Sunday, May 30, 2021

Republicans/Evangelicals say goodbye to reality

from an ad by Sojourners

Can white evangelicals be deprogrammed from Trumpism? Amid a rise in conspiracy theories, pastors are finding themselves on the front lines of the misinformation battle. Referring to Democrats, liberals, and socialists as “evil” is now considered acceptable in certain Christian churches. Fears that “they” are trying to close our churches and take our guns has become a rallying cry for Christians who claim that America is “God’s chosen country.” Sojourners examines this troubling trend in “When Conspiracy Theories Come to Church.” Subscribe to Sojourners now to read this in-depth feature article in the June issue.[1]


This is just scratching the surface. Republicans passionately believe all manner of scathing claims against Democrats. The mildest issue is that the 2020 election was stolen,

Jen Kirby tells us, "Trump’s own officials say 2020 was America’s most secure election in history.Homeland Security put out a statement with state and local officials that countered the president’s fraud claims....The 2020 US election was the most secure in American history, according to US elections officials"

The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double-checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result,” the coordinating bodies on election infrastructure and security said in a joint statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The statement directly contradicts President Donald Trump, who has made unfounded allegations of widespread voting irregularities and fraud. The president is using these claims to challenge the vote counts in several key states that delivered President-elect Joe Biden his apparent Electoral College victory.

Trump’s rhetoric undermines faith in the democratic process, but it also obscures the hard work done by election officials, ballot counters, and poll workers across the country in 2020. Beyond the logistical hurdles of Covid-19, the threat of foreign interference loomed over this election. So did fears of potential voter intimidation and violence at the polls. But with the exception of a few isolated incidents, the elections were largely safe and peaceful.[2]


According to the Associated Press:

 
It’s hard to put it any more bluntly: “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.

Rejecting President Donald Trump’s persistent claims and complaints, a broad coalition of top government and industry officials is declaring that the Nov. 3 voting and the following count unfolded smoothly with no more than the usual minor hiccups.It was, they declare, resorting to Trump’s sort of dramatic language, “the most secure in American history.”The statement late Thursday by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency amounted to the most direct repudiation to date of Trump’s efforts to undermine the integrity of the contest, and echoed repeated assertions by election experts and state officials.
[3]

In Addition the Brennan Center for Justice finds:

"These government officials, judges, and elected leaders, overwhelmingly Republican, have publicly acknowledged confidence in the November election."

Election officials and election security experts have long been clear: voter fraud is extraordinarily rare and our system has strong checks in place to protect the integrity of our voting process. These are the facts. But the facts have not stopped bad actors from trotting out baseless claims of “systemic voter fraud” to suppress votes and undermine trust in our democracy for political gain.

By all measures, the 2020 general election was one of the most secure elections in our history. Voters turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots by mail and in person, and the votes were counted in a timely manner. This success, however, did not dissuade President Trump and his enablers from loudly claiming fraud when the race did not go his way. In a brazen attempt to overturn the results, he unleashed an onslaught of outlandish claims about widespread fraud in the election, shamelessly targeting the votes of Black and Latino citizens in several cities. The severity of the allegations by the president and his allies, however false, has elicited a resounding rebuke of the myth of widespread voter fraud from officials at every level of government. And today, the Supreme Court all but ended the legal fight to overturn the election when it rejected Texas’s lawsuit to throw out the presidential election results in four battleground states that President Trump lost.[4]
and Politifact:

"Two cybersecurity committees within the federal Department of Homeland Security released a statement that called the Nov. 3 presidential election “the most secure in American history.” 

The statement notably debunks claims from President Donald Trump and others that have alleged massive fraud."[5]

No evidence of voter fraud

According to:Reuter's

Fact check: Courts have dismissed multiple lawsuits of alleged electoral fraud presented by Trump campaign

Following President Joe Biden’s swearing in on Jan. 20, a Facebook post shared over 6,140 times has said: “Not one court has looked at the evidence and said that Biden legally won. Not one”. This is a false statement and federal judges dismissed more than 50 lawsuits presented by then President Donald Trump and his allies challenging the election or its outcome.[6]
while Savannah Behrmann writes in USA Today:
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and his legal team have insisted they have proof of widespread voter fraud and they would be successful in court, but those claims have been shot down at the state level and by the highest court in the land.On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court refused to stop Pennsylvania from finalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state, despite allegations from allies of Trump that the expansion of mail-in voting was illegal

