[b-hebrew] Phoenician alphabet

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Jul 21 17:21:04 EDT 2003


Walter wrote in response to a post by Karl:-

>Your brief account of the problems does address an issue we all wrestle
>with, "How does one go about determining what the truth is ?" Do we
>accept that truth is whatever our parents, priests and society tell us ?
>Or can we determine truth through critical means, logic and reason ?

As person whose main qualifications are in the physical sciences I
don't think "critical means, logic and reason" are much use on their
own. What you need are data either from experiment or observation.
There is an old saying that the number of hypotheses is inversely
proportional to the available data. That's the problem with a lot
of studies in the area we are interested in. The data are "soft".
On this list we've had people advance theories that the books
of the Hebrew Bible were composed, in time, from Moses through
to the time after Jesus. Even taking a single book on its
own, like Genesis, we've had dates ranging over about 1,200 years
and we have people who think its a unified work and those who
think they can find a whole bunch of different sources within it.

>"How does one determine truth ?" They obviously can't ALL be right, "How
>does one determine the Correct date ?" Obviously this entails the study
>of ALL the proposals, noting their arguments, strengths and weaknesses,
>which very few people find the time to do.

If you have the time and do all this, you won't necessarily find
"the truth" but merely an answer which you find personally satisfying.
Even if, by some amazing chance, you did find "the truth" there would
be no way to demonstrate that with the current data. They are just too
fuzzy to draw firm conclusions.

Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University  \_
E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz                                </   New
Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                   /)  Zealand
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