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Squirrelloid

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Squirrelloid last won the day on April 6 2016

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About Squirrelloid

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    Nick Johnson
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  1. I'm interpreting the competition between various kingdoms (8 at one stable point) with definitive Hutu and Tutsi affiliations of their monarchs, as conflict. I mean, it's not like we have great documentation. Regardless, the local recognition of a difference between Tutsi and Hutu is older than colonialism in Rwanda. Colonialism did not create that racial consciousness, it was already there when colonialism arrived. What colonialism did do was pick winners and losers from among those groups. In particular, the Germans backed the most successful of those monarchs (a Tutsi monarchy that had been absorbing the other kingdoms) and strengthened his rule - basically used him as a puppet in exchange for providing soldiers. The Belgians then took control following WW1, and ultimately distributed power among Tutsi chieftains they felt they could control, much like their administration of the Congo. So yes, the colonial administrators certainly didn't help matters, and helped cause the circumstances of the genocide. But they didn't create the racial consciousness - they exploited the existing racial consciousness. (I'm not claiming colonialism was good here, nor that it had no responsibility, just that it didn't create racial consciousness). In a similar case, one of the big problems with middle eastern states is that they're based on British administrative units, not anything representative of actual groups on the ground. So you put a whole bunch of tribal and racial groups together in countries that don't get along. The current strife in Iraq is a case in point here. (And the Kurds, in particular, have been victims of colonialism both by the British and the Ottomans before them). Colonialism didn't create these groups - it was the insensitivity of the colonial powers to their existence and differences which led to situations where oppression was inevitable. Finally, i don't consider the killing of moderate Hutus at all counter-indicative of this. Perceived collaborators with the 'enemy' have generally been considered targets in conflicts. Edit: We also shouldn't whitewash the Tutsi collaboration in this. From your first source: "Not surprisingly, Tutsi welcomed these ideas about their superiority, which coincided with their own beliefs. In the early years of colonial rule, Rwandan poets and historians, particularly those from the milieu of the court, resisted providing Europeans with information about the Rwandan past. But as they became aware of European favoritism for the Tutsi in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they saw the advantage in providing information that would reinforce this predisposition. They supplied data to the European clergy and academics who produced the first written histories of Rwanda. The collaboration resulted in a sophisticated and convincing but inaccurate history that simultaneously served Tutsi interests and validated European assumptions. " The Tutsi certainly seem to think they were involved in a racial conflict with Hutus, and used European favoritism to promote a 'history' that favored their group. Rule of Law is the idea that the law applies to everyone equally. "Lex, Rex" as it were. ("Law is king"). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law Before Rule of Law, there was no reason to expect the same law to apply to the aristocrats and the monarch as to the peasants. The monarch, in particular, was the embodiment of the state, and was the law in some sense. Before Rule of Law, a Monarch typically had the power to declare law as he saw fit, subject only to his ability to enforce it. Law was a matter of getting enough nobility on-board to have sufficient force of arms to compel obedience, otherwise the monarch risked noble revolts. How you get to Rule of Law in England was a long, complicated process that started with the Magna Carta (beginning the process of nobles claiming power from the king), and involving the English Bill of Rights (1689). Over time, more and more segments of the population gained the effective power (military in the case of nobility, economic in the case of capitalists, disruptive in the case of laborers) to demand a seat at the table. Capitalism had a key role in this expansion in Great Britain, whose ideas of rule of law were brought to the colonies that became the United States. (The Napoleonic Wars and the Napoleonic Code - informed as it was by French revolutionary ideals - is a key part of the story in continental Europe, although it's probably also complicated there too). Anyway, without a concept of Rule of Law, there's no basis for recognizing injustice on the basis of differential treatment by class or group, because it's Rule of Law that makes us believe all people should be subject to the same laws.
