Friday, February 12, 2016

Atheist Essentialism and no True Scotsman


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This argument (secular café) began over the issue of  mystical experiences. I had argued that mystical experience is transformative. Studies show that those who have it tend to be socially progressive and less racist. Samnell is a historian of American history so he decided I must be wrong. It challenges his hatred of Christians and he asserts that Christians supporting slavery count as much against the thesis as people answering the study count or it. You can't say the slavers didn't have the experience because that's no True Scotsman fallacy. To be honest he didn't use that phrase but it is the actual argument he's making. I accused him of essentialism. The idea that Christianity is an evil essence and any and all Christianity will result in the evils of the essence.

what I'm doing differently here is answering his final comment at the bottom in a summary comment. My commentary is in blue.


Quote: Samnell

the alarming thing is this guy is educated, he's a professor or instructor at some source of higher learning.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Samnell View Post
Here we go again. Likely for the last time since I think this is my third round at essentially the same post. If repetition hasn't work before, why would it start now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
Yes but the fallacy in your thinking is you assert with no backing that you use any believer as proof of mystical experience. Not true because no all have them. Moreover you can't just assert that they do because we have a control that enables us to know if one has had t or not. you are not using that controls your data is worthless. Byes not withstanding this is why historians need to know some basic social science research methods.

 Samnell
And you did the empirical studies of nineteenth century abolitionists before deciding they supported your point. Could I borrow the time machine and the survey some time? Quite a few things I'd like to ask about.

[I don't have to a study because there is good reason to assume some abolitionists (the one's in Finney's revival had such experience, either way they contradict his assertion that Christianity leads to slavery.]

Quote:Metacrock
I understand that but your data is still anecdotal. You re also missing the boat historically. The manifestations of ecstatic behavior inn second great awakening such as Caine ridge witj B.W. Stone is exceptional. The main development of Pentecostalism came after the civil war. You also need to research Charles Finney and the Holiness movement because Finney was radically anti-slavery and his movement was as well. the first organized abolition group in America (excluding Quakers) came out of Finney's group (Phoebe Palmer and Methodist women).
 Samnell :I'm familiar with Finney. I do not deny the evangelical movement's influence in abolitionism. Nor do I deny their connection between their religious beliefs and their political belefs.

Ever heard of Thornton Stringfellow? He wrote the book I linked you to earlier. Just as much a Christian as the rest.

Quote:Metacrock
Read Donald W. Dayton's book on Revivals and also a Tim Smith. you do not evenb have good historical anecdotal data to back you. You can't prove one single slave owner who had mystical experience.
 Samnell

And you can't prove that one abolitionist had a mystical experience. You'd need a time machine.

[good reason to believe so because the Finney revival was strongly committed to abolition, and that revival was drowning in the holy Spirit. people. Once Finney went to look at a hat factory people began falling down and repenting must at the sight of him. They fit the findings of gthe modern study so that's reason and that is certainly not my first line evidence.; the 200 studies in my book ]

 Samnell
"What Jesus said" is as much a constructed thing in the mind of every Christian, and different for each one, as anything else about their religion. Let's stop the nonsense about mystical experiences, since it's clearly superfluous to your argument. When push comes to shove, you deny that proslavery Christians are "proper" Christians. That's what this is all about.

If you want to go and say there are multiple and mutually irreconcilable Christianies, each with their own plethora of Jesuses, I'd have no argument. But I suppose you've invested too much into your particular totem to admit diversity in your own religion. It's got to be just the one, from which others fall.



Your entire argument is posited on the idea that there's an essential Christianity against which slaveholders can be reasonably judged and found wanting. Yours is the proscription, start to finish. Mine is the description. And I'm the essentialist? Moi? Spare me.

Quote:Metacrock
I wasn't writing a historical dissertation. I was talking about mystical experience. I have studies and they are empirical you have anecdotal examples and preconceived dislikes.

 Samnell
In neither Finney's case nor the proslavery have we hopped in that time machine and gone back to even get them to take your survey. If my argument, based on the observed behavior of millions of Christians, is an anecdote and must be dismissed, then so is yours based on a far smaller number of reformers.

