John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Dr Moore
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Symmachus wrote: The best argument against the Church's claim that you need to stay or join, and the one that is implicit in most people's leaving, has nothing to do with Mormon scripture or Mormon history or Mormon doctrine. That best argument is: living as a Mormon sucks; it has a low payoff but a high cost.
Something I'm hearing a LOT of lately around our stake. Thanks to 14 weeks (and counting) without church, even devout members in my area have realized how utterly empty going to church made them. Nevermind the opportunity cost of other activities -- the church itself takes far more than it gives, for most.

Anecdotally, in week 2 of quarantine, our ward held a testimony meeting over Zoom. 81 joined and the time was all used up. Last weekend, we held another one and only 2 people had anything to share. The meeting ended awkwardly. Every week of quarantine, our bishop has recruited help throughout the ward to compose a 30 minute video with uplifting talks and a message of hope. The production quality is pretty good. I see the viewing statistics on these videos. Each week, we get about 7 viewers who watch the whole thing. Another 7-10 watch for a few minutes and close the window.

Mormonism has a lot of virtues, but the return on capital in this life is terrible. To your other comments, the fact that so much of it is based on a false, dogmatic narrative only makes it easier to walk away. The afterlife promises would still be worth it, if it the founding claims were at all credible.

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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Dr Moore wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:45 pm
The more I hear from Gee, the more I'm convinced he uses modern-day LDS prophets as nothing but mascots to ennoble his ultra sanctimonious notions of what constitutes righteousness.
Yes, the account of him in the Hauglid interview shows a secretive schemer willing to attack lower levels of the Church bureaucracy when it doesn't live up to his expectations. According to what I'm reading about his new book (sorry, not gonna buy it; I know why I quit the Church), the main problem with those who leave is that their knowledge wasn't deep enough. On the other hand, according to Hauglid, Gee thinks certain things are too deep for most members to ever know about.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Dr. Moore wrote:The afterlife promises would still be worth it, if it the founding claims were at all credible.
Yes, I think that's how the dynamic works: you chug along because Joseph Smith was a true prophet and all that, so therefore we'd better do what the Church says so that we get our reward someday. Then one day you find out that Joseph Smith married a 14 year old, thus destroying the basis on which the promise for future reward is made. If you're not gonna get the reward, why go on with it? Of course it takes on more complex forms, but that is the basic calculation that is implied.

Part of Gee's solution seems to be that you need a deeper understanding of what being a true prophet means. His conceptions apparently allows for adolescent-adult polygamous marriage, but that might fall under the other part of his solution, which is to hide it from people in the first place (according to Hauglid's characterization).

Good luck, Gee!
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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John Gee is really making the Asian Department proud. A book like this really enhances the reputation of BYU's Asian Studies program.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Symmachs
Part of Gee's solution seems to be that you need a deeper understanding of what being a true prophet means.
Gee also thinks only those with degrees in Egyptology are worthy to write and comment about the Book of Abraham and the papyri. I wonder where that leaves any of the prophets, Jewish, Christian or Mormon, from the foundation of the world? They now must bend the knee to the great and knowledgable Egyptologist, Jesus inclusive. :rolleyes:
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Lemmie wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:33 am
You are missing my point then. My point was that I disagree with your statement that you “think it is fair to make the argument that many people who leave do so with an incomplete understanding of Mormonism.” If everyone has that same incomplete understanding, then it is NOT fair to allow an argument to stand that singles out those who leave, blaming it on their incomplete understanding.
Yes, I would not agree that everyone has the same kind of incomplete understanding. There are different perceptions and different degrees of understanding or misunderstanding. I would agree that some people who leave know less about the faith than they might. Some might not leave if they knew more. Some would still leave if they knew more and might have left even earlier. Certainly I have never said anything about blaming people or singling them out. I do acknowledge, however, that some people who leave have an incomplete understanding of it. I also questioned the value of understanding it better. So, yes, we do not agree. Thanks for clarifying our points of disagreement. I am comfortable standing by my original post, in which I acknowledge the incomplete understanding of some who leave without seeking to blame them for it.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Symmachus wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:41 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:40 am
IHAQ, I think I understand the point Gee is making here, and I don't know that it is entirely off base. Now, we can argue about how important it is or should be that people understand the LDS gospel. We can also fairly critique Gee for perhaps implying, intentionally or not, that apostates are stupid or misinformed, but I think it is fair to make the argument that many people who leave do so with an incomplete understanding of Mormonism. I think it is also fair for Gee to point out that some people have stronger spiritual convictions than others.