  2. That's a marxism argument. In the marxist view, economic class is the cause of everything in some way. (If it wasn't caused by capitalism, it would be caused by some other economic structuring in which there were different classes). The Soviet Union (for example) continued to blame the bourgeoisie for problems long after there was no real bourgeoisie to blame. When class explains everything, you always look for an explanation in terms of class. (When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail). (It's not so much that capitalism causes terrorism as the disparity in class outcomes produced by capitalism cause terrorism in the Marxist view). This argument is problematic, because it requires us to ignore what terrorists actually claim as their motivations. In the Marxist view, no one can possibly have religious convictions they're willing to die for. Marxism accepts only one kind of motivation, and tries to fit everything into that box whether it makes any sense or not. (It is in this approach to explanation that Popper criticizes Marxism - it's not falsifiable, because Marxists will recognize no failure of their approach to explanations. They'll just concoct ad hoc rationalizations to support class as the only culprit for any problem, because the belief that all problems are class-based is fundamental. They simply won't consider any other explanation as valid. Their conceptual worldview can't encompass any other. Imagine a physicist who thinks all physics can only be explained in terms of gravity, and rejects all other explanations, even if they better explain the facts, because he's got a pre-commitment to only gravity.)
  3. I might add: know the language so well that you don't even need to use it. The clearer your explanations are and the less jargon-laden, the more persuasive you'll be to people who aren't specialists in the literature. That isn't to say you can't use the language of your K authors, but you should be able to step back from it and break it down in plain language. Any philosophy which can't be explained to a bus driver is probably wrong.
  4. Except neoliberalism has nothing to do with individualism. It's an economic theory that demands constant government intervention to perfect markets. That's not individualist at all. Edgehopper's distinction above is definitely on point - for there to be a real link to neoliberalism, the curtailment of surveillance has to be justified in terms of market regulation. (The real link in his example has nothing to do with surveillance, but rather on the presumption that government should be choosing winners in the market at all - ie, the government has no business doing anything for the purpose of boosting cloud computing).
  5. It doesn't really. But all those authors who use neoliberalism as a perjorative for things they don't like will use the term to describe just about anything. Giroux is the primary culprit on surveillance policies. (The argument, if it can be called that, is that curtailing only some surveillance otherwise justifies the surveillance state. That's pretty much a link of omission - 'they didn't curtail all surveillance' - and it has nothing to do with actual neoliberalism. But like i note, most modern authors who use the term are just using it as a perjorative. Snarkosaurus is also on point here.) I recommend challenging people in cx to define neoliberalism, and to force them to be very explicit about how what plan is doing causes neoliberalism.
  6. Most authors just use 'neoliberalism' as a perjorative for capitalist-like things they don't like. Actual neoliberalism originates between the world wars in the 20th century, at the Walter Lippman Colloquium. A group of economists decided that the classic liberal ideas had failed (derided by those who were still classic liberals), and that they needed a new liberal economic policy. Whether or not Keynes was a neoliberal, the newly-minted neoliberal's conclusions were decidedly Keynsian. Foucault nails it on his definition of neoliberalism in The Birth of Biopolitics. It is not laissez-faire capitalism. Rather, neoliberalism demands continuous state intervention. Neoliberals believe markets are flawed, and that the state can fix those flaws through regulation, monetary policy, and other manipulations of the markets. As such, neoliberalism is profoundly biopolitical. Neoliberalism has also been critiqued from the classic liberal position. Ludwig von Mises famously declared the neoliberals were "socialists" at a Mont Pelerin Society meeting. He also argued (In Economic Freedom and Interventionism) that this kind of invasive government intervention ended up nationalizing markets without ever nationalizing businesses. Regulations stripped the markets of their ability to communicate information to businesses from consumers. Instead, the signal became increasingly from the regulations themselves, which made businesses responsive to government demands and not consumers. This disempowers consumers and causes misallocation of resources. Through the 1960s there were still economists and politicians who openly identified as neoliberal under market-interventionist policy ideas. By the 80s, no one identified as neoliberal and it had become a perjorative used by socialists to attack anything more capitalist than they were. (ie, pretty much everyone). Despite that, there have been a lot of neoliberal world leaders and government policies since the 60s. For example, Obamacare is a prototypical neoliberal program - it coopts and regulates markets while claiming to 'fix' them, yet the reality is that consumers can't keep the plans and doctors they like, and cannot communicate that dislike to insurance companies in the only way corporations listen - through their spending.
