Jump to content

Is It Even Possible To Break Through Biblical "inerrancy" Dogma?


Guest Emproph
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Emproph

This article from this site is what lead me to sign up:

 

At the time, I was unaware of any criticism of the ideas expressed in these mailings, and had no reason to doubt the truthfulness and accuracy of them. I truly believed that the holy spirit was working through these men to help equip christians to "be prepared to give an answer for the hope you have...." (1 peter 3:15) and "contend for the faith" (Jude 3).

 

As my research of christianity went deeper and deeper, I began to encounter huge problems (discrepancies, contradictions, absurdities, contrivances, widespread ambiguity, scientific impossibilities, and serious intellectual dishonesty). This, coupled with the wide range of differing beliefs I was seeing among supposed "spirit-filled" christians, marked the early stage of my downward spiral into disbelief.

 

-First, I’m not an atheist or agnostic. Without being too wordy, the best way to describe what I understand to be true is classical pantheist.

-Second, I’m not out to destroy someone’s faith in God/Jesus, but I would like to help destroy dogma when and if possible.

-Third, I went to Catholic grade school and had a short lived “you must believe in the Bible” phase in high school. So I’m not going into this completely blind.

 

I’ve been debating on other forums with “true believers,” more like Biblical idolaters and I was wondering, if it is possible to get through to these people, what is the most effective way. I thought that if any of you have had similar experiences as the person in the excerpt above that you might be able to enlighten me on this, even if it’s just to confirm that it’s virtually impossible.

 

Even the person in the article at least had the DESIRE to know more. In other words, they were not so blinded by pride that they felt there was nothing left to learn about even what they had concluded was the “truth.”

 

I’m getting pretty much what I expected from these other forums and websites that “refute” errors in the Bible. Basically every defense mechanism possible to avoid the question. That much can be attributed to fear. And often but not always, there is an unmistakable motive of pride in their responses.

 

As I see it, at least for Biblical supremacists like this, it goes something like this. First they are prideful to begin with, that attracts them to a religion that is the ONLY one that could be the correct one. This confirms how smart and better than others they were to begin with. Biblical inerrancy is just the icing on the cake. Decide the Bible is inerrant and then immediately and for all time forget that it was your decision to begin with. Now, my personal interpretation of God is inerrant because I never recognize that it’s my interpretation. I am then free to pick and choose any Bible verse in scripture to match how I feel and I am 100% right. If anyone disagrees with me, they are disagreeing with God, and by proxy by pride, I am free to attack them personally for attacking God and can do so in the name of God because they are minions of the devil. Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, and the fear of death. (<Is that what it all comes down to?)

 

They are classical projectionists and have every quality of a pathological liar.

 

I’ve done the logic arguments: Infinite hell for finite sins is NOT just. How could original sin be a sin if God knew they would choose to sin? Why would God ensure an “inerrant” Bible that would be vehemently disagreed with, etc.

 

So then I tried to tie the different interpretation conundrum by trying to show that Love is the only definition of God that cannot be misinterpreted – consistent with everything Jesus (God itself) taught and love thy neighbor blah blah blah. And apparently none of that counts if it means agreeing with me.

 

There are many issues or things that are arbitrarily deemed to be “sins” just because the “Bible” says so, for me it’s the gay issue. And I realize that’s probably the biggest and most contentious. It’s easy to assume that that’s unnatural and then “oh there, the Bible confirms it.” But I can’t even rationally discuss the importance of sin requiring malice in order to be a sin. And of course divorce and remarriage is perfectly fine even though Jesus DID say something about that.

 

So I guess I’m looking for some advice as to when to quit or if any of them are reachable and what is most effective, or should I pretend that I'm one of them first, etc. I can be more specific too, I just wanted to set a foundation as to where I’m coming from first.

 

I’m looking for sure fire bullchit cutter throughers or methods thereof, logic doesn’t seem to be working.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emproph

Calling them names, it usually makes them cry.

 

Believe me it's tempting.

 

I need to do it in a way where I can still consider myself "better" than them... (my pride's better than theirs is... :lol: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Calling them names, it usually makes them cry.

 

Believe me it's tempting.

 

I need to do it in a way where I can still consider myself "better" than them... (my pride's better than theirs is... :lol: )

 

In reality, Emproph, because everyone is an individual there is no surefire way to attack belief...you just gotta feel your way around.

