Date: May 20, 2013 03:55PM
I have read all the postings above, and have reflected and considered thoughtfully how I would like to proceed, if there is still sufficient interest in my doing so, which there seems to be.
When those interested in proceeding with informed dialogue and discussion about the book have confirmed that they have in fact completed reading the Introduction, FP and Chs. 1 and 2 of the book, inclusive of all footnotes, and I have been notified of that fact by Susan or Steve, I will issue a summary statement in a new thread ("DM Forum Opening Remarks and Discussion") within the dedicated DM Forum.
In this new thread I will first summarize the philosophical premises of, and rationale for, the underlying approach used in the book to deconstruct mormonism and other forms of theism. This summary statement will also include a brief preemptive treatment of those published and other "P"hilosophical (cap. P) criticisms of this approach that I am presently aware of. Finally, it will include a statement of what I consider to be the purpose and boundaries of our ongoing engagement.
After my opening statement I will open the thread to questions, comments, suggestions and reactions in an effort to reach some reasonable consensus on the proposed or amended purpose and boundaries, including what we might consider to be relevant and irrelevant postings in any given thread(s) pertaining to designated portions of the book.
When this new opening thread is closed I suggest we then proceed to open a series of separate threads within the DM Forum, for Chs. 3-8, the Epilogue, the PPS and Appendix A, respectively.
These threads would, again, be attended "only" by those who have read the designated chapter or section of the book, inclusive of footnotes, and those interested in relevant dialogue and discussion.
Please let me be clear, so you can decide if you want to proceed or participate. I am only willing to participate in this dedicated forum with those who are serious about understanding this book and contributing to mine and others' understanding. I am NOT interested in litigating the book, defending the book or its resources or, again, engaging in argument or debate; something that can be done in other forums within RfM.
This does not mean, as has been implied, that I am only looking for "praise" or agreement. Nothing could be farther from the case.
Nor should it imply or be taken to mean that am I closed to the possibility that my thinking and work is anything like "the last word" on the deconstruction of mormonism or theism, as I use the term, or that my views, interpretations, understandings, commitments or approach cannot or will not evolve through the process of serious and civil inquiry and discussion we engage in; inquiry that not only confirms, establishes and expands understading of the book itself, as it has been written, but explores alternative possibilities, understandings or perspectives. Such learning and development on my part will most certainly be the case, and I expect and welcome it.
The principle idea here is that we cannot credibly react to, modify, argue against or accept that which we do not adequately understand. The book is of no value to anyone, and opinions about it are of no value to me or anyone else, until and unless we have individually and collectively exercised due diligence (done the heavy lifting) of first understading, as best we can, its underlying assumptions, foundational premises, demonstrated practice, and fundamental arguments, along with the stated premises and support for such arguments.
Everything else that would go on in this dedicated forum would be, from my perspective, merely a side slow, and a waste of time, and anything said about the book, pro et con, would be, to me, and in the words of Bob Dylan, nothing more than "idiot wind". (BTW, this is why Kerry Shirt's review of this book was so impressive to me and others. At least he read -- and reread -- and struggled with the damn thing!)
In closing, while I don't agree with all that my former colleague Stephen R. Covey wrote or taught on the topic of personal integrity and effectiveness, much I do agree with, at least in principle. One of his suggested "habits of effectiveness" that I happen to agree with (though I regrettably don't practice as much or as well as I could and should) is to "seek first to understand, then to be understood." Another, related "habit" would be the value of creating "synergy" in pursuit of "third solutions" (not either/or, but both/and) in getting to meaninful change. The point not to be missed here is that to create synergy in amending or taking this work to the next level, whatever that might look like, we must first seek to understand.
This forum is dedicated to that endeavor. By endeavoring to "seek first to understand, then to be understood" by respectfully playing back our understanding of the shared views, feelings and stated assumptions of the author and others, and listening as well to one's own reactions and assumptions to what has been shared and confirmed, mutually respectful and informed dialoge and discussion ensues, and we create the conditions for synergy required to learn and, in turn, enlarge our understanding and "circle of influence" as we engage with others.
I will await notifaction from Susan or Steve re: if and when you would like to proceed, if at all, and as specified above, or as modified by consensus.
Thanks for your continues interest and participation.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2013 04:27PM by tomriskas.