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Old 05-16-2001, 11:33 AM   #51
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Kosh:
No, you can't. Why? Because Earls theory
claims that the gospels grew out of a
misunderstanding of myth vs. reality. That
they were fabrications.

So if your goal is to prove that wrong, then
you're counter can't be "but the gospels tell us
he was real".

Why are you having so much trouble with this
concept? As a lawyer, the falacy of that
approach should be obvious to you!

"Jesus love me this I know. For the Bible
tells me so!".

DesCartes - All I *know* is that I exist.
Everything else I *believe*.
</font>
Oh. Well. It is my theory the New Testament is accurate. So I guess that settles it.

Ridiculous.
 
Old 05-16-2001, 11:57 AM   #52
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EARL/PHILIP: Do you understand the difference between the following two questions: "Which is correct, evolution or Creation?" and "Are Stephen J. Gould's evolutionist arguments correct?" Do you understand the difference between a general and a focussed question? Do you appreciate the fact that a question can be focussed such that while background issues might technically be relevant, yet for practical matters, including the interests of the debate's spectators and the expectations of the debate's participants, only a handful of particular arguments might be crucial to the discussion, to match the debate's focus as indicated by the debate's title? Do you understand that the debate between Doherty and Brian was not simply to answer the general question "Did Jesus exist?" but to address, rather, the question "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?" If you don't see the difference between a general and a focussed question, I'm afraid I can't help you further.

SecWebLurker: Putting your blatant dishonesty about the allegedly explicit purposes of the debate aside, do you still not understand that if Brian can establish the existence of an historical Jesus, independent of Earl's Pauline quibbles, then the balance of probability shifts in THOSE areas as well? Is that so hard to grasp, Earl? Do you not see that YOU have already shown that there IS overlap between Brian's arguments and Earl D.'s (i.e., crucifixion, birth of Christianity, etc.)?

If Earl's Christ-myth case just sticks to the Paulines in assessing the historicity of Jesus then it is less than irrelevant. To use an anology from the YEC debate (since it is so appropriate when speaking of the Christ-myth), that's like a case for YEC just focusing on the alleged inadequacy of carbon-dating! Let's suppose a YEC advocate can show that there are all sorts of assumptions that go into all types of radiometric dating (as they often attempt to do) and hence the evidence there is rendered ambiguous, is it then a non-sequitur for his/her opponent to seek to establish the age of the earth independently (an age that would then vindicate the results of radiometric dating to an extent)?

Consider a man on trial for murdering an old woman. We have eyewitnesses who saw a gray Honda Accord leaving her house 20 minutes before she was found dead. Our defendant drives a gray Honda Accord. Oh, but a ton of people drive that car and no license plate number was recorded. Should we then ignore the old lady's skin found under the defendant's fingernails? Does this not then increase the probability of the car having been his own? Of course it does.

Earl: A moderator should have set up a proposition for each debater to affirm or deny, such as "Did Jesus exist?" or "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?" thus fixing the focus right from the start.

SWL: Still scooping the fudge...

Of course, If Brian shows that there was an historical Jesus by whatever means, then Doherty's mythicist arguments MUST BE INCORRECT because he plainly asserts that they argue towards Jesus' non-existence. Doherty defines the mythicist position as "the theory that there was no historical Jesus".[see the bottom par. of http://infoweb.magi.com/~oblio/jesus/preamble.htm]

&lt;snip the rest of your blather&gt;

SecWebLurker

[This message has been edited by SecWebLurker (edited May 16, 2001).]
 
Old 05-16-2001, 12:34 PM   #53
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SECWEBLURKER: Putting your blatant dishonesty about the allegedly explicit purposes of the debate aside,

EARL/PHILIP: "Explicit purposes"? Gee, and I thought I said in the same post you allegedly read of mine "The blame for this mix-up is not Brian's or Doherty's but the moderators. A moderator should have set up a proposition for each debater to affirm or deny, such as "Did Jesus exist?" or "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?" thus fixing the focus right from the start….Technically, given the absence of an initial proposition set up by a moderator, the debaters were free to use any strategy they wished…"

So, SWL, do you think it follows that if there WAS NO initial proposition set up by a moderator, there COULD NOT have been an "explicit purpose" of the debate? Do you know how to read? I also said in my May 15, 2001 08:31 PM post, "But this is a special case. Here we have a relative star who was apparently under the impression that you were interested in discussing his views rather than presenting an independent case for Jesus' historicity."

Does "apparently under the impression" sound like "blatant dishonesty" on my part about the existence of some sort of "explicit purpose" of the debate? Again, do you know how to read? This is actually an important question, since if you don't know how to read or if the assistant who holds your reading glasses for you is on vacation and you're left to your own devices, I could try to contain my replies to a few short sentences using only small words. I like to help my opponents as much as I can, you see, especially my disabled ones.



SECWEBLURKER: do you still not understand that if Brian can establish the existence of an historical Jesus, independent of Earl's Pauline quibbles, then the balance of probability shifts in THOSE areas as well? Is that so hard to grasp, Earl?

EARL/PHILIP: Apparently I do understand, since I made exactly the same observation in the first post of mine you responded to and allegedly read in this thread, my May 15, 2001 08:31 PM post. I said in that post, "Obviously it follows that if some other arguments not considered by Doherty succeed in demonstrating that Jesus existed, Doherty's mythicism must be false. But that's simply a discourteous, and in this case, counter-productive and unnecessary strategy to take."

Unfortunately you cut your reply short and didn't address that comment of mine. By "counter-productive" of course, I meant that this strategy would do no good if it went so far against Doherty's expectations that he decided not to continue the debate. Why would a traditionalist want to do this when instead she could humour Doherty and simply refute his arguments line by line, especially since they're allegedly untenable?

It appears, though, that you have a reading comprehension problem. For pity's sake, will someone give back SWL's reading glasses?
 
Old 05-16-2001, 01:30 PM   #54
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SECWEBLURKER: Putting your blatant dishonesty about the allegedly explicit purposes of the debate aside,

EARL/PHILIP: "Explicit purposes"? Gee, and I thought I said in the same post you allegedly read of mine "The blame for this mix-up is not Brian's or Doherty's but the moderators. A moderator should have set up a proposition for each debater to affirm or deny, such as "Did Jesus exist?" or "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?" thus fixing the focus right from the start….Technically, given the absence of an initial proposition set up by a moderator, the debaters were free to use any strategy they wished…"

SecWebLurker: Regardless, you write: "Do you understand that the debate between Doherty and Brian was not simply to answer the general question "Did Jesus exist?" but to address, rather, the question "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?". Thus implying that there was some previously KNOWN purpose of the debate. Who established that the purpose of the debate was to address a select few of Doherty's myther arguments? When, where, how?

