How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

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How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1

Post by otseng »

From the On the Bible being inerrant thread:
nobspeople wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:42 amHow can you trust something that's written about god that contradictory, contains errors and just plain wrong at times? Is there a logical way to do so, or do you just want it to be god's word so much that you overlook these things like happens so often through the history of christianity?
otseng wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:08 am The Bible can still be God's word, inspired, authoritative, and trustworthy without the need to believe in inerrancy.
For debate:
How can the Bible be considered authoritative and inspired without the need to believe in the doctrine of inerrancy?

While debating, do not simply state verses to say the Bible is inspired or trustworthy.

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #731

Post by Diogenes »

Responding to TRANSPONDER:
Yes, it's important to make a distinction between whether or not a famous battle occurred, and attributing divine intervention as the cause of the victory. If there is independent corroborating evidence for a victorious battle, one need not discount it simply because of some general attribution to the result coming from 'the gods.' But when the divine intervention takes the form of angels, talking animals, and impossible celestial events, we are more likely to take the entire thing as dubious.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #732

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Diogenes wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 10:12 pm Responding to TRANSPONDER:
Yes, it's important to make a distinction between whether or not a famous battle occurred, and attributing divine intervention as the cause of the victory. If there is independent corroborating evidence for a victorious battle, one need not discount it simply because of some general attribution to the result coming from 'the gods.' But when the divine intervention takes the form of angels, talking animals, and impossible celestial events, we are more likely to take the entire thing as dubious.
It's rather axiomatic that those who send wars off think their gods are on their side and if the win a battle it's claimed their gods helped them, but we never never hear about their gods when they lose. Or perhaps we do, with various people being blames for annoying the gods. I suppose it played nicely into the hands of the Yahweh cult in Jerusalem when Assyria smashed the Northern kingdom, because they had just been a bit too tolerant of religious diversity.

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #733

Post by alexxcJRO »

otseng wrote: Tue Feb 01, 2022 11:05 pm

C14 in fossil fuels is not the only evidence of a young earth.

There is plenty evidence of old universe/old earth.

Q: Are you saying all the bellow methods are wrong?

Methods of dating :

Uranium-Lead

Potassium-Argon Dating

Uranium series

Fission track

Luminescence (optically or thermally stimulated)

Electron Spin Resonance (ESR)

Cosmogenic Nuclides

Magnetostratigraphy

Tephrochronology

Dendrochronology

Globular clusters and Hubble constant
otseng wrote: Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:37 am

Maximalist (4) - Almost all events, places, and people existed. Major points would be true and minor details could be incorrect.
I place myself as a maximalist (4).
Off course a huge number scientists from geology, biology, botany, zoology, genetic, neurobiology, medicine, psychiatry, paleontology, anthropology, archaeology, physics, cosmology, chemistry, climatology and most historian scholars-new testament scholars who devoted all their lives to study, who most likely are/were more intelligent then you, are/were all wrong on so many subjects is baffling and you, a mere average human being, are right. :shock:

Q: How likely is that from all the mutually exclusive claims involving religions/sects/denominations one is correct (yours), one which contradicts so many fields of study while considering we have functioning satellites, GPS, phones, PCs, internet, TVs, all kinds of transportations systems, vaccines, antibiotics, all kind of medicines, home heating systems, Electric Light, air conditioning, fridges, self driving cars all because of the above people from all those fields? :?

Textual example of dunning-kruger effect. 8-)
"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."
"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
"God is a insignificant nobody. He is so unimportant that no one would even know he exists if evolution had not made possible for animals capable of abstract thought to exist and invent him"
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #734

Post by otseng »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:08 am I would say that Minimalist would best fit my view. Bearing in mind that this is NOT 'most placed did not exist, some did' because you could trash that by 'proving' that most places existed. That would be a strawman of my position which is that Nanareth, Bethlehem, the Magi, Herod, The Census of Quirinus were all real places (if not existing in the 1st c), persons and events.
Understood. But, it might need further clarification on differentiating from the maximal (4) position where it allows for minor errors to exist.

