Friday, November 02, 2007

Primer on the Bible's infallibility

I've been asked to present why I believe the Bible is infallible.
I had inquired after the questioner's worldview so I could know how to answer, since he commented on the Beggars All blog which is usually aimed at those of the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox persuasions. I have extrapolated that he's not RC but more like an agnostic/naturalist. That will be fine - see? I'm not asking much. ;-)
And he agreed with me in what I was saying about worldview presuppositions, so I'm glad that's out of the way.

The infallibility of the Bible is not dependent on someone's worldview, true, but where I start to defend that idea is dependent on that person's worldview.

And he's wrong to suggest that I just "presuppose that some book from the Middle east is some got the authority of God, is the very word of God Himself, and then go from there" (sic).
I DO presuppose, however, that a theistic God exists. Why? Well, I want to be able to use logic and reason to examine the world around me, for one thing. And in particular, you're asking me to present a rational defense of the infallibility of the Bible. A naturalistic worldview can't provide the foundation for using reason to defend anythg, so I start the only place I can - theism.

Now, given theism, why is the Bible infallible? Several reasons.
1) Only 3 major theistic religions exist - Christianity, Islam, Judaism. Islam's Qur'an says the Bible is to be relied upon, so OK, I will, thanks.
Judaism and Christianity believe that God is the One Who breathed out the words of the Bible.
2) The Bible claims itself to be breathed out by God, and on theism, God is perfect and omniscient, does not make mistakes. How then could what He says be a mistake? 2 Tim 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20, 2 Peter 3:16, the very numerous "Thus saith the Lord"s.
(EDIT): This is why I mentioned the presuppositions first of all. We believe that God is and that He is 100% trustworthy (being the Way, the Truth, and the Life and all that), that He knows everything, and that He does not lie. How could His breathed-out Word, His communication with mankind, then, contain an error or falsehood?
3) The Bible's purpose is to reveal God, His commands, and His character and dealings with humanity.
4) Jesus Himself believed it was God talking (Matthew 22:31) and that it was the standard by which all human tradition must be judged (Mark 7:1-13).
5) Jesus Himself quoted Scripture to refute the devil (Matt 4, Luke 4).
6) The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies which have since been fulfilled, perhaps most notably in the book of Daniel.
7) The Bible accurately describes reality, including history as verified by archæological study.
8) Many of the biblical authors (especially Jesus' apostles) were in a position to know with certainty that Jesus was NOT raised from the dead, committed secret deception, or something else. Yet though they would have known their message was false (if indeed it were false), they turned back on their lifelong beliefs to cause a major disruption in their own social lives and that of their families and to risk (and eventually succumb to) an ugly death for the sake of teaching that same message that they would have known was a lie.
9) The Bible is consistent with its own thought and ideas and information on every point despite its having been written over the course of centuries by ~40 different authors.
Some of the authors were ignorant men.
Others wrote eloquent poetry and were peerless military leaders (David). Others were kings, celebrated worldwide for their wisdom (Solomon). Others were highly-educated Pharisees (Paul). Others were sophisticated advisors to kings (Isaiah and Daniel). Some were brought up as the prince of the most powerful and learned nation on earth (Moses).
Yet others were simple fishermen (Peter and John). Others were indeed goatherders from Nowhere, Israel (Amos). Others were probably-disobedient Jews (author of Esther). Some exposed ruthlessly the flaws of their nation and leaders (the author of Kings and Samuel). Others were more cheerful (the author of Chronicles). Some were traitors to the Jewish nation, converted (Matthew). It is the variety of authorship and yet the beauty of the consistency of thought that are striking.

That's a good start. If you have any questions about the details about my beliefs on the Bible, please check here first.

One more note: InvisibleDude says
I'm not questioning the RC's because I know what they'll tell me about their infallible human being of the pope, and from what I read here, that position don't look so good, so, no dude in Rome to confirm it for you, how since he's not infallible, and you're not infallible, and your list is not infallible, what makes the books themselves infallible, and how does the individual Christian know that?
I agree 100% that the Roman Catholic position doesn't look very good.
No, we don't have any dude in Rome to confirm the Scripture for us. Why would we? He's the one relying on the Bible to prop up his authority claims. What then? Turn right around and claim he's the one who can tell us what the Bible is? Maybe that works for some people...
How we know this, however, deserves a little bit more fleshing out. I told you that we don't know infallibly that the Bible is infallible, nor do we know infallibly what books belong in the Bible (ie, the Canon of Scripture). But infallibility is not equivalent to a sufficient knowledge, to knowing with sufficient basis the answers to these questions. We present our arguments and examine counterarguments to that purpose.

Edit: See also Vox Veritatis on this issue.

46 comments:

Invisible Dude said...

Rhology: 2 Tim 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20, 2 Peter 3:16

ID: What evidence do you have that those works are part of this God-breathed scripture?

It was written by several people at different times, so, who is to say that the current Bible contains all of the inspired works written by these men? Or who is to say that some of these works are even part of it? For all we know the Acts could be non-inspired, who says that it is breathed of God?

"Since you are a fallible individual, how do you know infallibly that all the books contained in the Bible are infallible."

Simply demonstrate how you know that what you have is complete, and is infallibly the Word of God.

ID

Rhology said...

Invisible Dude,

Hopefully this is the start of a series of comments... this is ONE of my points, yes.

David Bryan said...

I like your icon. (No pun intended).

"But infallibility is not equivalent to a sufficient knowledge, to knowing with sufficient basis the answers to these questions. We present our arguments and examine counterarguments to that purpose."

My eyebrows raised when I read this. You might want to try to read this idea of "sufficient knowledge" into future discussions you have with Eastern Orthodox. We don't claim to have logically airtight cases for our doctrine...but what we've been given is enough, we'd say.

Good defense. #8 is my starting point, I'd say: I believe in the resurrection of the person of Christ, so I trust the Church He founded and the Scriptures He inspired.

Anonymous said...

7)The Bible accurately describes reality, including history as verified by archæological study.

No it doesn't - there are no fossils of giant humans for example.

Israeli archaeologist Eliezer Oren stated that "his efforts at more than 80 sites in the Sinai from 1972 to 1982 had not turned up any support for the historical accuracy of when the exodus was supposed to have occurred"

The world's geology shows no evidence of a worldwide flood - the world's oil companies make enormous profits, based on current scientific thinking in geology. If the biblical version was accurate, why would they not use this as if it was accurate surely it would make them more money?

8)The Bible is consistent with its own thought and ideas and information on every point despite its having been written over the course of centuries by ~40 different authors.

No it isn't - a good example being the two different orders of creation in genesis 1 and 2.

Another example is Genesis 6 where God decides humans will live no longer than 120 years, yet the oldest person ever on record was 122. Furthermore, Genesis 11 goes on to list Shem's descendants as living to ages of 400+.

That's just a couple of chapters and some fairly glaring internal contradictions and factual errors.

Rhology said...

David Bryan,

Thanks, I like it too. Carrie over at Beggars All made it for me, which was nice of her.

The reason I discuss the "sufficient knowledge" thing with EOx and RCs is b/c by and large I see you guys claiming a superior epistemic position.
"We have the authoritative infallible church, so we can know stuff with far more certainty than you, who only have the Scripture."
I harp on what I harp on to debunk that (ISTM) dead and dying point.

Re #8 - yeah, what I forgot to say (in fact, I think I'm'a edit this post to bring that more strongly to mind) is that we base the infall of the Scr on the fact that it's God speaking, and He don't lie nor screw up.



Anonymous,

there are no fossils of giant humans for example.

Why would that matter? The world is a big place, and the dirt is deep.
Besides, evolutionists whine that the world is too big to find the transitional forms they PROMISE exist. I think it's reasonable to think that there were fewer giant humans than many of these transitional form species.

Israeli archaeologist Eliezer Oren stated that "his efforts at more than 80 sites in the Sinai from 1972 to 1982 had not turned up any support for the historical accuracy of when the exodus was supposed to have occurred"

1) He's not the only archaelogist working on such things.
2) And many others have found considerable support for the Exodus.
3) "not finding any support" does not = "found things to contradict"

The world's geology shows no evidence of a worldwide flood

1) According to human instrumentation. Why would I trust limited human knowledge and ability 1000s of yrs after the fact when I could ask the guy who was there (God)?
2) It is just false to say that the world's geology shows NO evidence of a worldwide flood.
3) The Bible isn't 100% clear on whether the flood was regional (ie, over the Middle East where all the people lived or so) or global.

If the biblical version was accurate, why would they not use this as if it was accurate surely it would make them more money?

This is my first time to hear the "Argument from Oil Company profit". It's a new one, though not all that impressive.

a good example being the two different orders of creation in genesis 1 and 2.

Where are they out of order with each other?
They focus on diff parts of the story, I'll give you that, but I don't see the connection between diff focus and contradiction.

Another example is Genesis 6 where God decides humans will live no longer than 120 years, yet the oldest person ever on record was 122.

That is probably referring to how long before God destroys mankind in the Flood.

just a couple of chapters and some fairly glaring internal contradictions and factual errors.

Swing and a miss.
I'll be honest; I have limited patience and time to go over and correct such petty and death-warmed-over "biblical contradictions" that anyone with google can get from the pitiful Skeptics' Annotated Bible.
If you have objections to my arguments, I'm happy to discuss with you, but not of such poor quality. What I'm trying to say is that such... low effort... makes me feel all dirty.

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

Hi again

"Besides, evolutionists whine that the world is too big to find the transitional forms they PROMISE exist. I think it's reasonable to think that there were fewer giant humans than many of these transitional form species."

