This post is a continuation of Earl Doherty’s responses to James McGrath’s Menu of Answers to Mythicists. The first installment, items 1 to 6, was posted here. Earl Doherty continues with menu item #7, preceding each of his responses with McGrath’s description in bold italics.
Menu Entrée #7:
“Demonstrating the likelihood that someone existed means showing there are good reasons to think that he did, not that it is impossible for anyone to construct a scenario in which it might have been otherwise. Historical study offers probabilities, not absolute certainties.”
Let’s break down this entrée and do a taste test on its ingredients:
(1) Demonstrating the likelihood that someone existed requires showing that there are good reasons for thinking so.
(2) Demonstrating the likelihood that someone existed does not require showing that no scenarios are possible which could suggest that he did not.
(3) The implication is that this particular historical study is able to demonstrate that No. 1 can be shown to be more probable than any counter scenario envisioned in No. 2. Continue reading “Continuing Earl Doherty’s antidotes for James McGrath’s Menu Items 7 to 12”