Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Post for Marshall...


Years ago, I wrote a two part post that explained how I moved from "here" to "there" on the topic of marriage equity. I was raised and lived for the first ~30 years of my life as an extreme conservative Christian in the traditional Southern Baptist church mode. Given that, I was, of course, extremely opposed to any normalization of "the homosexual agenda..." I certainly did not intend to be unloving or ungracious towards anyone, but in hindsight, I surely was.

At any rate, I was solidly opposed to "gay marriage" - vehemently, so. I was absolutely certain that not only was the Bible and reason clearly against any sort of gay behavior, I had no room in my worldview for any Christian possibly even hinting at thinking it was possible. And yet, here I am today, fully recognizing (and repenting of) my errors in thinking and behavior from that time. In these two posts, I explained  how I moved from one position to the other and, not only that, but how I did it based on Bible study, prayer and reasoning from those two alone. At that time in my life, there was no room for any other way to "prove" anything.

Here are those posts...

My Journey, Part 1

My Journey, Part 2

Conservative blogger, Marshall recently said that I left questions unanswered there. I'm putting this post up to give Marshall a chance to ask a question that he thinks I left unanswered.

He, of course, does not find my process or reasoning compelling. That is fine, I wouldn't have found it compelling before I reached this point in my life, either. Now, I could not imagine anyway to find it anything but compelling.

The point I always make with Marshall and his comrades is that, just because the argument is not compelling to them, does not mean, 1. That there is no rational argument being made or, 2. That no one else could possibly find the arguments compelling.

It would be my guess that the main reason he doesn't find my arguments compelling (other than the cultural bias against it, and cultural biases being very hard to overcome) is that he approaches the Bible differently than I do. Where he finds literal history and literal commands from God, I find interesting stories that are told in mythic or epic fashion, and NOT literal commands from God.

Maybe, if one accepts the more fundamentalist view of the bible, my reasoning is terribly faulty. However, the real world fact is that not everyone finds the fundamentalist view of the Bible to be rational, moral or, in fact, biblical. So, you can't say, "You HAVE to hold my view of these texts and, given my view, you are wrong..." That is true only if I hold your view and I do not, so I am not in any rational, moral or biblical way compelled to accept your view.

Having said that: Feel free to ask your question, Marshall.

31 comments:

Marshall Art said...

First of all, I want to express my appreciation for this opportunity. That's about the extent of any graciousness you're likely to perceive here on in due to your assumptions regarding my level of graciousness when you encounter that which offends your sensibilities. I do not intend to walk on eggshells but expect that you will have to assume I have but the best of intentions.

Secondly, as I mentioned that you left many questions unanswered, I haven't only one.

Thirdly, I don't find your arguments compelling because they are weak, cheap and based on falsehoods and twistings of Scripture. It's not a matter of fundamentalism. It's a matter of honesty. Such is lacking in the pro-homosexual position. I'm sorry, that's wrong. It isn't merely "lacking". It doesn't exist at all.

Finally, I am at the start of the busy part of my week. I cannot properly engage until around Thursday, though I will be catching up via your links as best I can in the meantime. So stay tuned. It's gonna be fun.

Dan Trabue said...

Let's start with one. I rather doubt that you'll find any questions left unanswered, but let's start with one.

When you are ready.

Marshall Art said...

I've gotten to around, perhaps, two dozen or so comments from the first part of your "journey". In just that brief span (which included a couple of comments from Geoffie), I could have chosen any number of questions, though most were in absolute question form. The following are questions that went unanswered, at least as far as the next several responses by you are concerned. I may have missed your answer, but I don't believe I did. In any case, the questions are from my comment of Aug 7, 2011 @ 10:38PM:

"If it was a "rape is bad" situation, how is it better raping the daughters? If it was a "group sex is bad" situation, how is in less bad with the daughters? If it was a "protection of Lot's guests" issue, how is giving up the daughters a better choice, even in that culture? What evidence can you offer that would make that make sense?"

As I said, over the course of the next several responses, I saw no answers for any of the above. Those aren't the most compelling questions that went unanswered, but I'm rushing here, due to lack of time. These will have to do for now. If you find you've answered these directly, cut and paste and provide date and time so that I can review. Thanks.

