It is with respect to his third critique that it is ludicrous to disallow disagreement with an authority because he is a great Torah scholar that I find myself most strongly disagreeing with Rabbi Slifkin. Once again, he knocks down an easy strawman rather than deal with the real issue.
The issue is NOT whether there can be legitimate disagreement on Torah issues. Anyone who deals with a machlokes
The Pri Megadim can disagree with Rabbi Akiva Eiger, but no matter how well I learn a sugya it indeed would be ludicrous for me to disagree. At best I can say R' Akiva Eiger is tzarich iyun to me. In one of the biographies of R' Baruch Ber it is related that when R' B.B. would say a shiur and answer a question RAKE left b'tzarich iyun he would say the shiur is just a hava amina but not a real answer or surely RAKE would have thought of it!
The question R' Slifkin raises as to why Rav Hirsch's writings should not be expunged from Torah texts because of some of the non-traditional views Hirsch held just as his [Slifkin's] works have been banned shows a shortsightedness as to why and how works become part of the canon of great Torah texts and why certain people become enshrined by history as great Torah leaders. One can point to the writings of any Torah great and find views that are sometimes difficult to understand -- the fact that you may not have an answer for Tosfos' critique of Rashi in no way diminishes Rashi's greatness. It is the totality of vision, thought, and character that makes a gadol, and given that totality of personality, we assume there must be logic and justification even behind writings that strike us as perplexing. Does Rabbi Slifkin truly believe he has shown a mastery of the totality of Torah literature that would demand we give his writings the same benefit of the doubt we might give to a Rav Hirsch even in the face of the staunchest opposition?
Rabbi Slifkin "defends" his opponents by suggesting that they adhere to a different understanding of mesorah than the one he subscribes to and within that framework their opposition in understandable. Putting aside for a moment whether the fact that so many Torah giants subscribe to a different viewpoint itself should give one pause (see part 1), it does not seem to dawn on Rabbi Slifkin that disagreement with his views may not stem from an alternate framework of mesorah, but simply because the understanding of sources he is so confident even gedolim are ignorant of is either 1) wrong; 2) only partially correct; 3) perhaps defensible as an "..v'od yesh lomar" but not the best approach; 4) not for public consumption for other reasons. (See R' Daniel Eidensohn's blog who made these same points here.)
Would a person in their wildest dreams think of saying they "choose" to pasken like a Magen Avraham against a Ta"z even though the greatest poseki hador say otherwise? Does that fact that in previous doros other poskim might have paskened like that Magen Avraham make any shred of difference? I think not. So why in areas of emunos v'deyos do the same rules not apply? Unless there are gedolei yisrael on whose shoulders you sit, "Torah archeology" of past views and your personal interpretation of whether or not they agree with your views carries little weight.
Rabbi Slifkin argues that just as one can be part of the chareidi community without necessarily following the gedolim's advice as to who to vote for in the Israeli elections, so too, perhaps one can be chareidi and still agree with his views as opposed to those of gedolim. Does Rabbi Slifkin see no difference between what gedolim advise in a non-halachic context and what they teach with respect to fundemental emunos v'deyos?
For the final time let me reiterate: R' Slifkin's books are of little interest to me. I am far more interested in R' Elchanan's chakira of whether psik reisha assumes an implicit kavanah or needs no kavanah than whether chickens can really live without heads; I am far more interested in the geder of kinyanim than whether elephants can jump. What I find far more troubling than a few books is the attiutude toward gedolei torah this controversy has engendered. R' Slifkin claims "thousands" in the chareidi community agree with his approach but "virtually nobody dares say so." I am reminded of Hillary Clinton's famous remark about a "vast right wing conspiracy" -- is this really how we should think of gedolei yisrael? Is the public lack of support just a product of societal pressure and politics reaching even the hallowed halls of the Beis Medrash, or could it be, just maybe, that when push comes to shove, gedolei yisrael from the right and left (as I noted before, I have not read a single haskama from the YU Roshei Yeshiva either) plain and simple do not think these ideas should be taught or supported publicly?