Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

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Red Ryder
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:08 pm

wakarusa wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:53 pm
I'm not sure I can listen to all 10 hours of this. I feel like they are soft debating minutae that doesn't matter. For example, why should anyone care about the accuracy of Heleman's military reports about the Stripling warriors and ignore the larger concern that all evidence suggests Nephites never existed.
+1

Can we apply this thinking to the color coded chart jfro18 posted above?

All red and unconfirmed?

And one more thing.... Bill popped in to make a comment on another post but didn't stop by this thread?? WTH Bill?

At least weigh in on what's next with Bennett? :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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slavereeno
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by slavereeno » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:54 pm

My Digest pt 2

Its not fair for Bennett to say that his spiritual experiences are real, but that spiritual experiences in other religions are not. I have seen the YouTube videos of others who's testimony experience is indistinguishable from the Mormon experience.

Bennett is hyper-focused on the CES Letter, as though it was the last word on the non-believing side. This discussion is bigger than the CES Letter, the further I get along in my disaffection the less meaningful the CES Letter is, because there is so much more out there.

Bennett's dismissal of the 19th century material as a side effect of translation is very sophomoric to me. First of all, wasn't God himself putting the words on the stone? Was the process "divine", was it "Revealed" or not? Aplogists want it both ways, It was done by the power of God when the plates are no where to be found, and then its as if Joseph was some normal guy translating when all the 19th century crap shows up. Second he is trying to dismiss entire doctrine, Bible plagiarism and significant anachronisms as artifacts of translation. And yet plain old ordinary dudes that speak more than one language can make much better translations from language to language of significant works that don't introduce these huge issues. GOD himself (or Joseph Smith depending on which side of the mouth the apologist is speaking from) can't do better than that for the "Most correct book, evar". Complete baloney. (Reel does push back on this)

Bennett suggest that JS had to borrow from things he knew, because "he couldn't just come up with it out of the ether." But then why does that suggest he is a prophet? and why does this seem to happen with almost everything he says? What's revelatory about regurgitating or restating someone else's ideas?

"Translation" does not equal Translation. This is getting really old really fast.

If I lower my expectations of Joseph Smith LOW ENOUGH - I too can be a believing Mormon! Sounds like if I only expect prophets to copy stuff someone else came up with, screw up translations, start a ponzi scheme, hide past cons, get almost everything wrong about entire races of humans, marry and screw some of the congregants including married ones and teens, lie about it, have delusions of grandeur, burn printing presses, brag about being able to translate anything, etc. etc. then Joseph Smith is totally a profit! I get it now!

Bennett just said he sees the unbelievers point of view as valid, I'll add one to his score sheet.

It sounds like one has to make a ton of excuses for God to stay believing. So God architects an environment where Joseph Smith can restore some of Sidney Rigdon's stuff, did he not also then place the racial bigotry in the same environment? Again they want to have their cake and eat it too.

A lot of Bennett's arguments assume that God's one true church was the ancient Israelite people, which I do not.

Was anybody else taught that the prophet could never lead the church astray? So is that now officially false doctrine? Reel's push back about this was good.

When Bennett is defending the BoM witnesses, he dismisses the "spiritual eyes" comments because they are third hand accounts, then says there are "multiple eyewitness accounts" of the long scroll. Reel points out that its even shakier testimony than the Martin Harris stuff for the Long Scroll stuff.
Last edited by slavereeno on Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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slavereeno
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by slavereeno » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:00 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:08 pm
All red and unconfirmed?
This was Runnells' response to the graph based on other sources:

Image

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Corsair
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Corsair » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:00 am

slavereeno wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:27 pm
TLDR; My point by point commentary on this discussion, this is all in here for my own catharsis, feel free to skip it, its far too long and just another armchair analysis.
Preach it, Brother Slavereeno!

I simply can't imagine that Jim has the answers that will change my mind. I have been looking for those answers for more than a decade and have read so many different explanations from FairMormon, apostles, well-meaning friends, and from plenty of rebuttals to MormonThink and the CES Letter. Along the way I learned so many better ways to think about the universe. The LDS just feels like it's picking at the 19th century crumbs of philosophy while condemning thousands of years of thought in the process.

I am honestly not likely to listen to this podcast so I appreciate your impressions. I simply have too many other podcasts that make more sense for me to spend time on. Mormonism is fairly irrelevant in the wider world. I only pay any attention because I am surrounded by believers.

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Hagoth
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:44 am

I'm half way through part 5.

I think Jim does a good job of defending his position, but his position is certainly not the church's position, and it is really only viable to someone who is already a believer. He makes it clear that he hangs all of his comments on a testimony of the Book of Mormon, which absolutely has to be true to prevent his house from collapsing.

