no need to make that distinction. I could care less if they each had the same dream. Their interpretation of it being from God has no objective evidence, it's merely their saying its from God. I have no reason to believe that interpretation.
Philo Sofee wrote:
I don't have any reason to distinguish anything, it's always been men who have written and interpreted knowledge.
MG
Bingo! But who’s to say whether or not it’s always ONLY their own opinion or if it’s a doctrinal revelation from God?
Any claim ever made that a revelation, doctrinal or not is from God is merely an interpretation and opinion of someone, somewhere. It doesn't matter to me. I could care less.
Philo Sofee wrote:
Everything written is someone's opinion. Doctrine is someone's mere opinion. A revelation from God to someone is that someone's mere opinion, including the doctrine (opinion) of the revelation (opinion).
MG
And that’s your opinion.
Of course. That's all there ever is on every subject in existence.
Philo Sofee wrote:
There are no separate categories, hence no need to distinguish anything. Everything religious is man-made.
And that’s where we disagree. I think there was much more to take away from Hardy’s book than what you took away. To each his own.
Of course you do, that's your opinion.
MG
Did you read Callister‘s book cover to cover? Or did you simply read some of the commentary over Amazon?
I don't think I ever read Callister's book. I was talking about Hardy's.
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Gadianton »

Morely wrote:Isn’t this a little like saying “Water flows downhill.” or “Red is a color.”?
Yes it is, but MG's little discovery, which may have come from Givens, was all he ever needed. He doesn't need to read these three books or any other books because that single line of sentiment is his own little code for entering "God mode". Anything that could ever hurt his position is a result of somebody else reading in their own biases into their conclusion. He doesn't care if the same goes for him, he'll take the stalemate.

Now, who are the folks out there who, as soon as a discussion gets on the table, go straight for relativism and its promise of a stalemate?

Those who know they've got nothing.
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Philo Sofee
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Philo Sofee »

MG
Don’t rely on what others might say about any one of these books.


Does that include you? In that case, why would I care what you say about them? Even the goodness or importance of reading them as you say?
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Re: Three Powerful Books

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mentalgymnast wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:51 pm
A Case For the Book of Mormon (by Tad Callister)
"One of the most remarkable features of the DMT experience is the frequency with which users encounter non-human intelligences, often resembling aliens. Even more remarkably, some users come away from these encounters convinced that these entities are somehow real (Strassman, 2001). The psychological aspects of such experiences have not yet been adequately explored by scientific researchers...Why people encounter what appear to be non-human entities while on DMT but not on other drugs is currently unknown. The reasons why some volunteers were convinced these entities are real are also not understood but probably have a great deal to do with psychological factors that influence people’s judgments about what is real. I will discuss these factors in detail in my next post."
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... ity-part-1

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Re: Three Powerful Books

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I haven't read Callister's book, but I thought Givens was mostly useful as a survey of life of the Book of Mormon as a text. It was absolutely appalling, though, that he was able to suggest in his footnotes that there was any empirical evidence for the Book of Mormon or that the evidence was merely ambiguous, which it certainly is not. That's academic presses for you, though. The people who are the ultimately gatekeepers for what is published under the imprimatur of the press are not scholars, and I have to wonder who the outside readers (the supposed peer reviewers) were and how they let things like that get through.

Hardy's is more interesting but I wish he had pushed his theory beyond the merely formal. Or at least I wish someone would pick up what he's done and put some teeth to it. For example, the Nephite scribal culture should be ripe for a sociological analysis: here you have a priestly class both preserving and consciously manipulating a textual tradition in a way not unlike that proposed by the Documentary Hypothesis. Tens of thousands of pages have been written on the theology of the Elohist or the politics of the Deuteronomistic historian in the Bible—and to be frank, it's all speculation—yet for some reason the people at Interpreter, lacking either the brains or the balls to read the Book of Mormon at anything beyond what they learned in Primary, can't seem to see what a gold mine this is for their project. I honestly don't understand why they don't pursue Hardy's path rather than tending Nibley's shriveled garden, because they would still be supporting their view that the Book of Mormon is a historical document from ancient Honduras or wherever that Joseph couldn't have written. They would get to use mainstream biblical scholarship as an analog, have all the fun in the world with Akkadian and Arabic or whatever, and they would still be "proving" the Book of Mormon. What an opportunity to have their coke and snort it too. But no—I suppose it's better to go with the Elizabethan ghost committee. They've already dropped over a hundred thousand dollars into Skousen's bucket, so they might as well go down with that ship.
"As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Morley »

Dr Moore wrote:Givens reminds me of reading Bushman: the words are there, but the facts and the logic around them feel too often like conclusion before reason, masked in a "but actually, this is the reason before conclusion."
mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:29 pm
I think we all bring in our own biases and life experiences that impact the conclusions that we make.
Morley wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:47 pm
Isn’t this a little like saying “Water flows downhill.” or “Red is a color.”?
mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:46 pm
Yes it is. But it’s true. And it bears repeating.
.

