Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hubner's dissimulation

Jamin Hubner has done a couple of recent posts. Among other things, he says:

But seriously, can you imagine if our judgments on people’s character and the reliability of their work was based solely on the reading of other people‘s opinions of them? I don’t have to consult secondary sources on the work since I’m one to produce them.

That's simply a lie–which he keeps repeating ad nauseam. In addition to book reviews I've also cited Burge's op-ed pieces in Sojourners. That's Burge in his own words. And this is in the public domain:

No matter who or what group uses a particular source, that does not determine its truthfulness. The truth is true whether its used or abused, understood or misunderstood, popular or unpopular, etc.

i) That's fine if you already know that your source is truthful. But we generally turn to sources when we lack firsthand knowledge of the event. So the source is our source of information. In that case it would be credulous not to consider the quality of the source.

ii) A reporter's preexisting reputation is certainly germane to evaluating his credibility. Take Joseph Smith. The fact that he had a preexisting reputation as a charlatan (e.g. dabbled in the occult) rightly figures in how we evaluate his testimony.

We have to ask in situations like these: how does the author intend the source to be used? Since Tur (and Hays, who made the original accusation about Burge’s work being pro-Hamas) have not even read the original source themselves, they are incapable of even knowing what the author’s intention really is.

That's the fallacy of question-framing, where you act is if there's only one correct way of broaching the issue. But aside from book reviews, if Burge has also tipped his hand in other sources, you don't have to read his book to know his position. You can just as well get that from other things he's written.

All of this is a distraction from the truth and the main concerns that I’ve tried and contiually try to raise: whether or not “Israel” today is the “Israel” of OT...

A red herring–since I haven't used that argument.

...regardless of its continual cover-up of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Which begs the question.

Moreover, if Israel is engaged in a campaign of “ethic cleaning,” then it’s certainly a very inefficient campaign.

If there is some hidden pro-terrorist agenda behind this Wheaton NT professor’s work that we should know about, then perhaps that should be demonstrated before going any further.

A straw man. Obviously Burge doesn't see it that way. That's the nature of dupery. If you knew you were being duped, you wouldn't be a dupe.

But do any of these “reviews” (which I have looked at) really establish through adequate facts and documentation that this college professor is intentionally helping terrorists (a “shill for Hamas” promoting pro-Hamas “propaganda”) through his work or otherwise?

Notice the equivocation. Burge doesn't regard them as "terrorists," but as victims. He sees their response as self-defense.

Either Jamin is consciously caricaturing the objections or else he's so wrapped up in self-justification that he can't think clearly.

I’ve read the book! I know what’s in it.

And how is his vouching for the book different than a reviewer?

The burden of proof is to demonstrate that so-called pro-Hamas’ propaganda actually is pro-Hamas propaganda – if that’s what all of this is really about. (For me, it’s obviously more than that, esp. since I know that Burge’s assertions can/could have been substantiated by a number of other sources, as Burge says nothing profoundly new in the larger scheme of things.

i) Yes, he can cite other sources. For instance, he recently cited a thesis which contained supporting material like a video of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Seems to me that's a decidedly suspect source of information.

ii) Conversely, I've cited counterevidence. For instance:

That’s why I ignored this tangent on sources and sought to address the underlying presuppositions behind Hays’ violent reaction by asking him 3 simple questions, all three of which Hays (to my knowledge) has not to this day answered himself.

Like a lawyer asking "simple" questions.

(Oh, and I did just notice that this ‘Hamas Shill’ and Hamas ‘propagandist’ just wrote a new book endorsed by Craig Blomberg, Marshall, Longenecker and others).

So he's saying we should judge a book by hearsay?

Jamin continues to suffer from lack of responsible mentoring.


  1. I have a post of my own ready in response to Jamin, but I'm not sure whether it will actually do any good.

  2. Posted here: