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Strife caught peddling bogus quotations


Bryan
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Quotes of the Moment as of 6-16-2007:

"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion.... perhaps around their necks? And maybe -- dare I dream it? -- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively." --Jon Stewart

"God is an essence we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world. The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes...and they believe rightly." --John Adams

No, I'm not talking about the Jon Stewart quotation--but it's refreshing to see an admission from a left-leaning figure that Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison were all Christians. :lol:

The supposed quotation from Adams is a cut-and-paste job from at least two different sources, and both are taken out of context. Extremely out of context.

Edited by Bryan
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Quotes of the Moment as of 6-16-2007:

"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion.... perhaps around their necks? And maybe -- dare I dream it? -- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively." --Jon Stewart

"God is an essence we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world. The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes...and they believe rightly." --John Adams

No, I'm not talking about the Jon Steward quotation

Why did you quote it, then?

--but it's refreshing to see an admission from a left-leaning figure that Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison were all Christians.  :o

LOL, Jefferson for one would have been considered a heretic by today's Christians--also, he considered himself "Christian" only in the loosest sense. He liked the philosophy of Jesus, but spurned all mentions of miracles and claims of divinity. He even wrote his own version of the Bible that 'cut out' all of that stuff. Considering what a stink a lot of Christians make from even the slightest deviation from their Bible of choice (most seem to prefer the KJV, and several have declared versions like the NIV, which is just another translation and isn't nearly the 'cut job' Jefferson performed in the Jefferson Bible, to be "false" and not to be used), I have a feeling that, if presented with the Jefferson Bible today, the average Christian would dismiss it outright.

The supposed quotation from Adams is a cut-and-paste job from at least two different sources, and both are taken out of context.  Extremely out of context.

Okay, now it's time to go one more step and cite the context, so I can see what you mean. I'll be happy to amend my quote if you provide this (actually, regardless, it's already high time to 'cycle' a few more in, as it's been a few weeks, but I'll keep the updated quote in my collection). So, let's see it; until then, it's an empty claim.

P.S. No surprise that you immediately imply the worst possible interpretation of the alleged error in the title of this thread. "Peddling bogus quotations," huh? No, there's no possible way it was a simple mistake (if indeed it was)--it must have been malicious, of course! Perhaps you're projecting something? :)

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Quotes of the Moment as of 6-16-2007:

"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion.... perhaps around their necks? And maybe -- dare I dream it? -- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively." --Jon Stewart

"God is an essence we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world. The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes...and they believe rightly." --John Adams

No, I'm not talking about the Jon Steward quotation--but it's refreshing to see an admission from a left-leaning figure that Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison were all Christians.  :o

The supposed quotation from Adams is a cut-and-paste job from at least two different sources, and both are taken out of context.  Extremely out of context.

Bryan, just because you say something is out of context doesn't make it so. Could you please give us the entire context of Adams' statement?

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Why did you quote it, then?

LOL, Jefferson for one would have been considered a heretic by today's Christians--also, he considered himself "Christian" only in the loosest sense.

Hmmm. So you're saying that Jon Stewart is either mistaken or lying?

He liked the philosophy of Jesus, but spurned all mentions of miracles and claims of divinity. He even wrote his own version of the Bible that 'cut out' all of that stuff. Considering what a stink a lot of Christians make from even the slightest deviation from their Bible of choice (most seem to prefer the KJV, and several have declared versions like the NIV, which is just another translation and isn't nearly the 'cut job' Jefferson performed in the Jefferson Bible, to be "false" and not to be used), I have a feeling that, if presented with the Jefferson Bible today, the average Christian would dismiss it outright.

Okay, now it's time to go one more step and cite the context, so I can see what you mean.

:o

That's fine. I wanted to see how you'd handle the situation first. Apparently you're satisfied with the quotations as they are. You make no attempt to back them up with sourcing, so we can still wonder where you got them.

I'll be happy to amend my quote if you provide this (actually, regardless, it's already high time to 'cycle' a few more in, as it's been a few weeks, but I'll keep the updated quote in my collection). So, let's see it; until then, it's an empty claim.

So you have no responsibility whatsoever to show that you're using legitimate quotations? No need not cite a source--nothing? Just claiming that John Adams said it is fine?