Of course, many of us can say that the LDS Church does not really facilitate an accurate or full understanding of Mormonism anyways, and that such an understanding really leads to the conclusion that the whole thing is garbage.

But I can see how a deeply committed believer who knows an awful lot about Mormonism might measure the knowledge of many leave-takers as severely wanting.
All excellent points, but I would be one of those who argue that it is not, or should not, be all that important that people understand the LDS Gospel.
Yes, of course, hence my statement: "Now, we can argue about how important it is or should be that people understand the LDS gospel." I will mark you down as one who thinks it is or should be unimportant.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Dr Moore wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:45 pm
Gee, quoted by IHAQ wrote: The Dunning–Kruger effect is alive and well among Latter-day Saints. This is one of the reasons we have interviews with someone else to assess our worthiness and are not allowed just to determine for ourselves if we are worthy. People have a tendency to think their self-assessments are more accurate that than other’s assessments are.
(Gee, John - Saving Faith: How Families Protect, Sustain, and Encourage Faith Section 1 "Hardly perfect")
(bold mine)

Source, Gee? I might have missed it, but I publicly wager $1 with Gee that NO CHURCH LEADER EVER has attributed the need for priesthood interviews to the Dunning-Kruger effect. Not by direct reference, nor by articulating the requirement as he does: because "people have a tendency to think their self-assessments are more accurate than other's assessments."

He might find one, but I'd go double or nothing that such a GA statement was made in context of a person who doubts their worthiness and needs a priesthood leader to tell them, as a representative of Christ, that yes, he/she is worthy after all. Which is, of course, the antithesis of Gee's implied statement. He betrays his view of chronically inflated self-assessment when he says "...and are not allowed just to determine for ourselves if we are worthy." Gee thinks most people believe they're better than they are. He doesn't even consider the possibility that many people believe they're worse than they are.

Gee's assertion is wrong, in spirit and in letter. Self-assessment is, in fact, put on members at almost every point of decision for which worthiness matters to the church. If we weren't allowed "just to determine for ourselves" then there would be a brief interview every Sunday morning on the way in to Sacrament meetings (especially for the teenage boys!).

The priesthood interview, in its most sincere form, allows a person to articulate their self-assessment to a person who stands in for Christ. The interviewer determines worthiness based on the answers to questions like "do you consider yourself worthy." Gee claims Dunning-Kruger for an instance of using someone's watch to tell them the time. Mormons are not only "allowed" but "expected" to self-assess worthiness. Period.

Gee is a Pharisee who thinks so highly of his holy ideas, he is willing to transfer his mind into the mind of God who never said what he asserts God meant to say. The more I hear from Gee, the more I'm convinced he uses modern-day LDS prophets as nothing but mascots to ennoble his ultra sanctimonious notions of what constitutes righteousness.
I like a lot of what you are saying here, but I would say that your idealized view of what the interview process ought to be, while I sympathize with it and grant its authoritative grounding, runs up against the reality of plenty of people doing these interviews that actually think like Gee. And, frankly, sometimes people are overly confident of their ability to assess themselves to their own detriment. In other words, they would be much less kind to themselves than someone thinking with a Christlike attitude about the whole issue. That might be its own kind of Dunning-Kruger effect. I would wager that some of those who are drawn to Mormonism might be misunderstanding the repentance process and imagining it to be the self-flagellation process. President Kimball may have been among their number. Could we argue that overconfidence in their own knowledge of what it means to repent leads them to do themselves greater harm? I think so. There are all kinds of knowledge. Some of it is doctrinal. Some of it is emotional, spiritual, or psychological. Some who are advanced in doctrine are really stupid in other areas. Gee is probably among those who has his own Dunning-Kruger problems, as I think his apologetics show very clearly. It is not that he doesn't know a lot of things, have a lot of expertise, and have a really high IQ; the problem is that his fanaticism blinds him to his ethical compromises.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Certainly I have never said anything about blaming people or singling them out.
Yes, noted, but the point is, Gee did do exactly that, and I am disagreeing with your point here that it was appropriate for him to do so:
kishkumen wrote:
We can also fairly critique Gee for perhaps implying, intentionally or not, that apostates are stupid or misinformed, but I think it is fair to make the argument that many people who leave do so with an incomplete understanding of Mormonism.
If an “incomplete understanding of Mormonism” can be attributed across the board to all, then singling that out as a negative apostate attribute is not valid.
kishkumen wrote:
I think it is also fair for Gee to point out that some people have stronger spiritual convictions than others.
Not if he “points out” that those who stay are the ones with stronger spiritual convictions.

