You've missed my point entirely. I'm not debating which modern edition of the GNT is best. I'm just saying that believing Christians have been engaged in the text-critical task for a long time and that they didn't see any need to draw their criteria directly from the Bible. Augustine argues his point on the basis of empirically verifiable evidence and known scribal tendencies.
Certainly there is room to criticize the choice and application of certain criteria, but that is entirely different from Chris' statement that empirical criteria "are automatically discredited because they were not derived from scripture, but from autonomous human reasoning."
Just to clarify I'm not against all textual criticism, actually no matter which side of the fence you stand you will have to rely on some sort of textual criticism, the editor of the TR were critical of some manuscripts that they considered badly corrupted (funny that those same MSS are now almost idolized by the "modern" textual critics). I was only pointing that when you said that the 3 criteria used by Augustine were the same used by modern textual critics, it seemed pretty much ironic to me since they pretty much ignore the "majoirty" of MSS.
In short what we disagree on is not Textual Criticism itself but the "philosophy" of modern textual criticism.