Validity of the Bible

Muslims obviously believe the Qu’ran is the word of God. Why? Because it says it in the book!

As Sam Harris reasons, Christians can obviously see the logical fallacy of such an argument for the validity of the text; however, it seems they fail to use the same reasoning when it is applied to the Bible.

My question for the Christians are why they view the Bible as a holy text. It obviously contains contradictions, it obviously contains flaws, and it’s obviously not historically accurate.

What are your personal reasons for thinking the Bible is the word of God? More importantly, would proving your reasoning wrong be impossible? If not, what evidence would you require to believe conclusively the Bible is no holier than the Qu’ran?

Just curious.

everyone thinks their religion and book is right. in reality they are all wrong except one (the actual right one) if thats any at all.

for the record, i don’t have a book…or a religion.

Spiral, enough of your apostasy! :stuck_out_tongue:

To the public, about Semetic law:

Let’s not be too quick about this issue.

One of the older customs was to give most of your resources to your first-born-son, in those days. Just now, after various medical studies, etc. It is shown that first-borns have a longer average life-span, and are more genetically fit. Also, children born after the first have higher chances of being born with homosexual instincts.

Genes seem to be more “correct” the first time around.

Jews had various sanitation laws that most other nations didn’t really have, and this is another example of one of “Gods laws” that was basically ahead of its time, because sanitation was only discovered/invented far later in history.

I know that it’s harsh to gun down sexual deviators, compared to modern liberalist morality, but, it’s also harsh that Panda mothers abandon one of their cubs, selecting the stronger, etc.

In nature, allot of “cruel” things are done, in some species, just to keep the gene-pool more “fit”.

Getting gunned down for “worshipping” an idol is pretty fascist, though. And we see that bible law now as something which is basically worse than the slave-trade and child-labor, when you think about it…

Old laws are different than new laws.
Which would you think would do better in a nation?

If ya like really strict Semetic laws, ya could move down to the middle east, and between all of the prayers and beheadings, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re after…

Maybe you should chang this to read why do some Christians beleive…

I consider my self Christian, but I don’t believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, nor do I believe that any of the Old Testament has any real value. The New Testament however is pretty accurate in as much as it can be considering the flawed languages we humans use to communicate. As far as I know there are no contradictions in the NT, at least none that I can think of right off hand, the OT however is full of contradictions and misinterpretations or out right lies concerning God’s personality.

Again, books are not the source of knowledge, so who really cares? My question to you is why are you so fixated on religion, why do you care?

Well, it’s part of what being Christian means. I might ask why you view oxygen as a suitable component of your life support?

I think you’re trying to rationalize faith like many athiests, and it wont really take you anywhere. I don’t think the bible is the word of God, I believe that it is the word of God. Do you see a difference?

I did not become a Christian through reasoning and I doubt I’ll remain a Christian via reasoning. So I don’t see that there is anything to be “proved wrong”. If you’re asking whether finding a contradiction or “mistake” in the bible would shake my faith in the bible as the inspired word of God then the answer would be “no”.

That’s a sily question. How much faith do you think you’d require to believe conclusively in Christ?


I’ve never thought Muslims were that dumb, and you shouldn’t either. Think about it. Can’t religious people string sentences together? Don’t they manage to get their shoes tied and put on the right feet? Doesn’t it seem a little suspicious to you adults would believe a book was the inerrent word of God just because it happens to say so IN that book?

Maybe there’s more to it.

I certainly don’t believe those with faith based beliefs are dumb, and you shouldn’t either.

This is simply one argument out of many, and this thread is meant for those who are Christian to discuss other arguments. I don’t see any arguments wedged between your sarcasm, so perhaps your next post will be an addition to the discussion.

I don’t, please elaborate.

Please see sig for quote by Robert Ingersoll.

I have 3 comments about the quote.

On the one hand there is an aspect to it that is as silly as your question, since it assumes that there will be evidence that will lead to faith. This seems roughly similar to showing up at a store and “demanding” and “begging” for a Big Mac. But if you happen to be in store that sells hot tubs and spa equipment, then I’d hazard a guess that it ain’t gonna happen, no matter how much you implore.

On the other hand I liked the comment that our miracles are “too old”. I think this is a valid complaint. If your local Christian church does not appear to be changing lives today through contact with the God of the universe, and the Christians you see around you do not seem to be any more loving than the average person, then I think it only right that you should question whether the God of the universe is actually present in the church, or their lives.

Lastly, and most crucially, I think you need to increase the font size. :slight_smile:

Contradictions? Flaws? Not historically accurate? What?

