At 04:59 PM 7/24/2009, Graham Hagens wrote:
>--- On Wed, 7/22/09, Ariel L. Szczupak
> >I can't figure out what the basic claim is in this messy thread,
> >what is it that was supposed to have been written, or not, at what time
>I think this messy thread was started by me.
>I had been wondering whether the documented decline in prophesy
>could be used to date the composition of the Torah.
>Didn't work very well.
To date things you need contemporary evidence. Period. Even C14
dating cannot be done without some reference data which is dated
using other means (used to calibrate the computations, to anchor the
C14 decay functions to real dates). Without contemporary evidence you
are in the realm of speculation. [It means e.g. that DNA dating is speculative]
But there's nothing wrong with educated, critical speculation.
Imagine the people in a bar discussing next day's game. They examine
every aspect in detail, evaluating all the factors. Will it help them
predict the outcome of the game? Not really, or else bookies would be
out of work.
But they'll understand the game better and when, if, they'll watch
the game they'll be able to experience it more fully. E.g. if the
discussion led to an awareness of some player's weaknesses, watching
him overcome these weaknesses will be a richer, more understanding
experience (though not necessarily more enjoyable - depends on which
team he plays ...)
Another example of the pitfalls of applying "common sense" thinking
in cases of evidence anorexia:
Assume that at some point after Shakespeare all the contemporary
evidence about Ceasar's murder was lost and the only remaining text
on the subject is Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar and some claims that
Shakespeare based himself on older texts.
What is more reasonable to assume? A conspiracy & a murder in which
Brutus participates or e.g. Ceasar falling with an epileptic fit,
wounding himself and dying, with onlookers mistaking the event for a
stabbing? Does common sense lead one to expect Brutus' betrayal or to
assume a literary explanation for the post-murder politics? Which
theory would become "mainstream"?
Nothing wrong in better understanding the prophets, on the contrary,
but for dating - support your local field archeologist! :)
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]
Ariel L. Szczupak
AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91406
Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203