Why Translation and Context Matters

leor613
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Why Translation and Context Matters

Yesterday I pointed out that at least one of the "errors" in the Bible on Rook's list is only an error if you translate the Hebrew text a certain way, and you take the verse in question out of context. I am not some hick from the Bible Belt. I attended an acredited university where I took Biblical criticism classes, with professors who follow the Documentary Hypothesis. None of them would even dare to use the slipshod methods you use Rook. They would be laughed out of the profession in a heartbeat. You are as moronic as the KJV absolutists, taking a poor translation and not even bothering to learn the Hebrew necessary to critically examine the text. Your defenders are even worse, because I doubt they've ever actually read the Bible, in any translation. Rather than concede the point they change the topic. When Kirk Cameron does this you cry foul, but apparently you are allowed to do this. Why? Because you know the "Truth", and I'm a benighted fool. That's a logical fallacy by the way. So do you have a real answer for me? Or will you continue to dodge?


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leor613 wrote: Yesterday I

leor613 wrote:
Yesterday I pointed out that at least one of the "errors" in the Bible on Rook's list is only an error if you translate the Hebrew text a certain way, and you take the verse in question out of context. I am not some hick from the Bible Belt. I attended an acredited university where I took Biblical criticism classes, with professors who follow the Documentary Hypothesis. None of them would even dare to use the slipshod methods you use Rook. They would be laughed out of the profession in a heartbeat. You are as moronic as the KJV absolutists, taking a poor translation and not even bothering to learn the Hebrew necessary to critically examine the text. Your defenders are even worse, because I doubt they've ever actually read the Bible, in any translation. Rather than concede the point they change the topic. When Kirk Cameron does this you cry foul, but apparently you are allowed to do this. Why? Because you know the "Truth", and I'm a benighted fool. That's a logical fallacy by the way. So do you have a real answer for me? Or will you continue to dodge?

Rook, do I have your permission to bring up Malichi 2:3, or shall I obstain and let you work your "magic"(he he).

 

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leor613
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Brian37 wrote: Rook, do I

Brian37 wrote:

Rook, do I have your permission to bring up Malichi 2:3, or shall I obstain and let you work your "magic"(he he).

I thought you atheists don't believe in magic? Or spell checkers for that matter. So tell me, can you read Hebrew? (I'd think not, since you are barely literate in Modern English.) Have you read Malachi at all? Or are you just repeating something that you saw on some website?


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Ah, the spelling flame. A

Ah, the spelling flame.

A sign of an empty argument.

And, yes, "translation error" is as empty an argument as one can have.

You'd think that a god would make it so his edicts could only be translated one way. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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leor613
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jcgadfly wrote: Ah, the

jcgadfly wrote:

Ah, the spelling flame.

A sign of an empty argument.

And, yes, "translation error" is as empty an argument as one can have.

You'd think that a god would make it so his edicts could only be translated one way. 

Fuck you. I am sick of you atheists constantly changing the rules of the game. When Kirk Cameron did it you cried foul, well now I'm crying foul. You set up this "Biblical Errancy" forum, cite supposed textual errors, and then when I point out that in Hebrew those aren't errors, you say "Well your god should have known that I'm a lazy ass." In the meantime, Rook Hawkins apparently has nothing of value to say, such as which translation he used to compile his list.


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Huh, so basically you are

Huh, so basically you are pointing out spelling errors because your argument is weak and you are grasping for straws. Interesting. I would rather enjoy Rook's response to this, but I feel it would be a waste of his time.

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More insults. I thought you

More insults. I thought you atheists were the ones with actual ideas.


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I don't study the bible any

I don't study the bible any more than I study Moby Dick, I'm sorry but you'll have to wait for someone that has done more studying than I and is willing to engage in this thread.

I don't wish to give theists any ammunition by my incomplete study of a book of fairy tales.

YOU shut the fuck up! WE'LL save America!


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Okay guys stop knocking him

Okay guys stop knocking him for pointing spelling errors, that wasn't his argument.


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Ophios wrote: Okay guys

Ophios wrote:
Okay guys stop knocking him for pointing spelling errors, that wasn't his argument.

You're right, Ophios. His essential argument is "You can't really understand what God is saying unless you know Hebrew."

My question is why would a God who wants people to believe in him and what he says obscure his meaning to the point that you have to master another language to really "understand" him.

I only went on the attack because he took his shots at Brian37. Then he went ad hom on me. As far as I'm concerned, you throw hardballs at me and my friends, don't expect softballs back. You all have done the same for me in the past.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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leor613 wrote: jcgadfly

leor613 wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

Ah, the spelling flame.

A sign of an empty argument.

And, yes, "translation error" is as empty an argument as one can have.

You'd think that a god would make it so his edicts could only be translated one way.

Fuck you. I am sick of you atheists constantly changing the rules of the game. When Kirk Cameron did it you cried foul, well now I'm crying foul. You set up this "Biblical Errancy" forum, cite supposed textual errors, and then when I point out that in Hebrew those aren't errors, you say "Well your god should have known that I'm a lazy ass." In the meantime, Rook Hawkins apparently has nothing of value to say, such as which translation he used to compile his list.

Does your God want people to believe in him or not? If he does, why use language that can be misunderstood? If he meant his words to be properly understood in Hebrew, why not give us that understanding? Does he not have that power?

I'm not changing the rules - you're using a variation of the no true Scotsman fallacy. You're saying that no one can really follow God unless he understands Hebrew. If you actually posted something that I didn't see backing up your position of translation error, I apologize. The majority of people I read that claim that I and others make that error don't back it up.

Incidentally, the rule change Cameron and Comfort did was to use the Bible after they said they could prove the existence of God without it. Should they not have been called out for breaking their rule?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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What about Malachi 2:3?

What about Malachi 2:3?


leor613
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You can go in logical

You can go in logical circles all you want. That doesn't change the fact that the Bible is in Hebrew. Very difficult Hebrew, Hebrew without vowels, Hebrew that is difficult to translate, and easy to take out of context. Would you be able to understand Doestoyevsky in a translation? Possibly, but the original captures the meaning far more clearly. You accuse me of making a personal attack on you. Fair enough. That doesn't change the fact that I'm right: Rook should have stated what translation of the Bible he used. He should have said whether he knows Hebrew or not. Real Bible critics take the time to learn Hebrew in order to study the text. And yes, HaShem does want the Torah to be learned in Hebrew, by a select group, a Mamlechet Kohanim, if you will. Of course no one is stopping you from learning Hebrew, reading the original text, and deciding for yourself. But I doubt you will. Like all the atheist dilletantes on this site you are good at posing, but not too good at making convincing arguments. Take your friends Brian and Kelly. They had an oppurtunity to whip Cameron and Comfort's asses, and they blew it. Your team won on points, because the Way of the Master team screwed up. How many "theists" have you actually convinced to stop attending church with your Blasphemy Challenge? Face it, you're preaching to the choir here.


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totus_tuus wrote: What

totus_tuus wrote:
What about Malachi 2:3?