I noted earlier that Jim calls out Bill for making assumptions. Jim's defense is pretty much a long list of assumptions. I'm not faulting him for that because it's necessary to get him safely to Point B.

His entire perspective is held together by the glue of prophetic fallibility to the degree that he defends things like the priesthood ban and the LGBT policy to the notion that they prophets simply didn't ask the right question and God will only answer you if you ask the exact, right question. I find this highly problematic and it makes me question the value of prophets. If God can't tell them what they need to hear what good are they? If they have given us the wrong answers over and over for decades, how can we trusts anything they say? It seems to me that in the Jim Bennett world prophets are reliable conveyors of the word of God and equally conveyors of their own prejudices at about the same frequency as a tossed coin.

I would point out to Jim that Saul of Tarsus, Jonah, Alma the Younger, Abraham, Moses and many other prophets were not asking God the right questions when they were whacked on the head and set straight.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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consiglieri
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by consiglieri » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:19 pm

My impression is that Bennett is doing what all apologists do, but in a different way.

He is creating a church that is completely different from how the LDS church represents itself.

He then says he believes this creation of his is true.

The problem is that the church he believes is true has nothing but a passing resemblance to the LDS church.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:24 pm

consiglieri wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:19 pm
The problem is that the church he believes is true has nothing but a passing resemblance to the LDS church.
That's the problem with all of the new apologetic approaches from Givens, Mason, etc... it doesn't work with history but it sure gives your brain an exit ramp from having to process that.

Got through part 4 today- I thought Bill did a good job with polygamy. I wish he had pushed back when Jim mentioned how Joseph was just trying to figure out how to do with Abraham, etc did when commanded to do polygamy which just was not the case. But I know it's hard on a long back and forth to come back to every point.

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Hagoth
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:41 pm

Jim gives us a good window into how his worldview works, and I think it is not an atypical worldview, at least not in the Mormon world. I see it as a very useful illustration of the difference between people like Jim and people like many of us.

It is the story of the "Christmas Poo Miracle."

If you haven't heard it, it goes like this: one year Jim burned all of the Christmas gift wrappings and put the ashes in the outdoor trash can, not realizing there were still some hot embers among the ashes. In the middle of the night his baby had a major diaper filling event that was so voluminous and stinky it required Jim taking the soiled diaper out to the trash can, which he normally wouldn't have done. He discovered that the trash had been smoldering all night. If he hadn't made that middle of the night trip, which he has never had to do in the past because there has never been a 3-alarm diaper in the middle of the night, his house might have caught fire. Jim sees too many coincidences here for it not to be a message from God.

The immediate question for me is why didn't God just whisper something to Jim? Or why didn't He show him the fire in a dream? Did God actually create a mass of miracle feces in his baby's colon so it would set off a chain of events that led Jim out to the trash can?

For some people this is an entirely reasonable and inspiring story. For others it looks like a fortunate coincidence. How many houses have burned because God did not cause a baby to poop with unexpected timing and volume? Why does the survivor of a plane crash feel certain God saved her without wondering why He killed the other 200 people on board?

ETA: I see a direct correlation between the events of the night of the miracle. It was Christmas. It was probably atypical for Jim to burn his trash before taking it out to the can. He did this because it was Christmas and his family generated more trash than usual. Christmas is also a day that we eat a lot of rich food. The baby also probably got his share of goodies that were an assault to his delicate digestive system. The way I see it, both the fire and the diaper were consequences of Christmas excess.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Culper Jr.
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Culper Jr. » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:52 pm

Into part 4 now, but I’m taking a sanity break. Jim keeps using “presentism” as an excuse for why we don’t understand polygamy. Presentism is judging past actions, beliefs, attitudes, etc. based on our modern sensibilities and understanding. I don’t see how presentism fits into this; people were just as repulsed by polygamy then as they are now.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:54 pm

Culper Jr. wrote:Into part 4 now, but I’m taking a sanity break. Jim keeps using “presentism” as an excuse for why we don’t understand polygamy. Presentism is judging past actions, beliefs, attitudes, etc. based on our modern sensibilities and understanding. I don’t see how presentism fits into this; people were just as repulsed by polygamy then as they are now.
Yes, I guess we can accuse William Law of presentism in writing the Nauvoo Expositor. Image

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:08 pm

Culper Jr. wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:52 pm
Into part 4 now, but I’m taking a sanity break. Jim keeps using “presentism” as an excuse for why we don’t understand polygamy. Presentism is judging past actions, beliefs, attitudes, etc. based on our modern sensibilities and understanding. I don’t see how presentism fits into this; people were just as repulsed by polygamy then as they are now.
Jim really hits on this in part four and it's really aggravating. A good example is how he discusses how Emma never lost her love for Joseph and adored him to the end... but that's a super presentism based argument since the church made her out to be the devil after Joseph's death.