Strife is always right until proven wrong!

P.S. No surprise that you immediately imply the worst possible interpretation of the alleged error in the title of this thread. "Peddling bogus quotations," huh? No, there's no possible way it was a simple mistake (if indeed it was)--it must have been malicious, of course! Perhaps you're projecting something? :P

:)

You're very funny.

The quotations are bogus, and you're peddling them by advertising them in your signature. Simple as that.

I'll provide the facts that you never bothered to check after I respond to the next post.

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Bryan, just because you say something is out of context doesn't make it so.  Could you please give us the entire context of Adams' statement?

Sure, I can do that.

Why do you need for me to do that, though? Are you helpless? Are you unable to do any fact-checking on your own?

Just curious.

Here's the quotation (I use the term loosely) Strife used.

"God is an essence we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world. The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes...and they believe rightly." --John Adams

He probably remembered it from Jonathan Miller's "A Rough History of Disbelief," which was aired on the BBC and on some PBS outlets in the US.

John Adam

"God is an essence we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of there will never be any liberal science in the world"

Thomas Jefferson

"The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be used in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly"

http://www.secularsites.freeuk.com/jonatha...ller_quotes.htm

(the same actor, if I'm not mistaken, delivered the quotations one right after the other in the Miller production. If one weren't paying attention to the text on the screen identifying the supposed sources of the statements, then the confusion is understandable--but still ridiculous.)

So, the latter portion comes from Jefferson, not from Adams. Somehow, Strifey got confused and ran them together. And that's just the beginning of the problem.

The Adams quotation, as presented, suggests that Adams has some problem with the nature of God as a spirit, or perhaps the inscrutability of God.

Know what? I'm not going to give the full answer yet. I want to see what Strife thinks Adams meant in the quotation. That will serve as an excellent contrast when I provide the context of the quotation.

Same goes for the supposed quotation of Jefferson. With the quotation presented as it is, what schemes of the clergy were opposed by this giant of our nation's infancy? What does the quotation suggest?

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Okay, now it's time to go one more step and cite the context, so I can see what you mean. I'll be happy to amend my quote if you provide this (actually, regardless, it's already high time to 'cycle' a few more in, as it's been a few weeks, but I'll keep the updated quote in my collection). So, let's see it; until then, it's an empty claim.

After a bit of googling, I eventually stumbled on a message board post with links to images of the original letter the quote comes from. This proved more difficult than I expected, as most hits were just the isolated quote. Unfortunately, these are somewhat difficult to read and not searchable. But here they are:

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc006645.jpg

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc006646.jpg

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc006647.jpg

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc006648.jpg

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Oops. I've made the heinous mistake of posting links without reading them first. I took the original poster's word that this was the letter containing that quote. It is not. It is still a good read, though. It reveals Adams to have been religious, but certainly not of the fundamentalist variety.

Feeding part of the beginning of the letter to Google, I found the text of it in a much more readable and searchable form here:

http://yamaguchy.netfirms.com/7897401/jefferson/1817.html

It does, however, contain another oft-seen quote of Adams', which is often quoted out of context by fellow atheists in a way that distorts its meaning. Even in context, it gives no credence to the idea that Adams and the other founders had in mind to create anything other than a secular government, and in the following paragraphs, suggests the opposite. But neither does it show Adams to be anti-religious, as it appears to do when out of context.

Here's the isolated quote:

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if, there were no religion in it ! ! !”

That sounds pretty solidly anti-religious, doesn't it?

But here's the whole paragraph:

"Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if, there were no religion in it ! ! !” But in this exclamation I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite society, I mean hell. So far from believing in the total and universal depravity of human nature, I believe there is no individual totally depraved. The most abandoned scoundrel that ever existed, never yet wholly extinguished his conscience, and while conscience remains there is some religion. Popes, Jesuits, and Sorbonists, and Inquisitors, have some conscience and some religion. So had Marius and Sylla, Caesar, Catiline and Antony ; and Augustus had not much more, let Virgil and Horace say what they will."

So, that should be a lesson about repeating isolated quotes. If you don't check the context, someone else undoubtedly will, and you'll look pretty foolish if that context turns out to make a big difference. You may not have intended any misrepresentation, so you may not rightly be guilty of accusations of lying. But still, the blame for not checking your facts is legitimate.

