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Old 05-18-2001, 02:08 PM   #31
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Toto:
You claim that the author of Acts was engaging in hero worship of Paul, and I countered with a quote from a reputable scholar indicating that the author of Acts was more concerned with rewriting Paul to be a theologically correct Christian ("Thus it presents a Paul who, though glorified, is co-opted, made the merest Narcissus-reflection of the Twelve") How does this not address one of your points?

Doherty addresses your precise questions in this post and your last in his book, which you want to attack without having to read. He says that the "primitive" ecclesiology is actualy typical of the mid-2nd century. He spends several pages of his book discussing this, and cites the earlier book by Knox, which is a book-length treatment of the subject.

I would suggest that you email him directly and alert him to your posts if you want him to respond here. He may chose to include those points in his posting in the formal debate even if he doesn't want to debate you along with Nomad. Or he may have that part of his book on his web site, but I missed it.

What it comes down to is that you have made an argument from silence, but you have shown no compelling reason why the author of Luke/Acts had to cite Paul's letters in what was purported to be an early history of the church.

And how exactly do you explain the many conflicts between Acts and Paul's letters? Which one is false?
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I made many other points than just that the author of Acts was engaged in hero worship. The quote did not address them.

If you don't want to, or can't, defend Doherty's stuff, then don't defend it. If you do or can prsent a defense, then please do so.

This is a discussion board. But you don't discuss, you refer. As long as there is some scholar, or obscure journal, out there that disagrees with a point raised, you seem to think you've accomplished something by simply pointing out that it is out there.

Just throwing up you hands and saying "read the book" may save you a lot of time, but it is a cop out. It takes about a second to say, "read the book," it takes much more time to articulate an argument.

As for contradictions between Acts and Paul's epistles, I notice--surprise, surprise--that you don't bother to list any. But, even had you done so, you are simply reinforcing my point. Such contradictions, to the extent they exist, are best explained if the author of Acts did not have those letters available to him. Because those letters were widely circulated and referred to by church leaders from the beginning of the second-century, it is difficult to explain the author of Act's ignorance of said letters if he was aware of them.
 
Old 05-18-2001, 02:46 PM   #32
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madmax2976: In any case this will still be an appeal to authority, not argumentum ad populum.

ChristianSkeptic: Ulrich does not identify any authority but appeals to a consensus/opinion among an upper crust segment of society-“scholars.”

In any case Ulrich’s fallacy could also be called an appeal to an unnamed authority. No biggie.

madmax2976: Expert opinion can and does carry a good deal of weight in many areas, whereas a mere popularity argument never does.

CS: Expert or scholarly consensus, like mere popularity, is identified by a survey.

madmax2976: Do you disagree with Ulrich's claim that most scholars concur with the dating he described?

CS: I do not care, because the point is irrelevant to the topic I have started.

madmax2976: So it would follow that you think Nomad, Layman and any others are equally fallacious for doing so - yes?

CS: I do not know if they have or not.

madmax2976: Actually I challenged your appeal to authority on several fronts. There are basic criteria necessary to avoid fallacious appeals to authority and you didn't meet them.

CS: Get real madmax2976 you were in so far over your head it was a joke.


 
Old 05-18-2001, 04:14 PM   #33
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
If you don't want to, or can't, defend Doherty's stuff, then don't defend it. If you do or can prsent a defense, then please do so. . . .
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I know that you would like to waste my time by engaging in a long argument that would not prove anything to either one of us.

If you want to debate Doherty's arguments, do it with him (or get Nomad to.) But you might just have to read his book first. If you do that you will not be able to pull those tricks you did on the MacDonald thread, or refusing to read the book, mischaracterizing MacDonald's arguments, and going around that circle several times.

If I get some time later on, I might put together some research, if Doherty doesn't seem likely to cover it.
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Old 05-18-2001, 04:37 PM   #34
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ChristianSkeptic: Ulrich does not identify any authority but appeals to a consensus/opinion among an upper crust segment of society-“scholars.”

In any case Ulrich’s fallacy could also be called an appeal to an unnamed authority. No biggie.


Except that you once again demonstrated your inability to correctly apply logical fallacies. A fact that was glaringly apparent to all who followed that other thread.

