Straight Thinking #270: Plato’s Haunting Philosophical Tale
Straight Thinking #270: Plato’s Haunting Philosophical Tale
On this program Michael Horton talks with Nancy Guthrie about the personal story behind the writing of her book, Holding on to Hope: A Pathway Through Suffering to the Heart of God. Mike and Nancy also discuss some of the unhelpful ways in which we often attempt to comfort those who are going through difficult times, and why it’s so important to avoid the platitudes.
If you are not making the White Horse Inn podcast part of your regular listening, you are missing out on an excellent discipleship resource.
“Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, owing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about.” — Robert Benchley, American columnist & actor
Hey, folks! Ready for another lesson in logic? Of course, you are!!
In A World of Difference, Prof. Kenneth Samples warns that these first three fallacies are often resorted to when people are arguing for a particular worldview (i.e., a belief system). Unfortunately, they betray weaknesses in their argument. You’ll see what he’s talking about in a moment. Let’s get the Latin stuff out of the way first, shall we?
Appealing to an authority is a great way to lend support to one’s case, though it probably doesn’t “prove” it by itself. When a true authority speaks on something within their area of expertise, we should give what they say due consideration. However, not everyone cited as an authority on something is an actual authority on that subject. It is also possible that, while having relevant credentials, the person or group appealed to is not always to be trusted.
Regarding the first instance, Richard Dawkins comes to mind….
Read the rest: Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 8
Here is a simple spiritual discipline. Pray for people as you talk with them; pray for people as you see them in everyday life. Perhaps say a benediction for them silently: “May God bless you and keep you, May God’s face shine upon you, and give you peace.” This orients you to love God and people.
– Douglas Groothuis
FYI, the ChristianAudio.com free download this month (January 2014) is the ESV Hear the Word Audio Bible. http://christianaudio.com/free/
“Correlation does not equal causation.” — many people, including me (‘cuz it makes me sound smart)
We’re baaaaaaack, and we have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!
Clear thinking & reasoning require at least a basic understanding of causal relationships. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to make logical mistakes in this area. As you may have gathered from the header, our current group of fallacies primarily deals with causes (and effects), while the last one is about making comparisons to give rhetorical (if not logical) force to an argument. And, yes, we have a healthy dose of Latin to make it all sound properly intellectual. We will start with the three main types of “false cause” fallacy, the first being…
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
This phrase translates to “after this, therefore because of this”. It refers to when one too quickly assumes that ‘A’ is the cause of ‘B’ just because ‘A’ occurred before ‘B’. Or, as Anthony Weston puts it in A Rulebook for Arguments, “assuming causation too readily on the basis of mere succession in time.” Yeah, that’s what I said.
Obviously, succession in time is, on its own, insufficient proof of cause & effect….
Read the rest: Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 7
Mike Witmer wrote an excellent piece about belief: “believe schmalieve” http://feedly.com/k/1cbuiYZ
“My Preferred Way to Read the Bible | CCW – Christian Communicators Worldwide” http://feedly.com/k/18QzkqF
It’s presumptuous for a man to suggest that he knows the best method for everyone to read the Bible. But I’m going to tell you the way that I best read the Bible . . . and why it works so well for me.
I’ve been a Bible reader for many years and the plans I’ve followed are certainly varied. At times I’ve read the Bible through every seven weeks. I believe I even read it in a month a time or two. Such “marathon” plans are a little much for most people, but can be helpful in some special situations. I’ve read in various sections each day. I’ve read books at random, making sure all the books are eventually covered before my allotted time is finished. I’ve used plans that matched certain books together to give more of a chronological feel to the reading. Most of my believing life, I’ve tried to read the Bible once a year at least, with some portions read multiple times. Some years I failed to do anything very consistent, but usually only because I did not determine a plan of action beforehand.
If you are a disciple of Christ, you should be reading your Bible, “Being a believer is serious business; you need a guide like the Bible.”
Skeptics of religion — and of Christianity in particular — always like to pick apart the Bible, claiming that this or that is inaccurate or could never have happened or has been “proven wrong”, or some such thing. I have yet to hear/read any “contradictions” that don’t have some plausible explanation, particularly when one does not assume a purely naturalistic philosophy from the get go. But, much of the time, all one needs to do to resolve any paradoxes or textual difficulties is to approach the Biblical text with fairness and an open mind, as (hopefully) with any ancient document. Then read it in the context of the culture and times in which it was written; realize that the Bible’s writers (as many other ancient historians & biographers) sometimes gave compressed accounts, so it’s not always immediately apparent when or how much time has elapsed between events; recognize that different accounts can give different details from the authors’ or eyewitnesses’ perspectives and according to their individual purposes, but this does not necessarily equal contradiction; be careful not to read in modern assumptions, preferences, or sensibilities. (There are other considerations, but that’s enough for now.)
A few years ago, I was being challenged on a number of points by someone on a marketing forum, of all places. One of the points he wanted me to explain was:…
Read the rest: Are The Gospel Accounts of the Nativity Contradictory?