This seems to me a contradiction. You’re arguing that you didn’t arrive at a conclusion via thinking, but rather you made a conscious choice. Perhaps I’m incorrect in assuming making a conscious choice involves thinking.

Very roughly, please explain how this metaphor is relevant.

To the extent that I recognized a need that I hadn’t previously recognized, then I admit that my choice was not completely brainless. But I didn’t sit down and sort through evidence and then decide on the best course of action. Indeed I would argue that anyone who tries to do so will rarely be excited by Christianity since the bible explicitly states that the message of the gospel is a “foolish” message. I had this discussion here before with Xunzian. Sorry if I’m repeating myself, I can’t remember if you were around.

1Corinthians 1
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

No doubt, people come to Christ on occasion after thinking things through deeply, but I suspect that the process is much more visceral for most , I know it was for me. Indeed, if God intended to reveal himself to mankind I think it would be completely unfair to do so in a manner that required much logic or reasoning to comprehend, since this would give unfiar advantage to those with greater mental capacity. The foolishness of the gospel message is part of it’s appeal. It can be understood in exactly the same manner by the nobel prize winner and the guy who washes his car who never finished high school. I’ve argued here before that greater intelligence is an impediment to comprehansion of spiritual matters, and that’s exactly what I think. If that sounds silly to a hyper-rationalist then I make no apology.

Your signature demands evidence from religious people with regard to faith. They will never be able to provide it. But this does not mean that their beliefs are incorrect, it simply means that your question displays a misunderstanding about the nature of faith.

And I think this is exactly what concerns me, and I’m sure other atheists, about religion, or at least the Abrahamic religions. You see, this is not unique to Christianity. There are other religions, and even other sects of CHristianity, where the evidence is presented just as factually. The people don’t sit down and sort through evidence, they simply believe what is taught, only they were taught that by killing other human beings, they and their family will be promised heaven, and seventy-two virgins.

I’m sure you would agree that in these cases, it is best to sit down and sort through evidence. But as long as people agree it is acceptable to believe things because of how they feel or what they are taught, without needing any factual evidence, and you’re even considered rude for singling out a certain group or religion and saying those beliefs aren’t acceptable, why should anybody be motivated to change?

Consider the following: most people who are born in a Christian nation end up being Christians, expecially if their parents taught them these beliefs at a young age as fact. At such an age, there is no way for a child to use reason and logic to determine whether what they’re being told is true, or fully understand what is being told to them. The evolutionary reasons for doing so are obvious: it wouldn’t be good for survival if you didn’t believe your parents when they told you NOT to run across the street, or NOT to jump in the water, or NOT to touch the hot stove. When they say things, you believe them. Humans would have a tough time otherwise.

If you had been born in India, most likely you would be Hindu. If you were born in Afghanistan, you would most likely be Muslim. The reasons for this assumption are obvious: most people raised in Afghanistan, surrounded by Islam being presented as fact, and not sorting the logical evidence, just assume Islam is true. And so it is with Hindus, and Buddhistst, etc. etc. Is this coincidence, or is it safe to assume that people believe what they’re taught from a young age, whether it’s true or not? It will automatically seem more true to them than anything else, and if they ever hear another theory or notion that differs from theirs, it will automatically seem less rational or logical to them, regardless of the content of the theory.

This isn’t some wild notion, it’s just human psychology. It’s confirmational bias. We all have biases, biases that will make beliefs that conflict with our own seem less likely, no matter what the opposing belief is. This isn’t just a religion related habit, it applies to all beliefs we hold about our reality.

I’m confident I understand the nature of faith, as I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness. One can certainly say whatever they’d like about their beliefs, but the strength of their faith is undeniable. What I don’t understand is how a world somewhat raised to believe reason and science can hold strongly conflicting beliefs simultaneously. If fascinating, to say the least.

I understand that the sole book that teaches Christianity, the Bible, has written in it that it is the word of God, and anybody who doesn’t think so is a fool. But if somebody doesn’t believe Christianity in the first place, and your job is to convince them that it’s the truth, this isn’t a very strong argument.

The concepts taught in the new testament are obviously a moral step-up from the old testament, but that wouldn’t suffice as evidence of divine intervention. There are many philosophers who talked about the golden rule and morality at length and came to the same conclusions as the moral philosophy new testament. It was just an enlightenment of the times. And since that time, we still are make moral advances, some of which conflict with what is said in the Bible.

I really must stress that I agree with Harris in that people with religious beliefs aren’t stupid, which is the scary part, because somebody with the mentality of the 9/11 terrorists could be capable of making a nuclear weapon or weapons, and an unstoppable plan to utilize them.