Dan Trabue said...

So, looking at the questions you've pulled...

"If it was a "rape is bad" situation, how is it better raping the daughters?

Did I MAKE the argument that it is better to rape the daughters? No. You're commenting here on some point I never made.

If it was a "group sex is bad" situation, how is in less bad with the daughters?

Again, I did not make the argument that it is less bad to rape the daughters.

If it was a "protection of Lot's guests" issue, how is giving up the daughters a better choice, even in that culture?


And again, I did not make this argument.

What evidence can you offer that would make that make sense?"

Well, since you're arguing points I have not argued, I wouldn't try to offer ANY arguments for a point I was not making.

Did you have any questions about arguments/points I was actually making? That's what I meant.

Dan Trabue said...

Quite frankly, I don't even know what your set of questions are asking or what it's in relation to. After viewing/reviewing the post, I don't see the relation of the questions to anything I said.

Is it better to rape Lot's daughter's than strangers? No, I would not say so. Lot I guess appeared to think so, though, as he was willing to offer his daughters to be raped!!

Perhaps this gets to the whole culture of hospitality that was so vital (I hear) in this ancient culture. Perhaps it's the case that they take the notion of hospitality extremely seriously. Still, I don't see how it relates to anything I had to say.

Marshall Art said...

The relation is in connection to your favored interpretations of the text, interpretations that require inserting meaning the text itself does not provide. So for instance, if the "rape is bad" argument is one possible moral of the Lot story, as opposed to an "anti-homosexual" teaching, then how could offering up Lot's daughters make sense, as they then would be raped instead? You position implies that somehow raping the daughters would be somehow less wicked than raping the visitors. Whether or not you purposely intended such a meaning, it exists nonetheless by implication of your position. That's why I asked the question hoping for some resolution from you. The other questions asked at the same time are also the result of implications of your statements previous. It's a simple exercise of "if that's true, then this must also be true" that requires some defense if the former is to be true but not the latter.

Thus, if you now want to say that it is NOT better to rape Lot's daughters, the "rape is bad" angle cannot be the point of the story, as opposed to an "anti-homosexual" message. My position is that the offering of the daughters is seen by Lot as a lesser wickedness than to offer up the visitors. That points to a comparison of wicked acts, with the homosexual version being notably more wicked than the hetero.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

So for instance, if the "rape is bad" argument is one possible moral of the Lot story, as opposed to an "anti-homosexual" teaching, then how could offering up Lot's daughters make sense, as they then would be raped instead?

1. There is no hard data that says these stories must be taken to have ANY moral, that they are just stories. You and I may find some meanings we may place on the stories, but no one says a story HAS to have a moral and you certainly have no reason to insist upon it, authoritatively.

2. For my personal take on it (allowing that it is a story that appears to be told in mythic/epic language, not a literal history), I would say that one could see how much priority this culture placed on hospitality if they are willing to even endure the great evil of rape over allowing abuse of guests.

3. We can't presume or push modern sentiments on ancient cultures and say they held the same values we hold. Girls and children were often held in a chattel category, it appears, so even though we would be horrified at this thought, we can't insist that these people were.

4. One can say that rape of the guests would have been a bad option WITHOUT saying that rape of the daughters is a less bad option. One CAN say, "Wow, these are ALL horrifying options with no win-win solutions..."

Do you understand all of that?

Continuing...

You position implies that somehow raping the daughters would be somehow less wicked than raping the visitors. Whether or not you purposely intended such a meaning, it exists nonetheless by implication of your position.

No, no, no. Hell, no. No, it does not. One COULD imply such a meaning, IF one was insane or mentally disabled and unable to imagine other possible takes, but no, it certainly does not "imply" that.

And for the grammatical record, the person making the statement/case IMPLIES. If someone else reads something else into what they have said, they are INFERRING. As I am certainly NOT implying that, one could say, "Well, I INFER that this is an explanation..." but you factually can not say I imply that, since I know my intent and THAT is sure not it.

That is a bizarro world, upside-down absolutely backwards as hell understanding of my point, as my point does NOT suggest any such thing. And I know, because it is my opinion I'm stating.

