III. Procedures


- Ultimately, in order to provide a convincing case -- even for myself -- I need to be able to answer the objections of the opposition. I need to face the objections, and explain them away -- if I can.
- But, to do that effectively, first I need a way to foster effective debate.
- Yeah, right...

- But fortunately, I believe that we humans can easily develop a "format" for insuring effectiveness in written debate -- if only we can get one of us who owns, or has significant influence with, a popular news, or general information, website to become involved.
- That's what I'm missing. I claim that given such a website, I have such a format...
- I am currently trying to find an appropriate host. So far, no one seems interested...

- But anyway, I claim that such a format can work miracles. It can begin to resolve some of humanity's biggest problems -- what to believe about Jesus is, at least, one of those.
- In this, my teensy and unknown website, I will be trying to present my version of the arguments for the New Testament -- for Jesus being the Prophesied Jewish Messiah.
- I have my doubts, but I also have my hopes, and what I propose to ultimately do here (hopefully, with the help of others) is
1) Present the best case for Jesus that I can;
2) Field counter claims;
3) Counter the counter claims;
4) Field the counter claims, to my counters to the original counter claims; etc.
- In order to meaningfully evaluate any claims I make supporting the New Testament, we need to 'hear' responses from experts who disagree. WHAT WE ULTIMATELY NEED IN ORDER TO EFFECTIVELY JUDGE MY CLAIMS SUPPORTING JESUS is extended and effective debate with "the other side." We need a kind of "TRIAL."
- So, let's get it on!

- But again, first, I need to explain this thing about "effective debate." My proposed format involves procedures similar to those of an American courtroom.

- Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a happy old couple with just ONE problem – there was an axe stuck in their ceiling. In truth, the couple wasn’t all THAT happy because they constantly worried that someday that axe would fall out of the ceiling and kill somebody. One day a tired and hungry stranger came along and the old couple invited him in for a rest and a meal. While eating, the couple told the stranger about their life together, pointing out that the one sour note in all their happy existence was that (damned) axe stuck in the ceiling. At which point, the stranger got up on his chair, and with a quick tug, dislodged the axe from the ceiling…


Our "Courtroom"
(Public, Written, Serial, Debate)

1. We Americans (not to mention humanity in general) currently (just like always) face a multitude of serious and controversial issues (and decisions) for which we are best advised to be as well informed as possible. Currently, it is such things as "global warming," abortion, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, immigration, gun control, health insurance, torture, 9/11 irregularities, government corruption, media complicity, conspiracy theory, etc, etc, etc.
2. In order to have our best shot at making the right decisions, and supporting the right causes, we need to be as well informed as possible.
3. But, our current strategies for informing ourselves re these serious issues leave much to be desired. They are seriously flawed and problematic – they tend to be extremely incomplete and, above all, BIASED.
4. Consequently, many of our conclusions and decisions are extremely problematic. (See Appendix A.)

5. And then, the ramifications of our poor decisions grow worse by the minute… (See Appendix B.)

6. Clearly, what we need in order to fully inform ourselves re any particular issue is ‘hearing’ both sides of the whole story.
7. In other words, we need access to extended debate between opponent experts.
8. But we need that this debate be “effective” – we need it to effectively present the relevant evidence, and not lapse into a side-show or shouting match.
9. And so far, human debate hardly ever meets that standard. (See Appendix C.)

10. Human debate tends to be so ineffective and problematic, because once into debate, our reflexes are all wrong.
11. These problematic reflexes are just as “reliable,” and predictable, as a knee jerk -- and they inevitably and seriously haunt and impede our debates.
12. Once into a debate, we immediately slip into a fight/flight mode where our all-consuming objective is to win – or at least, to avoid losing.
13. This orientation produces numerous obstacles to effective debate.
14. Honesty, candor, objectivity and fairness fly right out the window.
15. We “zone out.” We forget what we were supposedly about and are oblivious to what we are doing instead... (See Appendix D.)

16. And, just think of what might be if we could correct this problem – what if our legislators, for instance, could debate honestly, openly, objectively and fairly? (See Appendix E.)

17. So, what’s the story? Why haven’t we tried to fix this problem??? (See Appendix F.)

18. But knowing what we now know, fixing debate – or, at least ameliorating debate -- should actually be easy. As specific problems seem obvious, so do potential solutions. (See Appendix G.)

19. And then, if we look closely at the situation, fixing it might be easy as well… (See Appendix H.)

20. The guidelines for cleaning up our act follow directly and obviously from the specific problems we create -- and have here identified. (See Appendix I.)

21. Perhaps, the greatest obstacle to effective debate is dealing with inherent complexity in the subject matter and the tendency of debate to “branch” exponentially. In general, I recommend slow and steady. In particular, I recommend that each time we come to a fork in this dialectic road, we address only one claim, one alternative, at a time – following where it leads -- and leave the others behind, for later development. (See Appendix J.)

IV. Prosecution



(An unrelated, developing, Public Written Serial Debate)