I was suggesting that your comment had nothing at all to do with Moore’s statement.

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Philo Sofee »

Morley, you can't be subtle with MG.... his is not a mind capable of following nuanced thoughts. Lets keep it simple for his sake. The argument is these books are powerful and great reading. The answer is no they are not. :biggrin:
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Holy Ghost »

Dr Moore wrote:Givens reminds me of reading Bushman: the words are there, but the facts and the logic around them feel too often like conclusion before reason, masked in a "but actually, this is the reason before conclusion."
mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:29 pm
I think we all bring in our own biases and life experiences that impact the conclusions that we make.
Morley wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:47 pm
Isn’t this a little like saying “Water flows downhill.” or “Red is a color.”?
mentalgymnast wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:46 pm
Yes it is. But it’s true. And it bears repeating.
Yes, repeat it weekly and it will itself become self-affirming as if biases towards evidence are on as shaky ground as biases like religious fantasies (LDS theology) for which there is no evidence.
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate, Physics

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Philo Sofee »

Holy Ghost
Yes, repeat it weekly and it will itself become self-affirming as if biases towards evidence are on as shaky ground as biases like religious fantasies (LDS theology) for which there is no evidence.
Point, game, match......
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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by honorentheos »

I downloaded the free Kindle sample of Callister's book from Amazon and started reading. From the first chapter:

For a moment, I invite you to take a test that will help you determine whether the Book of Mormon is from God or is a fraud influenced by the devil. Ask yourself if the devil would be the author or instigator of the following statements from the Book of Mormon:

• “They who are filthy are the devil and his angels” (2 Nephi 9:16).
• “The devil . . . [is] the founder of murder, and works of darkness” (2 Nephi 26:22).
• “That which is evil cometh from the devil” (Omni 1:25).
• “The devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell” (Alma 30:60).
• “Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness” (Alma 34:23).
• “The devil . . . rewardeth you no good thing” (Alma 34:39).

This is hardly a collection of accolades on behalf of the devil. What is the probability that the devil—the most arrogant, egotistical, and narcissistic of all beings—“prompted” Joseph to write these harsh condemnations against himself? In addition, ask yourself if the devil would be the author of the following:

• “Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).
• “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation” (Helaman 5:12).
• “What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I [Christ] am” (3 Nephi 27:27).
• “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” (Moroni 10:32).

Could these statements from the Book of Mormon possibly have been authored by the evil one—words that castigate the devil on one hand and, on the other hand, invite us to worship Christ and come unto Him? Some might argue that Satan tells half-truths and uses reverse psychology as part of his devilish strategy. That is true, but his methods always have a purpose, and that purpose is to ultimately draw people unto him and his ways. Thus, the key question becomes: does the Book of Mormon draw people unto the devil? And the resounding, unequivocal answer is no!


I can see why MG pointed out everyone brings their biases when reading. I'll be the first to admit this is a filter statement for me. If the author starts with the premise the Book of Mormon can't be a fraud because that would require it being authored under the influence of the devil, and the devil isn't going to talk bad about himself and positively about Christ, it's pretty clear the book is not for me. If Callister can't see the possibility of there being no such supernatural constraints, where a liar who is fine using the language of the Bible to sell his fraud is a possibility, then my bias is this is going to be a waste of my time to continue reading. To his point, his comment is practically teeing up for a Bible-believing Evangelical to come along and argue the Book of Mormon does, in fact, serve the devilish purpose of leading people away from the real Jesus and then that fight is on...but that's not a fight I'm interested in either. So, good riddance.
The world is always full of the sound of waves..but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows it's depth?
~ Eiji Yoshikawa

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Re: Three Powerful Books

Post by Philo Sofee »

Yeah it's a false set up at the start with only two possibilities which is always a red flag. It's dripping with the Mormon assumption and mind set, and they can't even see it. It's what convinced MG it was a good read since it turned his brain automatically onto the only real option, it's from God. All the rest is simply testimony and hence considered powerful by MG. It's yet another book I don't have to waste my time reading in order to already know it's conclusion, evidence and analysis be damned.
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