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 #1901

Post by otseng »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Feb 22, 2023 1:10 pm That looks to me like a technical legal trick to try to get valid evidence thrown out. A conflict of interest (unless you can present how it actually invalidated the C14 result) does not in itself mean the date is wrong. Wouldn't you be better off in presenting the argument as to why the samples are from medieval patching repairs rather than the original shroud?
Not sure what you mean by "trick", but the only trickery involved here is by those involved in the C-14 dating, not by any of my arguments. Everything I've been presenting are facts backed by references. If you have any counter-evidence, please present it.
DrNoGods wrote: Wed Feb 22, 2023 2:54 pm Agreed ... it invites suspicion and doubt that could have been avoided, but as TRANSPONDER says it doesn't invalidate the results.
Depends on what you mean by invalidate the results. As TRANSPONDER alluded to, I'm not claiming there's a flaw with the science of C-14, but there are flaws with the entire procedure of the 1988 C-14 dating of the shroud.
It seems the most plausible explanations are that the sample was not from the original shroud material but a later repair, or it was contaminated in some way prior to reaching the testing labs.
Yes, that is what I believe is the case. I'll be presenting evidence for that later.
Diogenes wrote: Wed Feb 22, 2023 4:17 pm The conspiracy theory re: the C-14 dating to be part of a plot is ridiculous for several reasons.
What conspiracy theory are you referring to? Please cite and reference where I've claimed there's some conspiracy.

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

Post #1902

Post by otseng »

For honest scientific work to be done, all gathered data should be considered. You cannot just pick and choose data and manipulate the data in order to get the desired results.

Since 2017, when scientists were able to get access to the raw C-14 data and analyze it, it has been discovered the labs had manipulated their data.
According to their own published reports, they [Dr. Tite's C-14 researchers] discarded readings that didn't fit what they wanted. From their own figures, they were as much as 400 years off on the low end, and on the high end 1500 years off, which is pretty significant.
https://www.academia.edu/35676841/Polit ... Dating_S25

To be clear, the manipulation of the data does not explain why a 1st century cloth would be dated to the 13th or 14th century. Even if the data was not manipulated, it would've still dated the samples to be medieval by C-14 dating.
The results show that the different assessments produced by the same laboratory (raw vs. Nature) are not statistically signficant, whereas the analysis of the raw radiocarbon dates confirmed that the different laboratories produced different assessments and that these differences are, in most cases, statistically signficant.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs ... arcm.12467

So, why would they want to manipulate the data?

The manipulation of the data seemed more for the purpose of not invalidating the test results from the labs.
Harry E. Gove, the inventor of the AMS method, affirmed that '[if] one of the three laboratories obtained an outlier result ... it would be impossible statistically to identify it and the three measurements would all have to be included in the average thereby producing an incorrect result' (Gove 1989, 237). Our statistical analysis confirms that this criticism was warranted.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs ... arcm.12467

By discarding the low end of the data, it made the distribution curve tighter and allow it to pass the chi-square test.
After the change in two uncertainties from Arizona Raw 1 to Arizona Raw 2, the chi-square becomes almost acceptable (Table 3). This adjustment is unusual, since none of the radiocarbon dates of the control samples were modified by Arizona.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs ... arcm.12467

Image
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs ... arcm.12467

With the result of the entire raw data, it would produce less than a 1.36% probability the composite dating is reliable. However, even with outlier data being discarded, it would only produce a 4.176% significance level. This was rounded to 5% to meet the minimum 5% threshold level in order to be considered a valid test.

More on the statistical analysis:



"It's a well-known fact that scientists can produce whatever result they want. If you believe that passionately in something, you can steer the results. My God, we've all been guilty of that."
Harry Gove, May 1988

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

Post #1903

Post by TRANSPONDER »

[Replying to otseng in post #1902]

That link did not explain so much as make a claim. One might say as an 'abstract'. To clarify your position, are you saying that the Shroud C14 dating is questionable, which is a fair point, or that C14 dating itself is questionable? Your mathematical references looked more like it was questioning the methodology of C14 dating rather than the argument that the shroud sample was a later patch or (if not) contaminated or indeed technicalities about the protocols of handling the results.

It looked to me from the video that the argument is a bit of a strawman - it is treating the result (s) as though C14 was a pretty much nail - down dating method. It is a useful tool for giving ballpark figures,if there is no contamination. So it seems that a ballpark average arrived at by the British Museum from the various result was 'significant', in that it ruled out the 1st c A.D.