The action by the Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority and includes three justices named by Trump, came as states across the country are locking in the results that will lead to next week's Electoral College vote. Chief Justice Robert Brutinel agreed, saying Ward's challenge had failed to "present any evidence of 'misconduct,' 'illegal votes' or that the Biden Electors 'did not in fact receive the highest number of votes for office,'" he wrote — "let alone establish any degree of fraud or a sufficient error rate that would undermine the certainty of the election results."[7]


States examined in the articel: Arazona, Nevada, Michigan, Pynslvania, and Wisconsin.

Despite this deluge of facts (and we have not yet scratched the surface) most republicans still believe the election was stolen.

More Than Half Of Republicans Believe Voter Fraud Claims, Alison Durkee,Forbes:
A majority of Republicans still believe the baseless claim that the presidential election was “stolen” from President Donald Trump and approximately half believe his spin on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found, showing Trump’s continued influence on the party and how the ex-president’s falsehoods about the election and its aftermath have taken hold among his supporters.[8]
Yet these are nothing copared to the idiotic fantasies to which some will sink.Witness the Qanon nonsese:

The QAnon conspiracy theory is vast, complicated and ever changing, and its adherents are constantly folding new events and personalities into its master narrative. But the gist of it is that national Democrats, aided by Hollywood and a group of “global elites”, are running a massive ring devoted to the abduction, trafficking, torture, sexual abuse and cannibalization of children, all with the purpose of fulfilling the rituals of their Satanic faith. Donald Trump, according to this fantasy, is the only person willing and able to mount an attack against them.[9]


Notice: not enogh the Dems shoud assault the children they have to eat them too. I as you who is the suck one?

Republicans are still spreading baseless rumors about leftists pulling off the capital riot to make Trump look bad.

"Three months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to overturn his November election loss, about half of Republicans believe the siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists “trying to make Trump look bad,” a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found."[10]

Of course the golden oldie that the Democrats are all socialists; they put extra spin on that one to make it sound more urgent than usual:

"A viewer watching the Republican National Convention on Monday night could be forgiven for thinking that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were not the Democratic Party's presidential and vice presidential nominees but were leading a different ticket altogether."[11]


Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, asserted that Biden would be taking orders from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and the four congresswomen known as the "Squad."

"Their vision for America is socialism," Haley said. "And we know that socialism has failed everywhere."

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said, "Democrats have chosen to go down the road to socialism."[Ibid]


Of course we all know unless there is a structural change in ownership of the means of production there is no socialsm.No Democratic candidate advocates workers owning the means of production, Just taxing the rich is not socialism it;s liberalism in a capitalist framework.The allegations of child molestation are so absurd as to be self refuting. How could anyone with a brain self identify politically with such nonsense?

NOTES

[1] From an ad sent to my personal emial [2]Jen Kirby, "Trump’s own officials say 2020 was America’s most secure election in history,"Vox," (Nov 13, 2020),https://www.vox.com/2020/11/13/21563825/2020-elections-most-secure-dhs-cisa-krebs [3] Eric Tucker and Frank Bajak, "Repudiating Trump, officials say election ‘most secure’" Assocoated Press, (November 13, 2020) https://apnews.com/article/top-officials-elections-most-secure-66f9361084ccbc461e3bbf42861057a5 [4]Staff writer,"It’s Official: The Election Was Secure," Brennan Center for Jutice, (December 11, 2020) https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/its-official-election-was-secure [5]Madeline Heim,"Security declared Nov. 3 election most secure in American history,"Politifact,(November 17,2020)

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/nov/17/tammy-baldwin/yes-department-homeland-security-declared-nov-3-el/

See the sources for this fact-check

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Top Republican says an investigation of Wisconsin's election is unlikely to take away Biden's win in the state," Nov. 12, 2020

WISN-TV, "UPFRONT recap: Sen. Tammy Baldwin says lack of transition hurts country," Nov. 15, 2020

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, "Joint statement from Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council & The Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees," Nov. 12, 2020

Axios, "Department of Homeland Security calls election ‘the most secure in American history,’" Nov. 12, 2020

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trump campaign would have to pay nearly $8 million for Wisconsin recount," Nov. 16, 2020