And all of that is irrelevant anyway, as we have seen, Nomad's objections cut right to the core of the "mythicist position", as stated by Early D. himself. So keep scraping the bowl, Earl.

Earl: So, SWL, do you think it follows that if there WAS NO initial proposition set up by a moderator, there COULD NOT have been an "explicit purpose" of the debate? Do you know how to read?

SWL: Do you know how to think? Everything Nomad has presented is directly related to every and any facet of Earl's position (all of which he feels support a cumulative mythicist case). See my comments in the posts above and below.

Earl: I also said in my May 15, 2001 08:31 PM post, "But this is a special case. Here we have a relative star who was apparently under the impression that you were interested in discussing his views rather than presenting an independent case for Jesus' historicity."

SecWebLurker: And once again you demonstrate your inability to reason.

1. We've already seen that Nomad DOES discuss Earl's views (in his MAIN arguments for Jesus' historicity) - thanks to you.

2. We've already seen that even if this were NOT the case and Nomad's arguments were entirely auxilliary, they would STILL have bearing on Earl's Pauline quibbles (who CARES whether or not YOU think that's the most 'productive' strategy to take) and...

3. As if this were not abundantly obvious by now, the "mythicist position" is that there WAS NO historical Jesus as Earl himself says on his site. That is Earl's position. All Nomad need to do is refute that contention in order to shut down Earl's entire project. The purpose of Earl's web-site is not to show that Paul can be interpreted (as can anything else) according to Platonism. That is merely a premise in the larger argument which can be legitimately undercut in a variety of ways.

Earl: Does "apparently under the impression" sound like "blatant dishonesty" on my part about the existence of some sort of "explicit purpose" of the debate?

SecWebLurker: Assuming that there was some previously stated specified/restricted purpose of the debate that you happen to know of in statements like "Do you understand that the debate between Doherty and Brian was not simply to answer the general question "Did Jesus exist?" but to address, rather, the question "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?" is where the dishonesty comes in (not to mention the sheer stupidity).

&lt;snip bad joke&gt;

SECWEBLURKER: do you still not understand that if Brian can establish the existence of an historical Jesus, independent of Earl's Pauline quibbles, then the balance of probability shifts in THOSE areas as well? Is that so hard to grasp, Earl?

EARL/PHILIP: Apparently I do understand, since I made exactly the same observation in the first post of mine you responded to and allegedly read in this thread, my May 15, 2001 08:31 PM post. I said in that post, "Obviously it follows that if some other arguments not considered by Doherty succeed in demonstrating that Jesus existed, Doherty's mythicism must be false. But that's simply a discourteous, and in this case, counter-productive and unnecessary strategy to take."

SecWebLurker: And this is simply subjective bunk. It is my opinion that this is the BEST strategy to take, especially where Doherty seeks refuge in the Paulines (which have so little data on Jesus to begin with), and employs strategies such as invoking Platonism which can pretty much account for any indications of Jesus' humanity. So bravo to Nomad for taking that route. But your statement is further rendered absurd by the fact that (to reiterate) you have already shown that 2 out of 3 arguments Nomad presented for Jesus' historicity ARE "considered by Doherty".

Earl: Unfortunately you cut your reply short and didn't address that comment of mine. By "counter-productive" of course, I meant that this strategy would do no good if it went so far against Doherty's expectations that he decided not to continue the debate. Why would a traditionalist want to do this when instead she could humour Doherty and simply refute his arguments line by line, especially since they're allegedly untenable?

SecWebLurker: Oh gee thanks for your opinion on what is/isn't "productive" within the debate! But maybe you can't read the mind of Earl Doherty as good as you think, and even if you can, I see no reason why Nomad should do anything other than argue against the "mythicist position", as defined by Earl Doherty, using whatever strategy he sees fit - regardless of the whining of "Star"-struck fans who would like to see Doherty's bottom powdered properly lest he get cranky and switch cribs.

But to answer your question - Much easier to test the DNA on the skin under the defendant's fingernails than to try and get the eyewitnesses to choose the right gray Honda Accord out of a line-up of all those within the state. The supposition that the gray Honda Accord belonged to anyone other than the defendant becomes untenable at that point.

Earl: It appears, though, that you have a reading comprehension problem. For pity's sake, will someone give back SWL's reading glasses?

SWL: Har har.

SecWebLurker

[This message has been edited by SecWebLurker (edited May 16, 2001).]
 
Old 05-16-2001, 03:44 PM   #55
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SECWEBLURKER: Regardless, you write: "Do you understand that the debate between Doherty and Brian was not simply to answer the general question "Did Jesus exist?" but to address, rather, the question "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?". Thus implying that there was some previously KNOWN purpose of the debate. Who established that the purpose of the debate was to address a select few of Doherty's myther arguments? When, where, how?

EARL/PHILIP: Doherty's expectation that the debate would focus on the second rather than the first question is implied all over his first post, from the sub topics he laid out (his mythicist arguments) to the title given the whole thread, "The Jesus Puzzle Debate." See also the last half of this post for devastating reasons why Doherty would have had this expectation.



SECWEBLURKER: And all of that is irrelevant anyway, as we have seen, Nomad's objections cut right to the core of the "mythicist position", as stated by Early D. himself. So keep scraping the bowl, Earl.

EARL/PHILIP: And I never claimed otherwise. On the contrary, I said in my May 15, 2001 06:51 PM post, "In his [Brian's] last post, he did indeed make relevant arguments to the question of Jesus' existence," and from my May 15, 2001 07:53 PM post, "Nomad has indeed raised objections to mythicism in general, but he hasn't indicated any willingness to address Doherty's arguments in detail."

But the issue is not whether Brian discussed in detail questions relevant only to whether Jesus existed, but rather whether he discussed Doherty's arguments in particular. The difference is only one of focus, as I've said several times now, since obviously the two agendas are related. But evidently a misunderstanding about the debate's focus was significant enough almost to end the debate--unless you actually believe Doherty is scared to address Brian's arguments. Doherty has now agreed to discuss those arguments, so we'll see how well he does.



SECWEBLURKER: Do you know how to think? Everything Nomad has presented is directly related to every and any facet of Earl's position (all of which he feels support a cumulative mythicist case).