 

I don't attack beliefs with the intention of changing anyone, that's pretty much a waste of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emproph

I understand, that’s pretty much what I’m getting all the way around in sympathetic circles.

-I'm trying to do it in a way that's not attacking though.

 

I posted too soon, I’m reading the Amy-Marie thread now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand, that’s pretty much what I’m getting all the way around in sympathetic circles.

-I'm trying to do it in a way that's not attacking though.

 

I posted too soon, I’m reading the Amy-Marie thread now.

 

Emproph, questioning someone elses belief is attacking it, though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emproph

I think the Biblical inerrancy thing is unique because there’s a dissociation from the subjective belief in objectivity. The distinction isn’t made because there is an object (the Bible) itself to transfer and equate all subjectivity of the "truth" with.

 

I know enough to make that distinction. At least to the point of being able to have a rational discussion about what I believe if someone questions. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to see things the way I do without being able to prove to them the same, and even then I wouldn’t be in a position to determine that they should accept it as I do. I think I'm realizing better that I am projecting my own willingness to be "questioned" without being offended.

 

So I think the real question is, since they feel that their beliefs are superior, why would the questions why and how they believe be taken as an attack? Why avoid the questions at all cost?

 

Chef’s post was enlightening. Obviously there’s a lot more nuance to dialoging with them that I’m going to have to pay special attention to. Because like the article said and as I have experienced, there is much logical discussion to be had, it just seems to fall apart too easily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I think the real question is, since they feel that their beliefs are superior, why would the questions why and how they believe be taken as an attack? Why avoid the questions at all cost?

 

Because questioning their beliefs is like questioning God to them. It's bad to question God.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to see you here Emproph.

 

Even if it's many times can feel futile to discuss and explain things to the Christian, I tend to hold one belief in it all, that the discussion maybe started a little thread in their head of thought, that eventually will have a effect.

 

Probably what's important is not to win the argument per se, but to give them things that will keep them awake at night and think about. Maybe they one day understand.

 

But usually, in the heat of the moment, it's close to impossible to make a fundamentalist or a literalist to give up. (And it's a complete joke, since everytime you can clearly see how they slide from literal interpretation into figuratively, and they don't even see that themselves.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've long since learned that debating those types is like banging your head against a wall. There was a stage where I went through the need to debate people, but now I've got better things to do with my time.

 

Still, if you're looking for resources, the Age of Reason debunks the Bible using only the Bible itself. Paine did a great job of using logic to show that it was contradictory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, their doctrine has most of the answers for their contradictions. Anything that cannot be solved by that comes back to "just having faith." My problem with this is that it is circular reasoning. If I am showing someone an error in the Bible and they say they just have faith that God will take care of it or knows what he is doing, I then come back to the fact that they are basing their belief on the Bible and- well you see how it just keeps going around and around. There isn't a way to break this cycle for most people until they want to question it themselves.

 

I generally find it helpful not to try and change their beliefs or point out errors in the Bible but rather to focus on the problems in their doctrine. There are plenty of doctrinal elements that are not even found in the Bible. Those are usually the most harmful and discriminatory as well. It is these things I would try and spend my energy talking about or debating. You will come more near helping people become less dogmatic this way. It is more possible to change some of the ideas they have that are harmful to others than to change their whole belief system. I think we must all understand that most people need to believe in something and are not willing to just question their whole way of looking at the world.

 

Plus, if you can just try and break through some of the doctrine, they will at least be more liberal in their beliefs and less pushy on other people. They may even start to question things themselves. But regardless of if the religion is right or not, they can believe it if they want to, and no one really has the right to try and change that. The only place where I start trying to say something is when it comes to their doctrine that is intolerant of other people- I will say something about that because it affects humanity and politics, not just their personal beliefs.

 

I hope I've made sense on this idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They will then say something like, well the wine they had back then was not as strong as the stuff they have today.

I find that comment weird. I remember we used the same phrase, and it's based on misunderstanding. The "lite" wine would probably be like a beer or lite beer. And a lot of wine isn't that strong, so the point "it wasn't so strong back then" is stupid. They must have had strong wine and lighter wine, and different kinds, just like now. It's impossible to make wine that have no alcohol. Then it is called juice, not wine. Probably what they had was something more like the table wines in Italy, Greek and France.