The video mentioned that there were 4 samples tested by different laboratories and none came up with a Roman date. Are they all from a later repair, or are they all contaminated? They might be. I think your case might do better querying the samples rather than trying to discredit the methodology.

p.s It seems that thew 4 samples were from one fragment.

"Even during the first examinations it was possible to use radiocarbon dating, but as much as 500 cm2 of material would have had to be taken, which would have caused unacceptable damage. In the 1970s, however, accelerator mass spectrometry was invented, which allowed a far smaller portion of the shroud (just a few square centimetres) to be taken for the dating" (Rationalwiki)

There were other control samples of various dates. The results are 'significant' in placing the sample (shroud or repair) in the medieval period. The apparent attempt to show that the methodology or protocol somehow compromised or falsified the result does not seem to hold up. The other suggestions (it is a sample from medieval repair; it has been contaminated by handling) are fair points and I for one would welcome further testing with prtecautions to ensure that we are testing uncontaiated shroud material.

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

Post #1904

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to otseng in post #1907]
To be clear, the manipulation of the data does not explain why a 1st century cloth would be dated to the 13th or 14th century. Even if the data was not manipulated, it would've still dated the samples to be medieval by C-14 dating.
A comment that stands out from the Academia article is this one:

"When asked why they took the sample where they took it, the answer was: ‘Well, it was cut there before.’ Now that is the stupidest argument in the world for taking one sample from the place where they took it. Because they know that area is an area that’s been repaired; they know it’s by a water stain; they know it’s by a scorch; and they know that people have found previous chemical evidence that that area is peculiar. But nevertheless, that’s what they did. And that’s why we have a date that all sorts of people don’t believe. Because they don’t believe the accuracy of the thing.

It looks like the people who took the sample for the C-14 dating are at least as sloopy, if not more so, as everyone else involved. The chosen sample is step #1 in the entire process, and obviously crucial, so if the sample is not part of the original shroud material then all the rest of it is moot. If no one confirmed that it was part of the original material, why bother paying any attention to any testing results using it whether C-14 or otherwise? That's amateur hour in spades.

It all seems a bit silly since if the people who control this thing really wanted to know if it was 1st century or not the technology exists today to determine that without question. If they don't want to supply more samples or access, it sounds like they are the ones with an agenda, although it is puzzling to me why they would accept the medieval date if they really think it was related to the religious stories they fervently believe.
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Re: How can we trust the Bible if it's not inerrant?

Post #1905

Post by otseng »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Thu Feb 23, 2023 10:07 am That link did not explain so much as make a claim. One might say as an 'abstract'.
I posted many links in that post. Which one are you referring to?
To clarify your position, are you saying that the Shroud C14 dating is questionable, which is a fair point, or that C14 dating itself is questionable?
I posted this....
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. But, it's only a tool.
To further clarify, I'm not even doubting the raw data of the TS C-14 dating.
Your mathematical references looked more like it was questioning the methodology of C14 dating rather than the argument that the shroud sample was a later patch or (if not) contaminated or indeed technicalities about the protocols of handling the results.
That the C-14 labs manipulated their data is without question. The issue is why did they do it? We can rule out the samples were actually 1st century samples and they manipulated it so it'll have a medieval date. Even without data manipulation, the raw data shows a medieval date.
The video mentioned that there were 4 samples tested by different laboratories and none came up with a Roman date. Are they all from a later repair, or are they all contaminated? They might be. I think your case might do better querying the samples rather than trying to discredit the methodology.
Yes, I will be presenting additional evidence the sample was not representative of the entire shroud.
p.s It seems that thew 4 samples were from one fragment.
Yes, it was all from one fragment from the Raes corner.
There were other control samples of various dates. The results are 'significant' in placing the sample (shroud or repair) in the medieval period. The apparent attempt to show that the methodology or protocol somehow compromised or falsified the result does not seem to hold up. The other suggestions (it is a sample from medieval repair; it has been contaminated by handling) are fair points and I for one would welcome further testing with prtecautions to ensure that we are testing uncontaiated shroud material.
Again, the question is why would they manipulate the data for the shroud, but not for the controls?

