Why do some people stoop to insult when attacking mythicists? Educational psychology guides us to win over those we wish to persuade by showing them respect and using the tools of hard facts, research, and to trust the judgment of an audience to make sensible decisions once offered all the available information. That’s what makes genuine education — including public education as we encounter here online — different from propaganda.
Niels Peter Lemche was not addressing attacks on mythicism, but his criticisms of the way scholars who should know better stoop to unprofessional snide attacks against minimalists do apply nonetheless.
There are several kinds of name-calling, but in the end, they all tend to impress a readership in such a way that it will simply abstain from reading material written by members of the group characterized by the name-calling. . . .
What is the aim of this labeling? . . . . The advice to the novice in biblical studies is never engage in any serious way in a discussion with non-conservative scholars [or mythicists]. You should just denounce them as incompetent and not worth reading and continue this tactic until people believe you. . . .
Rendsburg [substitute an appropriate anti-mythicist] is very outspoken in his efforts to ostracize the minimalists [mythicists]. It is a war cry, intending at burying his hated opponents. . . . . He is aiming at destroying the minimalists [mythicists] without ever engaging in a serious debate with them. . . .
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