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Talk:Bible

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How many Books?

66 or 72? Well? How can It be taken "literally" when the number of books isn't even clear in the first second sentence? ħuman Number 19 05:52, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Well at least the 72 is parenthetical (as in an alternative), but you have a point about clarity. Is there a better way to phrase it? Maybe it should stick with the Canon as accepted by all "denominations", and discuss the apocrypha separately. Of course you miss the point about innerancy when you imply that the whole Bible should be read literally. Pick up a magazine at random and read a page. I would wager that you would know whether the page you read was poetry, factual narrative, fiction, instructional etc without looking beyond that magazine. Biblical text deserves the same approach.BradleyF (LowKey) 06:36, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
But is poetry or fiction "inerrant", since it by definition requires interpretation? And, yes, I agree with your analogy, however, who decides which parts of the Bible fall under which categories? ħuman Number 19 03:37, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Just because the content is not literal, does not mean it cannot be inerrant. It is less clear cut regarding interpretation, but then there are those that struggle enough with the literal parts, so maybe it's a maturity thing. Scripture says "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (Emphasis added) Most of the parts are actually pretty obvious. If it needs to be formally analysed, there are Hebrew (and Greek) scholars who are skilled at textual analysis. They compare the grammatical structure of the completely obvious passages with the ones that are perhaps disputed and see how it matches up. This has been done with the Genesis creation account, and it is unequivocally written as a historical narrative (BTW). One of the interesting things about this is that the Hebrew scholars who state that Genesis 1 to 11 is intended to be read literally actually don't generally believe the chapters to be true. In other words, they actually don't have a stake in what it says because they don't believe it, but they know what it says and how it should be understood.BradleyF (LowKey) 11:46, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
The same thing happens when people talk about the origin myth in Tolkien's Silmarillion. They don't actually believe Eru the One and the Valar who were the children of his thought actually sang the world into existence, but they can discuss what the text says and means. Mega 21:14, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


Biblical Authors

Having read this article I take that I am correct in my assumption that the site maintains that:

  1. The bible is without error.
  2. The books of the bible were written by the authors which the bible ascribes to them shortly after the death of Christ.

It's just that I'm starting to wonder if this official site policy.--Bob M 21:29, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

There is no need to assume anything, read Biblical worldview (linked from the mainpage). BradleyF (LowKey) 02:48, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
To elaborate, this site holds to biblical inerrancy in its standard form, which is that the original manuscripts were without error (which, of course, includes accurately recording lies and other sins of people it discusses). I'm not sure what you are getting at with your question of authorship. The site holds that the books were written by the authors ascribed to them in the Bible when this occurs, but not all books have such ascribed authors. Beyond that, it does generally accept the traditional view of authorship, and also the clear evidence of the New Testament (only) being written within a generation of the ascension of Christ. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:16, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually this reminds me, we still don't have a Biblical inerrancy article, or other articles on Biblical doctrine (as in doctrine about the Bible). I still have very little time, but some time over the next few weeks I should get less busy. I will give these areas some attention then. BradleyF (LowKey) 06:04, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Consistent theme

Not sure about this statement, from the first para:

These books were written over a period of at least 1,600 years, yet contain a consistent theme throughout.

What is this consistent theme? Different books in the Bible touch on all different themes - in fact, one of the great things about it is that there is something relevant to such a wide range of subjects. Stating that there is only one theme in the Bible ignores the richness and breadth of its thought. So can I remove that statement?--CPalmer 11:23, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Being lucky enough to go to a Christian school, I always was taught that the "consistent theme" is God's love for humanity. --JY23 12:09, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Obviously that's an important theme, but there are large parts of Proverbs, Leviticus and even Psalms, to take a few examples, that aren't really about that, and Esther doesn't even mention God.
Further, the statement I quoted above makes it sound as if its having a consistent theme is remarkable. But the theme of God's love for mankind is so general that even if the whole Bible did refer to it, it would hardly be surprising.
Finally, the books of the Bible were selected from an array of available writings, so again, it is not surprising that they should have a certain unity - if they didn't, they would have been left out.
I think the statement should be removed, or at the very least reworded so that it doesn't sound as if the supposed 'consistent theme' is of breathtaking significance.--CPalmer 13:15, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
That the Bible has a consistent theme is a point often made as evidence of its Divine origin. I agree, however, that the point could be expanded or explained better. I don't think that the claim implies that every single verse, chapter, or even book discusses that theme, which is probably more specific than the way that JY23 put it (see more below). That books written by so many different authors of different walks of life over such a long period of time is remarkable, and the books included in the Bible were not "selected" for matching that theme, but for being authored by God. And they were not selected by an individual or united group, but over a period of time. If the selection was purely a human one over such a long period of time, you'd expect that later 'selectors' would have different views to earlier 'selectors' and that their selections would not necessarily match up. I doubt that I could definitively explain the consistent theme, but I'd suggest that it includes that God is the creator, is supreme in every way (omniscient, omnipresent, etc.), loves mankind, wants to help, and is in ultimate control. And indeed Esther is about God being in control, even though He is not explicitly referred to. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:10, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I came across a very good summary of the Biblical theme, comparing it to the scriptures of other religions (I can't recall which others off the top of my head). "The other holy books relate Man's search for God. The Bible relates God's search for Man." Growing up in a Bretho church I heard early about "Types of Christ" and for myself I have seen how the so much of the OT pointed to Messiah, and not just the Messianic prohecies. (e.g. the whole system of OT sin offering pointed to and indeed relied on Christ's real atoning sacrifice). Those concepts fit that summary though, as they are about God's plan to have a true relationship with us. BradleyF (LowKey) 13:33, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
And they were not selected by an individual or united group, but over a period of time. If the selection was purely a human one over such a long period of time, you'd expect that later 'selectors' would have different views to earlier 'selectors' and that their selections would not necessarily match up. Doesn't the existence of the Apocrypha and the Koran directly contradict these statements? Pascal 05:42, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
No. We were talking about the selection of books in the Bible, not books that are not in the Bible. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:07, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
But some of the Apocrypha are in the bible, such as the ones incorporated into the Book of Daniel. Pascal 09:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
If you want to argue that the Apocrypha is part of the Bible (I disagree), how does that contradict what I said? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:25, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Undento~ If you disagree that some of the Apocrypha are part of the Christian Bible, are you saying that the Gutenburg Bible is not the Christian Bible? What about the Geneva Bible? What about the composition of the Common Bible? Aside from those, it's pretty obvious how such things contradict what you said - books have been added to and removed from the 'core canon' Bible over time because of the choices of both individuals or groups. Sometimes sections are apparently inserted after a book is written but then become "canon", such as the Schlafly-maddening story of Jesus and the adulteress who was going to be stoned. And the existence of the Apocrypha show out right that later 'selectors' did have different views than earlier ones, leading them to set aside those books and in some cases excise them completely. Pascal 21:14, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Right. At various times, people have made decisions:
  • Decisions about what should be in the apocrypha and what is canon
  • Decisions about which letters etc should be in the New Testament
  • The decision to stop adding to the Bible, ie that nothing written after Revelation could possibly be of comparable worth to the existing scripture (this is the one that puzzles me the most).
I don't doubt that these decisions were made prayerfully and thoughtfully by learned people, but Christians should be aware that to accept the Bible as inspired is to accept the selection processes that led to the above decisions as inspired as well as the actual authorship.--CPalmer 11:31, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I asked: If you want to argue that the Apocrypha is part of the Bible (I disagree), how does that contradict what I said?
You (Pascal) replied with an argument that missed the point of the question, although perhaps you forgot exactly what we were discussing. I had previously said That books written by so many different authors of different walks of life over such a long period of time is remarkable, and the books included in the Bible were not "selected" for matching that theme, but for being authored by God. And they were not selected by an individual or united group, but over a period of time. If the selection was purely a human one over such a long period of time, you'd expect that later 'selectors' would have different views to earlier 'selectors' and that their selections would not necessarily match up.. I'm not disputing that different people have had different views about exactly what should be in the Bible and what should not be, but those views are not the views that I was asking about. Your explanation does not contradict that there is a consistent theme.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:27, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
And what is that "consistent theme"? Please inform your answer with verses from all 66-73-?? books. I'll agree that some parts of the Bible are relatively consistent - the Pentateuch, some of the Prophets, Psalms; the Goodspells, the letters of Paul... but with each other? ħuman Number 19 08:19, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
See my post above timestamped 07:10, 29 August. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:39, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Authenticity

Should the section be sub-sectionalised? The flow from one authenticity topic to the next seems very abrupt as it is. BradleyF (LowKey) 04:34, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Inspiration

I don't agree with Daniel1212's last edit, nor its rationale. Although the "ghost writer" analogy was mine, I still think it's valid.

Daniel1212's edit comment was Ghost writer analogy conveys ideas, not words R inspired, which opens pandoras box of interpreation.. So he seems to be saying that with a ghost writer, only the concepts are "inspired", whereas the truth is that every individual word is inspired. Indeed, in the text of the article, he wrote that "[God] used wording than (sic) reflected the language, idioms, and personality of the human authors", indicating that the choice of every individual word was God's not the authors'.

The point of inspiration is that it says what God wants it to say, rather than being someone else's ideas. My first problem is that the ghost writer analogy doesn't need to be understood that way. Any ghost writer will put things in his own words, until the "real" author chooses to change any individual words (or, of course, complete concepts) that he wants. So although much of it is going to be the ghost writer's words, this in no way undermines that it will say what God wants it to say, and there will therefore be no "Pandora's box" of interpretation.

My second problem is that claiming that God, rather than the human authors, chose every individual word, makes the whole exercise a matter of dictation, which explanation is explicitly rejected by the source that Daniel1212 used as a reference.

Too often Christians don't bother, or do bother but struggle, to explain spiritual concepts in ways that non-Christians (or even Christians) can understand. I'm not saying that the ghost writer analogy could not have been improved upon, or tweaked for clarity, but I feel that it's a very useful analogy for explaining how it was written by human authors, complete with their idioms, etc., whilst at the same time being completely under God's control.

Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 04:58, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Inerrancy

I think what the article says about inerrancy is worthy of being expanded. Some possible sources are these:

I started thinking about this because of this edit by Philip J. Rayment: "... the Bible writers did not always relate their accounts in chronological order." I think that is an important observation that should, along with similar principles, be noted here. --Awc 21:55, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Why are there separate sections on Authenticity and Inerrancy?