EARL/PHILIP: I consider this false. Nomad's three arguments if true would indeed undermine Doherty's arguments, but only indirectly not directly. A direct undermining would have to tackle Doherty's arguments themselves. In both cases Doherty's mythicism would indeed be shown to be false, but only in the latter case could we say the focus had been on a discussion of Doherty's arguments. Again, the difference is only one of focus. See the second half of this post to learn how the debate was actually started by Nomad attacking Doherty's arguments DIRECTLY, implanting the expectation in Doherty's mind PRIOR to the formal debate.



SECWEBLURKER: And once again you demonstrate your inability to reason.

1. We've already seen that Nomad DOES discuss Earl's views (in his MAIN arguments for Jesus' historicity) - thanks to you.

EARL/PHILIP: Nomad discusses Tacitus, Josephus, and the crucifixion, all of which Doherty does discuss in his website and book, but Nomad didn't address Doherty's arguments. He addressed topics in common with the two debaters, but ignored Doherty's summary presentation of his arguments both in Doherty's first post and his recent post about Paul. Furthermore, Nomad switched gears between the way he argued against Doherty prior to the debate, and the way he argued once the formal debate began. Nomad gave Doherty the expectation Doherty worked with in the debate. See below.

Once again, though, the issue is apparently too subtle for you to grasp. The difference is in the focus of the debate. From the focus of Nomad's posts, he was apparently happy to ignore Doherty's arguments and present his own independent case, welcoming Doherty to attack his case instead of the other way around. And all of this was done after giving Doherty a false impression of how the debate would proceed. Doherty's most recent post settles the issue with a fair compromise. Doherty will let both debaters present their own case and attack the other's case.



SECWEBLURKER: 2. We've already seen that even if this were NOT the case and Nomad's arguments were entirely auxilliary, they would STILL have bearing on Earl's Pauline quibbles (who CARES whether or not YOU think that's the most 'productive' strategy to take) and...

EARL/PHILIP: The difference is in (1) the initial expectation supplied by Nomad and Physics Guy, the moderator who first invited Doherty to the debate, (2) focus, (3) directness of reply, (4) common courtesy, and (5) the practical interest in continuing the debate for everyone's pleasure.



SECWEBLURKER: 3. As if this were not abundantly obvious by now, the "mythicist position" is that there WAS NO historical Jesus as Earl himself says on his site. That is Earl's position. All Nomad need to do is refute that contention in order to shut down Earl's entire project. The purpose of Earl's web-site is not to show that Paul can be interpreted (as can anything else) according to Platonism. That is merely a premise in the larger argument which can be legitimately undercut in a variety of ways.

EARL/PHILIP: Doherty's recent post on Paul was only an attempt to begin discussing arguments--any arguments--in detail. Nomad had already completely ignored Doherty's opening post in which he laid out several mythicist sub arguments discussion of any one of which could have filled a whole debate. No one wanted to see a debate along the lines Nomad set out in spite of (1) Doherty's first reply (Nomad's broad arguments against Doherty's style, authority, etc), and most importantly (2) the way in which the debate actually began by Nomad (see just below). In response to several people's complaints Doherty posted those detailed arguments on Paul.



SECWEBLURKER: Assuming that there was some stated specified/restricted purpose of the debate that you happen to know of in statements like "Do you understand that the debate between Doherty and Brian was not simply to answer the general question "Did Jesus exist?" but to address, rather, the question "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?" is where the dishonesty comes in (not to mention the sheer stupidity).

EARL/PHILIP: No dishonest there. Just a commonsense inference based on Doherty's first post, the debate's title, and the fact that Doherty is the relative star of the discussion.

Oh, and don't forget the following comments Nomad made in anticipation of the debate, which show unmistakably that Nomad shared Doherty's expectation that the debate would naturally be focussed directly on Doherty's arguments. From Nomad's May 01, 2001 10:01 AM post in http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f.../000443-2.html : "For Doherty, the evidence tells him that Jesus of Nazareth was a mythical construct. For the rest of the scholarly world the opposite is the truth. We will evaluate who's arguments are better, if and when Doherty comes here for the debate.

And this one from the same post (my emphasis) "First, I am stating that Doherty's explanations and arguments are so bad that almost no one that examines them with an open mind and a reasonable level of education on these questions would treat them as credible, let alone convincing. I ALSO do have evidence that Doherty has not addressed at all, but will save that for if and when he shows up."

And this one, from his May 02, 2001 11:32 PM post in that thread, "Luckily, Doherty himself has said that he will come here to defend his views."

And this one, from his April 25, 2001 08:33 PM post in that thread, "I apologize that I have not gotten the final post up on the Jesus Puzzles, but still hope to do so before the weekend. After that I will wait for Doherty or someone to step forward and actually defend the Jesus-Myth theories."

And this one, from his April 26, 2001 10:24 PM, "I have always known that the great majority of people reject the argument that Jesus never existed at all. At the same time, such people do exist, and I have asked one of them to step forward and defend their arguments. I continue to hope that Doherty will do this…"

And this one, from his April 26, 2001 11:51 PM post, "It will be my job to demonstrate how this happens, of course, and to identify the fundamental problem with the arguments and logic of the myther, but I assure you, and the same time, the myther's arguments will be internally consistent, and even compelling if examined in isolation."

And this one, from the same post, "I have read Doherty's arguments, and I have debated them in the past. If he (or another) shows up, I will debate it [sic] again."

And this one, from the same post, "At the same time, Doherty's professional reputation rests on his remaininga committed Jesus Myther. He literally cannot give it up and remain credible. Therefore I will not try to convince him that he is wrong. I can, however, demonstrate to others that he is very wrong.

"Therefore, like you, I hope that he will come here and present and defend his case."

And this one, from the same post, "Given the extent of his [Doherty's] claims, and the finality contained in them, then yes, if we demonstrate that he is wrong in one major assumption or argument, everything collapses like a house of cards."

And this one, from his April 30, 2001 11:43 AM post, "What got me into this discussion was the fact that so many sceptics were posting links to Doherty's work, yet refusing to defend his opinions. My intent now is to have someone do exactly that, and with luck Doherty himself will step forward. When we are done, and we are able to see that his arguments do not hold up, then we can then move onto more productive discussions."

And this one, from the same post, "My motive in this debate is simple. There is no significant threat from the Jesus Mythers amongst serious students of history. At the same time, if their assertions were to go entirely unchallenged, then many, out of lack of knowledge of the relavent arguments, may find them persuasive. My experience on discussion boards is that some will find any argument to have at least some merit, especially if no one is bothering to refute it. Therefore, it is my belief that once Doherty is refuted, then the discussion on more substantive points and issues can more readily be undertaken."

