Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bonehead English 101

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/

<< Hays has chimed in, completely missing the point, as usual. This guy is amazingly obtuse, or else he is purposely provocative (probably a little of both).

Pray for him. Someone who has to continually rely on lies about other belief-systems in his apologetic. >>

I challenge Armstrong to document my “lies” about other belief-systems. Let’s see if he has the guts to back up his charge.

<< not to mention, pejorative terminology. >>

<< Undaunted by either common courtesy >>

In this thread alone, here are a few choice examples of Armstrong’s customary courtesy:

“Asinine ,” “downright idiotic,” “amazingly obtuse.”

Sounds pretty pejorative to me.

Why does Armstrong resort to pejorative usage if he disapproves of it himself?

<< The fallacies in Hays' pseudo-linguistic defense are obvious (I wouldn't even trouble myself to point them out, except for the fact that he doesn't get it) >>

Translation: whenever Armstrong is beaten at his own game, he changes the rules or moves the goal-post.

<< If the Bible is to Protestantism what the pope is to Catholicism (infallible authority), then if Catholicism is "popish", Protestantism must be "Biblish," right? But of course no one uses such an idiotic title. It's left to our anti-Catholic Protestrant brethren to come up with "Popish."

If following the pope as an authority is "popery", then following the Bible as an authority (i.e., within the sola Scriptura paradigm, etc. -- Catholics, too, accept the Bible as an inspired authority) must be "Biblery." >>

Once again, Armstrong is struggling with rudimentary English grammar. We already have linguistic forms to express these relations:

“Biblicist,” “Biblicism.”

It’s simply that in forming adjectives from nouns, different sorts of words take different suffixes.

<< Baptists believe in the authority of local congregations only (strictly speaking). So again, if Catholicism amounts to "popery" and "popish" religion, then congregationalism must be "elderish" or "pastorish" or "elder-ery" or "pastor-ery" religion. If one is a Presbyterian, by this "logic" they are both "Biblish" and "presbyterish" or practice a faith which should be called "Presbyter-ery" or "Presbyterish Christianity".

Hey, Lutherans refer to themselves by use of their founder's name. So it stands to reason that they ought to also legitimately be called "Lutherish" or "Luther-ery" or "Lutherist" or "Lutheranist".

This is not about “logic,” this is about linguistic conventions for forming adjectives from nouns. Another word-group is formed from the “-an” suffix, viz., Anglican, Arian, Aristotelian, Augustinian, Bavarian, Calvinian, Colossian, Corinthian, Darwinian, Dominican, Ephesian, Franciscan, Gregorian, Iranian, latitudinarian, Marian, millenarian, Mohammaedan, Philippian, predestinarian, Roman, Sabbatarian, Sabellian, seminarian, supralapsarian, Thessalonian, Trinitarian, ubiquitarian, Unitarian, &c.

I didn’t invent the English language. English grammar doesn’t follow the laws of logic. This is simply a matter of historical usage, with its own sociolinguistic principles of morphology.

Words like “Romanist,” “popery,” and “papist,” as well as variations thereon, represent established historical English usage, with exactly the same etymological pedigree as other proper adjectives formed from proper nouns, including place names and proper names, according to whichever suffix linguistic convention assigns to the morphology of that particular word-group.

It's time to come out of the jungle, Dave. We won, Japan lost.

18 comments:

  1. The following has been posted on my blog entry (http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2005_06_05_socrates58_archive.html#111838849557955162):

    The EXPLORE Dictionary of History (http://www.explore-history.com/history/P/Popery.html) notes:

    Popery

    Historically, the words popery and popish have been used as derogatory terms of Catholicism. They were often used by Protestants to denote the idea that the Pope is a tyrant and his servants, Catholics, worship him. They also refer to the culture of the church, such as Baroque vestments and decoration that Protestants view as effeminate, or excessive and maudlin devotion to Mary.

