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Incorrect References in Books written on Faith

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Tony Bristow-Stagg, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg World Citizen
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    This OP is about incorrect references found in some religious books.

    It is specific to books written by people of faith about a faith and where they got it wrong. This OP is motivated by a post I started and then had removed, when it was discovered when a statement made was found to be incorrect.

    The statement made was from this book
    and states in chapter 14; "Pope John XXIII issued His Encyclical Letter which "received world wide acclaim........Pope John XXIII, because of his sincere love of humanity, and his wise guidance to a troubled world, received the Nobel Prize for peace. He was admired and lauded in all parts of the world by both public and press."

    The part in bold is what sparked the interest and the thread I posted, but I did not first check if the statement was true. When a poster questioned the award, I found it was not correct.

    What I found is that the document two years later, "was the subject of a conference at the United Nations attended by over 2,000 states persons and scholars." Pacem in terris - Wikipedia

    In commemoration of this encyclical, the annual Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom award was instituted in 1964 Pacem in Terris Award - Wikipedia That award has been given to 6 people that have also received the Nobel Prize for Peace.

    I guess it is a lot easier in this age of the world wide web, to look up anything we reference in a book, whereas in the past, many comments were made based mostly on passed down information.

    This OP is in the debate section so all can input errors they have found, or wish to further debate the error noted.

    Regards Tony
     
  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I rarely trust history, or data in books in general. Only a fool would consider one source alone. I remember riding with a war vet (Nam) and he told of how his group on the front lines would radio in false stories about how many Viet Cong they had killed in a false encounter. They had made a pact that their own survival was top priority. So it's easy to see how war stats get exaggerated by both sides. That's a simple example.

    Not having alternative sources available sometimes leads to false conclusions. Individual memories can also 'change' over time.
     
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  3. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I usually try to check whether I can back up what I say with internet references, when I make statements of fact, unless I am extremely confident about them for other reasons. It's generally quite easy to do, saves red faces later and sometimes people appreciate having the links to read for themselves, if I post them.

    It's slightly embarrassing to quote a source and then find the source itself is wrong, as seems to have happened to you. But then, having quoted a source, at least it is clear it is not your mistake but that of the source you were relying on in good faith.

    By the way I notice the encyclical uses terris, the ablative plural (I imagine) of terra, so it means peace on the lands, I suppose. But my Latin is rusty.
     
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  4. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    The more researched a piece of work the more likely it will be accurate. Articles that are written on the fly or on a deadline usually have inaccuracies.

    The rule of thumb to go by when quoting reliable sources is as follows:

    1. Encyclopedias.
    2. Books.
    3. Magazines.
    4. Newspapers.

    The last one is obviously usually the most inaccurate. The same could be said of a daily news broadcast and say a documentary.

    Of course in this day and age governments and media have a vested interest in pushing certain narratives. So unfortunately much of the political propaganda and other reports found in the media these days is very biased, and sometimes filled with outright lies. It can be very challenging to get reliable information in such an environment. The rule of thumb is to try and get information from a neutral news source that is known for not taking sides.

    Even when quoting experts you need to be careful. What is the reputation of the expert? Is the expert pushing a certain agenda or aligned with a certain organization or special interest group? All of these things can bias the statement, even if it sounds good.

    A couple of videos dealing with accuracy in reporting that are enlightening...

    https://www.jw.org/en/library/videos/#en/mediaitems/StudioTalks/pub-jwb_201711_2_VIDEO

    https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/activities/publishing/love-and-respect-for-truth/
     
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  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    In an age of prolific information and misinformation its important to carefully research any statement made in public. I don't really know much about the history of the Roman Catholic Church but am aware of the second Vatican Council being a pivotal shift in how the church interacted with other Christian and non-Christian faiths. A comparison with Catholicism during Pope Pius IX's reign in the nineteenth century, and then Pope John XXIII nearly a hundred years later would be a major topic in its own right. The relationship between the Baha'i Faith and Catholicism is another major topic again.
     
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  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    This challenge is even tougher for those whose religions either dictate or strongly encourage using only their own sources. Tough to go to another source when your religion or sect is against it. It's different if you actually go, and with an open mind, analyse both sources.
     
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  7. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg World Citizen
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    I have to admit I thought the source I quoted was reliable and would have checked such an important statement.

    Not doing so, for whatever reason takes a lot of power out of the point being made.

    In the other hand I can say that the same point could have been made by quoting how the Pope used the information and how it was received in his age in comparison with when it was offered in the late 1800's by Baha'u'llah in numerous documents.

    Regards Tony
     
  8. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg World Citizen
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    There is also the issue that some sources will record and distribute fabricated stories, as they do want to hide what their intent was and bend minds to their way of thinking. History proves this with war propaganda.

    So in the end, it is us to decide if some sources will have been compiled as an impartial perspective, or if they were compiled with an intent to deceive.

    Regards Tony
     
  9. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    And it works, sadly.

    Sometimes I just laugh at how inaccurate some sources are. There are those who masquerade as 'scholars'. Consider the source, consider the source, consider the source.
     
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  10. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    What made it significant was not so much the ideas being expressed but the person putting them forward, speaking as he did as the head of the most influential branch of the Christian faith. It was ground-breaking because it firstly set a new course for Catholicism in the world and secondly attracted world attention to the pope's words, boosting the church's moral leadership.
     
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