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Re: Naturalistic Science v. Private Interpretations & Terry Benton!

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  • Todd Greene
    TESTIMONY of God There s that circular argument Terry Benton loves so much. It s amusing to see a grown man who pretends to be an expert in logic yet who
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 1, 2010
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      "TESTIMONY of God"

      There's that circular argument Terry Benton loves so much.

      It's amusing to see a grown man who pretends to be an expert in logic yet who doesn't even realize that circular arguments are fallacious arguments.

      "Well, how do you know this stuff that people wrote is the 'testimony' of a god?"

      "Because it says so."

      "Wait, what is your evidence for that?"

      "The evidence is what it says."

      "Wait a minute, do you have some actual evidence - you know, real world evidence, not just some claims that guys wrote down somewhere - that backs up what it says?"

      "You have to ignore empirical evidence whenever it contradicts what the Bible says, because the Bible is the Testimony of God."

      Fundamentalist Christians can NEVER get away from their circular argument PRECISELY because they have deliberately chosen to believe what they believe (circular) regardless of the actual evidence. The epistemological crux is that these are empirical claims made by people about reality ("This written material is the testimony of God") which can only be substantiated (or falsified) in the first place by TESTING the claim against the EVIDENCE - a point which Terry Benton and other fundamentalists absolutely refuse to deal with, because (1) they believe what they believe for psychological reasons that have nothing to do with actual real world evidence, and (2) they're going to keep right on believing what they believe regardless of testing the ideas against real world evidence. Therefore, they have constructed a rhetorical framework used FOR THE VERY PURPOSE of trying to make the idea of ignoring the process of evidential testing look perfectly okay, trying to justify their approach of ignoring dealing with real world evidence.

      A side point here about the rhetoric these people use has to do with their ironic use of the term "private interpretations", precisely because the scientific process used to TEST ideas against relevant EVIDENCE is precisely the OPPOSITE of "private interpretation". Peer review and critical scrutiny by the community of experts educated and trained and working professionally in the same fields of research and thus best able to properly evalutate detailed and complex research is STANDARD PROCEDURE in professional science, whereas these fundamentalist Christians ATTACK THIS and ARGUE FOR SUBJECTIVISM by arguing for ignoring evidential testing in the first place. It is fundamentalists themselves who possess the private interpretations and who obstinately and defiantly cling to the religious dogmas of their private interpretations.

      - Todd Greene


      --- In Maury_and_Baty, Robert Baty wrote (post #20207):
      > Terry's ambiguous message.
      >
      > See:
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coCBanned/message/24381
      >
      > > From: Terry W. Benton
      > > Website: http://www.pinelanechurchofchrist.com
      > > To: coCBanned@yahoogroups.com
      > > Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010
      >
      > > Subject: Naturalistic Science Versus Divine Testimony
      >
      > Terry writes regarding the "scientific method", in part:
      >
      > > 1) ...natural explanations are
      > > not always WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
      > > in the past.
      >
      > NOT ALWAYS??
      >
      > That's fine with me.
      >
      > The implication is that in some things naturalistic explanations, independent of the text, are sufficient to show WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN THE PAST.
      >
      > Terry also wrote:
      >
      > > 2) (W)hen dealing with the ancient,
      > > unobservable, non-repeatable, and
      > > untestable past, all natural
      > > explanations are not factual.
      >
      > I'm not sure that is particularly meaningful.
      >
      > By definition, the past may be unobservable and may be non-repeatable, regardless of whether recent or ancient (e.g., we can't elect Abe Lincoln president again).
      >
      > Whether claims regarding the past are testable, however, would appear to be another matter. Similarly, in many cases we may "see" the past and be able to "replicate" it.
      >
      > Terry says regarding the "scientific method":
      >
      > > 3) Cannot ever be nearly as
      > > dependable as the TESTIMONY
      > > of God...
      >
      > A clever deception regarding the fundamental issue; trying to equate the activities of fallible men regarding natural revelation to the infallible word of God. That is the NOT the issue as I see it.
      >
      > Rather, the issue has to do with critically evaluating the fallible efforts of men regarding the natural revelation of God and the fallible efforts of men regarding the special revelation of God.
      >
      > In that context, the fallible efforts of men regarding the natural revelation may very well be as dependable as the fallible efforts of men regarding the special revelation.
      >
      > Terry thought the following quote was cute:
      >
      > > "Science is the belief in the
      > > ignorance of the experts".
      >
      > Others have similarly noted:
      >
      > > Religion is the opiate of
      > > the people.
      >
      > Terry concluded with:
      >
      > > Here is the truth.
      > >
      > >> God created everything we
      > >> see in six evening-morning
      > >> days just as He testifies,
      > >> and just as nature declares
      > >> by it's marvelous codependence
      > >> and interworking.
      >
      > That's what I had reference to in an earlier message today. Terry leaves out the claim about those 6 days occurring no more than a few thousand years ago; and so I wondered, as Terry was seen recently wondering some thing about me and Todd, if that is some slight indication that Terry may be returning to his former "gap" theology and actually agreeing with me that some things are more than a few thousand years old.
      >
      > Sincerely,
      > Robert Baty
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