    {italics mine; bolding in original}

    Likewise, for the entry, Papist (http://www.explore-history.com/history/P/Papist.html):

    Papist is a derisive term meaning "Roman Catholic". It was used during the English Reformation to indicate one who believed in Papal supremacy over the Anglican Church. Over time, as the political nature of the struggle between Protestants and Catholics became heated, it became a pejorative for Roman Catholics. The word ultimately derives from Latin papa, meaning "Pope". "Popish" is an adjective for Roman Catholic used much in the same vein.

    While considered offensive in contemporary speech, it was a word in ordinary use until the mid-nineteenth century; it occurs frequently in Macaulay's History of England from the Accession of James II, and in other historical or controversial works from that period. It is also a legal term that defines ineligibility for the throne under the current law of the United Kingdom. Under the Act of Settlement enacted in 1701, no "Papist", nor anyone who marries a "Papist", may succeed to the throne of the United Kingdom.

    The word is used by some extremist politicians in the UK (particularly Northern Ireland), such as Ian Paisley.

    A derivative perjorative term Apist is used to describe Anglo-Catholics who ape or copy the practices of the Roman Catholics.

    {italics mine -- excepting papa and ther book title -- bolding in original}

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000, concurs:

    popery (http://www.bartleby.com/61/54/P0445400.html)

    NOUN: Offensive The doctrines, practices, and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church

    Romish (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Romish)

    adj. Offensive
    Of or relating to the Roman Catholic Church.

    popish (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/popish)
    adj. Offensive
    Of or relating to the popes or the Roman Catholic Church.

    Romanist (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Romanist)
    n.
    1. Offensive One who professes Roman Catholicism.
    2. A student of or authority on ancient Roman law, culture, and institutions.

    Romish (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Romish)

    adj. Offensive
    Of or relating to the Roman Catholic Church.

    And it's the same in my giant hardcover dictionary, Webster's New 20th Century Dictionary, Unabridged, 2nd Edition, Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1968 (2129 large pages). For its entries "Romanism," "Romanist," and "Romish" (all on p. 1572), it describes the words as "hostile usage," while the "rare" term "Romanish" is said to be "generally a contemptuous term."

    Likewise, "popery" is "an opprobrious term," "popish" is "a disparaging term," and "papist," "papism," and "papistry" are all described as "a hostile term."

    This is not rocket science. According to these reference sources (none "Catholic" as far as I know), it is understood that all these terms are offensive, disparaging, hostile, or pejorative. But of course, that wouldn't stop Steve Hays, James White, or other anti-Catholics, who insist on continuing to use the terms, knowing that they are objectionable. Why? Well, obviously, they have no intention of extending to lowly Catholics even the least amount of charity and common courtesy, because they despise our belief-system so much.

    I've argued again and again that even if a group were as heretical and abominable as it is thought to be; that wouldn't give any professed Christian the "right" or prerogative to call them what they don't want to be called, and to use terms with a history of hostility and bigotry attached to them. So this is not only plain stupidity; it is also unethical and unChristian behavior, by any objective criterion.

    Somehow I don't get the impression that Steve Hays (or James White or Josh Strodtbeck or anyone who uses these terms) particularly want to even try to be (or appear to be trying to be) charitable towards Catholics. They deliberately adopt this pompous, condescending stance. The language of bigotry always works that way.

    They may not care, sadly, but as they are at least doctrinal Christians, no matter what they think of us, it can be devoutly hoped and wished that simple, indisputable linguistic reasoning and rudimentary Christian injunctions about charity towards all men may eventually get through to them, by God's grace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Several comments:

    1.Notice that I allow Dave to post this at Triablogue. Indeed, if you go through the archives you'll see that a number of Roman Catholics have responded to various things I've written, and they're been given full rein to criticize me and my writing. They are also allowed to post links to their own sources. I've never deleted any of their comments. I've never censured them.

    So, whatever my character flaws, which are abundant and evident, I try to be fair and give my opponent an even playing field to take his best shot.

    2.Why doesn't Dave ever take his own advice? Why this incapacity for self-criticism? Why does he make no effort to emulate the virtues he urges on everyone else?

