Saturday, May 27, 2023

Evangelical backlash on social justice

There is a evangelical counter attack or back lash crusading aganst the social justice movment in Christian circles; One example is that Justin Peters and Jon Harris.[1] They barrow a page from Childers and say it's another faith and not Christianity.If you take a good honest look at what they say it really just amoumts to an anti intellectual tirade becasue they are insensed that some christians are learning new ideas.

They do have a point. This is a danger that some reduced the Gospel to just social justice and orient everything around that. But they see it as much more wide spread and conect it to massive occurances indicting progressove christianity and the whole nine yards.

Watching those two work is like watchimg some tv show like Monty Python. They build up this case that those believe the social justice Gosel are in another faith and not saved, they make a show of calling out false teachers by name. But then they assert tah being a fallse teaher is not a sin, they clearly confus just being wrong on some issue with being a false teacer. they say fasle teachers aern't going to hell. If you beieve the doctrine you are out of the faith but if you teach it,it's ok you need to do better? Does that make sense?


Throughout the Old and New Testament, our call to do justice is clear. “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute,” (Psalm 82:3). “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow's cause,” (Isaiah 1:17).

What are the verses about God's concern for the poor? Luke 6:20-21 (NIV)

“Looking at his disciples, he said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.Sep 4, 2019

Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8).

What does Jesus say about seeking justice? Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8).Jun 18, 2021

What Does Jesus Say About Justice? - Groundwork Bible Study › blog › what-does-jesus-... Search for: What does Jesus say about seeking justice? What is Psalms 82 3? What is the meaning of Proverbs 22 2? What does God say about seeking justice? What does the Lord require of you to seek justice? What is Proverbs 19 17? What is God's option for the poor? What does Matthew 25 40 say? Feedback


anti woke

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sunday, May 14, 2023

On Rational Warrant

July 11,2010

Stepen Toulmin

Skeptics usually argue against a level of absolute proof. Some skeptics may claim that they don't demand absolute proof, but the level of most God arguments and most discussions about those arguments is undertaken with an assumption that the argument has to actually it's objective, that God exists. At least that's taken to be the objective. I understood things like way myself, yet my friends and I in our collegiate and undergraduate settings, our coffee shops and debate squad discussions Always hinted at a notion that there are levels of proof. I used to describe this in terms of "not mathematical level of proof but something more on a practical level." After doctoral work, in which I had not really thought about the issue for a long time, I discovered the intent war between atheists and theists and jumped in with both fists flying. I didn't really understand how how why but for some reason it occurred to me (almost instantly) that that second order of proof was the rational warrant belief. There was an article that I can't even find now, I don't remembered who wrote,it talked about propositions as things in which to place confidence rather than "prove" and the ability to place confidence in a partially proved hypothesis. The basis justification for doing this is the "rational warrant." This soon became my standard position. I do not argue to prove the existence of God but to demonstrate the ratinoally warranted nature of belief.

The levels of the term proof that I've discussed, in my internet sojourn, are "absolute" and 'practical." Rational warrant is any logical argument that warrants a belief, or a sense of placing confidence in a proposition. being "rational" means there are logical reasons to support it, being a "warrant" means it's a reason to believe something. Warrant is permission. so the aspect of an argument that logically demonstrates a reason to believe something is a warrant. Rationally warranted belief is confidence placed in a proposition (the belief) that is well placed as demonstrated by the warrant; the warrant is a sort of "permission" to believe or to place confidence.The practical level of proof I said is based upon the daily needs of life while the absolute sense of proof is jsut that, that which can be demonstrated to be 100% proved. There really almost no things in this life that can be proved that way. One of the big games the atheist play is to confuse the issue of belief by constantly demanding 100% absolute proof then denying that is their standard when pressed with the impossibly of the task. Pracical level of belief is confidence placed in a proposition on the basis of an ad hoc or incomplete basis. We might also it the "Thomas Reid level." That is, life is not going to stop and give us a chance to try out every single theory we can think of before we get back to make a decision about God belief. Life is moving on and we are going to die before we find out why we are here if we are waiting around for absolute proof. So the practical level is one that is ratinoally warrant, in which we can place confidence in a proposition because the proposition is justified logically even though we do not have absolute proof.

