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Bart Ehrman's New Book | "Forged"

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Re: Bart Ehrman's New Book | "Forged"

Postby agrammatos » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:27 pm

chris, only a few minutes after getting back in before i head out again w/my wife.

i'll address your posts later (perhaps tomorrow morning). It may be my last reply on this topic to you if we don't make some progress, and then you can have the last word. That was a lot of effort you put into your last two replies to me (that I skimmed) and I think that you deserve some kind of recognition and reply even though it appears that we are covering the same ground over and over again in a "he said - he said" argument. only stopped by to let you know and to share some info that I thought you might be interested in.

Dan Wallace at his recent debate w/Bart Erhman announced that three NT fragments dating in the 1st century will be published in coming months. These are all older than p52 (the John Rylands papyrus) which is dated at c. 125AD and thus far is the oldest extant mss (a fragment of just 3vv fr/Jn18). Dr. Wallace's credentials approach Erhman in the area of textual criticism and surpass his as a grammarian.

Gotta' go.
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Re: Bart Ehrman's New Book | "Forged"

Postby Chris » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:32 pm

For anyone still reading this thread - except Aggie of course - here is a quote from the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.

Paradoxes are therefore important in philosophy, for until one is solved it shows that there is something about our reasoning and our concepts that we do not understand.

Here's another. This one is about the Sorites.

The paradox [the sorites] is serious because it raises tension between classical logical and mathmatical reasoning , and the 'vague' predicates of natural language.

As the Philosophical dictionary points out, several solutions have been tried. I won't bother to list them as they are given in the links below.

You can read more about logical paradoxes here:

And here:

For those still not clear on the sorites here is the sorites in another form:
Mathematical Induction Sorites
∀n(Fan → Fan+1)

Put in layman's terms it goes
"since a man with 1 hair on his head is bald and since the addition of one hair cannot make the difference between being bald and not bald (for any number n, if a man with n hairs is bald then so is a man with n+1 hairs), then no matter what number n you choose, a man with n hairs on his head is bald."
If perchance I have offended, think but this, and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here, while a vision did appear. A Midsummer Night's Dream
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Re: Bart Ehrman's New Book | "Forged"

Postby agrammatos » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:23 am

Chris wrote:But, quite frankly I have had enough of your putdowns. See ya.

Chris, I'm not clear on why you would say this. I thought that we were having a congenial discussion. If by "putdowns" you mean that we happen to disagree on something, then that would apply to both of us, right? Is it that I may choose to make a point of which I may not be 100% certain by phrasing it as a non-rhetorical question? Is it that I point out that some of your responses are a two-edged sword that cut you as well as me? Please feel free to explain what it is that you read as "putdowns". I have no intention of upsetting you in my replies to you. I did notice some possible ad hominem attacks in some of your replies and did wonder what it was that inadvertently provoked such, but decided to gloss over them, but I did wonder if this was getting a bit much for you. If so, no problem.

Chris, before I reply to you further, I would like to make two observations: one that might help both of us - probably one or the other depending upon if and how you might reply, and the other observation might help us break the impasse that we've reached.

So, the first point is that maybe I'm just not being clear with my words, I don't want to be too verbose in my already lengthy replies. I mention this b/c you appear to take some comment of mine and then go way, way beyond what my precise words ever stating, assuming things that I didn't state. When I reply later to one of your replies to me, I will point out an instance or two of this for illustrative purposes. All I ask is that you deal with my precise words, ask me to clarify if there is something that I have not made clear

The second point that I'd like to make to you in this post is that, in my experience, when two honest and intelligent people, who are remaining unemotional about the topic under discussion, can't make any progress in discussion, this often means one thing, viz. both are speaking about two different aspects of the issue. The don't have a meeting of the minds on what the issue is or the key points under discussion. I think that's what might be going on here.

That's all for this post. I'll address one of your replies in more detail in another post as soon as I author it.

Many thanks, my friend, for taking the time to read this. I hope that maybe my second point above hit the nail on the head as to why you and I are having difficulty progressing in our discussion.
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Re: Bart Ehrman's New Book | "Forged"

Postby agrammatos » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:35 am

Chris wrote:
agrammatos wrote:Chris, it is true. You haven't refuted my point with logic. You are not responding to my point, Chris. My point, and I apologize if I wasn't clear, was that knowledge (or truth - for knowledge must be true) can't be irrational which is what those paradoxes reveal.