I agree on expanding it (although expand it too much, at it would be better in its own article), and your sources look good. Any expansion should cover the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (mentioned by two of your sources).
I'd have to look at the history of the article to see how the two sections "Authenticity" and "Inerrancy" came about, but they are two distinct concepts, even if this is not currently made clear. Inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible will be without error, while Authenticity can be about evidence that it is very accurate (complete accuracy—as distinct from a high degree of accuracy—is something that can never be demonstrated).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 04:02, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, inerrancy is about the context of the text while authenticity is about the text itself. The distinction is subtle but real. LowKey 04:32, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

"Since the Bible is held to be the Word of the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and infallible God, it follows that the Bible itself must be without error, at least in the original manuscripts, ..." Why wouldn't or couldn't the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and infallible God watch over the copyists and translators the same way he watched over the writers to ensure that no errors are introduced? Why isn't the Catholic belief that he watches over the Pope and Bishops in the same way he watched over the writers of the Bible equally logical? Isn't it enough for this argument if God assures that everything important in his Word is transmitted, that is, "issues of faith and morals"? The current version reads as if the one and only logical conclusion from the character of God is the inerrancy of the canonical Bible in the original manuscripts, and I think this does not do justice to the complexity of the issue. (And anyway, is the "original manuscript" of the Pentateuch the one that Moses wrote, or the one amended by later authors to recount the death of Moses?) --Awc 14:22, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Awc, what biblical doctrine is made unclear due to a copyist error? Ruylopez 03:07, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Are you taking the position that the Bible is not inerrant in all points but only in matters of doctrine? This differs importantly from Philip's position. --Awc 09:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
He's taking the position that copyist errors have not changed matters of doctrine, as distinct from copyist errors changing some figures (e.g. number of horsemen), and as such, is no different to my position. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:03, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
This is new. You claimed before that the Bible in the original manuscripts was without error in all matters. Now you are making the claim that the documents available to us are without error, at least in matters of doctrine. Just taking note. What worries me about copyist errors is not those that I can identify but those I cannot. --Awc 14:21, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
New as in not explicitly mentioned before? Okay. The claim is something like this: the original manuscripts of the Bible were without error by virtue of Who the ultimate author was. And the documents available to us are essentially identical to the originals, except for some trivial details, which are so trivial that they don't affect doctrine. This contrasts with your comment where you use "without error" identically in the two cases. Given the number of manuscripts which exist and which therefore allow cross-checking, there's no reason to be worried about unidentified copyist errors. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:57, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I'll let the "why couldn't He" question go through to the keeper, as it may be that He could, or if He couldn't, the reason is complex. But as for why He wouldn't, see here.
Isn't it enough for this argument if God assures that everything important in his Word is transmitted, that is, "issues of faith and morals"? How important does it have to be to be classified as "important"? And why should we believe what it says about faith and morals if other parts that we can check are incorrect? As Jesus said, "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" (John 5:46-47).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:11, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I think God will be able to decide for himself how important important is.
If some preacher with feet of clay preaches to an illiterate tribe in Africa, don't you think they are able to receive the gospel despite the imperfect means of transmission? Would Jesus accept as an excuse, "I didn't believe what he said about you because he also said that you can't eat the leaves of the baobab."? If God wants to identify the Bible as His word through the absence of errors of any kind, why does he permit copyists to make errors? And why does he permit the Church to make mistakes? --Awc 09:12, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I think God will be able to decide for himself how important important is. True, but it seems that you are deciding that "faith and morals" is the decider.
If some preacher with feet of clay preaches to an illiterate tribe in Africa, don't you think they are able to receive the gospel despite the imperfect means of transmission? Yes, they are.
Would Jesus accept as an excuse, "I didn't believe what he said about you because he also said that you can't eat the leaves of the baobab."? Romans 1:20
Which shows that it is not a logical necessity for the Bible to be without error. It can be inspired by God, and God can use it for his purpose, even if it is imperfect. Just like he works through imperfect people all the time. --Awc 14:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
If God wants to identify the Bible as His word through the absence of errors... That was not the reason I gave. I said that errors undermine the message; I didn't say that the goal of no errors is for the purpose of identifying it as His word.
You asked, "And why should we believe what it says about faith and morals if other parts that we can check are incorrect?" For the same reason you should believe the preached gospel even if the preacher is incorrect in some of what he says. --Awc
...why does he permit copyists to make errors? And why does he permit the Church to make mistakes? Answer link already provided.
Don't know what link you mean here.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:03, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Which shows that it is not a logical necessity for the Bible to be without error. What does? Romans 1:20? How? It says nothing about the authorship of the Bible.
The observation that God can and usually does communicate through high-noise channels. --Awc 09:39, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
It can be inspired by God, and God can use it for his purpose, even if it is imperfect. True, but the point was never that it had to be without error to be effective; the point was that, being authored by God, it must therefore be without error. Errors would undermine if not destroy this claim; not (just) the claim that it was without error, but the claim that it was authored by God.
"Authored" by God? "Inspired" by God? "Written" by God? If God were holding then pen, you would have a point, but he wasn't. God can be behind the whole thing without forcing his middlemen to get everything exactly right. --Awc 09:39, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
For the same reason you should believe the preached gospel even if the preacher is incorrect in some of what he says. Given that I didn't say that one should, what reason is that?
So, now the illiterate tribe in Africa shouldn't believe the gospel preached by the preacher with feet of clay? --Awc 09:39, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Don't know what link you mean here. The one in my previous post (the post dated 06:11, 22 November).
The essay is interesting. It doesn't answer the flip side, though. All of his arguments why the copies need not be inerrant are also good reasons why the originals need not be inerrant. --Awc 09:39, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:03, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
The observation that God can and usually does communicate through high-noise channels. Agreed, but I've already pointed out (not in these words) that inerrancy is a consequence of it's authorship, not a requirement to be effective.
"Authored" by God? "Inspired" by God? "Written" by God? If God were holding then pen, you would have a point, but he wasn't. God can be behind the whole thing without forcing his middlemen to get everything exactly right. Can He? Wouldn't that make Him responsible for error?
So, now the illiterate tribe in Africa shouldn't believe the gospel preached by the preacher with feet of clay? Logical fallacy. Saying that there is no requirement that they should doesn't mean that they shouldn't. I pointed out by referencing Romans 1:20 that a less-than-accurate preacher does not give them an excuse. I didn't say that they should or shouldn't believe the preacher.
The essay is interesting. It doesn't answer the flip side, though. I didn't claim it did, as you had not asked that question.
All of his arguments why the copies need not be inerrant are also good reasons why the originals need not be inerrant. Huh? Difficulty of translation is a reason why the originals need not be inerrant?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:42, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I think this article should at least describe, not necessarily endorse, the spectrum of opinions that people hold about Biblical inerrancy. The Wikipedia articles Biblical inerrancy and Biblical literalism have a lot of information and would be a good place to start. I also happened across Inerrancy: Is the Bible free of error? All points of view., which looks interesting. --Awc 15:45, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm not trying to get you to change your mind on inerrancy, Philip, I just want to include other points of view in the article. Do you have any objection to that? --Awc 09:39, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
That's very similar to the question you asked when you first arrived, and my answer is the same; they are quite appropriate to include. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:42, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

David Stewart reference

Bradley added [1] as a reference for the claim that "the relatively small group who believe that the King James Bible translation itself (or equivalent translations in other modern languages) is inspired.", along with the comment that "David J. Stewart holds that all modern translations are inspired.". I was a bit dubious at this, as the comment is not really supporting the claim that equivalent translations in other modern languages are inspired, so much as making a different claim that there are some who believe that all modern translations are inspired.

But what also bothers me is the apparent consistency of Stewart. In the link he does indeed claim that "God's Word is inspired into whatever language it is translated." and "It is not only the originals which are inspired, but also the different languages into which God's Word is translated." Indeed, the initial impression is that all translations are "inspired". (So I think the reference to "modern" translations in the article footnote is incorrect.)

However, reading further, the goal of the article is to make a subtle point that the KJV (AV) is inspired rather than just "divinely preserved". Then, if we look at another of his articles, we see that he is hyper-critical of the NIV, with comments like "the NIV [is] a Trojan Horse filled with deceit and lies", "So what's wrong with the NIV? In a word... EVERYTHING!", "perverted", "modern Bibles are corrupt", "The NIV is Wicked! Vile! Blasphemy!", and so on.

So does Stewart really believe that "God's Word is inspired into whatever language it is translated."? Clearly not, unless that is meant as "selected translations in each language" (and of course he provides no argument at all as to how one determines which translation in each language is the inspired one).

I suppose, though, that this reference does support the article's claim, and it's just the added comment referring to "all modern translations" that is incorrect. But one has to be a detective to figure this out, so it's still not a great reference.

Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:53, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

There are a surprising number of variants even of a belief as restricted as "King James Only". The Wikipedia article has some details. I think we should at least keep the mention of this, corrected as required, and it is interesting enough that it could be expanded into its own section or sub-section. This is not a path I am interested in traveling, so someone else would have to do it. --Awc 09:48, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
This David Stewart, from the NIV link, appears to be a raving maniac. His rending of garments over the idea of a Bible without the word "begotten" is particularly esoteric.--CPalmer 11:56, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
... he also thinks that Barack Obama is a communist doing the bidding of the Illuminati. I think we should look for a quote from someone who is less of a crank. Or if all people with his views are cranks, we should avoid reporting crank views as if they represent those of sensible Christians.--CPalmer 12:12, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Certainly not all people with his views (i.e. KJV-only) are cranks, but I did come across a KJV-only person some years ago who was opposed to the Bible being translated at all! Go figure. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:56, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

(od) I agree the Stewart cite was poor. I was not looking for a King James Only advocate, but a "modern translations inspired. It was only later that I realised the article was not even saying that but saying "inspired in every language" but by then I was away from the computer.

It is easy to lump the King James only with the King James inspired but there are differences, despite the overlap. Both do seem to focus on the NIV for condemnation, though (I haven't looked lately but I would thing that the newest NIV transalations don't fare any better).

One of the problems I have come across is that even the cranks mix some sound reasoning in with the crankery. For instance the loss of "begotten" is a problem, although I agree it is a bit esoteric. I don't think the translation can be blamed for that, though, as the word has been lost to English. For the record "begotten" was important in "God's only begotten son" because it conveyed the meaning of someone who is a son by natural attribute without requiring this to be biological.

