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 Post subject: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:55 pm 
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At least that is what he claims he is about to do.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterso ... nd-me.html

I wonder if Interpreter will do the honors of putting the entire debate online for everyone to read. This may be a quite great chance for Shermer to feel the Spirit and convert - if that is the kind of thing the Holy Ghost actually wants.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:13 am 
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I wonder how Dr. P does in a live debate format? Now if we could just get Dr. P to continue with the debate with Dr. Jenkins .....

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Exiled wrote:
I wonder how Dr. P does in a live debate format? Now if we could just get Dr. P to continue with the debate with Dr. Jenkins .....


That would be epic. Peterson has read enough of Nibley on the ancient art of rhetoric to be quite an adept rhetoritician, so he won't do anything that convinces everyone he actually lost a debate, i.e., he will not take a hard and firm stand on anything thus maintaining deniable plausibility. By being overly general he can always deny anyone else's claim that he said thus and so or meant thus and so. All he will ever have to do is say "that is not my intent," or something like "that is not what I had in mind when I was speaking." Shermer will get the best of him, without doubt.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:22 pm 
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Philo Sofee wrote:
That would be epic. Peterson has read enough of Nibley on the ancient art of rhetoric to be quite an adept rhetoritician, so he won't do anything that convinces everyone he actually lost a debate, i.e., he will not take a hard and firm stand on anything thus maintaining deniable plausibility. By being overly general he can always deny anyone else's claim that he said thus and so or meant thus and so. All he will ever have to do is say "that is not my intent," or something like "that is not what I had in mind when I was speaking." Shermer will get the best of him, without doubt.


I like watching these debates but faith can never be falsified (at least in the eyes of the believer). So, I end up frustrated. How can one falsify continued belief in an entity that is invisible by design and remains so by design? For the believer, faith and reality are forever justified through ad hoc reasoning. It becomes like Carl Sagan's invisible dragon in the garage.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:28 pm 
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I'm neither Mormon nor atheist so I have no dog in this fight. Having said that, does anyone know if Peterson has any debate experience? If not, I'm guessing he will lose badly. Being able to debate is actually quite hard and takes a lot of practice. It looks a lot easier than it actually is.

I've also heard that Peterson is in some way trying to be the Mormon version of William Lane Craig. Is this the case? And if so, is this his first foray into emulating Craig?

Actually, I looked at Peterson's description and the event is only 50 minutes long. If so, it isn't a debate. At 50 minutes there will be at best 15 minutes for each to present and 15 minutes for discussion/questions. Add in the 5 minute speaker introductions and that's it. A real debate will have opening, rebuttal, cross examination, and closing statements. 2-3 hours would be the minimum.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:21 pm 
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I've never heard Shermer speak about Mormonism though I've listened to him speak on multiple podcasts and a recent IQ2 debate with Deepak Chopra regarding the necessity of God.

Mormonism can be an odd topic for someone with minimal knowledge of its historical intricacies and details. Its obvious problems such as historical proximity to the present, scriptural and prophetic claims, and ties to unsavory practices such as polygamy or Mountain Meadows Massacre can also be a handicap when dealing with someone who knows a bit more about the history and uses it to support arguments that amount to God of Gap arguments. It would be a shame for this to go that route but that's my prediction.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Philo Sofee wrote:
Shermer will get the best of him, without doubt.

I think Shermer is very intelligent and I like him, but I don't feel he is a good debater.

I have a feeling that Peterson is going to argue that God is an extraterrestrial.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:45 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
I have a feeling that Peterson is going to argue that God is an extraterrestrial.

When I was a young TBM an LDS friend of mine had me listen to a recorded episode of the Art Bell show about Jesus being an ET. It made sense to my young Mormon mind. I'm still glad he introduced it to me because they used this song on the show:

https://youtu.be/mSfa56tjBQo

Its called Jesus Was Way Cool, by King Missile.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:21 pm 
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Pretty nifty for Dr. Peterson to once again address the Mormon-laden Freedom Fest, outlining the principals of Libertarianism while arguing they are all sovereign states who must ban medical marijuana on the grounds of holy compliance to Authority.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:35 pm 
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Shermer (and other atheist debaters) know and expect a standard set of arguments ( ontological, teleological, morality, presuppositional, Pascal's Wager etc.). They are experts in logic and logic fallacies. These men are also experts on the OT/New Testament and well read in modern day biblical scholars.

