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The "Enlightened" birthing of Historical-Critical Scripture analysis.

"Scientific" Historical Criticism of the most paranormal literature ever produced immediately calls into question the "enlightenment" of the enlightened. 

Vic Biorseth, Apr 10, 2006
http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com

In the Modernist Heresy page I described the breakup of philosophy, or the search for truth, into the separate major fields of theological science and material science. This truly major modification in Western thinking happened quite suddenly, speaking in purely historical terms. From the Renaissance / Reformation period through the eighteenth century Enlightenment, with its new emphasis on Rationalism and Empiricism, the split was made permanent, and the new "scientists," who concerned themselves only with matter, were (and still are) increasingly becoming the darlings of the public.

Every new scientific discovery reinforced the notion that all important future human knowledge would eventually come from that sphere, thanks to the scientific method and the rigid discipline of the practitioners. And, of course, when the scientific method is indeed applied, important new discoveries may be expected to be made. However, as shown in multiple pages within this site, the scientific method is quite frequently not applied at all, and unsubstantiated hypotheses are elevated to the level of scientific theories, and made into axiomatic well known facts by simple acclamation of non-critical "scientific" peers.

But other pages in this site address the non-scientific nature of much of modern science today. What I'm talking about here is what appears to be the adoption, by theologians, of the empirical, natural, scientific method for use in studying what has to be the most paranormal human language document in existence: the Holy Bible. And when the "scientists" doing this examination are consecrated and/or ordained ministers of the Christian faith, then, the skeptical, disbelieving, objective, neutral, scientific beginning point of the project should raise some eyebrows, to say the least.

I was only vaguely aware of this thing called historical-criticism before I took any courses at the Athenaeum of Ohio, just about all of which were affected in some way by the approach and the interpretation. You can see many of these courses of study under the various Cafeteria Catholic navigation buttons at the left. Through these classes I encountered non-scientists play-acting at being scientists, and tossing around scientific-sounding terms like empirical evidence without even knowing what they were talking about.

Now, as I've said in the Thinking Catholic page (and elsewhere) in this site, objective reality for the theologian is not the same as objective reality for the material scientist. We all recognize, or should, the fact that objective truth is completely independent of the human mind. Whether we believe it or not, no matter what we do, it still remains objective truth. Subjective truth is what you think is true, or what you feel is true. But objective truth doesn't care what you think or how you feel; it remains unchanged objective truth, no matter what you do.

On the theological side of the street, particularly for Catholics, unchanging, everlasting objective truth comes to us out of the Deposit of Faith, a major if not central part of which is - Holy Scripture. All of which is considered to be inspired by God, and written by inspired men. Now this entire Deposit of Faith, which includes all of Scripture, is the objective foundation on which we build our ethos, which is the basis of our morality, and the only non-empirical limiting factor guiding us in properly doing our critical thinking.

On the purely scientific side of the street, for the pure materialist, the only unchanging objective truth is of a strictly material nature, proven empirically beyond any doubt by experiment and observation, with complete peer review, and falsified by no one. The pure materialist, if there is such a thing, has no guiding ethos, for he has no objective basis for an ethos. He may have certain political or religious leanings, but in the rejection of the super-natural, he has no fixed moral ethos.

From what I've seen, in commentaries, text books, lectures and class material, the chief practitioners of the historical-critical method, which pretends to be very scientific, are primarily clergy, or at least believers of some sort. But, no matter who does the research using the method, the bottom line is, all they are doing is literary criticism, pure and simple, done on literature that is thousands of years old. Which, of course, cannot possibly be as accurate as literary criticism of work written today. And that cannot be done other than subjectively, because is strictly and exclusively the output of someone's mind, judging what someone else wrote.

We can look at the archaeology of the period, the cultural norms, the linguistics; we can look at the material written on where it still exists, whether parchment, skins, copper, stone or whatever; we can look at other literature of the period, where it exists; but when you boil it all down, you're looking at the words that someone wrote a long time ago, and making some sort of judgment about them. It's literary criticism, nothing more and nothing less, and there can be nothing empirical and nothing objective about that judgment. It's work that is and can only be purely subjective.

Yet we see axioms and givens in use by the practitioners as if they came out of material, empirical scientific laws. Such as those involving the theories surrounding the sequence in which the synoptic Gospels were written, and every bit of which comes to us out of pure, subjective conjecture. Another word for conjecture is guess. No matter how scientific, no matter how well educated, no matter how much peer review it enjoys, a guess never rises above being a guess.

For example, the personage of Q, who was imagined or theorized into existence to help solve the synoptic problem. There exists in all the universe not one single shred of empirical evidence supporting existence of the person they call Q, or any theoretical document called Q or authored by Q, which is supposed to have made the rounds of the inspired authors, in a proper sequence. Q was dreamed up, guessed at, given broad consensus and peer approval, and is today accepted as if an objective truth. That's how historical criticism works.

So what, you might ask?

Well, it seems that historical-critical scholars, who, you will remember, are primarily theologians, and many Catholics among them, have adopted the material scientists tool, the empirical scientific method, with which to study the paranormal and the super-natural. To do that, they have to put aside their ethos, in order to assume a neutral, objective position on the matter being studied at the moment. In other words, they put their faith aside. And, remember, to do good critical thinking, one must begin the exercise from a position of skepticism in order to properly criticize the argument put forth for criticism.

Which explains why historical-critical scholars seem to have never met a miracle they couldn't question: they have to find a material explanation, or call it into question.

Therefore, the parting of the Red Sea becomes a wading exercise in the Sea of Reeds. The Virgin Birth becomes invented or developed theology as the authors consult with and copy from each other, and from Q.

So, today, respected theologians, ordained priests among them, have no problem at all with softening the teaching surrounding events and miracles that are even articles of the Creed itself. And still call themselves believing Christians. I witnessed this sort of thing, first hand, at the Athenaeum of Ohio's Ding Dong School of Scripture study.

May God protect us from the experts.



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Hover-Link Footnotes:  For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links.  (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" the mouse over a link, without clicking, to just to see the related Acronym appear.)

SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
GESGOEAEOT2 Gradually, Ever So Gradually, Over Eons And Eons Of Time
PEWAG3 Punctuated Equilibrium's Wild Assed Guess
TTRSTF4 Them There Real Scientifical Type Fellers
TTRSPTF5 Them There Real Smart Perfesser Type Fellers
TTRSJTF6 Them There Real Smart Journalistical Type Fellers
SNRTACBT7 Surely No Right Thinking Adult Could Believe Today
STNSEACPB8 Surely Today No Serious, Educated Adult Could Possibly Believe
WDN9 We Don't Know
BMDFP10 Baboons, Mongrel Dogs, Filthy Pigs
HBAACOTE11 Human Beings Are A Cancer On The Earth
ACLU12 Anti-Christian Litigation Union
FLORMPORIF13 Flagrant Liar, Or, Mindless Parrot, Or, Innocent Fool
MEJTML14 Marxist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
IEJTML15 Islamic Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
MPAV16 Marxist Principles And Values
WBESSWG17 Wise, Benign, Elite, Super-Scientific World Governance
TRMITM18 The Reason Man's In This Mess
IYI19 Intellectual Yet Idiotic

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Saturday, December 08, 2012
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.


Date:   Tue Nov 11 2014
From:  Vic Biorseth
Comment:  

Changes pursuant to changing the website URL and name from 
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.

Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages.  . 

Regards,

Vic


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