Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
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03-01-2013, 01:31 AM
Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"? History, religion, philosophy, art, etc. it doesn't matter. I'd like to hear about it. I've done it in the past because I discovered the author of a book on history actually manufactured evidence by purposely misquoting a non-English language source (something the average reader would not know). What pisses me off about the author is that he has become looked upon as an expert. I am the only person who has fact checked his work. I've gone so far as to share my findings in an Amazon book review, as well as with the president of an organization that the author occasionally writes for. I originally contacted him because the author somehow managed to convince the organization to allow him to rewrite a lovely article by a now deceased specialist on the subject. He introduced all of his own faulty research. The only response the president gave me was that the author's research may be "controversial," but that it fits with current scholarly thought. This is obviously not true if the author is willing to manufacture evidence. I believe the reason that such people are willing to accept the author's research is because they want it to be true. It's sort of like Christians who ignore scientific evidence that shows the Grand Canyon was carved over eons in favor of believing it happened during Noah's flood.

What happened in your own experiences?
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03-01-2013, 03:00 PM
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
Well...I once argued that the Epicurus argument may be flawed.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

I asserted that perhaps he is both able and willing, but is waiting for the opportune moment - in accordance with whatever plan he may have in mind. In other words, it can be argued that "He's God, why does he have to wait?", but the simple answer is "Because he wants to." The ultimate point is that Epicurus was correct in his observations, but was failing to consider all relevant possibilities.

I was just being open-minded and considering all possibilities, but my fellow "free-thinkers" crucified me for asserting such a possibility and informed me that I was reasoning the wrong way. (That was the day I realized that even proponents of free-thought can be contradictory to their own fucking ideals)

So, did I refute him? No idea. But I thought I made a fairly sound argument; considering we're talking about an imaginary sky-fairy to begin with.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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03-01-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
I think "because he wants to wait" is covered by he must be malevolent.
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03-01-2013, 03:18 PM
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
(03-01-2013 01:31 AM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"? History, religion, philosophy, art, etc. it doesn't matter. I'd like to hear about it. I've done it in the past because I discovered the author of a book on history actually manufactured evidence by purposely misquoting a non-English language source (something the average reader would not know). What pisses me off about the author is that he has become looked upon as an expert. I am the only person who has fact checked his work. I've gone so far as to share my findings in an Amazon book review, as well as with the president of an organization that the author occasionally writes for. I originally contacted him because the author somehow managed to convince the organization to allow him to rewrite a lovely article by a now deceased specialist on the subject. He introduced all of his own faulty research. The only response the president gave me was that the author's research may be "controversial," but that it fits with current scholarly thought. This is obviously not true if the author is willing to manufacture evidence. I believe the reason that such people are willing to accept the author's research is because they want it to be true. It's sort of like Christians who ignore scientific evidence that shows the Grand Canyon was carved over eons in favor of believing it happened during Noah's flood.

What happened in your own experiences?
If you don't mind me asking, what event/period was the book about? (Don't have to tell us the name or anything, I'm just curious is all).

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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03-01-2013, 03:30 PM
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
(03-01-2013 03:11 PM)sandman Wrote:  I think "because he wants to wait" is covered by he must be malevolent.

Malovolence assumes that he wishes, intentionally, to do evil.

What, though, if he is not malevolent, but simply apathetic? After all, he is infinitely above and beyond anything we Humans could possibly comprehend. (But I'll attempt to comprehend him anyway) For this reason, one could expect that he's completely indifferent to us and our well-being. That isn't malevolence. It's just apathy. My failure to stop the ants in my ant farm from attacking one another doesn't mean I wish for them to be hurt and killed. It simply means that it's not my concern.

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03-01-2013, 04:10 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2013 04:15 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
(03-01-2013 03:00 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Well...I once argued that the Epicurus argument may be flawed.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

I asserted that perhaps he is both able and willing, but is waiting for the opportune moment - in accordance with whatever plan he may have in mind. In other words, it can be argued that "He's God, why does he have to wait?", but the simple answer is "Because he wants to." The ultimate point is that Epicurus was correct in his observations, but was failing to consider all relevant possibilities.
Which possibilities did he not consider?

That aside, your example fits right into the "He is able, but not willing" category. An omni-potent god doesn't have to do anything, because he is not bound by a finite number of possibilities. In other words, there is no need for him to wait before interfering in our world because he has the possibility of doing it instantaneously.

(03-01-2013 03:30 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Malovolence assumes that he wishes, intentionally, to do evil.

