Dumplin' Gets NakedAugust 3, 2008 vs Dumplin Dumbash
Yawn...another 10 minutes of my week devoted to a refutation of Dumplin' Dumbash...what? Sorry, I fell asleep. I mean, who wouldn't with a guy who, wanting information on something like Dunning's Syndrome, turns first to Wikipedia for information, and then thinks I get the name of it wrong because he can't find an entry for it that way (never occurs to him that that's my OWN ivented term for it...duh ah....). But today Dumplin' Dunning Syndrome wants to whine about the trilemma some more, and this is where Dumplin' plays dumb by claiming that he doesn't know (duh) how to define "god." That the definition might have been readily found within the context of the Jewish social and thought world in which Jesus spoke and lived doesn't occur to him. Dumplin' doesn't know why I call this problem of his an "epistemological train wreck" and he wouldn't, as stupid as he is. I don't call it that because he is "making an epistemological argument." I call it that because -- as he has just ironically illustrated -- his means of acquiring what he knows comes from sources guaranteed to cause train wrecks, such as Wikipedia. His ignorance is the train wreck. It would never occur to him to go past grade-school scholarship to read works by credentialed scholars such as Hengel or Sanders, so he can find out what Jesus meant when he and his contemporaries used the word "god" and therefore what it means to them to "be God." Dumplin' is just plain dumb to not know to look in this direction for the answer.
Sadly, his only answer is his old canard, "waaah, God is not kissing my butt like Jesus said he would," saying he determined that Jesus was not God, on the grounds that the kind of involved, caring, intimate God that Jesus preached is not consistent with the lack of divine parental involvement we find in real life. And as we have noted, but which Dumplin' is too stupid to answer, his idea of such a God to be found in the Bible is a product of his own neurotic, decontextualized exegesis. The God Jesus described was seldom involved in human affairs; was not "caring" in the modern sentimental sense but was the embodiment of agape, and was neveer, never, never "intimate" with anyone in the sense the word is used today.
Dumplin' from here goes on to claim that he's not really evading the Trilemma by changing the subject, but sorry, he is -- he's expanded the Trilemma to include non-Trilemma issues; e.g., "how do we know Jesus said this" and "how do we know God exists." This is like a Skeptic answering arguments for the resurrection, or even the Trilemma, by appealing to the idea that Jesus never existed. It's not the same argument, period. And whether he likes it or not, "honestly mistaken" is as worthwhile an alternative as "Jesus was an alien from Kronk with super powers." Dumplin's scenario of a Jesus who had a "mistaken conviction that he had achieved some kind of mystical unity with God" is as alien to the context of first century Jewish Palestine as the idea that Jesus...was an alien. Such a confusion of identity as Dumplin' suggests -- that Jesus "could have been referring to the God Who was working in and through him" when he referred to himself -- is a contrivance that deserves no consideration.
Dumplin' does rightly say:
Meanwhile, I did go on to consider the "Liar" and "Lunatic: alternatives as well, pointing out that Jesus' behavior gives us a certain amount of evidence that is consistent with the possibility that his drive to build up a grassroots power base might have made use of deception and/or self-deception. Holding dismisses this as "comical for its ignorance of the political realities of the day," by which I suppose me means it would be silly to think a first century Jew could gain a following by giving out the impression that he was the Son of God. Or something.
Nope. That was it. It is indeed silly to think such a thing. Giving out the impression that one was the Son of God would have gained one a stoning, not a grassroots political base. In all of this Dumplin' continues to be ignorant of the agonistic tenor of the Greco-Roman world that would have governed such impressions. He'll find nothing much on Wikipedia to help him understand this -- nor in his coloring books.
Versus his idea that Jesus "enjoyed having power over people, and having them submit and obey," Dumplin' still can't find a text that actually says Jesus "enjoyed" such a thing; instead, his inferiority complex continues to read it into texts, such as where Jesus "praised people who abased themselves and exalted him, like the centurion in Matthew 8." Oh sure. That compliment to the centurion's faith -- all of a single sentence -- sure shows Jesus to be an egomaniac revelling in all the attention, doesn't it? Please.
Then Dumplin' makes hash of the story of the Gentile woman, and I do mean hash; Dumplin' is ignorant of the social contest going on in this story (see here, section D), and sorry, there's not a bit of "grovelling" or "begging" by the woman. See also here. Sorry, Dumpy, it's not Wikipedia; it's a lot harder.
Finally, Dumplin' chases his tail in a circle when he appeals to the "triumphal entry" as some sort of ego-building exercise, because Jesus didn't stop the adulation --which tends to ignore the point that if Jesus was who he claimed to be, stopping it would have been the wrong thing to do. But really, the bottom line which refutes Dumplin' is the simple point that "ego" as a concept did not yet exist and would not come to exist until the modern age of individualism. Therefore the lomger Dumplin' "stands by" his assessment, the stupider he looks. He can't find a text that says Jesus "enjoyed" the adulation; he has to make it up to fit his thesis. I grasp your point perfectly, Dumplin' -- but if you comb your hair just right, it won't show. Now dig into Malina and Neyrey's Portraits of Paul: An Archaeology of Ancient Personality and try to figure out why your thesis is anachronistic. Then address ALL of my trilemma material. Don't bring your crayons.
In the end, Dumplin' can't grasp himself how it is that "I an the Father are one" was a statement of identity. He thinks this only means modalism, but that's what you get from someone ignorant of Trinitarianism. Yoo hoo, Dumplin'. More homework. No crayons again.
The bottom line is that Dumplin' is an overwhelmingly flawed moron. He's flawed in his premises, he's flawed in his selection of premises, he's flawed in his evaluation of the evidence and in his selection of which evidence to examine, and above all he's flawed in his contrived conclusions. Jesus said a number of things that, like so many of his other teachings, are very clear to anyone who cracks open sources other than Wikipedia, and which are to be interpreted as a references to his own deity. Certainly his subsequent followers interpreted them that way (though none of the later, heretical ones who, like Dumplin', decontextualzied to get what they wanted).
After that, one more time with the "waaah, God didn't show up" canard. Dumplin' -- grow up, you pathetic little infant.