The Masoretic-Greek Hypothesis: Strategy

Posted in Bible, Blogosphere, Religion, Responses, Skepticism on  | 4 minutes | No Comments →

First, in light of yesterday's definition of the MGH, I submit that the following describes DD's GH's problem summarized: It includes just enough baseline doctrine for DD to make his case, but not enough baseline doctrine that his Myth Hypothesis constitutes a reasonable basis for rejecting the truth claims of Christianity. In short, DD's disproved DDanity – and among others who've said the same – I don't care.

“…by demonizing those he seeks to refute and ignoring their valid criticisms, DD’s authoritarian approach begins with and proceeds by disagreement in a spirit of hopeless futility that agreement will somehow ensue."

Now, although it may seem odd juxtapozed against myriad complaints that I offer no arguments of my own, or that I only want to censor DD's blog, the following describes my proffered solution summarized:

FIrst, we (meaning all of us active in this discussion) need to converge on our baseline MGH statements – notice, not all the MGH's statements – for example, not hygienical admonitions regarding how to wash oneself after touching dead birds, how tall the Nephilim were, or where Enoch went after God carried him away while he was still living – but starting with the most bare-bones, rudimentary statements that the least amount of reasonable believers are likely to deny. In this manner, we gradually evaluate more nuanced statements - beginning and proceeding by agreement until we reach disagreement – allowing us to effectively build a positive hypothesis that suits everyone in our current discussion. 

For example, we could say the MGH says that God (definition forthcoming) exists and created the world and human life for some purpose. We're all likely to agree the MGH logically permits at least that much, correct? Whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or some sub-variant of, the believer is highly likely to accept such as a baseline statement, right? We'll get to whether or not this can offer useful predictions or not, and I'm fully aware we'll hit statements where we'll have far more difficulty and perhaps even vehemence converging on. Still, provided we all converge on the aforementioned example, I've just proven it's possible, right?

Once we're satisfied that our MGH has been sufficiently agreed upon, at this point we've formulated a reasonably complete positive hypothesis, and we then need to converge on the predictions that should flow from our pre-agreed MGH. Once we're satisfied we've assigned one or more predictions to each of those specific statements and any sub-statements, at that point we're ready to examine the real-world evidence to see which fits better.

Now, consider this communal approach against DD's dictatorial approach: In his well-intentioned but ill-thought-out zeal to avoid doctrinal difficulties by keeping the Bible out of the discussion – after beginning with a handful of Christian concepts that only he admitted into his GH, DD followed with completely arbitrary predictions about God that only he agreed on. He effectively staged the whole show into a mere rhetorical farce that offers cherry-picked extremes. In direct contrast to my strategy of requiring your agreement before I proceed, by demonizing those he seeks to refute and ignoring their valid criticisms, DD's authoritarian approach begins with and proceeds by disagreement in a spirit of hopeless futility that agreement will somehow ensue. DD didn't even begin with basic definitions for oft-convoluted words like God or Gospel. In my exercise, we're going to set foundational definitions and pre-agree on both the BMGHS and their logically permissible predictions before continuing. For example, when I say Bible, I refer to M + G (that is, the Masoretic Text + the Greek New Testament).

IMO, these and similar gratuities are where DD should have begun, and I think skirting these admittedly-daunting intellectual challenges in favor of an authoritarian, Hollywood show-runner's approach was most unfortunate for all of us.

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