    3.Notice, one again, that Dave is shifting ground. His original objection was that my designations didn't have a "proper etymological pedigree." He continued to flail away that this hopeless claim in the teeth of demonstrable evidence to the contrary.

    4. Now, however, he is changing his tune. Now his objection is not that my usage is substandard or solecistical, but that it is derogatory, derisive, pejorative, offensive, objectionable, hostile, contemptuous, disparaging, and opprobrious.

    This is worth discussing, but it's not the original objection.

    5. He also describes my usage as "unethical and unChristian behavior, by any objective criterion."

    Well, my objective criterion is the word of God, and Scripture is chock-full of derogatory, derisive, pejorative, offensive, hostile, contemptuous, disparaging, objectionable, and opprobrious language.

    Just read the OT prophets. Or Mt 23. Or 2 Peter. Or Jude. Or Revelation.

    6. This doesn't mean that it's always appropriate for use to use such language. But to say that it's never appropriate is simply contrary to Scripture itself. Of course, I'm a biblicist, not a Romanist--so my objective criterion is different than Dave's.

    Should we go out of our way to be offensive? No. Should we go out of our way to be inoffensive? No.

    7. Dave's Dictionary of History also commits the illicit totality transfer fallacy. The meaning of a word is not defined by all of the incidental associations of usage. "Popery" doesn't mean that the Pope is a tyrant, worshipped by Roman Catholics. "Popery" does not mean that Roman Catholicism is effeminate.

    8. Dave also says that "if a group were as heretical and abominable as it is thought to be; that wouldn't give any professed Christian the "right" or prerogative to call them what they don't want to be called."

    Here Dave and I have a principled disagreement. I have a perfect right to call a spade a spade.

    We live in the age of the thought-police, in a time when--on the one hand--the liberal establishment makes propagandistic use of euphemisms as a political weapon to advance its radical agenda while--on the other hand--it criminalizes Scriptural and/or scientifically accurate usage as defamatory hate-speech.

    Likewise, cults and heresies deliberately and habitually co-opt Christian terminology to cash in on respectable usage in order to further their disreputable ends. By controlling the language, they control their public self-image.

    This is linguistic theft. And I will never be a willing party to the deceptive and manipulatory use of language.

    9.In Scripture, there is also a principle of escalating and aggravating guilt. You begin with gentleness and charity. But if the audience is stiff-necked, it is then appropriate to assume a harsher tone of voice. You are welcome to reprove me whenever I misapply the standard, but that is the standard.

    BTW, what do you bet that Dave will never address any of the specifics of my explanation. What do you bet that he will simply slap his all-purpose "anti-Catholic" sticker on my reply and then pat himself on the back for having gone the second mile. "Ah, he tried his very best, but there's just no dealing with such people!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whatever happened to Armstrong's oath not to debate "anti-Catholics"?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Apparently there's an escape clause in paragraph 22, subsection 144, article 37 of his resolution.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think it comes down to the fact that terms such as "Romish" and "Romanist" offend Dave. So because Dave's feelings are hurt, he can invoke paragraph 22, subsection 144, article 37 of his resolution.

    But saying that Benedict or JP II appoint liberals, or that Rome doesn't teach inerrancy, then Dave's feelings aren't implicated, so it's no big deal.

    I guess "Armstrongism" doesn't refer to the late Herbert W.'s church, but to the religion concerning the feelings of Dave Armstrong.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fair enuff, both Steves. Since my "feelings" are supposedly so "hurt," then I'll refer to your warped, stunted, facile version of Christianity as "idiotism" or "intellectual suicidism" or "pompous assism" or how about "sophomoric sophism"? Obviously, anything goes in religious terminology, so y'all are fair game, too. After all, "I have a perfect right to call a spade a spade" too.

