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A question for biblical inerrantists

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Agnostic75, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 Well-Known Member

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    If the Bible did contains errors, what would be a hypothetical example?
     
  2. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    I imagine you're asking this in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, but I figure I'll answer this on behalf of biblical inerrantists.

    Your question is nonsense to the inerrantist. If the Bible did contain errors, it wouldn't be the Bible. To reduce away from questions of theology and to frame logically, you're asking "If the set S of statements contains only true, non-false statements, what might a hypothetical false or non-true statement that it contains be?" By definition, your "hypothetical" criteria precludes it from existing in the set. It's pure logical nonsense.
     
  3. Matthew78

    Matthew78 aspiring biblical scholar

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    Are you one yourself? An inerrantist, that is.

    Why? As I see it, he's testing the intellectual honesty of inerrantists. I put forth a similar OP, which I titled "The Errancy Challenge". I showed a discrepancy between two texts in the Bible and challenged inerrantists to show how it would have to be worded in order for a discrepancy to actually exist if they disagreed with me that one existed. So far, no inerrantists have accepted my challenge. I suspect I know why.

    How so?

    It's not really nonsense at all. It's actually a perfectly sensible question. What he's asking, expressing it as I am in different words, is what would it take to convince believers that the Bible has an error in it? I don't understand how his "hypothetical" criteria precludes it from existing in the set. You'd have to explain this one to me.
     
  4. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    Nope. I'm not even a Christian.

    Honestly, I explained this really quite well. Let me frame it for a secularist:

    Einstein's Theories of Relativity predict that no particle with mass can accelerate faster than the speed of light. If a massed particle DID accelerate faster than the speed of light, what kind of particle would it be?

    This is the kind of question you're asking.

    The Biblical Inerrantist accepts as true a theory that asserts that all statements in the Bible are, collectively and individually, true. The Bible then has this quality that this is the case. If a statement were to exist in the Bible such that it was a false statement, then the Bible would no longer have this quality.

    To conceive of a Bible containing a false statement would be to contradict the fundamental assertion of Biblical Inerrancy. It is total nonsense to talk about contradicting the fundamental assertion of a theoretical framework while holding the framework (assuming the law of non-contradiction, which I suppose isn't COMPLETELY necessary, but we don't know what to do with a world where it isn't the case. Trivialist explosion ftw!)


    The question I've emboldened and the one presented in the OP are NOT the same, at all. If that's what the OP meant, then we can change the course of this whole conversation. But what the OP asked was "What kind of error might an Inerrant Bible contain?". The correctly logical answer to this is "none."

    I guess this gets to the root of the expression of the nonsense. Let us suppose that a hypothetical object exists such that it is false and exists in the Bible in a universe where the Bible is presumed to be Inerrant. If this is the case, then the object is false (by definition) and true (by being contained in an Inerrant Bible). This is obviously contradictory.

    Now, clearly, the rationalist would say that if this is the case, then we must discard one of our hypotheses. A Biblical Inerrantist, however, BY DEFINITION cannot discard the hypothesis that the Bible is Inerrant, because then he would no longer be an Inerrantist. So he must discard either the notion that the statment is false or that it is in the Bible. Either way, this hypothetical object is not simultaneously false and in the Inerrant Bible, so your question falls apart.
     
  5. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 Well-Known Member

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    It might be simpler if I change the topic title to "What specific evidence convinced you to become an inerrantist?" Let's try that for a while.
     
  6. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    Not enough space here to put them all down but a few are:
    The idea that every part of it is divinely inspired.
    The idea that no part of it has ever been changed, alterred, or misrepresented.
    The idea that women are subordinate to men.

    I'll give you one good example: Exodus 30:12 "Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom to the LORD..."

    What does God want money for? And how did the priests get the money to God? Answer: they didn't.
     
  7. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    That's a better question. Of course, it totally ignores the point and nature of faith. But I'll buzz off and let your confirmation bias carry on.
     
  8. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    You run tail tucked with practiced ease.
     
  9. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Perhaps Agnostic 75 can't believe any thinking person would accept such a notion on faith alone: "The Bible is inerrant because I have faith that it is."

    Gotta tell ya, it isn't a very impressive claim.
     
    #9 Skwim, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  10. Matthew78

    Matthew78 aspiring biblical scholar

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    Maybe you phrased it well enough to your satisfaction, but it was just a tad bit confusing to me. I understood the OP very well and it seems to me that you didn't. As for hypothetical physics question-the participle can not exist if relativity theory is true.

    I don't remember asking anything of the sort. Maybe you're confusing my post with Agnostic75's post?

    But that's not what the OP asked. Let me quote from it:

    What is being asked here is that if the Bible did contain errors, what would be a hypothetical example? It doesn't say if an "inerrant Bible" contained errors, just the Bible, period.

    All of this over a misunderstanding of the OP.
     
  11. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 Well-Known Member

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    Consider the following:

    Based upon that, please explain how I have a confirmation bias.

    Regarding "confirmation bias is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses," surely that adequately describes many inerrantists when they have debates with skeptics.
     
    #11 Agnostic75, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  12. Agnostic75

    Agnostic75 Well-Known Member

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    Obviously not since many inerrantists have given up believing in inerrancy, and are now liberal Christians, or non-Christians. Those former inerrantists know that they are not infallible. An inerrantist who says that it is impossible for inerrantists to be wrong about inerrancy would be implying that inerrantists are infallible regarding their belief in inerrancy. Obviously, no human is infallible.

    If faith alone is reasonable evidence, why would the "faith only" group of Christians ever have discussions with anyone? If faith alone is all that matters, then one worldview is as reasonable as another. According to the New Testament, Jesus did not always rely upon a "faith only" argument to influence people. In addition, even after the Holy Spirit came to the church, the New International Version, in the book of Acts, says that the disciples went about "confirming the message of his grace" by performing miracles.
     
    #12 Agnostic75, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  13. AmbiguousGuy

    AmbiguousGuy Well-Known Member

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    They usually don't. A solid faith is best kept to oneself.

    Indeed. Unless your (crooked) worldview differs from my (absolutely true) worldview, of course.

    But we can avoid that unpleasantness by just not talking. That way, I can assume that you see the world just as I do.

    What I can't figure is how the typical churchgoer can sit through a sermon. What does he do when the preacher says a false thing about God or life?

    Nod back to sleep?
     
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