Bill and RFM review a handful of clips from LDS Apologist, Jared Halverson. The discussion revolves around the games apologists play. These often include creating a framework and solutions to problems that to the believer seem tenable but when closely examined often hinge on fallacies or irrational thinking. The Apologist sees creating plausibility as a win. But such ideas and frameworks for thinking are often full of holes and less than the most rational answer.
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Bravo. It was really interesting how you guys dig out some of his unspoken assumptions ( such as assuming -and implying- that the evidence is more or less balanced, so it all comes down to rhetoric). His kind of apologetics is the most irritating of all. It’s as if the church has ditched the objectivist apologetics and turned the task over to the post modernists. A few more concrete examples of how his positions were actually “wood tools” would have helpful, however.
I disagree with him on the use of the term unity, but I also don’t agree with RFM that orthodoxy and unity are on the same side of the spectrum. There is a significant difference between unity and uniformity. What the church encourages, right down to the way they landscape their properties with matching plant life, is uniformity. Unity involves the bringing together of the diverse – utilizing that diversity in the process of connection and subsequently creating beauty. Universal laws and love would therefore not be opposed to one another, rather they would work together to create something beautiful and good.
What Halverson is doing is misusing Propositional Logic and re-defining a contradiction as a contrary. I reckon RFM knows all about propositional logic being a famous lawyer and all. Halverson takes a true contradiction, like Joseph Smith had sex with children, a true statement, or Joseph Smith did not have sex with children, a false statement., These are actual contradictory statements, and Halverson attempts to say that there is another possibility, which would create a contrary, then He wants his unwary listeners to prove a contrary, which is something we never use in faith discussions, which would be something like Joseph Smith didn’t have sex at all, or engage in polyandry or a host of other proven facts. His false contraries are in reality proven contradictions. Few listeners would recognize this highly technical form of argument, and its apparent that Halverson is only slightly familiar with what he is doing with this talk of proving contraries. He isnt using the technique properly and this is why his listeners are forced to read between the lines to figure out what point he is trying to elucidate . He probably uses the same lectures at each fireside and since we don’t use Propositional Logic in tests of faith, unless its Dallin Oaks, but in courts of law, few are aware of the unique form of gaslighting he is foisting on them.
It seems to me he is simply trying to take the cognitive dissonance that members who encounter the issues in LDS history experience, and repackage living with that cognitive dissonance as “the celestial center”.
RFM and Bill, you guys are missing the point when it comes to equating unanimity and revelation. And the speaker is bastardizing a core teaching of Jesus Christ. He is speaking of unanimity as the end goal…….but Christ’s teaching about “if ye are not one, ye are not mine” means that the ultimate goal is for Christ’s disciples to operate from a place of love. When we have Christ’s love in our hearts, we will all operate in a way that is consistent with Christ’s (and God’s) commandments. But Christ doesn’t say that we will all agree on the specific actions to take, just that we will consistently love God and neighbor when we have His law written on our hearts. This is the very thing Christ came to fulfill. To fulfill the law written on tablets of stone and to write His new law on our hearts. Unanimity might sometimes be a byproduct of that unity, but LOVE (Charity) *IS* the ultimate manifestation of unity.
Also Bill, the word you were searching for is “admission”, not “admittance”. You might want to Google the difference. Or ask RFM to explain it.
Just listened to this one since I knew the Halversons when they lived in Tennessee I would be really interested to see if Jared’s opinions have changed any since his oldest daughter just came out as bisexual and that she was leaving the church (not just for lgbtq+ reasons). And she was the most Mormon young woman I had ever encountered – nice, good, obedient, smart, etc.
I like how you unintentionally summarized your “critique” of Halverson’s message when you said several times, “I don’t understand…” I realize you were assuming that Jared was the one who wasn’t making sense, but ironically you were mistaken. Prideful nitpicking and fundamentalist belligerence are substantial barriers to adequate comprehension. In contrast, people genuinely interested in truth and understanding will employ such effective tools of critical analysis as: compassionate reconstruction and “steelmanning”. Hint: Jared’s intent wasn’t to present a general counterargument to anti-Mormonism or church criticism so as to keep people in the church, but rather to present an upper level, more nuanced conceptual framework for productively navigating the latter stages of faith and learning development–a conceptual framework which, by the way, isn’t the trademark of secular Hinduism, but cuts across a broad range of domains both secular and religious.
Bill Reel here – We really appreciate that you are listening to Mormonism LIVE. We hope you are enjoying the show Wade. I would need to know what you are referring to as this show was recorded a long time ago. Time stamp and context please and I would be happy to respond. In the meantime I’m curious if accuracy and fair representation are values you hold generally or just when you believe the critic “missed the mark” because I am curious if you ever write the Church to point out such inadequate comprehension? Once you message back the time stamp or layout clearly the context, I will be able to intelligently respond, until then please know I take significant issue with Halvorson’s portrayal of critics and his deeply flawed portrayal of the problems. You still particpating at MDDB?