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

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otseng
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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 #1841

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to otseng in post #1845]
As testified by DrNoGods...
This was a generic statement concerning the measurement of anything by any method. If something is weighed on a scale with a damaged mechanism, or measured with a ruler having grid marks placed incorrectly, the wrong result will be obtained. C-14 dating is no different, and similarly must be done with properly working and calibrated instrumentation, trained personnel, and properly prepared and uncontaminated samples. I was not arguing that the C-14 measurements by AMS have any kind of inherent flaw or unsound theoretical basis. If the process meets the above requirements, it should produce reliable results.
So, if anyone accepts C-14 as conclusive evidence against the mountain of evidence that supports the shroud, then one can use C-14 also to argue against deep time, even if there is a mountain of evidence to support deep time.
C-14 doesn't have the range to address "deep time" (assuming that means millions or billions of years and not tens of thousands). But of course there are other combinations of elements and their daughters (eg. U/Pb, Sr/Ru and others) that can. The same requirements on equipment, calibration, sample integrity, etc. would apply to these as well, as usual for any measurement of something.
Next, I will present evidence the entire C-14 procedure was flawed.
I'll be interested to see this ... whether the arguments are against the technique itself, or expected problems with the sample and its handling.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1842

Post by Difflugia »

otseng wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 6:09 amI say "clap on the back" because in the short time you created this thread, numerous skeptics have participated in your thread, but few participate in mine.
I haven't participated in the Shroud discussion in this thread because your thread so far has presented no positive evidence that the Shroud is what it claims to be. All of the evidence presented has been that it's a late thirteenth century creation. Your response is that it might not be and that's apparently good enough for you.

If you've presented any evidence that it's more likely to be the burial shroud of any version of Jesus than it is, say, Zeus' long lost beach towel, I missed it. I assert that I made a good faith effort to find it and didn't. I'm not asking you to redo any work you already have, but if you can in even the broadest way point me to where I might find that evidence within this thread, please do. Otherwise, I maintain that the characterization I presented of this thread is accurate:
Difflugia wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:32 pmAs far as I can tell, otseng's argument so far is that since the 14C data might be wrong, his lack of evidence wins the debate.
There's a reason that the word possible gets bandied about so often in Christian apologetics: it's the highest bar that an honest apologist can clear.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1843

Post by brunumb »

otseng wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 5:46 am So, if anyone accepts C-14 as conclusive evidence against the mountain of evidence that supports the shroud, then one can use C-14 also to argue against deep time, even if there is a mountain of evidence to support deep time.
[Bolding added]

I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. ;)
There is little in the way of definitive evidence for the authenticity of the shroud. No provenance for a start. It cannot be traced back to Jesus and the tomb. Carbon dating nips that in the bud in any case. Everything else is speculative and based on retrofitting possible rather than probable explanations into the image.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1844

Post by JoeyKnothead »

brunumb wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 4:58 pm
otseng wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 5:46 am So, if anyone accepts C-14 as conclusive evidence against the mountain of evidence that supports the shroud, then one can use C-14 also to argue against deep time, even if there is a mountain of evidence to support deep time.
[Bolding added]

I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
...
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1845

Post by otseng »

DrNoGods wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 9:28 am This was a generic statement concerning the measurement of anything by any method. If something is weighed on a scale with a damaged mechanism, or measured with a ruler having grid marks placed incorrectly, the wrong result will be obtained. C-14 dating is no different, and similarly must be done with properly working and calibrated instrumentation, trained personnel, and properly prepared and uncontaminated samples. I was not arguing that the C-14 measurements by AMS have any kind of inherent flaw or unsound theoretical basis. If the process meets the above requirements, it should produce reliable results.
Of course. And I affirmed this earlier...
otseng wrote: Tue Feb 07, 2023 9:41 pm Though no one is charging me with this, I want to make it clear that I'm not denying the science of C-14. In its proper place, C-14 can be a useful tool to date organic archaeological remains.
C-14 doesn't have the range to address "deep time" (assuming that means millions or billions of years and not tens of thousands).
If deep time is true, then of course there should be no C-14 that can be detected. But, the evidence has shown there are C-14 that has been detected in coal deposits. My argument is not against deep time -- that can be for another thread. But my argument is if anyone claims C-14 dating conclusively proves the date of the shroud to be 1260 - 1390, then I will likewise claim coal deposits are conclusively dated to 40,000 years old.

"Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), a sensitive radiometric dating technique, is in some cases finding trace amounts of radioactive carbon-14 in coal deposits, amounts that seem to indicate an age of around 40,000 years."
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html
I'll be interested to see this ... whether the arguments are against the technique itself, or expected problems with the sample and its handling.
Again, I'm not arguing against the science of C-14, but will point out procedural errors in the testing.