****

Switching forums now, let's go to Nomad's forum which started it all, shall we? Do you remember Nomad's forum, "Putting together the Jesus Puzzle," found at http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f.../000432-2.html ? The most decisive evidence supporting my claim that Nomad intended to focus specifically on Doherty's arguments, as if all the above quotations aren't enough--you better put your reading glasses on, SWL, because I consider this a knock-out blow--we have Nomad's forum, "Putting together the Jesus Puzzle," in which Nomad attacks Doherty's arguments themselves straight from his website. Then in THAT forum--Nomad's forum in which he tackled piece by piece Doherty's arguments themselves and only those arguments--Physics Guy informed us of the delightful news. Oh, but I'll quote Physics Guy word for word (I emphasize with capital letters the devastating point), "I have invited Earl Doherty to join THIS DISCUSSION and this was his response which he said I could post…." To which Nomad replied in his April 20, 2001 08:54 AM post (again my capitals), "Invite Doherty to come HERE and reply, I will read his responses, and we can go from there." And later in his April 22, 2001 10:44 PM post from the same thread Nomad said (my capitals), "My intent on this thread was to begin a discussion by covering off Doherty's summation of his own points (presented verbatim), then to trigger a broader discussion FROM THOSE posts."

You got it, SWL, Doherty was initially asked to participate not in a private forum but in Nomad's public thread which specifically attacked Doherty's arguments line by line and word by word verbatim. And Nomad knew all of this, including therefore Doherty's Nomad-created expectations, long before the formal debate, because Nomad had started the very forum and thus initiated the very focus I've been talking about! Nomad was the one who started to attack Doherty's arguments themselves (specifically Doherty's "12 Puzzle Pieces" article), which is why Doherty came to the Secular Web forums in the first place, to defend his arguments against Nomad's attack directly on them. That was the focus and those were the expectations on both sides, all created by Nomad! And this focus informs the meaning of all of Nomad's comments above about what he was hoping would happen when Doherty arrived. Nomad explicitly asked Doherty or anyone else to reply to his objections to Doherty's arguments.

I take this to be decisive. You have either forgotten or were never aware of what started the Nomad-Doherty debate. So it's not just a matter of courtesy, practicality or my personal preference for how the debate should have been handled. It was a matter of the expectation that Nomad and Physics Guy implanted in Doherty's mind prior to the debate. Nomad then reneged by brushing off Doherty's arguments once Doherty actually arrived to defend them. So who's afraid of whom?


[This message has been edited by Earl (edited May 16, 2001).]
 
Old 05-16-2001, 06:48 PM   #56
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EARL/PHILIP: Doherty's expectation that the debate would focus on the second rather than the first question is implied all over his first post, from the sub topics he laid out (his mythicist arguments) to the title give the whole thread, "The Jesus Puzzle Debate."

SWL: Firstly, it matters not one bit what method Doherty expected Nomad to employ. Doherty's perceptions say nothing towards the objective "purpose" of the debate (and who cares what DOHERTY named the thread?) nor can they restrict Nomad's debate methodology as long as his points are relevant. When Doherty writes "There was barely the slightest effort on his part to addressing or refuting that presentation. Instead, he was anxious to simply push it out of the way so he could go on to making his own presentation.", he's speaking as if the two are entirely unrelated, but due to the fact that Nomad's "presentation" affects the probability of his Pauline quibbles (as I've stated ad nauseum), this simply isn't the case. Furthermore Nomad has addressed translations in the Paulines, Dates of the Synoptics, Johannine independence, the proclaimed 'mystery' of the Gospel, etc. all of which are aspects of his presentation here.

Earl: See also the last half of this post for devastating reasons why Doherty would have had this expectation.

SWL: Will do.

SECWEBLURKER: And all of that is irrelevant anyway, as we have seen, Nomad's objections cut right to the core of the "mythicist position", as stated by Early D. himself. So keep scraping the bowl, Earl.

EARL/PHILIP: And I never claimed otherwise. On the contrary, I said in my May 15, 2001 06:51 PM post, "In his [Brian's] last post, he did indeed make relevant arguments to the question of Jesus' existence," and from my May 15, 2001 07:53 PM post, "Nomad has indeed raised objections to mythicism in general, but he hasn't indicated any willingness to address Doherty's arguments in detail."

But the issue is not whether Brian discussed in detail questions relevant only to whether Jesus existed, but rather whether he discussed Doherty's arguments in particular. The difference is only one of focus, as I've said several times now, since obviously the two agendas are related. But evidently a misunderstanding about the debate's focus was significant enough almost to end the debate--unless you actually believe Doherty is scared to address Brian's arguments. Doherty has now agreed to discuss those arguments, so we'll see how well he does.

SWL: That Doherty has stopped whining and agreed to discuss those arguments tells me that he obviously recognizes their relevance to the "mythicist case". As far as focus, Nomad is free to debate any way he likes, and as I've stated repeatedly, putting Earl's Pauline arguments aside, and undercutting them with independent arguments of his own is perfectly sufficient to undercut the mythicist case. That this is not the WAY in which Doherty wishes the argument to proceed is irrelevant. As far as why Doherty got all miffed and almost left, I don't care to speculate. Its entirely possible that Earl was scared for the debate to continue.

SECWEBLURKER: Everything Nomad has presented is directly related to every and any facet of Earl's position (all of which he feels support a cumulative mythicist case).

EARL/PHILIP: I consider this false. Nomad's three arguments if true would indeed undermine Doherty's arguments, but only indirectly not directly. A direct undermining would have to tackle Doherty's arguments themselves.

SWL: Rather than argue over what I mean by "directly related" and what you mean by "directly undermine", I'll take your statement that "Nomad's three arguments if true would indeed undermine Doherty's arguments" as the bottom line. From there, I'll just state that, towards the goal of undermining Earl's arguments, Nomad is free to employ any means of civil/relevant argumentation he wishes.

Earl: In both cases Doherty's mythicism would indeed be shown to be false, but only in the latter case could we say the focus had been on a discussion of Doherty's arguments.

SWL: Of course, following Nomad's independent arguments, he could then establish a higher probability for his interpretation of the Pauline references. Any objections to such a chronology of argument is irrelevant. And once again, we must keep in mind that Nomad's arguments intersect with Earl's own (crucifixion, Josephus, Tacitus, rise of Christianity, etc.)