For me, the distinction for minor errors would be non-doctrinal claims of the Bible and I would even allow for all those claims to be purely symbolic.
Then it's alternative history rather religious belief? Are you saying that of course the Tower of Babel ..collapse I suppose, was the origin of different languages, but of course God wasn't anything to do with it. The Bible merely records an actual event.
If we agree the tower of Babel was the origin of all languages, I'd be content with that. This is my main goal. If we agree on that, then we can debate if God was involved.
It's very much like the Flood. If one accepts the many Flood legends as implying that it was NOT a total Global wipe-out of God's creation (apart from the chosen who survived, China where the great Yu controlled it and Egypt where it din't really affect anyone .... :D I suppose you don't have a place for Atlantis in there? ... it doesn't bother you that the doctrinal and religious point is completely debunked so long as the Bible is to be relied upon as recording an actual event?
Same with a global flood. If we agree to a global flood, then we can debate if God was involved in the flood.

BTW, came across an interesting article - Scientists Say Ancient Earth Was Completely Covered in Water.

"Scientists at Iowa State and the University of Colorado say they’ve found compelling new evidence that the ancient Earth was an unbroken expanse of water, without a single continent. Yes: “Waterworld.”

I'm not claiming this supports the Biblical account, but it shows even scientists can believe that the entire world could be covered with water.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 7:03 amJust as, if the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem is true (and the evidence proves that it is) the doctrinal aspect (God smote the Assyrians) is (arguably) false.
What doctrinal statement are you referring to?
if the Crucifixion is true (and I think it is) it makes better sense if the disciples really did take the body and intended to from the time Jesus was arrested.
Jesus not raising from the dead would definitely have a doctrinal impact.

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Philosophy of science

Post #735

Post by otseng »

Diogenes wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 5:23 pm I could accept the Bible "as reliable as any other book" that claims to record fantastic or supernatural events that are impossible according to known science.
Want to reiterate that they are only impossible because modern science assumes naturalism is true, not because naturalism is actually true. I touched on it before:
otseng wrote: Sat Dec 25, 2021 10:00 am Science, by definition, only deals with naturalistic explanations. It assumes that only the natural world exists and only naturalistic explanations can be used. It says nothing about supernatural causation and if it can or cannot happen.
To get into more detail about this...

"Philosophy of science looks at the underpinning logic of the scientific method, at what separates science from non-science, and the ethic that is implicit in science. There are basic assumptions, derived from philosophy by at least one prominent scientist, that form the base of the scientific method – namely, that reality is objective and consistent, that humans have the capacity to perceive reality accurately, and that rational explanations exist for elements of the real world. These assumptions from methodological naturalism form a basis on which science may be grounded."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

"the more moderate view that naturalism should be assumed in one's working methods as the current paradigm, without any further consideration of whether naturalism is true in the robust metaphysical sense, is called methodological naturalism."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)

Methodological naturalism, which assumes the supernatural does not exist, is in contrast to metaphysical (philosophical) naturalism, which claims the supernatural actually does not exist.

Science does not take the position of metaphysical (philosophical) naturalism.
Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific "dead ends" and God of the gaps-type hypotheses. To avoid these traps scientists assume that all causes are empirical and naturalistic, which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically.

However, this assumption of naturalism need not extend beyond an assumption of methodology. This is what separates methodological naturalism from philosophical naturalism — the former is merely a tool and makes no truth claim, while the latter makes the philosophical — essentially atheistic — claim that only natural causes exist.
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

Also want to add this is more or less the approach I'm taking in the debates so far in this thread. I have not been invoking a supernatural causation for a global flood or origin of languages or even creation of the Bible. If we use science, there is a limit to where it can go and it stops at the line between the natural and the supernatural. Science, by its limitation of the assumption of naturalism, cannot take any steps further than this line. To cross this line, will have to use general philosophy to support supernatural causation.

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #736

Post by Diogenes »

otseng wrote: Sun Feb 06, 2022 8:13 am
Diogenes wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 5:23 pm I could accept the Bible "as reliable as any other book" that claims to record fantastic or supernatural events that are impossible according to known science.
Want to reiterate that they are only impossible because modern science assumes naturalism is true, not because naturalism is actually true. I touched on it before:
otseng wrote: Sat Dec 25, 2021 10:00 am Science, by definition, only deals with naturalistic explanations. It assumes that only the natural world exists and only naturalistic explanations can be used. It says nothing about supernatural causation and if it can or cannot happen.
To get into more detail about this...

