This is a small snippet from the latest blog post by David Fitzgerald, Flame War On . . .
Cameron rightly notes that skeptics like me freely attack creationists for denying scientific consensus. But when it comes to the Christ myth, he declares “snubbing the consensus is problematic,” and feels it’s blatantly hypocritical:
“They don’t hesitate to throw around the consensus argument in that context. But when it comes to biblical history, tossing aside the consensus point of view is acceptable, because (conveniently) the evidence is on their side.”
But Cameron has just answered his own dilemma: it’s precisely because Mythicists have evidence that we challenge the current majority opinion – just as the evidence for natural selection challenged the dominant paradigm in Darwin’s time. Creationism isn’t wrong simply because it’s in the minority, and Evolution isn’t true just because the overwhelming majority of scientists say so; it’s true because it’s multiply attested by strong and compelling lines of evidence and has withstood, and continues to withstand, all rival theories. By contrast, there is nothing in Biblical studies that stands confirmed on anywhere near the level of certainty we get in any other branch of science. . . . .
Of course there is one professor who asserts that to the extent that biblical studies does have a degree of certainty (even though only a fraction of anything in the sciences), to that extent mythicists should respectfully submit to this consensus just as creationists should be rational and accept the authority of scientists. That one discipline is the foundation of all our modern progress and the other is a Mickey Mouse course doesn’t matter. What matters is that the most honourable professors in each have certainties. One just happens to have greater certainties than the other, that’s all. Let’s not mention that one of these sets of esteemed professors is dominated by persons who reject the evolution taught by the other guild by believing somehow evolution is something that can be guided or initiated by a divine being, who believe in spirit entities they can communicate with, etc.
Of course the reality is that evolution and the sciences have gained their authority by their public demonstrations of their proofs. In the case of evolution people are persuaded by the evidence the scientists can and regularly do present to them. Few people are truly impressed by appeals to authority. (Though obviously God-fearers must be so impressed. Maybe that’s why it’s theologians who presumably communicate with spirits who are so touchy about demanding respect for the authority of their opinions merely on the grounds that they agree with each other.) Historical Jesus scholars have nothing but circularity and assumptions to fall back on — oh, and angry insults, too, for those who don’t take their consensus views of their assumptions (not evidence) with reverential gravitas. Good thing we’ve come out of the dark ages and relegated them to niches far from the seats of civil authority.
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