Then, of course, there's the other lesson about foolishly posting links without reading them first. Mea culpa.

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Bryan, just because you say something is out of context doesn't make it so.  Could you please give us the entire context of Adams' statement?

Comment to "bewildered"; You've been bewildered for some time now and I'm concerned about you. Have you seen a doctor ? May I offer some advice ? Stay away from the loony left bloggers, throw out the Kool-Aid and start watching O'Reilly and Hannity. You'll begin to see the light and start becoming more lucid in a week or so. Good luck.

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Oops. I've made the heinous mistake of posting links without reading them first. I took the original poster's word that this was the letter containing that quote. It is not. It is still a good read, though. It reveals Adams to have been religious, but certainly not of the fundamentalist variety.

Feeding part of the beginning of the letter to Google, I found the text of it in a much more readable and searchable form here:

http://yamaguchy.netfirms.com/7897401/jefferson/1817.html

It does, however, contain another oft-seen quote of Adams', which is often quoted out of context by fellow atheists in a way that distorts its meaning. Even in context, it gives no credence to the idea that Adams and the other founders had in mind to create anything other than a secular government, and in the following paragraphs, suggests the opposite. But neither does it show Adams to be anti-religious, as it appears to do when out of context.

Here's the isolated quote:

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if, there were no religion in it ! ! !”

That sounds pretty solidly anti-religious, doesn't it?

But here's the whole paragraph:

"Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if, there were no religion in it ! ! !”  But in this exclamation I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly.  Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite society, I mean hell.  So far from believing in the total and universal depravity of human nature, I believe there is no individual totally depraved.  The most abandoned scoundrel that ever existed, never yet wholly extinguished his conscience, and while conscience remains there is some religion.  Popes, Jesuits, and Sorbonists, and Inquisitors, have some conscience and some religion.  So had Marius and Sylla, Caesar, Catiline and Antony ;  and Augustus had not much more, let Virgil and Horace say what they will."

So, that should be a lesson about repeating isolated quotes. If you don't check the context, someone else undoubtedly will, and you'll look pretty foolish if that context turns out to make a big difference. You may not have intended any misrepresentation, so you may not rightly be guilty of accusations of lying. But still, the blame for not checking your facts is legitimate.

Then, of course, there's the other lesson about foolishly posting links without reading them first. Mea culpa.

WilliamK, I do truly appreciate the work you did researching that quotation ... but that's not in Strife's signature, is it?

What are you up to, please?

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Okay, I basically turned the one quote into two, fixing the mistake.

Both quotations were, in turn, cobbled together in a highly suspicious manner, regardless of the fact that you attributed the Jefferson fragment to Adams.

Somebody else did the cobbling--you just bought it uncritically.

Simple mistake of mishearing, certainly not "peddling bogus quotations" as a grifter who peddles fake Rolexes.

So, let's say you're an honest peddler who got a shipment of fake Rolexes who sells them believing they are real.

It's correct to say that you are peddling fake Rolexes, isn't it?

And note that I predicted an apology from you. Is an apology what we should expect from one who knowingly peddled fake Rolexes?

Fact is, Strifey, you're trying to make this into some kind of harsh attack on your poor, poor, pitiful self (Zevon) as an attack on me, and in turn as a distraction from your ineptitude.

Nice try at making me sound as malicious as possible (considering what the 'infraction' was). :rolleyes:

I could have made you seem far more malicious than I did, as by not indicating that I expected you to apologize in short order, or by saying something in particular about how this serves as an example of your low moral standards.

I don't think you'll find that Buchanan quotation in anything he wrote.

It's probably spurious (it's at least very poorly attested).

Keep trying, Strifey.

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WilliamK, I do truly appreciate the work you did researching that quotation ... but that's not in Strife's signature, is it?

What are you up to, please?

My research went astray, obviously. But in the process, I stumbled upon a familiar and excellent illustration of why it is a good idea to not cite quotes that you haven't seen in context. It is also an illustration of how easy it is to perpetuate misinformation and even deception without having any intent to do so. Thus, citation of an erroneous or out-of-context quote is an indication of not having checked one's sources, but is not, by itself, an indication of dishonesty. I believe those are points relevant to this discussion, even if it isn't the same quote that started it.