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

Post #1846

Post by otseng »

Difflugia wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 12:41 pm I haven't participated in the Shroud discussion in this thread because your thread so far has presented no positive evidence that the Shroud is what it claims to be.
The only thing I've really argued so far is it's not artwork.
All of the evidence presented has been that it's a late thirteenth century creation. Your response is that it might not be and that's apparently good enough for you.
What evidence are you referring to? The C-14 dating?
If you've presented any evidence that it's more likely to be the burial shroud of any version of Jesus than it is, say, Zeus' long lost beach towel, I missed it.
I have not started to argue the image is of Jesus yet.
Difflugia wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:32 pmAs far as I can tell, otseng's argument so far is that since the 14C data might be wrong, his lack of evidence wins the debate.
Who's lack of evidence are you referring to? Again, the only line of argumentation I've provided to argue for a positive case is that it's not artwork, but a body was involved...
otseng wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 7:34 am All that is being proposed now is simply a body. Since it's not artwork, somehow an actual human body was involved. A forger could've used a body in the Middle ages, a 1st century person (who is not Jesus) could've been buried, or it was Jesus that was buried.

As for arguments that it was Jesus Christ, I'll get into that when we explore the blood stains, which we'll get to after wrapping up the arguments against the D'Arcis memo.
Since that post, DrNoGods has agreed to discuss C-14. So, we'll be discussing the blood stains after C-14...
otseng wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 8:14 am
DrNoGods wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:18 pm You've made such a deep dive into TS it would require some real interest in the subject, and effort to catch up on knowledge to date, to get into the fray. But when the C-14 stuff comes along I may jump in as that subject is much more within my bailiwick.
Excellent. Just for you, I will then take up C-14 as my next topic to discuss.

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

Post #1847

Post by otseng »

brunumb wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 4:58 pm There is little in the way of definitive evidence for the authenticity of the shroud. No provenance for a start. It cannot be traced back to Jesus and the tomb.
I'm not claiming there's definitive evidence of its authenticity. But I do believe the preponderance of the evidence supports its authenticity.
Carbon dating nips that in the bud in any case.
Are you saying the C-14 dating is conclusive evidence of the dating of the shroud?
Everything else is speculative and based on retrofitting possible rather than probable explanations into the image.
What explanations are you referring to?

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

Post #1848

Post by otseng »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 5:24 pm It's easy to do when one doesn't consider all the facts.
What facts are you referring to? And please don't tell me it's your "3 facts".

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

Post #1849

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to otseng in post #1850]
If deep time is true, then of course there should be no C-14 that can be detected. But, the evidence has shown there are C-14 that has been detected in coal deposits. My argument is not against deep time -- that can be for another thread. But my argument is if anyone claims C-14 dating conclusively proves the date of the shroud to be 1260 - 1390, then I will likewise claim coal deposits are conclusively dated to 40,000 years old.
AMS blindly detects C-14 regardless of how it got into the sample. So the issue with C-14 in coal deposits reduces to how it may have gotten there if not by the primary assumption used in C-14 dating: A continuous interaction with the environment (eating, breathing) by a living thing produces equivalent amounts of carbon isotopes as in the environment, and at death the isotopes all decay according to their half-lives. Measuring the amount of C-14 relative to C-12 and C-13 can then establish an age when the living thing stopped living... IF nothing comes along to disturb this scenario.

C-14 in the atmosphere comes from cosmic rays producing neutrons which hit N-14 and basically swap a neutron for an ejected proton producing an atom with 6 protons (and therefore carbon) and 8 neutrons for a molecular weight of 14 (C-14). But this isn't the only way to make C-14, and for any C-14 dating method any other mechanism that can produce C-14 has to be considered to get valid dates.

For coal, the candidates for making C-14 outside of the normal atmospheric reaction mentioned above are U/Th decay, and fungal/bacterial activity, both of which have been shown to create enhanced C-14. This would be analogous to the marine reservoir effect, or the "bomb effect", and must be accounted for. It doesn't imply that coal deposits are only 40,000 years old ... it just means the primary assumption isn't valid if there are other mechanisms that can produce C-14 in the sample. If there are such mechanisms in play, then dating coal via AMS would require corrections to separate the production of C-14 from the various sources, and that may be too difficult, impossible, or possible depending on the details.
Again, I'm not arguing against the science of C-14, but will point out procedural errors in the testing.
This seems to be the only path an argument against the C-14 results could take ... the sample was not from the original material but from a later repair, issues with contamination of the sample prior to extraction, during/after extraction, etc. (short of an outright conspiracy by the science groups involved to produce a certain result), or something like this. C-14 in coal or diamond (another often cited "problem" with C-14 dating) can be explained if there is another mechanism for its production besides cosmic rays and stratospheric reactions that produce it.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1850

Post by otseng »

Before I get into the details of the procedural problems, I want to note not one particular group involved bears all the guilt, but all groups involved in the C-14 dating bears responsibility. Some even might have good reasons to introduce procedural violations. But for the most part, they should've known better.

I would say the TS C-14 dating would be one of the most high profile C-14 dating projects. Everyone involved should have taken the utmost care and rigor in conducting the test. But, as I will argue, they did not.

Probably the only major group that is innocent in all of this would be the original STURP team. And that's only because they were unceremoniously kicked out to have any involvement with the C-14 dating. In hindsight, it turned out to be a blessing to them to not have been involved.

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