I've stated quite clearly that you can see multiple ways of taking it without needing for you to infer some crazy and evil meaning.

Marshall...

It's a simple exercise of "if that's true, then this must also be true" that requires some defense if the former is to be true but not the latter.

But, as demonstrated this is a faulty inference on your part, so no, "that" is not true.

but, feh! Give that up, Marshall. It is a complete and total Failure of logic.

Here is MY belief:

I do not believe that raping daughters is "less evil" than raping visitors.

So, do you have any questions that remain unanswered about my actual positions and not your inferences?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

My position is that the offering of the daughters is seen by Lot as a lesser wickedness than to offer up the visitors. That points to a comparison of wicked acts, with the homosexual version being notably more wicked than the hetero.

Okay. That's a crazy-as-hell belief, but if you want to believe it, that's okay with me, although I must say I find it a little bit horrible. But, given that you believe what seems to be crazy to me, on what basis is your belief in any way more valid than mine? Do you have any authority on which to be able to state that your hunch is right (and it IS a hunch, because the Bible does not say that. At all.) or preferable to other hunches - ones that are less morally repugnant than that view?

The answer is, "NO." You have no authority on which to insist that your view is right or better in any way except to say that you find it more reasonable. And if you find it reasonable, good for you, but you can't expect other people to go along with your hunch, especially when it seems like such a huge textual leap and just morally repugnant.

You just can't. You have no authority on which to make that sort of suggestion. At all.

Marshall...

if you now want to say that it is NOT better to rape Lot's daughters, the "rape is bad" angle cannot be the point of the story, as opposed to an "anti-homosexual" message.

I am not saying "raping the men" is morally better OR "raping the daughters" is morally better. I'm saying that in this story, BOTH options are morally repugnant.

Do you understand that?

And "rape IS bad" is indeed a moral one can infer into the story. One can also infer that, in this culture (especially if one is familiar with customs from the day), hospitality is SUCH a priority that this is the length to which one would go to defend a visitor, but that is NOT to say that "rape the daughters" is morally preferable.

Marshall Art said...

You are doing some incredible mental contortions in order to dismiss my points and hold up yours are more reasonable. Yours are not, because you insist on injecting meanings that the text itself does not imply and because you insist ignoring the chronology of events in order to focus exclusively on that which happens as the result of a cause. That is to say, the attempt to force themselves on the visitors was the result of being rebuked by Lot.

As to implications, we've been down this road before. One intend to imply or his words can imply without intent. Thus, the implications of your position are clearly inferred by those who are paying attention. You don't have to consciously intend specific meaning to be received for your words or positions to imply something else. It isn't a matter of presuming to know what you are thinking because it is clear by what is inferred that you didn't think through your words or positions well enough to avoid those words or positions from implying what you would prefer they didn't. This isn't some convoluted and desperate attempt to twist anything, but a true rendering of what can happen. Consider how often you say to me and others of my general leanings, "Don't you know how that sounds?" This indicates that you feel our words or positions imply something we do not intend. Is this just another case of the notorious Trabue double standard? It appears so. Nonetheless, this....

"Your position implies that somehow raping the daughters would be somehow less wicked than raping the visitors. Whether or not you purposely intended such a meaning, it exists nonetheless by implication of your position."

...stands as stated. Now, to your points:

1. The lack of hard data you seem to demand as necessary for that which rebuts your positions is irrelevant. You certainly have taken a moral out of the story. It is to this that I make comment and from this are my questions derived and compelled. However, the words on the page insist a meaning that you ignore for one you prefer.

2. And here we see you ignoring the reality in favor of a personal take you find more appealing. You assume intention on the part of the "Village People" that the text does not support. You want them to be rapists and do not consider that in their culture, the men having sex with male visitors they find appealing might actually be an act of hospitality.

But what does Lot do? He speaks of their desire as a wickedness. And what is their desire? To have sex with the visitors they believe are men. There is no indication that Lot is denying them the intention of rape, but only the intention to engage in sexual behavior with the visitors. Indeed, the text does not even imply that his daughters would be "raped" so much as merely act as stand-ins for the visitors. That is to say, Lot is not saying, "Don't rape my guests, rape my daughters instead." He's saying, "Don't force my visitors to engage in wicked behavior, have sex with my daughters instead." It is only at this point that it becomes a potential rape situation. And this isn't injecting meaning, as you do by suggesting it was a rape attempt from the start, it is following the story as it is happening and drawing conclusions that are most likely based on the the flow of the story (regardless if it is in some imaginary "mythic/epic" form).

