Hinman’s Pathetic Defense of his Sad Little Argument

Hinman’s Pathetic Defense of his Sad Little Argument September 2, 2019

HINMAN’S SAD LITTLE ARGUMENT AGAINST THE SURVIVAL THEORY

In response to my criticism of Peter Kreeft’s weak and pathetic objections against the Survival Theory, Joe Hinman wrote the following in one of his blog posts:

The second issue Bowen argues the book of John Implies the Romans were confused about Jesus’ death, quotes passages John 19: 31-33 to prove the Romans may have thought he was alive. The reasoning is one soldier pierced Jesus’ side the only reason to do that was to see if he was dead. Therefore they didn’t really think he was dead. So apparently if they were confused he was alive? Of course they ignore the fact that the sticking would have proven he was dead because water coming out separate from blood proves heart is not working. Even so it’s that literalism that says it can’t be that they thought he was probably dead and just wanted to confirm it. …  [emphasis added]

The argument that Hinman puts forward here against the Survival Theory follows the miserable example of intellectual sloth by Peter Kreeft, being stated in a single unclear and sloppy sentence:

the sticking would have proven he was dead because water coming out separate from blood proves heart is not working.

In standard form, this sad and way too brief argument may be stated as follows:

1. Water coming out separate from blood proves [the] heart is not working.

THEREFORE:

2. Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was still on the cross.

Another premise is needed in order to get to what is actually the desired but unstated conclusion:

3. If Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross, then it is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.

THEREFORE:

4. It is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.

Premise (1) must be immediately REJECTED by anyone who is knowledgeable about this issue.

First, even eyewitness testimony by a trustworthy person who was present at the crucifixion of Jesus CANNOT ESTABLISH that “water” came out of any part of Jesus’ body. This is because many different liquids LOOK LIKE water, and nobody did a chemical analysis of the liquid, or even tasted or smelled the liquid in order to verify that it was just water. So, no ancient historical document can establish that “water” came out of some part of Jesus’ body.

Second, most of the Christian apologists and medical investigators who have suggested theories about the medical cause of Jesus’ death DO NOT BELIEVE that the transparent (or translucent) substance that (allegedly) came from Jesus’ wound was WATER. Instead, they believe it was pleural or pericardial fluids, or urine, or…?  NOBODY thinks that it was “water” that came out of Jesus’ wound!

Let me try to improve and clarify the first premise of Hinman’s sad little argument:

1A. Fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately.

1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately, THEN Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.

THEREFORE:

2. Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.

3. If Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross, then it is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.

THEREFORE:

4. It is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.

This is what a clear and intelligent argument looks like, and this is merely a high-level summary of an actual argument.  The basic premises (1A) and (1B), for example, BEG THE QUESTION if they are merely asserted.  Those premises are controversial and questionable, so they MUST be supported with EVIDENCE and REASONING in order to get this argument off the ground.

 

MY OBJECTIONS TO HINMAN’S SAD LITTLE ARGUMENT

Concerning premise (1A), I have already provided ten reasons for doubting the accuracy, reliability, and historicity of the passage from the 4th Gospel that is used to support this premise. This historical claim is VERY DUBIOUS. This problem is sufficient by itself to sink this argument as being probably UNSOUND.

Concerning premise (1B), Joe is NOT a medical doctor. His educational background is in theology, so he is NOT qualified to make medical claims like this. NOBODY should believe (1B) just because Joe says so. He OBVIOUSLY needs to provide evidence to support this claim. But Joe apparently doesn’t see this obvious point, because he simply asserts (1B), without providing any evidence for it.

 

HINMAN’S PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO REPLY TO MY OBJECTIONS TO (1A)

I have pointed out and explained in detail TEN problems with the historicity and historical reliability of the relevant passage from the 4th Gospel.  Here is Hinman’s pathetic reply to those TEN detailed objections against premise (1A):

Sorry your understanding is out of date. Since Bauckham’s book Jesus and the Eye Witnesses it is form criticism that is now considered dubious and John has a new credibility. Remember our first 1×1 debate? You used Bauckham as your own source to argue against me.

My understanding of the 4th Gospel is “out of date”.  That is Hinman’s brilliant reply to my ten detailed objections against premise (1A).  I’m a bit skeptical that Bauckham’s book has in fact turned 150 years of NT scholarship on its head, and converted hundreds of NT scholars to believers in the historical reliability of the 4th Gospel.  That seems more like a fantasy that Hinman wishes were the case.  However, even if Bauckham’s book has actually pulled off this minor miracle, and turned NT scholarship around, that still DOES NOT ANSWER my ten detailed objections to premise (1A).

