Thursday, November 20, 2008

...on Logical fallacies (again)

argument from authority

  • is the weakest argument (but not a fallacy) when arguing from human authority
  • it is also the strongest argument when arguing from divine authority

an author or authority (properly speking his quality of being an author) is anyone who authorises one to say something:

  • in law a legislator is authority for law,
  • an official for a decision of applying it,
  • a witness making a statement for a fact

when it comes to human authority - it is a weaker argument than others: the legislator may be crooked or mistaken, the official may be crooked or mistaken, the witness may be crooked or mistaken

but for practical purposes this possibility of going astray when following human authority is disregarded and the legislator and official are regularly obeyed, independent witnesses are regularly believed.

when it comes to divine authority there is no such risk and arguing from divine authority is therefore the strongest argument

oh, how is the divinity of divine authority ascertained?
- why, by genuine miracles!
How are genuine miracles ascertained?
- Why, by witness authority, divine or human. *continued both immediately and below*

[The invisible miracles of Sacraments are ascertained by divine authority - the visible miracles by which divine authority is ascertained are ascertained by human authority]

The authority of the Koka Shastra is not observed,

it contains buddhist philosophy rather than accounts of genuine divine miracles, doesn't it?

or that of the Koran

muhammed never even claimed to prove his divine mission by miracles, except military exploits "out of modesty" say his followers

or Communist Manifesto.

which is once again concerned with philosophy (of a rather bad kind) rather than historical facts

Only the authortiy of your religion is valued by you, not by others.

It is not valued by:

  • a) those who have not heard of it
  • b) those who arbitrarily deny the possibility of divine miracles or of ascertaining one to have happened (Hume, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx...)
  • c) those who claim divine authority for a rivalling religion, and do so without pointing to genuine divine miracles, which is a requisite for believing divine authority (a miracle being by definition what no mere creature can accomplish, and the fact that a creature can accomplish something without the special intervention of God means there are other things beside divine authority that can account for it, so without miracle no need to assume an authority to be divine)

Silly stuff. Einstein is dismissed, by implication as a scientist who does not accept divine miracles. That's right. He did not. Moreover, the silly comments about other religions ignore that the fact that other religions also have divine miracles ascertaining their authority. The logical fallacy of authoritarian thinking, or argument from authority, is not abandoned in your messages.

hold it: Einstein was NOT a scientist of the scinces that study miracle: he was NOT an expert on miracles: in order to be that he would have had to devote himself to studying the evidence for and against them, case by case, not the regular workings of nature! and you call me silly because I do not care a whoot for Einstein's opinion on miracles? Now THAT is an ipse dixit, that is jurare in verba magistri, that is the logical fallacy of over-belief in authority - if ever there was one.

  • -What miracles do Hindoos claim in historical times beyond what's possible even for demons?
  • -If the Mahometans agree the revelations to Joseph Smith were diabolical - and they are quite right there! - what proof have they for the divinity of Mahomet's revelations?
  • -What miracle has the Jewish religion produced after it was founded by rejecting Christ, clinging to a worship that was destroyed with the Temple?

There is no "scientist of the study that studies miracles," in your language.
Kant and Hume and Hegel and Feuerbach were not scientists, so your comments here are entirely off point. -dhux

oh, but then it is beside the point of you to mention Einstein: why should we care two hoots about what even a gifted physicist - assuming him to be that - believed not on account of his science, but because he agreed with Hume, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach...?

But yes: there are scientists who do study miracles:

  • A) Catholic theologians
  • B) generally atheist physicians in Lourdes, preferred to give the certificates for miraculous cures, since they cannot be assumed to be partial: quite a lot of them have ceased to be atheists, quite a lot of them have certified the facts of miracles they themselves admit to be inexplicable according to the known laws of nature.

LOL. The rate of healing at Loudes falls below that which would be expected by chance.
This means, you chances of getting better were better if you had stayed away from Lourdes.

so if you had tubercular tissue distruction in your belly, there are at least two who have been cured instantaneously by mere chance? atheists who invoke noone?
one Catholic boy in Lourdes was thus healed.
No one, as you say, would be invoked.
well, were are your two atheist cases of sudden complete restoration from tubercular peritonitis? You see, this is not a dysfunction, it is a destruction of tissue. This boy got tissue destroyed by his ailment restored in Lourdes - or rather on the train home.
*continued from above*
dhux said:
This is an uninteresting example of circular reasoning.
no it is not, since the human authority is a proof - witness authority - sufficient to establish reliance on the facts of genuine miracles.
"There is no evidence for such miracles and no eye-witness accounts of such miracles. What we have is secondary accounts."
Two of the gospels - St Matthew and St John - were first hand accounts. The two others were very litterally second hand, but certainly not third hand. St Mark wrote down the account of St Peter. St Luke harmonised the accounts of very many first hand witnesses - not that they were in conflict, or this excellent physician would not have believed them, he knew well what evidence means, but there is always need for redaction if you take down even two or three accounts, unless you are content to let them just stand beside each other repeating the same story in more or less details, one leaving out that, another that. He was also a first hand eyewitness and expert witness to the miracle when a lad seated in a window fell down, broke his neck and died: he was the physician who made the death certificate before seeing St Paul resurrect the lad.
"Clearly not, nor does any reputably scholar see St. Mathew and St. John as the authors of the Gospels of Matthew and John."

Catholics are reputable scholars, they founded reputable scholarship, and they think St Matthew and St John wrtote the gospels knon by their names.

The scholars you call reputable are rather the opposite, preferring guesswork catering to atheism and judaism above the ancient authorities dealing with that authorship. The only gospel that was disputed in antiquity was St John's and the only alternative offered was a gnostic who clearly cannot have written it.
If you want others to consider whether a Catholic is a reputable scholar, you will need to show that he or she is published in non-sectarian peer-reviewed journals or books, and has degrees from major institutions, and publisheds in the major university presses.
non sectarian? a Catholic is certainly non sectarian: it is the other religions that are sects. Joke apart - it is not just a joke, you know: you are appealing to the authority of an expertise, that I do not acknowledge.
I know the arguments of the Biblical critics. Great stuff for an atheist or a Jew. But how do you expect a Christian to take seriously the dating of all the Gospels after the destruction of the Temple, because they refer to Christ prophecying it? Or written by people who did not know Christ, because they record him as working miracles or claiming to be God?

They are along with you involved in circular proof:
  • 1 miracles do not happen
  • 2 the gospels record miracles and cannot THEREFORE have been written by anyone who knew the facts when other people who knew them were alive and present
  • 3 so St Matthew and St John never wrote these Gospels
  • 3 St Matthew and St John never wrote these gospels
  • 4 so no these miracles are not recorded firsthand
  • 5 so we have no firsthand recordings of the miracles the Christian faith is based on, nor indeed (due to similar considerations) any other miracle
  • 6 which gives us a universal inductive proof the
  • 7=1 miracles do not happen.

Full circle. And you ask me not to notice, just because THEY are not engaged in the the debate against miracles, and YOU haven't made their Biblical criticism? They appel to your authority as common unbiased man, you to theirs as expert Bible critics. But this appeal to authority will not cover up the circular proof involved.

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