It discusses something that the lowest common denominator of society would find funny, especially taken out of context. Beavis and Butthead must be howling that this was brought up.


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Oh, the dung bit.

Oh, the dung bit.


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So I guess you missed the

So I guess you missed the part where Bill Johnson pointed out that your beef is not with Rook Hawkins but with the translators of the New International Version.

I'll quote it here because I'm so nice.

Bill Johnson wrote:
leor613 wrote:
Your translation of Ezekiel 20:25, in your list of contradictions, changes the meaning of the verse, especially when taken out of context with the surrounding verses.
It's not Rook's translation. The translation Rook provided matches the NIV word-for-word, which is a translation done by several scholars.

From Rook's list: Ezek. 20:25 says, "I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by...."

From the NIV: Eze 20:25 I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by;


Quote:
The previous two verses talks about the punishment of Israel for disobeying the Torah, namely not keeping Shabbos, and worshiping idols. So this verse continues that theme, that the "decrees" (not laws) that HaShem had decreed upon them were too much for them to bear.
Fallacy of naked assertion. You haven't provided evidence for your claim.


Quote:
You're dodging my point: Rook mistranslated the text, or used a flawed translation. That leads him to conclude that the text is contradictory, when this verse is not in the least.

You didn't back up your assertions, so there is "nothing" to dodge.


Quote:
You know what? I really could care less.
Are you being sarcastic?


Quote:
I raise a legitimate point and you answer with a non-sequitar.
Fallacy of naked assertion. Please stop committing one of the most basic errors in logic.

By the way, it's "non sequitur." I suggest you brush up on your English before offering your opinion on a language that would naturally be more difficult to grasp (seeing as it isn't native to you) than your original language.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/non%20sequitur


Quote:
So much for the vaunted rationality of the atheists.
Hasty generalization fallacy. You're drawing a broad conclusion from a single case.


Quote:
Your pal mistranslated the verse and took it out of context.
Again, it's not Rook's translation. Secondly, you haven't established that Rook took it out of context.


Quote:
That's either sloppiness or intellectual dishonesty.
That is if Rook did indeed do what you accuse him of doing. You haven't backed up your claims though. Care to? That's what people with an understanding of the basics of logic tend to do.


Quote:
When I call him on it (one of many examples I noticed in his long list by the by) you don't focus on the issues I raised, which any legitimate biblical scholar, whether they believe in biblical inerrency or not, would address.
I doubt most biblical scholars would respond to naked assertions.


Quote:
I am reminded of a midrash which goes something like this: Moses is ready to start writing the Torah, and HaShem is dictating to him: "Berieshis Barah Elokim". Moses objects to writing this, saying that in the future some goy will err, and say that a deity named Bereishis created God. HaShem replies "Let them err!"
That must have been the same attitude Yahweh had towards the Bible authors.

Note: this is a joke.


Quote:
Last time I checked the purpose of Higher Biblical Criticism is to arrive at some sort of understanding about the text. This requires an understanding that all translations are not perfect, and some are far more imperfect than others. This is why legitimate Biblical Critics never rely solely on translations, they actually learn Biblical Hebrew.
The various well-known English translations are done by those who learned Biblical Hebrew, so your point is hollow.


Quote:
They also look at the context of the verses, which is where they find "contradictions". No serious Biblical Scholar at any decent university would have made the basic mistakes that Rook is making in his "list". I decided to choose a verse from his list at random look it up in Hebrew, and compare his translation to others.
You're so ignorant that you still don't realize your mistranslation complaint is actually with the NIV translation.


Quote:
My conclusions were that his translations were inaccurate, which deflates his arguments.
Non sequitur. Simply drawing conclusions doesn't make them correct.

At this point, I don't see any need to respond to you further. All the errors you've made are basic, so you aren't posing much of a threat. I don't think I have the patience to continue trying to educate you on the basics of logic anyway.

Granted, you should probably reply to Bill in that other thread, not this one.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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Just reminds me of

Just reminds me of this:

"It's amazing how Christians will twist things to make what the Bible says not look so absurd. Dan Barker in Losing Faith in Faith explained how Christians would try to explain if the Bible said "This square is a circle":

It could mean a circle of squares, or a square of circles. Or in the original language the word 'square' was used to refer to any geometric object. Or a circle is functioning in place of a square temporarily. Or yesterday there was a square here, today it's a circle. Or, the circle is 'square' meaning odd or corny - it's an elipse, yeah, that's what it is. Or the word 'circle' is used in a general sense of 'circling around', which a square can do. Or the circle was cut from a square - the word 'is' means 'is from.' Or the word 'square' doesn't really belong in this sentence - it goes chronologically with the last sentence. Or the term 'square' is symbolic, like the '4 corners of the Earth.' Or the word 'circle' is used loosely like 'a circle of friends.' A square circle is an old fashioned group of friends. Or, it's a deep mystery that only God comprehends and we will understand it all someday in heaven."

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


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leor613 wrote: You can go

leor613 wrote:

You can go in logical circles all you want. That doesn't change the fact that the Bible is in Hebrew. Very difficult Hebrew, Hebrew without vowels, Hebrew that is difficult to translate, and easy to take out of context. Would you be able to understand Doestoyevsky in a translation? Possibly, but the original captures the meaning far more clearly. You accuse me of making a personal attack on you. Fair enough. That doesn't change the fact that I'm right: Rook should have stated what translation of the Bible he used. He should have said whether he knows Hebrew or not. Real Bible critics take the time to learn Hebrew in order to study the text. And yes, HaShem does want the Torah to be learned in Hebrew, by a select group, a Mamlechet Kohanim, if you will. Of course no one is stopping you from learning Hebrew, reading the original text, and deciding for yourself. But I doubt you will. Like all the atheist dilletantes on this site you are good at posing, but not too good at making convincing arguments. Take your friends Brian and Kelly. They had an oppurtunity to whip Cameron and Comfort's asses, and they blew it. Your team won on points, because the Way of the Master team screwed up. How many "theists" have you actually convinced to stop attending church with your Blasphemy Challenge? Face it, you're preaching to the choir here.

And meanwhile, we're still waiting on you to show where the errors in translation occurred. You claim translation errors but don't show them (yes, I've looked). You are shown what's behind Rook's work and let that slide so you can say "Logic doesn't matter with God so I'm still right."

Don't talk about lack of arguments until you bring one yourself. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I took a random example from

I took a random example from Rook's list, looked it up, and posted why it doesn't say what he said it does. You know what my response is: this section of your forum is a bait-and-switch game, that would make any carny's heart warm. In every other forum the rule is quite clearly spelled out: no quoting the Bible. Here is the forum for discussing the Bible, but when someone actually bothers to do their homework, since the vast majority of you have never studied the Bible, whether KJV, NIV, or even one of those Gideons in the all the hotels, you switch the topic, and then gloat that I can't answer your inane logic twisters. You know what? I'm taking my dice and my character sheet, and walking away, because otherwise it will not end well for either of us. You haven't done anything besides the bait-and-switch. I don't know why you're crowing about victory, since no one has responded to any of my points. If you keep this forum for future suckers, I'd suggest that you include the version of the Bible you culled your list of "errors" from. After all, even a carny needs to have an excuse when the customer figures out the game. I'm not returning to this site, and you can consider yourselves to have made someone who didn't wish ill towards atheists in general, and would have liked to consider some people here honest and decent human beings, into an enemy. Maybe you'll think about that next time.