CS: Expert or scholarly consensus, like mere popularity, is identified by a survey.

I see. So your position is that the experts hold their positions ... well just because they hold them. How intriguing. Fortunately your one of the few, in not the only person, I've encountered that engages in such a cavalier dismissal of expert opinion.

Not to mention you contradict yourself since you erroneously appeal to the opinion (which for all I know you took out of context) of a couple of economists to support your own pathetic arguments.

madmax2976: Do you disagree with Ulrich's claim that most scholars concur with the dating he described?

CS: I do not care, because the point is irrelevant to the topic I have started.


But it would be highly relevant to your attack on him. Or were you attacking him just because you had nothing better to do?

madmax2976: So it would follow that you think Nomad, Layman and any others are equally fallacious for doing so - yes?

CS: I do not know if they have or not.


They have, but regardless, you haven't answered the question.

CS: Get real madmax2976 you were in so far over your head it was a joke.

The only "joke" was the offering of your completely inept argument in the first place. This was proven more than adequately by myself and several others. But I suspect you will continue on in the delusion that you actually had a valid point to make with your dilemma.
 
Old 05-18-2001, 04:37 PM   #35
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Toto:
I know that you would like to waste my time by engaging in a long argument that would not prove anything to either one of us.

If you want to debate Doherty's arguments, do it with him (or get Nomad to.) But you might just have to read his book first. If you do that you will not be able to pull those tricks you did on the MacDonald thread, or refusing to read the book, mischaracterizing MacDonald's arguments, and going around that circle several times.

If I get some time later on, I might put together some research, if Doherty doesn't seem likely to cover it.
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What you call a "waste of time" and a "trick" is, in fact, what is known as a "discussion." This is a "discussion" board. It is not a "read the book" board. If you want to advocate, or defend, a theory or particular perspective, then do so. If you want to set up a recommended reading list, do that.


 
Old 05-19-2001, 12:01 AM   #36
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
What you call a "waste of time" and a "trick" is, in fact, what is known as a "discussion." . . .
</font>
I don't see you engaged in "discussion." I see you engaged in apologetics. I might as well discuss whether second hand smoke causes lung cancer with a tobacco company lawyer.

It is difficult to discuss this with you since your method has been to speculate about what Doherty means, instead of getting his book and reading it for yourself, and then ask someone else to explain and defend whatever Doherty's position is. This leaves you making an number of false and silly arguments ("I can only assume that Earl D. is rejecting the overwhelmingly accepted conclusion that Luke and Acts were written by the same author." He doesn't.)

Doherty bases his dating on the work by Knox, but I don't think that he needs to date Acts that late for his argument. Luke-Acts clearly copies a lot of historical material from Josephus. This would force the dating of Luke-Acts to the end of the first century or the beginning of the second. (See the essay by Richard Carrier here. This date is not inconsistant with the rest of Doherty's argument.

So your two remaining points from the last post were that if Knox's dating of Acts to 170 C.E. is correct, the author of Luke-Acts should have quoted Paul against Marcion, and there is no mention of Paul's letters in Luke-Acts, therefore Luke-Acts must have been written in the first century, not the mid-second.

There is a good summary of the historical treatment of Paul in Luke-Acts at http://people.delphi.com/tglit/graham/Paul.html , which is a Masters thesis in history written by Graham Lester. I don't see the point of copying it here - there is a section titled "Paul and Acts" which lists the various discrepancies between Paul's letters and the history in Acts, and the explanations provided by different historians over the past two centuries. Lester comments that "Contradictions should not be allowed to completely obscure the fact that there are areas of agreement between Paul and Acts, which force the conclusion that Luke did have some reliable data at his disposal."

So it just comes down to the fact that Acts does not explicitly mention Paul's epistles. I don't know why. Doherty says that it must be intentional - because Marcion had based his canon on an early version of Luke and some of Paul's epistles, and Luke-Acts was written to oppose Marcion. But maybe the author or editor of Luke was too busy copying from Mark and Josephus to work in another source, especially if he had to pick selected parts out of it. Maybe he thought Paul's letters were too far removed from the fictional Paul that he was creating in Acts.

Of course, I haven't read the Knox book, which Doherty and Robert Price find very persuasive. That might settle the matter.