"Philosophy of science looks at the underpinning logic of the scientific method, at what separates science from non-science, and the ethic that is implicit in science. There are basic assumptions, derived from philosophy by at least one prominent scientist, that form the base of the scientific method – namely, that reality is objective and consistent, that humans have the capacity to perceive reality accurately, and that rational explanations exist for elements of the real world. These assumptions from methodological naturalism form a basis on which science may be grounded."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

"the more moderate view that naturalism should be assumed in one's working methods as the current paradigm, without any further consideration of whether naturalism is true in the robust metaphysical sense, is called methodological naturalism."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)

Methodological naturalism, which assumes the supernatural does not exist, is in contrast to metaphysical (philosophical) naturalism, which claims the supernatural actually does not exist.
....
I think I am with you, to this point.
I do not think science has any business assuming the 'supernatural' does not exist. Science studies what it can study. Still, it is fair for a scientist to say, "There is no basis for" some supposed supernatural event. An example of the scientific approach can be found at https://www.randyeverist.com/2011/03/me ... sm-vs.html

'Methodological naturalism is exactly as it sounds; a scientific method. It deals exclusively in naturalistic explanations. For example, if a scientist wanted to understand the moon’s gravitational effect on the tides, he would not say, “It seems a good hypothesis is there are unicorns on a hidden, invisible base on the moon which use magical rays to pull back the water and then forward again. They just happen to do it in a way in which it appears the moon is involved.”'
Perhaps 'reductionism' is a term that can be applied to the method. Over the Centuries we have seen the curious and quaint attribution of supernatural entities, whether gods or unicorns, as the cause of natural events. Thor's hammer and Zeus's thunderbolts, like Yahweh's "creation magic," have been rendered unnecessary and therefore obsolete. We no longer give credence to Raven dropping seeds or whatever as a reasonable cause of the beginning of the Earth.
But the religious apologist wants to carve out a special exemption for HIS religion, for HIS holy book. They start out by saying "God created the Earth in a literal 6 days, 24 hour days." With more evidence of the natural world this eventually becomes, "not literal 24 hour days and God did it by 'natural processes,' but God still did it." A popular version of this is the begrudging, "well, yes, there are certain mechanics of evolution, but they don't result in species changes (macro vs micro evolution or whatever the current label).

All other religious traditions invoking magic and the supernatural are dismissed, but ONE exception is made, for MY religious belief.

The Christian apologist dismisses all other supernatural traditions insofar as they contradict THEIR pet divine-magic tradition.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #737

Post by Diogenes »

otseng wrote: Sun Feb 06, 2022 8:13 am
Diogenes wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 5:23 pm I could accept the Bible "as reliable as any other book" that claims to record fantastic or supernatural events that are impossible according to known science.
Want to reiterate that they are only impossible because modern science assumes naturalism is true, not because naturalism is actually true.
....
Perhaps words/concepts like "true" are not as useful as "What method of knowing best corresponds to reliable corroboration?" We can ask a variety of questions about the utility or predictability of knowledge systems, but we come down to something like "What system of inquiry most reliably yields useful results that can be employed in the practical world as we apprehend it?"

Faith, intuition, magic, religious revelation result in anything and everything and nothing reliable. Naturalism may not be automatically or irrevocably present itself as the only system of finding truth, but what is in second place? What other system comes close. Employment of science allows us to fly people to the moon and bring them safely home. Religious methods of finding truth lead to chaos, division, and claims that are rejected by everyone and every group except the one that makes the claim.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #738

Post by TRANSPONDER »

otseng wrote: Sun Feb 06, 2022 7:43 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:08 am I would say that Minimalist would best fit my view. Bearing in mind that this is NOT 'most placed did not exist, some did' because you could trash that by 'proving' that most places existed. That would be a strawman of my position which is that Nanareth, Bethlehem, the Magi, Herod, The Census of Quirinus were all real places (if not existing in the 1st c), persons and events.
Understood. But, it might need further clarification on differentiating from the maximal (4) position where it allows for minor errors to exist.

