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Shamgar
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Roy, There's not really anything here worth the time to respond to, I said what I came to say. For example - I'm not sure why anyone would take your word for how debates are managed or what it takes to put one on (which is a lot more than just whether or not you have to rent the facility - which wasn't even my point). I do however want to respond to this little gem: 4. Do you not know much about homeschools or homeschooling? Surely you are aware that they are generally accredited and licensed by the states, in terms of curriculum, right? Surely you are aware that their students are subject to standardized testing as well, right? Well, as a homeschooling father of four students for over nine years now, with my oldest being a Junior in high school, yes, I do know. And I also know that no, they are not generally accredited or licensed by the states. It sounds like you live in one of those backwards states like California that basically tries to turn home schools into public schools. Those of us who still live in free parts of america know no such nonsense, and in testing students in those parts do better on average than students in schools with state oversight and accreditation. But you go on believing that I'm the one who doesn't know anything about homeschooling. That said, I'll just say again, if you want to publish something to interact with Dr White's work, and deal with its scholarship then do it. The rest of this is just silliness. Paul Owen's comment is the closest anyone has come to actually dealing with his work, but even it is still just more restating of the same old opinions, without actually interacting with the material at all. (Not that I expect anyone to take up this blog post comment section to do that mind you - but that's what publishing is for.)
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Roy - I can't believe I'm going to wade into this, but there are a few things I believe are worth noting here. While I am personally opposed to the very concept of copyright, it is the reality in our country, and the creator(s) of a work have the rights to its distribution. Putting on these debates is not a cost-free exercise. Funding is required to obtain the venues, pay for the equipment, and for the costs of bringing the participants in the debate together. There are also costs associated with distribution - even online distribution. There is real work done in putting these debates on and making them available, and it is how Dr White and his associates make their living. I believe that Scripture pretty clearly indicates that people have a general right to make a living off of their efforts -- even if those efforts are in some way ministry related. Further, Dr White does not, and has not ever, charged for the gospel. He makes all kinds of material available for free (his website, the Dividing Line program, etc). Further, when on the Dividing Line or online or in person interacting with people who are in need of the gospel and/or trapped in false religion Dr White frequently ships even these for-cost materials to them for free, in the hopes it will be a help to them. Dr White has spent countless hours with people out on the street (particularly with Mormons), after debates, at conferences, etc trying to reach them with the gospel. When he still ate food he would give up his chance to eat to spend more time with those who were lost. He freely proclaims the Gospel all of the time. These debates are not the Gospel. The gospel is not proving the truth of Christianity or the bankruptcy of non-christian worldviews. The gospel is not intermural debates between Christians. The gospel is what God has done for us in Christ - and I am not aware of anywhere that Dr White has charged for this. As for your absurd claims about doctorates, it is not accredited that grants the title of Dr, but rather the work that is done. I have never seen anyone who takes issue with his title do so while interacting directly with the work that was done - they just point to whether or not the school bothered to get accredited. There are a significant number of people being homeschooled today. There are also a lot of students going to schools that are not "accredited". Historically the claim has been made that because they aren't going to "accredited" (or in common parlance, "approved of") schools, they will be stupid and not have a good education, and probably won't get into college. Of course, I say historically, because just about the only people who say this any more are people who are either completely ignorant of the data or just plain foolish. To say such a thing now just reveals your ignorance. On average homeschooling students perform far better than students in "approved of" schools. The same can be said of *some* unaccredited schools. If you want to compare schools, you can be lazy and use accreditation, which of course just tells you that they probably charge more money, and that they meet the bare minimum standard of the organization that granted the accreditation. Or - you can actually do some real research and look at the work that is done and look at the results, and choose a school that will give you the *knowledge* that you want, and the *experience* that you need - probably with a greater level of work and a greater quality of result. Sure there will be those who stand in the corner and throw jibes at your degree because it's an easy mark. But the real question is this, did you get the degree so that people would respect you because of it, and because the institution that granted it has accredited status, and therefore it confers some holy attestation of intelligence and scholarship (perhaps contrary to all available evidence)? Or did you get that degree because of the product of it, and because you wanted to actually use it? If so, you really won't care what the naysayers have to say with their ill-informed opinions of the real work it takes to get a PhD the way you did. To paraphrase Gump - scholarship is as scholarship does. If you want to disagree with Dr White fine - do so on the basis of what he does. If you want to take issue with his PhD, fine. Be a man and do it the right way, get his work, and interact with it. Don't stand in the corner and take pot-shots at people who are actually putting legs to their scholarship over whether or not their education came from somewhere you approve of.
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Feb 14, 2011