    :-) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dave said:

    << I'll refer to your warped, stunted, facile version of Christianity as "idiotism" or "intellectual suicidism" or "pompous assism" or how about "sophomoric sophism." >>

    Thanks, Dave, for yet another illustration of your unwavering commitment to common courtesy and studied avoidance of anything savoring of the derogatory, derisive, pejorative, offensive, objectionable, hostile, contemptuous, disparaging, and opprobrious.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My terms were, of course, only rhetorical and examples of "illustrating absurdity by being absurd." I have no intention, of course, of actually using those terms in the literal humdrum, non-rhetorical sense.

    As my many papers show, I use all the standard descriptions for various Christian denominations, which is the topic under consideration; but you, on the other hand, fully intend to keep using your terms in referring to Catholics.

    You apparently didn't know that, or you did, and went ahead and made your "point" anyway, hoping no one would notice the sort of crucial distinction I just made.

    ReplyDelete
  9. First of all, Dave, why should I avoid making my point in light of a "crucial distinction" which you had not introduced until after I made my point? Is this one of those SF time-travel conundra?

    Second, I confess that I'm quite unable to tell when you're illustrating absurdity by being absurd, and when you're illustrating absurdity by being serious since all of your arguments are equally absurd, whether or not your being serious or intentioally absurd. But if you can offer me some "objective criterion" to tell the difference," I promise to do my best!

    Third, what you're doing here is a classic throwaway argument. Like a lawyer who asks a question he knows will be overruled, but asks it anyway to plant the idea in the jury's mind, you're trying to sneak in your point and then exclaim that it was all just a rhetorical device, not to be taken seriously at all. That way you reap the benefit of having scored your point without being held responsible for it.

    Very cute, Dave, and very transparent.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Xenophon,

    Another item of my stated editorial policy is that while people are free to say anything they like about me, minus cuss words, they are not equally free to say anything they like about everyone else. Triablogue is not free space for you to dump on Christendom in general and vent all your personal peeves against the church. If you want to do that, go somewhere else and start your own blog. You are a guest here. Conduct yourself like a house guest should. Triablogue is not a tacky afternoon talkshow where a guest gets to badmouth everyone within earshot because he got burned by this person or that person.

    ReplyDelete
  11. No, Xenophon, what you are doing, as you well know, is not merely to say that Protestants need to read the Bible, but that Protestantism in general is just as bad off as Romanism. That is not an exhortation to read the Bible; that's an indictment of modern-day Evangelicalism as a whole.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Here's what I posted on my blog:

    Hays' latest reply is posted below. This guy is breathtakingly dense: matched in this regard in my experience only by Frank Turk ("centuri0n"). His problem is, therefore, not only a marked lack of charity, but a severe thinking disorder (common as a result of bad teaching today) which causes him to not have the remotest idea of what his opponent is arguing.

    To give just one out of potentially dozens of examples in his nonsensical "arguments" (i.e., considered as a whole; not just this "exchange") he writes:

    "it was all just a rhetorical device, not to be taken seriously at all."

    The fallacy here is that rhetoric and argumentum ad absurdum is not intended "to be taken seriously at all." As anyone who understands logic and argumentation knows, this is most assuredly not the case: in serious argument, such techniques, along with occasional sarcasm, parody, etc. are all ultimately serious attempts to make a point, or (to put it more precisely) humorous or semi-humorous attempts to make a serious underlying point.

    In other words, use of humor and various kinds of rhetoric is not antithetical to a serious argument. Rather, it is a servant of same. The goal is to argue a serious point. Rhetoric and humor may be used towards that end; rather than being unrelated, irrelevant divergences from the end.

    In this instance, then, I was making the serious point that if one can call opponents any title whatsoever, because they deserve to be put down and derisively ridiculed (because they are so evil and corrupt, etc.), then that works both ways, and there is no end to it. Thus I put out a few examples of what one might call Steve's viewpoint. But I don't use that terminology myself, with regard to routine address. It was a rhetorical, analogical reductio ad absurdum argument. And clearly so. Steve claims that he had no clue I was doing this. Well, here's a clue for him: next time, notice the two smiley icons ( :-) :-) ). That may provide a "clue."