[6]Reuter's Staff,"Fact check: Courts have dismissed multiple lawsuits of alleged electoral fraud presented by Trump campaign." Reuter's,(FEBRUARY 15, 20219:41 AM) https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-courts-election/fact-check-courts-have-dismissed-multiple-lawsuits-of-alleged-electoral-fraud-presented-by-trump-campaign-idUSKBN2AF1G1

[7]Savannah Behrmann, "A look at what several state supreme courts said about rejecting attempts to overturn Biden's election win,"USA TODAY, (Dec 11,2020), https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/12/11/supreme-courts-arizona-michigan-nevada-rejected-claims-voter-fraud/3869239001/

[8]Alison Durkee,"More Than Half Of Republicans Believe Voter Fraud Claims And Most Still Support Trump, Poll Finds," Forbes, (Apr 5, 2021,) https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2021/04/05/more-than-half-of-republicans-believe-voter-fraud-claims-and-most-still-support-trump-poll-finds/?sh=59eb5b721b3f Firbes

[9]Moira Donegan,"QAnon conspiracists believe in a vast pedophile ring. The truth is sadder," The Guardian, (Sep 2020) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/20/qanon-conspiracy-child-abuse-truth-trump

[10]James Oliphant, Chris Kahn,"Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly U.S. Capitol riot-Reuters/Ipsos poll," Reuters, (april 6,2021), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-politics-disinformation/half-of-republicans-believe-false-accounts-of-deadly-u-s-capitol-riot-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKBN2BS0RZ

[11]Brian Naylor, "Republicans Blast Democrats As Socialists. Here's What Socialism Is," NPR, (August 25, 2020) https://www.npr.org/2020/08/25/905895428/republicans-blast-democrats-as-socialists-heres-what-socialism-is

Monday, May 24, 2021

Fine Tuning the puddle Argument

A poster on YouTube calling himself "Genetically Modified Skeptic''(GMS) defends the "Puddle argument." [1] This is an atheist refutation of design arguments and just says we mistakenly think the world is designed for us because we fit into it's scheme so well. Why "puddle?" The oringal version says an orgnaism crawls out of a puddle and sees how well it fits into the world.

Christian apologist Frank Turek argues the fine tunning arguent (FT) He is  making a basic mistake with the argument. GMS reduces the argent to one issue, perspective. Huge mistake because that is not it.FT does not take the same perspective as a regular design argument. GMS wants you to think it does; he even says this "just the old Palley argument." The difference is profound. The old argument did not have target levels that quantify the probability of each target being met. FT only takes fitedness as a basic assumption but it does not stop there.  It says we have numbers that  show a life bearing universe  is extremely improbable. It is backed up empirically. It may assume some of the old perspective but having empirically set target levels makes it totally differnt.By target levels we mean things like how thin plank density might be or how many earth sized planets we have before we strike life.[2]

The first thing that should be said about the so-called "puddle argument" is that it is not an argument. It's nothing more than window  dressing (its really just a little story to set up the argument). The actual argument is really just the skeptics retort to design arguments, "here we are, why did we need a creator"? They assert there is no evidence. Of course they are begging the question since the FT data is the evidence. Then GMS asserts that he does not have to prove his assumption but we do have to prove ours. He asserts the universe came before the observer. That means the observer is a product of the universe. The universe was not made for the observer. Of course the real issue is not the observer but what produced the universe? With FT we can assume we are a product of the universe but the universe was made to bear life. We just happen to be some of that life. We do not have to prove the existence of God. His assertion is crazy, why should we prove something to justify suspecting it? No one needs to suspect what he has already proven. We need only demonstrate a good reasonto bieve; FT is dandy reason.

So we have a stalemate and each side has a seemingly valid reason for seeing the universe as they do. That would be an excellent tie to consider FT as it was meant to be,as a tiebreaker. Although GMS just leaves out major portions of the opponent's view. For example he doesn't really deal very deeply with target levels. He wants to spend most of his time reducing Turek's argument to basic simplicity so he can deal with it in classically atheistic ways.He takes up Turek's idea that the universe is made up of information and this is being produced by a mind, and he tries to argue that we don't need a sender to have a message; the message is in the mind of the receiver alone.

