Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Instant-expert syndrome

Steve Hays provides yet another response (“Dupes for Hamas”) to our exchange. I’d love to continue to respond to his questions (e.g. discussing such events as Deir Yassin massacre...

Once again, Jamin unwittingly illustrates what’s so wrongheaded with his approach. His gullibility. His one-sidedness.

He suffers from instant-expert syndrome. That’s why Manata had to correct his excursions into logic, as well as his excursions into Molinism.

What about the so-called “Deir Yassin massacre”? The difficulty in assessing this case is that we’re confronted with conflicting accounts. To take a few examples:

You have biased Arab sources and biased Jewish sources, so who’s right and who’s wrong?

Is Jamin qualified to sift the evidence? Does Jamin know modern Hebrew and Arabic? Does Jamin have access to the primary sources? Has Jamin been to the site? Has Jamin interviewed survivors? Has he combed through archives? 

If Jamin were prudent, he’d suspend judgment. He has no expertise to properly investigate and evaluate this incident. But he doesn't know his limitations. 

And it is by all means clear that Steve does not want to (and perhaps, because he cannot) provide a positive case for his own position, let alone summarize in this part we realize that Steve has no interest in talking about the fundamental issues of present-day Israel and Christian theology.

I realize that it’s in Jamin’s self-interest to change the subject, but the thesis of my initial post was very modest and narrowly-targeted. So, no, I don’t have to chase Jamin down diversionary rabbit trails.  

1 comment:

  1. "He suffers from instant-expert syndrome."

    This arrow is on target, and I hope it lands with sufficient force to effect some change.

    What drove this home to me, prior to Hay's pithy label, was tooling around on and finding that Hubner lists his "areas of expertise" as:
    1. Reformed Theology/Calvinism
    2. Faith and Film
    3. Apologetic Method
    4. Presuppositional Apologetics
    5. Hyper-Dispensationalism
    6. Scriptural Inerrancy

    My goodness, such broad fields all. I can't imagine what it would even mean for someone to claim to be an expert with regard to "Reformed Theology/Calvinism" writ large. That's not how expert specialization works.

    But his is surely a listing of subject expertise that even a double PhD would think about thrice or so prior to hanging up his shingle.

    Employing just a look-around-town epistemology, I'd dare say that Hubner's mentor, Dr. White, has invested significantly more time and effort in his study of Islam and the Qur'an and a Christian response to both than has Hubner
    in any of the areas of expertise he claims. Yet, on my listens, Dr. White refers to himself as a student and denies being an expert.

    It appears that Hubner views the expertise bar as being pretty low off the ground.

    "He suffers from instant-expert syndrome."