[b-hebrew] Academic Debate

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Oct 30 18:13:27 EDT 2007

Yigal wrote:-

> The academic/scientific approach does not accept any authority
>just on faith, and considers everything open to questioning -

Rev. Bryant wrote in response:-

>You must remember that all people use "faith" in everything they do,
>think, or say. Do not make the mistake that "faith is without knowledge."

I think you missed the point. Let me give you my take. The essential
question is what do you do with evidence. In the question of whether
``all'' people were either deported or otherwise left Judah, if you
only look at the written text then taking the meaning of ``all'' as
literally meaning ``all'' is a reasonable thing to do. However, if
someone presents you with evidence that the depopulation was severe
but not complete do you have a faith response which is to say -- your
evidence is wrong, or you have a scientific response which would be
to say -- ``all'' must be hyperbole or that ``all'' refers to a small
specific group of people and not the entire population. What is in
question is not the text but your interpretation of it. Do you insist
on your interpretation based only on internal evidence or do you
allow your interpretation to be informed by external evidence?

Rev. Bryant further wrote:-

>I do not use phrases such as, "most scholars," "scholars," etc., because
>frequently that is basically implying/stating, "You are not a scholar if
>you do not accept this reasoning or fact."

Nonsense. I don't know how you can say that. In any debate on this list
there are a lot of lurkers. They are entitled to know where the mainstream
of thought actually is. There are currently a lot of people advancing
views which are way out of the mainstream. The reason the mainstream is
where it is, is because that's whether the evidence points, nothing more,
nothing less. To shift the mainstream requires evidence. To draw an
analogy from a different field, Fred Hoyle is a scientist but he's not in
the mainstream of cosmological thought.

Bill Rea, ICT Services, University of Canterbury \_
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