Marshall Art said...

3. I'm not presuming or pushing anything on the text. That's the problem from which YOU'RE suffering. Regardless of the common regard of women as less than men, we're talking about someone Scripture describes as righteous. But you would presume righteousness cannot supplant cultural norms. If this were so, in what way is this guy righteous? He would be of the world like everyone else and therefore NOT righteous at all, but...just like everyone else. No. The decision of Lot was due to the particular form of wickedness, homosexual behavior, that compels him to offer up his daughters. Recognizing the behavior for what it is is part of what makes him righteous.

4. Sure. One could say that, but why would they? At the point at which Lot offered his daughters, the situation had not as yet escalated to an act of force. The text supports this. Demanding that "Bring out your guests" is itself a demand is an example of YOU pushing modern sentiments on an ancient people. And here, you would insist that you can determine the mind of the men of Sodom by this piece of dialogue told in an "epic/mythic" style. You can't have it both ways. You do it again when you suggest that "surrounding" the house was meant to prevent escape, when it could just as easily, if not more likely, been that because it was ALL the men of the town, that surrounding the house was a mere matter of too many men for such a small area. Regardless, until Lot rebuffs their request, it was simply men gathering looking to have sex with the visitors.

gotta go...will address the rest later. Please hold your response until then.

Marshall Art said...

"No, no, no. Hell, no. No, it does not. One COULD imply such a meaning, IF one was insane or mentally disabled and unable to imagine other possible takes, but no, it certainly does not "imply" that."

What an incredible textbook display of Christian grace to suggest that my take is the result of insanity or mental deficiency. And how is one serious about what Scripture is teaching in seeking to imagine alternative possibilities that the text itself does not suggest? Am I to infer that any troubling verse demands speculation until a more pleasing possibility comes to mind, and then to insert that possibility as a likely one? It seems crystal clear that such is your method, but also seems to mitigate your claim of serious and prayerful study. What do you pray for...to accept what you read and learn or for ideas of how to get around the clear implications of the text? The latter seems true in your case.

As to the what your position implies here, it clearly indicates the rape of one's daughters (since you insist it is all about rape) as opposed to the rape of one's guests is the lesser of two evils. To rational students of Scripture, the best we can say here is that despite Lot being a righteous man, he was not necessarily the brightest or he wouldn't have set up shop in Sodom in the first place and expose himself to these hard choices. But we can only go by what he DID choose in dealing with the men, and his choice of rebuking the men of the town, and offering his daughters, led to the situation escalating to an attempted rape.

"And for the grammatical record, the person making the statement/case IMPLIES."

Just to reiterate, while you may intend that your words imply your sentiments, the actual choice of words implies what they imply, regardless of intent. One's choice of words is crucial for the successful transmission of one's sentiments. Inability to choose words properly leaves implication at the mercy of those chosen words. My position, and I believe it is shared by every center-right blogger, is that you fail, either in choosing the words that successfully convey your meaning, or in choosing the words that successfully rationalize and justify your less than Biblical/reasonable positions.

"So, do you have any questions that remain unanswered about my actual positions and not your inferences?"

You speak of a failure of logic on my part, but you do very little in demonstrating such a failure exists. The "if this is so, then that must also be so" is a common and reasonable method of scrutinizing a position, but you do not respond to it because it forces you to face the flaws of your reasoning. If "A is so, thus B must also be so" is NOT true, then obviously you should be able to demonstrate why that is NOT so.

Thus, my inferences, which are drawn directly from your stated positions, are indeed questions and until you respond to those inferences and resolve them against what you are trying to express, then you have not answered those questions at all.

Marshall Art said...

"That's a crazy-as-hell belief, but if you want to believe it, that's okay with me, although I must say I find it a little bit horrible."