There are lots of fossils displaying transitional features between higher taxa (eg reptiles and aves, or between lobe finned fish and tetrapods (eg Tiktaalik Rosea) - these are just two examples of the many that exist)

"This is my first time to hear the "Argument from Oil Company profit". It's a new one, though not all that impressive."

But my point is these companies have one real aim - to make money. Therefore if a more accurate version of the world's geology exists than the current scientifically accepted one, it would make them more money, therefore why would they not use it if it would make them more profit? Dismissing it as unimpressive doesn't really answer the point.

"I'll be honest; I have limited patience and time to go over and correct such petty and death-warmed-over "biblical contradictions" that anyone with google can get from the pitiful Skeptics' Annotated Bible."

I got those from actually reading Genesis, not any skeptics bible. Those are simple factual contradictions, which you claim do not exist in the bible - because it doesn't suit your argument you simply dismiss it as a 'poor effort'?

"Where are they out of order with each other?
They focus on diff parts of the story, I'll give you that, but I don't see the connection between diff focus and contradiction."

In Genesis 1, the creation order is:

Light and Darkness
The firmaments (heavens)
Earth
Plants
Day and Night via stars/sun
Water animals plus birds
Cattle and other animals
Man and woman

In Genesis 2 the order of creation is:

Man
Plants
Animals
Woman

They can't both be correct.

The KJV vesrion of geneis states

6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

The version of the bible I have states:

6:3 In the future his days shall be 120 years

Whether that means immediate future or distant is unclear. Taking it literally would mean any time after the statement was made - either way this has been falsified shortly after in the bible itself, and also in reality within recent years.

As for the lack of evidence not falsifying something, that is true, but to find no evidence from a major events where upwards of 500,000 peope walked in the Sinai desert for 40 years makes it difficult to accept. Add to that that the Egyptians have absolutely no records of Exodus, again whys support an idea without any evidence. As for human fallibility in scientific methods of aging, dendrochronology is exceptionally accurate and just involves simple counting. Also, independent dating methods confirm one and other - why all these coincidences if they are all wrong?

I realise some of these points have probably been made before many times, but it doesn't mean that they are any less valid. Your argument was that the bible is consistent with it's own thought and ideas as well as reflecting reality, which doesnt seem to be the case.

Rhology said...

Howdy Anon (maybe ID?),

There are lots of fossils displaying transitional features between higher taxa (eg reptiles and aves, or between lobe finned fish and tetrapods (eg Tiktaalik Rosea) - these are just two examples of the many that exist)

1) Suuuuuurrrrrre there are.
2) Gee's In Search of Deep Time is cutting-edge thought on this topic, and he would disagree that such can even be identified at all.

Therefore if a more accurate version of the world's geology exists than the current scientifically accepted one

1) Companies are not only out to make money. They have prestige to lose if they go against the High Priests of Western Society (ie, the "scientific establishment") and that could be bad for bizness.
2) Why would anyone have confidence in these companies to have a largely different mindset than the naturalistic view that poisons the efforts of the "scientists"?

because it doesn't suit your argument you simply dismiss it as a 'poor effort'?

No, I said that b/c they're so weak.

In Genesis 2 the order of creation is:

Man
Plants
Animals
Woman


Read it again.
1) Yes, the man is created 1st in Gen 2.
2) The plants mentioned are "plants OF THE FIELD". Not the same as "plants" in Gen 1.
3) Why assume that these are all animals in existence at the time? Why not assume that God either created one animal of each type specifically to be brought before the man for him to name them? It even says that specifically in v. 19. You can't assume that no other animals existed before that - the text doesn't say so.
4) Woman, yes.
Like I said, Gen 2 is a focus from Gen 1. It's more specific.

Taking it literally would mean any time after the statement was made - either way this has been falsified shortly after in the bible itself, and also in reality within recent years.

I have no idea what you mean by "taking it literally". Why must I take your say-so to think that it's your way and not mine? What in the text indicates that?

but to find no evidence from a major events where upwards of 500,000 peope walked in the Sinai desert for 40 years makes it difficult to accept.

Why? The Bible says their clothes never wore out.
They walked around alot.
It's the DESERT. Sand blows around and stuff.
They didn't live in cities; they were wandering.

Add to that that the Egyptians have absolutely no records of Exodus, again whys support an idea without any evidence.

that's false, sorry.

As for human fallibility in scientific methods of aging, dendrochronology is exceptionally accurate and just involves simple counting.

Naked assertions can be answered by naked assertions.
You're referring to processes that are not intended for "telling time".

Also, independent dating methods confirm one and other - why all these coincidences if they are all wrong?

If they are all wrong, then why would I believe any of them?
Let me ask it this way:
You have a witness to an accident who has an excellent track record of telling the truth and is of impeccable moral character. He sees an accident in the full light of day, was not impaired, stuck around 2 hours before and 2 hours after making sure he examined everything that happened.
Now, you bring out a CSI team 1 year later to examine the scene and try to determine what happened. Or you could just ask the witness.

The situation is similar but the contrast between the witness that was there and the team afterwards is far more pronounced.

Anonymous said...

"1) Suuuuuurrrrrre there are.
2) Gee's In Search of Deep Time is cutting-edge thought on this topic, and he would disagree that such can even be identified at all."

1) I just gave you two examples - what objections do you have to them other than sarcasm?
2) If you are willing to read this link:

http://www.natcenscied.org/resources/articles/3167_pr90_10152001__gee_responds_10_15_2001.asp

Henry Gee states that fossils displaying transitional features exist. His opinion is that we cannot tell whether these are direct ancestors of current animals, or a side branch in the evolutionary tree. But a fact is a fact - eg Archaopteryx has features of both birds and ancient reptiles (there are others but that is the most famous), Tiktaalik Rosea has features intermediate between both fish and tetrapods. If animals displaying feature of two higher taxa is not possible, what is the explanation for these fossils?

1) Companies are not only out to make money. They have prestige to lose if they go against the High Priests of Western Society (ie, the "scientific establishment") and that could be bad for bizness.

No, these companies are out to make profit by any legitimate means necessary - they probably couldnt care less really about what the correct explanation is, as long as it increases the profits. There is no reason for them not to use biblical geology if it is correct. Plenty of the geologists working for these companies will also be religious - what have they got to gain by taking a scientific view ahead of a religious one? surely they would just quit their job if they found science was lying and their religion was correct. In fact the opposite conversion often happens - read geologist Glenn Morton's story here

http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gstory.htm

"I have no idea what you mean by "taking it literally". Why must I take your say-so to think that it's your way and not mine? What in the text indicates that?"

This is a good point - how can two people both considering themselves to be reading a book in the same way (ie infallible and inerrant - I don't believe it is, but I am loooking at it that way for the purpose of discussion) still diasgree? Surely if the bible was completely logical it would be impossible for this to happen? Or if we accept it as man's fallibility being the cause of this, what reason is there to read the bible if we are not capable of understanding it - this could lead to making incorrect assertions about what God's word is if we are not capable of understanding it?

"Why? The Bible says their clothes never wore out.
They walked around alot.
It's the DESERT. Sand blows around and stuff.
They didn't live in cities; they were wandering.:

It does, but 500,000+ people over 40 years don't leave a single trace of their existence? Plenty of dinosaur fossils and archaelogical sites are found in deserts.

"that's false, sorry."

why?

Anonymous said...

sorry missed this bit off:

"If they are all wrong, then why would I believe any of them?
Let me ask it this way:
You have a witness to an accident who has an excellent track record of telling the truth and is of impeccable moral character. He sees an accident in the full light of day, was not impaired, stuck around 2 hours before and 2 hours after making sure he examined everything that happened.
Now, you bring out a CSI team 1 year later to examine the scene and try to determine what happened. Or you could just ask the witness."

presuming you mean God as the witness, many passages of the OT would leave serious doubts about God's impeccable moral character - killing the majority of the world's population by flood, forcing us to have different languages and fight amongst one and other for building a tower, condeming Adam and Eve for sinning, even though they had no possible knowledge of what sin/disobedience was to make a value judgement on eating the apple due to the circular reasoning of needing to eat the apple which was a sin in order to know what sin is, being the creator of everything yet creating a serpent/devil to trick Eve.

And again, these dating methods are all independent (ranging from stalactite formation rate (cave stalactites form differently from ones eg on the Washington monument due to the heating process used in cement, and therefore the formation rate is much much slower) to radiometric to isochron to dendrochronology to ice cores and more). All of these match up pretty much exactly - what is causing them to be wrong? I'm not trying to be sarcastic when I say this - if you have knowledge of why, submit a research paper. If your proof is good enough you will be awarded a Nobel Prize that's how scientifically important it would be.

Rhology said...

Hi there Anon,

You gave me 2 examples, yes, and I responded with Gee. And you're right - that's the msg of his book, that we cannot tell one way or the other. That was my point.

Tiktaalik Rosea has features intermediate between both fish and tetrapods.

No one thinks anymore that Archaeopteryx is a transitional form. These examples are nothing more than imaginary "links", one of which has been debunked.
The duckbilled platypus displays features of a duck and an otter. Maybe it's a transitional form too!

as long as it increases the profits.

Depends on the company.
And you didn't respond to my 2nd point on this.

read geologist Glenn Morton's story here

Translation: "You're trying to say that humans ignore God's revelation and rely on their own pitiful powers of observation to determine what happened in the past? Here, read about ANOTHER one of those humans! That'll be convincing!"

how can two people both considering themselves to be reading a book in the same way (ie infallible and inerrant - I don't believe it is, but I am loooking at it that way for the purpose of discussion) still diasgree?

B/c they're sinful people who are not omniscient and don't take the entire grammar or context into account.