Paradoxes are not irrational. You seem to have some trouble comprehending philosophical concepts.

Chris, you seem to be contradicting some of your previous words to me on communication being by words and logic (I gave a short post on this to which perhaps didn't see??? or see any reason to reply to - which is fine, IMO. Maybe I need to understand what you mean by irrational.

A barber who shaves himself does not shave himself, but if he doesn't shave himself then he shaves himself, but if he shaves himself then he doesn't shave himself, repeating ad infinitum with no resolution. That's coherent and rational? No, of course not. What part of the reality of our universe does this paradox, and some others that you offered, model?

I submit to you that the LNC models reality. You and I as well as all rational individuals *live* by the LNC. We don't make judgments based upon the example paradoxes you offered. Should I shave myself? but if I shave myself then I don't shave myself, so should I shave myself? Neither you or I go through this process when making decisions. We would use the LNC. I can't both shave myself and not shave myself at the same time and in the same sense. Now...

I'm going to assume, for the sake of argument, your position (argumentum ad hominem - *not* an ad hominem attack or fallacy - a legitimate debate technique), but I'm not going to perform the normal reduction ad absurdum. You and I, it doesn't seem, are going to agree on whether the LNC doesn't apply to paradoxes (as you state), or whether the LNC reveals the incoherency and irrationality of the paradoxes mentioned in a prev. post of yours (as I claim). So, we'll ignore that and I'll assume your position and try to move the discussion forward. So,...

Please help me to understand: what was the practical point that you had in mind by introducing paradoxes? I was speaking of reality and how the LNC model's reality and we all make our choices by this law. If all you had intended was to show academically that the LNC doesn't apply to paradoxes, then why introduce it? It has no bearing on anything that we would like to discuss. The paradoxes only apply to themselves as a collection of words. The don't apply to reality. I simply don't know why you brought them up in the first place. Here is what Z and I were discussing:

[quote=Zilch]The laws of logic seem to work pretty well in our Universe, until we get to beginnings.[/quote]
Considering the three first principles:
Does this mean that the singularity was not a singularity [law of identity].
Does this mean that there could be a singularity [to go "bang"] and not a singularity at the same time and in the same sense? [law of non-contradiction][/quote]

Why introduce paradoxes that have no basis in reality? I'm really clueless as to why you chose to do this. I also don't see how doing so had anything to do with a discussion of reality.

You then went on to say
I have no problem with knowledge being abs, obj, or subj (though it is only true when subj if the knowledge happens to be true). Those words were never mentioned by me. So, why bring it up?

sigh. I've already explained why. The PRINCIPLE of non-contradiction is not absolute. That is shown by its inability to handle paradoxes. That being the case it must therefore be objective but tentative knowledge.

Ok. I'll continue the argumentum ad hominem...even if this is the case, why bring it up. Your objection has nothing to do with the reality that was originally under discussion. Even if the LNC did not apply to paradoxes, how is the singularity that went bang a paradox? That was what Z and I were discussing.

You then went on to sling off at me by adding
Red herring? Straw-man? Nah, I don't really think that you would intentionally do either; it was probably that I was attempting to be too concise and thought that you had the background to understand the ramifications of my words.

Aggie I teach this stuff for a living. Love the subtle put down though. Very :twisted: of you.

Chris, here you go, reading more into my words than I stated. Just take them at face value. What you wrote sounded to me like a red herring or a straw-man or both. However, I believe that you wouldn't do that intentionally - you are above that, IMO. It was not intended as a put down. I did think that I was not being clear enough for your background. The logic and critical thinking course I took taught that the LNC shows paradoxes (like the Barber and "this statement is a lie") to be violations of the LNC and, therefore, incoherent and irrational. Apparently, since you are a philosophy professor, you know that not all philosophers agree on this. Thank you, for educating me on this point.

My apologies for assuming that you were out of your element - fault all mine.

You then go on to pontificate
Chris, the LNC can be applied to paradoxes, viz. to show that paradoxes are irrational.

Dr. Greg Bahnsen, PhD Philosophy Univ. So. California would agree with me - lecture notes of mine fr/his lectures on logic and critical thinking.

Except a paradox is NOT irrational. If it were truely irrational it would be a logical fallacy. It is not. It is a paradox. To point out the blindingly obvious a paradox is NOT a logical fallacy. You have offered no support for your contention of a paradox being irrational merely repreating it ad nuseum. Sorry but your argument by assertion fallacy does not impress nor convince.