And again, in a less that gracious manner, you insult my belief rather than present a cogent and more compelling alternative. And while the idea might indeed be horrible (I certainly wouldn't have thought to do it), the fact remains that Lot chose offering his daughters as a better alternative to giving up the visitors. If that isn't "lesser of two evils" decision to you, then "crazy as hell" is more appropriately applied to you, because that is exactly what that decision is.

That leaves us with wondering what the two evils are. On the one hand, I think we would both regard giving up our daughters for the sexual gratification of all the men of the town to be an evil, regardless of whether or not it is a rape situation.

On the other, is handing over the visitors. Call this choice 2, with 2a being a matter of not protecting guests, and 2b being a matter of homosexual behavior.

With 2a, it presumes that the whole point of the incident was to rape the visitors. But there is no indication of this until after Lot rebukes them. You look at the situation with knowledge of the entire chain of events and impose intention upon the men of the town beyond what the text presents. There is no hint in the text of whether or not this is the case, of whether or not this is common practice or of whether or not their method of welcoming visitors is routinely rejected, or even expected by the average visitor for that matter.

I, on the other hand, do not assume anything that either the text itself or any other legitimate evidence suggests. And until Lot rebukes the men of the town, there is no reason to assume that their initial intention is to forcibly rape the visitors. The text simply gives no such indication. Indeed, I can't explain any of it, even knowing from my perspective that Sodom was known as a wicked place. That knowledge does not suggest what you require it to mean to make your position work for you.

So how do you know the story is about a planned rape? Because the situation degenerates to an attempted rape? That's a major inference on your part for which you fail to provide any reasonable explanation. You simply want to believe it. You insist that the wickedness of Sodom manifests in only one way, and that way is one that protects your support of immoral sexual behavior.

And consider this: If protecting one's guests was the major point, why give up the daughters? Why not, I dunno, say the visitors were lepers or something to that effect? You would suppose that only giving up the girls was the only way to protect the visitors? And again, who's to say that group sex with visitors wasn't an expression of Sodom's idea of hospitality? They were a wicked bunch. Why wouldn't their notions of hospitality manifest in a manner God regards as wickedness?

Finally, it should be kept in mind that I do not hold that homosexuality is the main point of this story, but only that it is a factor in illustration the level of wickedness of Sodom. This incident is typified by the homosexual desire of the men of Sodom, regardless of whether or not it stands as the point of the story.

Marshall Art said...

Note here that as usual, I do not waste time on the silly demand for authority in coming to my position, but instead employ the very means you insist you use in coming to your far less reasonable position. I actually do serious study and consideration. I go beyond any personal bias or possible preconceived notions. I don't waste time wondering where you get off, but instead spend it explaining thoroughly why my position is more likely than yours, as well as addressing your objections, what little direct objections to my explanation you present. I don't suggest yours is the result of mental disorder, but only show why it isn't anywhere near as reasonable as you like and need to believe. I don't simply dismiss your points and assert mine. But every time you do, it stands as an unanswered question until you provide an actual rebuttal that is more than more dismissals and assertions. And defaulting to "you're welcome to your hunch" or "that's my opinion" is quite moot, to say nothing of irrelevant, because in every blog discussion, that is a given. The point is to, as you have taken to chiding John Barron, be prepared to give a reason. That isn't done by going only so far and waving off the opponent when he gets too deeply into the tall grass. It does, however, indicate that my doubts about your "serious study" are justified.

Marshall Art said...

I wish to make one thing clear: While I do not intend to sift through scores of comments to find my exact words, it should be understood that my questions regarding your "journey" and position on this subject were not asked exclusively within these two posts. As usual, the discussion petered out, as discussions often do. My questions have been ongoing for years and have appeared before, during and after this particular set of posts. That being said, clarification is in order. To you intend to only respond to unanswered questions asked in response to these two posts only, or any involving your position on this issue?

I would also say that there is much that has gone unanswered that did not end in a question mark. Comments and conclusions are as good as questions if they conflict with what you would insist is your actual position or point. You often let these go as well. With that in mind, I could probably come up with even more just from the comments following these two posts.

Dan Trabue said...

I don't know, Marshall. I am looking and I see where you offer your opinions and some reasons why you like them, but I don't see anything compelling or authoritative that would make me inclined to abandon my understanding.