Surely if the bible was completely logical it would be impossible for this to happen?

you mean like the fossil record or the evidence for evolution? ;-)

if we accept it as man's fallibility being the cause of this, what reason is there to read the bible if we are not capable of understanding it

You're trying to present a false dilemma - another classic fallacy.
The truth is that God's Word is sufficiently clear to communicate what He wants. that doesn't mean we always DO get it, for reasons that are not logically attributable to the text.

but 500,000+ people over 40 years don't leave a single trace of their existence?

1) they left the Bible. And the nations of Israel and Judah.
2) It's sand out there. It blows. In the middle of nowhere. No cities.

Plenty of dinosaur fossils and archaelogical sites are found in deserts.

That's great - you never know if tomorrow evidence of one of these Israelite camps might be found, do you?
As for evidence of the Exodus,
1) "building sites at Pi-Ramesse and at both possible sites for Pithom dating from the 19th to the 17th cent, the era in which the Israelites arrived...show strong Palestinian influence" (N Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p. 589)
2) "a very old papyrus written by an Egypitaian priest named Ipuwer and, though various interpretarions have been given... tells of 2 unique events; a series of plagues and the invasion of a foreign power. The plagues match very well with the record of Moses' plagues...the river turning to blood,...crops consumed... and darkness. The final plague which killed Pharaoh's son is referrred to also." (N Geisler, BECA, p 590)
3) "the monolith of el-Arish tells a similar story of darkness and suffering in the land in the days of King Thom. It also relates how the Pharaoh went out to battle against the friends of the...god of darkness, though the army never returned, 'His Majesty leapt into the so-called Place of the Whirlpool.'" (ibid)
There's more, but that's enough. Not trying to make you look silly, I'm just trying to help you understand.

presuming you mean God as the witness,

Yes, I do.

many passages of the OT would leave serious doubts about God's impeccable moral character

Hold on a second. What moral standard are you using to judge God's behavior morally objectionable? This claim never gets off the ground without a standard.
If you say, "Me, I'm the standard" or sthg like that, then that is easily dismissed with a "Great, well *I'm* the standard for me, and YOU'RE wrong!" There's no backbone to it. So you need sthg to serve as a standard. What is it?

killing the majority of the world's population by flood, forcing us to have different languages

So God, as Creator and Judge, doesn't have the right to execute capital criminals (as all human beings are) according to justice?

(cave stalactites form differently from ones eg on the Washington monument due to the heating process used in cement, and therefore the formation rate is much much slower)

Cave stalactites tell time like a clock?
Roosters are designed for alarms?
No, telling time is incidental to them, but you HAVE TO assume that they've been growing at a particular rate for however long you want to go back. You have to assume uniformity but that's not rationally defensible. Plus you can't know how large they were when they started forming. You don't know any of that, you just have to guess.
Me, I'm going with what the guy who was there says.

what is causing them to be wrong?

Nothing necessarily is CAUSING them to be wrong. This is not what these things are for.
It's just your wanton rebellion against God that is making you act so foolishly, calling in the CSI team a year later. Just ask the witness!

If your proof is good enough you will be awarded a Nobel Prize that's how scientifically important it would be.

Ah, the prize by the same name as that which Al Gore just won. Thanks but I don't think I can trust them, especially not with questions as important as these.

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

"No one thinks anymore that Archaeopteryx is a transitional form. These examples are nothing more than imaginary "links", one of which has been debunked."

Apart from virtually every paleontologist and biologist on Earth. Let me guess, you're going on the fact Fred Hoyle 'debunked it'. Fred Hoyle came up with absolutely no evidence whatsoever apart from his own rambling opinion that it was a fraud. He had no expertise in paleontology. He also had ludicrous ideas such as diseases being sent from outer space and insects being smarter than humans, but just hiding it from us. These display intermediate features between two higher taxa. This is a simple fact. Archaeopteryx is not the only one - Sinosauropteryx, Caudipteryx and Dynonichosaurs all have features of both birds and reptiles. There are lots more, but there are three examples. And this is just for one particular transition. What is your explanation for these fossils displaying features of 2 higher taxa?

""You're trying to say that humans ignore God's revelation and rely on their own pitiful powers of observation to determine what happened in the past? Here, read about ANOTHER one of those humans! That'll be convincing!""

Did you actually read it? If God wants us to believe, why does all this evidence exist that supports an alternative world view of geology rather than the Noachian flood model? It managed to convince a devoted YEC as he could not come up with a single piece of evidence supporting the biblical outlook. Again scientists with 'pitiful powers of observation' come up with the healthcare/medicines and technology you use and demand on a daily basis (eg the computer plus internet connection and software you are writing this blog with)- what makes these ones so capable in your opinion, yet all the ones who you don't agree with incompetent?

"Hold on a second. What moral standard are you using to judge God's behavior morally objectionable? This claim never gets off the ground without a standard.
If you say, "Me, I'm the standard" or sthg like that, then that is easily dismissed with a "Great, well *I'm* the standard for me, and YOU'RE wrong!" There's no backbone to it. So you need sthg to serve as a standard. What is it?"

We could go with one of the ten commandments if we're going with the bilical worldview - thou shalt not kill. Seeing as God doesn't appear to practice what he preaches, this makes him a hypocrite at best. Do as I say, not as I do basically - he created everything (this includes sin and its introduction into the world if he is omnipotent, if not he is incompetent as he cannot control his own creation - Im assuming if he is all powerful we have to go for the former option - yet blames us for his works).

"Cave stalactites tell time like a clock?
Roosters are designed for alarms?
No, telling time is incidental to them, but you HAVE TO assume that they've been growing at a particular rate for however long you want to go back. You have to assume uniformity but that's not rationally defensible. Plus you can't know how large they were when they started forming. You don't know any of that, you just have to guess.
Me, I'm going with what the guy who was there says."

None of these things are designed for telling the time, it's just fortunate that that they do. Radioactive decay rates used in isochron dating have never changed under any circumstances (eg high pressure, temperature). This is simply part of the laws of physics. What evidence do we have not to accept this? Again, it's just wild coincidence that all these completely independent measurements match up? And again, why would God try and trick us with this evidence?

"It's just your wanton rebellion against God that is making you act so foolishly, calling in the CSI team a year later. Just ask the witness!"

The witness has shown a lot of hypocrisy, wanton lust for violence, a penchant for leaving apparently false evidence around to trick us, a petty vengeful streak against anyone who steps out of line, and an uncanny ability to blame us for his failings. He's also managed all this without ever revealing himself in an obvious fashion. I think I'll go with the CSI team.

You can mock the Nobel Prize all you like, and certainly Al Gore was a pretty strange choice (the Peace Prize seems to get some fairly dubious candidates quite regularly), but in the sciences there have been some very deserving winners over the years. Obviously you seem to know more about science than all of them so how come theyre not dishing them out to you? (also, Im sure Pride is a deadly sin as far as I can recall)

Rhology said...

Hey Anonymous,

Let me guess, you're going on the fact Fred Hoyle 'debunked it'.

Not at all - I've been told more than once that Archae is not regarded as a transitional form but is rather a fossil bearing signs of different classes of animals.
Talk.origins even says as much:
--
By virtue of this fact Archaeopteryx represents an example of a group in transition - a representative which, although on the sidelines in the dinosaur to bird transition, an echo of the actual event, still allows a brief glimpse into the possible mechanism which brought about the evolution of the birds and by its very existence shows that such a transition is possible.
--/--

They say it's on the sidelines. Not a transitional form.
Gee says it's not possible to make judgments based on fossils about transitions. I think this line of argumentation is thus best given up.

He also had ludicrous ideas such as diseases being sent from outer space and insects being smarter than humans, but just hiding it from us.

Umm, you do realise that some prominent atheistic scientists also believe in ET Seeding ideas?
Besides, that's the genetic fallacy - the 3rd classic fallacy you've so far committed in this thread.

What is your explanation for these fossils displaying features of 2 higher taxa?

They're animals that happened to exist. I thought we're supposed to look at evidence and draw conclusions FROM it, not take the conclusions TO the evidence.
The duckbilled platypus displays features of a duck and an otter. Maybe it's a transitional form too!

If God wants us to believe, why does all this evidence exist that supports an alternative world view of geology rather than the Noachian flood model

1) "evidence" found by pitifully limited human methodologies, instrumentation, and intelligence. The CSI Team 1 year later.
2) God is under no obligation to provide overwhelming knowledge of His existence to every human.
3) That said, He has made that knowledge that He exists clear to everyone (Romans 1).
4) If God wants us to believe, one might expect that He'd tell us what happened. He did. I trust God way more than humans, but it looks like your problem is that for you it's the other way around.

scientists with 'pitiful powers of observation' come up with the healthcare/medicines and technology you use and demand on a daily basis

No thanks to evolutionary dogma, but yes. And I'm grateful that God has made humans intelligent. I never denied that.
Strawman - 4th classic fallacy. You're up to 1 fallacy per post so far.

all the ones who you don't agree with incompetent?

Not the ones who don't agree with ME. Those who think they know what happened at the accident scene based on their CSI studies 1 year later though the witness is sitting there waiting for them to ask him what happened.

thou shalt not kill.

It's thou shalt not MURDER.
And murder = the unjustifiable taking of human life. God is fully justified in killing whomever He wants, since we're all capital criminals.
You didn't answer the question. Could I please know what standard you're using?

Radioactive decay rates used in isochron dating have never changed under any circumstances (eg high pressure, temperature).

You mean never under any circumstances that WE'VE OBSERVED. You're assuming that they never have. But you don't know either way.

why would God try and trick us with this evidence?

What do you mean? He already told you explicitly what He did and how it all went down.
How is it His fault if you throw out the User Manual for your bicycle and pick up a User Manual for assembling your telephone and try to put the bike together that way?