What, though, if he is not malevolent, but simply apathetic? After all, he is infinitely above and beyond anything we Humans could possibly comprehend. (But I'll attempt to comprehend him anyway) For this reason, one could expect that he's completely indifferent to us and our well-being. That isn't malevolence. It's just apathy. My failure to stop the ants in my ant farm from attacking one another doesn't mean I wish for them to be hurt and killed. It simply means that it's not my concern.
The reason why your argument against Epicur is null and void is because you are talking about a completely different concept of god. He was addressing the popular image of god as an omni-benevolent creator who has a great interest in the fate and well-being of the human race whereas you are talking about a deistic god who doesn't care about human affairs.
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03-01-2013, 04:22 PM
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
(03-01-2013 04:10 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(03-01-2013 03:00 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Well...I once argued that the Epicurus argument may be flawed.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

I asserted that perhaps he is both able and willing, but is waiting for the opportune moment - in accordance with whatever plan he may have in mind. In other words, it can be argued that "He's God, why does he have to wait?", but the simple answer is "Because he wants to." The ultimate point is that Epicurus was correct in his observations, but was failing to consider all relevant possibilities.
Which possibilities did he not consider?

That aside, your example fits right into the "He is able, but not willing" category. An omni-potent god doesn't have to do anything, because he is not bound by a finite number of possibilities. In other words, there is no need for him to wait before interfering in our world because he has the possibility of doing it instantaneously.

(03-01-2013 03:30 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Malovolence assumes that he wishes, intentionally, to do evil.

What, though, if he is not malevolent, but simply apathetic? After all, he is infinitely above and beyond anything we Humans could possibly comprehend. (But I'll attempt to comprehend him anyway) For this reason, one could expect that he's completely indifferent to us and our well-being. That isn't malevolence. It's just apathy. My failure to stop the ants in my ant farm from attacking one another doesn't mean I wish for them to be hurt and killed. It simply means that it's not my concern.
The reason why your argument against Epicur is null and void is because you are talking about a completely different concept of god. He was addressing the popular image of god as an omni-benevolent creator who has a great interest in the fate and well-being of the human race whereas you are talking about a deistic god who doesn't care about human affairs.
A deistic God is but one single possibility.

You, like many others, fall into the justified but unfortunate line of reasoning that "He's God; he shouldn't have to wait". But, as I said earlier, maybe he wants to. God could of course do whatever he wanted with less effort than the snap of his divine fingers. But he can also decide not to operate that way for whatever reason. This is what Epicurus didn't consider.

But, given the context of his God concept, I suppose that can be forgiven.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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03-01-2013, 04:37 PM
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
(03-01-2013 04:22 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  A deistic God is but one single possibility.
A deistic god is exempt from the problem of evil and thus irrelevant to the argument at hand.

(03-01-2013 04:22 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  You, like many others, fall into the justified but unfortunate line of reasoning that "He's God; he shouldn't have to wait". But, as I said earlier, maybe he wants to. God could of course do whatever he wanted with less effort than the snap of his divine fingers.
My line of reasoning is actually that since god is imagined to be omni-potent, he doesn't have to wait. I didn't say anything about what he should or shouldn't have to do.

That being said, if god decides to wait despite the lack of necessity for him to do so, he knowingly refuses and/or delays to take action against the evil on Earth.

(03-01-2013 04:22 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  But he can also decide not to operate that way for whatever reason. This is what Epicurus didn't consider.
That's precisely what the question "Is he able, but not willing?" is aimed at. If god decides not to operate, regardless of his justification, he is unwilling to prevent evil from happening and therefore not omni-benevolent.
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03-01-2013, 04:53 PM
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
Consider Sounds pretty good. I suppose I'll shower on it. (I do my best philosophical thinking in the shower. lol)

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03-01-2013, 07:43 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2013 10:58 AM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Have you ever refuted the work of a "scholar"?
(03-01-2013 03:18 PM)Vera Wrote:  If you don't mind me asking, what event/period was the book about? (Don't have to tell us the name or anything, I'm just curious is all).

The book is about a community of Jews who settled in ancient China, and it covers several points in Chinese history. The author has an MA in Chinese. He's obviously not a top tier scholar, but, since the publishing of his book, he has become looked upon as an expert in the subject. His book has been cited by publishers as prestigious as Cambridge University Press. You can see my amazon book review here (the one at the bottom). I have a much longer paper that I wrote that includes other errors that the author made.
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