Matthew and Luke give two contradictory genealogies for Joseph (Matthew 1:2-17 and Luke 3:23-38. (If you are going to defend saying one is Joesph’s and the other one is Mary’s, please read the passages before doing so).

A simple google search will tell you how many contradictions are there in New Testament.

Saying there are no contradictions in the Bible is complete denial.

A simple google search can clear it up. Saying there are contradictions in the bible is complete arrogance without much study, it’s best if you let theologians take care of it, people who have read and taken the time to understand the bible. If this doesn’t suit you I can also get my uncle to Answer it in easier terms, or you can look him up if you want and email him yourself about all your other questions (Ken Keathley).

Please define reason D0rky.


First off… I want to note that you used a dictionary definition.

You repeatedly use the word reason, but when I ask you to define it, you look it up in a dictionary and the paste ALL the definitions it offers.

Granted, you did bold a special few, which I’ve quoted here. However, youo do realize that in all your posts you use reason as a noun, and here you’re giving me a verb definition.

Definition 8. explains why you usually say “reason and logic” instead of just reason.

  1. Facts OR premise. This supports one’s ability to reason according to the premises of a religion (regardless of whether or not it canbe contradicted by scientific facts).

  2. Defines to reason as to find reasons for determining how they will believe or act. One acting a certain way because he interprets the bible as telling him to fits under this.

  3. To think LOGICALLY. Here we are, back to the word logic. We’ll continue with logic after I go through all the definitions you provided.

  4. To conclude… same definition as 9. To conclude based off what one already “knows” to be true.

  5. To convince or persuade (another person). “Reason with him, get him to osee your side of the story.” This definition doesn’t actually define, it merely relates to using reason with another person.

  6. Too support with reasons… this is a practical definition. What reasons does someone have to act a certain way, or believe a certain way.

These definitions of reasoning don’t exclude a religious person arguing in support of their beliefs based off of their beliefs. They have their own A inferences which bring them to a conclusion B.

I’m going to assume that you definition of reason contains the idea of “logic.” Correct me if I’m wrong. I just assume this because you always say “reason and logic” and many definitions for “reason” are something similar to “using logic.”

Since you used a dictionary for defining reason, I doubt you’ll mind me doing the same for logic.

Let’s just focus on the first two. The third and fourth define logic according to reason, putting us in a circle, and five and six do not apply to what we’re discussing.

The first definition describes philosophical argument on how one should argue, and the second a particular method of reasoning (another circle) OR argument.

Do we agree that these first two definitions roughly describe your personal defintion of logic?

They both describe how you feel one should argue to come up with reliable conclusions.

So reasoning AND logic (we can agree that they essentially mean the same thing for you) refer to the steps one should take in coming to reliable conclusions.

One cannot be “logical” or “reasonable” without taking these steps into consideration for the development of their beliefs and the decision on how to act.

But this definition isn’t complete without an opinion on the method, the steps to be taken, to come up with a reliable conclusion.

So when you say that you are on a crusade for the use of reason/logic, you are ACTUALLY saying a crusade for scientific method (how scientific method defines reason/logic).

This is where things become a mess.

The scientific method provides the ultimate use of reasoning when it comes to examining the observable, the measurable, and the falsifiable, but it fails miserably when one takes the scientific method form of reasoning, and then appraoches subjects that are outside the scientific method’s realm of influence.

Of course God is a completely illogical idea when it conflicts with the basic method of science. You cannot observe God, you cannot falsify him.

The first thing you have to understand in argument is another person’s definitions.

I made this post mainly because, from a philosophical standpoint, you often fail to use sound logic–you make a lot of wild claims and infereces that you haven’t supported.

I recommend you check out Obw’s “Beginners guide to logic” thread, at the top of the philosophy forum.

There’s a difference between being trained in science and being trained in argument.

Many of those who trust in Jesus do not do that.

I realize that Dorkydood wants to pursue this line of inquiry to an atheistic conclusion, because that’s his agenda, but if we forget about that for a moment it remains a legitimate question. And what I want to point out here is not that belief in God isn’t logical, but that the connection between that belief, or trust in Jesus, and belief in Biblical divine inspiration and inerrancy is not a rational one.

Let us accept as given that you made a conscious choice to put your trust in Jesus. Why you did so is irrelevant here. What is a relevant question, though, is why, having done so, you then made the further choice to regard the Bible as inspired and inerrant, which in no way follows logically from the first choice. What you said above implies that you did this merely because others did it. Is that correct, or have I misunderstood you?