The witness has shown a lot of hypocrisy, wanton lust for violence

The charge of hypocrisy has not held up to scrutiny.
How will you substantiate the charge of "wanton lust for violence" and "petty vengeful streak against anyone who steps out of line" and "uncanny ability to blame us for his failings"?

you seem to know more about science than all of them so how come theyre not dishing them out to you?

This is a 5th fallacy, though I can't remember the name right now. You're on a roll!
I don't have to "know more" about science to know that the witness is trying to tell you how it went down yet you rely on your silly and pitiful forensics team. Sometimes common sense prevails.

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

out of interest do you believe the accounts of history books on figures such as Abraham Lincoln? after all noone who was alive at that time is alive any more, what reason have we to believe the 'CSI' team accounts if we cant believe anything that happened in the past if it isn't written in the bible?

"by its very existence shows that such a transition is possible."

that's a fairly important point that you included.

"Thou shalt not murder"

hardly different to thou shalt not kill - plus it depends on which version is read (KJV states kill, NLTB states murder - how can something with so many different version be infallible? remember even the best biblical scholars don't fully understand the languages these books were written in). so an entity that punishes us for something we had no control over (noone alive today could do anything about someone 6K years ago eating an apple after all)and happily kills us without regard is worthy of worship, yet you use the word "peace" on the end of every post. somewhat of a contradiction. On another note, some of the other parts of this chapter state any sort of work on the sabbath including household chores is unacceptable. Do you stick to this? Interestingly, on Exodus 21 this discusses how to treat ones slaves - you worship a God that condones slavery? Do you consider slavery acceptable? Do you also think someone who curses their father or mother should be killed?

he has shown hypocrisy - he put eve in a situation she could have had not possibly have been mentally capable of understanding, then blamed it on her when he is the one who created the situation, with the advantage of knowing it would happen given that he's omniscient. I can't think of a clearer example of hypocrisy.

"Umm, you do realise that some prominent atheistic scientists also believe in ET Seeding ideas?"

yes but these are origin of life studies referring to production of simple biotic molecules, not complete disease causing agents that Fred Hoyle was referring to.

"You mean never under any circumstances that WE'VE OBSERVED. You're assuming that they never have. But you don't know either way."

what reason have we to assume they are not?

"No thanks to evolutionary dogma,"

er, quite a lot of medical research revolves around use of evolutionary theory eg HIV research, a source of some cancer drugs such as Taxol were discovered using evolutionary theory. polynmerase which is important in molecular biology was discovered using evolutionary principles. likewise the study of heritable diseases uses evolutionary genetics principles. some aspects of biological conservation use evolutionary theories. the theory is also open to change and falsification should new evidence arise - that is the opposite of dogma.

"B/c they're sinful people who are not omniscient and don't take the entire grammar or context into account."

so what is the point of reading it and accepting it's infallibility if noone alive can understand it properly? again God has put us in a situation it is impossible to 'win' in. should he not have made it explicitly clear what he wants, that way we can do it without fuss.

"4) If God wants us to believe, one might expect that He'd tell us what happened. He did. I trust God way more than humans, but it looks like your problem is that for you it's the other way around."

this is the same God that let the Khmer Rouge kill innocent people, likewise in Mogadishu, likewise Stalin and Mao, likewise Hitler, likewise the spanish inquisition, the catholic church or protestants killing 'witches' in the 1800's. the people he could have prevented all of this, but decided not to. likewise in natural disasters such as the recent tsunami. some of the people killed were ateheists, some were Christians, some were people of other religions (likewise for the poeple doing the killing). yet he stood back and did nothing - did all these people deserve that to happen to them in your opinion? again I refuse to worship something that lets all that happen without intervention.

Anonymous said...

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
–Epicurus (341 BC – 270 BC)"

there's a good quote that nicely sums up the whole situation for me.

David Bryan said...

"Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?"

From man. Who, yes, is God's creation, but created with the free choice to screw it all up.

Rhology said...

Hi Anonymous,

do you believe the accounts of history books on figures such as Abraham Lincoln?

Yes.
1) There were people there to observe his life. This is a point against your position on evolution.
2) The Bible says nothing about his life.

hardly different to thou shalt not kill

You didn't even try to respond to my point. I even defined "murder" for you.

how can something with so many different version be infallible?

There's one version in Hebrew. "Ratsach" means kill/murder. It is clarified by the greater context and by its quotation in Greek in the New Testament, where the Greek clarifies "murder".
(And the LXX version in Gk uses "murder" I believe, though that's a minor point.)

even the best biblical scholars don't fully understand the languages these books were written in

1) So what?
2) They know the diff between "kill" and "murder". Especially if a layman like me can explain it.

happily kills us without regard

1) "happily" is unjustifiable hyperbole. God is not happy at the death of the wicked.
2) Without regard for what? This is my 3rd time to remind you that we are all capital criminals and deserve death.
3) Where, then, is your anger over the fact that God is merciful and delays destroying all mankind?

you use the word "peace" on the end of every post. somewhat of a contradiction

Why?

any sort of work on the sabbath including household chores is unacceptable. Do you stick to this?

If I lived in the OT Israelite community, that law would apply to me.
I don't, though. This is a law related to the civic community of OT Israel and doesn't apply now.

you worship a God that condones slavery?

1) That condones the slavery as described in the OT, yes.
2) That slavery is better described as "indentured servitude" for economic reasons. And he'd be free after 7 yrs, debt-free, unless he freely chose to stay with his master.
3) Again I ask you - by what standard do you judge slavery to be morally objectionable?

Do you also think someone who curses their father or mother should be killed?

That's a civic OT Israel law as well.
Though it might not be a bad idea for a modern society.

he put eve in a situation she could have had not possibly have been mentally capable of understanding

Where's the argument for that?
God told her not to eat of the one tree, the serpent told her it was fine, and she chose to believe the serpent and not God. How hard is it to understand "don't eat from this tree"?

"You mean never under any circumstances that WE'VE OBSERVED. You're assuming that they never have. But you don't know either way."
what reason have we to assume they are not?

Just as much reason as we have to assume they are.
Notice how that's the only rejoinder you have, yet it's a MAJOR, FOUNDATIONAL platform of your argument. And all you have is guesswork.

quite a lot of medical research revolves around use of evolutionary theory eg HIV research, a source of some cancer drugs such as Taxol were discovered using evolutionary theory.

Mmm, OK, fine.
I don't see why such research couldn't have been successful without.
Besides, Pragmatism is not a valid worldview - we don't believe things to be true b/c they work, which is what you're implying here.

what is the point of reading it and accepting it's infallibility if noone alive can understand it properly?

More hyperbole, a further strawman. Fallacy #6 on your part.
God has made it sufficiently clear that people who are taught and stable can understand it with the illumination of the Holy Spirit. You're not talking to a Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox here, who would agree with you.

this is the same God that let the Khmer Rouge kill innocent people, likewise in Mogadishu, likewise Stalin and Mao, likewise Hitle

1) And the same God Who lets you continue in your sin without destroying you outright. Rather than complaining, repent and thank Him for His generosity and far-reaching plan.
2) For the 4th time, by what standard do you judge God's action here to be morally objectionable?

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

This is the correct formulation as far as it goes, in comparison with the others. He is able to do anything possible, but He is not willing to stop all suffering right now.
1) What good reason can you provide that He doesn't have a plan to make good all this suffering?
2) What good reason can you provide that He doesn't have a plan that would make sense if you could see all He sees?
3) For the 5th time, by what standard do you judge God's action here to be morally objectionable?
4) Like David Bryan said, He has allowed evil into the world partially as a consequence of a measure of free choice on the part of His human creations.

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

"Yes.
1) There were people there to observe his life. This is a point against your position on evolution.
2) The Bible says nothing about his life. "

1) none of these people are alive now - how can we ask them? how do we know they were reliable. there is also evidence missing from how they lived their lives as not everything is preserved over time - can we really accept anything about historical figures in that case. also, the history/archaeology that you say backs up the bible - how can we accept that the fallible human has not selectively seen what he/she wants to see? after all we have pitiful powers of observation.
2) that's not the point - it's a similar investigative process to science.

What about the justice system - murders where noone was there to observe it but the killer? or suicides when the only person who knew what happened is dead - do you believe the outcomes of these investigations?

"3) Again I ask you - by what standard do you judge slavery to be morally objectionable? "

are you being serious that you think slavery/forced servitude for any length of time for any human being is acceptable? What if you were the slave, would you accept your lot in life as the bible justifies it?

"don't see why such research couldn't have been successful without.
Besides, Pragmatism is not a valid worldview - we don't believe things to be true b/c they work, which is what you're implying here."

because the theory of evolution allowed them to make the predictions of where to look for these source plants etc. a sceintific theory is never 100% proven, but the stronger its predicitive value the more worthwhile it is. again with the tiktaalik rosea find, this was based on things such as geological aging of rocks, expected intermediate anatomical features between two taxa, water environment (fresh vs salty) etc. they found the fossil virtually exactly where they predicted - again, just a fluke, or an example of the theory's reliability?

"1) What good reason can you provide that He doesn't have a plan to make good all this suffering?
2) What good reason can you provide that He doesn't have a plan that would make sense if you could see all He sees?
3) For the 5th time, by what standard do you judge God's action here to be morally objectionable?
4) Like David Bryan said, He has allowed evil into the world partially as a consequence of a measure of free choice on the part of His human creations."

if he's omniscient technically how can we have free choice as he knows what will happen regardless of what we do. and again the situation with eve was not free will as her choice was totally inconsequential at that point due to her lack of knowledge of good and evil - any choice she makes has equal value as there is no distinguishing line.

additionally if you had suffered the way some people have (eg in a concentration camp), would you honestly just accept this to be all part of God's plan, or would you be angry/disappointed it had happened to you? from what you are saying we have no morality, just a set of instructions to blindly follow as we cannot make our own judgement on anything.

