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No true Scotsman, no true Christian.

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posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:53 PM
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For the OP:


I should have clarified my point with one thing: there is no such thing as a definably true Christian as there are fundamental dogmatic or doctrinal issues on nearly every point and for good reason.

So, if you had argued, as in your example,


If you point out an example of a Christian doing something wrong in the name of their religion,...

Then your opponent would be objectively correct to point out


"Well, they're not a true Christian"

Since, there is, and I now quote the World's Leading Authority, "no such thing."

So, a fallacious argument, according to you, gets a provably correct answer, according to you.

Fascinating.




posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 04:34 AM
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To be a christian all you have to do is accept Jesus as your lord and savior and ask forgiveness for your sins. If you accept Jesus then you accept his teachings of peace and love my friend. That simple



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 07:09 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


Hey look, it's someone who doesn't understand a logical fallacy trying to create an idiotic rambling insult. You clearly missed the point that I'm using informal language, I'm not creating logical syllogisms here. Preying upon sloppy use of language is the worst sort of semantics game.

Oh, and you're guilty of once more omitting useful information from your response.


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
A Christian can only be defined in the loosest sense. A follower of a religion founded around the 'mythology' of Jesus.


You can define a Christian, it's just an incredibly loose definition
edit on 16/3/11 by madnessinmysoul because: quote fix.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 07:11 AM
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reply to post by BreezeLike
 


Have you bothered to actually read a Bible?



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 08:26 AM
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You can define a Christian, it's just an incredibly loose definition

Madness, you claimed in your OP that the Christian in your example was typical of Christians and other theists in being guilty of a logical fallacy.


Honestly, I just had to highlight this atrocious display of fallacious logic for everyone because it happens so often.

Shortly afterwards, you reach the same conclusion as your example opponent did. Then, when that misstep is pointed out to you, suddenly the thread's not about logic,


You clearly missed the point that I'm using informal language, I'm not creating logical syllogisms here.


Ironically, what is the essence of the thread topic, the "No True Scotsman" fallacy?

It is to use double-talk in a failed attempt to cover over a gaffe, rather than to admit error.

And that is exactly what you did. First, you misidentified this fallacy, just as you regularly misidentify fallacies based on appeal to popularity and authority. Then, you flatly contradicted yourself. Then, when that was pointed out, you committed the cousin of the thread-topic fallacy, just as you regularly commit the fallacy of ad hominem argumentation, this thread being no exception.


Hey look, it's someone who doesn't understand a logical fallacy trying to create an idiotic rambling insult.

You talk a good game, madness. Unfortunately, your play speaks for itself.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 09:26 AM
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Once again, I'm not really understanding how the "True Scotsman" story in any way applies to Christianity.

In actually, it is only applicable for someone who actually IS something, not for someone who claims to be something. In the quoted example, as I said, the Aberdeen man is Scottish, and thus Hamish McDonald needs to qualify him as not being a "True Scotsman".

Suppose, for example, that I claim to be an "honest person". Subsequently, you catch me in a lie, or find out that I've been arrested for theft. Are you going to say "adjensen isn't a 'true honest person'", or would you simply say that "adjensen isn't an honest person, his claims to the contrary"?

The need for the first claim -- that one is not a "true Scotsman" -- stems from the fact that the person cannot be disputed as being a Scotsman, since they were born or live in Scotland. But such is not needed for the determination of a Christian -- they either are a Christian, or they are not, but it is by attestation, which is obviously disputable.

There are not really degrees of being a Christian -- you either are or you are not, and if you intentionally ignore the teachings of Christ, no matter what you might claim, you are not a Christian. In other words, Christianity is not an inherent attribute which is applied to people unconditionally, as "being a Scot" or "being a man" or "being six feet tall" would be.

That's the logical fallacy: the "true Scotsman" claim stems from a condition that does not exist in an attribute which is attested to, but is not inherent.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


There's a problem, and I've already stated it. You said ignore the teachings of Christ...ok, and which interpretation of those teachings do you happen to be using.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


You don't get a proper response now. You've just falsely accused me of an ad hominem attack. I told you I'm using informal language, I'm not carefully picking each and every word I say. The example stands. A person who commits heinous acts can still be a Christian.

Is Ted Haggard still a Christian? Was his status as a Christian only temporarily revoked by his hypocrisy? Is a Christian only defined as an individual who never makes a mistake?



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


You're correct. For the Scotsman fallacy to apply to Christianity it would require "Christians" to be identified as such by birth. But Christian isn't a quality of birth, but one that's achieved by faith and deed. A person's own words cannot be used as a factor because people can either be deceiving you (Hitler) or themselves (false prophet).
Christ even specifically told us to beware of the false prophets who would come in His name.