Again, this is a statistical argument I am making. If an attribute is in evidence in both LDS and non-LDS, then commenting on a negative but common attribute ONLY in one group in order to disparage them, while simultaneously commenting on another positive but common attribute ONLY in the other group in order to congratulate them is just irresponsible writing. It is not “fair” for Gee to point out such statistically insupportable nonsense as though he were stating facts.

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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Kishkumen wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:30 pm
Yes, of course, hence my statement: "Now, we can argue about how important it is or should be that people understand the LDS gospel." I will mark you down as one who thinks it is or should be unimportant.
Yes, I saw that, but I assumed it was all right to offer my view as one so marked, and Dr. Moore's response confirms that was justified in any case, Revend. There is little danger in not offering commentary here, but I say, why take the chance?

And what else are you marking down in that book? Will this affect my parking privileges and/or access to the red stapler I so cherish once Cassius returns from Covid vacation (assuming I get another semester contract teaching introductory Jaredite)?
Kishkumen wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:30 pm
I like a lot of what you are saying here, but I would say that your idealized view of what the interview process ought to be, while I sympathize with it and grant its authoritative grounding, runs up against the reality of plenty of people doing these interviews that actually think like Gee. And, frankly, sometimes people are overly confident of their ability to assess themselves to their own detriment. In other words, they would be much less kind to themselves than someone thinking with a Christlike attitude about the whole issue.
I had a bishop who used to tell us before our interviews that he could see our sins by looking into our eyes.

"Well, then, I'm sorry you had to see that, bishop." I said.
"As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:45 pm
Yes, noted, but the point is, Gee did do exactly that, and I am disagreeing with your point here that it was appropriate for him to do so:
kishkumen wrote:We can also fairly critique Gee for perhaps implying, intentionally or not, that apostates are stupid or misinformed, but I think it is fair to make the argument that many people who leave do so with an incomplete understanding of Mormonism.
No, Lemmie. I regret our misunderstanding on this point, but I did not support him in singling anyone out.
Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:45 pm
If an “incomplete understanding of Mormonism” can be attributed across the board to all, then singling that out as a negative apostate attribute is not valid.
Of course it is not valid. I never said it was.
Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:45 pm
Not if he “points out” that those who stay are the ones with stronger spiritual convictions.
Perhaps it would help if I made explicit what I had thought was implicit but obvious. The topic is particular spiritual convictions about the LDS gospel as it is predominantly understood within the strictures of the correlated LDS Church.

Naturally anyone of us can have spiritual convictions or we can choose not to. Some strong spiritual convictions can lead us out of the LDS Church. That is, in fact, exactly what happened to me. I would say that if John Gee has stronger spiritual convictions about the importance of following the Brethren, whereas I have stronger spiritual convictions about not doing the same, I will not contest with him that he does have stronger spiritual convictions for obeying the Brethren than I do. My spiritual convictions just lead me not to give a damn about that.
Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:45 pm
Again, this is a statistical argument I am making. If an attribute is in evidence in both LDS and non-LDS, then commenting on a negative but common attribute ONLY in one group in order to disparage them, while simultaneously commenting on another positive but common attribute ONLY in the other group in order to congratulate them is just irresponsible writing. It is not “fair” for Gee to point out such statistically insupportable nonsense as though he were stating facts.
I think it is interesting that you expect a religionist of any stripe will likely feel bound to be statistically responsible, but I start with the assumption that Gee will not be, nor do I really expect, as a matter of practicality, that almost any religionist will be so dispassionate and objective about their position.