"Though it might not be a bad idea for a modern society."

again, you seriously think that anyone who curses their parents should be killed - that would probably result in the human population of the world being zero.

"Just as much reason as we have to assume they are.
Notice how that's the only rejoinder you have, yet it's a MAJOR, FOUNDATIONAL platform of your argument. And all you have is guesswork."

not true - if the decay rates were accelerated beyond what they are now to fit in with a 6000 year old earth, firstly, the rates would all have to be accelerated by the same factor as they match independently. the heat generated by accelerated decay rates would
a)reset all radioactive clocks to the same date due to the temperature generated being able to melt rock, and b)would actually generate heat to a temperature of around 13x hotter than the core of the sun (the decay rates need to be accelerated to around 1bn fold I think), which would have melted the earth completely and killed everything on it. i.e destroying the environment that actually allows isochron dating. again, laws of physics, all of which which are required from the start to allow functions like Adam and Eve to breathe, walk etc.

apologies if Ive missed anything, the format of the posting box makes it difficult to keep track.

Anonymous said...

The bible is laughable. How could any human believe the nonsense of this book ! I am truly amazed at the stupidity of the human race. Rhoblogy you are a disgrace to all humankind. Please stop your ignorant ways. This book of yours should be discarded along with the other nonsense book called the koran. Maybe discarding is not the right idea, I think, exhibition in a museum of false ideas would be much better.

Rhology said...

Hi Anonymous 1,

none of these people are alive now - how can we ask them?

We can't. We have to read what they wrote.
We don't KNOW they're reliable. The study of history is a matter of probability.

the history/archaeology that you say backs up the bible - how can we accept that the fallible human has not selectively seen what he/she wants to see?

1) Archaeological verification is not the only plank in my argument - see above, there are 8 others.
2) Time and again, archaeologists seem to find sthg that contradicts biblical data, only to be corrected later with further discovery.
3) We'd need a reason to think that Human X's "fallibility" got in the way of their accurately passing on true history.

it's a similar investigative process to science.

No it's not. You can't test evolution in a lab, for multiple reasons.
See here, here, and here for reasons why.

do you believe the outcomes of these investigations?

Depends on the evidence.
But I don't believe circumstantial evidence collected a long time after the fact (to say nothing of MILLIONS OF YEARS after the fact) if a witness was indeed there to watch it and offers eyewitness testimony that fundamentally contradicts the forensic "findings".

you think slavery/forced servitude for any length of time for any human being is acceptable?

1) In the biblical system, yes.
2) You have avoided the question for the 5th time. When will you answer it? It's a simple question.

if you were the slave, would you accept your lot in life as the bible justifies it?

If I were an OT Israelite indentured servant, treated according to Mosaic Law, yes.

just a fluke, or an example of the theory's reliability?

1) The theory is not reliable, so it's not the latter.
2) You accept this example as evidence, but it's not necessarily ONLY an evidence for evolution.
3) Why not accept, then, mistakes and hoaxes as evidence AGAINST evolution?
4) And why did you bring up Archaeopteryx as a transitional form when it's not?

the situation with eve was not free will as her choice was totally inconsequential at that point due to her lack of knowledge of good and evil

On what basis do you assert that she didn't know it was wrong to disobey God? She repeated her instructions to the serpent, didn't she? And the serpent convinced her that God's instructions were not actually worth being followed, didn't it? What of that situation exhibits a lack of free will?

would you honestly just accept this to be all part of God's plan

1) Some concentration camp survivors embrace the Savior, some don't. This anecdotal evidence swings both ways.
2) I have suffered, not like them, but nonetheless.

we have no morality, just a set of instructions to blindly follow as we cannot make our own judgement on anything.

I'm not saying you have no morality, I'm saying you have no fundamental BASIS for morality beyond your own personal preference.
See here for a post where I work all that out. My atheist opponent ended up agreeing with me.

you seriously think that anyone who curses their parents should be killed - that would probably result in the human population of the world being zero.

1) The reader will note that I said "might". I'm still developing this thought. My best friend, the Blackblogger, and I were just discussing this last night and I think he may have significantly influenced my thinking.
2) Once several parent-cursers were executed, that would almost certainly serve as a deterrent so that people would stop doing it.
3) And once that happened, society would be much better, since the family would be thus strengthened. And alot of bad apples would be removed by judicious needlepricks (or public firing squads, if I had my way).

reset all radioactive clocks to the same date due to the temperature generated being able to melt rock,

1) There are no "clocks". There are indicators of other things which also incidentally happen to kind of tell some time, given a host of assumptions that fit your pre-conceived conclusions. No way to do science, this.
2) And you're assuming (there's that word again) that the world wasn't created with some decay already present in the rocks.

apologies if Ive missed anything

No problem, but would you mind answering my biggest question so far:

***By what standard do you judge Action X taken by God to be morally objectionable?***

Thanks!



Anonymous 2,

I bet you impressed a lot of readers with that display of intellectual prowess. Keep it up!


Peace,
Rhology

Rhology said...

On Christianity and slavery, for those interested.

Kyle said...

"But my point is these companies have one real aim - to make money. Therefore if a more accurate version of the world's geology exists than the current scientifically accepted one, it would make them more money, therefore why would they not use it if it would make them more profit? Dismissing it as unimpressive doesn't really answer the point."

This is terribly muddy thinking (pun intended). The geologic theories (catastrophism, uniformitarianism, etc) relating to the change in the earth's crust over hundreds of thousands or millions of years have little to no bearing on modern Oil company exploration. They do subsurface exploration with drills, soundwaves, radiation devices, and other technologies. The end result is "Yep there is oil there, or Nope there ain't oil there." They don't ask themselves if 100 million years ago there was oil there.

So if this is the kind of thinking that informed you to deny the truth of the Bible, then the rest of your reasoning is suspect.

Anonymous said...

"This is terribly muddy thinking (pun intended). The geologic theories (catastrophism, uniformitarianism, etc) relating to the change in the earth's crust over hundreds of thousands or millions of years have little to no bearing on modern Oil company exploration. They do subsurface exploration with drills, soundwaves, radiation devices, and other technologies. The end result is "Yep there is oil there, or Nope there ain't oil there." They don't ask themselves if 100 million years ago there was oil there."

Right - and how do you think they know where to start looking in the first place? Clue: it's not based on random selection of a location, or on the creationist model of geology, which either relies on ridiculous phenomena such as several metres of desposits being laid then removed within a time period of hours, or resort to 'miracle'.

here's a quote from former YEC geologist Glenn Morton "Morton then said that he had hired several graduates of Christian Heritage College, and that all of them suffered severe crises of faith. The were utterly unprepared to face the geologic facts every petroleum geologist deals with on a daily basis.

so as he says, petroleum geologists have to deal with facts every day contradictory to what is written in the bible.

On the subject of geology - where are the fossils of modern animals such as pigs, modern humans, cows? if it takes a max of 6,000 years to create fossils, why are there not an abundance of these fossils the way there are for extinct animals? Why are there no fossils of carved bone if it only takes 6,000 years max?

"1) There are no "clocks". There are indicators of other things which also incidentally happen to kind of tell some time, given a host of assumptions that fit your pre-conceived conclusions. No way to do science, this.
2) And you're assuming (there's that word again) that the world wasn't created with some decay already present in the rocks."

Doing science to fit pre conceived ideas is the preserve of people who aren't biblical literalists?! The irony in that is staggering, especially given point 2 which you have zero evidence for. Guys such as the ICR know what they want to find before they start - real science does not have to have its findings vetted against some religious text - it takes the data and draws the conclusions from it as opposed to already knowing what conclusions the data has to fit. the real researchers are Jews, Muslims, Christians of all denominations, agnostics and atheists alike - I'm sure many of the Christians among them would be delighted if the data backed up the biblical worldview. But it doesn't. Hence why the best model ICR could come up with from their research was a 'creation date' of 60,000 +/- 400,000 years (ironic they criticise radiometric dating that has a less than 1% margin of error). And this involved improper sorting of samples, making unfounded assumptions, ignoring results that didn't fit the model (they admit discarding a sample in their publication with no reason given for this). Your entire argument against radiometric dating has relied on 'must have been a miracle' without any evidence to suggest decay rates can be altered or rocks can be created with the clock run down so to speak - if you have it, let's hear it. it's not even as if you have something in the bible to back this up (I can't seem to find the chapter that says "and on the second day the lord created an artificially young looking rock in order to fool those pesky atheist scientists, many of whom arent actually atheists".

Here's an example of creationist style scientific thinking - "Kurt Wise volunteers that, even if all the evidence in the universe flatly contradicted Scripture, and even if he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence" - and you call mainstream scientific thinking bad science? Someone admits he will actually deny every single piece of evidence as one big trick, yet expects his scientific views to be taken seriously?


"1) The reader will note that I said "might". I'm still developing this thought. My best friend, the Blackblogger, and I were just discussing this last night and I think he may have significantly influenced my thinking.
2) Once several parent-cursers were executed, that would almost certainly serve as a deterrent so that people would stop doing it.
3) And once that happened, society would be much better, since the family would be thus strengthened. And alot of bad apples would be removed by judicious needlepricks (or public firing squads, if I had my way)."

The fact you're even contemplating it makes the 'might' superfluous - killing people for something as trivial as that is insanity.

Right, because the death penalty serves as a complete deterrent, stopping the 15,000 murders committed each year in the US?

While I'm sure having more stable families would be good, a Christian version of an Afghanistan/Taliban style reign of terror and fear is about the worst idea I can think of. Do you seriously believe what you are saying? I'm not being flippant when I say you should seek some sort of professional help if you are being genuine.