Please see my short one sentence reply immediately above. You'll probably call this a fallacy of appeal to authority. However, that is going to be a two-edged sword for you. Dr. Bahnsen and you may be functioning as dueling experts. Which one of you should I believe. I'll choose to go by the experience of billions of human beings who live their lives by the LNC not by paradoxes (oops, argumentum ad populum, right? "my bad", as the young'uns say).

Chris, the argument by assertion is a two-edged sword. There are a number of dogmatic assertions both you and I have made. Now, neither of us may have made them if we thought that the other would object to them. In fact, even your assertion of argument by assertion in your above quoted words is an assertion w/o grounding evidence - there are a number of short statements that you made that are stated w/o evidence (but then evidence might be characterized as simply a fallacy of appeal to authority, right or wrong? Why or why not?). As such, why isn't it also an argument by assertion fallacy?

You then use a strawman fallacy and argue
Your own original words on them show that they are - something to the effect of "if it's true, it's false, and if it's false it's true" (perhaps not your words exactly, i don't recall, but, unless i'm mistaken that is the point you were making). No one lives their lives based upon paradoxes. The do however live their lives according to the LNC.

I never said that paradoxes were a philosophy of life Aggie. Strawman fallacy indeed. I was merely arguing that the aristotelian logic has limits and inability to deal with paradoxes is one such limit. Something which you seem unable to comprehend.

Chris, then why introduce them into a discussion Z and I were having on the singularity and the big bang? The context of my original reference to the LNC was reality not paradoxes. It was to this original reference that you interjected a welcome reply. Had you validated what I was saying to Zilch as you seemingly did in your quoted words above (unless I totally misunderstand you again - fault mine no doubt), then we wouldn't have gone down this rabbit trail that has nothing to do with the original discussion. Even granting for the sake of argument, your point on the LNC, why in the world would you introduce into a discussion of reality something that you have just admitted has nothing to do with reality? This is perhaps the point that has confused me most. Was it just to interject something and teach something? Personally, I can understand that - you have alluded to the fact that you teach this stuff (logic, etc.) for a living. You are a philosophy professor at some university I would guess, or maybe a prep school - public schools in my experience don't teach logic and philosophy - at least not when I went to public school; I had to wait until college to take courses in philosophy and logic. Teachers like to teach. I would never fault you for that, rather I would thank you for taking the time to try to teach me something. Please don't feel bad if in the end, I still disagree - it's not due to your inability to communicate your thoughts, I assure you.

See, I think we did finally hit the nail on the head. You and I have been speaking at cross purposes. Mine was based upon my original mention of the LNC, yours was not - two different focuses, apparently.

Perhaps I was wrong to give you a link to a philosophic dictionary. You seem to have a great deal of difficulty with reading comprehension so may I suggest this:
http://www.amazon.com/Read-Well-Think-C ... 235&sr=1-4

Chris, I haven't looked at any link yet. I only have a limited amount of time. I will try to find that link that you refer to and check it out. Chris, another two-edged sword with the ad hominem attack which, since you teach "this stuff for a living", well know is an informal logical fallacy and does nothing to further your case.

You then came up with this bit of twitery
The fact that you and I are even disagreeing and attempting to communicate shows the validity of the LNC.

Let me play Chris, here, for a moment...

Um no it doesn't Aggie.

Argument by assertion fallacy, Chris (Chris, see, this doesn't really help anything, does it?)

Argument by assertion fallacy again. You seem to be implying that unless aristotelian logic is limitless communication is impossible or that finding a limit means that the whole thing is somehow invalidated.

No, Chris, you are extrapolating on my words and assuming something that I never intended. This is something that you do on a number of occasions, including how we got down this rabbit trail in the first place. I only mean that unless we assume that the LNC model reality we can't communicate b/c any proposition is both true and false at the same time and in the same sense. As a philosophy professor, which is what I assume you mean by "teaching this stuff for a living" (I hope I quoted you correctly, if not, please accept my apologies), I assumed (fault mine again) that you would have understood what I meant by my words since this statement of inability to communicate w/o the LNC is a very common philosophical position. If you say that you were unaware of it, then I'm scratching my head right now in wonder.

Such an assertion is quite stupid. I am arguing that aristotelian logic has limits. Doesn't mean it's worthless it means that it does not provide absolute knowledge. Because a philosophical principle has limits does NOT invalidate it anymore than a currency not being universaly accepted invalidates it.

