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Old 08-09-2001, 04:05 PM   #31
Nomad
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To rodahi:

If we do not know a person's qualifications, then they would not be an expert.

To Bob:

Why would the person giving the evidence (in this case Paul) be required to be an expert? In a court case we have expert and non-expert witnesses. Both offer evidence, but each is evaluated quite differently.

The authors of the Bible have made claims, and those claims should be tested and subject to verification whenever possible. But when someone is offering an opinion several thousand years after the fact, then I would hope that they have done some kind of research in a relavent field, and subjected that research to some kind of peer review before it is treated as scholarly or expert opinion.

Also, thank you for the welcome back. It is nice to know that I was missed.

Peace,

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Old 08-09-2001, 04:12 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobDobbs:

If certain practices in the bible were proven to be psychologically unhealthy, would it be permissable for a psychologist to criticize the bible's reccomendation of such practices? Or may only an expert in the bible put forth criticism?
Interesting questions Bob, but difficult to respond to without examples of what you mean.

This discussion, however, is primarily focused on the evaluation of evidence in support of the veracity and historicity of the Bible, so I am unsure what value we should place on psychoanalysis in such a forum.

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Old 08-10-2001, 02:56 PM   #33
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Nice to have you back, Nomad.

The context of my question was the following paragraph that you answered seperatly. Please be aware that I was not asking that an anthropologist et al be counted as a biblical expert (unless that is part of their particular field) but rather, a question as to why you had discounted a qualified anthropologist's conclusion that polytheistic peoples did not war over religion--- the particular arguement we were having. I quoted to you the leading expert on the history of the 'evolution' of war in the US today, and you discounted him as biased and not knowing what he was talking about.

Thus, my question of what is an expert.

Thank you for your answer. I am looking forward to your next one.
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Old 08-10-2001, 03:20 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by jess:
Nice to have you back, Nomad.
Thanks jess. It's good to be back.

Quote:
The context of my question was the following paragraph that you answered seperatly. Please be aware that I was not asking that an anthropologist et al be counted as a biblical expert (unless that is part of their particular field) but rather, a question as to why you had discounted a qualified anthropologist's conclusion that polytheistic peoples did not war over religion---
As I still do not recall the specifics of this discussion, it is hard to comment directly here jess, but I must say, if an actual anthropologist DID say such a thing, then he is being daft. Polytheists persecuted non-polytheists in the Roman Empire, and it was not uncommon to compel conquored people to worship the gods of the conquorers. Once again I think I will need more context to know what you mean here. What is the thread you are referring to?

Quote:
the particular arguement we were having. I quoted to you the leading expert on the history of the 'evolution' of war in the US today, and you discounted him as biased and not knowing what he was talking about.
Well, if he (she?) said what you said above, then I hope you can understand my casual dismissal of the opinion given.

Quote:
Thus, my question of what is an expert.
If it helps any, just because the opinion is from an expert, and provided that expert is speaking within the field of their expertise, then it can be called "evidence", but if that opinion is simply silly, then the evidence being offered will be fairly easily debunked.

As it is quite obvious that such "expert opinion" evidence is often exposed as sophistry and other such nonsense (and not just in Biblical studies of course), it is important to remember the second part of my qualification for evidence: we can submit just about anything we want as evidence, but if it is hokum, then we will discard it pretty quickly. This is true with all other forms of evidence as well, of course. That is the reason we have debates and discussions, after all, since evidence and truth are not always the same thing.

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Old 08-10-2001, 08:51 PM   #35
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Well, if he (she?) said what you said above, then I hope you can understand my casual dismissal of the opinion given.
This makes me think that an expert is one who agrees with your gut reaction. Is that correct?
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Old 08-10-2001, 09:25 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by jess:

This makes me think that an expert is one who agrees with your gut reaction. Is that correct?
Absolutely not jess. I often read and quote from many experts with which I disagree most strongly. Among these include J.D. Crossan, Marcus Borg, Michael Grant, Donald Akenson, Bruce Chilton, Robin Lane Fox, Geza Vermes and many others, several of whom are very liberal Christians, not Christians at all, or are even atheists and powerfully sceptical.

Once again I will restate that expert opinion can be used as evidence, but if the quality of that evidence does not hold up very well, then I would hope that we could agree that the given opinion can and should be rejected.

Be well,

Nomad

[ August 10, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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Old 08-11-2001, 01:40 PM   #37
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Nomad, it really seems to me like what you are saying is that you are the end all and be all of experts--- if something is 'obviously silly' to you, it is thrown out as evidence, and evidentally you want me to agree with you out of hand.

I have far more trust in a cultural anthropologist who has studied war for decades and written numerous peer reviewed articles regarding it and is held to be an expert in his field by those in his field than in your discounting it as 'silly' and thus not 'evidence'.