Sorry for the dodgy cite, but the discussion has been interestung. LowKey 00:23, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

They probably focus on the NIV because of its popularity, which even newer NIV-based translations have not achieved. It's easy to mix sound reasoning with the crankery given that all translations have problems. But they don't stick to sound reasoning in criticising the NIV (etc.), and also ignore the problems that the AV has.
I've not studied the "begotten" issue in any depth, but I notice that the NET Bible has this to say on this word:

Although this word is often translated “only begotten,” such a translation is misleading, since in English it appears to express a metaphysical relationship. The word in Greek was used of an only child (a son [Luke 7:12, 9:38] or a daughter [Luke 8:42]). It was also used of something unique (only one of its kind) such as the mythological Phoenix (1 Clement 25:2). From here it passes easily to a description of Isaac (Heb 11:17 and Josephus, Ant. 1.13.1 [1.222]) who was not Abraham’s only son, but was one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise. Thus the word means “one-of-a-kind” and is reserved for Jesus in the Johannine literature of the NT. While all Christians are children of God (τέκνα θεοῦ, tekna theou), Jesus is God’s Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense. The word is used in this way in all its uses in the Gospel of John (1:14, 1:18, 3:16, and 3:18).

I don't know what they mean by "metaphysical relationship", nor why they couldn't use "unique son", "one of a kind son", or similar.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:46, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
This is from Vincent's Word Studies:

Μονογενής [monogenēs] distinguishes between Christ as the only Son, and the many children (τέκνα) of God; and further, in that the only Son did not become (γενέσθαι) such by receiving power, by adoption, or by moral generation, but was (ἦν) such in the beginning with God.

That's pretty much what I was getting at. I am pretty sure that the relationship is metaphysical (it is certainly beyond physical) so I don't quite know what the NET Bible comment is getting at. Personally I think that "unique" is insufficient. It is not just uniquity but actual relationship. Isaac is another interesting example, because he was the only legitimate son (i.e. heir, as in heir of God's promise). By contrast God himself calls Ishmael "the boy". LowKey 06:32, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
One of the problems with the KJV-onlyists is that they judge other translations against the AV rather than against the original languages. The NIV didn't remove "begotten"; it translated the Greek word in a different way. Whether that way is adequate is a fair question, but to give the impression that the NIV has simply removed something for some nefarious reason is despicable. The problem with "begotten" is that it has little meaning to modern English readers; they would not derive the meanings ascribed by the NET Bible or by Vincent from reading that word. If they looked in dictionaries they still wouldn't. The word is inadequate, and while "one and only" may be no better, it doesn't appear to be any worse either. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:48, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
It seems that the KJV-only and the hyper-critics have this in common. They treat KJV as the definitive Bible, disregarding that it is language used by neither original authors nor current readers. LowKey 22:20, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Spong quote

"It oftens seems that Christians that hold a strict view of enerrancy and those that hold a more liberal view are talking past each other. This lies not so much in giving different answers but in asking different questions. Retired bishop John Shelby Spong expressed it this way:"

Err, yeah? Rather, it often seems that people in various camps avoid the arguments in favour of vilifying those they disagree with, as Spong is doing here (and as David Stewart also does). But then I suppose that could also be an example of Spong "talking past" inerrantists, who are providing reasoned arguments.

Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:35, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm struggling for the right words here. Maybe wait a bit while I add some more material, then we can edit it to make sure we are reporting without doing any vilification ourselves. --Awc 12:10, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Manuscript evidence section

I can see this section becoming more and more complex and qualified, which I see as a problem. As the section is currently the Manuscript evidence section, it should lay out the evidence from manuscripts succinctly and clearly, which I think it did initially but is moving further from that with each "tweak". The table as originally inserted seems a lot like the table in the ESV Study Bible, which I think was also displayed as a bar graph.

I can understand the desire to include everything, but a table in this context is an overview - and needs to be consistent. One issue is that the interval from original autograph to earliest extant manuscript and the total number of extant manuscripts are actually separate facts, which are not necessarily concomitant. They are both in the table, but could easily be in separate tables (except that would be less succinct). Another issue has been the inconsistent treatment of entries; e.g. if we are tracking different intervals or counts for different NT books, then we should do likewise for the works Homer et alia (I am not saying we should do that, at least in this table, but it might have value elsewhere, about which see the following).

Solutions?

  1. Make the section a "Manuscripts" section dealing more fully with the manuscripts, and showing the curent content in that context.
  2. Change the display of table - maybe split it into two separate tables, and/or maybe display it in graphic format.
  3. Create a "Manuscripts" section for all of this other information, and leave the "evidence" section as an overview.
  4. Create a "Bible manuscripts" article with the fuller treatment, and reference that in the current "evidence" section.
  5. Some combination of the above.

I would rather avoid a bunch of qualifiers and notes in the "evidence" section if we can.

By the way, has anyone been able to find out the number of Qur'an manuscripts? I can find works speaking in detail of a few, but I can't find a full listing, or even a count. LowKey 01:49, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

It's not practicable to display the number of manuscripts in a graphical format, as either the NT part is too big for the graph or the others are too small to distinguish them (I've tried it). The gap between writing and oldest copies could be done that way though.
The gap between original and copy is not totally separate from the number of copies. Yes, they are separate and theoretically-unrelated facts, but together they supply more support for the NT than each separately. Think of it this way. If MS A had a short gap and few copies, and MS B had a long gap and lots of copies, which would be considered the most reliable? To answer that, one would have to weigh up the relative importance of each fact. But in this case, MS A has a short gap and lots of copies, while MS B has a long gap and (relatively) few copies. No weighing is needed.
A solution you don't explicitly list is to change the section to "Manuscripts" and introduce sub-sections within that for different aspects.
We should go for your option 4 if we have enough material for a separate article.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:43, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
together they supply more support for the NT than each separately - This just means that they each supply support, not necessarily co-dependant or synergistic support (i.e. A + B is always greater than both A and B as long as A and B are both positive). I agree that it can get more complex than that, though. For instance the very long gap between the Dead Sea scrolls and the Masoretic text is in fact a positive for transmission fidelity. Likewise the fact that most of the NT manuscripts that we have were probably rejects. I'll keep stacking references in the research page for this article, with the aim of creating a new "Manuscripts" article. LowKey 06:16, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
There would be a tremendous difference for the argument between the case of 24,000 MS with a 100 year gap, and one MS with a 100 year gap if the rest have a 1000 years gap. I think some indication of the mean gap is important to assess the argument. LowKey has a point that this should probably not be crammed into footnotes on a table. I would be happy with a mention in the text of this section, but if he can piece together a whole article, that would be great. Then a reference to that article might be enough. Don't get me wrong. I agree that the NT, any way you look at it, is in a unique position concerning the MS evidence. There is also the point that the original documents were written relatively close to the events depicted. This affects the probability that the original document accurately depicted the events described, independent of the question of whether we posses a text close to the original. I would have thought you all would want to include that aspect. On the other hand, the more we get into it, the more complicated it gets to do it right, and the more sense a separate article makes. --Awc 08:57, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The question of the number of Quran manuscripts is important. If any book comes even close to the NT in terms of MS evidence, it would be the Quran, I think. I browsed a bit. The best I could find was this:

  • Concise List Of Arabic Manuscripts Of The Qur'ān Attributable To The First Century Hijra
    • "However, Déroche who studied the collection in depth estimated there were about 210,000 folios, being mostly Qur'ans."
    • "After the work had been completed, the assessment concluded there were almost 1,000 unique copies of the Qur'an comprising approximately 15,000 parchment fragments, with less than 1% of the find belonging to non-Qur'anic material."

(This source also contains the interesting observation, although not relevant to the question of Quran MSS, "this shows that up until the 16th century CE, the time period when this text can first be surely considered as a verse proper in a Greek New Testament manuscript, it was still possible to include “fabricated” verses in the text of the New Testament.") --Awc 11:02, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Documentary Hypothesis

"Much criticized but widely accepted" is not neutral. It has not merely been criticised but shown to be without credibility. The reasoning of the documentary hypothesis is both specious and highly speculative. LowKey 13:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

In any case, we don't claim to be neutral. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:06, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I carefully read the aSK article on Documentary hypothesis before making the last change. It is described there as
  • widely accepted
  • currently accepted by most secular Biblical scholars
  • widely accepted among secular Biblical scholars
The only use of the word "discredited" is in relation to "[t]he reliance on the hypothesis of religious evolution in various stages". The words "credibility", "specious", and "speculative" do not appear at all. I also considered whether the documentary hypothesis runs counter to the biblical worldview of aSK. As far as I could ascertain, it does not. A google search for "Documentary Hypothesis" and "discredited" turned up a few pages using both concepts, but no widespread description of the hypothesis as being discredited. This here is supposed to be an encyclopedia, so it is not enough that you and Philip think the documentary hypothesis has been discredited. You need to back up that assessment with verifiable sources. Furthermore, there is no necessity in this context to describe it as such. We don't even have to mention it at all. How about, "According to most secular scholars, ..." I don't like this much because I suspect that many or most of those scholars are deeply religious, but I would accept it. The use of the word "discredited" here is unacceptably subjective and inconsistent with other parts of aSK. --Awc 14:23, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't fully agree with the treatment in the aSK article (I hadn't read it before now) because "accepted by most secular Biblical scholars" and "widely accepted among secular Biblical scholars" actually don't tell us anything about the level of credibility among Biblical scholars. There is no consideration of what proportion of Biblical scholars are "secular". I can't see finding the time to work on that article in the near future, but I will see what sources I can find (I would not expect them to actually say "discredited", but to discredit by analysis). Actually the Documentary Hypothesis is counter the Biblical worldview because it is founded on the concept of religious evolution and rules out Special Revelation. It claims contradictions, which is to say that at least some Biblical propositions are not true. By the way, check a google search of "discredited documentary hypothesis". The biblearcheology.org article says this;

The time has long passed for scholars of every theological persuasion to recognize that the Graf-Wellhausen theory, as a starting point for continued research, is dead. The Documentary Hypothesis and the arguments that support it have been effectively demolished by scholars from many different theological perspectives and areas of expertise.