SECWEBLURKER: 1. We've already seen that Nomad DOES discuss Earl's views (in his MAIN arguments for Jesus' historicity) - thanks to you.

EARL/PHILIP: Nomad discusses Tacitus, Josephus, and the crucifixion, all of which Doherty does discuss in his website and book, but Nomad didn't address Doherty's arguments. He addressed topics in common to the two debaters, but ignored Doherty's summary presentation of his arguments both in Doherty's first and recent post about Paul.

SWL: So we see that Nomad is discussing aspects of Earl's "hypothesis" that are relevant. And agian, it is perfectly legitimate for him to refrain from addressing Doherty's speculations about Paul, even granting them for the sake of argument, and introducing new data into the argument that would in turn shed light on the balance of probability of those very arguments. Nomad is not required in any way to ONLY use Earl's selected/presented set of data, even in discussing that very data.

Earl: Furthermore, Nomad switched gears between the way he argued against Doherty prior to the debate, and the way he argued once the formal debate began. Nomad gave the Doherty the expectation Doherty worked with in the debate. See below.

SWL: We'll see.

Earl: Once again, though, the issue is apparently too subtle for you to grasp.

SWL: No, its too greasy for me to grasp.

Earl: The difference is in the focus of the debate. From the focus of Nomad's posts, he was apparently happy to ignore Doherty's arguments and present his own independent case, welcoming Doherty to attack his case instead of the other way around.

SWL: That's perfectly fine, as you admit, Nomad's case sheds light on Doherty's arguments.

Earl: And all of this was done after giving Doherty a false impression of how the debate would proceed. Doherty's most recent post settles the issue with a fair compromise. Doherty will let both debaters present their own case and attack the other's case.

SWL: How reasonable of him! But really, any method which Nomad employs in demonstrating the existence of an historical Jesus is an attack on Earl's case, so Emperor Earl's recent post is unnecessary.

SECWEBLURKER: 2. We've already seen that even if this were NOT the case and Nomad's arguments were entirely auxilliary, they would STILL have bearing on Earl's Pauline quibbles (who CARES whether or not YOU think that's the most 'productive' strategy to take) and...

EARL/PHILIP: The difference is in (1) the initial expectation supplied by Nomad and Physics Guy, the moderator who first invited Doherty to the debate,

SWL: Which is entirely irrelevant. Nomad can use any method he likes as long as the goal is to refute Earl's case. If Doherty can't handle surprises in a debate, he shouldn't BE debating strangers.

Earl: (2) focus,

SWL: Nomad can focus on any aspect of the evidence for the historical Jesus, seeing that anything positive he brings forth is relevant to Earl's arguments.

Earl: (3) directness of reply,

SWL: Nomad demonstrating an historical Jesus "indirectly" (according to your usage) undermines Earl's arguments, and there is nothing wrong with this. He's just enlarging the set of data.

Earl: (4) common courtesy,

SWL: Which has not been breached in the least.

Earl: and (5) the practical interest in continuing the debate for everyone's pleasure.

SWL: Since Nomad was perfectly within his boundaries in the debate, there's been no breach here either.

SECWEBLURKER: 3. As if this were not abundantly obvious by now, the "mythicist position" is that there WAS NO historical Jesus as Earl himself says on his site. That is Earl's position. All Nomad need to do is refute that contention in order to shut down Earl's entire project. The purpose of Earl's web-site is not to show that Paul can be interpreted (as can anything else) according to Platonism. That is merely a premise in the larger argument which can be legitimately undercut in a variety of ways.

EARL/PHILIP: Doherty's recent post on Paul was only an attempt to begin discussing arguments--any arguments--in detail. Nomad had already completely ignored Doherty's opening post in which he laid out several mythicist sub arguments discussion of any one of which could have filled a whole debate.

SWL: Actually, no, he didn't completely ignore it. But if he did decide to pursue another route (a wiser route IMO), employing other data, in undercutting it, more power to him.

Earl: No one wanted to see a debate along the lines Nomad set out in spite of (1) Doherty's first reply (Nomad's broad arguments against Doherty's style, authority, etc),

SWL: I sure did, so you're wrong again.

Earl: and most importantly (2) the way in which the debate actually began by Nomad (see just below). In response to several people's complaints Doherty posted those detailed arguments on Paul.

SWL: Let's see.

SECWEBLURKER: Assuming that there was some stated specified/restricted purpose of the debate that you happen to know of in statements like "Do you understand that the debate between Doherty and Brian was not simply to answer the general question "Did Jesus exist?" but to address, rather, the question "Are Doherty's mythicist arguments correct?" is where the dishonesty comes in (not to mention the sheer stupidity).

EARL/PHILIP: No dishonest there. Just a commonsense inference based on Doherty's first post, the debate's title, and the fact that Doherty is the relative star of the discussion.

SWL: 1. Nomad's posts are just as determinant of the course the debate ought to take as are Earl Doherty's - If Nomad had posted first would this have branded the debate topic "Are Nomad's arguments for Jesus' historicity correct?". But really, Nomad's presentation (ad nauseum) is relevant to Earl's first post so there's no problem. 2. There is no title of the debate. Earl put a name on a thread. 3. Doherty is not a 'star' of anything. He's a bum with a website who hangs out in obscure corners of the web hunting for baby flies because he's afraid to argue on the more serious lists on-line. I don't care how bad you want his autograph, Doherty isn't privelaged in any way during this debate.

Earl: Oh, and don't forget the following comments Nomad made in anticipation of the debate, which show unmistakably that Nomad shared Doherty's expectation that the debate would naturally be focussed directly on Doherty's arguments. From Nomad's May 01, 2001 10:01 AM post in http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f.../000443-2.html : "For Doherty, the evidence tells him that Jesus of Nazareth was a mythical construct. For the rest of the scholarly world the opposite is the truth. We will evaluate who's arguments are better, if and when Doherty comes here for the debate.

SWL: Thanks. Here we see that Nomad expects the debate to consist of Earl presenting his arguments against Jesus' historicity (which has occured), and Nomad presenting the arguments for the historicity of Jesus given by the "scholarly world", which he has indeed done.

Earl: And this one from the same post (my emphasis) "First, I am stating that Doherty's explanations and arguments are so bad that almost no one that examines them with an open mind and a reasonable level of education on these questions would treat them as credible, let alone convincing. I ALSO do have evidence that Doherty has not addressed at all, but will save that for if and when he shows up."