    That Steve does not realize this, shows quite clearly one of the severe flaws in his thinking and purportedly "logical" processes of thought. And this makes it pure misery to try to reason with him at all. Combine these thinking maladies with his anti-Catholicism, and you have a situation of literal impossibility of dialogue (even if I wished to try to engage anti-Catholics in any depth anymore).

    The current point about pejorative titles was so self-evident that I truly believed that even Steve cold not miss it. But he did, and I must say that I am flabbergasted once again by the stunning illogic (and bigotry at some level) of the anti-Catholic mentality. It never ceases to amaze me. But false teaching has a way of warping men's minds, so that even simple logic no longer works properly. The overwhelming bias and hostility against the other viewpoint almost entirely overwhelms it.

    =================================

    Now, Steve's words:

    [complete citation of the last comment]

    ReplyDelete
  13. How have I "wildly misread you"? You continue to accuse Protestants, as a lump sum, of not actually reading the Bible, or failing to read the Bible holistically.

    So, yes, this is a general purpose slam against the Evangelical church, an outlook which resembles the classic cultic view of church history where "all the world's queer but me and thee, and sometimes I think thou art a little queer!"

    You level these broad-brush indictments without a scintilla of specific evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "I've argued again and again that even if a group were as heretical and abominable as it is thought to be; that wouldn't give any professed Christian the 'right' or prerogative to call them what they don't want to be called, and to use terms with a history of hostility and bigotry attached to them."

    No protestant wants to be called "anti-Catholic." Dave insists anyway. To Dave, no one could believe Roman Catholicism does not save from the wrath of God unless they hate the church. Therefore anyone who believes such hates the church; therefore he's justified in applying the label. What's not permitted for abominable heretics is fine as long as you say your target hates you first.

    Whereas the reasoning behind "Romanist" is that a Roman Catholic's ultimate authority is Rome, not the Scriptures, and knows nothing of meaningful catholicity. One could dispute either claim, but the use of "Romanist" does not require assigning motives.

    A "history of hostility and bigotry" is vague. It's also irrelevant; much of the slander hurled against protestants (they're rebellious, morally loose, hate God's church/people, etc.) is still around. That doesn't mean we should tremble at the shadow of the Romish stake as if it were veiled within modern use.

    First century Jews preferred "sons of Abraham" to "children of the devil." Did Jesus do an unchristlike thing? Given his ethical sensibilities, does Dave refer to abortion advocates (an abominably heretical group, right?) as "pro-life" or "strident warriors for the rights of women"?

    His supposed reductio should be beneath any rhetorician. After calling Steve's Christianity stunted and facile (desirable terms for Protestants, I guess), Dave pantomimes declaring the Protestantism of the Steves as "dumb" in various ways and announces this to be the inevitable consequence of permitting challenges to self-assigned titles. But there is a difference (one I would have also believed self-evident) between claiming abortion is ultimately "genocide", Catholicism "Romanism", or Protestantism "anti-Catholicism", and dismissing any of them as "idiotism" or his other linguistic abominations.

    Then xenophon jumped in with a reminder to all Protestants to read their bibles completely. That's true. Protestants should also get their 8 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep is bad not just for you, but for those around you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just to clarify (since there are some dozen or so glaring factual errors in "tired's" remarks:

    ME: "I've argued again and again that even if a group were as heretical and abominable as it is thought to be; that wouldn't give any professed Christian the 'right' or prerogative to call them what they don't want to be called, and to use terms with a history of hostility and bigotry attached to them."

    >No protestant wants to be called "anti-Catholic." Dave insists anyway.

    No Catholic wants to be called a non-Christian. Anti-Catholics insist anyway (with no legitimate grounds to do so).

    "Anti-Catholic" is merely a qualifying term, not a complete term of address for any Protestant. Thus, one can say "an anti-Catholic Protestant" or "anti-Catholic Orthodox." I also use the terms "anti-Protestant Catholic" and "anti-Protestant Orthodox," and am on record many times opposing these mentalities as much as anti-Catholicism (in fact, in my last paper on that subject, I defended James White himself over against an idiotic Catholic accuser.