Mormons just don't seem to have these things in their vocabulation nor experience, and remain in the dark ages on biblical studies. Does DCP have any experience in this world?

DCP is about to get spanked, and he likely will not even know it. Dan notes he has been to skepticon several times in the past ... that seems odd. Lends credence to Dan being a closet atheist, stuck via career/family.

ah, freedomfest, not sure why I had skepticicon on the brain. Perhaps Shermer is the odd man out at freedomfest?


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:06 pm 
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RockSlider wrote:
These men are also experts on the OT/New Testament and well read in modern day biblical scholars.

Mormons just don't seem to have these things in their vocabulation nor experience, and remain in the dark ages on biblical studies. Does DCP have any experience in this world?

I don't agree. I think Peterson knows more on OT/New Testament scholarship than Shermer. I just wrote to Shermer and hopefully he reads my message

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Please do not underestimate your debate opponent Daniel C Peterson because he is smarter than the average Mormon. Peterson believes in Evolution and doesn't take Genesis literally. The guy knows very well how to defend Mormon History and Joseph Smith, so stay out of those subjects.

Peterson thinks God is an extraterrestrial and may try to argue that it is reasonable to believe in alien gods. I would stay out of the problem of evil because many Mormon apologists believe suffering is a necessary process to become like God. The problem of evil isn't as problematic in Mormonism.

I do recommend to attack spiritual revelation. Mormon apologists are very bad in defending spiritual revelation. If you focus the debate on patterns in meaningless data you will easily win the debate. Compare Bigfoot research to Mormon scholarship
https://michaelshermer.com/contact/

I think Peterson is a coward. Why doesn't he debate someone like Dan Vogel or Thomas Riskas? The guy obviously doesn't have the balls to debate someone who can easily ridicule him.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:40 pm 
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Kittens_and_Jesus wrote:
When I was a young TBM an LDS friend of mine had me listen to a recorded episode of the Art Bell show about Jesus being an ET. It made sense to my young Mormon mind. I'm still glad he introduced it to me because they used this song on the show:

https://youtu.be/mSfa56tjBQo

Its called Jesus Was Way Cool, by King Missile.

Cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:49 am 
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Michael Shermer is, I believe, a nice guy. So this will be a soft ball discussion. Shermer is a self declared skeptic who’s position on God is “I don’t know, and you don’t either” (on a personal note, I really like and subscribe to this position). He has built a compelling argument for the position that God doesn’t exist, but that the concept of “God” is hard wired into humans as a result of evolutionary forces.

He maintains that the burden of proof rests with the believer - if you want to claim God exists, you should show your workings. It will be interesting to see DCP’s workings. Shermer will rebut him by showing that whatever he comes up with as a proof of God, could equally be applied as “proving” Zeus, the Sun God, Ganesh or even the FSM.

But he’ll do it nicely.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:40 am 
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The debate won't be about God, but about the utility and importance of faith, a much easier topic for a religion to debate. I do hope that Peterson will bring up what he considers the very best arguments and reasons why his views are more correct than a skeptics, so that Shermer can then show what it is that keeps him skeptical. If there really was evidence, skeptics wouldn't have reasons for being such. I hope it's a good discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:58 am 
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Aristotle Smith wrote:
I'm neither Mormon nor atheist so I have no dog in this fight. Having said that, does anyone know if Peterson has any debate experience? If not, I'm guessing he will lose badly. Being able to debate is actually quite hard and takes a lot of practice. It looks a lot easier than it actually is.


Back in the late 90's he and William Hamblin engaged in a live debate with James White. White had made some dumb claims in his book and because of that Bill and Dan were able to keep him up against the ropes on those subjects, and most people felt they won the debate. I actually transcribed the debate and posted it online way back when I was an LDS apologist, and it circulated online for a while but can't find it any more.

Dan would later say that he doesn't like live debates and much prefers written debates like the ones you used to see posted at SHIELDS and FARMS.

He was also in a radio conversation with anti-Muslim guy Robert Spencer. Dan was actually agreeing with Robert most of the time, and while Spencer thought it was a debate Dan said he didn't think it was a debate but more of a conversation.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:44 am 
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Hawkeye wrote:
Back in the late 90's he and William Hamblin engaged in a live debate with James White. White had made some dumb claims in his book and because of that Bill and Dan were able to keep him up against the ropes on those subjects, and most people felt they won the debate. I actually transcribed the debate and posted it online way back when I was an LDS apologist, and it circulated online for a while but can't find it any more.