What eludes him is the fact that a message with no sender is not a message. We could see this in his examples; GMS himself uses them; he just doen't think deeply about his own evidence. For example he takes the image on mars  thought to be a face and shows NASSA discovered it was not a face but a pareidolia with rocks[3] My major in undergraduate school was communication theory.[4] Communication theory does not accept any model of communication with just a receiver, we have to have a sender or no message.  GMS is merely overlooking the fact that what  Webster calls "random pattern" is thought to be a message but is not one. GMMS  may have a point about the way Turek argues it, Truek himself may reduce FT to complexity alone.But the FTA itself more than just interpirating complexity. The target levels are so precise they spell out the virtual impossibility of an impersonal random  universe. The major aspect behind messages that GMS overlooks is meaning. WE can see thecomningcounicatedin theaaing level of improablity of a random universe.
FT is a valid reason to infer a creator. We see the meaning in the message. An impersonal source cannot attend a message with real meaning. We don't make up our own meaning we can clearly see the meaning; the main way is through personal experience.GMC trashes personal experience, even though his arguments are totally based on his experience of decohversion. It is essential that he disconnect the believer from personal experience because it validates the message we get through nature or God's creaton. In my  book The Trace of God [5] while I do not dscus FT,  one could combine the two for a fine argument.mystical ex[eroece validates the meaning of reality and makes clear God's work.A huge body of scienc studies deomstartes the validity of the experince, below is just a sample.

Research Summary
From Council on Spiritual Practices Website
"States of Univtive Consciousness"

Also called Transcendent Experiences, Ego-Transcendence, Intense Religious Experience, Peak Experiences, Mystical Experiences, Cosmic Consciousness. Sources: Wuthnow, Robert (1978). "Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests." Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18 (3), 59-75.
Noble, Kathleen D. (1987). ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4), 601-614.Lukoff, David & Francis G. Lu (1988). ``Transpersonal psychology research review: Topic: Mystical experiences.'' Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20 (2), 161-184.

Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being. (Charles T. Tart, Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm, p. 19.)
Long-Term Effects
Wuthnow:
*Say their lives are more meaningful,*think about meaning and purpose*Know what purpose of life isMeditate more*Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities*Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends*Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy*Reflective, inner-directed, self-aware, self-confident life style
Noble:
*Experience more productive of psychological health than illness*Less authoritarian and dogmatic*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient*intelligent, relaxed*High ego strength,*relationships, symbolization, values,*integration, allocentrism,*psychological maturity,*self-acceptance, self-worth,*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,*increased love and compassion Short-Term Effects (usually people who did not previously know of these experiences) *Experience temporarily disorienting, alarming, disruptive*Likely changes in self and the world,*space and time, emotional attitudes, cognitive styles, personalities, doubt sanity and reluctance to communicate, feel ordinary language is inadequate *Some individuals report psychic capacities and visionary experience destabilizing relationships with family and friends Withdrawal, isolation, confusion, insecurity, self-doubt, depression, anxiety, panic, restlessness, grandiose religious delusions Links to Maslow's Needs, Mental Health, and Peak Experiences When introducing entheogens to people, I find it's helpful to link them to other ideas people are familiar with. Here are three useful quotations. 1) Maslow - Beyond Self Actualization is Self Transcendence ``I should say that I consider Humanistic, Third Force Psychology to be transitional, a preparation for a still `higher' Fourth Psychology, transhuman, centered in the cosmos rather than in human needs and interest, going beyond humanness, identity, selfactualization and the like.''[6]
Gms is making the same kind of fallicies he's charging Ture with. He argues that individual processes proven to be naturalistic, thus we can ase the entire cosmos is naturaitic, That id the fallacy of composition. It does not follow that the whole is naturalistic.

[1]Genetically modifed Skeptic, "Atheists Can;t Answer this Question," You Tibe, vedio.(Jun 21, 2019)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhHwPoSp7AU

[2]Joseph Hinman, "Fine Tuning Argument part 1." The Reloiiois a prooiroiJuly 2019http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2015/10/fine-tuning-argument-part-1.html

[3]WEbster's online Dictiomaryl "Pareidolia"https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pareidolia the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern The scientific explanation for some people is pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness. Think of the Rorschach inkblot test. — Pamela Ferdinand — compare apophenia https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pareidolia#:~:text=%3A%20the%20tendency%20to%20perceive%20a%20specific%2C%20often,inkblot%20test.%20%E2%80%94%20Pamela%20Ferdinand%20%E2%80%94%20compare%20apophenia

[4] long time readers may have seen me say it was sociology i had double major.