It's not just what Philip and I think. LowKey 22:13, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Your source also says

the Documentary Hypothesis has managed to remain the mainstay of critical orthodoxy

so DH, right or wrong, is apparently still widely held. --Awc 17:41, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I linked to Documentary hypothesis (DH) because a link is appropriate, not as justification for the claim. I did not write that article, and although I don't have a problem with what it generally says, it could say a lot more about the problems with the hypothesis.
As for it being widely accepted, I can relate an anecdote about that which shows (in this particular case at least) that acceptance of the DH could have something to do with factors other than it being a better explanation. I was discussing Bible authorship with a university professor once, and he couldn't understand why it concerned me who wrote it. His argument was that as long as it was true, did it really matter who wrote it? I struggled to explain the relevance to him, until I said that I believed that it did make a difference whether or not it was written by eyewitnesses. The stunned look on his face, along with his comment that he had a whole library of books at his university in favour of the DH and none opposed to it, made it clear that the view I held had never even entered his head before, let alone been considered and rejected. This fits neatly with the comment that Bradley made about it being based on "religious evolution"—which is really evolution applied to religion—and is therefore a not a reasoned conclusion, but something held by faith. I found the following on a discussion forum[2]

As was shown in the PhD dissertation by the late Dr. Samuel R. Külling, Zur Datierung der Genesis "P" Stücke in which he traced the ideas and timeline of the Documentary Hypothesis from the earliest book he found published in 1807 to his time of about 1970, the Documentary Hypothesis was at its beginning to the present based on an a priori belief in evolution, both biological and social. And with that belief came all the other things that you mention, one of the results of that belief is the Documentary Hypothesis.

Another discussion forum[3] quotes Gleason Archer as saying "For want of a better theory . . . most non-conservative institutions continue to teach the Wellhausian theory, at least in its general outlines, as if nothing had happened in Old Testament scholarship since the year 1880."
Then of course there is the best authority of all, Jesus, who endorsed that Moses was the author, such as in Mark 12:26, Luke 24:27, and John 5:46–47. This adds to Bradley's comment about it claiming that "at least some Biblical propositions are not true", because it proposes that Jesus' own words are not true, and therefore, as Bradley said, is counter to the biblical worldview.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:16, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I've created Research:Documentary hypothesis with a list of links to sources about it. Interestingly, it seemed harder to find pro-DH material than anti-DH material. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:42, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I may be using the term DH more loosely than you are. I suggested an alternative that doesn't mention it directly. I am also thinking of the statement from the Wikipedia article on the Torah (forgive me for mentioning that dirty word): "The 19th century dating of the final form of Genesis and the Pentateuch to c. 500–450 BCE continues to be widely accepted irrespective of the model adopted". The important thing in this context is not how some people came to support this position or what associated beliefs may be somewhere between suspect and discredited. It is only a question of reporting the dates ascribed to the document by much of the world.
I find Philip's position somewhat muddled. He thinks it is important that the Bible was written by eyewitnesses, but Moses was not an eyewitness of anything in Genesis, much less his own birth in Exodus and death in Deuteronomy. Philip himself added the suggestion that Adam actually wrote parts of Genesis (although even he missed out on the first 5 days), so it seems he does not actually believe that Moses is the sole author. He cites Jesus to prove that Moses wrote at least some of the scriptures (He could also have cited Deuteronomy 31:9-12 and Deuteronomy 31:24.), but that does clarify whether Moses was the sole author, whether he was collecting things written by others from Adam on down, or whether the things he wrote were later edited by others. If you simply add a few hundred years, so that "redacted around 450 BC from sources written between 900 and 550 BC" becomes "redacted around 450 BC from sources written between 1500 and 550 BC", I don't see the slightest conflict with the biblical worldview.
--Awc 12:28, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
If this is correct, then Genesis was written by eyewitnesses (although I don't believe that every event described was written by an eyewitness; some of it was written by people who knew the eyewitnesses). For the first five days, see Colophons in Genesis#Heaven and Earth.
If the linked article is correct, then Moses simply used pre-existing documents; that is not a problem, and does not deny him being responsible for its final form.
There were lots of other verses I could have cited (and did in the article), but I chose to cite references made by Jesus, and in that context the Deuteronomy ones don't count!
I wouldn't call your suggestion of "redacted around 450 BC from sources written between 1500 and 550 BC" to be a looser use of the term Documentary Hypothesis, but an different hypothesis entirely that has no real connection to the DH. If you do indeed mean that someone around 45 B.C. lightly edited documents that were otherwise written by Moses, then I agree that this particular proposal may indeed not conflict with a biblical worldview. But that's not what the DH proposes.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:46, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
If I had more time I would continue this discussion, but I didn't really want to get into the blood and guts of the DH, and maybe it was a mistake to single it out here. Is there disagreement over the statement that most (or at least many) secular biblical scholars hold that the Pentateuch was "redacted around 450 BC from sources written between 900 and 550 BC"? Is it OK if we just say it that way? --Awc 17:46, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
...so DH, right or wrong, is apparently still widely held. Agreed.
Is it OK if we just say it that way? Which way? The bit you put in quotes is already in the article. It could be mentioned that it is still widely held, but saying that without pointing out that it is wrong is misleading, and it is that latter point that we have been disputing.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:58, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I want to change
"According to the discredited Documentary hypothesis, it was redacted ..."
to
"According to most secular biblical scholars, it was redacted ...".
Some of those scholars hold to the DH, others hold a different view but agree on the rough dates. It is already clear to the reader that aSK holds to the "traditional religious view", but is sympathetic to the less traditional back-to-Adam view. If you are worried that the easily misled reader won't get the hint, we can retain the parentheses around the secular view. --Awc 15:40, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay. In the context of some other rewording, I guess we can avoid the problem of it being misleading. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:06, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm happy now. Thanks. --Awc 08:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Authenticity section needs a rewrite

To start with, what is there now is mostly about the accuracy (whether the historical events related are correct and can be verified), not the authenticity (which I suppose should mean whether the Bible really is the Word of God).

It should be made clear that the scholarly consensus is that the Bible, while it contains much historical information, also contains historical falsehoods. It seems this consensus developed during the 60s based on new discoveries being made then, so Albright's summary is only of historical interest.

Then comes a quote from Wood and a series of citations from his articles. It's fine to mention him, but we might have to look more closely at his examples.

Next is a bullet list of "more recent examples", mostly unreferenced and dubious. I mean, if you want to prove that Aaron made a "huge" golden calf in Sinai, how strong is the evidence of a silver plated "figurine" found north of Gaza?

The "ring of authenticity" is a very subjective thing, so I would question whether the last two quotes belong in an encyclopedia.

--Awc 07:59, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

I would dispute that the "scholarly consensus" is in fact that. From my readings, there are in fact two "camps", for want of a better word. Both could (and probably should) be described as scholarly, but one side claims that they are scholarly and that those opposing are "traditional". When they say "scholarly consensus" they mean the consensus amongst those on one side of the divide (which is pseudo-parodoxically both redundant and no true concensus at all). It amounts to trying to win an argument by claiming that there is no argument (a sadly common theme these days) rather than engaging the scholarship of those in opposition. LowKey 00:21, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
And I would add a point that is already in the article, and which I mentioned very recently on a talk page, that often the claims that the Bible is wrong is based on a lack of evidence, not on evidence.
As for the "ring of authenticity" quotes, there are some aspects that are hard to quantify, but I don't think that means that they shouldn't be included somehow.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:54, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

I would dispute that the "scholarly consensus" is in fact that. It hard to judge the state of a scientific consensus. One factor is that it is hard to take any head count at all. Another is that one group may be simply more vocal or prolific than the other. Thirdly, the two groups may have different qualifications. Some of that can be dealt with by careful choice of words like "scholarly", "professional", "academic", or "mainstream", but these epitaphs are often controversial themselves, and the fundamental problem remains. We do have statements from people in the field, who are more likely than those outside to be able to accurately assess the collective state of mind of archaeologists, that use language such as "no reputable Biblical scholar or archaeologist anywhere" and simply "no archaeologist" (Dever) or "scholarly consensus" (Aardsma?). Do you have a citation from anybody that there is not a broad consensus, at least among narrowly defined groups like professional archaeologists, that the Bible stands in opposition to archaeological evidence on some points? What I would really like is either a statement by a large professional organisation, say the European Association of Archaeologists, or a sociological survey among archaeologists, but I haven't seen any such thing. (I am not discussing here which side is right, only who believes what.) --Awc 08:23, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

often the claims that the Bible is wrong is based on a lack of evidence, not on evidence We'll have to get back to this and discuss concrete cases. For now I would like to make the reminder that there are three possibilities: (1) There is direct evidence for some event A. (2) Some artifact that would be expected if A is true has been looked for and is missing. And (3) No evidence has been presented either way. --Awc 08:23, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

As for the "ring of authenticity" quotes ... Assuming I can provide a quote from someone who thinks that the Bible has the ring of a fairy tale, should an encyclopedia include both opinions? It's a lot like the "scholarly consensus" issue, a single quote says nothing. What we would need is a study that says something like 90% of professional epigraphers are of the professional opinion that the Bible has the ring of truth. There is also the problem that different parts of the Bible ring very differently. McFarland may think the Book of Acts "reads like an eyewitness account of history", but would he say the same thing about Genesis? Or Revelations? Tomas points out that the story of Cain and Abel resonates with human experience, but that is what you would expect of any classical literature, even if it's fictional. --Awc 08:23, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

It hard to judge the state of a scientific consensus. One factor is that it is hard to take any head count at all. Another is that one group may be simply more vocal or prolific than the other. Thirdly, the two groups may have different qualifications. And yet another is that the two groups may hold to different worldviews. Is rejection of archaeological support for the Bible based on hard evidence, or on a desire to dismiss the relevance of the Bible? In other fields, particularly creation/evolution and climate change we've often heard claims of a consensus, but in both cases it doesn't actually exist; it's claimed because of wishful thinking and/or to simply silence opposition. And this extends to professional societies, often without taking surveys of their members to see what they really do think.
Assuming I can provide a quote from someone who thinks that the Bible has the ring of a fairy tale, should an encyclopedia include both opinions? It would depend on who was saying it and why.
What we would need is a study that says something like 90% of professional epigraphers are of the professional opinion that the Bible has the ring of truth. Of course, it is extremely unlikely that a study would ever be conducted to ask that question. Does that mean that an encyclopædia should therefore simply avoid mentioning such things? In any case, the "ring of authenticity" wording was a description of more-specific comments by a professional (McFarland) and a specific argument put by Tomas.
Tomas points out that the story of Cain and Abel resonates with human experience, but that is what you would expect of any classical literature, even if it's fictional. I'm not convinced of that, especially given that Tomas was an illiterate tribesman commenting on a story in a book that has done much to shape western civilisation, to which he had had very little exposure. That this story resonated with him speaks of a level of authenticity which surpasses fiction which relates to the experiences of particular cultures.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:23, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Earliest OT MS

I just deleted this bullet point:

  • In 1986, the earliest known text of the Bible, dated to about 600 B.C. was found by archaeologists, which suggests that at least part of the Old Testament was written not long after events it describes.

but then I realized we are claiming in the following section that the earliest OT manuscript is from 150 BC. Which is correct ? --Awc 13:21, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the one you deleted was not referenced. The 150 BC date is in the table, which is based on a list elsewhere, and perhaps that list was simply out of date. But without a reference, it's hard to tell. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:56, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

What is the original manuscript?

If "in a few cases others may have edited or added to a particular book", then is the "original manuscript" (the inerrant one) the one written by the first author, or the one written by the later editor? --Awc 11:41, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

The ones inspired by God. That Deuteronomy had details of Moses death added (presumably) by Joshua, Moses' successor, hardly suggests that the additions as not part of what God wanted in the book. Also, that certain prophets such as Ezekial might have made editorial changes (such as adding things like "and it's still there today") doesn't suggest that Ezekial was tampering with God's word. Both are quite different circumstances to scribes inadvertently copying the text imperfectly. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:45, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Who are the greatest villains of the Bible?

I think the top three have to be Cain (first murderer), Haman (tried to kill all the Jews), and Judas Iscariot (betrayed Christ). What do other people think? Maratrean 01:45, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

you cant use Judas, he only did what God told him to do.
Eve is the biggest volloan, because of her actions mankinds fall occured, original sin, death of everything, death of Jesus and all of that Hamster 04:19, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
What about Satan?
As for Eve, the Bible ascribes most of the blame to Adam "who was with her, and he ate it" (Genesis 3:6). "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:21-22) "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come." (Romans 5:12-14)
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:36, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

some degree of circularity in this statement,

What could this possibly mean? That there's only sorta a fallacy in saying it's circular reasoning? Steriledepraved mind! 16:24, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

A circular argument is of the form
  • A is true because of B, and B is true because of A.
An argument with "some degree of circularity" I would take to mean something like:
  • A is true because of B, and B is true because of a combination of A, C, and D.
I'm not saying that "some degree of circularity" is the best way to put it, but I think it's closer to the truth than simply saying it without any qualification at all.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:03, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
You are wrong. An argument is either circular or it is not. There are no degrees of it. You can explain why you think whichever logical problem is ok, but you shouldn't make stuff up to film flam readers. Teh Aspis Atrocissima 14:56, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
What are A, C and D? It's just as much a fallacy to take A⇒B, say B is true, and therefore A is true, as it is to take A∧C∧D⇒B, say B is true and therefore A or C or D are true. [User:Sterile|Sterile]]depraved mind! 15:28, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Logic: something else Philip doesn't understand and/or is perfectly happy making up ad hoc excuses for his refusal to use it to fairly describe creationist arguments. Teh Aspis Atrocissima 15:54, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
as a side note some youtube christians have started using viciously circular to denote a false logic and somewhat circular to explain using the Bible, claiming presuppositional apologetics is technically somewhat circular but perfectly fine.
the above example would raise the question would be better expressed as c,d -> B -> A if those conditions are sufficient. Hamster (talk) 16:57, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Presuppositional apologetics is dishonest nonsense - there is no justification for using a conclusion as a premise and they are among the only people (including christians) who attempt to do so. If we have to start breaking out the sentential logic books here, so be it. Teh Aspis Atrocissima 17:12, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
You are wrong. I explained my reasoning, and all you've done is claim I'm wrong. Your following comments that I've not quoted are not rationale, but simply more assertions along the same line.
What are A, C and D? Claims.
Logic: something else Philip doesn't understand and/or is perfectly happy making up ad hoc excuses for his refusal to use it to fairly describe creationist arguments. Pure insult, with no supporting evidence or argument.
as a side note some youtube christians have started using viciously circular to denote a false logic and somewhat circular to explain using the Bible, claiming presuppositional apologetics is technically somewhat circular but perfectly fine. Could we have that sentence in English please? Or is it simply missing some quote marks?
Presuppositional apologetics is dishonest nonsense - there is no justification for using a conclusion as a premise and they are among the only people (including christians) who attempt to do so. More bald assertion.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:22, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Duh. What specific claims? It's always frustrating having a discussion with you because you are so reticent to actually have the conversation. I think it's pretty disingenuous to accept that the entirety of biblical inerrancy and the basis of YEC is based on circular reasoning and not include it in creation-evolution controversy but then insist on having evolutionists' supposed widespread fallacy using there all based on weasel word frequency assertions. I hope budding creationists read the talk pages here and see all the problems. PS: You still have not explained the difference between "some degree of circularity" and "circularity" at all. Anyone with a basic logic class would see the problem. Steriledepraved mind!
They were not specific claims. They were representatives of claims in general, as I don't know why you don't realise.
I am not reticent to have conversations. I'm accused of both writing too much, and of not being willing to have conversations!
I think it's disingenuous to make a claim on the basis of a straw-man.
It's also disingenuous to criticise an article for making evolutionists look bad without addressing the accuracy of the content. What is wrong with the article if the evolutionists actually are like that? That is a conversation that I don't think I've ever seen had here.
PS: You still have not explained the difference between "some degree of circularity" and "circularity" at all. Someone's in denial again (or falsely equating "giving an explanation I don't like/don't agree with/can't understand" with "not having given an explanation"):

A circular argument is of the form

  • A is true because of B, and B is true because of A.

An argument with "some degree of circularity" I would take to mean something like:

  • A is true because of B, and B is true because of a combination of A, C, and D.

Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:34, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

There is no "some degree." It is circular, or equivalently, affirming the consequent, just with an "and" statement. That you cannot write anything that might be considered even mildly critical of creationists without weasel-word qualifying it is revealing. You are in denial that your creationists use fallacies. Steriledepraved mind! 16:45, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

a question my students would ask is, if a,c,d >> B >> a so what happens if you just use c,d >> b >> a ? does it fail if the first step does not contain a ? if it does then its totally circular and if it does not then the first statmnt a,c,d >> b is incorrectly stated. Hamster (talk) 17:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
It depends if it's a AND b AND c; or a OR b OR c. Which is part of the reason why the specific claims matter. Steriledepraved mind! 20:07, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
yes that goes without saying. Hamster (talk) 21:09, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

I assume by your lack of response, Philip, I can put back my wording in the article. Steriledepraved mind! 13:34, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

There is no "some degree." That's your assertion.
That you cannot write anything that might be considered even mildly critical of creationists without weasel-word qualifying it is revealing. Tried looking in a mirror?
You are in denial that your creationists use fallacies. They are not "my" creationists, and for me to be in denial you have to show that something is actually the case and that I'm denying it.
…if it does not then the first statmnt a,c,d >> b is incorrectly stated. You are both assuming a perfectly logical and rigorously-stated argument, not one where a judgement is made on the weight of the evidence, which is what the situation under discussion is about.
I assume by your lack of response, Philip, I can put back my wording in the article. Not now that I've responded.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:26, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Do you want me to write a truth table? It's trivial to do so. In reality, when it's if A then B, it doesn't matter what B is, a complex statement with strings of "ands" and "or", any assertion that if B is true, then A is true is still circular. There is no "degree of circularity", and it's a blatant equivocation to make creationism not sound so bad. This is a fact, and there is no arguing it. Or do you have your own personal logic? Steriledepraved mind! 04:35, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
This is a fact, and there is no arguing it. Yet I have explained the difference, repeated the explanation in refuting your false claim (that you didn't acknowledge) that I have not provided an explanation, and despite that, you have yet to properly address my explanation. In this post, in which you came the closest, you said that it doesn't matter what B is, a complex statement with strings of "ands" and "or", yet I did not say or indicate that B is a complex statement. That is either your invention or your misreading of what I said. Once you do actually address my explanation, then I will have something meaningful to respond to. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:31, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Do I really have to spell it out for you? It doesn't matter if it's a combination of "if A then B and/or C and/or D", any assertion involving {B/C/D} is true, therefore A is true is fallacious (which is what I mean by complex statement and is what you mean as well.) Further, it's not clear even why it's a "degree of circularity". Is it slightly less than fully circular? A tad more than not at all? Your "some degree" has no real meaning. Can you have some degree of slippery slope? Some degree of tu quoque? It's gibberish. You say the standard for this encyclopedia is truth, but it is readily apparent that you promote falsehood. Steriledepraved mind! 02:45, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

You're getting closer to actually addressing my explanation, but you're not really there yet. Your comment that any assertion involving {B/C/D} is true, therefore A is true is not what I said. I did not link B, C, and D together. I did make what you can describe as a complex statement, but that statement did not include B in the complexity, hence B is not a complex statement, as you claimed.
Further, it's not clear even why it's a "degree of circularity". I addressed this in my very first post in this thread. As you seem to miss so much of what I say (you missed that I had even explained the reasoning for it not being simply circular, for example), you should go back and read what I've already said.
You say the standard for this encyclopedia is truth, but it is readily apparent that you promote falsehood. There's that belligerence again. You questioned the statement. I explained the statement. You have repeatedly failed to address my explanation, but very readily make allegations like this one without substantiating them. It seems to be a case of "I don't understand and don't agree, so you're dishonest". That's often about the level of your argument.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 04:18, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I could claim you are being belligerent since you insist on putting falsehoods in the article; where does that get us except hurt feelings?
I addressed this in my very first post If you did and it's legitimate, it's incomprehensible. It is indistinguishable from a truth table that indicates a logical fallacy called circular reason.
Saying did not link B, C, and D would seem to be at odds with a combination of A, C, and D. Do not combination and link mean enough similar to use them nearly interchangably? If not, what's the difference? Further, they must be real claims. We can't be talking about claims A, B, and C if they don't exists. Why do you refuse to identify them? You have no valid explanation. Again, factually, the claim is circular, both in the article and how you explain it. Steriledepraved mind! 10:57, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

The only "explanation" you have given of what it means to say an argument has "some degree of circularity", Philip, is that "A is true because of B, and B is true because of a combination of A, C, and D." I have been unable to find a definition of the "combination" operator in my logic books. You can combine propositions with the AND operator, the OR operator, the IMPLIES operator, as well as a few others. What exactly do you have in mind here? The situation may be different if you are talking about inductive rather than deductive reasoning, but that needs to be clarified, as well. If you can give us an explanation here, even if it is wordy, we can try to find a good formulation for the article. If the statement cannot be explained, then it has no place in an encyclopedia. —Awc 11:52, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