SWL: All we see here is Nomad claiming that Doherty's arguments are bad and then asserting that he will INDEED PRESENT EVIDENCE THAT DOHERTY HAS NOT ADDRESSED. So if these were supposed to be indicative of what Earl should expect the debate to consist of, then Nomad's recent presentation shouldn't have come as a shock at all.

Earl: And this one, from his May 02, 2001 11:32 PM post in that thread, "Luckily, Doherty himself has said that he will come here to defend his views."

SWL: Yeah? And? Is it not Doherty's view that Nomad's evidence for Jesus' historicity (the crucifixion, birth of Christianity, John the B., Tacitus, Josephus, etc.) is insufficient? And hasn't Doherty stopped whining now and agreed to defend these views? Indeed he has.

Earl: And this one, from his April 25, 2001 08:33 PM post in that thread, "I apologize that I have not gotten the final post up on the Jesus Puzzles, but still hope to do so before the weekend. After that I will wait for Doherty or someone to step forward and actually defend the Jesus-Myth theories."

SWL: Indeed, and part of Doherty's theory is that various extra-biblical references to Jesus, and various reported incidences in the Gospels are not historical.

Earl: And this one, from his April 26, 2001 10:24 PM, "I have always known that the great majority of people reject the argument that Jesus never existed at all. At the same time, such people do exist, and I have asked one of them to step forward and defend their arguments. I continue to hope that Doherty will do this…"

SWL: Same comment as above.

Earl: And this one, from his April 26, 2001 11:51 PM post, "It will be my job to demonstrate how this happens, of course, and to identify the fundamental problem with the arguments and logic of the myther, but I assure you, and the same time, the myther's arguments will be internally consistent, and even compelling if examined in isolation."

SWL: Right, if examined in isolation of the wider data that Nomad has currently introduced in order to "identify the fundamental problem with the arguments and logic of the myther."

Earl: And this one, from the same post, "I have read Doherty's arguments, and I have debated them in the past. If he (or another) shows up, I will debate it [sic] again."

SWL: Which Nomad is doing, though he may be taking a route which is dissatisfying to some.

Earl: And this one, from the same post, "At the same time, Doherty's professional reputation rests on his remaininga committed Jesus Myther. He literally cannot give it up and remain credible. Therefore I will not try to convince him that he is wrong. I can, however, demonstrate to others that he is very wrong.

SWL: And? That's what Nomad is currently trying to do. Demonstrating the existence of Jesus from the Gospels alone would indeed "demonstrate to others that he is very wrong." As atheist madmax confirms:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"Was there or was there not an historical Jesus? It is Doherty's contention that there was not. Fine. Lets see him address what Nomad believes to be the strongest arguments for an historical Jesus. If he can address them adequately then his theory becomes significantly stronger. If he can't, then as far as I am concerned his position remains a side show curiosity but not much more."</font>

Earl: And this one, from the same post, "Given the extent of his [Doherty's] claims, and the finality contained in them, then yes, if we demonstrate that he is wrong in one major assumption or argument, everything collapses like a house of cards."

SWL: Since demonstrating the existence of an historical Jesus independently would render Paul's references to a person named Jesus who had a brother named James, was a circumcised descendent of David, born of the flesh, etc. more reasonably understood as dealing with an historical person, Nomad's strategy is perfectly in line with this statement.

&lt;snip a few of the same irrelevancies&gt;

****

Earl: Switching forums now, let's go to Nomad's forum which started it all, shall we? Do you remember Nomad's forum, "Putting together the Jesus Puzzle," found at http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f.../000432-2.html ? The most decisive evidence supporting my claim that Nomad intended to focus specifically on Doherty's arguments, as if all the above quotations aren't enough--you better put your reading glasses on, SWL, because I consider this a knock-out blow--we have Nomad's forum, "Putting together the Jesus Puzzle," in which Nomad attacks Doherty's arguments themselves straight from his website. Then in THAT forum--Nomad's forum in which he tackled piece by piece Doherty's arguments themselves and only those arguments--Physics Guy informed us of the delightful news. Oh, but I'll quote Physics Guy word for word (I emphasize with capital letters the devastating point), "I have invited Earl Doherty to join THIS DISCUSSION and this was his response which he said I could post…." To which Nomad replied in his April 20, 2001 08:54 AM post (again my capitals), "Invite Doherty to come HERE and reply, I will read his responses, and we can go from there."

SWL: And we can just block this "knock-out blow" quite easilly by pointing out that everything Nomad has written so far is perfectly in line with this. They're currently going from there. Nomad is free to take whatever road he wants regardless of all of the disengenuous quibbles you spin out.

Earl: And later in his April 22, 2001 10:44 PM post from the same thread Nomad said (my capitals), "My intent on this thread was to begin a discussion by covering off Doherty's summation of his own points (presented verbatim), then to trigger a broader discussion FROM THOSE posts."

SWL: Which is exactly what Nomad has done - triggered a broader discussion which is 100% relevant to those posts. Objecting to Nomad's bringing in independent evidence, which so obviously would undermine Earl's original arguments, on the grounds that he does not explicitly say "These points undermine Earl's attempts to build Jesus out of Play-doh in Paul" is at best an irrelevant idiosyncratic objection to the chronological framework of the debate (which Nomad has every right to choose for himself).

Earl: You got it, SWL, Doherty was initially asked to participate not in a private forum but in Nomad's public thread which specifically attacked Doherty's arguments line by line and word by word verbatim.

SWL: Yeah? So what? Has Doherty done this? Obviously things have changed since then (since Doherty has not participated in the public thread), but they CERTAINLY haven't changed in the sense that Nomad has employed
any illegitimate or irrelevant strategies of debate. Furthermore, Nomad is ALSO free to change his strategy of debate at any time during its course, as long as, in some way, the new strategy seeks to undermine Earl's arguments.

Earl: I take this to be decisive.

SWL: I take it to be desperate and silly on your part.

Earl: You have either forgotten or were never aware of what started the Nomad-Doherty debate. So it's not just a matter of courtesy, practicality or my personal preference for how the debate should have been handled. It was a matter of the expectation that Nomad and Physics Guy implanted in Doherty's mind prior to the debate. Nomad then reneged by brushing off Doherty's arguments once Doherty actually arrived to defend them.

SWL: Nomad promised to deal with Doherty's mythicist case. Doherty defines his mythicist case as the position that Jesus was not an historical person. Doherty gave us some Pauline quibbles that allegedly support this. Nomad offered information that, if sound, renders those Pauline quibbles improbable in themselves and definitely impotent as evidence in favor of the 'mythicist case'. This, though "indirect" (as you use the term) relative to the Pauline quibbles, is indeed the MOST direct way to settle the issue of Jesus' historicity - which, as all honest parties would admit, is what this debate is about.