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leor613 wrote: Yesterday I

leor613 wrote:
Yesterday I pointed out that at least one of the "errors" in the Bible on Rook's list is only an error if you translate the Hebrew text a certain way

That's true of every contradiction in existence... if you change the meaning of the contradictory term, the 'problem' disapears.

The problem is that this entire enterprise is ad hoc, unless you can come up with a non arbitrary methodology....  and you must also explain why you're appyling your methods to this passage, and not all passages.

Quote:
, and you take the verse in question out of context.

Matters of context are similar to 'translation error' claims....  

 

Quote:
I am not some hick from the Bible Belt. I attended an acredited university where I took Biblical criticism classes, with professors who follow the Documentary Hypothesis. None of them would even dare to use the slipshod methods you use Rook. They would be laughed out of the profession in a heartbeat. You are as moronic as the KJV absolutists, taking a poor translation and not even bothering to learn the Hebrew necessary to critically examine the text. Your defenders are even worse, because I doubt they've ever actually read the Bible, in any translation. 

This is nothing more than a tantrum.  If you want to be taken seriously, please refrain from launching into insults.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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leor613 wrote: I took a

leor613 wrote:
I took a random example from Rook's list, looked it up, and posted why it doesn't say what he said it does. You know what my response is: this section of your forum is a bait-and-switch game, that would make any carny's heart warm. In every other forum the rule is quite clearly spelled out: no quoting the Bible. Here is the forum for discussing the Bible, but when someone actually bothers to do their homework, since the vast majority of you have never studied the Bible, whether KJV, NIV, or even one of those Gideons in the all the hotels, you switch the topic, and then gloat that I can't answer your inane logic twisters. You know what? I'm taking my dice and my character sheet, and walking away, because otherwise it will not end well for either of us. You haven't done anything besides the bait-and-switch. I don't know why you're crowing about victory, since no one has responded to any of my points. If you keep this forum for future suckers, I'd suggest that you include the version of the Bible you culled your list of "errors" from. After all, even a carny needs to have an excuse when the customer figures out the game. I'm not returning to this site, and you can consider yourselves to have made someone who didn't wish ill towards atheists in general, and would have liked to consider some people here honest and decent human beings, into an enemy. Maybe you'll think about that next time.

 

If you have an argument, present it.

If you don't think there's been a good response, you have no need to speak on the matter further.

Your continued use of personal attacks makes it difficult to take you seriously. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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leor613 wrote: jcgadfly

leor613 wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

Ah, the spelling flame.

A sign of an empty argument.

And, yes, "translation error" is as empty an argument as one can have.

You'd think that a god would make it so his edicts could only be translated one way.

Fuck you. . 

You began a thread with the title "why translation and context matters" You could spend your time presenting reasons why this is so. You could also give us a reason why your claims are not ad hoc.

 You could provide us with your non arbitrary methodology for making correct interpretations and translations.

Instead, you've said "Fuck you"

Please focus on providing arguments. Defend your position. If someone ignores your point, ignore them, and merely point them back to your argument.

 

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[leor613 wrote:You can go

[

leor613 wrote:
You can go in logical circles all you want. That doesn't change the fact that the Bible is in Hebrew. Very difficult Hebrew, Hebrew without vowels, Hebrew that is difficult to translate, and easy to take out of context. ...
Which indicates that it is something other than a perfect instruction book written or inspired by a perfect being.
I also must ask why bother with it? What's so great about it? Seems like Imperial nudity to me.


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lpetrich wrote: [ leor613

lpetrich wrote:
[
leor613 wrote:
You can go in logical circles all you want. That doesn't change the fact that the Bible is in Hebrew. Very difficult Hebrew, Hebrew without vowels, Hebrew that is difficult to translate, and easy to take out of context. ...
Which indicates that it is something other than a perfect instruction book written or inspired by a perfect being.
I also must ask why bother with it? What's so great about it? Seems like Imperial nudity to me.

It's the elitism of the "no true scotsman" fallacy. Other theists have it as well.

The "You can't really be a follower of God unless you read the bible in the language I think is best and believe in exactly the way I tell you" attitude abounds. He balsts what he calss the "KJV morons" and does the same thing - he just can't figure it out. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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leor,

leor,

I'm sorry you're still a victim to Theism, your concepts of hermeneutics are indeed sad, as no modern historian would agree with you. I direct you to the SBLSS 28, "Redescribing Christian Origins"; SBLSS 34 "Farewell to the Yahwist?"; SBLSS 26 "Biblical Interpretation: History, Context and Reality"; and the SBLSS 12 "Gnosticism and later Platonism".  Hopefully this will clear up your understanding of how modern historians determine the context and understanding of a passage.

More specifically, how do you know you're interpretation is correct and a Mormon's interpretation isn't? You're ignorantly making a claim based on your specific cultural identification. Leave the real scholarship to people who can remain unbias and honest, instead of trying to correct those who are your betters in terms of understanding the background of the reflexive social and cultural experiments of the days in which each book of the Bible and the apocrypha/pseudepigrapha were written.

The best,

Rook

 

 

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Before I say anything in

Before I say anything in this forum - I was wondering.  Rook, what is your background as far as education and when it comes to historical documentation.  What are your qualifications?  I am not attacking - I have been looking basically for your resume.  That way I know where you are coming from.  I know what Brian says your area of expertise is - but in the world of academia, what are your qualifications.  What groups recognize you as an authority in the area of history, historical documents, or ancient cultures.

Secondly, those of you who wonder, "Why didn't God speak in a language that we could understand?" need to really think that question through.  God spoke to the Hebrew people in their language and in their historical context.  When I talk about a tape player, my 4 year old has no idea what I am talking about, but she knows what I-pod means.  They (The Hebrew people) understood EXACTLY what He meant.  Our problem is:

1.  We are separated by thousands of years.

2.  We are separated by cultures, and the thousand of years that culture developed.

3.  We are separated by a language - this should not be a suprise because there are many words in foreign languages that do not 100% completely translate to English.  I have studied Hebrew (and Greek) and I will tell you that you absolutely cannot take a Hebrew sentence and simply write word for word and make an English sentence. 

4.  We are separated by location - we live on the other side of the world.  We live in a world that is completely unlike the mid-east thousands of years ago.

5.  The other points you absolutely cannot argue - but even though you don't believe this one - we are talking about an infinite God, who is beyond our complete understanding as finite human beings.

Lastly, let me say that the NIV Bible is NOT a translation of the Bible - it is a paraphrased Bible.  It does not claim to be word-for-word with the Greek and the Hebrew.  Whereas it is not completely inaccurate - it attempts to  make reading easier for the layperson.