Hinman is again displaying his extreme intellectual SLOTH. If Bauckham’s book doesn’t answer my ten objections, then his book is basically IRRELEVANT to those objections.  On the other hand, if Bauckham’s book really does make a strong case for the reliability of the 4th Gospel, then it should directly answer all (or nearly all) of my ten objections.  But in that case, all that Hinman had to do was to POINT US TO THE PAGES in Bauckham’s book where my objections are answered.

Hinman wouldn’t have to generate a single argument (unless Bauckham failed to cover one of my objections).  But that would be far too much effort for Mr. Hinman.  He would have to pick up Bauckham’s book and scan through it (or read it for the first time) to locate the pages where my objections are answered by Bauckham.  That would take at least an hour of intellectual effort and might completely exhaust Mr. Hinman’s mind to the point he would be unable to ever write another comment on my posts. (Not that I would complain about that.)

When Mr. Hinman decides to push past his extreme intellectual SLOTH, and put out just a tiny bit of intellectual effort, he can easily provide us all with the various page numbers in Bauckham’s book, where my ten objections are answered.  Since I already have a copy of Jesus and the Eye Witnesses, Hinman doesn’t even have to write out the quotes for me.  I suspect that this, however, is too big of a request for Mr. Hinman, and that no such page numbers will be forthcoming, and that Mr. Hinman will continue to simply ignore my ten detailed objections against the reliability and historicity of the 4th Gospel and of the passage from the 4th Gospel that is used to support premise (1A).

 

HINMAN’S PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO REPLY TO MY OBJECTION TO (1B)

Premise (1B) asserts a questionable and controversial medical claim:

1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately, THEN Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.

Since Joe Hinman is NOT a medical doctor, nobody should believe this claim on his say-so.  He must provide solid factual EVIDENCE to support this medical claim.

Here is Hinman’s pathetic attempt to reply to my objection to his sad little argument:

I already did that [i.e. presented evidence supporting premise (1B)] your majesty. In three different posts above.I am not a doctor but I quote several of them in the internet,

Adrian Treloar FRCP, “Blood and Water,” Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 63(1) (February 2013) http://www.cmq.org.uk/CMQ/2…

“To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart. The medical significance of the blood and water has been a matter of debate. One theory (Bergsma) states that Jesus died of a massive myocardial infarction, in which the heart ruptured [a]which may have resulted from His falling while carrying the cross [b]. Davis suggested that Jesus’ heart was surrounded by fluid in the pericardium, which caused pericardial tamponade [c]. Another theory that I have often heard is that in a sick man (Our Lord was badly beaten) after death the blood will separate into clot and serum. We do know that death of the cross occurs from exhaustion and inability to support the weight of the body and to breathe.”

There are so many problems with Hinman’s pathetic attempt to reply to my objection to his sad little argument that it is difficult to know where to begin.

FIRST, the author of the article quoted by Hinman is a medical doctor, but his expertise is in an irrelevant area:

Old Age Psychiatry (!)

Hinman does NOT claim that Jesus died of old age.  Hinman does NOT claim that Jesus died as the result of Alzheimer’s or of some other mental illness.  So, the expertise of the author of the quoted article does not apply to the medical issues concerning the alleged cause of death in cases of crucifixion and in the case of Jesus’ crucifixion in particular, since he was a relatively young man at the time of the crucifixion, and was not showing signs of dementia.

SECOND,  the title of the publication where this article appeared is VERY MISLEADING:

Catholic Medical Quarterly

This title, especially in the context of this debate, suggests that this is a MEDICAL JOURNAL, which it is NOT.  This publication is clearly a Catholic propaganda publication, and most of the articles in the publication are NOT peer reviewed, not reviewed by medical professionals, at least most are NOT required to have such a peer review by the policy of the publication:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearly, an article discussing the death and resurrection of Jesus is an article that discusses “matters of faith”, so there was no requirement for any peer review  by medical professionals of the article quoted by Hinman above.

Furthermore, given that the content of this publication is mainly articles that promote Catholic views about ABORTION, CONTRACEPTION, HOMOSEXUALITY, and EUTHANASIA, most of the articles in this publication “discuss matters of faith” and therefore face no requirement for peer review by any medical professionals.

Here are the subjects that are listed in the TOPIC INDEX for Catholic Medical Quarterly:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you notice “cancer” as a topic? No.  How about “heart disease”? No.  Maybe “emergency medicine”? Nope.  “infectious disease”?  Nope.  Anything on “lung disease”? No.  New “drugs” or “vaccinations”? No.  How about “surgical procedures”? Nope.

