Friday, November 5, 2010

Holding's Helpful Hints

Thom Stark announced that he was “retiring” from blogging the other day; he said he needed more time for family and other responsibilities. I’m sure the fact that we were dropping responses on him like lightning hadn’t much to do with that.

Recently, too, John Loftus in mourning the death of a fellow Skeptic remarked that the death was making him re-evaluate his use of time he spends on the computer.

Hey guys?

Want a surefire way to spend less time on the computer? It’s simple:

Produce better arguments. Seriously.

If you produce better arguments, you won’t have to spend as much time defending yourself later from criticism. In other words, as the old saying goes, do it right the first time.

It’s no secret how to do this. It involves research and dedication. It involves surveying a wide variety of views from a wide variety of sources, so that you can anticipate potential counter arguments, and also synthesize findings from other related fields and resources. It involves anticipating possible objections by thinking through your argument and thinking how YOU would answer if you were on the other side. (Loftus calls this the “Outsider Test”. He thinks the only proof you did it right is that you became just like him.)

For example: When I look up something about, say, a passage in Luke, I don’t just look for the first Luke commentary I see. I pull down at least 5-7 of the most recent and best commentaries, including those from perspectives I generally disagree with, to see what they say. That way I know if answers are sound, or are open to criticism, or what sort of arguments I may get from an opponent in the future.

This isn’t 100% foolproof, of course. There are some objections (especially stupid ones) that can never be anticipated no matter how hard you try. But it sure helps, and that’s one reason why I very seldom find it necessary to spend time on the computer past usual working hours – maybe once or twice a month at most.

I wouldn’t look for Skeptics/critics to learn their lesson, though. It’s much easier for them to do it wrong the first time.

1 comment:

  1. Ed "I'm Talking and I Can't Shut Up" Babinski left a comment full of spamming advertising links, which I will simply repost and answer without the links.

    >>>Why do you continue to boast so?

    Because I'm telling the truth. Duh...

    >>>I happen to know it wasn't your blog entries that made Stark take down the Thom Stark blog. In fact he's got two new book contacts and a new community website project with which he's involved.

    Yeah sure Edski. It was just an amazing co-in-ci-dink. Stark himself no doubt told you that; and he's a proven dissembler. Funny how his "explanation" noted that he was spending too much time blogging to attend to family and other responsibilities, and this just the evening AFTER he spent "prime time" in the evening with a series of posts directed to ME on Daniel. Huh. You wanna borrow a crayon to connect the dots too?

    >>>On your dialogue thus far with Stark's blog entries on Christology, it would seem that "son of man" is not equal to God.

    It would seem you're too stupid to understand the arguments, then, which is what I'd expect.

    >>>(In fact, neither is "son of God" equal to the later Trinitarian, "God the Son.")

    I know that, you moron. I know it better than you do.

    >>>Even talk of "pre-existence" in Second Temple Judaism does not make something equal to God.

    And I know that too, and in fact even said so in my posts to Stark. Obviously you didn't read a word I said, or else (as usual) it flew right over that pointed head of yours.

    Edski blah blahs again about all this stuff Stark allegedly has to do, then:

    >>>If you want to dialogue with Stark you can read The Human Faces of God and review it. If you write a review at amazon or online he may respond to it here.

    Dialogue? Too late for that. He's too dishonest to dialogue with. But you can be sure a critical review of his crap is well on the way. After all, I do have a hobby of responding to crap (eg, material by you, Loftus, and so many others).

    >>>Reading your blog entries and Thom's replies, it's clear that you seem more fearful in your disdain of Thom than he seems of you.

    That's because your projecting your own fears, Edski. :D I'm laughing at the way you guys can't even tie your own shoes without making half a dozen mistakes.

    >>>Also the world of biblical scholarship is vast. You're neither the first nor the last line of defense of a high view of biblical authority and/or inerrancy.

    It's vast, all right, and I know that way better than the two of you combined. In any event, whether I'm last, first, or 3,455th in a line of 7,627, you're not capable to handling anyone in that line one way or the other.

    >>>>Neither do your less than ingenious insults and cartoon caricatures have much to do with scholarship at all.

    No, they just do what Thomas Nast did to illustrate the corruption of Boss Tweed. Nast's toons didn't have much to do with criminal prosecution but they sure let the public know what kind of creep Tweed was in a memorable and telling way. Same principle here. Too bad for you.

    >>>>I admit it's nice to know one has a voice, and is published, and is part of the flow of the conversation of one's day, but we also know that we each must bow out of the conversation after a limited number of decades on this third rock from the sun, and that in a similar fashion each of us only has a limited amount of time for study of any subject.

    Especially when your mind is as limited as yours is, huh, Edski? So when will you retire? How about tomorrow? There's supposed to be a "Sesame Street" marathon on public TV.