[5]Joseph Hinman, "More Alternate Causalilty Placebo, drugs, and other issues 285The Trace of God, Colorado Sp;rimgs Cparadp: 2014

[6]Council on Spiritual Practices,"Research Summary:States of Univtive Consciousness"From Council on Spiritual Practices Website the websitei now defuncked but this all documented in my book. Also called Transcendent Experiences, Ego-Transcendence, Intense Religious Experience, Peak Experiences, Mystical Experiences, Cosmic Consciousness. Sources:

Wuthnow, Robert (1978). "Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests." Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18 (3), 59-75.
Noble study
Noble, Kathleen D. (1987). ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4), 601-614.Lukoff, David & Francis G. Lu (1988). ``Transpersonal psychology research review: Topic: Mystical experiences.'' Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20 (2), 161-184. GreelyLester Grinspoon and James Bakalar (1983). ``Psychedelic Drugs in Psychiatry'' in Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, New York: Basic Books.in Roger Walsh (1980). The consciousness disciplines and the behavioral sciences: Questions of comparison and assessment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137(6), 663-673.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

I have more to say

I am goimg to strt saying it real soon.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Metacrock lives

Sorry I jut dropped off the face of the earth, I was sick and in hospital and in quarantine. I did not have covid but they put you in isolation after hospotal to make sure. I am sick of blogging don't know if I will come back.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Biden is popular

Biden gets 62% approval in CNBC economic survey, topping first ratings of the last four presidents https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/11/biden-gets-62percent-approval-in-cnbc-economic-survey-topping-first-ratings-of-the-last-four-presidents.html Trump never gpt above 45%.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Countering Scentism

Scientism is the understanding that science is the only valid form of knowledge . It's an ideology and permeates real scientific circles. When thinkers whose understanding is colored by this ideology their defense of science against valid ordinary critique is ideological and programmed, We can always spot this kind of thinking immediately because they inevitably see any valid criticism as an attack upon the very notion of science, This tendency to think of science as some fragile sacred truth that dare not be questioned is emblematic of ideological reverence,  An example bof this attitude is found in the essay by Marcel Kuntz is at the Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier/CEA/INRA in Grenoble, The essay entitled "The Postmodern assault on Science"[1]

Kuntz tells us "Postmodernist thought is being used to attack the scientific worldview and undermine scientific truths; a disturbing trend that has gone unnoticed by a majority of scientists.[2] Postmodernism undermines all truth. Kuntz wants to privilege his view as THE TRUTH! You Know I believe in truth but I don't believe science is the one and only truth,

The scientific method has been the guiding principle for investigating natural phenomena, but postmodernist thought is starting to threaten the foundations of the scientific approach. The rational, scientific view of the world has been painstakingly built over millennia to guarantee that research can have access to objective reality: the world, for science, contains real objects and is governed by physical laws that existed before our knowledge of these objects and laws. Science attempts to describe the world independently of belief by seeking universal truths, on the basis of observation, measurement and experimentation. [3] I agree with several aspects of this view point, I think science is the chief means of understanding the naturalistic workings of the world and that it does supply a less subjective means of understanding the regularities of the law-like framework of the universe's behavior. Yet when we frame it as "objective," even though it can be called that in a relative way, we set up the validity of the Postmodern critique, it is this very swaggering claim to the one and only truth that postmodernists are reacting against. The claim that science gives us access to "objective reality" is a metaphysical claim that is guaranteed to open up not objectivity but philosophical critique, The statement about universal truth is a dead giveaway. God's love is a universal truth, There might be a realm of the forms where Universal truths are housed for all we know. This clam impinges upon all metaphysical claims and thus is itself a metaphysical assumption. That makes it fair game for philosophy.

The postmodernist school of thought arose to question these assumptions, postulating that claims about the existence of a real world—the knowledge of which is attainable as an objective truth—have only been relevant in Western civilization since the Enlightenment. In recent decades, the movement has begun to question the validity of claims of scientific truth, whether on the basis of their belonging to larger cultural frames or through heavy criticism of the scientific method. [4] Postmodernism did not arise solely to question the assumptions of science and objective evidence, That's an unfair generalization. That's the hallmark of his whole attack because it fails to distinguish between levels of postmodern thought, it lumps all philosophical critique of science into the same pile as the most extreme Postmoderns. 