 

The main reason why wine came to be, was that regular juice can't be kept for too long. You need a fridge to keep it cool. In those days they didn't have any cold storing area, so the wine was fermented juice that could be kept. But it's still alcohol.

 

 

I also heard the argument that Paul said these things because the person in question had stomach problems, and it was to be used as remedy. But still, Jesus turned water to wine, and they drank wine at the last supper.

 

The whole "drinking alcohol is a sin" thing started pretty recently. It was the Salvation Army pretty much that started that movement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emproph

Thanks you guys. I just KNEW I wasn’t insane... Seriously though (Warning: slightly reserved touching moment alert), big sigh of relief on my part that others have been through the same thing. Phew! (wipes tear away...)

Good to see you here Emproph.

 

I tend to hold one belief in it all, that the discussion maybe started a little thread in their head of thought, that eventually will have a effect...

...not to win the argument per se, but to give them things that will keep them awake at night and think about. Maybe they one day understand.

But usually, in the heat of the moment, it's close to impossible to make a fundamentalist or a literalist to give up. (And it's a complete joke, since everytime you can clearly see how they slide from literal interpretation into figuratively, and they don't even see that themselves.)

Thanks for the welcoming words HanSolo,

The suggestion/observation that maybe those thoughts will come in handy some day or when they are ready for bigger truth is perfectly acceptable to me. I’d just like to be able to get to the point where that’s even possible, a rational discussion. Agree to disagree is fine but I have to get to a place where we’re actually disagreeing on the same thing. So far this has been the challenge but I think I have some better perspective now as to how to approach it.

 

And I totally identify with that last paragraph, slipping between the literal and figurative, I have to start describing it like that as opposed to calling it hypocrisy.

I've long since learned that debating those types is like banging your head against a wall. There was a stage where I went through the need to debate people, but now I've got better things to do with my time.

 

Still, if you're looking for resources, the Age of Reason debunks the Bible using only the Bible itself. Paine did a great job of using logic to show that it was contradictory.

Amethyst,

I get the banging your head part and am tempted to “have better things to do,” but I feel almost like this is my “calling.” To help find a way to eliminate the “banging your head” part for all. Some kind of formula.

 

I checked it out 'Age of Reason,' I’ve got some serious reading to do. Nothing new under the sun it seems, -and here I thought I was on a novel quest..

 

Thanks for the tip.

I have a funny suggestion. Use the example of their own Jesus of the Bible. Start by asking rhetorically impossible questions in a nonthreatening way. When they try to give you a Biblical answer, show them the contradiction in their Bible... ...Don't try to out wit them in their face. Do be very very humble. The best way to present it is..." I have a problem and I need your help... ...hmmm does it not say in the book of Revelation not to add to it? (See Rev 22:18-19). That is the kind of tactic I use... ...You must first get them questioning what they have been taught, then you can get them to question what they really believe. From there it is much much quicker. Just my 2 cents.

Burned out,

 

That’s a really good approach I appreciate it. I’ve thought about doing it like that but I’m not tenacious enough to do it like you said, Biblically, but good insight as far as “tactics” go (I hate to call it that). I’ve got to read that post through a few more times, there’s definitely some things I can use.

 

“See Rev 22:18-19" -that alone disproves inerrancy. I’ve always “interpreted” that to mean that the scribes and translators should not add words to the physical Bible. The mere suggestion that error is possible precludes any idea of inerrancy, let alone conclusion of it. And even if in the context of interpretation, what if that was done before the first known copy? Inerrancy would not warn of error!

 

I think my problem is more in the approach. I can do the logic fine but I haven’t been making the specific effort to ensure it’s not taken as an attack, (I didn’t imagine it would be).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emproph
Honestly, their doctrine has most of the answers for their contradictions. Anything that cannot be solved by that comes back to "just having faith." My problem with this is that it is circular reasoning. If I am showing someone an error in the Bible and they say they just have faith that God will take care of it or knows what he is doing, I then come back to the fact that they are basing their belief on the Bible and- well you see how it just keeps going around and around. There isn't a way to break this cycle for most people until they want to question it themselves.

I hope I've made sense on this idea.

Young Mother Atheist,

You made perfect sense on all that. And the quote above pretty much sums it up. They need to want to know better first.

The only place where I start trying to say something is when it comes to their doctrine that is intolerant of other people- I will say something about that because it affects humanity and politics, not just their personal beliefs.
That’s exactly where I’m coming from, that’s my motivation. And it has everything to do with the meaning of Christianity.