Rational warrant is nothing more than what logicians call 'warrant.' it's an established aspect of a logical argument. Attaching the Word rational to it only means that it's arrived at through reason. There's nothing magic about the term that, its not some ontological principle that has to be true no matter what, it's just a good old fashioned warrant for an argument. The only real difference in this and what people usually con true as logical argument is that the Aristotelian version of logic seems to demand necessity. That which is logically is necessitated by logic as the mandatory conclusion. Whereas rationally warranted conclusions are more or less permissive rather than mandatory. That is to say they are justified in so far as logic goes, but they are not necessarily the only logical conclusion. Atheists are always asking me "does this mean atheism could rationally warranted too." Theoretically it does, sure! It's still their burden of proof to show that it is. Atheists are always treating rational warrant as though its some sort of freak idea I made up myself that no logician would ever support. In fact all kinds of major logicians support it and it' easy to see that it's just a standard concept if one just does a modicum research one will see that logicians talk about warrant all the time.

Stephen Toulimin (March 25, 1922-December 4, 2009) was a major logician of the 20th century who can be singled out as a major figure in the development of a permissive sort of warrant principle. He was one of the major thinkers of the twentieth century, important developing logic, ethics, moral reasoning. He was most famous for the Toulmin diagram which was a way of diagramming an argument to understand it's logic, similar to a vin diagram only more complex.

Encyclopedia Britannica online

Originally published: Philosophy and Rhetoric (Vol. 41, No. 1) 2008

"Toulmin's Rhetorical loigc: What's the Warrant for Warrant?"

by William Keith, David Beard


"The article discusses the argument of Stephen Edelston Toulmin concerning the misunderstandings of warrant as emphasized in composition and communication literature. According to the author, Toulmin believes that a good argument can be followed by providing good justification to a claim that can support to criticism and earn a positive verdict. In The Uses of Argument (1958), Toulmin proposed a layout on warrant for analyzing arguments. Toulmin stresses that warrant is the statement that authorizes the movement from the data to the claim. The author notes that Toulmin's argument has created confusion to scholars with their understanding. The author suggests to study the first book of Toulmin "Reasons in Ethics" to fully understand the argument using Toulmin's model."

Toulmin stresses that warrant is the statement that authorizes the movement from the data to the claim. That's just what I said about it. I said that before I found this article. The argument has a permissive nature but this does not mean that the ordinary burdens of logical inference are removed.

(Ibid) A theory of reasoning must define a principle that allows movement; in formal logic this principle is represented by the material conditional.1 Toulmin claimed, in The Uses of Argument (1958), that not all argument was reducible to logic. He offered an alternative to the material or formal conditional; he envisaged a different inference principle, which he called a warrant. He insisted that warrants, rather than being abstractions like conditionals, were bounded by institutional and disciplinary constraints, contextual boundaries he called fields. As Foss, Foss, and Trapp summarize, "the warrant assesses whether or not the trip from grounds to claim is a legitimate one" (11)--within those institutional and disciplinary constraints. In a sense, Toulmin is subtly moving ninety degrees from the classical tradition of logic. In classical logic, the term Aristotle uses to describe the character of logical inference in the syllogism, anagkhaios, is usually translated as necessary, but it might also be rendered as constrained or compulsory; in a valid syllogism the reasoner "needs to" draw the conclusion. In contrast, in a Toulmin argument, she is allowed to draw the conclusion. A warrant, normally, is permission to do something, and that permission is conditional.2 The common use of the term "warrant" in law is the prototype: a warrant to search a home is permission to search it. In many secondary texts on Toulmin's model, the warrant is called an "inference license." Despite the innovation of Toulmin's response to classical logic and the popularity of his model for argumentation theory, a problem still remains: Scholars are not in agreement on what a warrant is or how to identify it, either Philosophy and Rhetoric, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2008.

In Toulmin's concept of argument the claim is the statement you are asking to be accepted. As I put it above the "hypothesis" in which one is asked to place confidence.

According to "Changing" "Toulmin's Argument Model"


The grounds (or data) is the basis of real persuasion and is made up of data and hard facts, plus the reasoning behind the claim. It is the 'truth' on which the claim is based. Grounds may also include proof of expertise and the basic premises on which the rest of the argument is built.

