Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sabatino gets some clarification

Sabatino has told me that Ehrman has told him that the problem Ehrman percieves is with Craig's attempt to provide a mathematical proof of the Resurrection. This, actually, renders Ehrman's position more understandable. While philosophers use mathematical models based on Bayes' theorem to evaluate miracle claims, this may have been understood as claiming that the evidence provides some kind of absolute mathematical certainty about the Resurrection, which, of course, isn't really possible. Interestingly enough, it was the atheist Keith Parsons who introduced Bayes' theorem into his debate with Craig in 1998. It's a familar stock in trade of philosophers of religion on both sides of the aisle, but it may have seemed strange to Ehrman, and evidence that Craig was off the deep end.

1 comment:

Jason Pratt said...

I'm definitely one of the people who think it's very easy to wildly misuse probability theory to argue for believing the Res. It won't surprise me in the least if WLC ends up doing so, when the transcript comes in. (I would actuallly be a little surprised and pleased if he makes a properly limited use of the technique, but I'm not expecting it.)

Having said that: neither would I call a misuse of the tactic "so far beyond the realm of rationality" that giving WLC further scope to air it would be "conceding way too much" to him. (I'd be even less inclined to call it that if I _wasn't_ familiar with the tactic and its limitations.)

And one argument, ain't "some of his arguments". {g}

Even making allowance for a typical shape of rhetorical appeal, I still don't see this being a sufficiently strong reason for BE to refuse to do something that would nominally be advantageous to him. I suspect there's something else accounting for it. (Don't know what yet; but strong rhetoric naturally raises curiosity about why it should be put so strongly. Could still be the fairly mundane explanation I proposed a while back, though. {shrug})