This publication is focused on Catholic ethical and theological beliefs, and particularly on the PROMOTION of traditional Catholic beliefs on these subjects. Here is a STATEMENT of the PURPOSE of this publication from the home page of the website of the publication:

The CMQ was originally published in 1947 as the Catholic Medical Gazette.  The purpose of the CMQ is to provide and describe an evidence base that enables understanding of the teaching of Christ and his Church as requested by Pope Paul VI, St Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis

In other words, the PURPOSE of this publication is to PROMOTE the teachings of the Catholic Church, and any articles in it that “discuss matters of faith” (i.e. most of the articles) are NOT subject to peer review by medical professionals.

So, Mr. Hinman’s pathetic reply in defense of his sad little argument is based on a quotation from an article written by a medical doctor with IRRELEVANT expertise (Old Age Psychiatry) that was published in a Catholic propaganda publication which does NOT require peer review by medical professionals for most of the articles it publishes, particularly the article that Hinman quotes from, because that article discusses “matters of faith”.

THIRD, it is obvious just from the brief quote provided by Hinman, that the author is a sloppy and careless thinker.  The very first sentence should ring alarm bells for any intelligent and informed reader:

To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart.

This is clearly an important, even critical claim.  I suspect that if this claim is FALSE or DUBIOUS, then Hinman’s argument is likely to completely FAIL.  But this is a questionable HISTORICAL claim.  Surely, Dr. Treloar is aware that his medical expertise in Old Age Psychiatry does NOT make him an expert on ancient Roman history, particularly on such a fine detail about the practices of the Roman military.  Given that he has no expertise in ancient Roman history, surely he does not expect us to simply take his word on this important, perhaps critical, historical claim.

But there is NO historical EVIDENCE provided to back up this key claim, and there is not even a footnote or reference to some other book or article that would provide us with EVIDENCE on this point.  So, apparently Dr. Treloar thinks that being an expert in Old Age Psychiatry also makes him an expert in ancient Roman history.  He (a medical doctor!) believes this idea, so it must be true.  That suggests to me that Dr. Treloar is full of BS.

Furthermore, this sort of IDIOTIC assertion of KEY historical claims with NO HISTORICAL EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER is exactly the same type of shit that Peter Kreeft (as well as a whole host of other Christian apologists) constantly does.  So, to make up for the CRAPPY reasoning of Peter Kreeft, Hinman gives us a nice stinking chunk of CRAPPY thinking by Dr. Treloar.  Pick your poison; it’s bullshit all the way down.

And that is just the first sentence of the quotation from Dr. Treloar.  There is also the jarring non sequitur that occurs between early in the paragraph and the end of the paragraph:

The medical significance of the blood and water has been a matter of debate. …

We do know that death of the cross occurs from exhaustion and inability to support the weight of the body and to breathe.

In between these two statements, Dr. Treloar gives us three different theories about the cause of Jesus’ death and of the fluids that looked like water and blood.  These examples support his initial statement that the “significance of the blood and water” has been “a matter of debate”.  The logical conclusion to draw from this information is that WE DON’T KNOW what caused Jesus’ death.  But Dr. Treloar immediately draws the OPPOSITE conclusion, without any explanation, apparently failing to notice the illogical nature of his reasoning:  “We do know that death of the cross…”.   But if medical investigations of the death of Jesus arrive at different and conflicting conclusions about the cause of Jesus’ death, then how is it that we KNOW what causes death in crucifixions?

Hinman also points us to another article that is from an actual peer-reviewed MEDICAL JOURNAL and which seems much more reasonable and objective than the one by Dr. Treloar.  The other article begins with an observation very similar to that made by Treloar above:

In modern times, the medical profession has shown considerable interest in crucifixion. The typical aim of articles by this group has been to determine how crucified individuals actually died; and they often focus on the case of Jesus of Nazareth. Since Stroud’s book of 1847, at least 10 different theories have been proposed…The postulated causes of death include cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, and psychological pathology.

But this other article draws a much more obvious and logical conclusion than Dr. Treloar did from similar information:

When a large number of theories are proposed for a problem in any scientific discipline, this often demonstrates that there is no clear evidence indicating the answer.

The ultimate conclusions of this other article confirm this initial suspicion:

At first glance, their medical arguments appear plausible. However, our principal finding is that on more detailed examination most of these hypotheses regarding crucifixion are unsubstantiated by the available data.

[…]

Our conclusion is that, at present, there is insufficient evidence to safely state exactly how people did die from crucifixion in Roman times.

So, if Hinman had actually READ the second article that he pointed us to, he should have noticed how it firmly undermines the credibility of the first article that he pointed us to.