Would you accept it if your discussion partner used the same policy on you?
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Old 08-11-2001, 04:09 PM   #38
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jess:
Who counts as an expert?

Brian:
Without a context for your question, it is difficult to know what you are looking for Jess. Clearly, an expert in NT studies has a graduate degree in a relavent field of study (i.e. ancient history, Biblical studies, Christian theology), has published in critical journals, and been subject to peer review. Whether I agree with him or not is not overly important, but if his or her conclusions are poorly formed, or research is flawed, then I do think we have the right to point out such flaws.

That's what people are doing with Paul. Correct? And you agree that it is valid. Correct?

But you still seem to be saying that some evidence is more credible than other evidence, even prior to examination.

So, if I asked, "Brian, How is Paul's testimony of expert quality?", your answer would be that it is not, and his testimony on any issue is subject to examination.

In your own words:

Brian:
"The authors of the Bible have made claims, and those claims should be tested and subject to verification whenever possible."

What do you mean by "whenever possible?"

Brian
"But when someone is offering an opinion several thousand years after the fact, then I would hope that they have done some kind of research in a relavent field, and subjected that research to some kind of peer review before it is treated as scholarly or expert opinion."

Paul's opinions are there for everyone to read, but is he "qualified" to give them according to your definition? If so, what qualifies him? Is he qualified simply by the fact that he authored these documents? in other words, he is simply an expert on what he has written.

This can be compared to von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods". I will agree that Daniken is an expert on his book, but the theories he puts forth are certainly still open to question and examination, as are Pauls and other Biblical authors. I assume you would agree.

In stating, "Why would the person giving the evidence (in this case Paul) be required to be an expert? In a court case we have expert and non-expert witnesses. Both offer evidence, but each is evaluated quite differently," you seem to be saying that some evidence is of greater value than other evidence. Could you elaborate? I'm trying to come to terms with your notion that we ought to pay more attention to some "evidence" and less attention to some other "evidence" because some of the evidence is obviously of greater value a priori.

Huh?

Doesn't evidence stand on its own merit and isn't it, regardless of it's "expert" or "non-expert" status still become subject to scrutiny? How else to determine importance but to examine and consider it in all fairness? You said:

Brian:
Once again I will restate that expert opinion can be used as evidence, but if the quality of that evidence does not hold up very well, then I would hope that we could agree that the given opinion can and should be rejected.

Are you as confused as am I? How can you have "expert" testimony before the fact? Is this just a matter of semantics?

One last thought. You state:

Brian:
But when someone is offering an opinion several thousand years after the fact, then I would hope that they have done some kind of research in a relavent field, and subjected that research to some kind of peer review before it is treated as scholarly or expert opinion.

Lets look at this from the present perspective, looking backward a couple millenia. Does two-thousand years before the fact have any bearing on the evidence we are discussing today? Are these biblical author's "opinions" still valid today?

joe
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Old 08-13-2001, 04:12 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by jess:

Nomad, it really seems to me like what you are saying is that you are the end all and be all of experts--- if something is 'obviously silly' to you, it is thrown out as evidence, and evidentally you want me to agree with you out of hand.
Jess

I do not think you are bothering to read my posts, but rather trying to make me fit into a preconceived box of what you think I believe. I have already said several times that an expert is one who is in a relevant field. Anthropologists are not expects in Biblical criticism, nor are psychologists. I am surprised that I should even have to make such an obvious point.

Now, if you do have someone in an actual field related to Biblical studies, then offer them as expert witness evidence. It IS evidence. As to whether or not it is GOOD evidence, that comes about by examining the evidence itself. And can experts have silly and nonsensical views and opinions? Of course. Just look at what we have from Barbara Theiring and Robert Eisenman as two prominent examples.

Choose whomever you wish to present as an expert Jess, but if the individual is a psychologist talking about the Bible, then please do not think that it will be treated in a like manner as an actual textual critic, or an historian of antiquities, or an NT scholar. At the same time, if you have someone from one of these fields with an argument that you believe makes a lot of sense, then offer it. I will treat it as evidence, and we can determine the worth of the opinion based on what other evidence we have available to us (including what other experts in the field say about the same subject).

Quite frankly, I still do not know what your problem is with the definition of "expert opinion".

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Old 08-13-2001, 04:16 PM   #40
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To joe

When we are talking about the Bible, we are, by definition talking about the Bible as evidence. That means what the authors wrote is treated as evidence, and we examine it as such, trying to verify what we can when we can.

I do not know why this is so hard to understand. Paul (or any other Biblical author) tells us "X". We are now going to discuss "X". Just as we do not expect all witnesses in a court case to be experts, we would not expect them to be experts here. They are telling us what they saw, what they believe, and what they (and others did). Examining those stories and letters is what we are doing here.

So what is your problem exactly?

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