It's comparing apples to oranges.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


Except that it doesn't...just because the initial example relates to a title conferred upon an individual via birth doesn't mean that all cases of it fall under that.

Some would say "No Christian would ever start a war" (someone provides a list of various Christians that started a war)..."Well, no true Christian has ever started a war"

I see this happening most often with the Phelps family. They are treated as if they aren't actually Christians when there isn't anything which they do that is in direct conflict with a reasonable interpretation of scripture.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


Except that it doesn't...just because the initial example relates to a title conferred upon an individual via birth doesn't mean that all cases of it fall under that.


Why not? The entire reason your Scotsman fallacy is one is because it's based upon birth, not by actions or beliefs.


Some would say "No Christian would ever start a war" (someone provides a list of various Christians that started a war)..."Well, no true Christian has ever started a war"


Example of this please. If I was a president and needed to start a war for X reason it would not be against the teachings of Christ. The Bible is littered with accounts of men of God starting wars.


I see this happening most often with the Phelps family. They are treated as if they aren't actually Christians when there isn't anything which they do that is in direct conflict with a reasonable interpretation of scripture.


So in order to be a billionaire or a Muslim all I need to do is claim to be one? Secondly, Christ warned of the wolves in sheep's clothing. Why is it so hard for skeptics to understand that if they are in sheep's clothing that's a metaphor for them claiming to be Christians when they are not? Lastly, the Phelps family's actions quite often go against the teachings of Christ, doesn't that show their true colors??



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by adjensen
 


There's a problem, and I've already stated it. You said ignore the teachings of Christ...ok, and which interpretation of those teachings do you happen to be using.


For purposes of your argument in the OP, it doesn't matter, because the delineation is a simple "yes/no", not "yes/no/not quite". Either you are a Christian or you are not, so if one takes umbrage with an ostensibly "Christian" person's behaviour, they can determine that person to not be a Christian (from their perspective.)

I honestly have no clue where you're going with this, because the OP was illogical, and the qualifications of "well, what is a Christian, then?" are irrelevant, as they may vary from person to person and have no bearing on the OP.

I think that Westboro Baptist should be the new Hitler in the application of Godwin's law -- when they come up, the discussion's over. But without that to fall back on, I will say that I do not consider Westboro Baptist to be Christian, in any way. They are "Baptist" only because the Baptists have a Congregationalist polity, so there is no over arching hierarchy to kick them out. Given that Westboro includes other Baptists among everyone that they think God hates (which boils down to everyone but them, of course,) it seems to be a relationship of convenience for the heretics, anyway.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by NOTurTypical

Some would say "No Christian would ever start a war" (someone provides a list of various Christians that started a war)..."Well, no true Christian has ever started a war"


Example of this please. If I was a president and needed to start a war for X reason it would not be against the teachings of Christ. The Bible is littered with accounts of men of God starting wars.


Interestingly, I ran across some useful statistics the other day when replying to someone who claimed that "almost every war is religiously motivated." I'll repost it here:

 



Because almost every war that has ever been fought has religion involved.


Not even close.

The "War Audit" (a research piece you can read here) charted the religious motivation behind the various major wars in history, on a scale of 0 to 5 (0 meaning no religion at all, 5 meaning the sole motivation was religion.) They found a grand total of three "5" wars -- the Muslim wars of 632-732, the Crusades, and the Reformation Wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. Over 60 percent of wars, however, rated a "zero", meaning that there was no religious factor AT ALL.

In reply to the question of whether wars have recently had an upturn in religious influence (the study was funded by the BBC to answer that question in the modern age,) the authors concluded:


After reviewing historical analyses by a diverse array of specialists, we concluded that there have been few genuinely religious wars in the last 100 years. The Israel/Arab wars from 1948 to now, often painted in the media and other places as wars over religion, or wars arising from religious differences, have in fact been wars of nationalism, liberation of territory or self-defense.


Historically, in only ten percent of all wars studied did the religious motivation score a three or higher -- so your claim that "almost every war" was due to religion is utterly wrong.
edit on 16-3-2011 by adjensen because: added "more" tag



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 




edit on 16-3-2011 by NOTurTypical because: Nevermind, I made an error.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 05:09 PM
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madness


A person who commits heinous acts can still be a Christian.

I hope so. That's much of the point of that religion, or so I've read from Christian sources.


Is Ted Haggard still a Christian?

Beats me. He seems to think he is:

www.tedhaggard.com...


Is a Christian only defined as an individual who never makes a mistake?

I've never seen that offered as a definition of Christian. Have you? A citation will be welcome. I thought being a human person was a necessary condition for being a Christian. No human person I've ever heard of never made any mistake.