  7. Squirrelloid

    Kritiks?

    Of course, a K argued well actually has 4 parts. Thesis, link, impact, and alternative. (If the thesis card is any good, the link is just an analytical explaining how the plan operates inside of the framing of the thesis and is thus part of the problem.) K's which don't have a thesis rarely make sense.
  8. PNdebater: not a single thing you typed provides warrants for 'the economic system was founded on antiblackness' => 'all economic growth -> more antiblackness'. I mean, sure, we can argue about the antecedent all day, but that doesn't prove the consequent follows from it, even if the antecedent is true. Wilderson is welcome to disagree... that doesn't make him right. I'm going to try to take you seriously, but your tendency to talk in sweeping generalities is going to make it hard to know what exactly it is you're talking about. For example: What is this 'Founding of America'? You mean the political event that was the founding of the United States? You mean the colonial event that was the colonization of the Americas? You mean the exploration event that was the discovery of America? You say 'build a country for them', so i'm going to assume the first. First, you can't change the ontological condition, that's a contradiction in terms. If it can be changed, it's a contingent historical fact, and can be changed again. If antiblackness is ontological, it cannot be changed and can never have been changed. (This is a general problem with Wilderson - antiblackness is not ontological, and your argument here pretty much concedes that). Second, the south using slave labor for plantation farming is hardly 'building a country'. Did it build the economic prosperity of the South? Sure. But the country? The country is, in any real sense, a political document - the Constitution. And while there was a compromise on slavery (the 3/5th clause), it wasn't the foundation of the political document, but a compromise to get all the states on-board. The foundations were (classic) liberal political theory, most directly John Locke's 2nd Treatise on Government, which has absolutely nothing to do with antiblackness or any racial concepts. The North, on the other hand, built its prosperity on industry without reliance on slave labor. Nothing in industry required the destruction of black bodies. (If you'd like to argue otherwise, be specific. What black bodies were destroyed and why.) Finally, what does this have to do with the economic system? What system? Be specific what you mean here. I mean, you throw three cards at me, but only one of them addresses a specific economic system or how that system was racist (and it's claims are sweeping generalities with no evidence). (preemptive note: the southern plantation system was not capitalism. It was a form of mercantilism that predates Capitalism and has its roots in the Latin American hacienda system - importing slave labor was an attempt to create a system of exploitation similar to what the Spanish had instituted in Mexico and South America with native populations, but where there were insufficient natives to enslave and exploit. Which also means that antiblackness isn't actually primary, it's rooted in anti-native american-ness). There isn't a warrant anywhere in this card. It's just a series of claims. (There may be warrants following this text that you did not produce, but they are not here to be analyzed. No seriously, this is an egregiously cut card.) Where to start... 1. Differential results is not prima facia evidence for racism. The authors fail statistics forever. (I'm going to concede there was an effect of racism, but that you can detect differences between any two or more arbitrary groupings of people is not evidence for it. That kind of claim implies a total ignorance of statistics. Imagine you throw three blue darts and three green darts at a dart board. The sum of the green darts score higher. That's due to chance, not because you're biased against blue darts). 2. The first sentence is kind of key here. It explicitly treats racial consciousness as something separate from the economic system. Yes, given people hold significant beliefs about racial membership, it is going to affect their actions (in the economic realm and elsewhere). That's not just true of contemporary 'capitalist social formations' (whatever that means - capitalism is an economic system), but any and all systems, including 'contemporary religious social formations' (church / congregations), 'contemporary political social formations' (parties), and other economic systems including 'contemporary marxism/socialist formations' (social and otherwise - Cuba or Venezuela, for example). I might note that if the problem is 'racial consciousness', then the solution can't be militant black pessimism (ie, Wilderson) which drives a different narrative of racial consciousness. The solution has to be the elimination or minimization of racial consciousness. Otherwise you just get different racism determining the outcome. 