 

And just to be clear, technically you could call me a Christian. But I consider myself a knower not a believer, but NOT because of the Bible or anything someone has told me, those things may have lead to this point but are not the cause. And my understanding is not based on a Jesus (though I do believe in Jesus) that cannot be verified, but on the effect that can be verified in “loving your neighbor as yourself,” treating others the way you would want to be treated, the Golden Rule. Not that I’m an expert at that behavior, but I think most of us can agree that that’s the best for everyone.

 

I only mention it because I don’t want to give the wrong impression. For me everything is God, but that’s a whole ‘nother thread, and I have no expectations of convincing anyone of the absurdity of such a notion. -Just wanna make sure you know.

 

I think that’s part of the frustration too though. I feel that I get the ideal better than they do. I think I’m too close to that thinking though and that’s why my approach has been off.

 

And again, like you said, it’s not about changing anyone’s need to believe except for when those beliefs are harming others arbitrarily, and hypocritically, and pridefully etc.

 

Thanks again you guys, I appreciate it. Big sigh of relief. I’m not insane, and there may still be hope. My goal is to somehow get a formula down. Is that nothing new under the sun too though? Then again, this time around we have media and the internet to help with our bidding. -Just a thought. :grin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Emproph

I found this the other day doing a Google search for; biblical idolatry pride.

 

This one was pretty good, like the one chefranden posted. I found a couple more too but I’d like to set those up better before posting them.

 

Eventually I’d like to put something together, a thread starter for Christian forums, so this subject can be discussed without having to dance around the issue and/or be constantly derailed by logical fallacy tactics used by those who are “addicted” to scripture to the point of justifying harm to others.

 

There are a lot of genuine Christians that are quite able and aware not to place the Bible over their fellow human but can’t quite articulate the moral dangers of Biblical idolatry like this guy does.

 

These are a few of the paragraphs that stood out for me, I put the link at the end if you want to read the whole thing. There's a couple other good ones on that site as well, but this one was my favorite.

 

I need not elaborate on these and other moral dangers of atheism, except to say that while they are real they are in no way inevitable. In any case, my intention here is to point out the somewhat more subtle dangers of pride and idolatry to which theists, and creationists in particular, are especially vulnerable. This is not, of course, to say that persons of such faith are any more inevitably guilty of these sins than anyone else, but rather that there are unique moral hazards against which they are peculiarly obliged to guard. Christianity is, after all, no more a shelter from moral responsibility than is atheism; indeed, Christians must take it upon themselves to be doubly vigilant to avoid doing evil.

 

Herein lies the most obvious moral danger of religious faith. In taking themselves to be guided by divinely ordained commandments, theists may be tempted to relax the rigor with which they scrutinize their actions, and are thus capable of the most unspeakable atrocities. That is, secure in the faith that God wills a certain course of action, they may be prepared to disregard any suggestion (even from their own consciences) that this may not in fact be the morally correct thing to do.

 

This is not to say that God may on occasion will us to do immoral things, but rather that we may, as fallible humans, sometimes be misled about exactly what it is that God expects of us. Unfortunately, it is also often a tenet of faith that to question God is itself an immoral act, and so it can become especially difficult to correct a moral error once it has been made on these grounds. This is because the difference between questioning a command of God and questioning one's own understanding of that command is a subtle one, not at all easily recognized, and harder yet when any doubt is seen as weakness of faith and therefore sinful in itself.

 

http://www.incentre.net/tcantine/epistle.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:Doh: C'mon now. You gotta think like a good fundy. Let's say God had made the bible to be without a single contradiction, with clearcut directions and provided tons of historically provable facts backing it up.

 

It wouldn't take faith then, would it??

 

God INTENTIONALLY created a bible which was full of obscure passages, inconsistent theological concepts, and events that even a child has a hard time swallowing. Then he made damn sure that there were no contemporary extrabiblical records of Jesus.

 

He wanted to make double sure that only people of faith made it to heaven. Without faith, it's impossible to please God.

 

 

 

You see, he only wants people in Heaven who are willing to spend all eternity saying OUR GOD IS GREAT, and singing "how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me".......

 

If some of us normal maroons got up there, we'd probably devise a plot to cut off one the legs on his throne, just for a laugh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.