Is it possible that you have confused being a Christian with, say, being some kind of spokesperson for Christianity, being in some leadership role within a Christian organization, or being someone whose behavior is widely admired by Christians?

Haggard (since you brought him up) seems to deal separately with questions about his qualifications for a church leadership role, being a pastor, and those about his personal relationship with God:

www.tedhaggard.com...

If there's one thing I've noticed about Christians, it is that they think everybody is a sinner, including themselves, including their saints or heroes, and including their clergy. The only one who seems to get a pass on being a sinner is Jesus himself, and maybe his mother. They're both off-Earth at the moment.

If you actually are looking to work on the True Scotsman issue, then I suggest you research the "Nixon Diamond," a staple of the default (, automated commonsense, defeasible, ...) reasoning community. I don't think Flew intended his example as a rejection of that work, on the contrary, probably the thought occurred to him that he was making a contribution to that sort of problem.

I am also pleased that Flew eventually had the wisdom to renounce atheism; disapppointed, of course, that he embraced theism in its deist inflection, but, then, not everyone is cut out to be an agnostic.



posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Just like no true atheist would ever accept God as being real, yet they do convert.

I do not say what you claim what I do say is many claim to know Christ yet do not follow his teaching.

They do acts in the name of Christianity, yet do not know the truth about the word of God.

Now this may play into your hand by saying this but it is true. Many do not read, study and pray to discern the meaning of the word of God.

May God Bless You with wisdom and Knowledge.



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 05:58 AM
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reply to post by ACTS 2:38
 



Originally posted by ACTS 2:38
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Just like no true atheist would ever accept God as being real, yet they do convert.


...no, they simply cease being atheists. And I've never claimed that an atheist would not convert, I acknowledge that it happens all the time...it's the Christians who claim that those Christians who become atheists were never true Christians.



I do not say what you claim what I do say is many claim to know Christ yet do not follow his teaching.

They do acts in the name of Christianity, yet do not know the truth about the word of God.


And yet there is no truth behind it. There is no uniform 'Christ's teachings' for people to accept. There is no concrete singular version of the 'word of God'. There is merely interpretation.



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 07:04 AM
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it's the Christians who claim that those Christians who become atheists were never true Christians.

"The" Christians claim this? Could you possibly mean that some Christians have said this about particular people who happened to become atheists after having professed Christianity?

Oddly, what I repeatedly read from some "converts from theism to atheism" is exactly the illegitimacy of their prior religious affiliation. It was "indoctrination," or "brain washing," or "child abuse." These people rejoice that these persuasion methods failed to take hold, which would imply the writer lacked enduring devotion to the object of persuasion.

Or is that what you meant? These current atheists who used to be in some sense Christians, are "the" Christians who claim that they themselves were never true Chrsitians?

If not, then maybe a specific example of what you are on about would be helpful. I would be especially interested in the criteria by which either "side" could confidently assess the quality of any other person's faith. That would be all the more interesting in the case of a person who was selected for examination because of the demonstrated lability of her faith(s).



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by ACTS 2:38
 



Originally posted by ACTS 2:38
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Just like no true atheist would ever accept God as being real, yet they do convert.


...no, they simply cease being atheists. And I've never claimed that an atheist would not convert, I acknowledge that it happens all the time...it's the Christians who claim that those Christians who become atheists were never true Christians.


Actually, in a very limited sense, you're right, though I don't think it's for the reason that you think it is.

Reformed theology (in the US, think Baptist and Presbyterian,) teaches that there is "true faith" and "temporary faith". It's a response to the concern that Lutherans had (bear in mind that it developed in the 16th Century) as to whether they would stay true to Christianity until it really mattered -- when you die. Saved today, fine, but how do you know that you're saved at all?

That's where the whole double predestination thing came out of, and how the "conversion experience" developed. As a Calvinist, you could differentiate between "true saving faith", which would last until you died, and "temporary faith", which was just superficial and would fade away, by a proper conversion experience, which demonstrated that you were one of the pre-chosen Elect. If you subsequently turned away and rejected your Christianity, as you say, your faith was deemed to have been "temporary faith."

For everyone who doesn't follow Reformed Theology, however, a Christian becoming an atheist is not a reflection on his faith, or whether he's a "true Christian." Prior to leaving the religion, if one is a Christian, one is a Christian. To me, the determination, after the fact, of temporary faith by a Calvinist seems a little disingenuous, but I'm not Reformed, so I'm probably not the greatest judge.



posted on Mar, 19 2011 @ 09:14 AM
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Any person who defines anything misses god.
God is everything.
To separate is conflict in itself.
I am is. I am this, you are that, is not.



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