Your reading of my use of the word fair is noted, but it does not accord with what I meant. Fair in this situation would have never meant that I expected him to be anything less than partisan. Starting with that acknowledgment, I can say that it is at least fair to note things that are factually true, even if they are woefully incomplete and misleading, because I have very low expectations, as I think anyone who is not partisan for Gee's position must be. Please do continue to hold him to this exacting standard, though. I don't think he or anyone else like him will meet it, but it is definitely a good standard to have and I am very happy to know that this is where you are coming from.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Symmachus wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:56 pm
Yes, I saw that, but I assumed it was all right to offer my view as one so marked, and Dr. Moore's response confirms that was justified in any case, Revend. There is little danger in not offering commentary here, but I say, why take the chance?
Smart man.
Symmachus wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:56 pm
And what else are you marking down in that book? Will this affect my parking privileges and/or access to the red stapler I so cherish once Cassius returns from Covid vacation (assuming I get another semester contract teaching introductory Jaredite)?
Ho, ho! Yes, well, I feel the need to say that I keep a little notebook to remind me of things I might forget that would result in unnecessary, onerous, and rude interactions that can be attributed to my obtuseness and forgetfulness. I am really trying to spare others unwanted and undeserved exchanges.
Kishkumen wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:30 pm
I had a bishop who used to tell us before our interviews that he could see our sins by looking into our eyes.

"Well, then, I'm sorry you had to see that, bishop." I said.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Some people have kooks for bishops. I am sorry you had to listen to him at all.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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kishkumen wrote:
Your reading of my use of the word fair is noted, but it does not accord with what I meant. Fair in this situation would have never meant that I expected him to be anything less than partisan.
Thank you for the clarification. I would never have concluded that “fair” in this case meant “partisan.”
Last edited by Lemmie on Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Symmachus wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:56 pm
I had a bishop who used to tell us before our interviews that he could see our sins by looking into our eyes.

"Well, then, I'm sorry you had to see that, bishop." I said.
:lol: You and one of my brothers. Actually, he had a bishop threaten to tell our Dad about some imagined sin, to which he responded that he would likewise share the sins of the Bishop’s son who was his age and had harassed some kid at scout camp.

My Dad never heard from the Bishop. Arguing that Bishops’ interviews counteract the Dunning-Kruger effect is just nonsense.

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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:45 pm

Certainly I have never said anything about blaming people or singling them out.
Yes, noted, but the point is, Gee did do exactly that, and I am disagreeing with your point here that it was appropriate for him to do so:
kishkumen wrote:
We can also fairly critique Gee for perhaps implying, intentionally or not, that apostates are stupid or misinformed, but I think it is fair to make the argument that many people who leave do so with an incomplete understanding of Mormonism.
If an “incomplete understanding of Mormonism” can be attributed across the board to all, then singling that out as a negative apostate attribute is not valid.
kishkumen wrote:
I think it is also fair for Gee to point out that some people have stronger spiritual convictions than others.
Not if he “points out” that those who stay are the ones with stronger spiritual convictions.

Again, this is a statistical argument I am making. If an attribute is in evidence in both LDS and non-LDS, then commenting on a negative but common attribute ONLY in one group in order to disparage them, while simultaneously commenting on another positive but common attribute ONLY in the other group in order to congratulate them is just irresponsible writing. It is not “fair” for Gee to point out such statistically insupportable nonsense as though he were stating facts.
Let me (or lemmie, if you prefer) make sure I have this: some Mormons know ____ about Mormonism but keep it up, some ex-Mormons know ____ about Mormonism but don't keep it up. Gee is being unfair in attacking the first category for a given factor but not the second, despite the presence of the same factor—is that it?

If so, I think it is true as a matter of formal reasoning but, at risk of violating unspoken norms about moving away from the focus of the topic, I don't see how it matters. If I understand you correctly, then the conclusion I draw is that knowing a lot about Mormonism does not lead to a commitment.

The thrust of his attack on the Jana Riess model (which I also think is deficient but for different reasons) is a waste of time, then, if understanding is his goal—but of course that is not his goal. Who is the audience of this book and what is its intended function? It seems to exist to provide what Gee imagines will be comfort for committed believers with uncommitted or leaving family members and friends. "Your friends and family who leave are losers who didn't do their homework—maybe you didn't do enough to get them to do it—because the Church is even more perfect than the Gospel is" seems like a great angle, and there must be a market for it. Wish I'd thought of it.

Anyway, of course this is also a bunch of barely disguised circular logic from Gee. "Mormons I approve of are good because they do what I want them to, and because they do what I want them to, they are good, and therefore I approve of them. Our job is to get people to become good by doing what I want them to in order to win my approval. Jana Riess is the devil. And so is Brian Hauglid. I have a Ph.D.. Buy my book."

