Last time we met up, I was talking about the serious mismatch between stated goals and real goals in dysfunctional groups. And in the case of Christian apologetics, we see one of the clearest examples of that mismatch, since their creators often explicitly state what their goals are–which allows us to test their claims very nicely. I’ll show you why Christians don’t generally like to state clear goals, why apologists do it all the time anyway, and how to test those statements against the group’s actual system.Here, by the way, is a writeup of the terms I’ll be using like “group,” “tribe,” “system,” “stated goal,” and all that stuff, in case you want a refresher! (Site permissions should allow unregistered visitors to see the wiki now.) On the Essential Value of Falsifiability. In Reality-Land, a sincere and valid claim is stated in a way that allows it to be evaluated, or tested. Here are … [Read more...] about Why Apologetics Fails At Its Stated Goals.
Here is a sketch of standard conservative evangelical historical apologetics. I've also included appendices outlining (i) standard tools employed in New Testament criticism, and common supposed misuses of them by non-conservative NT critics (ii) supposed assumptions of non-conservative NT critics that may skew their conclusions, (iii) standard evangelical criticisms of the Jesus Seminar, and (iv) the main lines of reasoning in standard evangelical defenses of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. The notes are a bit of a mess at the moment, but I hope to beat them into shape some time soon. (I offered a short outline of this sort of case here.)Stages in Establishing the Reliability of the Gospel Portraits of Jesus:Stage One: Textual Criticism: Checking the quantity, quality and antiquity of manuscripts:Preliminary Observations: We have 25,000 manuscripts and fragments (5,000 of them Greek), dating from the present and going back to 100-150 AD (The Magdalen papyri, a fragment of one of the … [Read more...] about Historical Apologetics: The Standard Evangelical Case
Over at the Secular Outpost, Graham Oppy recently noted a series of exchanges he's been having with J.P. Moreland on the argument from consciousness for theism. One of Oppy's main points in the post is that a naturalist can (a la Chalmers) take consciousness or proto-conscious representational properties as fundamental features of the natural world, thereby undercutting the argument from consciousness. As Oppy puts it:The most important point to note -- vis a vis this discussion -- I think, is this: The worst case for the naturalist is one in which 'conscious state' is an ideological primitive, with an ideologically primitive connection to 'neural state' (or the like). But, for theists like Moreland, 'conscious state' is evidently an ideological primitive -- for, of course, Moreland thinks that God is conscious, and does not suppose that God's consciousness is explained in terms of something else -- and the connection between consciousness and the rest of God's 'state' is also … [Read more...] about Oppy, Moreland, and the Common Apologetic Strategy
Last week, Apple faced criticism from two of China’s biggest payment platforms that claimed that thieves were using compromised Apple IDs to swipe the funds in individual user accounts. Today, the iPhone maker is owning up to the allegations and offering an apology, according to The Wall Street Journal. In a statement, Apple says that a “small number” of people had their accounts compromised due to phishing scams and that those users had not enabled two-factor authentication on their accounts. “We are deeply apologetic about the inconvenience caused to our customers by these phishing scams,” Apple said in a statement. The payment companies, Alipay and WeChat Pay, announced last week that hackers had gained access to some users’ payment accounts. It wasn’t until Apple’s statement today that it was disclosed that the Apple ID accounts were compromised due to a phishing scam. After account login details were revealed, the hackers then used … [Read more...] about Apple “deeply apologetic” for payment app phishing hacks in China
BEIJING—Apple apologized over the hacking of some Chinese accounts in phishing scams, almost a week after it emerged that stolen Apple IDs had been used to swipe customer funds. In its English statement Tuesday, Apple said it found “a small number of our users’ accounts” had been accessed through phishing scams. “We are deeply apologetic about the inconvenience caused to our customers by these phishing scams,” Apple said in its Chinese statement.... … [Read more...] about Apple ‘Deeply Apologetic’ Over Account Hacks in China