Saturday, May 10, 2014

Just Answer The Question!!

I have overloaded myself with blog and internet discussions and must back off a bit in order to re-organize both priorities regarding which discussions to continue as well as how much personal time I spend doing so.  Two in  particular require the study of articles and opinions in order to properly familiarize myself with the details.  Then, I can plan how best to re-engage so as to stay on track in dealing with the most important points related to them.  Sounds like work.  But then, I did publicly commit and it would be bad form to bail out now. 

Yet, I still try to keep up with the newer discussions, and a quick comment here and there is no different than any quick face-to-face chit-chat in which one might engage in the course of one's busy day.  This here post is being composed while enjoying a late breakfast before chores.  I often sit before the computer while eating, as dinner is the only meal the family regularly shares together. 

Anyway, I've been keeping an eye on the new discussion at Dan's blog, between he had Bubba.  It began elsewhere and as it was off topic there, Dan invited Bubba to carry on with him there.  It is reserved for just the two of them as they both expressed the desire that it remain so. 

There is still, for me, some level of interest and entertainment in witnessing the discussion.  I should have started a pool, or established some over/under wager on the amount of time before Dan two-stepped away from answering a simple and direct question.  It came in the very first response to Bubba's initial comment.  Getting direct answers to simple and direct questions has always been the challenge for people dealing with Dan.  Ambiguity is essential to his belief system.  The more ambiguity, the easier it is to believe as one finds personally favorable. 

Conversely, few of Dan's questions are direct and simple.  They often are leading questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no lest a wrong understanding results, which is pretty much guaranteed.  When I've been faced with such questions by him, I've always endeavored to answer directly and then immediately supply the details with the qualifications that must be presented in order to prevent misunderstanding, but too often (if not always) only the initial "yes" or "no" from me is heard or recorded to then be used against me.

This is what Bubba will have to deal with throughout the exercise for as long as it might last, which is always uncertain. 

As to the two-stepping, there are a few initial questions Bubba poses.  He allows Dan to pick one to answer if that is preferable to Dan.  Here are some of them:

--Do you believe in orthodoxy and heresy as real categories and not just traditional understandings?

--Do you really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?

These two are really just set-ups for the even more direct questions that follow,  but they are quite direct in themselves insofar as one person is directing the questions specifically to one specific person alone in order to draw out that specific person's own personal opinion.  Get that?  It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because I'm asking YOU!

Next comes the two requests, with clarifying explanations afterwards that don't seem to sink in.  Again, they are quite direct and really require nothing more than a direct answer:

-- NAME ONE ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.

-- NAME ONE CLEAR TEACHING OF THE BIBLE.

Bubba then offers two that Dan can use as answers of his own:  The existence of God, and, the historicity of Jesus.

Dan's subsequent responses do little to clarify his position mostly due to the fact that he insists upon consideration for the positions of others.  All of that is irrelevant.  In other words, who cares?  It is DAN'S own position/opinion that is sought, so none of that superfluous crap has any value.  

I have to admit that I need to review the response a few times.  Because Dan is so evasive (under the pretense of seeking clarification), I don't want to misconstrue his positions.  What's more, the conversation is ongoing and I also don't want to misconstrue Bubba's intentions in asking the questions he's asking.  We'll have to wade through the voluminous non-answers Dan will supply to see if a legitimate answer is put forth.  It would help if he'd just answer the question.  But I believe he does as he does because just answering the questions put forth to him would provoke admission that his positions are untenable.  The end of his back and forth with Bubba will demonstrate just how honestly he seeks the truth.


12 comments:

Craig said...

I just checked on the thread at Dan's after an incredibly busy weekend. This conversation is becoming very close to one that has happened before and I've noticed a couple of troubling trends. First, Dan has already shifted to asking questions instead of answering and into I won't answer until you do mode. Second, he's laid out the foundation for the "I believe there are Truths (or Essentials or whatever), but that there is no way for fallible human beings to know those things with 100% accuracy". Third is the oldie but goodie the "Can we not agree on...".

The second is one of Dan's positions which is logically unassailable from his perspective since so much of it relies on personal subjective experience.

As of right now, I'm predicting that no clear direct answers will be forthcoming.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

This is exactly why I say it is a waste of time dealing with Trabue. He is unteachable.

Marshall Art said...