I could claim you are being belligerent since you insist on putting falsehoods in the article; where does that get us except hurt feelings? Maybe the same place it gets us when you make various accusations about my arguments.
If you did and it's legitimate, it's incomprehensible. If so, you could explain what bit you don't understand and ask for clarification. Unlike Awc below, you instead deny that I have explained, continue to make assertions that don't address it, etc.
Do not combination and link mean enough similar to use them nearly interchangably? I guess they might. But you can't interchange B, C, and D with A, C, and D. C and D are interchangeable, but A and B are not, in the explanation I gave.
Further, they must be real claims. We can't be talking about claims A, B, and C if they don't exists. No they don't have to be real claims. I was illustrating a point; not making an argument about specific claims.
Again, factually, the claim is circular, both in the article and how you explain it. As I said, you continue to make assertions that don't address my explanation. This is an example.
The only "explanation" you have given of what it means to say an argument has "some degree of circularity", Philip, is that "A is true because of B, and B is true because of a combination of A, C, and D." Did I claim to have made more than one explanation? No. So yes, you are correct. That is the only explanation I have given. Yet Sterile denies that it exists.
What exactly do you have in mind here? The situation may be different if you are talking about inductive rather than deductive reasoning, but that needs to be clarified, as well. If you can give us an explanation here, even if it is wordy, we can try to find a good formulation for the article. At last, someone who does actually recognise that I did explain it, and is prepared to question that explanation, rather than just repeatedly assert that I'm wrong. And in so doing, you are identifying where I need to elaborate. Simply denying that I've explained it does not do that.
I'm not using either inductive or deductive reasoning, but (I guess) abductive reasoning. Do you want me to elaborate on that, or does that explain it to your satisfaction?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:54, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I never said you didn't explain it; I explained why your explanation was ambiguous at best and invalid at worst. Further, the identity of claims is important, because the article is actually about the Bible. If you don't identify claims relevent to the article, then there is no need to have conflict about the article. And yet we are having it. Further, while I don't want to misrpresent Awc, I don't see how his first two sentences are anything different than I what I've said. Steriledepraved mind! 13:45, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd never heard of abduction, but you don't have to explain it to me. That's what Wikipedia is for. Your statement doesn't make any more sense as abduction than it did as deduction or induction, though. —Awc 16:22, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I had not heard the term either, but I do know diagnostic expert systems. The main issue seems to be you dont ever assert the truth you merely go with a likely action. In an expert systeem these algorithms fail a significant number of times. Hamster (talk) 22:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I never said you didn't explain it… Yes you did. You said PS: You still have not explained the difference between "some degree of circularity" and "circularity" at all.
There is a difference between saying "you have not explained 'some degree of circularity'" and "You still have not explained the difference between 'some degree of circularity' and 'circularity' at all." I'm saying your explanation above is still circular, no matter how it is stated. Steriledepraved mind! 11:55, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
If you don't identify claims relevent to the article, then there is no need to have conflict about the article. And yet we are having it. Why? I'm asking you, because you started this conflict.
Factually, when you point out a fallacy in a text, it must be grounded in the language of the text. We're not studying propositional logic as subject of the article. Steriledepraved mind! 11:55, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
…I don't see how his first two sentences are anything different than I what I've said. For one thing, he didn't deny that I'd explained it. For another, he quoted me verbatim instead of misquoting me by getting the letters mixed up.
Does changing the letters change my or your explanation in some way? I don't think so. Steriledepraved mind! 11:55, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd never heard of abduction… I can't say I had either, but I intuitively understood the principle, and found that it had a name.
…but you don't have to explain it to me. That's what Wikipedia is for. I don't think Wikipedia is the best place for this. It's article on wp:Abductive reasoning is massive, and the introduction doesn't explain it simply enough. I would go away from the introduction saying "What?"
Your statement doesn't make any more sense as abduction than it did as deduction or induction, though. My question Do you want me to elaborate on that, or does that explain it to your satisfaction? was not simply about the meaning of the word "abductive", but about how it applies here. Given that you still think my comments don't make sense, then perhaps you do need me to explain it further, but you've said I don't need to. So which is it
If you want to keep that formulation in the article, then you need to explain it better. —Awc 08:01, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
The main issue seems to be you dont ever assert the truth you merely go with a likely action. In an expert systeem these algorithms fail a significant number of times. I often assert the truth, but I also, at other times, explain principles and possibilities, as everyone does at times. But this doesn't address the actual argument.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:03, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I was using YOU in the general sense of someone using aductive reasoning. It never shows a thing is true or not true, just a probability based on previous events. With few previous events it may be worse than flipping a coin. In expert systems you can present an action to take based on previous problems and the reported solution. Hamster (talk) 02:39, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Sorry, I did take that the wrong way. However, I don't agree that that is necessarily an issue. I guess that it IS an issue if you were expecting something else, but the point is that the world is not always black and white, so you shouldn't be expecting perfect logic all the time. In maths and formal logic (and computer programming can be included in those) you can have definite outcomes based on the input. But in the real world, it's rarely that straightforward. It's a bit like the difference between digital and analogue. Yet we execute people based on abductive reasoning. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:40, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
the legal system sets the standard of proof required , which is either "beyond a reasonable doubt" or "on the preponderance of the evidence" depending on criminal or civil proceedings. The judge aalso reserves the right to direct or set aside a verdict that he feels is in error according to law. If we want the truth of a matter aductive reasoning is very bad. For example, will this jack hold the car up while I crawl underneath it ? 52% chance it will. Do you use it or not ? Hamster (talk) 06:49, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Why do you think that jack example is a good example of abductive reasoning? And what sort of reasoning is used in a court? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:08, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Your explanation is still ambiguous. Further, according to Wikipedia, abduction is affirming the consequent, which many consider circular: "As such, abduction is formally equivalent to the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent (or Post hoc ergo propter hoc) because of multiple possible explanations for b." [4] No equivocation there. Steriledepraved mind! 11:37, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
There is a difference between saying "you have not explained 'some degree of circularity'" and "You still have not explained the difference between 'some degree of circularity' and 'circularity' at all."… In this context, I do not believe that there is any difference. Given that you understand circularity, and I explained what "some degree of circularity" is, I've effectively explained the difference..
I'm saying your explanation above is still circular, no matter how it is stated. My explanation of "some degree of circularity" is still circular??
Factually, when you point out a fallacy in a text, it must be grounded in the language of the text. We're not studying propositional logic as subject of the article. I think that latter point explains why "some degree of circularity" is acceptable. I'm not sure what you are getting at with your first point.
Does changing the letters change my or your explanation in some way? Yes.
I don't think so. You think that arbitrarily changing around different sides of an equation makes no difference? Howso?
If you want to keep that formulation in the article, then you need to explain it better. Do you have a better explanation to put into the article?
I am happy with the current version. After all, I wrote it. —Awc 16:26, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Your explanation is still ambiguous. Without explaining how, that's merely an unhelpful assertion.
Further, according to Wikipedia,… Not a reliable source in many cases, and it appears to not be in this case.
…abduction is affirming the consequent, which many consider circular:… I notice that the section of Wikipedia's article you quote from is not referenced. I also note that no other source I consulted made that claim. Further, it seems to me to be incorrect.
No equivocation there. No reference either, and no obvious reason for making the claim. But I question the "no equivocation" bit in any case. The section you quote says in part (my emphasis) "As such, abduction is formally equivalent to the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent…" That appears to be two qualifiers that mean that this statement is not an absolute one. The second ("formally") may not change the meaning much, but the first ("As such") seems to be implying in this particular respect (i.e. the direction used for inference) it is the same as affirming the consequent; not that it is the same as affirming the consequent in every respect, which I think you are claiming.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:35, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Can you give me an example of abduction that logically isn't affirming the consequent? That would be the only way to avoid the pickle you are in. I love that you are attempting to redefine all sorts of logic terms to fit your needs. Steriledepraved mind! 16:22, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I am happy with the current version. After all, I wrote it. Ah, yes. You got me there. But then I wasn't arguing for keeping the "some degree of circularity" version; I was arguing against Sterile's version. Not that I think your version is any better, but that's a separate issue.
That would be the only way to avoid the pickle you are in. I'm not in a pickle. That's just your belligerence speaking.
I love that you are attempting to redefine all sorts of logic terms to fit your needs. I'm not redefining anything, and you've not shown that I have. Rather, you denied that I explained something that I had explained, and then repeatedly failed to properly address that argument. But falsely accuse me of being in a pickle.
Can you give me an example of abduction that logically isn't affirming the consequent? How about this:
You happen to know that Tim and Harry have recently had a terrible row that ended their friendship. Now someone tells you that she just saw Tim and Harry jogging together. The best explanation for this that you can think of is that they made up. You conclude that they are friends again.
However, I've read a bit more on it, and found that an abductive argument is committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent if it is presented as a deductive argument, but not otherwise. This is consistent with my comment above about your "no equivocation" claim.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:04, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
An abductive argument would be,
  • If (Tim and Harry have made up), then (they would go jogging together).
  • (Tim and Harry went jogging together.)
  • Therefore, (Tim and Harry have made up).
In this case you are probably using the deductive argument,
  • If (Tim and Harry have not made up), then (they would not go jogging together).
  • (Tim and Harry went jogging together.)
  • Therefore, (Tim and Harry have made up).
The first has the form,
  • If A, then B.
  • B
  • Therefore, A.
The second has the form,
  • If ~A, then ~B.
  • B
  • Therefore, A.
—Awc 13:25, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
What's your point? That the argument about Tim and Harry is not an example of abductive reasoning? Or is not such an example as presented? Or what? --Unsigned comment by Philip J. Rayment (talk)
That it is not an exampüle of abductive reasoning (or at least not a clear example), and if you bend it into an abductive form, then it would become apparent that you are affirming the consequent. —Awc 14:24, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Like most fields, the terms in logic have real meaning that you cannot redefine. Deduction is different than abduction, and they are mutually exclusive. There is no such thing as an argument that is aductive and deductive. It has nothing to do with me; please stop being uncivil and characterizing me as belligerent. It's rude and uncalled for. Steriledepraved mind! 16:43, 4 February 2014 (UTC) PS What's wrong with Awc's version?; it's accurate and true. Steriledepraved mind! 16:50, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
You happen to know that... I've been watching this discussion with a sense of wonder. As you seem to be framing this, it is at best a poorly stated example of induction. Induction is inherently a probabilistic method of deriving a likely, though not necessarily true explanation. Strong examples of induction are things like confidently stating that the sun will rise tomorrow or that you will wake up in the morning. These are based on overwhelming evidence that these outcomes, and no others occur. We do, of course, realize that they may not, but they are so generally true that they go without saying. Your example of induction is extremely weak. Indeed, the claim that these men made up after a "terrible row" would be surprising. There are many more probable explanations for these men jogging together, like them being in PE class or a 5k together, being pleasant because they're pleasant people (that's ok etiquette if you blew your cool and have calmed down, though nobody would necessarily assume these men have gotten together to bury the hatchet - nearly every family has examples of this situation). You have a serious problem getting down to brass tacks with the claims you've actually made. You make the same content-free claim that CMI creationists drop without explanation all over creation.com, yet you seem to doggedly refuse to justify the claim itself. Instead you're typically dancing around the issue by grotesquely abusing logic. If Tim and Harry are the best you can do, when it appears you have no idea what you're talking about, you need to stop talking. Deal with why "god therefore the bible therefore god" or whatever that incomprehensible mess says. Get off the crummy examples and recalcitrance and prove it. I recommend you buy a sentential logic textbook and learn how to draw a truth tree. The Logic Book by Bergman/Moor and Methods of Logic by Quine are very good.
It has nothing to do with me; please stop being uncivil and characterizing me as belligerent. It's also another typical petty attempt to turn a discussion meta. Make your morning ablutions or get off the pot. Teh Aspis Atrocissima 17:07, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Awc: That it is not an exampüle of abductive reasoning (or at least not a clear example)…
Asp: As you seem to be framing this, it is at best a poorly stated example of induction. and Your example of induction (sic) is extremely weak. and If Tim and Harry are the best you can do, when it appears you have no idea what you're talking about, you need to stop talking.
I note the the first of these comments is from someone who had never heard of abduction, and who apparently learned everything he knows about it from Wikipedia. Sterile asked me for an example of abduction that logically isn't affirming the consequent; he didn't say that it had to be original. In fact, the example I gave, I quoted verbatim from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, where it is their first example of abductive reasoning. So I think I would take their word on this over the word of you two, especially one who hadn't even heard of the concept a few days ago.
Sterile: Deduction is different than abduction, and they are mutually exclusive. My comment that an abductive argument is committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent if it is presented as a deductive argument was taken from the Common Sense Atheism site which says, "Notice that if an abductive argument were taken to be a deductive argument, it would commit the fallacy of affirming the consequent." They go on to explain why that is so. Now they may not have the standing of my previous source, but they seem to have a better idea of what's what than Sterile does.
It has nothing to do with me; please stop being uncivil and characterizing me as belligerent. It's rude and uncalled for. If you stop being uncivil and rude in making false accusations like the pickle you are in. I love that you are attempting to redefine all sorts of logic terms to fit your needs., then I would have no need to call you on it.
Indeed, the claim that these men made up after a "terrible row" would be surprising. There are many more probable explanations for these men jogging together… The article I quoted that example from goes on to discuss other possibilities and why they might be invoked. But any such conclusion depends on what information you have available. Obviously, in the example, you know Tim and Harry. So you probably know other things about them, such as them not being in a PE class, or that they are not the sort of people to be pleasant after a row. As the example said, "The best explanation for this that you can think of is…". Knowing other things about them, might well change things. The article I got the example from later made this point:

For instance, adding the premise that Tim and Harry are former business partners who still have some financial matters to discuss, to the premises that they had a terrible row some time ago and that they were just seen jogging together may no longer warrant you to infer that they are friends again, even if—let us suppose—the last two premises alone do warrant that inference. The reason is that what counts as the best explanation of Tim and Harry's jogging together in light of the original premises may no longer do so once the information has been added that they are former business partners with financial matters to discuss.

You have a serious problem getting down to brass tacks with the claims you've actually made. On the contrary, I've explained the claims, and the critics here have failed to properly address them.
You make the same content-free claim that CMI creationists drop without explanation all over creation.com… Talking of content-free claims, where's the content of that claim?
…you seem to doggedly refuse to justify the claim itself. Again false; I justified the claim in my first post in this section. You are simply inventing objections.
Instead you're typically dancing around the issue by grotesquely abusing logic. False yet again. I'm quoting scholarly sources. The critics here are basing their comments on Wikipedia and their own misunderstandings of what abductive thinking is.
Deal with why "god therefore the bible therefore god" or whatever that incomprehensible mess says. Given that my critics don't even understand the thinking involved, I don't think I have anything to explain.
Get off the crummy examples and recalcitrance and prove it. How about admitting that you were wrong; I was right (the example was legitimate), and stop tossing around false accusations with no basis.
I recommend you buy a sentential logic textbook and learn how to draw a truth tree. The Logic Book by Bergman/Moor and Methods of Logic by Quine are very good. Perhaps you should (re-)read it first.
It's also another typical petty attempt to turn a discussion meta. It seems that my critics can do no wrong, and I can do no right. I have multiple false accusations made against me, including calling me various names, but if I object, then I'm being petty. This is known as blaming the victim. Argue the point civilly, not the man with silly comments, and things would go much better.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:51, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
(outdent)
All your critics (5 anyway) use logic daily in our work. That you have not been able to succesfully convey your position would seem to be your failing. In any logic system of which I am aware (and that includes expert systems) the decision tree is boolean. That means that "some degree of circularity" is a non-starter that suggests an improper statement somewhere. Perhaps you could restate the position in a set of statements ? Hamster (talk) 20:08, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Are you committed to Awc's version ("To the extent that the Bible is the source of the belief that God has these characteristics, this is begging the question.") or do you wish to change it back to your still-ambiguous-no-matter-what-the-type-of-reasoning version ("There is some degree of circularity in this statement, as in all world views, since the Bible is the primary source of the belief that God has these characteristics.") If it's the former, than this discussion of abduction serves no purpose. Steriledepraved mind! 22:49, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
PS calling me various names I'm not sure who you think called you names, but I find it hypocritical to complain about it when you insist, over and over again, on calling someone who's talking about the content of the article "belligerent." Steriledepraved mind! 23:02, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
PPS Would you agree the structure is the following?
1: (A):The inerrant language of the Bible implies that {(B): God is perfect} AND {(C):God is omnipotent} AND {(D):God is omniscient} AND {(E): God is infallible}.
2: (F): God is infallible. (It could be (F') God is omniscient, too, I suppose.)
3: Therefore, (G) the language of the Bible is inerrant. Steriledepraved mind! 23:21, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
All your critics (5 anyway) use logic daily in our work. That you have not been able to succesfully convey your position would seem to be your failing. Given that one admitted not knowing of the term, and he and at least one other were simply wrong about the example I gave (I notice that they've not bothered to comment any further), and that even you don't seem to understand the term (you never answered my questions: Why do you think that jack example is a good example of abductive reasoning? And what sort of reasoning is used in a court?), I don't think your claim holds up.
In any logic system of which I am aware (and that includes expert systems) the decision tree is boolean. I would suggest that that's a result of the process (e.g. binary computers) rather than a requirement of logic.
Are you committed to Awc's version … or do you wish to change it back to your still-ambiguous-no-matter-what-the-type-of-reasoning version… There's your belligerence again; you're (a) presenting my wording as inadequate despite failing to properly address the arguments that I've put. And (B) asking a question that I've already largely answered (…I wasn't arguing for keeping the "some degree of circularity" version; I was arguing against Sterile's version. Not that I think your version is any better, but that's a separate issue.) No, I don't plan on changing it back, but I might still change it.
I find it hypocritical to complain about it when you insist, over and over again, on calling someone who's talking about the content of the article "belligerent." Only you are NOT simply talking about the content of the article, as I have pointed out.
PPS Would you agree the structure is the following? No, I don't, and your structure does not match the structure I gave in my first reply in this section, as you are still mixing up the letters:
  • You have 1: A implies B and C and D and E; 2: F; 3: Therefore G.
  • I had 1: B implies A; 2: A, C, and D together imply B.
Further, your particular structure falsely assumes a single reason for believing that the Bible is inerrant: because it says so. As I implied in my first response in this section, that is not the case. There are multiple reasons for thinking that the Bible is inerrant, including that anything said by an infallible, omniscient God must be inerrant. Which raises the following questions: (i) why believe that God is infallible and omniscient?, and (ii) why believe that the Bible is authored by God? Your argument rests on the false assumption that the answer to both is "because the Bible says so". Now, indirectly at least, it does say so, but that is not the only reason for believing those things. As I said in my first post in this section, B is true because of a combination of A, C, and D. That is, there are multiple reasons for believing both (i) and (ii). That the Bible says so is just one of those multiple reasons. For example, (ii) can be answered by (a) the remarkable consistency of the Bible from beginning to end, despite multiple human authors from different walks of life over thousands of years, (b) fulfilled prophecy, (c) the testimony of Jesus Himself, (d) the testimony of lives changed by it, (e) etc. (For Hamster's benefit: how is (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) as inputs "binary"?—there are at least five of them; the real world is not always binary.)
Furthermore, keep in mind that from your point of view, the Bible is not a single source, but multiple sources gathered into one book. So as it says here (which directly addresses this issue of circularity, and is therefore also worth reading on this topic), "It is not circular to use Matthew to prove Genesis (Matthew 19:3–6, cf. Genesis 1:27, 2:24), Paul to prove Luke (1 Timothy 5:18, cf. Luke 10:7) or Peter to prove Paul (2 Peter 3:15–16)."
Back to your objection to me calling you "belligerent" for a moment. If you want me to stop, stop giving me reasons to. One of your earlier posts was:
  • Can you give me an example of abduction that logically isn't affirming the consequent? That would be the only way to avoid the pickle you are in. I love that you are attempting to redefine all sorts of logic terms to fit your needs.
What you could have said was:
  • Can you give me an example of abduction that logically isn't affirming the consequent? That would be one way to prove your point.
The fact that you chose to say it the way you did was one of the reasons I called you belligerent. If you'd asked the question the way I've suggested (or something along those lines), I would have no reason to. Yet you would still have requested the only information you did request, and still given a reason for requesting it. The rest served no purpose in terms of helping understand the issue; it was nothing more than denigrating me and/or my argument.
So I repeat: don't give me reason to call me belligerent, and I won't do it. I don't do it to be nasty; I do it in the hope that you will see the concern I have and stop doing it.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:04, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
If you are OK with Awc's version, I'm not discussing this any more. I hardly think anyone who says that implies that editors have a depraved mind because they make a supposed editing error, calls an editor a bigot at the drop of a hat, and makes an ad hominem to dimiss an argument about sources can lecture anyone else on hostitlity or aggression. But really, this is not about the article and can only go further south. Steriledepraved mind! 21:53, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I hardly think anyone who says that implies that [various alleged faults snipped] can lecture anyone else on hostitlity or aggression. All three of those alleged faults are misrepresented:
  • …that editors have a depraved mind because they make a supposed editing error… That claimed "supposed editing error" was not a supposed editing error, but a repeated failure to comprehend what was actually written.
  • …calls an editor a bigot at the drop of a hat… I didn't accuse him of being a bigot, and it wasn't with little justification. I suggested that as being one of two possibilities for a comment that discriminated against creationists.
  • …makes an ad hominem to dimiss an argument about sources… I accused you of not being objective. You never did explain your apparent discrimination against a creationist, despite this point repeatedly being asked and/or highlighted.
On the other side of the coin, I have specifically pointed out why I consider your actions to be belligerent, and although you've complained about me accusing you of that, you've not once defended or justified your actions. It seems that me criticisicing you (or anyone else) means that I am at fault no matter how justified my criticism is. Yet you yourself criticise me a lot.
If you are OK with Awc's version, I'm not discussing this any more. Which is not what I said, of course. However, it is true that I've not explained my unease with it, so as yet you have nothing to disagree with.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:48, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

some degree of circularity part 2

computers are not binary because of an underlying logic primarilly although that could be argued. They are binary because it was easier in the electronics to have a simple on/off switch.

