I have had many incidences in which the text of the bible confirmed what I experience. That does not occur with all scripture.
In what way are you at all qualified to judge or determine that your interpretations of your subjective personal experiences are in fact
confirmations of the things you already believed in the bible (i.e. - since it seems you already are vested in this belief and are looking to confirm it)? Wayne, this is another case where you are not telling us the whole truth. Jeff (and myself) are asking you HOW exactly you know these authors are reliable, and all you've done is point to things that have come AFTER your presupposition regarding the bible. These "incidences" you claim to have experienced (which are based in your INTERPRETATION of the facts - based in your assumptions about your religion) are post facto. That is, you already believed
BEFORE those things took place. So how can you claim that these are honest answers about HOW you know these things are true when you are clearly slanted toward confirmation (i.e. - you assumed the bible from the outset)?
Again, you STARTED with your conclusion instead of doing honest investigation. You already admitted earlier that these "incidences" are being FILTERED through your bias. Isn't that backwards Wayne? Shouldn't you have started with "I don't know", and then went about doing an honest, disinterested, critical investigation?
If it was ever proven to me that there were erroneous parts of the bible as we know it, I would have to wheigh whether any of the proven false portions changed anything in my knowledge, but I rather doubt that anything will be proven to reverse that which I have affirmed from my own spiritual affirmations.
Oh the irony!
Notice how you have just contradicted yourself. First you say, "If it were ever proven to me..."
but then you go about setting up a wall which is impossible to surmount (i.e. - rendering your position unfalsifiable). It's like saying, "If you could ever prove me wrong I might change my mind, but it's impossible to prove me wrong"
or "Prove it to me but you can't prove it to me."
This is intellectual dishonesty. It demonstrates that you are NOT open to any new ideas (i.e. - that you have closed your mind to reason and counter-evidence that is inconvenient to your worldview) and that you really, truly, DO NOT care about truth and whether or not your beliefs are actually true. You're just looking for comfort in what your parents raised you to believe.
The bible mentions a unicorn. I think that is a mistranslation. It doesn't cause me to through the whole book out and for only one very important reason. My faith is spiritually affirmed. I can guarantee you that the Spirit of God breaths life into scripture in every case that the affirmations have come directly to me.
Wayne, this false "guarantee" doesn't have any meaning because you've already exposed yourself as someone who is not even in the slightest bit open to the possibility that he could be mistaken (i.e. - you have closed yourself off from good reasoning, critical thinking, and sound evidence). How can you demonstrate this "guarantee" when you've already shown that you are willing to just SPIN (and rationalize) the bible in whichever direction that fits your presuppositions about it?
If mistakes have been made in transcripton, my faith is not in the book, the letters, the ink, the paper, or even the text that very well could be misleading and even totally misunderstood by me. My faith is in the spirit that guides me personally to those parts of the scripture that are meant for me. so it is faith and it is spiritually discerned. I'm not throwing the baby out because of some tainted bathwater. I am not a bible scholar. My faith does not require that of me. God is a spirit, and they who wourshop, worship in spirit and in truth, not in the letter.
This is more circular reasoning Wayne, and it's really surprising that you can't see your irrational thinking. Without the PRESUMPTION of the bible you wouldn't even have the idea
of faith in Jesus, the "holy spirit", or any of it. When you say "the spirit that guides me"
you are assuming
the bible (i.e. - what it is you need to prove).
But you can't assume your position, you need to demonstrate it. That is how honest investigation works.
Just accepting the claims that an old book makes, because your parents taught it to you at an impressionable age, and then going about the world trying to fit every piece of data into that presumption is simply dishonest. It's quite backwards and should be abandoned as absurd and useless for determining fact from fiction.
The god I worship can spiritually guide me through all the possibilities of error in what has been presented me over a lifetime by his very direct and personal leading. I can even survive being wrong about some parts of it because God is not requiring perfect understanding, just perfect trust. It would be idolotrous to even trust in my understanding, someone elses understanding or in a not always perfectly accurate text. I am not an idolater.
But this is more circular reasoning. You have to assume there is this "God" who "guides" you. You have to assume Proverbs 3:5 (the "lean not on your own understanding"
passage - assuming the bible). And you have to assume your interpretation (and your theology) on "idolatry" - as if there is such a thing. Again, you are not telling us the REAL reason why you are believing and defending this stuff in the first place (i.e. - because you assumed it from the outset and are now heavily emotionally invested - just like the other religions of the world). This is just erroneous thinking.
The parents and sunday school teachers taught me what they understood to be the truth and I absolutely trust the pureness of their intent and that spirit that guides all true believers. what little I did learn while I was young returned to me in marvelous affirmations of the love of God, so I was taught very well indeed.
There it is! You just trusted
them and then went about confirmation. First, pureness of intent is not a pathway to truth. Just b/c someone "intends" to tell you the truth doesn't mean they actually have it. So you JUST TRUSTED these people, but every person of every religion in the world does that. It's not a reliable pathway to discovering truth (especially about such a huge question as this).
Second, and again, these "affirmations" you claim to have had came about AFTER you already ASSUMED (and accepted) what these people told you. So you weren't/aren't going about investigating the facts honestly. You were/are practicing confirmation bias. You are actively TRYING to make all your experiences (some more odd than others) FIT into the assumption you made from your childhood. Muslims do the same thing. Again, it fails for both of you. It's not a reliable way of separating fact from fiction. If you disagree, then please answer. How can you claim that your method of separating fact from fiction is reliable while holding that other religions (such as Islam) are not (when they are using the same reasoning processes you are - just believe and go try to prove)??
Wayne, if you are actually honest with yourself, and others, you will have to admit that faith is not a reliable pathway to distinguishing fact from fiction.
I'm going to leave you with my previous response along with my well thought out answer to the confirmation bias issue. You may not have gotten to see it because of a moderator mixup or a deletion. Please take the time and read it and let me know if it helps answer your questions. I may have skipped over screwtapes last set of comments to answer so I apologise. I'll respond when I have time. Thanks for the questions, they're good ones. The link to Confirmation bias HELL follows: http://tinyurl.com/BiasHell
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