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

Post #1906

Post by otseng »

DrNoGods wrote: Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:32 pm The chosen sample is step #1 in the entire process, and obviously crucial, so if the sample is not part of the original shroud material then all the rest of it is moot. If no one confirmed that it was part of the original material, why bother paying any attention to any testing results using it whether C-14 or otherwise? That's amateur hour in spades.
Totally agree. However, the C-14 labs also should've done their due diligence during the pretreatment when they analyzed their samples. If they were rigorous, they would've noticed anomalies as I posted in post 1894. They could've provided evidence their samples were not representative of the shroud and asked the church for another sample. Most likely the church would've denied this, but at least they'd be on the record that they found contaminants.

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

Post #1907

Post by Athetotheist »

Mithrae wrote:But in the 21st century, there just doesn't seem to be any obvious area in which the bible is even a remotely plausible contender for "the best we've got" ; any more; factually, predictively, morally, socially, psychologically
otseng wrote:I'd disagree with this. It'd be interesting to debate this, but perhaps for another time.

Going back to the courtroom analogy, it would actually be suspicious if testimonies between people were exactly alike. We do not expect two people to recall an event with the exact same details. If they did, most likely there was collusion. So, contradictions are to be expected.
Then by your logic, it can be reasonably concluded that the witnesses against Jesus in Mark 14:56 were telling the truth. If their witness had agreed, that would be evidence of collusion----and contradictions are to be expected.

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

Post #1908

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Feb 25, 2023 11:43 am
Mithrae wrote:But in the 21st century, there just doesn't seem to be any obvious area in which the bible is even a remotely plausible contender for "the best we've got" ; any more; factually, predictively, morally, socially, psychologically
otseng wrote:I'd disagree with this. It'd be interesting to debate this, but perhaps for another time.

Going back to the courtroom analogy, it would actually be suspicious if testimonies between people were exactly alike. We do not expect two people to recall an event with the exact same details. If they did, most likely there was collusion. So, contradictions are to be expected.
Then by your logic, it can be reasonably concluded that the witnesses against Jesus in Mark 14:56 were telling the truth. If their witness had agreed, that would be evidence of collusion----and contradictions are to be expected.
Of course. Bible apologists will try to twist the 'Courtroom witness' analogy to suit themselves. If witnesses in the courtroom tell the suspiciously same story, there is going to be doubt. Also if we find two historians writing the same thing, we can suppose that one copied the other, they both copied a third, or they worked together. One expects divergences in the accounts but not blocks of text that like they are copied from the same page, That is what we do find in the synoptics.

On the other hand, if witnesses do not agree then according to the Sanhedrin trial, their stories are invalid. But when they disagree in the gospels we are supposed to put the two different stories together into one. No, that is not the way it works, either at the Sanhedrin trial, nor in the courtroom.

It is known that historical accounts can differ. Just take Josephus and Philo on Pilate. In many ways they talk about the same person - a tough Roman governor - but the accounts differ in a bothersome way. But Josephus was a contemporary; Philo wasn't (or so I recall) and would have been using earlier records. When we have disciples telling the tale, they should all know important contemporary events.

It is not credible that John did not know about the Transfiguration or did not recount it - while talking about the other events at Bethsaida. It is unfeasible that Mark, Matthew and Luke did not hear of the raising of Lazarus or all decided to leave it out. Even if it looked to them (as it does to me) like a faked miracle, they would simply rewrite it so it didn't look fake, as Matthew has a tomb -guard to counter the idea that anyone took the body away (1). Most blatant of all is the penitent thief. Matthew and Mark have the two crucified robbers badmouthing Jesus. Is it credible that they did not know that one of them rebuked the other, slobbered over Jesus and was saved? No. Luke made it up. He must have. No jury would fail to convict.

Courtroom practise has 'clean hands': you catch someone out doing the dirty and it hurts their credibility. On that basis, Luke would have been slung out on his ear with Matthew following him into the gutter two minutes later. No, this excuse of appeal to witness discrepancy while also ignoring the textual duplication they plainly say would discredit a witness does not work.

(1) nobody else talks of a tomb -guard, either and again the circumstantial and intimate detail of the discussion between the tomb guard and the Sadducees smacks, like John's behind - the - curtain eavesdropping on Caiaphas in committee resolving to eliminate Jesus, of them just making a story up.

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

Post #1909

Post by otseng »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Feb 25, 2023 11:43 am
otseng wrote: Going back to the courtroom analogy, it would actually be suspicious if testimonies between people were exactly alike. We do not expect two people to recall an event with the exact same details. If they did, most likely there was collusion. So, contradictions are to be expected.
Then by your logic, it can be reasonably concluded that the witnesses against Jesus in Mark 14:56 were telling the truth. If their witness had agreed, that would be evidence of collusion----and contradictions are to be expected.
Here is Mark 14:56: "Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree."