SecWebLurker


 
Old 05-16-2001, 07:39 PM   #57
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First, thank you to SecWebLurker. You have just saved me a TON of time.

Second, to Philip. You really are a trip. At least you are consistent. From before this debate began you have sought to undermine my credibility in the eyes of the reading public, and you know that it is just not gonna work.

Earl is a big boy, and he can defend himself and his views. He told us that there is nothing new in my arguments, even before he showed up and this debate began. Go back and read the letters Ethan forwarded to us.

And as for your claim that I have acted in bad faith by surprising poor Earl, read my first post on the The Jesus Puzzle thread.

Now, there are three ways to view the historicity of Jesus: One can be neutral, and say that there is neither enough information to prove nor disprove that he existed. The second options are to claim that he did, in fact, exist, and the third is to say that he did not exist as a real person and is therefore a mythical construct. I want to state at the outset that to make either of these latter assertions is to make a positive claim, and therefore requires evidentiary and argumentative support. Since I believe it is most reasonable to accept the historicity of Jesus, it is not my intent in this particular debate to merely debunk Earl’s thesis, but to offer counter arguments that will demonstrate that the positive case for the existence of Jesus is far better than the negative.

Perhaps the next time you want to spout off, and rush in claiming foul, you might actually try reading what I write first Philip. I would suggest that Earl do the same.

So where will the debate go from here? We shall see. For my part, I am going to show how Earl fails to address the key evidences for the historical Jesus, and at the same time show the fallacies in his reasoning and arguments as presented on his web site. MY guess is that he will try to debunk the evidence for the historical Jesus, and show why his arguments are sound.

Watch what happens, and if you have any questions for me, please ask them. As for your laughable attacks on my strategy and methods, try to relax please.

It's just a debate Philip. This is not life and death.

Brian (Nomad)
 
Old 05-16-2001, 08:56 PM   #58
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I give the last word in the thread to Secweblurker. I'll just summarize the devastating point from my last post so that it won't get too lost in the shuffle. All those who read Nomad's thread "Putting together the Jesus Puzzle" at the time will remember how the debate between Nomad and Doherty began. Nomad attacked Doherty's article, "The 12 Pieces of the Jesus Puzzle," a summary of Doherty's mythicist arguments. At first Nomad was hoping some skeptics would defend Doherty's arguments. Then Physics Guy actually asked Doherty to come join the thread. From that time on until a special private forum was set up, the expectation was that Doherty would come to defend the sorts of arguments he made which Nomad attacked directly. Thus again and again, as I quoted, Nomad made comments which otherwise might be ambiguous. (Secweblurker has of course misinterpreted most of them.) Nomad stated many times how he was hoping Doherty would come and defend his arguments from the sorts of objections Nomad already made, the ones directed against Doherty's arguments themselves, and of course more to boot. Nomad actually asked Doherty directly to come join the thread already in progress.

Then, however, a private forum was set up, so yes things changed. However, the expectation was created by Nomad that Doherty would have an opponent in front of him who would be willing to discuss Doherty's arguments at length. That impression was made by Nomad's performance in his thread, Putting together the Jesus Puzzle, which drew Doherty to the Secular Web in the first place. Was Nomad allowed to change his strategy? Of course he was. Did Nomad break any explicit rules of the debate set up by a moderator? Not to my knowledge. Is Nomad formally to blame for the mix-up between Doherty and himself? Of course not, since the debaters didn't organize the debate, and were free to argue whatever and however they wished. Thus all this nonsense about any alleged constraint on what Nomad could or couldn't say in the debate is just a red herring. Nomad was free to say anything he wished, however he wished. None of that is at issue. Nomad's fault is, to my knowledge, entirely informal. What's at issue is Nomad's unwillingness so far in the formal debate to discuss the subject matter he knew Doherty had come to the Secular Web explicitly to discuss, namely the arguments Nomad had already attacked in his thread. And yes, the initial delineation of the subject matter in a formal debate is important. That's why formal debates usually begin with the affirmation or denial of a proposition agreed to by both debaters.

And by the way, if Doherty were indeed incapable of any flexibility or responding to new and unexpected arguments, especially the elementary ones raised by Nomad, then that would speak very poorly of Doherty. I won't add to the spin on this issue except to say that since Doherty has agreed to address them, we'll soon find out the answer on that score. Evidently Doherty first chose not to address those arguments, though, out of frustration that Nomad had not paid nearly enough attention to his last post, since he just dismissed it in a few paragraphs. Nomad was perfectly in his rights to do just that, since there apparently were no formal guidelines to the debate. However, I think Doherty's reaction was justified in light of (1) the expectation he had that Nomad himself created prior to the debate, together with (2) Nomad's first couple of posts which too were overly general, irrelevant to mythicist arguments in particular, and ignored Doherty's first post which laid out a whole host of on target points Nomad could have discussed and claimed he wanted to discuss many times prior to the debate. But as I said, all of this is at the level of informal fault, counter-productiveness, and discourtesy, given the moderator's failure sufficiently to establish guidelines.

****

As for Brian's reminder that he had said at the beginning of his formal debate with Doherty that he had no intention of discussing Doherty's views directly, not only was I well aware of this but I addressed this point several posts ago (my May 16, 2001 11:06 AM post) when I said "Unfortunately, from their very first posts it appears Doherty and Brian were on different tracks. Doherty or someone else called the thread 'The Jesus Puzzle Debate,' thus indicating a focus on Doherty's arguments in particular, rather than the general question of whether Jesus existed, a question that could, for all its generality, technically allow the debaters to ignore 100% of Doherty's arguments, thus mocking Doherty's invitation. Brian, however, wrote in his very first post 'with luck, we can keep this discussion focused largely on the question: Did Jesus of Nazareth exist as an historical human being in the first third of the 1st Century AD?' This shows that Brian had no intention of focussing the debate on Doherty's arguments in particular."

What Brian is apparently unaware of is that I've been arguing that he switched his subject matter when he actually started debating Doherty, so that the subject matter he discussed in his earlier thread ("Putting together the Jesus Puzzle") that drew Doherty to the Secular Web was dropped in his debate with Doherty, a rather odd situation in my view. As soon as Brian got Doherty in his sights for his own private bashing he stopped talking about Doherty's arguments, even though he believes they're all not just false but untenable. Why didn't he bash Doherty's arguments directly as well as offer some elementary reasons why most scholars believe Jesus existed? Why do the latter at the cost of the former, especially when all Brian did was the former in his public forum on the subject of Doherty's mythicism?



