Showing posts with label David Marshall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Marshall. Show all posts

A CSI Quote and David Marshall's Response

I posted this quote on Facebook from a recent CSI episode:

"People lie. The only thing we 
can count on is the evidence."

This should be obvious and non-controversial, right? The evidence never lies. Only people do. But Christian apologist David Marshall felt threatened by the quote. Listen up, when apologists feel threatened by talk of evidence it should alert the rest of us they're not being honest about the truth. He responded:

From Alvin Plantinga who doesn't believe Christians need objective evidence for their faith, to William Lane Craig who claims the Holy Spirit trumps all objective evidence to the contrary, to David Marshall who dogs my steps, Christian apologists must denigrate science to believe. Here are a few other gems to look at from DMarshall:

DM: "All scientific knowledge depends upon human testimony."

DM: “Those who make wild claims about the scientific method often base their arguments not on good human evidence, but rumor, wild guesses, and extrapolations that would embarrass a shaman.”

DM: Actually, John, I would say that almost all scientific evidence COMES TO US as historical evidence. Science is, in effect, almost a branch of history, as it transmits knowable and systematically collected and interpreted facts to our brains.

It takes ignorance to defend the Christian faith; ignorance of science. I'd rest my case here but it'll flare up again and again since this is so important for faith.

David Marshall Now Accepts My Definition of Faith (or he doesn't even know what faith is)

Unbelievably, David Marshall now clarifies what faith is by rejecting the need for reason, based on sufficient evidence, saying:

"... having sufficient evidence is PART (not all) of having faith....Good reason to believe is a necessary, not sufficient, part of biblical faith. It really wouldn't be faith if that were all there were to it..."

Marshall is now opposed to scientific thinking, which only accepts sound reasoning based on sufficient evidence.

The only thing faith can mean at this point is that it's an irrational leap over the need for sufficient objective evidence, that is, wishful thinking. For it is the all-important undefined bottom line Marshall maintains, that can and does over-rule reason and sufficient objective evidence, whenever necessary.

What Marshall has repeatedly denied he's now been forced to admit, that my definition of faith is correct after all!

David Marshall Not Only Lies, He's Mastered the Art Of Mischaracterization

Somebody Please Stop ME!! David Marshall has dogged my steps on at least a weekly basis for several years now. I don't do that with him. I have hardly ever commented on his blog and have not reviewed any of his books [Edit: Correction, I reviewed one of them, see comments below for explanation]. If it wasn't for the fact that Marshall dogs my steps (which means he thinks what I do is important), and that Christians believe whatever a person with a doctorate says about my books without reading them to know for themselves, and that Marshall somehow has earned a doctorate and asserts without being fully informed that they are bad, I could have saved 100's of hours by not responding to him. He's relentless and indefatigable. Surely he'll consider that a compliment. He's also stubborn, which can be a compliment. But he's also ignorant, deluded and even a liar for Jesus. He's like the proverbial sophomore in college, who has gained just enough knowledge to be overly confident in his intellectual acumen, but still ignorant and not know it. Or, someone who knows just enough to be dangerous. I dislike having to deal with the likes of him. But I must do so.

This is to preface what David Marshall is doing once again, reviewing my recently released book, How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist.He's doing it on his blog and getting almost everything wrong. He did get it right that I wrote the book though. *Whew*

David Marshall: Liar, Lunatic or Legend in His Own Mind? I Think I Know!

David Marshall is not your average bear. I have heard a few people I respect say there is something mentally wrong with Marshall. Not the usual delusionary stuff found among all believers to different degrees, which evangelicals have to the highest degree. Nope, something else is going on. What it is, hasn't been clear to me until now. I've wondered if it's because Marshall has lived in the Orient so long he thinks like an oriental person rather than an occidental one like ourselves [Readers can disambiguate these differences in the comments if they so desire]. He doesn't think like the rest of us, that's for sure. At the very least Marshall is another liar for Jesus, a person who is unjustifiably certain his faith is true and has mentally absorbed a whole host of lies as truths because of a false assumption he was raised to believe despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. With him the force is additionally strong, since there's no doubt he also suffers from the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Maybe though, he's just a boldfaced unashamed liar?