The actual truth of the data may be less that 100%, as all data are based on perception and hence there is some element of assumption about it. It is critical to the argument that the grounds are not challenged because, if they are, they may become a claim, which you will need to prove with even deeper information and further argument.

For example:

Over 70% of all people over 65 years have a hearing difficulty. Information is usually a very powerful element of persuasion, although it does affect people differently. Those who are dogmatic, logical or rational will more likely to be persuaded by factual data. Those who argue emotionally and who are highly invested in their own position will challenge it or otherwise try to ignore it. It is often a useful test to give something factual to the other person that disproves their argument, and watch how they handle it. Some will accept it without question. Some will dismiss it out of hand. Others will dig deeper, requiring more explanation. This is where the warrant comes into its own.

Warrant links the data and other grounds to the claim (Ibid). The Warrant legitimizes the Claim by showing the relevance. The Warrant can be simple or complex, it can be merely implied or explicitly stated. The warrant is further supported by "backing" additional information which adds support to the warrant. Two more terms need expliantion:


The qualifier (or modal qualifier) indicates the strength of the leap from the data to the warrant and may limit how universally the claim applies. They include words such as 'most', 'usually', 'always' or 'sometimes'. Arguments may thus range from strong assertions to generally quite floppy or largely and often rather uncertain kinds of statement.

For example:

Hearing aids help most people.

Another variant is the reservation, which may give the possibility of the claim being incorrect.

Unless there is evidence to the contrary, hearing aids do no harm to ears. Qualifiers and reservations are much used by advertisers who are constrained not to lie. Thus they slip 'usually', 'virtually', 'unless' and so on into their claims. REBUTTAL

Despite the careful construction of the argument, there may still be counter-arguments that can be used. These may be rebutted either through a continued dialogue, or by pre-empting the counter-argument by giving the rebuttal during the initial presentation of the argument.

For example:

There is a support desk that deals with technical problems. Any rebuttal is an argument in itself, and thus may include a claim, warrant, backing and so on. It also, of course can have a rebuttal. Thus if you are presenting an argument, you can seek to understand both possible rebuttals and also rebuttals to the rebuttals.(Ibid) (see alsoToulmin, S. (1969). The Uses of Argument, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press).

The aspects will be present in most arguments and will be built in to a good argument and my be implicit but they will be part a good argument. Thus we can see for those who accuse my view point of being made up that it is not made by me, but it is made up at all it was made up by one of the major logicians of the twentieth century. The crucial distinction between the ratinoal warrant and an ordinarily Aristotelian argument is that the conclusion is not so mandatory as permissive. This means one need to demonstrate beyond all doubt that God exits but in demonstrating the rational warrant for belief one has shown that good logical reasons allow for belief while they don't prove beyond a doubt that God must exist. This is very important in light of the realization that God is not given in science data, and being beyond human understanding cannot be demonstrated to be real, and in a Paul Tillich since is beyond existence anyway. Therefore the demonstration of a rational warrant should be valid enough to logically justify belief. That means there is no basis upon which to argue that religion is irrational or stupid.

Posted by Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) at 7:43 PM

Monday, May 08, 2023

Answering charges about God and social oppression.

I was recently conversing with an atheist, who for lack of anything better to say, pulled out the old bit about how oprressive the Bible is. Of course he had to multiply examples with quote after quote about stoning the women and killing others and making slaves obey, yada yada yada, like I haven't thought about this. Iike I was a political organizer in the central America movmenet for years and a seminary student in a very liberal seminary, and I never gave a thought to the social relations in the Bible!

I said the verse about slaughter of the Amalektie infants was an interpolation. He responds with bo'd coup verses, one after another, all suppossedly saying the same things (of course they realy didn't say the same thing, just many things that offend the twentieth century sensiablity). Since there are just way too many veres to respond once for one, and it's all just mulitplying examples, I will list some general princples that I think answer the over all situtation viz God and social opression, especially as it realtes to the OT.

(1)But first, it's important to recognize the objective.

The atheist has to show that belief in God, speicifally the Hebrew God, made the situation worse. If it didn't worsen the lot of the people of that era, then where's the blame? To do that they have to do two things:

(a) compare to sourounding culture

(b) show that the problem comes directly from belief in the kind of God hte Hebrews had, as oppossed to other types of the day.