What would you like me to respond to?

For instance, where you say...

I actually do serious study and consideration. I go beyond any personal bias or possible preconceived notions. I don't waste time wondering where you get off, but instead spend it explaining thoroughly why my position is more likely than yours

You have explained why you personally find your opinion to be more compelling, but it is a mere opinion - unsupported - that your personal opinions and interpretations are "more likely."

So, while you are welcome to your opinions, unless you have something authoritative to suggest that they are factually more necessary to reality, not just a matter of personal opinion, I don't know what you want me to say.

As it is, all I see is unsupported personal human opinion.

To that I say: I disagree with your personal opinion.

Marshall Art said...

You see, here's a major problem in dealing with you. You get a big "no shit" for once again belaboring the obvious. I'm well aware you don't find my position compelling or "more likely". The issue is on what basis? What reasons can you give that are actually sound and based on something substantive...like Scriptural examples to support them?

I broke down the Sodom story step by step. You jumped to the end and formed your position by the conclusion with no regard for how it got there. How is that a more rational manner of inferring the point of the story? All along the way you must inject intention that the story itself does not suggest and I show how that is true in my step by step breakdown. You simply shrug it off.

But again, my last was more a concern with the fact that my unanswered questions are not necessarily contained within the two "journey" posts that you simply left hanging, but deal with all of your arguments attempting to justify your unbiblical position. I'd like answers to those as well someday.

Dan Trabue said...

I shrug off your opinion because it does not strike me as true to the story or, really, relevant to any position I hold.

What would you have me do?

Marshall Art said...

Christ rising from the dead has the same effect on many people. They "shrug it off" because it doesn't strike them as true or possible.

What I would have you do is support your opinion as being more likely truer than mine or provide something of substance that destroys mine as likely true than yours. You certainly have no trouble demanding support and "hard data" from me for my opinions, positions and perspectives, to say nothing of truth claims. I would think you'd be eager to "spread the Good News" with reasons for your beliefs. Do you believe there's limited space in God's presence that you don't need to bring others to Him with your keen insights?

Marshall Art said...

And still I await a response. Are you prepared and willing to give answers to questions unresolved regarding your position on this issue, or are you going to insist that they must be related only to those two posts poorly describing your "journey"? The holes are many, gaping and still unfilled.

Marshall Art said...

Still awaiting a response. Are you willing to give answer to the many unresolved problems your position presents, or do you insist that any questions must be those related to your two posts poorly describing your "journey"? The holes are many, gaping and still unfilled.

Marshall Art said...

Still awaiting response. Are you going to give answer to unresolved questions, or do you insist on only dealing with those from your two posts poorly describing your "journey"? The holes are many, gaping and as yet unfilled.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

What I would have you do is support your opinion as being more likely truer than mine or provide something of substance that destroys mine as likely true than yours.

On what point?

On the literal/historic nature of Genesis vs a mythic/figurative interpretation:

1. I would point to the entire absence of any sort of "modern history" telling from that time period.

2. I would point to your OWN belief (I'm sure) that when Gilgamesh or other ancient mythic stories are interpreted, that YOU, YOURSELF do not take them as literal history.

3. Lacking any reason to take them as literal history, why would I?

That destroys your argument. On any other text, you would agree with me. Why insist that it ought to be taken literally on this one text? On what basis?

With you having no good answer to that question (beyond tradition) - and certainly having no hard data on your side - I have no reason to accept your hunches about literal interpretations.

But I have done all that before. What ELSE do you need from me?

On homosexuality and marriage:

1. Clearly, it is healthier and more wholesome for us to exercise our sexuality within some boundaries, such as the committed, faithful boundaries of a marriage relationship.

2. Clearly, we have no non-religious-bias based reasons to refuse the right to marry to gay folk.

On what basis would I support such limitations, then? YOUR say-so that YOU think that in YOUR opinion based on YOUR interpretation of ancient texts that YOU think that God might oppose it? If that's enough for you, then fine, don't gay marry. But it's not enough for many of us.

But again, we've gone over all that before, I have explained why, in my opinion, your arguments are destroyed by mine, morally, rationally and biblically. On what basis, then, would I submit to your opinions?

