Organization: Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Maddi Hausmann)
cu067@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Darren Charles Smith) writes:
>For an excellent treatise on the flawlessness of the Bible, read
>"EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT vols. 1 & 2" by Josh McDowell.
>You may have to go to a Christian bookstore to get this.
>Mr. McDowell started this work as a way to DISPROVE the Bible.
>He ended up PROVING it. Check it out.
If you believe that "Evidence" is an "excellent treatise," then
I have very little respect for your reasoning abilities. Allow me
to show you just a few of the MANY problems with McDowell's treatise:
1. The false trilemma of "Lord, Liar, or Lunatic." McDowell does
not satisfactorally disprove the Liar or Lunatic hypotheses,
nor does he prove that other explanations would not apply
(e.g. Misguided, Misunderstood, or Misquoted).
2. Most of McDowell's work suffers from two major logical fallacies,
namely appeal to authority (he quotes a number of "experts"
who are not experts in theology) and argument by increduality
(Since I cannot conceive that Jesus was crazy, he must be Lord!)
Please find the "Constructing a Logical Argument" FAQ from
alt.atheism to learn more about logical fallacies.
3. Much of the "Evidence" given fails to distinguish between
authenticity of a manuscript and authenticity of a manuscript's
contents. I believe McDowell's equivocation in this score is
deliberate. My counterargument to this line of McDowell's
reasoning is that I can *authenticate* a copy of _Mein Kampf_ (e.g.
test the ink, determine where published, prove the printing
plates match, verify the bookseller's receipt, date the paper), but
that does not mean it is moral to kill all the Jews just because
the book says to do so.
4. The "jury" and "prosecutor" in the book were written by McDowell
himself, and thus he did not bring up important claims against
the Bible that many non-believers would have brought up. This is
like quoting a woman in a play, written by a man, as proof that
"this is how women behave"! A real "trial" does not have a
pre-determined ending. It is clear from the writing in "Evidence"
that McDowell only would accept a finding "for" the Bible.
>By the way, please capitalize the "G" in God.
I'm sure if god wants her name capitalized, she'll be the first
one to tell me herself.