David Marshall's Number One Deepity: "All scientific knowledge depends upon human testimony."

In what follows is a smack-down of the entire edifice of David Marshall's apologetics (not that he will be convinced of course). Christian apologist David Marshall has repeatedly argued that "All scientific knowledge depends upon human testimony." He does so to put the vinyl siding of scientific respectability over the rotting wood of his faith. He rhetorically asks, "How many eyewitness testimonies were confirmed by DNA evidence?" His point is that DNA evidence doesn't confirm eyewitness testimonies, but rather that the human testimonies of scientists confirm the DNA evidence. That's because they saw it and they interpret it for the rest of us. This is crucial for Marshall's defense of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus, and the claims of miracles in today's world. Human testimony is what both science and his faith depend on for truth. If we can know from the human testimonies of scientists the truth about the world, then we can also know from human testimonies the truth about the Easter Event and miracles in the modern world.

What's there not to understand atheists? Checkmate!!

Why David Marshall is not a Biblical Scholar


An Apologist should not be confused with a "Scholar"
The recent post about David Marshall’s lack of expertise, when compared to Matthew Ferguson, points to a broader issue of who counts as a “scholar.”  
Since some of my posts were referenced in that discussion, let me just add my own comments on why David Marshall would not qualify as a scholar of the Gospels, while Matthew Ferguson would.
In general, a scholar is one who, at minimum, has the equipment needed to verify independently the claims made in the relevant field.  Usually, it is standard to have undergone some certification process as reflected in graduate degrees and peer reviewed published work. Self-proclamation as a “scholar” is not standard academic procedure.
In the case of biblical studies, one needs, at minimum, the ability to evaluate the primary biblical sources independently. That, in turn, means that one must have the ability to read biblical texts in the original languages.

When Will Apologist David Marshall Learn He's Out of His League? Never?

I've gone round and round with Marshall, almost always to no avail (with at least one exception below). Where has he been lately? He's decided to challenge some fella named Matthew Ferguson who said: " is clear to me that the Gospels are not historical writing. These texts instead read like ancient prose novels . . . the Gospels all fall short from the criteria that can be used to categorize a piece of historical prose." Marshall all too quickly responded as if Ferguson was some kind of duffas, claiming he was the expert, and that Ferguson had not seriously studied the Gospels. So what are Ferguson's credentials? He says,
I am a Classics Ph.D. student who also holds an M.A. in the subject with an emphasis in ancient history. Such experience has involved studying multiple Greek and Latin authors in the original language, in addition to doing genre criticism and understanding the history of 1st century CE literature. I have likewise taken graduate seminars on the New Testament and Christian Origins.
Big Oops! So when Marshall heard this he does the backstep dance routine we're so used to here, rather than apologizing for rashly jumping to a conclusion like he did. Ferguson:
After Marshall posted his first comment on my essay, in which he claimed that I had not seriously studied the Gospels, he did not like the fact that my reply emphasized my experience studying Classical languages. Marshall accused me of “waving around my credentials” when I stated that I had studied a wide array of literature from the 1st century CE (including the NT) in the original language.
Which is it Marshall? You blamed him for not being informed but when it was clear he was more informed than you, then you blamed him for telling you he was an expert. To read a serious take down of Marshall, his level of competence and his behavior when caught red-handed read through this.

There are a few additional items we've written on Marshall's style and substance here at DC. Notice the titles, if nothing else:

John Loftus vs David Marshall: "Does Christianity Pass the Outsider Test for Faith?" Part 1

Justin Brierley hosts the very popular Christian podcast Unbelievable? He's an amicable guy, but he's clearly not as neutral or objective of an interviewer as he portrays himself. Before agreeing to have this discussion with David Marshall, who had written a book on the OTF, I had insisted on equal time. However, it was a bit annoying up until the 28 minute mark to sit and listen to so much drivel without a good chance to respond. So when I was given a chance to speak at length (after the 28 minute mark) I came up with 5 objections to what was being said. Justin subsequently took each one of my objections and had a discussion about them. This is not what he did when Marshall spoke. There were many times in the interview where Marshall said things I wanted to respond to, but wasn't given the same chance. LINK. It was very annoying. Part 2 is next week. It was pre-recorded.