When he gets specific the first one he goes after is Thomas Kuhn. Kuhn is probably the most famous and the most legitimately accepted and admired thinker to be labeled "Postmodern." If we must label him for my money I would label him Postmodern light,

Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922–1996) is one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century, perhaps the most influential. His 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited academic books of all time. Kuhn's contribution to the philosophy of science marked not only a break with several key positivist doctrines, but also inaugurated a new style of philosophy of science that brought it closer to the history of science. His account of the development of science held that science enjoys periods of stable growth punctuated by revisionary revolutions. To this thesis, Kuhn added the controversial ‘incommensurability thesis’, that theories from differing periods suffer from certain deep kinds of failure of comparability.[5] "The concept of paradigm shift proposed by Thomas Kuhn in his famous book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962;),[6] has also given weight to the critics of science and of its pretension to understand reality. If science is not a gradual process of accumulation of knowledge, but rather subject to sudden “revolutions” that overwhelm outdated theories, they argue, how can one trust scientific knowledge?" (from Kuntz, Op cit)

Who are they? Who are these faceless critics of science who are out to steal reality? He imagines this rival group of knowledge preachers with their own metanarrative to sell. That Is ideology pure and simple. It's saying my metanarrative is true not yours. 

I don't believe he has read Kuhn, Here are a couple of red flags. First, Kuhn does not say there's a sudden change, Revolutions don't have to be sudden. The metaphor there is political not temporal. In fact Kuhn's theory states that the shift happens when the paradigm can no longer absorb anomalies that can can a long time for the anomalies to pileup. He says that for an individual researcher it can come as a sudden realization but it's not coming overnight in terms of what's going in the field as a whole. When Kuhn says it's not a gradual accumulation of knowledge, he doesn't mean these questions haven't been floating around for a long time, but that scientific knowledge is not cumulative. It's not a long slow piling up of facts until we find truth. Scientific knowledge can come in an instant; he's talking about regular scientific knowledge. Another red flag his rhetorical question how can one trust scientific knowledge? That is his take on Kuhn. Kuhn himself does not say that. Kuhn never goes after science. He is not a science baser. He's not trying to foster doubt about science.

"If, as according to Kuhn, scientific revolutions are also political upheavals in scientific policy, it is easy to understand why Kuhn's theory has attracted so much attention in a period that calls into question the established political order in the Western world." [7] So here wants to make postmodernism some kind of communist-like threat to peace and civilized order, That strikes me as red Baiting, Is that a bad thing? Questioning the political order?

I find that extremely simplistic, lacking in any specificity that makes it applicable to Kuhn, Kuhn is very specific about how defense of a paradigm is like a topological battle. That is why he calls it the scientific revolutions because defense of the old paradigm is like a political regime defending against a revolution,

Then he starts talking about the strong programme as tough Kuhn is in that movement, He was not. The strong programme is the extreme end of postmodernism that does seek to overturn all truth and all science and fits the stereotype, It was largely based in Edinburgh with thinkers like David Bloor. [8] Then he slides into talking about the ‘strong programme' in such as way as to convey the impression that it; related to Kuhn, He also milables and thus castigates other thinkers such as Ian Hacking,

Several deconstructionist thinkers, such as Bruno Latour and Ian Hacking, have rejected the idea that the concepts of science can be derived from a direct interaction with natural phenomena independently of the social environment in which we think about them. The central goal of science, defining what is true and what is false, becomes meaningless they argue, as its objectivity is reduced to ‘claims' that are simply the expression of one culture—one community—among many. Thus, all systems of thought are different “constructs” of reality and all additionally have political connotations and agendas.[9]

He starts out here Identified Hacking as a deconstructionist. Hacking is certainly not a decon. Hacking says he's a Cambridge analytic philosopher. [10] He has been lauded for his scholarship. I am a big fan of his. He is clearly a major historian of sicced.[11] If he can be labeled in the postmodern vein it would be as a Faulcaultian not a Derridan, That's very different, [12] Faucult had no ax to grind against science.