[This message has been edited by Earl (edited May 16, 2001).]
 
Old 05-16-2001, 09:16 PM   #59
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My goodness Philip, what an impatient soul you are!

You read my last post before responding, so you already know this. But let me remind you one more time...

Relax. Earl is back. We will get to the points you want addressed. Remember what I told you before? I can hardly be expected to refute a work the size of Earl's website in three posts. Having laid the ground rules (as I see them) for our debate, and having given a general outline of my strategy and purposes, we are about to begin in earnest. To be candid, things are going at about the pace that I expected, so I do not see what your problem is really.

At the same time, if you have any actual questions for either of us (as opposed to just beefing about me and how unfair the whole thing is for our star guest), please feel free to offer them. I will do my best to answer when I have the time.

Finally, do not blame Ethan (PhysicsGuy) or anyone else for what has happened. Everyone is over 21 here, and can take care of themselves. No one has been misled. No one has broken any rules. Things are just a tad more complicated than some anticipated. No worries. It looks like we have gotten past this now, and Earl and I are off and running.

From my point of view, I would like to thank Ethan for taking the time, and going to the effort to bring Earl here, as well as having a special debate forum set up to facilitate the discussion. He feels badly for how things started out, but he bears no responsibility for that at all.

It is my hope that he and others will learn something in all of this, and if they have questions as well, that they will ask them. I do not see this as only a one on one with Earl, but as an opportunity to explore some of the most interesting questions of our time.

Peace,

Brian (Nomad)
 
Old 05-16-2001, 09:43 PM   #60
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Earl: I give the last word in the thread to Secweblurker. I'll just summarize the devastating point from my last post so that it won't get too lost in the shuffle. All those who read Nomad's thread "Putting together the Jesus Puzzle" at the time will remember how the debate between Nomad and Doherty began. Nomad attacked Doherty's article, "The 12 Pieces of the Jesus Puzzle," a summary of Doherty's mythicist arguments. At first Nomad was hoping some skeptics would defend Doherty's arguments. Then Physics Guy actually asked Doherty to come join the thread. From that time on until a special private forum was set up, the expectation was that Doherty would come to defend the sorts of arguments he made which Nomad attacked directly. Thus again and again, as I quoted, Nomad made comments which otherwise might be ambiguous. (Secweblurker has of course misinterpreted most of them.)

SWL: Actually, not at all. Indeed, I'm amazed that Earl thinks his quotes of Nomad support his posiiton in any way. We've also seen that Nomad has implicitly verified my interpretations of his words.

Earl: Nomad stated many times how he was hoping Doherty would come and defend his arguments from the sorts of objections Nomad already made, the ones directed against Doherty's arguments themselves, and of course more to boot. Nomad actually asked Doherty directly to come join the thread already in progress.
Then, however, a private forum was set up, so yes things changed. However, the expectation was created by Nomad that Doherty would have an opponent in front of him who would be willing to discuss Doherty's arguments at length.

SWL: Which is in process right now...The fact that Nomad took an indirect route to undermining Doherty's arguments, as you admit, is perfectly acceptable, and I think, the best approach. If Earl D. and his trusty acolyte Earl Fudge want to sniffle and whine about that, so be it.

Earl: That impression was made by Nomad's performance in his thread, Putting together the Jesus Puzzle, which drew Doherty to the Secular Web in the first place. Was Nomad allowed to change his strategy? Of course he was. Did Nomad break any explicit rules of the debate set up by a moderator? Not to my knowledge. Is Nomad formally to blame for the mix-up between Doherty and himself? Of course not, since the debaters didn't organize the debate, and were free to argue whatever and however they wished. Thus all this nonsense about any alleged constraint on what Nomad could or couldn't say in the debate is just a red herring.

SWL: Glad you concede that. So we see that Earl concedes that Nomad was perfectly in-bounds and the arguments he has proposed, if sound, do indeed undermine Earl's case. Let's see what the problem is...

Earl: Nomad was free to say anything he wished, however he wished. None of that is at issue. Nomad's fault is, to my knowledge, entirely informal. What's at issue is Nomad's unwillingness so far in the formal debate to discuss the subject matter he knew Doherty had come to the Secular Web explicitly to discuss, namely the arguments Nomad had already attacked in his thread.

SWL: And of course, this Earl has admitted that Nomad's arguments DO indeed undermine THOSE very arguments, so this is a red herring.

Earl: And by the way, if Doherty were indeed incapable of any flexibility or responding to new and unexpected arguments, especially the elementary ones raised by Nomad, then that would speak very poorly of Doherty. I won't add to the spin on this issue except to say that since Doherty has agreed to address them, we'll soon find out the answer on that score. Evidently Doherty first chose not to address those arguments, though, out of frustration that Nomad had not paid nearly enough attention to his last post, since he just dismissed it in a few paragraphs.

SWL: Which further betrays Earl D.'s poor logic, as it is all too obvious that Nomad's positive case has implications for all of what Earl D. has stated. A more probable explanation for his frustration is his recognition that Nomad has been smart enough NOT to get bogged down with his Pauline/Platonic catch-all nonsense arguments, implicitly granted them for the sake of argument, and proceeded to broaden the database with new independent arguments that render his interpretation of the selective data he presented untenable. For Nomad to sit and bicker with Earl all day about the alternative possibilities he presents in interpreting Paul would be as senseless as it would for the prosecutor to dwell on the issue of the defendant's car and ignore the DNA-evidence in the trial-analogy I proposed.

Earl: Nomad was perfectly in his rights to do just that, since there apparently were no formal guidelines to the debate. However, I think Doherty's reaction was justified in light of (1) the expectation he had that Nomad himself created prior to the debate,

SWL: Earl D. expected to debate the mythicist position. As he himself writes: "I was invited here, challenged by Brian to lay out the mythicist case, and he would refute it." Since we've seen that Brian's case undermines the arguments Earl D. has presented (however they do so), Nomad is doing what Earl D. expected him to do, though he may just be too dense to realize it. And no amount of sophistry employed by Earl/Philip can change that. He's already admitted it. So he doesn't like Nomad's debating style and he got a little upset when his hero looked to be chickening out? Who cares? I don't...And Nomad shouldn't have to take that into account either. Nomad can undercut Earl D.'s arguments anyway he likes and I suggest that he do so in the manner he has been.

SecWebLurker


 
 

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