"We can't. We have to read what they wrote.
We don't KNOW they're reliable. The study of history is a matter of probability. "

so we can rely on history which leaves us with clues that we have to piece together with what evidence is available and logical inferences, but not biology, paleontology, geology, etc etc? any reason why that is?

"On what basis do you assert that she didn't know it was wrong to disobey God? She repeated her instructions to the serpent, didn't she? And the serpent convinced her that God's instructions were not actually worth being followed, didn't it? What of that situation exhibits a lack of free will?"

She cannot know what is good and evil at that point - it is physically/mentally impossible as the knowledge does not exist. therefore any choice is of equal value, it is neither good nor bad - unless of course the bible is contradicting itself by saying she understands good and bad before it exists, which you say is impossible because the bible is infallible (disobedience of God presumably falls into the 'bad category'). All they are capable of doing is behaving like automatons with no decision making capabilities, where each action has equal value. Again, how can she be blamed for the creator not giving her the mental capacity to make a smart judgement on what he is telling her? he can tell her 'don't do that', but as she does not know good and evil, she has no frame of reference to understand the implications of the command.

"By what standard do you judge Action X taken by God to be morally objectionable?"

By the standards he himself demands of us. After all if we're created in god's own image, surely his killing us can count as murder? There are no absolutes in morality I agree, but would you want to live in a system where you could be killed for some very innocuous transgressions, where you could be put to death for a simple one off mistake or doing something out of character? I'll take the societal norms currently in place in the US and Britain as my standard, you're welcome to try and live to the biblical standard if you can find a place that would let you do it.

Rhology said...

Hey there,

Kyle, thanks for stopping by.

t's not based on random selection of a location, or on the creationist model of geology, which either relies on ridiculous phenomena such as several metres of desposits being laid then removed within a time period of hours

Yes, I would imagine it is based on a study of HOW THE STRATA LIE TODAY.
W/o making a(nother) boatload of assumptions, that doesn't extrapolate backwards.

all of them suffered severe crises of faith.

Then they were foolish. Gotta keep things in perspective.
It's like sending a fresh-faced kid out to battle. He sees his friend soldier next to him disemboweled by a bullet. that's enough to freak anyone out. But cause a crisis of faith? Did he not understand that there's evil and death in the world, that our bodies are fragile?
Whoever these people were, they went in with a poorly conceived idea of God and His action in the world and a far-too-inflated view of the power of human instrumentation and methodology.

Why are there no fossils of carved bone if it only takes 6,000 years max?

1) No fossil-hunters would be interested in pigs, cows, etc.
2) I don't exactly understand what this is supposed to mean. Could you elaborate please?

Doing science to fit pre conceived ideas is the preserve of people who aren't biblical literalists?

Not exclusively, but it's blindingly obvious that it does happen.

real science does not have to have its findings vetted against some religious text

It has to be vetted against evolutionary dogma, which is no less strident.

the best model ICR could come up with from their research was a 'creation date' of 60,000 +/- 400,000 years

My thinking and ICR's don't match up; I think they're wrong and would argue against such.

they criticise radiometric dating that has a less than 1% margin of error

**You must justify your assumptions**. that's what I keep saying and you keep ignoring it. Why won't you deal with that?

Your entire argument against radiometric dating has relied on 'must have been a miracle' without any evidence to suggest decay rates can be altered or rocks can be created with the clock run down so to speak

God exists and is all-powerful. He can create rocks with "clock run down" (even if I accepted your premise that these are "clocks") if He wants.

I can't seem to find the chapter that says "and on the second day the lord created an artificially young looking rock in order to fool those pesky atheist scientists, many of whom arent actually atheists".

1) There's a lot you don't know about the Bible, so there you go.
2) And the Bible provides a fair amount of info about how Creation went down and a decent idea of how long ago it was. Besides that, there's yet more info that would shut down the implications of admitting an alternate narrative, such as the Gap theory or theistic evolution.
3) 1st you were criticising the Bible as just nonsense, now you're trying to tell me I'm the one who doesn't get what it actually says. that's goalpost-shifting.

he would still take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence

Yes, precisely.
You're just not listening. "Science" is the CSI team showing up millions of yrs later. God is the witness who was there. Just ask Him. Why won't you deal with this? You're a broken record.

every single piece of evidence as one big trick

There are FACTS out there, yes. In many cases, they can be interpreted as evidence for Worldview X or Y equally well. The "evidence" for evolution is poor as far as ruling out any other explanation.

killing people for something as trivial as that is insanity.

Unsubstantiated assertion - you'd need to answer my 6-times-repeated question about what standard you use to judge such things morally objectionable.

because the death penalty serves as a complete deterrent, stopping the 15,000 murders committed each year in the US?

Try removing any punishment for murder and see what you get.

Christian version of an Afghanistan/Taliban style reign of terror

Taliban is based on Islamic sharia, based on domination and forced conversions.
I challenge you to draw out a valid biblical system of govt and personal conduct that would approach such barbarism.

we can rely on history which leaves us with clues

B/c we can't watch it again. It's probability. You have problems, ask a historian or sthg. I'm just the messenger.

but not biology, paleontology, geology

Paleontology and geology are in large part historical, forensic, so they're similar to what we're discussing here.
Biology - where it's TESTABLE, it's lab science and repeatable. Evolutionary biology is NOT testable, so it's far different and far less sure than what we're constantly presented with in the media and school textbooks, etc.

t is physically/mentally impossible as the knowledge does not exist.

If that's your argument, you lost before you stated it. I already pointed out that God's command provided the basis AND knowledge for not doing what she did. You didnt' interact with that; you just ignored it. You're apparnetly good at ignoring things.

By the standards he himself demands of us.

thank you for at least trying to answer the question this time.

After all if we're created in god's own image, surely his killing us can count as murder?

Why? Remember, murder = unjustifiably killing a human. All humans are capital criminals, deserve death. God is just in killing anyone He wants anytime.

There are no absolutes in morality I agree

Great, then we understand each other. Note: Any moral judgment you make is nothing more than your personal preference and can be discarded as such, since it is challengable on the basis of nothing more than my own personal preference.
You don't like vanilla ice cream, I do.
You don't like raping little girls, Joe does. On what basis will you:
1) say he's wrong to rape little girls?
2) say that the two value comparisons are different?

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

Hi

To be honest, I think we're both just wasting our time with this discussion - there are data if you (or someone else) had them that would convince me of the biblical world view, or at least to discard current scientific thinking as being wrong (eg human fossils in the precambrian strata, fossils of unclassifiable nature, massive changes in decay rates under certain conditions etc etc), or even just a few things going against natural laws, or a big booming voice and an aura in the sky announcing that it is God and he has arrived.

The fact that like Kurt Wise, you admit there is not one single piece of evidence I can present to you that can change your mind renders this conversation utterly pointless, so we might as well not bother.

Good luck with it and everything if it works for you, but some of the things you would consider an acceptable part of society due to the biblical worldview are frankly ridiculous and I doubt you really believe them.

Anonymous said...

In other words, I don't have answers for you, but I do have faith in my anti-theistic ideas. And faith is all I need.

Rhology said...

That last comment was me. (Ah, the hazards of posting anonymously!)

Anonymous said...

"In other words, I don't have answers for you, but I do have faith in my anti-theistic ideas. And faith is all I need."

not at all - ive just listed several things that would falsify what i accept as being correct, i could list more if you really want. and as is good scientific practice I also accept that despite all the evidence, there is the tiniest remote possibility it could be wrong. furthermore, Im not anti-theistic either. I just think the literal interpretation of the bible is completely wrong, and that there is no evidence that has been seen yet that should lead me to accept that God exists. Other people can believe whatever they like - but then this is a public discussion forum, hence why i responded initially.

I explained why there was no point in this discussion, because by your own admission you can explain away literally anything I say by invoking miracles, or by 'because the bible says so' - there is no argument against that standpoint, which makes the continuation of my involvement completely pointless.

Anonymous said...

Rhology,

Anonymous 2 wasn't trying to impress the brainwashed sheep. The comments were directly targeted at you Rhology. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and all others are frauds. Every human needs to get this through their thick heads and that especially includes Rhology, how many more will you brainwash ?

merkur said...

This entire discussion is just inane - I wish I'd got here sooner!

Rhology, I love the way that you privilege eyewitnesses over other forms of evidence. You seem to think that eyewitnesses are somehow more reliable than forensic forms such as archeology.

In the words of somebody else, Sadly, No.

At the same time of course, when archeology supports your argument, you're perfectly happy to claim it. It's such a merry mixed-up world you live in!

Rhology said...

merkur,

You're welcome to pick up where ID left off, or comment on whatever you like. :-)

Probably b/c you were reading fast (there's a lot of text there!), I think you might have mixed up what I meant by "ask the guy who was there". I was comparing "scientific" methods of trying to determing the age of the earth versus asking God, Who created the whole thing, Who was there when it happened.
So in this case, the witness is not only completely trustworthy but was also the Mover.

And I'd advise against citing Wikipedia articles in serious discussions like this.

And yeah, I'm happy to claim archaeology when it supports my claims.
1) It has a pattern of coming to CONFIRM biblical data, upon further examination. that's the pattern established by quite a bit of experience already.
2) And of course atheists try to jump on any data they can that would seem to deny the Bible, so it's you too. Just look at the hubbub over even stoopid stuff like the recent Jesus Tomb and James Cameron, and then how fast the rats jumped off the sinking ship.

Rhology said...

Speaking of archaeology...

merkur said...

You seem to think that a huge number of people are claiming that the bible is completely unsupported by archeology. This is known as a straw man argument, since there aren't.

There's every reason to expect some parts of the bible to be supported by some archaeological findings; the bible is an historical document, after all. The point is whether you'll accept archaeological findings when they don't support the bible, and the answer seems to be no. This is known as trying to have your cake and eat it too.