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Old 05-19-2001, 01:09 PM   #37
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ChristianSkeptic: Ulrich does not identify any authority but appeals to a consensus/opinion among an upper crust segment of society-“scholars.”
In any case Ulrich’s fallacy could also be called an appeal to an unnamed authority…

Madmax2976: Except that you once again demonstrated your inability to correctly apply logical fallacies.


CS: Saying so does not make it so. Moreover, you do not deny my point that Ulrich’s assertion could also be the fallacy of an appeal to an unnamed authority.

CS: Expert or scholarly consensus, like mere popularity, is identified by a survey.

Madmax2976: …So your position is that the experts hold their positions ...


CS: You are missing the point. My position is that a consensus of opinion of the experts is identified by a survey, which is the same method used to establish mere popularity.

Let me make my point again: Ulrich’s appeal is an example of the fallacy of argumentum ad populum because it’s an appeal to a consensus of opinion among an upper crust segment of society.

My point is consistent with the definition of the fallacy @ Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies: Appeal to Popularity (argumentum ad populum):

Definition: A proposition is held to be true because it is widely held to be true or is held to be true by some (usually upper crust) sector of the population.

madmax2976: Fortunately your one of the few, in not the only person, I've encountered that engages in such a cavalier dismissal of expert opinion.

CS: I have yet to be presented any empirical evidence, that Ulrich’s assertion is true. Therefore, I have no good reason to believe the mere assertion.

madmax2976: …you erroneously appeal to the opinion…of a couple of economists to support your own pathetic arguments.

CS: I appealed to analysis and research data not to a consensus of opinion and I cited five economists not two.

CS: I do not care, because [Ulrich’s assertion that Paul wrote his epistles before the Gospels] is irrelevant to the topic I have started.

Madmax2976: But it would be highly relevant to your attack on him.


CS: I have not personally attacked Ulrich. I have only addressed her or his unsubstantiated assertion.

I believe that Ulrich’s assertion is a non-point because Ulrich is confusing issues of fact regarding dating of Paul’s epistles and the Gospels, with issues of relevance of whether of not Earl D’s argument from silence from the Biblical text is valid.

madmax2976: but regardless, you haven't answered the question.

CS: I missed a part of your question and I will state that anyone who appeals to a consensus of opinion as proof for her or his position is committing a logical fallacy.
 
Old 05-19-2001, 10:06 PM   #38
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CS: Saying so does not make it so. Moreover, you do not deny my point that Ulrich’s assertion could also be the fallacy of an appeal to an unnamed authority.

Your right - I don't deny it because that could be a correct way to address his argument. Not your misapplication of argumentum ad populum. You could have attacked his appeal to authority, but thats not what you did.

CS: You are missing the point. My position is that a consensus of opinion of the experts is identified by a survey, which is the same method used to establish mere popularity.

Let me make my point again: Ulrich’s appeal is an example of the fallacy of argumentum ad populum because it’s an appeal to a consensus of opinion among an upper crust segment of society.


If this is so, then you make no distinction between expert opinion in a particular field and lay people expressing an opinion while being essentially ignorant of the facts. The "opinion" of experts is given weight precisely because they are considered experts who have spent a great deal of study and research in a particular field.

Of course when you get to a case where experts disagree on certain issues, thats when appeals to authority can become problematic.

My point is consistent with the definition of the fallacy @ Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies: Appeal to Popularity (argumentum ad populum):

Definition: A proposition is held to be true because it is widely held to be true or is held to be true by some (usually upper crust) sector of the population.


Good definition, but your inability to distinguish it from an appeal to authority is the problem. Expert opinion is given weight and is NOT automatically fallacious. Attacking his appeal to authority would have been the correct tactic to take.

CS: I have yet to be presented any empirical evidence, that Ulrich’s assertion is true. Therefore, I have no good reason to believe the mere assertion.

This is better and a more proper way to address his argument. Of course this presumes that you actually disagreed with his statement and I have yet to see you actually deny it. There would be no point in having him take the time to support his statement unless you disagree with what he said.