3. "In some instances, this would have included, from the earliest stages of capitalist development, ideas produced within racist paradigms. The wage laboring consciousness necessary for an agent to be willing and able to sell her labor power would have been influenced, in the Western Europe and Great Britain of early capitalist development, by aristocratic racism and then later by white supremacist racism." First, weasel words. Which ideas? What racist paradigms? Second, the early capitalists in Great Britain were anti-aristocrat. Aristocratic ideals didn't contribute to the rise of Capitalism - rather, the rise of Capitalism depended on the rise of rule of law, which came about in Great Britain as a limiter on the power of the aristocracy and monarchy. The early capitalists were fundamental in ending serfdom in GB, which happened against the wishes of the aristocracy. (For the origins of Capitalism and it's development, I'd start with Robinson and Acemoglu's excellent and specifically contextualized discussion in Why Nations Fail). Notably, aristocrats in mainland europe generally opposed capitalism and the creative destruction it entailed. Third, how is racism intrinsic to early capitalist development. Be very specific. 4. Contra the author, slavery and serfdom don't involve labor markets. 5. "The classic case is that of Tanganyika, under German colonial rule, where resistance to working as wage laborers was so strong that entire villages would move rather than submit to the labor market in order to meet the imposed hut taxes. These villagers had lived as communal producers, collectively performing and appropriating surplus labor. Their history was one of collective decision-making, communal freedom, and the absence of racialized consciousness." The author is fundamentally unbelievable on their claims here. Not in the historical fact regarding resistance to colonial rule, but in their interpretations of why. Decision-making was not communal. Village elites made decisions. This is evident in problems with productivity in Africa today, where in a lot of countries local elites still effectively control the land around villages, which disincentivizes farmers making capital improvements that increase productivity, because the elites could just give control of the improved land to a favored subordinate the next year. (Why Nations Fail discusses Africa in some detail on this point). And there was no absence of racialized consciousness. The Hutus and the Tutsis were killing each other in Rwanda over a tribal conflict that predates colonialism. Sierra Leone in the 60s and 70s had the rail infrastructure (built by the British) torn up and destroyed because it benefited some tribal groups over others, and when a different tribal group siezed government power, they destroyed the rail system to hurt their rivals. (Also in Why Nations Fail). The conflict in Darfur province of Sudan was fundamentally racist. (I use the past tense because the genocide is at this point complete). Heck, the Atlantic Slave Trade that Wilderson et al. take as fundamental to antiblackness only existed because of racial conflicts internal to Africa which led some tribal groups to enslave others and sell them for profit. That conflict and slave-taking predates the discovery of the Canaries, much less the discovery and colonization of the Americas. Your authors are being positively pastoral here, and that kind of idyllic nostalgia for a past that never was is the opposite of serious scholarship. Finally, that wasn't a challenge to 'capitalist notions of freedom'. African tribal social structures survived colonialism - resistance was effectively the resistance of an entrenched local aristocracy who refused to adopt the ways of the colonizer because it threatened their local control, just like aristocracies in europe fought the spread of capitalism and the end of serfdom. (A key example in the European situation involves trains as well. Both Austria and Russia were highly skeptical of and limited the expansion of the rail system in their countries, because they felt it made it too easy for serfs to leave their land and disappear to elsewhere - it threatened their local control, so they opposed it). ------ The last Wilderson card is also light on warrants, which are non-existent for its critical claims. The warrants, if they exist, are in the work of these other scholars - Wilderson is mostly summarizing and contrasting here. The only warrant actually in the card is at the end, about policing. I'd suggest Wilderson is just wrong here on several levels. On the one hand, in a world with no policing, there'd be nothing to stop people from committing crimes. Considering the epidemic of violence in black inner city communities, that actually hurts black communities more. On the other hand, that anarchal world without civil society would rapidly empower armed gangs that vie for control of territory. The successful ones would eliminate rivals and claim larger chunks of territory. They'd institute rules and enforce them. In short, they'd create a police force, and become a nascent state with a 'civil society' (such as it was) they protected. (Given humanity's long history of strongmen and authoritarian regimes, these