ROOK WROTE:  More specifically, how do you know you're interpretation is correct and a Mormon's interpretation isn't?

Have you ever done ANY research on the book of Abraham?  That is one way that we know.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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REVLyle wrote: Before I

REVLyle wrote:

Before I say anything in this forum - I was wondering. Rook, what is your background as far as education and when it comes to historical documentation. What are your qualifications? I am not attacking - I have been looking basically for your resume. That way I know where you are coming from. I know what Brian says your area of expertise is - but in the world of academia, what are your qualifications. What groups recognize you as an authority in the area of history, historical documents, or ancient cultures.

Secondly, those of you who wonder, "Why didn't God speak in a language that we could understand?" need to really think that question through. God spoke to the Hebrew people in their language and in their historical context. When I talk about a tape player, my 4 year old has no idea what I am talking about, but she knows what I-pod means. They (The Hebrew people) understood EXACTLY what He meant. Our problem is:

1. We are separated by thousands of years.

2. We are separated by cultures, and the thousand of years that culture developed.

3. We are separated by a language - this should not be a suprise because there are many words in foreign languages that do not 100% completely translate to English. I have studied Hebrew (and Greek) and I will tell you that you absolutely cannot take a Hebrew sentence and simply write word for word and make an English sentence.

4. We are separated by location - we live on the other side of the world. We live in a world that is completely unlike the mid-east thousands of years ago.

5. The other points you absolutely cannot argue - but even though you don't believe this one - we are talking about an infinite God, who is beyond our complete understanding as finite human beings.

Lastly, let me say that the NIV Bible is NOT a translation of the Bible - it is a paraphrased Bible. It does not claim to be word-for-word with the Greek and the Hebrew. Whereas it is not completely inaccurate - it attempts to make reading easier for the layperson.

ROOK WROTE: More specifically, how do you know you're interpretation is correct and a Mormon's interpretation isn't?

Have you ever done ANY research on the book of Abraham? That is one way that we know.

I'm not Rook, so I'll only deal with your numbered points.

1. Isn't your God timeless? Shouldn't his alleged message be as well?

2. See 1. and Are you saying that your God is limited by culture and can only make his message relevant to people who lived in the Middle East thousands of years ago? That puts the kibosh on modern religion does it not?

3. Your all-knowing God can only communicate in Hebrew? There goes omniscience if you beleived in that.

4. See 2. If your God can't be relevant to where people are around the world, why bother trying to sell him to them? Did Mark 16:15 say "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (after you teach them biblical Hebrew"?

5. What's the point of going to church and learning about God, then? I thought you were supposed to learn more about God in order to grow closer to him. How can you claim a relationship with something you don't and can't understand?

On the NIV being a paraphrase - these folks disagree with you and they have a bit more credibility http://www.ibs.org/aboutibs/index.php.  

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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REVLyle wrote:Before I

REVLyle wrote:

Before I say anything in this forum - I was wondering. Rook, what is your background as far as education and when it comes to historical documentation. What are your qualifications? I am not attacking - I have been looking basically for your resume.

You're just looking for a reason to ignore him.

What matters is his arguments, and the points he makes.

By the way, I'd appreciate it, in the sake of intellectual honesty, if you'd stop posting the work of others on our site:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/6997

Plagiarism is a reason for removal from our site.

Quote:

That way I know where you are coming from.

You can know where he's coming from by reading his arguments.

Quote:

Secondly, those of you who wonder, "Why didn't God speak in a language that we could understand?" need to really think that question through.

Actually, you need to think it through. How could it possibly be that an omnipotent being, that is perfectly responsible for every aspect of his creation, could fail to transmit his message?

Blaming the receiver is identical to blaming an omnipotent being for the failure, seeing as your creator has perfect responsibility for his own creation.

The fact that the bible is a flawed work is itself proof of its earthly origin. 

Quote:

God spoke to the Hebrew people in their language and in their historical context. When I talk about a tape player, my 4 year old has no idea what I am talking about, but she knows what I-pod means. They (The Hebrew people) understood EXACTLY what He meant. Our problem is:

1. We are separated by thousands of years.

Why should this be a problem to your god? Why should any of the problems you list even matter (Why should these problems even  exist in the first place?) - why can't your omnipotent being communicate to his own creation, for which he is already perfectly responsible for, in a way they can grasp, no  matter the time period or culture?

Why is it that Euclid could do it with his geometry, but your god cannot?

Ever bother to spend 5 seconds thinking about that? Humans seem to be able to communicate key points through the eons, no matter the culture, or the context... but your 'god' fails.

 Before you blame the receiver, please realize that this does not absolve your omnipotent 'being' of 'his' perfect responsibility. Your 'god' created the receiver to be precisely as he or she is....

So again, YOU need to think this through.

Quote:

ROOK WROTE: More specifically, how do you know you're interpretation is correct and a Mormon's interpretation isn't?

Have you ever done ANY research on the book of Abraham? That is one way that we know.

He obviously has. 

By the way, what are your credentials? I ask because what you've written here is pretty poor in quality, and because you are already on record for plagiarism on our site:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/6997

 

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  YOU WROTE:  You're just

  YOU WROTE:  You're just looking for a reason to ignore him.

I am not looking for a reason to ignore him.  Through all my academic studies - I had to know, if I was doing research, who my sources were and what were their qualifications.  When one is preparing a research paper and information is gathered - especially on the internet - sources must be checked in order to either verify or reject their claim of athority on a subject.  Why is my question so outlandish?  I thought I could find it on the website, and so far I have not.  If this truly is a site for "the intellects" I am sure I am not the first to ask. 

YOU WROTE:

Actually, you need to think it through. How could it possibly be that an omnipotent being, that is perfectly responsible for every aspect of his creation, could fail to transmit his message?

Blaming the receiver is identical to blaming an omnipotent being for the failure, seeing as your creator has perfect responsibility for his own creation.

The fact that the bible is a flawed work is itself proof of its earthly origin.

You failed to include one other thing that I wrote:

They (The Hebrew people) understood EXACTLY what He meant.

Exactly what language, God had to use something to communicate with us as people, would you have suggested that He use?  The question was, "Why didn't God communicate in a language we could understand."  The problem with you or any other person asking this question is - "Who are WE?"  If "WE" are the Hebrew people thousand of years ago - God did communicate so they could perfectly understand Him.  If "We" is you and I in America - the problem is not God - the problem is us.

God's Word transcends culture, time, and place.  BUT WE DO NOT.  That is why WE are the problem.

YOU WROTE: why can't your omnipotent being communicate to his own creation, for which he is already perfectly responsible for, in a way they can grasp, no  matter the time period or culture?

Why is it that Euclid could do it with his geometry, but your god cannot?

See answer above:

Please come up with a better example than Euclid.  You are comparing apples and oranges.  Do you and I completely understand Plato or Socrates?  We have ideas of what they meant and we have people who differ on those ideas all over the planet.  Do you really want to compare mathamatics with philosophy?  PLEASE . . . .