    I have no problem referring to various Protestants as Baptists or Presbyterians or Methodists or evangelicals or Calvinists or Reformed or whatever they call themselves. But "anti-Catholic" is not improper as a descriptive of the sort of Presbyterian or Baptist, etc. who believe what they do about the catholic Church.

    Nevertheless, Steve and others insist on using these terms
    known to be pejoratives, IN PLACE OF the title that Catholics use for themselves and wish to be rederred as. This is the language of bigotry. If one held to anti-Catholic beliefs but didn't refuse to call Catholics "Catholics," then that would not be bigoted language; only atrocious theology and history.

    Furthermore, "anti-Catholic" remains in widespread use among scholars of any persuasion -- particularly historians and sociologists (including many Protestants), as I've documented at great length in one of my papers (http://web.archive.org/web/20021208100204/http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ222.HTM).

    "Romanism", "popish," "papist," et al, on the other hand, are no longer used by scholars, since they are recognized in the dictionary and elsewhere as pejorative, hostile terms. The analogy simply doesn't fly.

    Also, I know that Eric Svendsen has used the terminology of "anti-evangelical." If "anti-Catholicism" (which has a long scholarly use) is wrong, then why not "anti-evangelical" too?

    James White uses various "anti" terms too (all the while hypocrtically complaining about my use of "anti-Catholicism" and lying about my basis for the term):

    " 'anti-Catholics' (convenient use of terminology)"

    (4-5-05: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=333)

    ". . . he then decides on some arbitrary standard as to who is an 'anti-Catholic,' "

    (5-4-05: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=424)

    Here are some examples of White's usage of "anti" terms:

    "Anti-Calvinism"
    (12-19-04 on his blog: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=44)

    (also, 3-13-05 [twice]: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=283)

    (also 1-20-05: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=171)

    (1-26-05: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=179)

    (3-29-05: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=304)

    "Anti-Christian"

    (12-7-04: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=18)

    "Anti-Lordship"

    (1-26-05: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=179)

    (also, 4-20-05: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=386)

    (2-28-05 [twice]: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=255)

    "Anti-Reformed"

    "An Open Letter to Dave Hunt:
    James White Comments on Dave Hunt's New Anti-Reformed Book"

    (http://aomin.org/ReformedIndex.html)

    (also: http://aomin.org/WinSunRep2.html)

    (also: http://aomin.org/NABVR.html)

    (also [five times]: http://aomin.org/Lenskirep.html)

    "Anti-Calvin[ist][ism]"

    (the above letter: http://aomin.org/DHOpenLetter.html)

    (also: http://aomin.org/NABVR.html)

    (also: http://aomin.org/Lenskirep.html)

    "anti-Lutheran"

    (http://aomin.org/Lenskirep.html)

    All that is perfectly fine and dandy, but how dare Dave armstrong ever use the (scholarly) term "anti-Catholic"!!!!! That's bigoted and a double standard, while White )and Steve Hays and Svendsen and all the rest) can use all these terms and the stupid ones also, such as "Romanist" and so forth.

    >To Dave, no one could believe Roman Catholicism does not save from the wrath of God unless they hate the church.

    I've never stated this; I don't believe it, and "tired" cannot document it anywhere in my writing. I might have said that such a person "may" hate the Church (which is entirely possible), but not that they "must" if they oppse Catholic soteriology and/or are anti-Catholic. I don't get into that. It is James White who gets into this "hate rhetoric," as I precisely showeed in my last paper to which "tired" replied on my blog. He told me that I myself "hate[d] the gospel in our first written exchange. So "tired" has it exactly backwards.

    >Therefore anyone who believes such hates the church;

    I don't hold this position. I do believe that many anti-Catholics do hate the (Catholic) Church, however. They say it themselves, so this is not a controversial opinion.

    >therefore he's justified in applying the label.