The generalizations in implacable and them vs us mentality against what should be considered a valid academic quest for knowledge is indicative of the ideological basis of geneticist thinking, That gives credence to the postmodern critic of the meta narrative,

Sources

all sources acceded 5/2/17

[1] Marcel Kuntz,"The Postmodern assault on Science" EMBO Rep v.13(10); (Oct)2012URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463968/

Kuntz is at the Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier/CEA/INRA in Grenoble,

[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.

[5] Alexander Bird,, "Thomas Kuhn", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), First published Fri Aug 13, 2004; substantive revision Thu Aug 11, 2011 URL = .

[6] Thomas Kuhn,

[7] Kuntz op cit

[8] David Bloor, "The strengths of the strong programme." Scientific rationality: The sociological turn (Springer Netherlands, 1984) pp. 75-94.

[9]Kuntz, Op cit

[10] Ian Hacking quoted in "Who Are you? The Biosocial Being Ian Hacking Ioan Davies memorioal lecture, (4/14/17) held at university of Troomnto, URL: http://www.yorku.ca/ioantalk/lecture2011.htm

[11]Karen Grandy, "Ian Hacking". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-06-10.

[12]Thomas P. Kasulis, Robert C. Neville, John Edwin Smith The Recovery of Philosophy in America: Essays in Honor of John Edwin Smith

Monday, February 08, 2021

Was Gospel John Written by Gentiles?

Hugh Fogelman levels a charge, often heard from atheists, that the Gospel of John is ati-semetic.
Theological Anti-Semitism is rampant in the Fourth gospel; in other words the gospel of John is anti-Semitic.  No other New Testament writing has as great an anti-Jewish agenda as found in John. Its attack against the individual Jew, “the Jews” and the Jewish observance of Hebrew laws, all reflect the early church’s extreme anti-Semitic stance. When confronted with the question of John’s anti-Semitism Christians do not answer, but respond with a question; “How can the gospel of John be called anti-Semitic when Jesus and his disciples were all Jews?”[1]
He echoes some very standard assertions in support of this view:
The Christian pulpit deliberately fails to inform their flocks of one important fact; No one knows who wrote any of the Gospels, nor when they were written. The gospel names were simply picked/chosen/assigned by the early church. Also, no one knows the religion of any New Testament writer.  Therefore, the Christian rebuttal question ― that Jesus’ disciples were all Jews and the gospel writers were all Jews ― is merely wishful speculation which can not be proven by any stretch of the imagination.[2]
So he asserts that the author of John may have been gentile. In the next breath he moves from Could be to definitely was:"Also, when Christians make the false claim that the gospel writers were Jewish, seem to forget their own study bibles and clergy say that Luke was a Gentile, not Jewish. Oops, so much for the Christian 'question defense' to the rampant anti-Semitism in John." He seems to think that all the gospel writers were gentile. But I will show strong probability that (1) the author of John was Jewish, (2) there is no anti semitism in John.

One of the most powerful arguments Fogelman makes is John's use of the phrase "the Jews" in order to distinguish the author from Jews. In all the synoptic gospels the phrase is used 16 times but in John it's used 70 some odd time. Moreover, the Jews are characterized un John as  those whose native language is the lie (8:44). He also makes the additional argument that John is written so long after the original event, it indicates it's a gentile fabrication. Why would an eye witness wait so long? I will deal with this as well.

Lets start with the first issue:the Jewish nature of the Gospel and it's author.

The author was Jewish. 