"Just look at the hubbub over even stoopid stuff like the recent Jesus Tomb and James Cameron, and then how fast the rats jumped off the sinking ship."

I'd advise against citing television entertainment in serious discussions like this.

Rhology said...

You seem to think that a huge number of people are claiming that the bible is completely unsupported by archeology.

that's a pretty generous thing to say, actually. OK, I'm happy to amend my statement if you'll give me your word that you know of no one who would say stuff like that, even Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens et al.
If I run across a statement from someone though, I'm gonna be irritated. ;-)

The point is whether you'll accept archaeological findings when they don't support the bible

1) I'll accept them as being discovered up to that point.
2) Which has limited bearing on whether the Bible is true or not.
3) These kinds of discoveries have a way of being overturned once more study is done.
4) I prefer to ask the witness who was at the scene of the incident what happened rather than a CSI team 1000s of years after the fact. I find such witnesses more trustworthy.

I'd advise against citing television entertainment in serious discussions like this.

I think anyone can see the difference between the way you attempted to wield your Wiki citation and the way I wielded the refutation of the Cameron thing.

Peace,
Rhology

merkur said...

"OK, I'm happy to amend my statement if you'll give me your word that you know of no one who would say stuff like that, even Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens et al."

That's not what I said, Rhology, and you are deceitful to pretend that it was. What I said is that you seem to think that a huge number of people are claiming that the bible is completely unsupported by archeology. Feel free to quote any of those authors where they say that the bible is completely unsupported by archaeological evidence.

As I pointed out, there is every reason to expect that parts of the bible fit with archaeological findings, since it is a historical document. The problem that I have with you is that you are selective in your claims, crowing loudly when archaeological findings support the bible as if it's some sort of revelation, but quickly applying additional criteria if they don't support your beliefs. Of those criteria, this one is my favourite:

"4) I prefer to ask the witness who was at the scene of the incident what happened rather than a CSI team 1000s of years after the fact. "

As I pointed out, eyewitnesses are not reliable; and if you're referring to God, you're not actually asking the witness anything, are you? You're relying on a second-hand report written 1000s of years after the fact, that has then been passed down for more 1000s of years. What you're saying is that our understanding of a document transmitted in this way is more accurate than historical analysis of physical remains; which in itself seems to be something of a double standard.

Rhology said...

merkur,

I wasn't trying to be deceitful, let me try again to say it right.
So you're open to the idea that there be some people who think this, but not a huge number? OK. Well, I don't know if I ever thought a HUGE number of people thought so.

crowing loudly when archaeological findings support the bible as if it's some sort of revelation, but quickly applying additional criteria if they don't support your beliefs.

1) I'll admit to crowing loudly about confirmatory archaelogical findings.
2) I don't, however, claim it's "PROOF THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD". You didn't say that per se, you said "as if it's some sort of revelation". Either you're using "revelation" in a strict theological sense or it's hyperbole. No biggie either way, I just say that for clarification.
3) I've seen too many archaelogical findings that seemed to conflict with the Bible be amended later.
4) One reason the findings come out as conflicting with the Bible, only to be corrected later, it sounds suspiciously like people are rushing to disprove the Bible. ANYthing to shoot it down!

eyewitnesses are not reliable

Some are, some aren't. Depends on the eyewitness.

you're not actually asking the witness anything, are you?

Yes, I am. That's why I said that.

You're relying on a second-hand report written 1000s of years after the fact

1) That's just a question-begging assertion. Where's your argument?
2) Are you familiar with the Christian doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible?

What you're saying is that our understanding of a document transmitted in this way is more accurate than historical analysis of physical remains

1) Why would it be a double standard?
2) The document in question is reliable in the extreme.
3) examination of physical remains is very UNreliable for many reasons.
4) Anyone who would take the testimony of a CSI team 1000s of years later versus the testimony of eyewitnesses has a strange idea of reliability.

Peace,
Rhology

merkur said...

"Well, I don't know if I ever thought a HUGE number of people thought so."

Well, only you can know if you ever thought that. You seem to be basing an awful lot of this argument on that premise though, including most archaelogists in this grand conspiracy theory. "One reason the findings come out as conflicting with the Bible, only to be corrected later, it sounds suspiciously like people are rushing to disprove the Bible" - as if there are hordes of atheist archaeologists desperate to do you down. It goes without saying that this is a pathetic caricature.

"Either you're using "revelation" in a strict theological sense or it's hyperbole. No biggie either way, I just say that for clarification."

Allow me to clarify, then. I'm using it in the dictionary sense.

"3) I've seen too many archaelogical findings that seemed to conflict with the Bible be amended later."

That's a wonderfully sweeping statement that doesn't really deserve a response. What you've seen are the archaeological findings that your christian sources report as being amended; I'm guessing that those sources probably don't report on those findings that continue to conflict.

"Yes, I am. That's why I said that."

Really? Who are you asking?

"1) That's just a question-begging assertion. Where's your argument?"

What's a question-begging assertion? Are you saying that you don't rely on the Bible for reporting your "eyewitness testimony"?

"2) Are you familiar with the Christian doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible?"

Yes, but it's not really relevant here since I don't share that doctrine. Incidentally, a lot of other Christians don't share your particular interpretation of that doctrine.

"1) Why would it be a double standard?"

Because you're arguing that our interpretation of evidence is imperfect when it comes to archaelogy but perfect when it comes to the bible.

"2) The document in question is reliable in the extreme."

This is circular reasoning, as you are claiming that the reliability of the bible is proven in part by the evidence of archeology.

"3) examination of physical remains is very UNreliable for many reasons."

Not as unreliable as eyewitness testimony, I fear. Anyway, that's a nice sweeping generalisation which thankfully will not prevent archaeologists from actually getting on with their studies while you chortle on the sidelines.

"4) Anyone who would take the testimony of a CSI team 1000s of years later versus the testimony of eyewitnesses has a strange idea of reliability."

Not really. You've clearly not done much investigative work.

John Morales said...

(quotes from the post)

"God Himself"
"...God is and that He is 100% trustworthy"

So, God is male, then?

With Who does He procreate??

(giggle)

Rhology said...

Hi guys,

You seem to be basing an awful lot of this argument on that premise though,

My mistake if I led you to believe that. Did you even read the post, though? It's one of 8 points I threw together.
It's been commenters who've decided to try to take down one of the points, so I'm defending it. The other 7 have gone unresponded to. I'm working off your own priorities here.

as if there are hordes of atheist archaeologists desperate to do you down

There's no reason for you to be sensitive to this, being an atheist, but I have lots of reasons to believe that.
Two good reasons are
1) the annual just-before-Christmas Time and Newsweek articles and major network TV specials "trying" to uncover the "historical Jesus"'s birth and almost invariably "discovering" that it all went down totally differently than what the Gospels said.
2) the annual just-before-Easter Time and Newsweek articles and major network TV specials "trying" to uncover the "historical Jesus"'s "resurrection" and almost invariably "discovering" that it all went down totally differently than what the Gospels said.
Underlying all of them is the assumption of naturalism, which is but one reason we discount them almost totally.

I'm using it in the dictionary sense.

Which, of course, doesn't help at all, since both definitions are in the dictionary.

What you've seen are the archaeological findings that your christian sources report as being amended; I'm guessing that those sources probably don't report on those findings that continue to conflict.

1) Which would be subject to the disclaimers of limited confidence that I've already expressed.
2) I still know from the other 7 points that the Bible is correct.
3) And I've seen so many "conflicts" be resolved by further findings that new "conflicts" don't bother me. You do the same thing with evolution.

Who are you asking?

God, the only witness who was there.

What's a question-begging assertion?

This: You're relying on a second-hand report written 1000s of years after the fact

Are you saying that you don't rely on the Bible for reporting your "eyewitness testimony"?

that's a separate question. What I was calling question-begging is that you have yet to prove or even argue that the Bible is:
1) a second-hand report
2) written 1000s of years after the fact

What's the argument?

a lot of other Christians don't share your particular interpretation of that doctrine.

Why would I care if other Christians hold to a belief that makes no sense?

Because you're arguing that our interpretation of evidence is imperfect when it comes to archaelogy but perfect when it comes to the bible.

I argue the exact same thing about evolution vs. creationism. And somehow for you it's not a double standard b/c you think the creationist side has been proven wrong on a consistent basis. Same here.

as you are claiming that the reliability of the bible is proven in part by the evidence of archeology.

Again you seem to miss the other 7 points.

Not as unreliable as eyewitness testimony, I fear

1) The Christian worldview is the only one that makes sense; God is the Creator and He was there, and He doesn't lie. He is a much better source of info than forensics teams 1000s of yrs after the fact.
2) Even in a secular courtroom, you really seem to think that a judge should/would prefer a 1000 yr old forensics study over an eyewitness.
3) Forensics teams are made up of people, who are witnesses themselves. If eyewitnesses are unreliable, forensics teams, who are eyewitnesses to the forensic evidence, are unreliable too by the same argument.

thankfully will not prevent archaeologists from actually getting on with their studies

Since all the studies properly done yield support for the Bible, I'm more than happy to let 'em.

You've clearly not done much investigative work.

Ah clearly.


John Morales chipped in:

God is male, then?

No, He just reveals Himself as male, which is not the same as being essentially male.
He doesn't procreate at all. (and the question would be "with Whom does He procreate?")

(Methinks you knew the answers.)

Peace,
Rhology

merkur said...

Obviously these are the reasons why you believe the Bible is infallible, and you have every right to your beliefs; I will therefore explain why I don't accept these reasons.

"1) Only 3 major theistic religions exist - Christianity, Islam, Judaism. Islam's Qur'an says the Bible is to be relied upon, so OK, I will, thanks. Judaism and Christianity believe that God is the One Who breathed out the words of the Bible."

