Friday, January 04, 2008

David Armstrong Assists James Swan while insulting him

In a recent post (link), Dave Armstrong attempts to take on James Swan, who has been establishing that Luther was taken out of context, and that it was made to appear that Luther said something he did not. Dave has (for some odd reason) misinterpreted Swan's task as an, and I quote, "Effort to Liquidate the Honourable Endeavour of Catholic Apologetics" (British spellings in original).

After a lengthy attempted demonstration to poison the well by establishing that James Swan is a inane mudslinger ("his almost daily inanities and mudslinging"), Dave finally gets around to making some attempt at argument. The result is comical.

First Dave pulls the reverse ad hominem, by establishing that "Leibniz has been estimated to have possessed an IQ of 176" (link in original), that Leibniz was a Lutheran, and that Leibniz cited the same source that someone else (Dave is not real specific here, possibly he means Balmes) did. The "he's a genius so he must have been right in this instance" argument is a classic example of the fallacy of "argument from authority."

Next, Dave collates several Latin citations, and compares them to an alleged German original. Finally Dave establishes that real differences exist between the alleged German original and the collated Latin translations.

Finally, Dave concludes by (apparently) blaming Protestants for the difference between the Latin and the German.

I think what Dave has demonstrated is that, in fact, the Latin translation is inaccurate at the critical point for which the Latin translation (or a variant thereof) is being used. In short, Steve Ray following in the footsteps of other Catholic apologists misquoted Luther. I'd welcome different opinions of Dave's post, but that's mine for now.


UPDATE: More of Dave's obsession with James Swan in this more recent post (4 January 2008).

UPDATE: Dave has updated the article linked to above, which this post addresses. Accordingly, the summary above is incomplete, as he has added more material. He has also added a new post (link) that is really pointless from where I'm standing, at least as far as the citation debate goes. For some reason Dave confuses Leibniz's mistaken claim that Luther was a glutton (a claim that is objectively false) with Calvin's harshly critical, yet opinionated words about Luther's character.

1 comment:

James Swan said...

thanks for alerting me to this. I knew I was right.