a or b or c resolves to the following: a is true or false ditto b , c , * a or b >> tt/tf/ft is true, f/f is false, ditto or c. all of it is binary true/false logic.
in programming languages the compiler will write code to replace a statement like if a or b then c with a lot of yes/no tests Hamster (talk) 18:12, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
once again I will ask, because you avoid the question yet again, can you frame one example in a clear and meaningful to make your point ?
I have said that abductive reasoning can not derive the truth of anything. An expert system does not derive anything, it simply uses past events to predict current events on a probability. for example: "hello tech support, my computer is not working", *checks book* "have you plugged it in , and turned it on ?" , *checks plug and switch* , "yes", *checks book* "is the green power light on ? " , "no". "thank you sir, would you check that your outlet is working and call back'. Each step is a simple yes/no and ordered in the probability based on previous problems and solutions.
I expect the sun to rise tomorrow because it has every day for the last 50 years of my life is another example. Hamster (talk) 18:28, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Is the Bible NOT the inspired word of God ? How do you decide which bits are not Gods word ? Any of the bits which are from God can not be used to validate each other because thats circular.

If they are NOT inspired you could use bits of one book to validate other books but that would require proving they were not copied and don't differ in major elements. Hamster (talk) 18:38, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

…computers are not binary because … it was easier in the electronics to have a simple on/off switch. Why they are binary doesn't change my point that them being binary might be why computer algorithms tend to be binary.
…a or b or c resolves to the following: a is true or false ditto b , c , * a or b >> tt/tf/ft is true, f/f is false, ditto or c. all of it is binary true/false logic. Whilst a or b or c can be computed in binary steps, all inputs potentially still need to be evaluated, and if so, the calculation overall is not binary.
…in programming languages the compiler will write code to replace a statement like if a or b then c with a lot of yes/no tests… I know. But that doesn't refute or change anything I've said.
once again I will ask, because you avoid the question yet again… Are you suggesting that it's okay for you to avoid my questions, but not for me to avoid yours? (See my posts of 07:08, 3 February 2014 and 05:04, 9 February 2014) Isn't that a double standard?
…can you frame one example in a clear and meaningful to make your point ? First, I can't see where you asked that previously (I searched on each of "frame" and "meaningful" on this page, and they didn't show a previous question from you). Second, an example of what, specifically?
I have said that abductive reasoning can not derive the truth of anything. What I presume you mean is that any conclusion drawn from abductive reasoning can't be demonstrated logically to be the truth. Correct. However, it may nevertheless be true, and that true conclusion may have been derived from the abductive reasoning. An example is your one about the sun rising tomorrow: it did. From your abductive reasoning you derived a conclusion that was, as it turned out, true.
Each step is a simple yes/no and ordered in the probability based on previous problems and solutions. And the net result is multiple factors to consider. So your point is…?
Is the Bible NOT the inspired word of God ? I believe that there is good reason for considering it to be that.
How do you decide which bits are not Gods word ? That's a good question. To ask of someone who thinks that not all of it is.
Any of the bits which are from God can not be used to validate each other because thats circular. If you are wanting to argue that it's circular because God did write it all, then be my guest. Is that your argument?
If they are NOT inspired you could use bits of one book to validate other books but that would require proving they were not copied and don't differ in major elements. I don't agree that that would "require" proving that. That is, you seem to have no basis for asserting that being copied should be the default position to be disproved.
So as well as the previous questions you haven't answered, there's a new question in this post: Is that your argument? I'd love to see the answer to that one. Somehow I expect that I won't.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:13, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Is what my argument ?

As I have clearly laid out, any of the bible that is the inspired word of God is therefore circular if used since it resolves to this book says God exists because God says so. The bits that are NOT the inspired word of God may not be circular but to use them the burden of proof is on you to show that A. they are not inspired and b they are not copied. The current thinking on the Bible is that the 4 gospels are heavily copied and the bits that are not copied do not agree in some major details. Since you seem to agree with this in principal we can agree on the burden and standard of evidence required.
In my example of the sun rising I will make the point that the logic implicit of "it always has in the past" is not a proof, its merely a working assumption. Hamster (talk) 16:08, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

…can you frame one example in a clear and meaningful to make your point ? First, I can't see where you asked that previously (I searched on each of "frame" and "meaningful" on this page, and they didn't show a previous question from you). Second, an example of what, specifically? see the topic heading. A clear example , correctly stated as a logic exercise, of a somewhat circular argument. Hamster (talk) 16:11, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Why they are binary doesn't change my point that them being binary might be why computer algorithms tend to be binary. logic algorithms tend to be binary because logic is binary. Which came first, jtext analysis for meaning using symbolic logic or computers ? hint its not computers. Hamster (talk) 16:18, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Is what my argument ? That …it's circular because God did write it all
The current thinking on the Bible is that the 4 gospels are heavily copied… By liberal scholars.
…the bits that are not copied do not agree in some major details. Do not agree? So what? Or disagree? Evidence please.
In my example of the sun rising I will make the point that the logic implicit of "it always has in the past" is not a proof, its merely a working assumption. Yes. Which turned out to be right, although you claimed that …abductive reasoning can not derive the truth of anything. In that case, it did. But if you want to continue this particular line of discussion, please address my comment above starting with "What I presume you mean".
see the topic heading. A clear example , correctly stated as a logic exercise, of a somewhat circular argument. You don't say where you previously asked that question. The topic heading is some degree of circularity part 2, and that's not a question.
logic algorithms tend to be binary because logic is binary. Okay. But who said we were talking about formal logic? I specifically said that we are talking about abductive reasoning, which is not formal logic.
So when are you going to answer the previous questions I asked you (I realise the last one you didn't because you sought clarification, but there were already two questions outstanding)?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:58, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I asked, What's wrong with Awc's version? ages ago, and you even admitting to not answering it (Which is not what I said, of course. However, it is true that I've not explained my unease with it, so as yet you have nothing to disagree with.). You still haven't answered, yet it's the topic of discussion. Yet again, Philip demands that his questions be answered when he doesn't do the same. Steriledepraved mind! 12:18, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
There is no onus on me to answer any and all questions that people ask me. The only(?) ones I have an obligation to answer are those that ask me to justify or explain claims I have made. I have made no claims about Awc's version (although I have foreshadowed that I might in the future make such a claim), and I'm letting it stand for now, so at this time I have no obligation to answer that question. If/when I do change it in the future, I will explain why I am doing so. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:01, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Degrade ?

how does a factual statement which is almost a quote from you degrade either the article or the Bible ?

in bible verses do you only want the nice ones or can I add a few ? what is the point of 2 verses being quoted ? Hamster (talk) 21:09, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

What "factual statement" are you referring to? You've added nothing to this article recently, and my partial reversion did not touch anything you'd added, so it's not clear what you are talking about.
The verses were not added by me, and I don't know why those two particular ones were added (or why any were added at all), but presumably they were chosen because they are well-known and/or significant.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:09, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
this edit http://www.astorehouseofknowledge.info/wiki/index.php?title=Bible&diff=59815&oldid=59814 you argued in another place that the old covanant laws did not currently apply. So the statement removed is factual. A slight rewording might be preferred but the point made is valid. How does a valid statement degrade anything ? as an aside how many edits to this article did you make to this article with the edit comment degrade ? Hamster (talk) 16:50, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
This seems to be a case of quote mining. (Funny how the side that accuses the other of that does it the most.) First, I don't particularly recall making that claim. Rather, I pointed out that many Christians believe that some or all of the Mosaic Law doesn't apply, and differ on how much and why. I don't particularly recall saying that they "did not" currently apply. Second, the comment was (as you note above), particularly about the Mosaic Law, whereas the article context is "information that God has revealed to mankind". So the comment of mine, even if I did say it in precisely that way, has been taken out of one context and placed into a different context. As a result, it has turned laws that no longer apply into information that is no longer valid. What does the latter mean? That the information is now considered wrong? That is something quite different to saying that the laws no longer apply. The Bible contains information about what the Mosaic Law was. That information is still "valid", just as history is still true even if the thing described by that history are no longer around.
Further, that the laws are often considered to no longer apply is not an important enough point to put in the first sentence. As I've said before, accuracy is not the only requirement for something being in an article. Relevance is also a factor. In this case, I'd agree that the point about the Mosaic Law no longer applying is a relevant point to put in the article. But not in the introduction. It would be appropriate to put it alongside of a mention of the Mosaic Law itself, which might be in a section about what the Bible contains. At present, the nearest thing is the "Structure" section, which has one single word on this aspect.
I don't believe that I've used the word "degrade" in an edit comment any other time.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:41, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
P.S. This reminds me of a certain Andy who insisted on things he thought important going in the introduction of an article. Are you trying to be like him? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:44, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

This reminds me of a certain Andy who insisted on things he thought important going in the introduction of an article. Are you trying to be like him? This is hilarious. What have you kept in the evolution-creation controversy article that isn't yours? Steriledepraved mind! 13:46, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

First, what has been added that was relevant and properly referenced? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:22, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Only dictator Rayment would know. Steriledepraved mind! 16:46, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
sophistry aside , you are claiming a set of written laws is NOT information and/or that a law that does not apply is still valid ? Perhaps you mean that the Bible applied to those living at the time those verses were written but were never intended to apply in later times ? Hamster (talk) 17:43, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Only dictator Rayment would know. When you don't have an answer, insult.
sophistry aside What sophistry?
I don't mean anything you suggested there Hamster. Part of the problem, which I explained above, is being clear just what is being talked about. The Bible as a whole, or just certain parts of it? My comments above made that distinction. Yours didn't.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:59, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
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