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Guest bewildered
Comment to "bewildered";  You've been bewildered for some time now and I'm concerned about you.  Have you seen a doctor ? May I offer some advice ?  Stay away from the loony left bloggers, throw out the Kool-Aid and start watching O'Reilly and Hannity. You'll begin to see the light and start becoming more lucid in a week or so. Good luck.

2dumb4ne1: I am always bewildered by the bulls**t thrown out by the nutty right. I am much more afraid of them than anyone else. And again with the Kool-Aid. If it's not Kool-Aid, what is rotting your brain?

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Guest 2smart4u
2dumb4ne1:  I am always bewildered by the bulls**t thrown out by the nutty right. I am much more afraid of them than anyone else.  And again with the Kool-Aid.  If it's not Kool-Aid, what is rotting your brain?

Yes, I can see you're definitely bewildered. Follow my advice, I think you can be helped. Good luck.

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My research went astray, obviously. But in the process, I stumbled upon a familiar and excellent illustration of why it is a good idea to not cite quotes that you haven't seen in context.

That does sound like good advice.

:rolleyes:

It is also an illustration of how easy it is to perpetuate misinformation and even deception without having any intent to do so.

I agree. Sometimes our goal of supporting our views might put fact-checking on the back burner [edited for clarity].

Thus, citation of an erroneous or out-of-context quote is an indication of not having checked one's sources, but is not, by itself, an indication of dishonesty.

I agree. Repeated instances do bring into question one's critical judgment, however.

I believe those are points relevant to this discussion, even if it isn't the same quote that started it.

If Strife thinks the quotations are okay now that he has separated them, then I wonder why he didn't keep them in his sig line? Is there something he knows that he isn't telling?

Do you think he'll address my question as to what the two quotations conveyed as he presented them?

If not, why not?

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If Strife thinks the quotations are okay now that he has separated them, then I wonder why he didn't keep them in his sig line?  Is there something he knows that he isn't telling?
I'll be happy to amend my quote if you provide this (actually, regardless, it's already high time to 'cycle' a few more in, as it's been a few weeks, but I'll keep the updated quote in my collection). (emphasis added)

Pay attention.

And I'm choosing not to debate them specifically with you because I know your style, and am choosing to avoid doing that endless semantic dance. I responded to the 'technical' part, and now I'm done here.

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Pay attention.

And I'm choosing not to debate them specifically with you because I know your style, and am choosing to avoid doing that endless semantic dance.

But you didn't get around to apologizing yet. You're going to make my prediction look bad. :P

I responded to the 'technical' part, and now I'm done here.

Heh. You responded to just one of three major problems.

Were the quotations misleading as Strife presented them? Well, sure, but he didn't mean to do that, and it could have happened to anyone.

Oh boy...he's one of these people, huh? It sure is easier to look persecuted when you rewrite history, huh? What invariably follows are out-of-context quotes that "prove" that all the founding fathers were Christians etc. etc. etc.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=41620

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"I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion." -- I have not been able to determine the validity of this quote. If anyone can provide a citation from original sources, or can demonstrate the falsity of the quote, please email me at peterroberts.geo@yahoo.com.

Don't worry, Mr. Roberts. If Strife puts a quotation in his signature line, it's probably reliable.

Quotes of the Moment as of 7-1-2007:

"I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion." --James Buchanan

--from Strife's sig line

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Oops, looks like Strife's done it again:

"We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand." --James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Reagan

And yet, Reagan didn't can this person on the spot for making such an irresponsible comment. Some administration...

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=56957

Watt very probably never made the statement Strife (and many others) attribute to him.

This site probably points to the source of the quotation, which is now attributed to Watt all over the Internet even though it apparently never made the news anywhere near Watt's tenure as secretary of the interior:

February: Reagan's newly posted Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, a former industry lobbyist, testifies before Congress: "That is the delicate balance the Secretary of the Interior must have: to be steward for the natural resources for this generation as well as future generations. I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns; whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations." Author Austin Miles interprets Watt's statement to read, "We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand."

http://www.iraqtimeline.com/1981.html

Apparently some skeptics like to revise history, and the other skeptics aren't skeptical enough to notice.

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