YOU WROTE:  He obviously has. (done ANY research on the book of Abraham?) 

What is obvious about it?  If he had, he would not have compared the Bible with Mormon scripture (Book of Abraham) 

 

OK, you have told me twice in one post not to copy and paste another's work.  It will not happen again.  I was in a rush; I had read what I needed to and did not have time to put things in my own words.  I should not have done that.  I should know better.  Sorry.

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REVLyle wrote:

REVLyle wrote:

YOU WROTE: You're just looking for a reason to ignore him.

I am not looking for a reason to ignore him. Through all my academic studies - I had to know, if I was doing research, who my sources were and what were their qualifications. When one is preparing a research paper and information is gathered - especially on the internet - sources must be checked in order to either verify or reject their claim of athority on a subject. Why is my question so outlandish? I thought I could find it on the website, and so far I have not. If this truly is a site for "the intellects" I am sure I am not the first to ask.

YOU WROTE:

Actually, you need to think it through. How could it possibly be that an omnipotent being, that is perfectly responsible for every aspect of his creation, could fail to transmit his message?

Blaming the receiver is identical to blaming an omnipotent being for the failure, seeing as your creator has perfect responsibility for his own creation.

The fact that the bible is a flawed work is itself proof of its earthly origin.

You failed to include one other thing that I wrote:

They (The Hebrew people) understood EXACTLY what He meant.

Exactly what language, God had to use something to communicate with us as people, would you have suggested that He use? The question was, "Why didn't God communicate in a language we could understand." The problem with you or any other person asking this question is - "Who are WE?" If "WE" are the Hebrew people thousand of years ago - God did communicate so they could perfectly understand Him. If "We" is you and I in America - the problem is not God - the problem is us.

God's Word transcends culture, time, and place. BUT WE DO NOT. That is why WE are the problem.

YOU WROTE: why can't your omnipotent being communicate to his own creation, for which he is already perfectly responsible for, in a way they can grasp, no matter the time period or culture?

Why is it that Euclid could do it with his geometry, but your god cannot?

See answer above:

Please come up with a better example than Euclid. You are comparing apples and oranges. Do you and I completely understand Plato or Socrates? We have ideas of what they meant and we have people who differ on those ideas all over the planet. Do you really want to compare mathamatics with philosophy? PLEASE . . . .

YOU WROTE: He obviously has. (done ANY research on the book of Abraham?)

What is obvious about it? If he had, he would not have compared the Bible with Mormon scripture (Book of Abraham)

 

OK, you have told me twice in one post not to copy and paste another's work. It will not happen again. I was in a rush; I had read what I needed to and did not have time to put things in my own words. I should not have done that. I should know better. Sorry.

Did you just now post that the Hebrews understood exactly what God was saying? Doesn't that sit in opposition to what you wrote in your point 5 (that no finite human can completley understand an infinite God)?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Just because they

Just because they understood him - does not mean that they (or us) can comprehend Him.

Probably a flawed example:  My daughter understands the rules of my house, but she does not comprehend why all those rules exist.

Sorry about the confusion.

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REVLyle wrote: YOU

REVLyle wrote:

YOU WROTE: You're just looking for a reason to ignore him.

I am not looking for a reason to ignore him. 

Sure you are, you're looking for a reason to disqualify him.

What matters are his arguments. Deal with his arguments.

Quote:
 

YOU WROTE:

Actually, you need to think it through. How could it possibly be that an omnipotent being, that is perfectly responsible for every aspect of his creation, could fail to transmit his message?

Blaming the receiver is identical to blaming an omnipotent being for the failure, seeing as your creator has perfect responsibility for his own creation.

The fact that the bible is a flawed work is itself proof of its earthly origin.

You failed to include one other thing that I wrote:

They (The Hebrew people) understood EXACTLY what He meant.

This is a naked assertion.  It's also moot vis-a-vis my point: why couldn't a 'god' create a message that anyone could understand, when Euclid was capable of doing it?

  And before you say "apples and oranges' the point is that even a human is capable of sending such a message.

Quote:
 

Exactly what language, God had to use something to communicate with us as people, would you have suggested that He use? 

I don't need to answer, as my ability to answer is moot.  The fact that I'm even able to give an example in mathematics shows that even humans can achieve this goal in terms of mathematics.

What matters is that an omnipotent, omniscient creator cannot fail to send a perfect message to his own creation. Why? Because this creator is also perfectly responsible for every single solitary aspect of the receiver of the message....  Your 'god' is responsible both for the message, , the transmission of the message, and the very nature and abilities of the receiver to grasp the message.

So please stop dodging the argument.  The point before you is that any reason you can come up with as to why a person wouldn't recieve the message MUST be related to an aspect of existence for which your god is already responsibe for!

Quote:
 

YOU WROTE: why can't your omnipotent being communicate to his own creation, for which he is already perfectly responsible for, in a way they can grasp, no matter the time period or culture?

Why is it that Euclid could do it with his geometry, but your god cannot?

See answer above:

See refutation above.

 

Quote:

Please come up with a better example than Euclid.

Please realize how ridiculous your counter point is. I don't need to , as my ability to provide you the specific details as to how a perfectly responsible omnipotent, omniscient being meets his 'goals' is moot.

Please dazzle me in your reply by actually grasping this point. 

Quote:
 

You are comparing apples and oranges. 

Again, you're missing the actual point of my analogy - it's not to demonstrate how a 'god' would transmit a message, but instead an example of how even humans are able to transmit a message across culture and time.

 

Quote:

YOU WROTE: He obviously has. (done ANY research on the book of Abraham?)

What is obvious about it?  

Its obvious that Rook has done his research. Read up on Rook. Learn about him from his posts. Stun me by actually learning something about a subject before you pontificate on it.

Quote:
 

 OK, you have told me twice in one post not to copy and paste another's work. It will not happen again.  


Good.    I'm glad that you will not be plagiarizing on our board anymore.

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REVLyle wrote: Just

REVLyle wrote:

Just because they understood him - does not mean that they (or us) can comprehend Him.

Probably a flawed example: My daughter understands the rules of my house, but she does not comprehend why all those rules exist.

Sorry about the confusion.

Your claim is nonsensical, you have no grounds upon which you can rationally hold that all Hebrews understood the word... Can you tell me what evidence you even think you could cite to demonstrate that?

The idea that there weren't Hebrews who either didn't follow points, or who didn't disagree is sheer nonsense. 

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jsgadfly wrote:  1. Isn't

jsgadfly wrote: 

1. Isn't your God timeless? Shouldn't his alleged message be as well?

2. See 1. and Are you saying that your God is limited by culture and can only make his message relevant to people who lived in the Middle East thousands of years ago? That puts the kibosh on modern religion does it not?

3. Your all-knowing God can only communicate in Hebrew? There goes omniscience if you beleived in that.

4. See 2. If your God can't be relevant to where people are around the world, why bother trying to sell him to them? Did Mark 16:15 say "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (after you teach them biblical Hebrew"?