No, it is not a reasonable conclusion. Only if the testimonies are "exactly alike" then there's evidence of collusion. They can agree for the most part and have slight differences and still be truthful that an event occurred.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Feb 25, 2023 12:42 pm Of course. Bible apologists will try to twist the 'Courtroom witness' analogy to suit themselves. If witnesses in the courtroom tell the suspiciously same story, there is going to be doubt. Also if we find two historians writing the same thing, we can suppose that one copied the other, they both copied a third, or they worked together. One expects divergences in the accounts but not blocks of text that like they are copied from the same page, That is what we do find in the synoptics.
There is no "twisting" by apologists. This is the same criteria used by all historians.
It is not credible that John did not know about the Transfiguration or did not recount it - while talking about the other events at Bethsaida. It is unfeasible that Mark, Matthew and Luke did not hear of the raising of Lazarus or all decided to leave it out.

(1) nobody else talks of a tomb -guard, either and again the circumstantial and intimate detail of the discussion between the tomb guard and the Sadducees smacks, like John's behind - the - curtain eavesdropping on Caiaphas in committee resolving to eliminate Jesus, of them just making a story up.
It doesn't make sense if the apostle John was actually the author of the fourth gospel. But, I do not believe it was the apostle John.

Anyways, all of this has been extensively talked about before and not going to rehash it here. Will be continuing on with the TS....

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

Post #1910

Post by otseng »

To summarize the procedural problems with the 1988 C-14 dating of the TS:

1. Only a single sample location was taken from the shroud.

viewtopic.php?p=1111672#p1111672

2. Bias was demonstrated by the C-14 labs in their role in kicking out STURP from participating in the tests and preventing their proposal of additional non-destructive tests to be carried through.

viewtopic.php?p=1111830#p1111830

3. The traditional decay counting method of C-14 testing was discarded and the only the new AMS method would be used. This slashed the original number of seven labs to be involved to three.

New Scientist reported from the labs:

"If one of the laboratories pulls out, then the test will be virtually meaningless."

"As you are aware, there are many critics in the world who will scrutinize these measurements in great detail. The abandonment of the original protocol, and the decision to proceed with only three laboratories will certainly enhance the scepticism of these critics."

Harry Gove stated, "I hope the three laboratories stand firm and say to hell with you, let's get a result we all believe in, or leave it undated."

viewtopic.php?p=1111938#p1111938

4. Sample was from the Raes corner, one of the most contaminated sections of the shroud.

viewtopic.php?p=1112019#p1112019

viewtopic.php?p=1112222#p1112222

5. Blind testing was not done.

viewtopic.php?p=1112312#p1112312

6. Entire process was supposed to be filmed. However the most critical moment was not filmed and was only witnessed by a few participants.

viewtopic.php?p=1112457#p1112457

7. Discrepancy of weights of samples between when the samples were placed into the vials and when they were taken out of the vials.

viewtopic.php?p=1112540#p1112540

8. Lack of rigor by the labs during the pretreatment.

viewtopic.php?p=1112616#p1112616

9. The data was leaked by the labs prior to the official announcement by the British Museum.

viewtopic.php?p=1112693#p1112693

10. Testing data was not made public by the labs until they were forced to release it by legal action 29 years later.

viewtopic.php?p=1112770#p1112770

11. There was a conflict of interest in parties involved.

viewtopic.php?p=1112865#p1112865

12. Raw data was manipulated by the labs.

viewtopic.php?p=1112987#p1112987

In a court of law, a procedural error would result in a mistrial.
A mistrial occurs when 1) a jury is unable to reach a verdict and there must be a new trial with a new jury; 2) there is a serious procedural error or misconduct that would result in an unfair trial, and the judge adjourns the case without a decision on the merits and awards a new trial.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mistrial

It would not matter what the verdict of the trial would be, in a mistrial the verdict would be nullified.

In the case of the 1988 C-14 dating of the TS, there were at least a dozen procedural violations. Yes, some of it was the fault of the RCC. But, a significant portion was the labs' responsibility.

So, I argue it does not matter what the reported date of the C-14 would be. At best, it would be a scientific "mistrial". At worst, it would be scientific misconduct. Either way, it would render the entire testing void.
Scientific misconduct is the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in the publication of professional scientific research.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_misconduct

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