Bob's blog – A skeptical lawyer

Biblical inerrancy – The silent lie

Posted on July 19, 2019

      Judge Frank M. Coffin, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, wrote, “The most telling discovery a judge can make is that a brief has neglected to deal with an issue.”[1]  Judge Coffin understood that people who have no intelligent response to an argument will […]…Continue reading

Biblical inerrancy – Crabtree’s Bludgeon

Posted on July 8, 2019

    In a previous post, Biblical Inerrancy – Fixed Ideas and Occam’s Razor, I gave my two cents about how belief in biblical inerrancy requires evangelical Christians to explain away hundreds of errors and contradictions in the Bible. Evangelicals must ignore Occam’s razor and instead employ its polar opposite – Crabtree’s Bludgeon. Crabtree’s Bludgeon […]…Continue reading

Biblical inerrancy – Fixed ideas and Occam’s razor

Posted on July 5, 2019

Most evangelical Christians believe Biblical inerrancy forms the foundation of Christian faith.  Biblical inerrancy means that Scripture is:    (1) without error or fault in all its teaching.  (2) internally consistent and without contradiction, and (3) scientifically and historically accurate. Biblical inerrancy can be a fixed idea The dictionary defines a fixed idea as “an […]…Continue reading

Loaded words and eyewitness testimony

Posted on February 23, 2019

A loaded word is a “word, set phrase or idiom that has strong positive or negative connotations beyond its ordinary definition.” For example, comedian and political commentator Bill Maher has called the Old Testament a book of Jewish fairy tales. Maher uses the term “fairy tales” because it has strong negative connotations. There is nothing […]…Continue reading

False dilemma – Lewis’ trilemma and other failures of imagination

Posted on January 1, 2019

A false dilemma is a logical fallacy in which something is presented as an either/or situation when more than two alternatives exist. If your boss tells you, “My way or the highway,” that’s a dilemma, but is it a real dilemma or a false dilemma? Your boss intends to impose a real dilemma by giving […]…Continue reading

Argumentum ad verecundiam – fancy Latin name for trusting experts

Posted on May 12, 2018

“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Actor Chris Robinson – who portrayed Dr. Rick Webber on the daytime drama General Hospital – touted Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup, and the commercial actually sold a lot of syrup. In fact, the advertisement was so effective that Vicks remade it with another TV […]…Continue reading

Definitions

Posted on April 22, 2018

      ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be […]…Continue reading

One-sided assessment – Opie Taylor and John Stuart Mill

Posted on February 17, 2018

    In The Andy Griffith Show, Opie Taylor learned a lesson about honesty when he tried to sell his bike to another kid without revealing several mechanical defects. Andy put a spoke in Opie’s wheel by disclosing said defects. Andy explained, “If you’re selling something, the buyer has a right to know everything wrong […]…Continue reading