5. What's the point of going to church and learning about God, then? I thought you were supposed to learn more about God in order to grow closer to him. How can you claim a relationship with something you don't and can't understand?

On the NIV being a paraphrase - these folks disagree with you and they have a bit more credibility http://www.ibs.org/aboutibs/index.php.

 

It appears that you did not either understand what I had written or you intentionally want to simply argue - different from debate.

You statements 1-4 can be answered quite simply:

1.  The message does span all of time and it is relevant to all people, in all places, for all times.  The problem is that we do not transcend all time and culture.  We know that God communicated through creation, through prophets, through Jesus, His Son, through miracles, through the apostles and through His Word.  Look at it this way.  I am writing to you in English, and you and I live in the same time period and you and I live probably in the same country  and within the same culture (assumption is the U.S.)  AND YET - you didn't get anything that I said.

2.  As a pastor, I read God's word and I find it quite relevant to 2007.  so no problem there.

3.  I have friends who are quite fluent in multiple languages, but they speak to me in english.  I guess they are not fluent in multiple languages.  You point #3 makes just about as much sense.

4. see #1   

5.  There is a difference between understand and comprehend.  My children understand that they are not to play in the street.  They do not comprehend the implications of not obeying.  I understand what the Bible is saying.  I do not comprehend God.

 

I will give you this.  I was too hard on the NIV.  It is not technically a paraphrase, but it is NOT a literal translation either.  What is known by anyone in the ministry is that there are phrases in the NIV that are not literal.  The NIV is a medium road between literal translations and loose dynamic translations.

My point is that not every word in the NIV is a literal translation.  If anyone argues that point, they are wrong.

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SOOOOOOOOOO, I guess Rook's

SOOOOOOOOOO, I guess Rook's qualifications should be coming soon???????

You did not answer my question - why is this such a problem?  Why would someone, who was a student and researcher, simply take the claims of someone that I do not know?  I know you do not like Biblical references - but I do not know Rook from Adam.  Does Rook have any credentials for the fields that Brian Sapient, in a video on your site, state he is your resident expert?  It is a really simple question. 

Atheists love Sam Harris - I know that Sam has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Stanford University and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in neuroscience.

Atheists love Richard Dawkins - I know that he is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.

So there is no confusion - I copied each of these descriptions from Wikipedia.  That website gets all the credit for these two descriptions of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.  These are not my own thoughts. 

SO, WHAT ABOUT ROOK DAWKINS???  Really, just help me out.  I will respond to the rest of your post later.  I do not have time right now.

 

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REVLyle

REVLyle wrote:

SOOOOOOOOOO, I guess Rook's qualifications should be coming soon???????

Why not read his arguments.

Quote:

You did not answer my question

Actually, I did. I told you you could assess him by assessing his arguments.

Quote:

- why is this such a problem?

What problem is there? You ask for a proof of the merits of his case, I tell you to read his writing.

Quote:
 

Why would someone, who was a student and researcher, simply take the claims of someone that I do not know?

Simple.

Judge him based on the merits of his arguments.

Look to their logic.

Look to his methods of historiography. 

Look to the citations he provides.

In other words, if you want to guage him, gauge his arguments, and cease from the ad hominem.

I can't believe I have to tell a student and 'researcher' how to critically examine a work.  

  

Quote:

SO, WHAT ABOUT ROOK DAWKINS???

Hawkins.

If you were really concerned about the merits of his arguments, you'd read them. You'd  examine their logic, you'd examine his methods of historiography, you'd look over his cited sources.

But this would require you to actually read his arguments, and critically examine them.  So far, the only substantive post from you on this site was plagiarized.

Read his posts, examine his claims. Respond to his arguments.

 

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REVLyle wrote: So there is

REVLyle wrote:

So there is no confusion - I copied each of these descriptions from Wikipedia. That website gets all the credit for these two descriptions of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. These are not my own thoughts.

Apparently you're not familiar with peer review or the fair use doctrine.  Anything within common knowledge is allowed to be cited without sources.  Degrees and such, as you posted above, may be cited without the need for citations, although you could make a slight citation which would be acceptable. 

The fair use doctrine is pretty lenient with what you cite, as long as you cite properly. Peer review would really be of some trouble for you, as these are important when working on something which one would plan to be published.  Please consider these words.

 The best,

 Rook Hawkins

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Well, I certainly have no

Well, I certainly have no problem with reading his writings, but here is the issue that you evidently just don't get.  I am aware that you don't think much of my intellect, as you stated in so many words - what I have said is worthless except what I plagiarized.  I would like to remind you what Rook Hawkins stated in an earlier post.

Rook Hawkins:  Leave the real scholarship to people who can remain unbias and honest, instead of trying to correct those who are your betters in terms of understanding the background of the reflexive social and cultural experiments of the days in which each book of the Bible and the apocrypha/pseudepigrapha were written.

So, unless Rook is talking about someone else, he has described himself as unbiased and honest AND better in understanding the background of the reflexive social and cultural experiments of the days in which the Bible was written.  For someone to make a claim like that - He must have some serious academic hours behind him.  As far as unbiased - who is that?  If you are an atheist - you are unbiased????  That is absolutely crazy.  You are just as biased about "there is no god" as a theist "there is a god."  To put oneself ABOVE the theist is simply arrogance.

The reason his resume is important is that if Rook is reading book and then simply spouting what others have written that is also plagiarism - if he takes credit for their thoughts.  If he is composing his own thoughts on issues - then I would want to know what are behind those thoughts.  If I were to make a biological conclusion - based on other writings that I have read - one would want to know what my education was in order to make that conclusion.

Again, my request is not unreasonable - and yet no one has answered it yet.  I have already looked at his thoughts and I MIGHT comment on them, but again, I find it quite suspicious that no one, either you, or Rook, or Brian, or Kelly will simply honor this one request.  Has anyone ever asked before???  If everyone, who is sooooooooo smart on this website, just blindly following people that they do not even know.  Isn't that exactly what you accuse Christians of, blindly following a book or pastor.

 

 

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REVLyle wrote:   Has

REVLyle wrote:

  Has anyone ever asked before???  If everyone, who is sooooooooo smart on this website, just blindly following people that they do not even know.  Isn't that exactly what you accuse Christians of, blindly following a book or pastor.

Who blindly follows who?

Actually, people such as Rook who critically examine the bible (leaving his credentials aside for the moment) are not followed by atheists, blindly or otherwise. For the most part such work is ignored by atheists as atheists are not the intended audience. If you don't believe in any god, why would you care if there are inconsistencies or errors in the bible?

 Being an atheist, I could not care less whether there are contradictions in this book of mythology or not. I will leave the field of studying a fictional work in a factual context to men who can't find better means to support their curiosity. I can see where it might come in handy, such as in Rook's case, when trying to give people a reason to question their deeply engrained irrational beliefs. Otherwise it seems a rather pointless pursuit from this atheist's perspective. Without a god belief the contents of any particular religious text is no more important than the contents of any other fictional work. I have read the bible for its literary influence but for me to care one way or the other how one person or another decides to interpret it is absurd as there is noreason to believe the entity it references exists in the first place.