James McGrath asks:Q. Is the Gospel of John a Jewish mystical work?He answers:
A. It is appropriate to note that there are scholars who would deny that the Gospel of John is Jewish and/or that it is mystical. My own view, however, is that there is good reason to answer the question in the affirmative. The fourth Gospel has not only the Jewish Scriptures but Jewish traditions of interpretation woven into its very fabric. And the Christians by and for whom it was written had previously been expelled from their local synagogue by other Jews who disagreed with their views. The prologue (John 1:1-18) presents the lens through which the Gospel author wishes Jesus to be viewed, and it shares key concepts with the Jewish mystical philosopher Philo of Alexandria. The Gospel speaks of visions (John 1:51), which were an important part of mysticism, and emphasizes union with Jesus and ultimately with God through the spirit. It is possible that Jesus himself is viewed as a mystic, one who speaks with the divine voice because the divine Word/Spirit dwells in him. For all these reasons and more, the Gospel of John seems aptly described as a “Jewish mystical work.”[3]
There are Rabbis who say John is the most Jewish of the Gospels: "Why is John the most Jewish Gospel?It is often said that John is the Gospel to the world (Matthew to the Jew, Mark to the Roman, Luke to the Greek). However, in 1924 Israel Abrahams said, 'To us Jews, the Fourth Gospel is the most Jewish of the four!' How is that so? If it so, why do so many people tell new converts to begin reading this Gospel?[4]"  
...John who is Jewish is showing that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah and that they need not worry or fear that they are abandoning God because this is God {Elohim} in the flesh, which he proclaims in verse 14; “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” When we look back at the name “Elohim” it means the strong One Who manifests Himself by His own Word (Towns, 124). Now the Jewish people know that if they believe in the Word of Elohim, then they will live by the provisions of God, just as the children of Israel did in the wilderness with manna, Christ is the living Manna of God or as stated in John 6:35(NKJV) by Christ; “I am the bread of life.”[5]
Since the author was Jewish his problem with "the Jews" is not likely to be based upon their ethnicity since they shared that ethnicity; they were also semetic.  The community that produced John was largely Jewish itself. They would have had problems with the religious establishment of the Jews because they had been put out of the synagogue. But there is another group which was also a part of the Johannine community, a group that had special problems with "the Jews" as a people. That would account for the designation of the "the Jews" by their ethnicity. That group was the Samaritans.

The Samaritans lived in the Northern kingdom of Israel they were racially mixed with Jewish and pagan ancestry but they worshiped the God of the Bible.[6] The Major religious difference between jew and Samaritans was that the Jews worshipped in Jerusalem and the Samaritans worshipped in Northern Israel on Mount Gerizim. There is a connection between John and Samaritans apart from the Gospel. In  Acts 8:14-17 when the Sameritas are converted to Christ Peter and John were dispatched to impart to them the Holy Spirit. So there may have been a special connection between the Samaritans and John. We also see Samaritan influences in the Gospel of John itself.  The most obvious Samaritan influence in John is the story of the woman at the well (John 4:1-41).That is significant because it shows Jesus accepting a woman and an ethnic group hatred by the Jews. Edwin Freed argues a coupe of other influences in John. He points to the work of John Bowman who pointed out that the Johannine author is attempting to build a bridge between Jews and Samaritans.[7] He turns to the influence of Ezekiel on the story of the good shepherd of John 1-. Ezeiel wanted to reunite Judda and Israel that would involve the Samaritans of Northern Israel.[8] Freed argues that some place names in John are places in Sameria:Aenon, Jn 3:23, Salim, 3:23, Sychar, 4:5,Ephraim, 11:54.
There is a historical reaon to disregard the theroy of anti-semetism in John: There was no big anti-semetic feeling Among gentiles in the first century. That came in the middle ages. So it makes a lot more sense to see these references to "The Jews" and the negativity they engender as influences of the Samaritan Christians upon Jewish Cristians who had become alienated from their Jewish roots. They are not anti-semtic because the Christians of that community were semetic themselves.

This view need not necessitate authorship by the apostle John. Samaritan influences could have linked the document with the apostle regardless of authorship. Even more so if the author was the Elder John, thus confusion over the name.



NOTES

[1]Hugh Fogelman, "John was Jewish? not!," Christianity Revealed.com. 2003-2011. http://jdstone.org/cr/files/johnwasjewish.html

[2] Ibid
[3]James F. McGrath,
Ask a Scholar," Bible Odyssey,2019 https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/tools/ask-a-scholar/Gospel-of-John
[4]"Why is John The Most Jewih Gospel?" Religion Bible 3 liberty univercity https://www.coursehero.com/file/8214447/Why-is-John-the-most-Jewish-Gospel/
[5]Ibid,
[6]Catholic Anwers, Who were the Sameritians and why were they important?1995 https://www.catholic.com/qa/who-were-the-samaritans-and-why-were-they-important
[7]Edwin D. Freed, "SAMARITAN INFLUENCE IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN," The Catholic Biblical QuarterlyVol. 30, No. 4 (OCTOBER 1968),580.. 580-587 https://www.jstor.org/stable/43712286?seq=1
[8] Ibid.