I just don't get what you want.

Marshall Art said...

Oh jeez. Here we go again.

1. This absurd defense for supporting sinful behavior and the dismissing of examples of an aspect of God's nature you prefer to reject is lying in the most wicked manner. How does this "not-modern" form of historical reporting give license to reject anything? You never say, except to reject because of it. That the style does not conform to the contemporary does not in any way mitigate the truth of what it relates...not that you've ever demonstrated or proven. You use it as an excuse to reject that which you don't like or want to believe, rather than show how it legitimately does it for you.

2. Unlike you, who needs loopholes through which you think you can force your preferred alternate version of history and Christianity, I do not hold any other ancient "history" as in any way equal to Scripture. I do not feel the need to pretend that because Gilgamesh or tales of Zeus might be total invention, that therefore the Old Testament must be as well. I have a bit more reverence for it first of all, and there is absolutely nothing that anyone can present that would indicate that those other tales could possibly be true.

3. What you lack is any reason not to. Citing one guy (and you've never cited more than none guy) who insists the style of historical recording is different than contemporary styles, without presenting how that mitigates the truth of any part of the OT record, does not equate to a reason to dismiss any of it. It's a cheap rationalization for you to say, "Because it is not of a modern style of historical recording there is no reason to take it as true." BS.

"That destroys your argument."

It most certainly does not.

"On any other text, you would agree with me."

The Bible is not "any other text". It is unique. It stands apart.

"Why insist that it ought to be taken literally on this one text? On what basis?"

Because it is supported by more recently published books of the Bible, and then by archeological evidence of the truth of those texts, and because there is nothing within those texts that have been solidly dis-proven.

Dan Trabue said...

I explained my reasoning and why, at least to me, my explanation "destroys your arguments." You replied...

It most certainly does not.

And so, we disagree. I can not begin to see anything resembling moral, biblical or rational defenses for your positions, can easily explain why, at least to me, your "arguments" are irrational at best and immoral at worst and are not biblical. You disagree with my assessment.

Now what?

I'm not sure what you are expecting here.

Dan Trabue said...

In responding to why you dismiss other texts as not literal but you give a pass to the Bible for similar language, you respond...

Because it is supported by more recently published books of the Bible, and then by archeological evidence of the truth of those texts, and because there is nothing within those texts that have been solidly dis-proven.

I get that, in your opinion, taking the OT as literal history is "supported" by (I guess you mean) the books of the NT, but that is only your opinion. I read the same NT texts and find no support for an insistence on taking them literally.

And as to "archaeological evidence" - what evidence? What evidence is there that the earth is only 6,000 years old? What evidence is there that somehow water magically appeared from nowhere and covered the earth and magically went away? That a tower was built and knocked down when people magically started speaking in entirely new, different languages?

At the very least, for most of the Genesis text, there is no such evidence to support those claims and much evidence against them.

You are welcome to believe what you want, Marshall, but without some evidence, you have no room to insist that others must agree with you if they wish to remain orthodox. That's just silly, and not biblical at all, much less rational.

Marshall Art said...

"And as to "archaeological evidence" - what evidence? What evidence is there that the earth is only 6,000 years old? What evidence is there that somehow water magically appeared from nowhere and covered the earth and magically went away?"

http://www.earthage.org/EarthOldorYoung/scientific_evidence_for_a_worldwide_flood.htm

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/12/12/archaeologist-claims-evidence-noahs-biblical-flood/

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/evidence-suggests-biblical-great-flood-noahs-time-happened/story?id=17884533

http://www.pbs.org/saf/1207/features/noah.htm

Regardless of whether or not you might believe that the evidence provided by Ballard is true, you cannot say no evidence exists to support Genesis stories. Frankly, there is even more than I supposed there would or could be. Only the "sophisticated" can't accept it exists, nor do they want to face that it does.

Marshall Art said...

Just so you know, I'm not done here. I just haven't had the time to get fully into it lately. But I will return to this opportunity.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, if your links are not to peer-reviewed legitimate scientific sources (and they do not appear to be), I'm not interested. I can point to all manner of conspiracy theory pages and crazy-sounding people with wild ideas, but I want something more substantial, if you want to be taken seriously on this point.