(2) Can't hold up ancient world people to modern standards.

We can't expect people in the ancinet world, who live prior to the modern western concepts of autonomy, indivuidualism and democracy and expect them to have leanred better at Woodstock. They didn't have Woodstock to learn from and they weren't hippies, they had no sexaul revoltuion and they couldnt' go to corner drug store and read about it in a teen magazine or a tabloid.

(3) Social Evolution not Revoltuion

Christ didn't explain to people how to build nuclear power plants or th theory of germs and anticeptic surgery, he didn't write medical books to make their lives better. He did some religious thing and went away again. That's becuase his mission was primarily spiritual. He was not a social revolutionary, even though what he said would be very revolutionary if it were practiced.

But basically God keeps pace with the understanding of people. The atheists seem to think that eveyrthing should be a vast revelation, unfolding of the new world before everyone's eyes. I've already sketched out my theory of soeteriologial drama in which God wants an individual search in the heart, and that's why he doesnt' pull back the veil of the sky, reveal heaven and set up shop on earth.

God allows us to make the journey. He allows us to set up our own socieity to apply the principles we learn to internatlize on our spiritual search as part of our ethical understanding concerning living in the world. Thus God allows Society to evolve at it's own place and allows the understanding of people to guide social reform and revolution.

Naturally things will look a lot rougher at the begining than at the end. The ancient world will be a lot more primative and barbarck than the modern world. That's just the conept of social evolution.

(4)The Bible is personal revealation not a guide to social utopia

What throws a lot of people off is that God seemed to be leading a nation in the OT. One would then expect that he would introduce that nation to the proper social enlightement. We forget a lot of those texts were polotical propaganda. The basic funciton of the OT is to form a cultural background so the mission of messiah makes sense. The real narue of Biblical revolation is the dialectical relationship between the reader and text. In other words, don't be suckered by ancient nationalism.

(5) The God led society was progressive

When you compare those barbaric practices of the Hebrews with those of sourrounding cultures they were better. They were more progressive. Consider the nature of war; most slaves were captives taken in war, for most nations around that day a woman captured in war was just a thing to be used as the captor saw fit. She would never again have any kind of rights or consideration and in a many cases be killed. In Hebrew culture she was protected form rape and in seven years had a chance to free herself.

*poor people could glean parts of the harvest for thsemselves

*everyone got land *women went to Moses and demanded their fair share and it was given them

*Women takne in slavery protected from rape

*in Jubalee year the captives could free themselves.

*court sysetm set up to hear compalints of people

actually most of this stuff is more progressive than Bush's social agenda.

(6) Christian principles led to modern concepts of personhood and human rights.

the slave owners in the American south followed their econimic interest. But the workers int he underground RR who tended to be christains, and quakers and abolitinoists over all followed their reilgious princples,and they oppossed salvery, and closed down the slave trade in the 1820's before the civil war, and latter supported the union and helped end the insittution of slavery in the Confederacy and went on to push for women's rights as well.

*First Women's sufferage group in America Pheobe Palmer and Methodist Woen's Association

* firstt organize Abolition groui in America, very same people, Methodist women

*Chrarles Finney crusaded agisnt slavery and supported the abolution movment,and brought the entire second great awakening into the cause. He said "revolution is of God when the intellegence and understanding of the people exceeds the oppression being done to them."

* *Pesant revolts in south Germany for rightrs of the poor

*Olypia, Deconess of Constantinople gave her personal fortune to free slaves. St. John Crysostom led social reform movment that was headed by many Deconeses of his diocesies.

*Christians for Socialism in 20th century chile

*CLamb Central america

*Snadinistas printed bibles tought Bible in literacy campign

*Father Ernesto Cardinal in Nicaragua, Father Camillio Tores in Boliva, all over Latin America Preists and nuns lead social and poltiical revolution against US cold war poltiics and social oppression.

*1930s America Chrsitians for socialism and industrial ation

*Dorothy Day supports christian socialism and starts comminites to bring soup kitchens to poor and share all goods in common.

In every time and place, in every social setting some chrsitrians have wored against the oppression to be the salt and light.

It's a journey of hte individual heart but it plays itself out in the way we relate to each other.