Wednesday, June 18, 2014

An Illustration of "Copycat" Logic

A recent news story from my neck of the woods offers a handy illustration of a sort of poor argument method that characterizes many critics I know -- ranging from "copycat" Christ theorists to those who adhere to the "Mark stole from Homer" thesis.
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 The dome atop downtown Tampa’s SunTrust tower honors sports teams and special events with its multicolored, digital light display.

So as the U.S. team opened World Cup play Monday night against Ghana, soccer fans might have been puzzled to look up and see the skyscraper’s dome aglow in stripes of red, yellow and green.

Those would be the colors of the Ghana flag .

At one time, they also were the colors of Shriners International — the service organization headquartered on Rocky Point that the 500-foot-high LED display was intended to honor.

“Basically it’s a coincidental thing,” said Melissa Cronk, assistant general manager for Jones Lange LaSalle, which manages the 36-floor SunTrust Financial Centre. 

This came to mind because of late, someone has been writing to me asking about some of the arguments of this sort made at "jesusneverexisted.com." The essence of such arguments is that because the critic is uneducated about relevant Biblical contexts, when they see a seeming "parallel" between the Biblical text and something else in the Biblical world, they assume that it can't be a coincidence.

By way of illustration, because World Cup dominates people's thinking right now, they assumed that the tricolor feature on this building could not have any other meaning. This is in spite of the fact that these colors (red, yellow, and green) are commonplaces. For all they knew the building was celebrating National Stoplight Week.

At any rate, just an amusing illustration of how these things go.

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