Presentism is such an overused exit ramp on these issues - it doesn't work for polygamy whatsoever.

And the idea that these women never gave up their testimony of spiritual confirmation of what they were doing is nonsense. Bill handled that well by telling him that the FLDS women say the same thing even after Jeffs was sent to prison.

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Culper Jr. » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:27 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:08 pm
Presentism is such an overused exit ramp on these issues
RFM and Bill were going on and on in a hilariously snarky commentary about the overused "the past is a foreign country" quote on the podcast about 'Saints' with Elder Cook a while back. In part 4 of this, when Jim uses that quote as though it's new and profound, Bill is like, "yeah I've heard that before." LMAO. :lol:

consiglieri
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by consiglieri » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:52 pm

OMG!!!

I about died laughing when I heard that part, too!!!

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:26 am

Culper Jr. wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:27 pm
jfro18 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:08 pm
Presentism is such an overused exit ramp on these issues
RFM and Bill were going on and on in a hilariously snarky commentary about the overused "the past is a foreign country" quote on the podcast about 'Saints' with Elder Cook a while back. In part 4 of this, when Jim uses that quote as though it's new and profound, Bill is like, "yeah I've heard that before." LMAO. :lol:
Yeah, and that quote doesn't mean what they think it does. It's the author talking about his own memories of his own past. If fact, it kind of means the opposite of the way they use it, that we remember our own youth as different than it really was.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:27 am

Here's a hint for those listening to all 12 hours. My podcast player lets you control the playback speed in one-tenth increments. 1.7 speed is just about right for this conversation.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:44 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:27 am
Here's a hint for those listening to all 12 hours. My podcast player lets you control the playback speed in one-tenth increments. 1.7 speed is just about right for this conversation.
Man I need to see if I can try that on my phone... would be amazing.

I won't be able to listen to the last two until next week which is probably good to take a break on anyway.

One takeaway for sure is that the Jim Bennett talking to Bill Reel is not the same Jim Bennett who wrote his CES response... that guy is a sarcastic, angry person who has a little nuance when needed to get out of a jam but not much more. So I will say it's refreshing to hear that even though he clings to some really bad apologetics at times, he seems like a much more reasonable and amiable person.

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slavereeno
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by slavereeno » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:42 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:27 am
Here's a hint for those listening to all 12 hours. My podcast player lets you control the playback speed in one-tenth increments. 1.7 speed is just about right for this conversation.
Yep the web player in Firefox has some options too, I listen at 1.5x

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Hagoth
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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:51 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:44 pm
...he seems like a much more reasonable and amiable person.
I think he did a good job. It is really hard to defend religion without resorting to a string of appeals to authority. As someone already observed, you really have to chip off your own version of the religion and defend that so you can separate from the Mother Ship when the going gets hard, or even join with the critic when it gets really hard.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by Rob4Hope » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:23 pm

I got through the first one. I hate to confess, I am not certain I can make it through any more. I am grateful for the commentary presented in this thread.

I've read the CES letter, and some of it didn't jive with me--I felt it was a little picky. But when you get to Abraham and the completely incompatible way it was presented by Joseph Smith, that is something that I can't shelve.

I struggle with the church, not because they are infallible, but because my entire life I was taught, internally to my family and externally, that I had better OBEY or I would go to hell. And, that the leaders WERE infallible. Why?...because "by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

Oh wait?...what was that? A scripture?.....that says leaders speak the word of God,...and are hence infallible?....because they speak for God, and HE (or whatever it is) makes no mistakes!

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Re: Bill Reel v. Apologist Jim Bennett

Post by jfro18 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:29 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:23 pm
I've read the CES letter, and some of it didn't jive with me--I felt it was a little picky. But when you get to Abraham and the completely incompatible way it was presented by Joseph Smith, that is something that I can't shelve.
This is my thought too. I really dislike some areas of the CES Letter where they try to make too much out of flimsy evidence, which makes the really important parts less credible to those who aren't willing to dive in too deep.
Rob4Hope wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:23 pm
I struggle with the church, not because they are infallible, but because my entire life I was taught, internally to my family and externally, that I had better OBEY or I would go to hell. And, that the leaders WERE infallible. Why?...because "by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

Oh wait?...what was that? A scripture?.....that says leaders speak the word of God,...and are hence infallible?....because they speak for God, and HE (or whatever it is) makes no mistakes!
And this is such a big one for me - you hear Bennett concede that Russell Nelson has NO MORE vision of heaven than we do, yet we're supposed to just obey and celebrate every change he makes? Wendy Nelson said it best when she said that now that RMN is in power, he can do the things he always wanted to but lacked authority. That sums up Mormon prophets better than anything else I've heard a church leader say previously.

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