organic states are unlikely to be bastions of freedom. Also, given our fear of difference, they're likely to be profoundly racist and religiously bigoted too). Basically, what you get is a dystopian version of the Nozickian argument. I would also argue that the basis for our civil society is Rule of Law, not antiblackness. While imperfectly implemented, that we even perceive these things as injustices at all proves that we've accepted the fundamental logic of Rule of Law. RoL is a young concept, dating to the 16-17th centuries in England. Yes, people abuse the system in ways that disrupts RoL, but that abuse of the system isn't the system itself. Prior to RoL, these kinds of injustices weren't even noticeable. In Aristocratic europe, aristocrats simply had the right to abuse their peasants and determine guilt without trial. No one questioned it because it was part of the "natural order". (Why Nations Fail also spends significant time talking about the benefits and origins of Rule of Law). Rule of Law is also at the roots of the end of legal slavery, not just in the west, but worldwide. (The islamic world also has a long history of slavery and antiblackness, and that black slavery predates european black slavery by centuries and continues past the end of slavery in the west. British opposition to slavery and its 19th century global enforcement against slave trading in its colonies and on the seas was a significant cause of its end). Nothing in this Wilderson card demonstrates that all economic growth feeds antiblackness though. In fact, all your cards are curiously silent on economic growth. Yes, the south's mercantilist agrarian economy was based on slavery. (Which was an institution founded upon and modeled after the Spanish hacienda system). The north's industrial economy, the actual (mostly) capitalist system, was not. These are entirely separate systems. (Which is why i ask about which economic system - because pretending there's only a single economic system in the early US is farcical). Historical newsflash: the north's industrial economy won. Not only that, but the entrepreneurial nature of the capitalist system led to the innovations that ultimately eliminated the need for a large agrarian workforce, including solving the (subsequent to slavery) problem of share-cropping that kept black families in the south impoverished. The modern US economic system's roots aren't in slavery, they're in industrialization. Plantation farming is a dead-end system. It's only remaining economic relatives are in hellholes like Uzbekistan (A dictatorship where school children are used as slave labor for their cotton industry). Anyway, that was the basis of my claim, which is far more historically accurate than anything Wilderson has written on the subject. (I'm not sure what you found problematic, since all i questioned was that it was one system). (I'm not sure I believe you on 'incredibly more profitable'. I mean, substantially profitable, yes. But Boston and New York were major harbors for reasons that had little to do with plantation farming directly. Capitalism could only take off in the northern states because northern capitalists were able to accumulate wealth to invest in profitable ventures.) Anyway, my more important point (that even assuming a slave-driven economic origin of american capitalism, it doesn't necessarily imply any economic growth feeds antiblackness) still stands.
  9. That really doesn't follow at all. Actually, the antecedent isn't even true ("the" economic system? There were multiple, and not all relied on slave labor. And that's not the only problem with that claim). But even if it was, the consequent does not follow logically. (Compare: The Coca Cola corporation was founded on the exploitation of cocaine, so all growth of the Coca Cola corporation furthers cocaine use. The consequent manifestly doesn't follow and is false besides).
  10. Except that's not how topical counterplans are argued at all. Because for that to be the case, the topical cp would have to be run to lose (to the status quo, presumably, so negative still wins). Ie, it's not a decoy if you want the judge to actually prefer it. Basically, the decoy effect can only work if you can introduce a *losing* strategy which increases preference for *a different independent strategy you're also advocating*. So this is really just a theory argument for condo bad and/or why conditional CPs are bad (much weaker for the second, because there's little legitimacy to deny the negative the status quo even if they advocate another solution - the aff certainly shouldn't get it). Also, two different topical actions generally compete on more than just two variables. It's not clear that it would even be remotely possible to construct a toy position which could reliably access the decoy effect - you'd have to narrow down the multitude of things the position is competing on as being relevant to the judge's thoughts (which could vary from judge to judge), and have already arranged it so that it is incompletely dominating plan with respect to those options, and strictly inferior to your other position.