All that being said I will agree with you on the point that, in the American culture, to reference someone as an expert in a particular field carries with it an implication of formal education. If Rook is not formally educated in biblical mumbo-jumbo, or whatever the field may be known as, to call him an expert without making this clear seems dishonest. Once we get past that and the dishonesty is cleared from the air, the fact that one does lack formal education in a particular field is not sufficient reason to disregard their arguments. Their arguments still hold as much wieght as those made by any PhD unless you can show them to be incorrect.  

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REVLyle wrote:

REVLyle wrote:

jsgadfly wrote:

1. Isn't your God timeless? Shouldn't his alleged message be as well?

2. See 1. and Are you saying that your God is limited by culture and can only make his message relevant to people who lived in the Middle East thousands of years ago? That puts the kibosh on modern religion does it not?

3. Your all-knowing God can only communicate in Hebrew? There goes omniscience if you beleived in that.

4. See 2. If your God can't be relevant to where people are around the world, why bother trying to sell him to them? Did Mark 16:15 say "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (after you teach them biblical Hebrew"?

5. What's the point of going to church and learning about God, then? I thought you were supposed to learn more about God in order to grow closer to him. How can you claim a relationship with something you don't and can't understand?

On the NIV being a paraphrase - these folks disagree with you and they have a bit more credibility http://www.ibs.org/aboutibs/index.php.

 

It appears that you did not either understand what I had written or you intentionally want to simply argue - different from debate.

You statements 1-4 can be answered quite simply:

1. The message does span all of time and it is relevant to all people, in all places, for all times. The problem is that we do not transcend all time and culture. We know that God communicated through creation, through prophets, through Jesus, His Son, through miracles, through the apostles and through His Word. Look at it this way. I am writing to you in English, and you and I live in the same time period and you and I live probably in the same country and within the same culture (assumption is the U.S.) AND YET - you didn't get anything that I said.

2. As a pastor, I read God's word and I find it quite relevant to 2007. so no problem there.

3. I have friends who are quite fluent in multiple languages, but they speak to me in english. I guess they are not fluent in multiple languages. You point #3 makes just about as much sense.

4. see #1

5. There is a difference between understand and comprehend. My children understand that they are not to play in the street. They do not comprehend the implications of not obeying. I understand what the Bible is saying. I do not comprehend God.

 

I will give you this. I was too hard on the NIV. It is not technically a paraphrase, but it is NOT a literal translation either. What is known by anyone in the ministry is that there are phrases in the NIV that are not literal. The NIV is a medium road between literal translations and loose dynamic translations.

My point is that not every word in the NIV is a literal translation. If anyone argues that point, they are wrong.

Hi, thanks for answering. I'm not trying to start a fight - your post conflicted with what I understood of the Bible and I needed clarification.

It appears I still do.

You say that God's message is timeless but you use the thousands of years of separation between their time and ours as a reason why we have a problem understanding it.

I'm glad your personal experience lets you believe the bible is relevant for you.that doesn't really work as proof of its overall relevance but I'll let that go. If it can be made relevant to the people of 2007, why did you cite cultural differences between biblical times and now as a hindrance?

The "separated by a language" sounds a whole lot like it came from the guy who started this thread with the claim that the bible can't be understood unless you are fluent in ancient Hebrew. Why would a God who knows all languages have to wait for his translators to learn how to read what his ghost writers put to paper? If it's divinely inspired and not bound by language barriers, wouldn't it have been easier to just put in the translators' heads in the language needed?

Again, if the message can transcend distances, don't say that distance is a bar to understanding.

So, you're telling me you believe in God without knowing why you do it (or because you love him)? Isn't that similar to the classic answer of the battered spouse when he or she is asked "Why don't you leave this horrible situation?"

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


REVLyle
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 Vessel wrote:  All that

 Vessel wrote:  All that being said I will agree with you on the point that, in the American culture, to reference someone as an expert in a particular field carries with it an implication of formal education. If Rook is not formally educated in biblical mumbo-jumbo, or whatever the field may be known as, to call him an expert without making this clear seems dishonest. Once we get past that and the dishonesty is cleared from the air, the fact that one does lack formal education in a particular field is not sufficient reason to disregard their arguments. Their arguments still hold as much wieght as those made by any PhD unless you can show them to be incorrect.

 

I agree with you that the posts that Rook has made do not need to be ignored.  Again, If he or anyone on the team claim to be experts in their field, then it is only rational to ask where they were formally educated.  Whereas a child can ask a question - If the child draws conclusions based on accurate information, the child's conclusions most likely will still be childlike.  I am not calling anyone immature and I am not calling anyone a child.  It is simply an analogy.  I cannot find anywhere on the website any documentation as to the expertise of any of these people.  Has Rook ever studied with an ancient texts expert?  Has KellyM78 graduated from college?  Does she have a masters or doctorate in her field?  If Mike is a scientist, where did he study?  That is all I am asking.  Again - not a hard question. 

The only area that I will disagree, is that their questions are just as important as anyone with a PhD, but their conclusions that they draw are not as weighty as someone who has taken the time to do the formal education.

 PS:  I do not need a resume for the Sith Lord.  We are good on that one.

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KellyM78 - RRS Core Member (Philosophy and Psychology)
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Todangst - Psychology
LeftofLarry - Science
Susan - Ethics and Publicity
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REVLyle
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Before I answer your

Before I answer your questions. I was just wondering.  It will help me know HOW to answer your questions.  Have you ever studied Greek or Hebrew?  I am not saying I am better than you or anyone else.  The issue is not who is smarter, the issue is that we simply know different things.  I AM NOT an expert, but I will tell you that I have spent many semesters as a student under professors who were quite competent in these fields.  I do have some insight that someone who has never studied these languages may not have.

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REVLyle wrote:   The only

REVLyle wrote:

 

The only area that I will disagree, is that their questions are just as important as anyone with a PhD, but their conclusions that they draw are not as weighty as someone who has taken the time to do the formal education.

An argument carries the weight of the truth of its conclusions and the reliability of its methodologies. Education is wholly irrelevant to either of these. It can aid one in coming to better supported conclusions through better methodologies but education in no way gaurantees the soundeness of an argument any more than lack of education necessitates an arguments lacking. In other words, the weight an argument carries is not at all dependent on education. Every argument should be judged on its own merit.  

 

Quote:
PS:  I do not need a resume for the Sith Lord.  We are good on that one.