I'll leave your first statement alone since it is clearly based upon a misunderstanding (fault mine for not being clearer) of some of my previous words. I had no intention of upsetting you or being "clever" or "twisted" (whichever word you used).

As far as the rest goes, I think that I've already commented on this point. It is a point of disagreement. Dr. Bahnsen wouldn't agree with you when it comes to the LNC and paradoxes. I'll have to check on Bill Craig, but my gut tells me that he won't agree with you. Dr. Norm Geisler (author of over 70 works on philosophy, apologetics, and theology; professor; founder of So. Evan. Sem. and Veritas) would view the LNC as I do. I hope that you don't consider this as an appeal to authority? IMO, an appeal to a false authority is a fallacy, but not an appeal to three individuals with PhD's in philosophy. Experts often disagree, wouldn't you agree?

You then go on to argue that the sorrites paradox is [or involves the use of] a fallacy.

My contention is that as formulated, It involves the use of a fallacy of division, correct. It only appears to be a true paradox because of this informal logical fallacy inherent in its statement.

As YOU have already accepted, the Sorites is a paradox. A paradox is NOT a fallacy. I'd go on to explain why paradoxes are not fallacies but I'd be wasting my time.

Please note, that I didn't say that a paradox is a fallacy (that would be a classification error, right?), only that the paradox as formulated contained an informal logical fallacy. No, please do explain, Chris. I think that we are getting somewhere.

You seem totally unable to comprehend or unwilling to consider. I have a different idea. Why don't you go to Professor Law's site - he teaches philosophy at a uni level - and explain to him why every single philosopher for the past few thousand years has gotten it wrong and only Aggie's ego can get it right. Here's the link:

Ouch!!! ad hominems? Why?

Dr. Law is not the final authority. I've been over the last couple of years to his blog. In arguing with my friend, Sye ten Bruggencate, Dr. Law was both inconsistent and arbitrary in denying Sye the right to basic reliability of his senses while all the while maintaining his own.which I pointed out to Sye. I was shocked by the approach that Dr. Law took.

I'm sure they'll worship the great Aggie's ego along with you. But, quite frankly I have had enough of your putdowns. See ya.

I can understand why you say that, Chris, since began by ascribing some "twisted" poke, dig, slur, or putdown where none at all was intended. I'm sorry that my words were not clear enough to avoid that misunderstanding. I did explicitly state there (the point at which you ad hominems escalated fr/earlier posts) that I did *not* think that you were intentionally resorting to the use of informal logical fallacies, but I trust that as I perceived your statements they did inadvertently contain them - which actually surprised me since you are such a clear thinker and very knowledgeable (as you have once again proven in most of this post which I am replying to).

Chris, again, I hope that you see that such a statement as quoted immediately above can be taken as a two-edged sword - cutting both of us at the same time. If there is something in my writing style, as I stated in my other post, that rubs you the wrong way, then, by all means, please let me know what it is and I will try my hardest to be aware and not use that style when replying to you. I have no wish of upsetting you, Sir. Please believe that.

Not sure if you are blocking/banning/or-whatever-the-BB-term-is me, so, I hope that you do read this and that it will prove helpful to our discussions.
Last edited by agrammatos on Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bart Ehrman's New Book | "Forged"

Postby agrammatos » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:49 am

Chris wrote:Put in layman's terms it goes

"since a man with 1 hair on his head is bald and since the addition of one hair cannot make the difference between being bald and not bald (for any number n, if a man with n hairs is bald then so is a man with n+1 hairs), then no matter what number n you choose, a man with n hairs on his head is bald."

And from your "signature" line (is that what it is termed???):

[quote=Chris]Those who can make you believe absurdities...Voltaire[/quote]

Sounds like Voltaire might have been thinking of the first quote in this post.

Chris, this is another one that I would submit to you for your contemplation that contains an informal logical fallacy, viz. the fallacy of composition. If you don't feel that it does, perhaps we can advance our discussion by telling me why the paradox does not contain that fallacy. I simply cannot see otherwise at this point and you may help to clear this up for me. To be clearer why doesn't that "bald" paradox suffer fr/the fallacy of composition as does the following:

P1. Cells are microscopic.
P2. Human beings are composed of cells.
P3. Therefore, human beings are microscopic.
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Re: Bart Ehrman's New Book | "Forged"

Postby agrammatos » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:40 am

E-lad wrote:Or, when does a cucumber become a pickle?

After it has been in brine for a while? I like half sours, myself.
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