I'm neither Christian, Muslim or Jewish, so this is not evidence to me.

"2) The Bible claims itself to be breathed out by God, and on theism, God is perfect and omniscient, does not make mistakes.
3) The Bible's purpose is to reveal God, His commands, and His character and dealings with humanity.
4) Jesus Himself believed it was God talking (Matthew 22:31) and that it was the standard by which all human tradition must be judged (Mark 7:1-13).
5) Jesus Himself quoted Scripture to refute the devil (Matt 4, Luke 4).
6) The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies which have since been fulfilled, perhaps most notably in the book of Daniel."

I find these to be a circular arguments (in fact they're all the same circular argument, rather than 5 separate arguments) and therefore not evidence to me.

"7) The Bible accurately describes reality, including history as verified by archæological study."

The Bible does not accurately describe the world as I understand it, although it is a valuable historical document.

"8) Many of the biblical authors (especially Jesus' apostles) were in a position to know with certainty that Jesus was NOT raised from the dead, committed secret deception, or something else... [etc etc]"

This doesn't seem to be related to the question of whether the bible is infallible or not.

"9) The Bible is consistent with its own thought and ideas and information on every point despite its having been written over the course of centuries by ~40 different authors."

I find this not to be the case.

Rhology said...

Hey Merkur,

If you were trying to deal with the other points of my post, you might consider adding a few arguments rather than just naked assertions.

I'm neither Christian, Muslim or Jewish, so this is not evidence to me.

You know, if you're not even going to engage the post, I have no obligation to respond to you.
Go back and read the part about presupposing.

The Bible does not accurately describe the world as I understand it,

Who cares if it's as you understand it? I'm talking about reality, not your mistaken ideas. One can know many of your ideas are mistaken simply by examining your arguments for them.

This doesn't seem to be related to the question of whether the bible is infallible or not.

These guys were authors of biblical books describing historical events; if they were lying, the Bible is not infallible.

I find this not to be the case.

Here's a perfect example of reality differing with what you think.
I challenge you to bring forth your 5 best biblical "contradictions". Argue for how they are contradictions and have no possibility of harmonisation given the Christian worldview.

Peace,
Rhology

merkur said...

While I might not be engaging with your post on your terms., I fail to see how you expect to persuade non-Christians of your arguments, if you start every argument with "given theism" (i.e. "you need to be a Christian to accept this argument"). If you're talking with atheists, you can't accept theism as a given. I was merely listing the reasons why - given that I am not a theist - those arguments are not convincing.

Rhology said...

Merkur,

I explained why I did so in the 3rd paragraph:

I presuppose that a theistic God exists. Why? Well, I want to be able to use logic and reason to examine the world around me, for one thing. And in particular, you're asking me to present a rational defense of the infallibility of the Bible. A naturalistic worldview can't provide the foundation for using reason to defend anythg, so I start the only place I can - theism.
----/----

There's no "neutral" position, for one thing.
And if I presuppose naturalism, I can't even use logic and reason, can't believe that intelligibility is supported. That's a bit of a problem, as I'm sure you'd agree, if intelligibility is not justifiable.

merkur said...

"There's no "neutral" position, for one thing. And if I presuppose naturalism, I can't even use logic and reason, can't believe that intelligibility is supported. That's a bit of a problem, as I'm sure you'd agree, if intelligibility is not justifiable."

You have yet to convince me of any of these points, so using them as the basis for your argument is probably not that useful.

Rhology said...

OK.
You have the choice either to say why what I've said is wrong, to take up the challenge on the Bible I've laid down, or to keep challenging the Bible on naturalistic terms.

If the third option, ice cream has no bones and the 4 they fly the much.

Reading this might help clarify what I mean.

Paul Brown said...

Okay, I'll take that challenge:

"1) Only 3 major theistic religions exist - Christianity, Islam, Judaism. Islam's Qur'an says the Bible is to be relied upon, so OK, I will, thanks.
Judaism and Christianity believe that God is the One Who breathed out the words of the Bible."

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Shinto and, like it or not, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That's 8.5 major theistic religions without really trying. Some agree with the bible (e.g. most sects of Christianity), some do not (e.g. Hindusim) and some agree with parts of the bible and disagree with others (e.g. Judaism).

"2) The Bible claims itself to be breathed out by God, and on theism, God is perfect and omniscient, does not make mistakes. How then could what He says be a mistake? ...snipped for brevity..."

I was under the impression that the bible was written by men (such as Mark, John and others) under the influence of / inspired by god / jesus. I'm not quite sure where your "breathed out by" metaphor is going, but even if your printed bible had been handwritten by god, that still makes for a circular argument, to whit:
premise 1: god is omniscient.
proof of 1: bible states that god is omniscient.

premise 2: bible is correct.
proof of 2: bible is written by god, who is omniscient.

1 depends upon 2 and vice versa; I may as well write "I am all knowing" on a piece of paper and claim omniscience myself, because the paper says so and how could I have made a mistake when I am all knowing?

"3) The Bible's purpose is to reveal God, His commands, and His character and dealings with humanity."
Perhaps. I am not really qualified to say what the purpose of the bible is; I have my suspicions, but I do not know, so I will happily concede this point to you.

"4) Jesus Himself believed it was God talking (Matthew 22:31) and that it was the standard by which all human tradition must be judged (Mark 7:1-13)."

and

"5) Jesus Himself quoted Scripture to refute the devil (Matt 4, Luke 4)."

Star wars says that Luke Skywalker defeated the whole Empire using the force, so therefore the force is real. Clearly, you can't use characters, events or statements within your book to prove your book's infallability - those elements must be related to other sources _outside_ of the book to have any validity, otherwise every book ever written is infallable.

"6) The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies which have since been fulfilled, perhaps most notably in the book of Daniel."
I'm not familiar with the book of Daniel, so if you could provide some further details of where those prophecies are then I'll be happy to discuss this one further.

"7) The Bible accurately describes reality, including history as verified by archæological study."
There are so many examples of the bible not describing reality that I hardly know where to begin; a boat built out of wood (or, indeed, wood with metal bracing) to the dimensions given for the ark would simply self destruct even in relatively calm waters, as the schooner Wyoming (which was considerably smaller) did.

"8) Many of the biblical authors (especially Jesus' apostles) were in a position to know with certainty that Jesus was NOT raised from the dead, committed secret deception, or something else. Yet though they would have known their message was false (if indeed it were false), they turned back on their lifelong beliefs to cause a major disruption in their own social lives and that of their families and to risk (and eventually succumb to) an ugly death for the sake of teaching that same message that they would have known was a lie."
Again, you are reasoning the validity of your text from what your text says about itself. I might equally make such claims about the Riders of Rohan, or Ebeneezer Scrooge. Without relation to something outside the text it is of no relevance.

"9) The Bible is consistent with its own thought and ideas and information on every point despite its having been written over the course of centuries by ~40 different authors."
Again, so many possibilities to choose from, but one of my personal favourites: how many animals went into the ark?
Genesis 7:2 says, "(2)Take with you seven [a] of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal."
Genesis 7:8-9 says, "(8)Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, (9) male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah."
Okay, so it does say "pairs" rather than specifically "a pair", but how many pairs make seven?

Rhology said...

Paul,

Wow, sorry for losing track of this comment! And thanks for reminding me to get back to it.

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Shinto and, like it or not, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Let's take this step by step. And maybe I should have said monotheistic, b/c that's the only rationally defensible worldview in general.
Hinduism and Shinto are polytheistic.
Sikhism is pantheistic.
Jainism is non-theistic.
OK, I should've added Zoro to the list, since it's monotheistic.
But no one would call Shinto, Sikh, Jain, or Zoro "major religions".
FSM is completely ad hoc and has pitifully huge holes in its argumentation.

I was under the impression that the bible was written by men (such as Mark, John and others) under the influence of / inspired by god / jesus.

Yes, that's mostly right. Written by men and breathed out/spoken by God.

premise 1: god is omniscient.
proof of 1: bible states that god is omniscient.


Strawman - I have NOT presented that line of argumentation here.

premise 2: bible is correct.
proof of 2: bible is written by god, who is omniscient.


There you go - that's correct.

I may as well write "I am all knowing" on a piece of paper and claim omniscience myself, because the paper says so and how could I have made a mistake when I am all knowing?

1) Your existence is not necessary for reason and intelligibility.
2) You're not all-knowing.

Star wars says that Luke Skywalker defeated the whole Empire using the force, so therefore the force is real.

Jesus was God, though.
Luke Skywalker is made up and "endorses" a made-up worldview that is full of internal inconsistencies.

those elements must be related to other sources _outside_ of the book to have any validity, otherwise every book ever written is infallable.

I don't rely on only internal evidences for this.


For prophetic information in Daniel, you can start here. Daniel's prophecies are among the most breathtaking and brash of the Bible.
Given the predictions, how would you explain them?

a boat built out of wood (or, indeed, wood with metal bracing) to the dimensions given for the ark would simply self destruct even in relatively calm waters, as the schooner Wyoming (which was considerably smaller) did.

That's just an assumption. Were you there to observe that?
Genesis gives SOME details about the ark's construction but not a ton.
You'd need to provide evidence that this is impossible. Good luck proving a negative.

I might equally make such claims about the Riders of Rohan, or Ebeneezer Scrooge. Without relation to something outside the text it is of no relevance.

This is not strictly internal information. The apostles and their movement are known from wide historical context.
Is your answer just to say "The Bible says it! No way!"? Do you really think the apostles didn't exist? Did Jesus exist? Did He die on the cross?


Finally, Genesis 7 is referring to pairs. 7 pairs, 2 pairs, respectively.

Peace,
Rhology