  11. Marx is just a Cap K... But seriously, read Das Kapital. Then go read the dozens of criticisms of the labor theory of value, and realize Marx is hopelessly wrong. (Also read Popper on falsifiability and how Marxism as a movement continuously goalpost shifts to be unfalsifiable.)
  12. Ontology is not about values. There's no way to derive an ought from an is.
  13. To stick with modern books (last ~50 years) for the moment: Acemoglu and Robinson Why Nations Fail (and the authors also have a blog under a similar name which discusses current events) Bailey The End of Doom Brennan Why Not Capitalism? Scott Harris This Ballot. (http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php?topic=4762.0) Pinker The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (say whatever you will about his violence work afterwards, this book is a good summary of the literature on its subject as of its publication). Nozick Anarchy, State, and Utopia And in the realm of 'media':
  14. Well, most Ks are argued poorly. I hate 'reject' alts with a passion 99.9% of the time, because they refuse to make the commitment their other evidence would seem to demand. You need to do more than just reject the aff, you need to actually do something in some world (policy, real, whatever) which solves for the actual problems your K identifies. Only a K with uniqueness can get away with a reject alt (or, for that matter, without an alt at all, because it's effectively a disad with non-utilitarian impacts).
  15. I'll get back to this tomorrow but: 1. The link turns are irrelevant. -Either they have nothing to do with Christianity (love and the golden rule, doesn't depend on christianity at all), or they're meaningless assertions that aren't falsifiable (fruit of the spirit? meaningless). -This is a question of truth and epistemology only. There is no moral or utilitarian impact to whether Jesus was a real person or not, and I even grant as much in my first post, when i point out that Jesus being a literary character doesn't stop him from being the model of an ideal person, if you wish to make him such. (I wouldn't, but it's not the part I'm debating). -That said, you did drop that the literary jesus in the gospels specifically teaches (a) that he came not to bring peace but violence, turns love and the golden rule, ( that we should hate our parents, turns love. So these 'link turns' were already turned and you didn't even notice, and dropped the specific gospel evidence that pertains to them. (Probably turns 'fruits of the spirit' too, whatever that is). 2. The moment you depend on biblical fundamentalists is the moment you've officially exited the realm of real scholarship. No one dates Acts to pre-70AD except fundamentalists. The entire mainstream and critical scholarship has abjectly rejected any such date. Your sources are fundamentalists hacks, and have no place in an academic debate. Yes, there's tons of fundamentalist hacks on the internet - that doesn't make them valid scholarship. The fact that you hyper-specifically date it to a particular year already screams fundamentalists. The traditional mainstream dating of Acts is 80-90AD (see Delbert Burkett's An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity, for example, which summarizes the academic literature, is produced by a scholarly press (Cambridge), and Burkett is the chair of philosophy and religious studies department at LSU). That's based on the fact that it's author is certainly the same author as Luke, and Luke is typically dated to 80-90AD. Note that the dating of Acts depends entirely on the dating of Luke. I would maintain that these traditional dates are still pushed far too early with too much confidence, because many even in the mainstream scholarly community have confessional beliefs which want them . The justifications for Luke being 80-90AD are actually pretty flimsy, since there's no evidence of either Luke or Acts until Origen and Tertullian. While it is possible Luke was written as early as 80, that doesn't make it probable. A realistic estimation of Luke + Acts origin, ignoring Marcion, is 80-170AD. (Might be able to shave a decade off the end, i don't have the datings of references to Luke at my fingertip). Once you factor in Marcion, the probability distribution across that range substantially shifts towards the latter end. Reasons Luke must be a 2nd century work: a. While it is possible Marcion cut down Luke, no one has so much as mentioned Luke before Marcion. That decreases the probability substantially. b. Looking at other works with shorter and longer versions, we