[Bringing up slavery and defending it with is bunck is just red herring that does not disprove the studies and he had no study that says savers had RE. It's a red herring because it doesn't refute the modern studies.]

Quote:Metacrock
O of course not. it's just that Christians aren't allowed to defend their beliefs. If a person who says he's a Christian does something stupid it really does make Christianity stupid. But atheism must always be defined by it's best impulses.
 Samnell

If someone goes and blames Christianity for Stalin's purges, I'll object. If someone wants to deny that Stalin was an atheist, I'll object. Why wouldn't I? They're both bad history. So is denying the Christianity of proslavery Christians.

[notice he doesn't say deny Stalin was an atheist so He's supportimg the double standard]

Quote:Metacrock
you are merely ignoring empirical research because it slaughters one of your sacred cows
That's rich. The best I could say about you is that you're a typical example of a science type blundering into the field and thinking you know something about history because, hey, science. Jared Diamond writ small, as you do. But I fear that my capacity for charity has been thoroughly exceeded. You're a two-bit apologist who can't cut it in even the shallow end of the historical pool.
Sam these points sum it all up

(1) I did not advance abolitionists as a primary proof of my position. I brought them in as corroboration against your anecdotal "data" (speculation) your examples of slave holders who you canot connected to RE in way other than superficial membership in a church.

(2) I have much better reason to suspect that the abolitionists where examples of RE having transformed people into social progressives than you can offer for seeing slave owners as the result of the kind of RE i'm talking about.

,...(a) I have examples of abolitionists who converted from slave trade as a result of feeling God's Presence.

.....(b) you have no examples of abolitionists turning slave supported as a result of feeling God's presence.

,,,,/(c) the claim of God's presence is not proof in itself of mystical experience but it is suggestive of it, and you no analogous examples.

.....(d) I have sturdy evidence that RE produces socially progressive thinking I have no reason to assume that psychology worked differently then.

(3) You make the puerile assertion I'm a science type

Quote:
Quote:
you are merely ignoring empirical research because it slaughters one of your sacred cows
That's rich. The best I could say about you is that you're a typical example of a science type blundering into the field and thinking you know something about history because, hey, science. Jared Diamond writ small, as you do. But I fear that my capacity for charity has been thoroughly exceeded. You're a two-bit apologist who can't cut it in even the shallow end of the historical pool.
[/QUOTE]

I'm not a science type, genius. try reading my blog. My new book is in proof sgae now It's called "God. Science, and ideology." that sound like I'm a big fan of sciemtism? Read my website see the kind of stuffvI say about science


(4) here is one of the most daft stat daft things I' ever heard.


Quote:
You brought up the abolitionists. Now I suppose you're pretending the mystical experience was invented by Finney, et al as though there's not a two thousand year history of Christian mysticism. For most of that time, it didn't move anybody of significance, and certainly not a movement, to reject slavery. In fact, Christianity inspired slavery well before it got into the rejection business. Bringing Yahweh to the heathens, you know.

you are not read in church history. Augustine, Aquinas, Chrysostom, Diyonisius. Luther, Wesley, Eccheaet all major contributors genius.
5) you are the essentialist not I. You construe obviously two totally different approaches. you want to make all Christians responsible for the evil some do burt you don't make atheists responsible for the evil some of them do. You want to make Christianity the sum, of all it's followers so if Christians in some place said raping dogs was Christian them that would become Christian but you don't hold atheism accountable for Stalin. you sluff that off with the most assigning example of side stepping the issue. You don't the bull by the horns and say essentialism is wrong.

(6) your excuse for not understanding Christianity as following Jesus' teachings is that we can't prove he said them. In the thread on corroboration I showed several independent sources that bolster the idea they are Jesus teachings.



Hey come on guys let's hear from people. Are atheists just essentialists? is there a true form of Christianity?
 

2 comments:

Joe Hinman said...

why the hell don't you people talk??
say something demit

Joe Hinman said...

no one reads it