Twice this week I encountered commenters who ran out of arguments and resorted to claiming that either of us could be wrong. The implication was that it made the discussion a toss-up and we should just end the debate – with them getting their way, of course.
Here’s one of them, in context of a discussion on Romans 1 and natural functions.
In context with the idol worship we see what comes next. I could be wrong, can you admit that you could be wrong?
You are wrong and should stop teaching falsely. Whether we could be wrong is irrelevant. I say people shouldn’t beat up gays. Could I be wrong? Maybe, but I don’t think I am. But using your “logic” I could be wrong so I shouldn’t debate the point. That is stupid logic.
Here’s the other example:
So, Neil, the Bible and the [Methodist] Book of Discipline are never wrong?
The “we might both be wrong, so let’s call it a tie” philosophy is silly. Fred Phelps could use the same approach but I hope that wouldn’t stifle anyone’s criticism of him.
The Bible is never wrong. It is capable of being misunderstood, but never wrong. It is remarkably clear on this topic, and the BoD [Methodist Book of Discipline] is in sync:
100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms. 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children). 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.
Could I be wrong? In a hyper-technical sense, of course I could be. Hey, maybe this is all just an illusion and I didn’t really type this. That isn’t supported by the evidence and we don’t live our lives that way, but there is always some extreme scenario where we could be mistaken.
But that isn’t what the other party is aiming at. They think they are right, and are using this argument to avoid conceding a point where they know they are out of ammunition.
One of the most insidious ways the pro-gay lobby in the Methodist Church does this is to press for resolutions noting that we don’t have full agreement on the topic. They make it sound innocent, as if we are just stating the obvious. But of course they are trying to generate an official document that implies that there just isn’t enough biblical guidance on the topic to make an assessment. Therefore, we should relax our standards.
The lesson here: Don’t let them get away with it. Just point out how they obviously think they are right and have the burden of proof to back up their claims.