So just for clarity, I'll ask the question explicity: Do you disagree that there is a prevailing expert opinion among scholars that the Pauline epistles were written before the gospels? (I understand you may disagree with the opinion. Thats okay. )

CS: I appealed to analysis and research data not to a consensus of opinion and I cited five economists not two.

I don't recall seeing any "research data" to support your argument, but in any case research data does not support the taking of statements specifically applied to economics out of context and applying them without justification or support to the subject of human morality. This is at least one reason why your dilemma failed.

CS: I have not personally attacked Ulrich. I have only addressed her or his unsubstantiated assertion.

I believe that Ulrich’s assertion is a non-point because Ulrich is confusing issues of fact regarding dating of Paul’s epistles and the Gospels, with issues of relevance of whether of not Earl D’s argument from silence from the Biblical text is valid.


This seems to indicate that you don't disagree with his dating of the epistles and if so, would make your entire objection in regards to the dating moot. Other aspects of the debate can and should be argued independently. There would be no reason to contest Ulrich's statement if you have no disagreement with it.

madmax2976: but regardless, you haven't answered the question.

CS: I missed a part of your question and I will state that anyone who appeals to a consensus of opinion as proof for her or his position is committing a logical fallacy.

Unfortunately for you this won't be consistent with the definitions of what constitutes a logical fallacy. But I suppose your free to maintain the position anyhow.
Meanwhile expert opinion will continue to be given consideration by those involved in science and research.
 
Old 05-20-2001, 02:27 PM   #39
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TO MADMAX2976:

Please explain why biblical scholars are not an upper crust segment/sector of society per the definition of argumentum ad populum @ Stephen’s Guide to the Logical Fallacies and not to forget the obvious innumerable times expert opinion has been proven wrong.
 
Old 05-20-2001, 06:09 PM   #40
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ChristianSkeptic:
TO MADMAX2976:

Please explain why biblical scholars are not an upper crust segment/sector of society per the definition of argumentum ad populum @ Stephen’s Guide to the Logical Fallacies and not to forget the obvious innumerable times expert opinion has been proven wrong.
</font>
Whether or not biblical scholars should be considered "upper crust" is completely irrelevant and would be a subjective determination in any case.

Scholars are considered experts. They have spent a lot of time getting educated and doing research. Their professional "opinions" are often considered well informed, educated opinions. This is opposed to lay people having opinions that are not as likely to be well informed or educated.

Whether you like it or not, expert opinion is given consideration in science and historical research. If the majority of experts agree on a particular point, then it is even more likely that the view being expressed is well founded.

You express misgivings since experts could be wrong, but this is a terrible reason for such cavalier dismissal of expert opinion. Its all about what is more likely to be true and expert opinion is far more likely to be correct than non expert opinion.

From the Nizkor Project:

"In many cases, Arguments from Authority will be good arguments. For example, when a person goes to a skilled doctor and the doctor tells him that he has a cold, then the the patient has good reason to accept the doctor's conclusion. As another example, if a person's computer is acting odd and his friend, who is a computer expert, tells him it is probably his hard drive then he has good reason to believe her. "

However, having said all that, just appealing to expert opinion can be problematic. Also from the Nizkor site:

"It should be noted that even a good Appeal to Authority is not an exceptionally strong argument. After all, in such cases a claim is being accepted as true simply because a person is asserting that it is true. The person may be an expert, but her expertise does not really bear on the truth of the claim. This is because the expertise of a person does not actually determine whether the claim is true or false. Hence, arguments that deal directly with evidence relating to the claim itself will tend to be stronger. "

So we see that Appeals to Authority are not unassailable. The Nizkor site lists 6 commonly accepted criteria that, if met, make a case for legitimately appealing to expert authority.

Now if you want to question expert opinion, then you are completely entitled to do so. As a matter of fact this can be a good way to make new discoveries. BUT with a large number of experts to go up against, you'd better have some very good evidence and arguments. You have to give people a good reason to believe YOU rather than a majority of experts that happen to disagree with you.

And you will perhaps notice that in Stephens Guide to Logical Fallacies the argument from popularity and appeal to authority are considered separate subjects and it agrees that appeals to authority can be legitimate.

Now, do you intend to let us know whether you actually deny that the majority of biblical scholars date the epistles before the gospels? This would be interesting to know just for the record.
 
 

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