I would say that Dan is married to his beliefs about what he likes and/or prefers to think Scripture says, so much so that he is wary of any discussion that force him to re-evaluate his positions. I think that explains his obfuscations and evasions, while at the same time, holding them up as straight-forward responses. But the two-step is clear and begins almost immediately. Take this, for example:

"Do you agree that the question "essential to WHOM?" is an important question to answer before answering the actual question?"

No. Absolutely and positively no, especially when the original question is directly squarely at him. Bubba gives him some wiggle room though in not responding in this way (in my opinion). The question is predicated solely on Dan's worldview, so "essential to whom" is irrelevant and unimportant. If one finds nothing essential, then "to whom" is meaningless. It's already a given that there is disagreement as to the details.

I don't know why it is so difficult for him to answer questions UNLESS he likes what he believes about what Scripture says more than what Scripture believes...if you get my meaning...and he is committed to those beliefs more than the desire to know the truth.

Craig said...

MA, I agree that Dan's question "TO whom?" is interesting and worthy of discussion. However, the original question is clearly addressed to Dan and his desire to avoid committing compels him to engage in obfuscation by clarification by asking questions that lead the conversation away from actually answering the question. We've all seen this and shouldn't be surprised.

Marshall Art said...

I don't know why, but Blogger seems to be acting up. It has always been the case that I get emails that show new comments to this blog. I can read the comments in my email inbox and then I'd see the comments posted here at the blog. Recently, I've seen comments post without my having first received an email, and one that didn't post despite having received and email. Just now, I got an email indicating that feo intended to post another of his famously idiotic comments and it hasn't appeared here at the blog. That's right and just on one level, but what if he wasn't the idiotic false priest he is and his comments were prized for wisdom and insights unique to a truly wise and insightful visitor? In that case, we'd lose. On the other hand, we lose anyway as we don't get to see feo's unique brand of baseless arrogance and projection, so mocking him isn't possible (well, we can, but why would we without one of his idiotic comments to provide the righteous justification for doing so?).

I must investigate this technological malfunction. Perhaps Blogger has a new "idiot filter" feature.

Feodor said...

The blind leading the blind.

Marshall Art said...

feo has definitely taken to replacing Parkie as the resident substance free troll. He no longer even tries. All that education. All those books...how sad.

Feodor said...

Books are not needed here. They're not even wanted. Or understood.

Marshall Art said...

You keep telling yourself that, feo. You poor pathetic fool.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Ambiguity is essential to his belief system. The more ambiguity, the easier it is to believe as one finds personally favorable.

Of course, it is silly to say that "ambiguity is essential to my belief system." I am not ambiguous in my beliefs.

On the other hand, I am not ARROGANT in my beliefs. Humility IS essential to my belief system.

But then, humility is essential to ALL Christian belief systems ("essential" meaning, "of the essence of..." it is a clear, central tenet of Christianity.)

Do you disagree?

Do you conflate someone being humble - making it clear "this is MY opinion, I'm not speaking for God, nor am I speaking for 'all people...' - with being ambiguous?

And, of course, my beliefs are NOT what "I find personally favorable." That would be a clearly false statement.

I do not find it "personally favorable" to be mocked, rejected, abused and have my Christianity and decency constantly questioned because of some of the very hard positions I take because I think they are RIGHT, not because I find them "personally favorable."

I don't find it "personally favorable" to have former friends and loved ones reject me because of my hard-fought belief systems, values and decisions I have reached in striving to walk in Jesus' steps.

Why is it not enough to simply say, "I disagree with Dan's conclusions" rather than falsely denigrating my motives - motives about which you are wholly ignorant and factually mistaken?

Marshall...

Conversely, few of Dan's questions are direct and simple. They often are leading questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no lest a wrong understanding results, which is pretty much guaranteed.

Do you see how, when I want a direct answer, to you the questions are "leading" but when YOU want a direct answer, there is no excuse for not just giving a direct answer.

As I have demonstrated at your next post, I can/could have EASILY answered a direct "Dan, what do YOU think is an essential Christian teaching?" if that was the question asked. I could easily answer, "Dan, to YOU, what is an obviously clear scripture?" with a direct, clear response.

As it is, those were NOT the questions asked. Bubba was not asking me for my opinion. He wanted me to answer THIS question:

"Dan, for ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, what is an essential Christian teaching?"

Which is a different question.

Do you understand that this is a different question?

Given that Bubba was not asking for my opinion, but for my opinion about what "everyone" thinks, my asking for a clarification was in order?