Once again, though, Dr. Treloar is an expert in Old Age Psychaitry, so that does NOT make him an expert on the cause of death in crucifixion.  So, surely Treloar realizes that this MEDICAL and HISTORICAL claim he is making (“that death of the cross occurs from exhaustion and inability to support the weight of the body and to breathe.”) requires a good deal of HISTORICAL EVIDENCE and REASONING as well as MEDICAL EVIDENCE and REASONING.  He cannot expect anyone to simply take his word for this, especially given that this claim appears to be another very important, and possibly critical claim.

But where is the HISTORICAL EVIDENCE?  Where is the MEDICAL EVIDENCE?  Where is the REASONING?  We just get a bald assertion from someone who is lacking in relevant medical expertise and lacking in relevant historical expertise.  There is not even a footnote or reference to some other book or article which could provide relevant EVIDENCE and REASONING. So apparently, Dr. Treloar thinks that being an Old Age Psychaitrist means that any claims he believes about the crucifixion of Jesus must be true. This is further evidence, from just one paragraph, that Dr. Treloar is full BS, just like Peter Kreeft, and just like Joe Hinman.  It is bullshit all the way down.

FOURTH, and most importantly, the quote that Hinman provides from Dr. Treloar is IRRELEVANT to premise (1B).  Even if Dr. Treloar had appropriate medical expertise, even if Dr. Treloar was not a sloppy and careless thinker, and even if the Catholic Medical Quarterly were a legitimate medical journal and the quoted article had undergone peer review by medical professionals, this quote does NOT provide support for premise (1B).  As it stands, this paragraph does NOT assert or infer the truth of (1B).   The quote does NOT address the claim made in premise (1B).

Hinman may think that there are some ideas in this quote that would help him to argue in support of (1B), but the quote doesn’t present any such argument.  Hinman will have to stop being an intellectual SLOTH for a few minutes, perhaps for an hour, in order to ACTUALLY ARGUE in support of premise (1B), and he might foolishly choose to make use of some dubious claims asserted by Dr. Treloar as part of an argument for (1B), but that argument has NOT been provided by Dr. Treloar, and so the quote given by Hinman is basically IRRELEVANT to my objection.

What we were missing is EVIDENCE and REASONING that supports premise (1B), and the quote from Dr. Treloar FAILS to provide EVIDNCE and REASONING that supports premise (1B), so we are still in need of an actual argument for (1B) from Mr. Hinman (although I fear that he will continue to follow Peter Kreeft’s path of intellectual SLOTH and just toss out another sad little argument to support this premise).

One statement in the quote from Dr. Treloar does seem to have potential relevance to (1B):

To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart.

The problem here, as I have pointed out above, is that Dr. Treloar is an Old Age Psychaitrist; he is NOT an historian, and NOT an expert in ancient Roman history. So, the fact that Dr. Treolar makes this claim is of no significance; he has no expertise in this area.  Furthermore, this claim requires support from HISTORICAL EVIDENCE and HISTORICAL REASONING, but Dr. Treloar provides us with neither sort of support for this claim, so the quotation of this claim is USELESS for a defense of premise (1B).

The other claim in this quote that MIGHT POSSIBLY be relevant to a defense of (1B) is this:

We do know that death of the cross occurs from exhaustion and inability to support the weight of the body and to breathe.

But Dr. Treloar is an Old Age Psychaitrist; he is NOT an historian, and NOT an expert in ancient Roman history, and his medical expertise is in psychaitry, not in an area relevant to the medical issues surrounding death by crucifixion.  So, quotation of this statement does NOT provide the EVIDENCE and REASONING necessary to show this statement to be TRUE.  Hinman will have to overcome his intellectual SLOTH and actually provide an argument to support this claim, if he thinks it will help him prove premise (1B).  Again, the quotation from Dr. Treloar is USELESS for a defense of premise (1B).

There are no other statements in the quotation that seem to have any relevance to premise (1B), so it is clear that the quotation provided by Hinman is USELESS for a defense of premise (1B).  It is a pathetic reply in an FAILED attempt to defend his sad little argument, and it is further evidence that Hinman’s objections to the Survival Theory are just as CRAPPY as the objections of the grand master of intellectual SLOTH, Peter Kreeft.

It is bullshit all the way down.

"I always feel like these arguments are avoiding the elephant in the room. Suppose we ..."

Defending the Swoon Theory – Part ..."
"It is, unfortunately, more rare than palladium to receive an apology on the internet! I ..."

Some Reflections on Epistemology
"I didn't claim begging the question was not a fallacy. I called it "begging the ..."

Some Reflections on Epistemology
"Yes, I went back and reread the Wiki page on Accessibility Relation. I had never ..."

Some Reflections on Epistemology

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment