Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Bible and Skepticism: Irrational Double Standards and Bias


By Dave Armstrong (8-6-09)




Skeptics (atheists, agnostics, secularists and our beloved theologically liberal "Christians") often feed us the line that if a thing can't be found outside the New Testament, it is not to be believed at all. My argument back is to say "so what?" It is irrelevant if something is not attested outside the New Testament because there is no necessity for that to be the case in the first place.

And there is no necessity or requirement for that because we know that the 
New Testament is exceptionally reliable in historical matters, and has been proven to be such many many times, by means of historical and archaeological investigation. If something is reliable, it is! A=a!  


The only reason that skeptics question its reliability (i.e., in light of the overwhelming "secular" evidence of its profound historicity) is because of their prior hostility to Christianity and because the Bible is a religious book and therefore, supposedly untrustworthy by that fact alone (which is mere prejudice).


http://biblicalcatholicism.com/


But that doesn't follow. Why can't a document be religious and historically reliable, too? Of course it can, and the Bible
is. So it's really a non-issue, based on the following two fallacies or errors (the second building upon the falsehood of the first):


[Error] 1) The Bible has not been confirmed in its historical accuracy by non-biblical "objective" fields of inquiry (historiography and archaeology).

[Fallacy] 2) Therefore, everything referenced in the Bible must be found also 
outside the Bible or it is automatically historically questionable.

Folks like this love to cleverly force us into accepting their false premises, in order to get us concerned and worked up about fallacious arguments that they build upon false premises; but we need to go right to the root of the problem, and attack the fallacies they are assuming and foisting onto us. This is a classic example.

3 comments:

romishgraffiti said...

Occasionally even otherwise faithful Catholics can get sucked into this reasoning when they say, "X saint never existed." No. What you mean is that there is little to no primary historical documentation that can verify a saint's existence. That doesn't mean they didn't exist.

Maureen said...

Heck, even if it was just Pilate's custom to keep Jewish people off his back, or some other secular custom, that wouldn't have to have lasted very long to be regarded as the custom when Jesus got whacked.

Indeed, if it hadn't been the custom very long and died out soon afterward, that would be a very good reason for the Gospels to have mentioned and explained the custom.

The major question is why anybody would lie. Why tell some story about Barabbas getting released instead of Jesus, unless Barabbas got released instead of Jesus? Very minor story point. Very long way to go around, to put it in.

Maureen said...

Oh, and yes, the Gears are archaeologists who write historical fiction. But they're also, and first and foremost, science fiction and fantasy writers who like to write about the occult and arcane. Heck, they dragged gnosticism and Kabbalah into an sf story about alien invasion -- with a straight face. So of course they'd throw in crazy what-if points to "improve" this novel, especially when it's well known that Bible dissent = sales.