    No; the word simply means "one who does not consider the Catholic Church of the whole of Catholic theology to be a species of Christianity." The word itself (at least as I and most Catholic apologists use it) has nothing to do with "hatred" or "bigotry." Those things may indeed be present also, but they have nothing to do with the definition proper.

    >What's not permitted for abominable heretics is fine as long as you say your target hates you first.

    Again, this is not my difficulty, as I don't hold this view in the first place. It's Steve Hays, White and others who insist on using bigoted terms for others that those others do not use or accept. That's the bigotry; the anti-Catholicism is strictly theological.Whether White or Steve or anyone else "hates" me or my Church is for them to decide. I don't accuse any of them of personal hatred against me, and I don't hate anyone myself.

    >Whereas the reasoning behind "Romanist" is that a Roman Catholic's ultimate authority is Rome, not the Scriptures,

    This is incorrect. Our ultimate authority is the "three-legged stool of Scripture, Tradition, and Church, which are all harmonious. The use is still pejorative, whatever one thinks (either accurately or inaccurately) of our theology.

    >and knows nothing of meaningful catholicity.

    That's a value judgment, but it doesn't overcome the ethical responsibility to use the standard terms of address. We do for you. why can't you for us?

    >One could dispute either claim, but the use of "Romanist" does not require assigning motives.

    It's not assigning motives so much as it is the insulting, bigoted use of pejorative terms. That highly suggests an unsavoury motive on the part of those who use such terms. What would a good motive be to do so?

    >A "history of hostility and bigotry" is vague.

    Catholic-Protestant relations have not exactly been warm-fuzzy through the centuries. There is much bigotry and misinformation on both sides. I oppose it on both sides, not just one side.

    >It's also irrelevant; much of the slander hurled against protestants (they're rebellious, morally loose, hate God's church/people, etc.) is still around.

    Indeed, and I oppose it. I've written about six papers defending Martin Luther himself from such slanders.

    >That doesn't mean we should tremble at the shadow of the Romish stake as if it were veiled within modern use.

    Good for you. Very Biblish and Protestish of you.

    >First century Jews preferred "sons of Abraham" to "children of the devil."

    Is that what you wish to call me?

    >Did Jesus do an unchristlike thing?

    No. Did I do an unArmstronglike thing?

    >Given his ethical sensibilities, does Dave refer to abortion advocates (an abominably heretical group, right?) as "pro-life" or "strident warriors for the rights of women"?

    No, I call them pro-abortion or pro-aborts or pro-death advocates.

    >His supposed reductio should be beneath any rhetorician.

    Certainly you have shown no such thing, whereas I have demonstrated quite enough to prove my case against anti-Catholic double standards in ethics and terminology.

    >After calling Steve's Christianity stunted and facile

    Indeed, but there is a huge difference here that you seem to overlook: at least I grant him the dignity of his Christianity and Christian beliefs (proven by your description above), whereas that is denied to me (on wrongheaded, erroneous grounds). It's fine to read me out of the faith altogether, yet I dare not refer to the Christianity of my opponent as "stunted and facile"! How DARE I do that! What am I, an uppity Romanist boy or something?

    >(desirable terms for Protestants, I guess),

    No; desirable for anti-Catholics. The two are noit at all identical. Anti-Catholics are a small minority of all Protestants. I never was one when I was a Protestant.

    >Dave pantomimes declaring the Protestantism of the Steves as "dumb" in various ways

    Yes; I think it (i.e., the anti-Catholicism, not the Protestantism) is intellectual suicide and beneath contempt. That's why I no longer debate those with such a position. It isn't respectable enough to debate. I don't know if you are an anti-Catholic or not. If you are, then this will be our last exchange too.

    >and announces this to be the inevitable consequence of permitting challenges to self-assigned titles.

    I did?

    >But there is a difference (one I would have also believed self-evident) between claiming abortion is ultimately "genocide", Catholicism "Romanism", or Protestantism "anti-Catholicism", and dismissing any of them as "idiotism" or his other linguistic abominations.

