EDWARD T. BABINSKI SAID:
"That's not addressing the point I made in my chapter. The point was that the Bible tells us that objects in the sky were moving, stars, constellations, the sun, and some verses even state that God was directing such movements. But the movements that the ancients saw were only apparent. The stars coursing? That's because the earth rotates. The constellations rising and falling on the horizon throughout the year? That's because the earth circles the sun annually. But "God" is praised for directing, moving such objects. But they aren't moving, not at all. It's like praising God for making the trees go by when you're driving down the street."
There’s nothing wrong with attributing relative motion to divine agency. And one frame of reference is mathematically equivalent to another. Consider the alternative scenarios of Newton and Mach on the rotating bucket.
At the purely descriptive level, it’s isn’t even meaningful to say that one moves around the other–rather than vice versa. Absolute motion is a useful fiction–nothing more. For the sun is also moving in relation to other reference frames. The reason we say the earth moves around the sun is because we assign a causal priority to the sun, viz. gravity–like Bas van Fraassen’s example of the flagpole’s shadow. There’s a causal asymmetry between the two, despite a kinematic symmetry.
Or do you think we should revert to Newtonian physics, with its stipulative categories of absolute time, space, and motion?
“That means they perceived the earth as stationary, exactly as other verses state, God "has established the earth, it shall not be moved."”
Which has reference to seismic activity, not celestial motion. You continue to retroject Ptolemaic astronomy back onto texts that are innocent of any such theoretical concerns.
“So they believed God's power was demonstrated in both cases, in the case of daily and seasonal movements of celestial objects in the sky above the earth, and in the case of keeping the earth still, unmoved.”
Why should there be seasonal variations in their perceived position if the earth were flat? Wouldn’t that involve a static relation? Seasonal variations in their perceived position assume a spherical earth (i.e. axial tilt) revolving around the sun.
“That's my argument from the chapter, and it demonstrates that the ancients did not perceive the earth as moving, but believed all of the objects in the sky were moving.”
No. What it demonstrates is that Ed Babinski is projecting his wooden interpretation onto the text. It doesn’t begin to show that this is what the text mean to the ancients.
One of your chronic problems is how you act as though you can construe a literary description in isolation to the outside world which the author and reader daily observe beyond the words on the page. But the ancients were quite able to compare a literary description with their real world experience.
For instance, they traveled widely. On ships or by land (e.g. trade routes). They knew perfectly well that the real world extended beyond the horizon-line of a mountaintop view.
Likewise, explorers could observe changes in the position of the constellations at different latitudes. Cf. Charles Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings; Christina Roseman, Pytheas of Massalia: On the Ocean.
That’s not consistent with a flat-earth cosmography.
“About your view that to shake a flat earth means to shove things off its edges, all I can say is that neither Egypt nor Babylon nor Israel believed that they lived at the edge of the earth.”
i) That’s another example of your incorrigible naiveté. Even if (ad arguendo) royal propaganda located the kingdom at the center of the universe, royal historians knew enough about the actual geography of a far-flung empire not to take that literally.
ii) Moreover, if you place a marble in the center of a table, and shake the table (sideways or up and down), the marble will roll off the table.
“They each perceived their nation as lying at the center of the earth. I point this out in an endnote in my chapter.”
Which is a good example of your shoddy scholarship. You cite White’s off-discredited Warfare opus as your source of information (TCD 138n34). In the meantime, you ignore real scholarship dealing with your prooftext. But your interpretation is dubious. Cf. Daniel Block, The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 25-48, 447-48.
“Neither does the Bible say God shakes the earth at a 90% angle. Neither do you have to interpret the line in Job (about God picking up the earth by its edges to shake the wicked out of it) in a fundamentalist fashion. I do not interpret it that way in my chapter. I cited that verse as a metaphor that coincides with the ancient flat earth perception of the cosmos as found in other verses in Job and the Bible.”
If you now admit we should avoid construing this type of imagery in “fundamentalist fashion,” but instead make allowance for figures of speech, then that sinks your entire argument.