Dan would later say that he doesn't like live debates and much prefers written debates like the ones you used to see posted at SHIELDS and FARMS.

He was also in a radio conversation with anti-Muslim guy Robert Spencer. Dan was actually agreeing with Robert most of the time, and while Spencer thought it was a debate Dan said he didn't think it was a debate but more of a conversation.


Thanks for transcribing that those many years ago. I remember reading that little debate, thanks to you. And yes, I do believe I recall seeing Dan say somethign along the lines of he much prefers written debates over formatted debates with microphones and such.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:03 am 
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Philo Sofee wrote:
The debate won't be about God, but about the utility and importance of faith, a much easier topic for a religion to debate. I do hope that Peterson will bring up what he considers the very best arguments and reasons why his views are more correct than a skeptics, so that Shermer can then show what it is that keeps him skeptical. If there really was evidence, skeptics wouldn't have reasons for being such. I hope it's a good discussion.

The topic of the debate is, "Is Faith Compatible with Reason?"

My prediction is that Shermer's argument will be "no it isn't--faith and reason mean the exact opposite of each other." Meanwhile, Peterson will reference examples of people who are incredibly intelligent and otherwise reasonable, yet maintain faith. He'll then make an argument about magistrates--on some questions reason is the best tool, but on other questions, faith is a reasonable tool. On that last point, he isn't going to argue that faith is the "best" tool on any given question. Rather, he is going to play for a stalemate--he is going to argue that it is reasonable to have faith.

Peterson might try to paint the world without faith as a bleak, meaningless, joyless thing. But he has to be careful with his audience on this point--Mormons might buy this, but a secular audience won't. He will then refer to the likeable people with faith and will make it personal and will imply, "if you think faith isn't compatible with reason, you are a bigot who thinks these heroes are mentally deficient."

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:21 am 
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Analytics wrote:
Meanwhile, Peterson will reference examples of people who are incredibly intelligent and otherwise reasonable, yet maintain faith. He'll then make an argument about magistrates--on some questions reason is the best tool, but on other questions, faith is a reasonable tool. On that last point, he isn't going to argue that faith is the "best" tool on any given question. Rather, he is going to play for a stalemate--he is going to argue that it is reasonable to have faith.

Peterson might try to paint the world without faith as a bleak, meaningless, joyless thing. But he has to be careful with his audience on this point--Mormons might buy this, but a secular audience won't. He will then refer to the likeable people with faith and will make it personal and will imply, "if you think faith isn't compatible with reason, you are a bigot who thinks these heroes are mentally deficient."

Exactly! The apologists like Peterson are so predictable.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:23 am 
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I can believe that DCP would be a very effective debater, actually.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Quote:
Meanwhile, Peterson will reference examples of people who are incredibly intelligent and otherwise reasonable, yet maintain faith. He'll then make an argument about magistrates--on some questions reason is the best tool, but on other questions, faith is a reasonable tool. On that last point, he isn't going to argue that faith is the "best" tool on any given question. Rather, he is going to play for a stalemate--he is going to argue that it is reasonable to have faith.


I think this is pretty close. But it will be interesting to see if a contradictory position is also maintained, that "scientists have to have faith also!" when they believe in theories like abiogenesis that have no evidence whatsoever.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:06 am 
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It would be nice if Shermer didn't try to bag a quick win from the dictionary. The one debate on this topic that I attended, years ago, started that way, and it became a complete waste of time. Appeals to the dictionary may have counted as knock-down arguments in sixth grade but if you submit a college paper whose entire argument is a tautology you're likely to fail. Regardless of whether your conclusion is right or wrong, claiming that it is implicit in the definition of terms is the definition of begging the question.

The fact that many famous smart people have had faith doesn't prove that God exists but it does prove that there must exist reasonable definitions of "faith", "reason", and "compatible" under which faith and reason are compatible. Otherwise those famous smart people would all have to have been too stupid to notice a trivial contradiction.

So one can dispute about which kinds of definition are most useful or reasonable or whatever, but to insist that "the" definitions make faith and reason incompatible is just dumb.


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