High Level Admin Team (regular radio appearances):
Sapient - RRS Co-Founder (too many hats to mention)
Rook Hawkins - RRS Co-Founder (Ancient Texts Expert)
Yellow#5 (AKA Mike) - RRS Core Member (The Scientist)
KellyM78 - RRS Core Member (Philosophy and Psychology)
Razorcade - RRS Core Member (Rational Inquisitor)


High Level Moderation - Thinktank
Todangst - Psychology
LeftofLarry - Science
Susan - Ethics and Publicity
Richard Carrier - History
Brian Flemming - Filmmaking, Activism, Speaker
Darth_Josh - Sith Lord

You don't need a resume from anyone. You may request one but being as that this is their site I think I might do it humbly if I was you. I would also like to point out that nowhere does any name aside from Rook's have the word expert beside it and therefor your point that the others are portraying themselves as experts and thus should qualify themselves as such in the public forum is defeated.

Now, this is just my humble advice, but if I was you I would address the substance of the arguments. Your present course of argumentation makes you look less than able to confront the arguments laid out before you by the people whose 'credentials' you question.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


REVLyle
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The resume comment was a

The resume comment was a joke.  I liked the Sith Lord thing.  Just trying to keep it lite. 

I am assuming that you do not believe that wrong conclusions have never been reached when all the information presented was accurate, but the intricate knowledge of the one making the conclusion was flawed.

My daughter is 4 years old.  She sees a tree outside.  She knows that the tree needs water and sun to survive.  Yet, the leaves fall off in the fall.  She comes to the conclusion that the tree is dead because it must not have gotten enough sun or water.  She has all the facts (tree needs sun and water) but she lacks the intricate knowledge of Botany in order to make the correct conclusion.

That is the point of what I was trying to say. 

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REVLyle wrote: The resume

REVLyle wrote:

The resume comment was a joke.  I liked the Sith Lord thing.  Just trying to keep it lite. 

I am assuming that you do not believe that wrong conclusions have never been reached when all the information presented was accurate, but the intricate knowledge of the one making the conclusion was flawed.

Well, that is, as they say, the problem with assumptions. Now, where exactly did what I wrote lead you to assume such a thing?

Quote:
My daughter is 4 years old.  She sees a tree outside.  She knows that the tree needs water and sun to survive.  Yet, the leaves fall off in the fall.  She comes to the conclusion that the tree is dead because it must not have gotten enough sun or water.  She has all the facts (tree needs sun and water) but she lacks the intricate knowledge of Botany in order to make the correct conclusion.

That is the point of what I was trying to say. 

Wonderful. I fail to see what this has to do with my point that arguments stand on their own merits, weighted by their methodologies in reaching their conclusions and the truth of those conclusions.

You see, if someone presented an argument to your daughter that accurately explained the reason the leaves fell from the tree and the methodologies used to reach the conclusion that this is the reason such a thing occured, whether or not they were formally educated in such matters would have no bearing on the accuracy of their argument. Likewise, if there was a botanist who misinterpreted the reason the leaves fell from the tree, the fact he is a botanist does not make his argument any more correct. This is basically what I said.

This is why it is inappropriate ad, for the most part, non-productive to confront the person making the argument as opposed to confronting the weight of the argument itself. Showing that the person is not formally educated in the feild says nothing as to the validity of their argument. Showing the argument itself to be flawed is the only means by which to confront its validity. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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REVLyle wrote:Well, I

REVLyle wrote:

Well, I certainly have no problem with reading his writings,

Actually, you obviously do have such a problem, otherwise you'd have begun reading him already.

Quote:

but here is the issue that you evidently just don't get.

I do get your point, you're trying to ask if Rook is really a good scholar. You don't see any degree behind his name, so you question his scholarship.

So here's how you find out.

Read his posts. People with degrees can plagiarize, people with degrees can and often do write crap.

If you want to assess the value of someone's work, you read their work.

But I doubt you will do that. Here's why:


Jake, a fellow atheist says: "People ask about credentials because they don't want to read the arguments or do any independant study on their own, they just want to know if you are schooled enough in which they can just accept your judgement on it, which is intellectually lazy."

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Vessel wrote:REVLyle

Vessel wrote:
REVLyle wrote:

Has anyone ever asked before??? If everyone, who is sooooooooo smart on this website, just blindly following people that they do not even know. Isn't that exactly what you accuse Christians of, blindly following a book or pastor.

Who blindly follows who?

I can only call Rev's comments a classic example of projection. Remember that this is a guy who responds to arguments by uncritically cutting and pasting the work of others as his 'response', without even bothering to examine them.

 

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REVLyle wrote:     I

REVLyle wrote:

 

 

I agree with you that the posts that Rook has made do not need to be ignored.

Then why don't you read them?

Quote:
 

Again, If he or anyone on the team claim to be experts in their field, then it is only rational to ask where they were formally educated. 

I have two masters degrees in clinicial psychology, and am in my internship year for my doctorate in psychology (with a minor in philosophy) from Rutgers University.

It is my expert opinion that you are intellectually lazy and are looking for a way to simply ignore Rook's work. 

It is my expert opinion that when you speak of people 'blindly following others' that you are projecting your own flaws onto others, You are intellectual lazy, you cut and paste plagiarized works of others, merely because they agree with your position... you don't even bother to critically analyze the things you cut and paste, let alone critically analyze the works of opponent's arguments. In other words, you do this blindly.

I have good reasons, based on good evidence for my claims. Furthermore, I meet your criteria of 'expert'. Ergo, I trust that, in the sake of intellectual integrity and self consistency you will concede to my points here.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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This reminds me of a debate

This reminds me of a debate between Bill Craig and I believe Bart Ehrman, in which Bill Craig as a response to one of Ehrman's accusations stated that, "Well Bart, at least my wife is prettier." And this was the only thing Craig could say to bart - as if this somehow proved his entire thesis and demolished Ehrman's. This is really a pathetic ploy to undermine somebody, which by the way is called character assassination.

If you want to kill me, do so with logic and reason, and present arguments that can be tested and examined. Trying to suggest that I am unqualified because I have not adequately presented my credentials is a dishonest tactic, and as Todangst put it, intellectually lazy. You might as well say that paper, and what is written on it, holds the power to intelligence. As if some mystical form of ancient magic has been embued on trees so that when the secret word "Degree" is printed on them, it grants the bearer an understanding of a specific subject.

Funny, and here I thought it was the years upon years of research one does in which knowledge is obtained. Degrees do not make one smart - they simply mean that whoever has them should be smart. Looking at the example above, Bill Craig has plenty of degrees, but I would never ask him a question about the history of the New Testament, because I simply don't trust him. Those who are truely knowledgable can stand apart from their degrees, as they are known because people respect them. They earned respect with the work they published, the lectures they give, the amount of years they've studied, and the level in which they present themselves.

Ergo, this is why I have ignored your request for my credentials, Rev. Simply because you do not so much seem to care about how I present my arguments, and how and why I am considered to be an expert - rather you just want to know if the term "expert" means "academically qualified to teach" which is really what a degree in any field of history is for - so you can get a job as a college professor. If you want to question my expertise, do so on something I've written. I have plenty of articles on here, so go for it.

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SOOOOOOOOOO, I guess Rook's

SOOOOOOOOOO, I guess Rook's qualifications should be coming soon???????

 

I will get to my other comments later

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Apparently REV has a reading

Apparently REV has a reading comprehension problem.