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Re: Why I wouldn't let Bob Funk calculate my GPA.

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  • Mahlon H. Smith
    ... Thanks for these reflections, Bob. I might try to remove some of the ambivalence by insisting that the JS always viewed the colors as a sliding scale. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 1998
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      Bob Schacht wrote:
      >
      >
      > There is another point here which has perhaps been overlooked-- and that is an ambivalence as to whether to regard the "colors" (Red,Pink,Gray,Black) as discrete, self-contained judgements, or whether to regard them as representing an underlying scale (as with the case of grades.) Some discussions of the problem at hand slip back and forth between these conceptions arbitrarily.

      Thanks for these reflections, Bob. I might try to remove some of the
      ambivalence by insisting that the JS always viewed the colors as a
      sliding scale. The only colors that could be viewed as "self-contained
      judgments" were the extremes, red (IN) & black (OUT). The definition of
      pink & gray votes varied according to the specifics in each piece of
      data.
      >
      > The underlying scale can, of course, be labelled a number of ways: credibility, historicity, etc. The "points" can be so described as credibility points. Thus in Brooke's useful example, it must not be ignored that the 5 Gray votes all gave the hypothetical passage one credibility point. If there is an underlying scale, then things like averages make sense. If there is not an underlying scale, then averages make no sense at all. In that case, the data are "nominal", and one should proceed by tabulating percentages of each color. The only basis for awarding a color designation to the saying would be which color got the most votes.

      This is the most lucid analysis of the meaning of the RRGB voting scale
      I have seen yet. I really like your concept of credibility points, since
      that is precisely what we were intending to convey by weighted average.

      Red = 3 credibility points
      Pink = 2 credibility points
      Gray = 1 credibility point
      Black = 0 credibility points

      So in Bruce's example the saying generated 16 credibility points

      3 Red = 9 points
      1 Pink = 2 points
      5 Gray = 5 points
      1 Black = 0 points

      NB that 5 of those credibility points were derived from Gray votes. That
      should make it amply clear that Gray does not mean that a piece of data
      is historically worthless for determining who Jesus was.

      Shalom!

      Mahlon

      *********************

      Mahlon H. Smith,
      Associate Professor
      Department of Religion
      Rutgers University
      New Brunswick NJ

      http://religion.rutgers.edu/mhsmith.html
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