Do you agree with me that there is no evidence for which I can give an answer "for everyone?"

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Ambiguity is essential to his belief system. The more ambiguity, the easier it is to believe as one finds personally favorable.

Of course, it is silly to say that "ambiguity is essential to my belief system." I am not ambiguous in my beliefs.

On the other hand, I am not ARROGANT in my beliefs. Humility IS essential to my belief system.

But then, humility is essential to ALL Christian belief systems ("essential" meaning, "of the essence of..." it is a clear, central tenet of Christianity.)

Do you disagree?

Do you conflate someone being humble - making it clear "this is MY opinion, I'm not speaking for God, nor am I speaking for 'all people...' - with being ambiguous?

And, of course, my beliefs are NOT what "I find personally favorable." That would be a clearly false statement.

I do not find it "personally favorable" to be mocked, rejected, abused and have my Christianity and decency constantly questioned because of some of the very hard positions I take because I think they are RIGHT, not because I find them "personally favorable."

I don't find it "personally favorable" to have former friends and loved ones reject me because of my hard-fought belief systems, values and decisions I have reached in striving to walk in Jesus' steps.

Why is it not enough to simply say, "I disagree with Dan's conclusions" rather than falsely denigrating my motives - motives about which you are wholly ignorant and factually mistaken?

Marshall...

Conversely, few of Dan's questions are direct and simple. They often are leading questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no lest a wrong understanding results, which is pretty much guaranteed.

Do you see how, when I want a direct answer, to you the questions are "leading" but when YOU want a direct answer, there is no excuse for not just giving a direct answer.

As I have demonstrated at your next post, I can/could have EASILY answered a direct "Dan, what do YOU think is an essential Christian teaching?" if that was the question asked. I could easily answer, "Dan, to YOU, what is an obviously clear scripture?" with a direct, clear response.

As it is, those were NOT the questions asked. Bubba was not asking me for my opinion. He wanted me to answer THIS question:

"Dan, for ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, what is an essential Christian teaching?"

Which is a different question.

Do you understand that this is a different question?

Given that Bubba was not asking for my opinion, but for my opinion about what "everyone" thinks, my asking for a clarification was in order?

Do you agree with me that there is no evidence for which I can give an answer "for everyone?"

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Ambiguity is essential to his belief system. The more ambiguity, the easier it is to believe as one finds personally favorable.

Of course, it is silly to say that "ambiguity is essential to my belief system." I am not ambiguous in my beliefs.

On the other hand, I am not ARROGANT in my beliefs. Humility IS essential to my belief system.

But then, humility is essential to ALL Christian belief systems ("essential" meaning, "of the essence of..." it is a clear, central tenet of Christianity.)

Do you disagree?

Do you conflate someone being humble - making it clear "this is MY opinion, I'm not speaking for God, nor am I speaking for 'all people...' - with being ambiguous?

And, of course, my beliefs are NOT what "I find personally favorable." That would be a clearly false statement.

I do not find it "personally favorable" to be mocked, rejected, abused and have my Christianity and decency constantly questioned because of some of the very hard positions I take because I think they are RIGHT, not because I find them "personally favorable."

I don't find it "personally favorable" to have former friends and loved ones reject me because of my hard-fought belief systems, values and decisions I have reached in striving to walk in Jesus' steps.

Why is it not enough to simply say, "I disagree with Dan's conclusions" rather than falsely denigrating my motives - motives about which you are wholly ignorant and factually mistaken?

Marshall...

Conversely, few of Dan's questions are direct and simple. They often are leading questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no lest a wrong understanding results, which is pretty much guaranteed.

Do you see how, when I want a direct answer, to you the questions are "leading" but when YOU want a direct answer, there is no excuse for not just giving a direct answer.

As I have demonstrated at your next post, I can/could have EASILY answered a direct "Dan, what do YOU think is an essential Christian teaching?" if that was the question asked. I could easily answer, "Dan, to YOU, what is an obviously clear scripture?" with a direct, clear response.

As it is, those were NOT the questions asked. Bubba was not asking me for my opinion. He wanted me to answer THIS question:

"Dan, for ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, what is an essential Christian teaching?"

Which is a different question.

Do you understand that this is a different question?

Given that Bubba was not asking for my opinion, but for my opinion about what "everyone" thinks, my asking for a clarification was in order?

Do you agree with me that there is no evidence for which I can give an answer "for everyone?"