And this statement, wow: “When I get finished declaring and exploring the unsearchable riches of Christ … blah blah blah …” This is Frank Viola’s argument to triviality. This is an overt effort to define a reality that so far exceeds the trifling preoccupation of mere mortals that it ranks lower than the sludge on his boot. This is why Frank and Peers can be so absolutist in one breath and logically vacant in the next. This is why they hold themselves to no real intellectual standard. Their “peerage” has nothing to do with holding each other to the highest rational and critical standards. Their peerage is in service to affirming the reality of their own choosing. And this is EXACTLY what Harold Camping did. They have already decided that whatever they believe are the facts. “So, tut tut tut … Nanee Nanee boo boo, we are better than all you slobs, losing your way, expressing passion on baubles, thinking about things beneath our lofty attention. Our reality is the ONLY reality worthy of consideration.” And this is EXACTLY Harold Camping’s treatment of all rejections and criticisms.
And this is the crux of the issue. Frank Viola and Peers presume to define the highest rational expression. They are overtly saying their metaphysical expectations are the highest moral high ground, and any failure to aspire to that goal is beneath their lofty consideration.
And now I want to draw your attention back to the start of this article.
John Immel: “ … What tyrants succeed in doing is creating a “reason” to evaluate reality contrary to the cause and effect. They appeal to a transcendent ‘reality,’ a claim that dare not be evaluated or measured. They assert a morality that condemns all self-appointment. They do this to undercut how man knows what he knows.”
Now you can begin to see what I saw those days ago when this e-mail blast hit my inbox. With this in mind, reread Frank Viola’s comments about Harold Camping.
1. Leaders who have a lot of influence over a lot of people must have peers. Camping hasn’t allowed himself to have any peers. He is a man fully on his own out on a limb (and sawing hard). If a servant of the Lord doesn’t have peers, he or she will go off the beam at some point and end up hurting a massive amount of people.
Again, this is Frank Viola’s logic:
- Camping error = no peers.
- Leadership + Influence + (n) people = peers.
- Servants of the Lord without peers = inevitable error.
- Leadership without peers = pain x (n) people
The error = No Peers is a Post Hoc and Hasty Generalization fallacy rolled into one epistemological criticism.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc means someone screwed up the cause and effect. And Frank has made massive leaps of cause and effect logic by insisting that Harold Camping doesn’t have peers. How can he know this? How does he define peers? How do we know that his definition is right? And equaiting inevitable error with inevitable pain as consequence for a lack of peerage is absurd. How do we know that Peers would have kept Harold’s hands off of a calculator?
Frank Viola (and Peers) are committing a Hasty Generalization when they say that being without peers means inevitable error. How can they possibly measure such a thing? Here is a short list that comes to my mind. One would have to measure isolation. How isolated is isolated? Is living in the desert for three years isolated? Would that man’s doctrine be disqualified? How about living in a monastery? We would have to measure doctrinal accuracy BEFORE entering isolation, and then measure doctrinal accuracy AFTER entering isolation. And we haven’t even begun to unravel WHOSE doctrinal accuracy is the defining yardstick. Anyone else seeing the absurdity in this?