For me, the distinction for minor errors would be non-doctrinal claims of the Bible and I would even allow for all those claims to be purely symbolic.
No, no. For me yjis is about Bible reliability as to actual events and minor errors like one or two angels (easily excused) against errors that really call Bible credibility into question (The nativities, no Transfiguration in John and - yes - the resurrections make the mid -biggies (two donkeys, the announcement in the Nazareth synagogue, the death of Judas) look like fabrications even though excuses can be made. This cumulative debunk of the Bible bringing debatable stuff like the missing parables, arrangement of sermon material and the one -offs, omissions and misplaced events into consideration. Doctrine is irrelevant. Really. If the Bible loses credibility, doctrine goes with it.
Then it's alternative history rather religious belief? Are you saying that of course the Tower of Babel ..collapse I suppose, was the origin of different languages, but of course God wasn't anything to do with it. The Bible merely records an actual event.
If we agree the tower of Babel was the origin of all languages, I'd be content with that. This is my main goal. If we agree on that, then we can debate if God was involved.
It's very much like the Flood. If one accepts the many Flood legends as implying that it was NOT a total Global wipe-out of God's creation (apart from the chosen who survived, China where the great Yu controlled it and Egypt where it din't really affect anyone .... :D I suppose you don't have a place for Atlantis in there? ... it doesn't bother you that the doctrinal and religious point is completely debunked so long as the Bible is to be relied upon as recording an actual event?
Same with a global flood. If we agree to a global flood, then we can debate if God was involved in the flood.
:D Let's not agree that the Biblical tower of Babel or the Biblical flood are actual events, but let's suppose I did, how would you common on it being non -credible that they were brought about by Biblegod for the purpose the Bible says?
BTW, came across an interesting article - Scientists Say Ancient Earth Was Completely Covered in Water.

"Scientists at Iowa State and the University of Colorado say they’ve found compelling new evidence that the ancient Earth was an unbroken expanse of water, without a single continent. Yes: “Waterworld.”

I'm not claiming this supports the Biblical account, but it shows even scientists can believe that the entire world could be covered with water.
Yes, I gather there was a time that the earth was largely water with islands rather than continents. I also gather there was once mostly water with the super -continent of Pangaea. None of that does a single thing to make thew Bible more credible as it all happened before mammals dominated the earth never mind man. You may reject that, but I don't.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Feb 05, 2022 7:03 amJust as, if the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem is true (and the evidence proves that it is) the doctrinal aspect (God smote the Assyrians) is (arguably) false.
What doctrinal statement are you referring to?
That Bible god is real and the Bible is evidence of it. The Assyrian siege was real, but (I argue) was lied about to make it look like Bibegod helped the Hebres when they actually has to surrender.
if the Crucifixion is true (and I think it is) it makes better sense if the disciples really did take the body and intended to from the time Jesus was arrested.
Jesus not raising from the dead would definitely have a doctrinal impact.
Just as credibly (if not provably) rising from death woul. This is why the resurrection for me is the focal debate of Bible credibility. The Nativity is important as a test case :D because if that was dismissed as an add -on myth for doctrinal purposes (Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem and the virgin birth had evidently become a Thing) that would not be a serious loss. In fact (like relegating Genesis to myth) it might even be a relief to get rid of.

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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #739

Post by Diogenes »

otseng wrote: Sun Feb 06, 2022 8:13 am ....
I have not been invoking a supernatural causation for a global flood or origin of languages or even creation of the Bible. If we use science, there is a limit to where it can go and it stops at the line between the natural and the supernatural. Science, by its limitation of the assumption of naturalism, cannot take any steps further than this line. To cross this line, will have to use general philosophy to support supernatural causation.
The problem with this paragraph is its assumption that the supernatural exists. There is no evidence for its existence. None.
Quite right, science cannot find it, let alone study it. To cross that line one might as well step into a wardrobe expecting to find Narnia.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #740

Post by otseng »

alexxcJRO wrote: Sun Feb 06, 2022 5:04 am There is plenty evidence of old universe/old earth.

Q: Are you saying all the bellow methods are wrong?
Sure, there is evidence of an old universe/earth. But, likewise, there is evidence of a young universe/earth as well. We could get into a debate about this, but it's not the focus of this thread. I'll add it's not especially relevant to the authority of the Bible either. The age of the universe/earth is not a doctrinal position and there are Christians who span the gamut of belief in an old universe/earth to young universe/earth. There are even those that believe in an old universe and a young earth (like myself).

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