Anonymous said...

Dan,

How intellectually dishonest and lazy. It is dreadfully tiresome to once again come upon this attitude that supposes an absence of peer review is significant as regards the quality of non-reviewed papers and the conclusions put forth therein. It is a most easy and cowardly dodge, especially since it satisfies the questions you posed. You could have saved me the precious time spent in providing the links had you simply told the truth. ..that you're not willing to consider anything that contradicts or challenges your preferred belief.

As to peer review, it was your pal Geoffrey that provoked me to look into the peer review process when he routinely tried to discredit my positions if I was unable to cite peer review. What I learned made the tactic worthless and indicts those who use it as a "gotcha". Just yesterday I provided a number of links for another who played this card that speaks of fraud in the scientific community, including most notably the peer review process. Later, I will provide them for you. Stay tuned.

-Art

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I repeat my concluding statement in my post, here...

Maybe, if one accepts the more fundamentalist view of the bible, my reasoning is terribly faulty. However, the real world fact is that not everyone finds the fundamentalist view of the Bible to be rational, moral or, in fact, biblical. So, you can't say, "You HAVE to hold my view of these texts and, given my view, you are wrong..."

++++++

The peer review process is a critical link in the scientific process. One individual can "discover" all sorts of "facts," but unless he or she can present those facts for scrutiny by others informed on the topic and those "facts" hold up consistently, regardless of who's looking at the data, does it make sense to accept the individual's hunches.

I'm not a scientist, I do not have the background to evaluate 100,000 different claims in 5,000 different fields. This is why peer-reviewed is a critical step for lay people to consider.

If 98/100 scientists and doctors find the evidence that cigarette smoking is harmful to humans and 2 disagree, and those 2 who disagree are, 1, employed by a tobacco company and 2, is a smoker, well then it is quite rational to be dubious of their claims contradicting the majority of experts in their fields. I do not have to become a doctor specializing in lungs and cigarette smoke to reach that reasonable conclusion.

Do you disagree?

Now, you are free to believe that the isolated scientist is correct and the 99 out 100 are mistaken, but you can't say that it is irrational for most people to find his claims dubious. Especially if he is starting with an agenda (are any of these scientists who "discover evidence" that the world is 6,000 years old, in May, not Christian fundamentalists or otherwise starting with a bias to find support for a "young earth..."?).

Do you think it is irrational or "cowardly" to be dubious of the 1 out of 100 who disagrees with the vast majority of his peers and can't convince them with data? Well, if so, you are free to do so, but I find it irrational.

Marshall Art said...

As I have provided links to articles regarding the peer review process specifically (since you insist upon it as proof of quality and integrity in science), I have a few regarding science in general:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_misconduct

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0151008779/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=3524423238&ref=pd_sl_7cfu5ljgoh_e

http://www.economist.com/node/13776974

https://explorable.com/science-fraud

http://creation.com/science-fraud-epidemic

Note that only my last link was to one that deals with so-called "creation science". I could have used others that say basically what it says referring to bias in science, but it was more specific to what you have rejected above. It is quite commonplace to immediately dismiss anything relating to proving the Biblical explanations, for example, for the age of the earth, origin of man, or most anything in the Bible that "sophisticates" simply do not want to believe are true, merely for the pathetic fear of being seen by other "sophisticates" as being unsophisticated.

The problem is not that those who seek to offer evidence for things like the Great Flood are biased toward such events being true, but whether or not their data and the interpretation of that data is sound. Such soundness does not mean that a conclusion either way is accurate. But the more research leans in that direction, the more validity must be afforded the possibility until such time as newer findings render it a dead end. That has yet to take place with research seeking to determine the truth of Biblical stories, less so with alleged scientific seekers of truth even considering the research.

So, with all the above links I've provided, which are only a smattering of what is available, don't tell me about what constitutes "real" science or legitimate research. Dismissing what I provided out-of-hand is a cowardly dodge, as cowardly as the "respected" scientists who reject it out-of-hand as well.

You insisted there exists no evidence for the Great Flood. I've proven there is. You apparently don't have the integrity to consider it, but simply write it off because it is not peer reviewed, because you believe that really means something, or like most, think it must to me.