Now you've got it out of your system, how about some work on Akkadian for your new department, Professor Gee?
Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:23 pm
Actually, he had a bishop threaten to tell our Dad about some imagined sin, to which he responded that he would likewise share the sins of the Bishop’s son who was his age and had harassed some kid at scout camp.
Totally normal adult-adolescent interaction.
Last edited by Symmachus on Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:22 pm
Thank you for the clarification. I would never have concluded that “fair” in this case meant “partisan.”
As I said, when we accept that Gee is partisan and that like most people in his situation he is not going to be "statistically responsible," we can at least be happy for those times when he says something factual, which is about as fair as the situation is going to get. I don't think I ever claimed that his overall approach was fair, as I think a fair reading of my posts in this thread shows.
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Symmachus wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:25 pm

....but of course that is not his goal. Who is the audience of this book and what is its intended function? It seems to exist to provide what Gee imagines will be comfort for committed believers with uncommitted or leaving family members and friends. "Your friends and family who leave are losers who didn't do their homework—maybe you didn't do enough to get them to do it—because the Church is even more perfect than the Gospel is" seems like a great angle, and there must be a market for it. Wish I'd thought of it.
:lol: Well said. Of course his goal is to comfort committed believers. And make money doing so. And mangle every relevant statistical technique in so doing, because his audience is okay with that. Utah is the capital of affinity fraud and MLM pyramid schemes for a reason, is it not?!
Symmachus wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:25 pm
Lemmie wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:23 pm
Actually, he had a bishop threaten to tell our Dad about some imagined sin, to which he responded that he would likewise share the sins of the Bishop’s son who was his age and had harassed some kid at scout camp.
Totally normal adult-adolescent interaction.
I know, right? My brother is 15 years younger than me and about a decade behind in working through the damage. My heart aches for him.

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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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Kishkumen wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:27 pm
As I said, when we accept that Gee is partisan and that like most people in his situation he is not going to be "statistically responsible," we can at least be happy for those times when he says something factual, which is about as fair as the situation is going to get. I don't think I ever claimed that his overall approach was fair, as I think a fair reading of my posts in this thread shows.
See, this gets to the problem I opened up, for which I earned your mark above: ex Mormons have hard time admitting that, to the believing frame of reference, they really do want to sin, don't have a testimony, don't fully understand the gospel, etc. Instead, they deny this and lay down their credentials as full believers, very active, committed, etc. and (of course!) sixth generation Mormons or whatever. All that is supposed to justify that these good people left the Church when they found out this or that. They did nothing wrong (when one mine this line of reasoning a bit more deeply, one will find a vein of evangelism as well). It is attempt to shut down a powerful criticism.

Now, obviously, at the point of their discovery of this or that, all of those credentials may have been active, but the minute they entertained the possibility that the Authorized Version is junk, those credentials cease to matter, at least in the reference of the believer. At this moment, sin lieth at the door, because it becomes the gateway to Sunday shopping and other grievous offenses against the Church.

There is a great deal of clarity from admitting that the believers are right from their point-of-view; the non-believer needs to say only that s/he doesn't accept that point-of-view.

Or as a sibling put it to a relative: "I'm gonna have a drink; you can deal with it, or you can ____ off."

It was funeral cheer for all!
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

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What's to understand about the gospel that is so complex? Jesus, who may or may not have existed, supposedly had to die a horrible death because his overly authoritarian father wanted to destroy his children for acting like he planned they would act all along and then blamed them for doing so. This imaginary Jesus supposedly then inspires Joseph Smith to "translate" a book about these Jewish native americans of which no proof exists that they existed and supposedly inspires his modern leaders to change schedules periodically while hiding the money they collect from the duped members ....

Gee is just another magician trying to add complexity and secrecy to the mundane in order to get more religious sales. Blame the idiots for leaving. He has a Ph.D. and so must be smarter than the stupid apostates. He has a secret and you cannot know it because it is too sacred to tell. Only certain Ph.D.'s are capable of grasping the "complexity" that is cojcolds. Maybe someday you will be granted a peek at the glorious secret, if you make sure and pay your 10% without fail and go to the temple to renew your loyalty paths and don't ask the leadership any questions, but only if you demonstrate obedience to authority until the end and read everything put out by the Ph.D.'s at FARMS/Interpreter and not by those imposters at the Maxwell Institute .....
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

Post by Kishkumen »

Symmachus wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:25 pm
The thrust of his attack on the Jana Riess model (which I also think is deficient but for different reasons) is a waste of time, then, if understanding is his goal—but of course that is not his goal. Who is the audience of this book and what is its intended function? It seems to exist to provide what Gee imagines will be comfort for committed believers with uncommitted or leaving family members and friends. "Your friends and family who leave are losers who didn't do their homework—maybe you didn't do enough to get them to do it—because the Church is even more perfect than the Gospel is" seems like a great angle, and there must be a market for it. Wish I'd thought of it.

