Saturday, September 18, 2010

The elvesdidit

A Review of Who Was Jesus? by Acharya S
By John W. Loftus at 9/01/2007

Who Was Jesus?: Fingerprints of the Christ, by D.M. Murdock (a.k.a Acharya S) is a provocative look into what we can know about Jesus...In what I consider the best chapter of her book, Murdock spends 41 pages dealing with the “Questions About the Gospel Story.” She deals with such questions as the implausibility of certain miracles in the gospel stories like the purported virgin birth of Jesus, failed prophecies, chronological discrepancies, erroneous interpretations, and historical errors like Quirinius’ census, "Abiathar or Ahimelech," Mosaic authorship, and so forth. Then in the next chapter she effectively deals with Christian apologetic attempts to deal with these problems.

I'm gratified to learn that John Loftus and Acharya have such high standards of plausibility. Speaking of which–when I mouse over to her website:

• Phantom ships and sailors appear and disappear on lakes and the open seas.
• Cultures around the world claim to be descended from or taught by "sky people," reflecting that ancient man had the capacity to fly.
• Eskimos claim to have been brought north in "metal birds."
• Men dressed in black, often in the style of the day, have been reported for centuries. They sometimes seem quite malevolent or alien, or speak unintelligibly and do bizarre things like eat cigarettes.
• Giants, elves and alien creatures of all sorts have been reported for millennia to have descended from the skies or appeared out of the ground or from the ocean.
• Tiny, intricate artifacts such as spears and coffins are found that appear to have been made by elves.


  1. Isn't this a ad hominem argument?

  2. It's a tu quoque argument.

  3. Not to split hairs, but isn't tu quoque simply a type of ad hominem since it is still appealing to some feature of the person rather than features of the person's argument?

    I'm trying to hone my argument recognition skills.

  4. This is not a question of attacking somebody's character (although there are times when that's appropriate), but pointing out inconsistencies in their standards and/or the application of their standards. That's a perfectly legitimate move.

    There's more to argumentation than proof. There's also persuasion. Is the disputant sincere? Does he really believe what he is saying?

    In fact, proof is not an end in itself. What's the point of trying to prove something to a second party unless you're also trying to persuade the second party?