can also see that it is vastly more likely for works to accrete additional material than shed material, especially lots of small sets of material like individual verses scattered throughout the work. This is in fact one of several reasons mainstream scholarship believes in Markan priority. That further decreases the odds that Marcion borrowed from Luke. c. While we don't have Marcion's work (works condemned as heresy were not copied and preserved), we do have several commentaries against it which allege he defaced Luke, but pretty much everything they say the Evangelikon doesn't have is a counter to Marcion's theology, and sometimes counter to the preceding allegorical meaning of the text the addition follows. That would be an incredible coincidence unless Luke's additions were specifically written to counter and disarm Marcion's theology. That makes Luke extremely unlikely unless it's a reworking of Marcion. d. Those three things in combination make it rather implausible that Marcion used Luke as a source. In back of the napkin math terms, i'd put at least 100:1 against Luke preceding the Evangelikon. e. But even if we commit to Marcion modifying Luke, that means substantial portions of Luke are concerned with 2nd century theological disputes that didn't even exist as disputes in the 1st century, because when Luke refutes Marcion those are theological positions that weren't even significant or relevant earlier. ie, even accepting Luke is prior to Marcion, it still must be 2nd century and close in time to Marcionism. f. Adding to the likelihood of Luke being an intentional rewriting of the Evangelikon as a theological propaganda weapon to 'disprove' its source, we have multiple instances of early christian writers intentionally fabricating 'history', and even Constantine's *own bishop* Eusebius (ie, very influential) writing that telling a lie for the good of orthodoxy and the church and fabricating evidence was commendable. Pervo's dating of Acts nicely coincides with this analysis as indicating a 2nd century date also makes sense for the contents of Acts. His evidence (and it's extensive) corroborates the above analysis and the joint authorship of the two works. And you can bet Eusebius is going to come up again when i get to the rest of your points, not least because he's the one who likely forged and inserted the testimonium flavianum. 3. Middle platonism isn't gnosticism. While some forms of gnosticism assume a middle-platonic metaphysics, there is plenty of non-gnostic middle platonism works. Philo of Alexandria, Revelations, Hebrews, and Paul, for example. These are independent metaphysical ideas that can be combined or not. So you've still dropped middle platonism, and i feel no responsibility to defend gnosticism. -------------------- Addendum on Acts: The incredibly early date you propose is also untenable with the contents of Acts. Not only does Acts contradict Paul's letters in numerous places, the theology is distinctly different than Paul's as well. That's been the scholarly consensus since the late 20th century (for example, see: The Historical Jesus: A comprehensive guide by Theissen and Merz). And while the author of Acts seems to admire Paul, he seems unaware of any of Paul's letters (or specifically rejects them). Given Luke functions as a rebuttal of Marcion (who is notable for considering Paul the preeminent authority, and first collected his letters), it is quite plausible that Acts is a rebuttal of Marcion's Paul, and the author rejects the pauline letters as authentic. Acts is probably best seen as a rehabilitation of Paul in the eyes of orthodoxy, and a counter to Marcion's Paul. (That the Pauline letters would later become part of the NT corpus is still over a century after a mid-2nd century Luke-Acts date, and the vastly different theologies of the letters and the canonical gospels became ignored as people read the gospels into Paul rather than reading Paul on his own, plus the several forged letters diluting the apparent disparities and making them less obvious - the pastorals, for example). To that, one might also add that the profound anti-jewish nature of Acts (where they are the cause of most problems) is a 2nd century development, as 1st century Christianity still has large Jewish-Christian groups. The writer of Revelations, for example, is a Jewish-Christian near the end of the 1st century. Indeed, the central question Acts aims to answer is inconceivable in the 1st century: namely 'how did a Jewish savior come to have a gentile church.'
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