Anyway, of course this is also a bunch of barely disguised circular logic from Gee. "Mormons I approve of are good because they do what I want them to, and because they do what I want them to, they are good, and therefore I approve of them. Our job is to get people to become good by doing what I want them to in order to win my approval. Jana Riess is the devil. And so is Brian Hauglid. I have a Ph.D.. Buy my book."
I don't think I disagree with any of this. From what little I know about both books, I am unlikely to be all that interested in either. I more interested in the meta-discussion about interactions between Mormons of all kinds and former Mormons of all kinds. Most testimony-driven pseudo-arguments are circular, at least the ones that I have recently wasted any of my time on, such as Brian Hales' article about naturalistic theories of Book of Mormon translation, which literally concludes with his testimony.

I suppose when I see these arguments between believers and non-believers, however, and how they tend to play out, I tend to look for the claims that seem at least generally credible or at least reasonable on any side. Or, in other words, I am trying to understand how things look from that party's perspective. Yes, of course, these books are written primarily to validate a particular perspective. For those who don't share that perspective, they easily provoke criticism. I don't see anything fundamentally different about this version of Gee than his other stuff. He has the same apologetic biases he has always had.

And, honestly, while I don't share Gee's perspective, I think that to those who are spiritually committed to Mormonism as it is taught to them in the LDS Church it is perfectly reasonable, from their point of view, to conclude that a number of leave-takers don't get it. Indeed, I would say that their reasoning on this is perfectly consistent with the internal logic of LDS Mormonism. For them there is something to know, according to their spiritual epistemology that depends on spiritual feelings, and knowing that thing leads to the conviction that helps one make covenants, obey leaders, and endure to the end. Those who claim to know at one time but lose the plot somehow will become suspect regarding their knowledge, faithfulness, etc.

Many others are reevaluating the validity of these views because, hey, they don't seem to be working out so well for an increasing number of people, and they will be willing to look to a person like Jana Riess for a different understanding of what is happening, but the Mopologists have consistently circled back to those explanations that maintain the status quo as much as possible. Should we be surprised that Gee has done so here as he has consistently done elsewhere? Gee may be living in a museum worshiping relics of faith, but it is worth noting that what he is doing is in line with what they have done, and generally found reasonable success in, for a very long time.

We can complain about what he has done, but I don't know that what he has done does not apply equally well to most of LDSism at this point. They have been doing this, they will continue to do this, and from the outside it sure looks hella redundant and a waste of time.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Gadianton
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Re: John Gee claims in his new book intro that there's no need for his new book

Post by Gadianton »

You guys are killing me. I'm trying to get through the first episode of "Freud" on Netflix on this warm Sabbath Day, but ya'll are far more entertaining.

I agree that apostates set themselves up as having all the credentials and I have done this myself. I think that TBMs often do believe the credentials, but they have an out, because an established Chapel Mormon teaching is that "even the elect" can be deceived. Thus, like David, perhaps a grievous sin is the only explanation for an RM, BYU grad, Eagle Scout. With the apologists it's a little different. For them, it's a pissing contest: "how dare Dr. Shades, who isn't even a real doctor, question this book of scripture that I believe, and I have a degree in an ancient language?"

I think Chapel Mormons often do say that so-and-so "knew too much". My bishop very carefully advised me during my mission interview to put down the church books, the FARMS stuff etc. It's rather, an Internet Mormon explanation that apostates never understood the gospel; haven't read enough books by Hugh Nibley and FARMS, and they aren't just trying to get back at the apostates they don't like, but sell themselves to the chapel. They set themselves up as a "light unto the world". "Look to us or perish".

I think in a sense, Mormons are right that sin accounts for something. As Symm notes, "Sunday shopping". Keeping the commandments is a form of brain washing. Dr. Moore pointed out what happens to people when the regular currents change. It's not that many of the sins are really sins or even decidedly negative, but that they keep a person in a certain mental zone. Same with anything else.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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