    As already explained, that was in a particular rhetorical context of reductio ad absurdum. So you are already misrepresenting what I wrote and taking it out of context.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've posted a nicer-looking, hyper-linked, slightly-expanded version of the above on my blog (http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2005_06_12_socrates58_archive.html#111887733029647553)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, Dave, you seem to be using a second party as a stalking horse to go after me without actually engaging my arguments. Since I’ve already responded to you, and since you did nothing to rebut the last thing I wrote by way of reply, the ball is in your court to show where I went wrong. Otherwise, I win by default.

    Moving on, you said:

    << My terms were, of course, only rhetorical and examples of "illustrating absurdity by being absurd." I have no intention, of course, of actually using those terms in the literal humdrum, non-rhetorical sense. >>

    After I commented on this statement, you then offered a lengthy reply, beginning as follows:

    << The fallacy here is that rhetoric and argumentum ad absurdum is not intended "to be taken seriously at all." As anyone who understands logic and argumentation knows, this is most assuredly not the case…>>

    Literal versus non-literal usage has nothing to do with the definition of an ad hominem argument. It’s hardly my fault that you misdefined your own terms in the first outing, and then had to rush in with a patch-up job to shift the blame from you to me.

    I’d add that your attempt at an argumentum ad absurdum is fallacious, because the two cases are not parallel.

    Your original accusation was that my usage had no proper etymological pedigree. But as I’ve illustrated at length, this claim is demonstrably false.

    Conversely, your neologisms, by definition, have no etymological pedigree whatsoever.

    << Nevertheless, Steve and others insist on using these terms known to be pejoratives, IN PLACE OF the title that Catholics use for themselves and wish to be rederred as. This is the language of bigotry. >>

    Actually, I often use “Catholic” or “Roman Catholic” or “Catholicism” or “Roman Catholicism” for stylistic variation.

    << "Romanism", "popish," "papist," et al, on the other hand, are no longer used by scholars, since they are recognized in the dictionary and elsewhere as pejorative, hostile terms. The analogy simply doesn't fly. >>

    That’s because your “scholars” worship at the altar of political correctness. These are the sort of people that identify a jihadist who beheads a female hostage as a freedom fighter rather than a terrorist, much less a Muslim terrorist.

    << That's a value judgment, but it doesn't overcome the ethical responsibility to use the standard terms of address. We do for you. why can't you for us? >>

    I have no ethical responsibility to rubberstamp propaganda. To the contrary, I have an ethical responsibility to resist propaganda. There are all too many of pressure groups out there who insist on imposing their self-definition on the rest of us.

    << Indeed, but there is a huge difference here that you seem to overlook: at least I grant him the dignity of his Christianity and Christian beliefs (proven by your description above), whereas that is denied to me (on wrongheaded, erroneous grounds). It's fine to read me out of the faith altogether, yet I dare not refer to the Christianity of my opponent as "stunted and facile"! How DARE I do that! What am I, an uppity Romanist boy or something? >>

    Setting aside your puerile hyperbole and crybaby rhetoric (“how dare he…uppity Romanist boy…”), I have a principle disagreement with Catholicism, as I also have with a number of other belief-systems. So, no, no one gets a free ride here.

    How I “dignify” an opposing belief-system follows a sliding-scale depending on how much truth or error inheres in their belief-system. For example, I’m much more respectful of fundamentalism and Lutheranism because they’re much more respectable belief-systems. Calvinism has a family feud with fundamentalism and Lutheranism. We disagree, not on whether we are saved, but how we are saved—on how we account for our common salvation.

    A Lutheran or fundamentalist can make a credible profession of faith, whereas a Catholic cannot make a credible profession of faith, but--at most--a saving profession of faith, while a Muslim or Mormon or Hindu or Buddhist or Jew (except a Messianic Jew) can’t even make a saving profession of faith.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My apologies to Frank Turk for having compared you to him. That was a mistake. Next to you, he looks like Plato or Pascal.

    ReplyDelete