Religion As A Logic Puzzle

Here is a logic puzzle. You are walking down a road to a town. You come to a fork in the road. Standing there are two men. You already know that one of them always lies and one of them always tells the truth. What one question can you ask one of them that will give you the information you need to choose the right road?

The answer is "which road would he tell me to take?" and when you find out, you go the other way. Now lets add three more liars for a total of four liars and one truthful. At this point, it becomes unsolvable. How can you determine who is telling the truth and who is not?

Now Imagine we replace the town with Heaven, and replace the men with a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim and add a road for each. How can you determine who is telling the truth and who is not? All you can do is just pick a direction and go. That doesn't seem like something that was set up by the supreme intellect in the universe. That strategy violates the principle of minimizing as much uncertainty as possible to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. That is a strategy that wasn't thought out very well.

63 comments:

stevec said...

The analogy falls short in a few ways. One way it falls short is that the restriction that you may only ask one question is completely artificial.

What if you may ask as many questions as you want? Is the problem still unsolvable?

Another way it falls short is that, in the case of religion, you don't actually know that one guy always tells the truth and the other guys always lie. That may be mappable to a *claim* that some religions might make, but it's not something which is known. And I doubt any religions actually make such a claim. I would think that, say the Christian nemesis, the Devil, or whatever would tell lies when it suited his purpose, and tell the truth when it suited his purpose.

Might be an interesting logic puzzle, but I don't think it maps well enough to religion to be worth trying to so map it.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi stevec
The analogy falls short in a few ways. One way it falls short is that the restriction that you may only ask one question is completely artificial. What if you may ask as many questions as you want? Is the problem still unsolvable?.....
Its still unsolvable. Your whole comment depends on the presumption that there is some way to verify what they say. How are going to verify what any of them say is true?

MH said...

As stated you can solve it with 1 question per guy.

Pick a road, ask each if thats the way you should go. The truth teller is the only one that will be different, act on that answer.

Im thinking there should be a more clever way to do it though.

MH said...

Yeah, you can do it in 3 questions, no matter how many liars there are (assuming 1 truth teller).

Ask 2 people is Road X is the right way. If their answer is the same, they are liars and you should do the opposite of what they say. If their answer is different, you have one of each, you have to ask 1 more person to determine which is the liar.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Stevec is correct but there are more reasons why this is a silly logical puzzle...

Firstly, your analogy assumes that one cannot test the claims of each revelation or rather test the claims of religion, something that can be done. Claims of Christianity are in space and time or if you like history. They can be understood, compared and tested. Something we have blogged about previously.

Secondly your logic assumes that not only is there no way of testing each strand of revelation you are assuming that each strand present itself within a vacuum. This is not the case either. The Hindu, Christian and Jew etc.. should be walking on the roads offered. Therefore not only should the claims be tested but the various paths demonstrated.

Both premises need adjusting if this is to be taken seriously.

Rich said...

Hi Rev Brown & Steve,

Lets just put your criticism into practice here. What you're saying is that we can easily tell which religion is telling the truth, based on it's history, right? So to someone like Lee, this is an easily tested method of determining who is telling him the correct "path" to follow. Also Lee, looking from the outside of religion in, sees that there is either one true religion or none. And he is on the side of none just to be clear. But according to Rev Brown, if he would just look at space and time, history, the choice of the true religion should become apparently clear, or did I misunderstand you? That being the case you should be able to demonstrate for us which religion is on the right path to heaven.

It must not be so easy to do because there are plenty of options to choose from in Christianity alone, without even adding in other religions. Since they all teach different contradicting things, and God is all about truth, all sects of Christianity can't be right. So please help a brother out, I'd like to know for sure that I'm on the right path.

Lee Randolph said...

mh,
if in the case they are just liars without religion, then if they lie and never give you the same answer or if they all pick different answers at random, then you're never going to figure it out. Try putting it in a matrix, you need to write a program.

if they are religious and not liars, then they are all going to tell you what they believe and you are never going to know the truth because four of them are deluded.

Lee Randolph said...

thanks rich,
and if you are 'rich the believer' that I know and love,
never would have expected that in this context, you would come to my defense!

BahramtheRed said...

I'm sorry but I also think this is a very bad analogy.

There is no way to verify that anyone is correct and still be able to chose another path (IE you die and then find out).

There is no way to disprove any are correst.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rev.
Firstly, your analogy assumes that one cannot test the claims of each revelation or rather test the claims of religion, something that can be done. Claims of Christianity are in space and time or if you like history
no it doesn't, thats exactly what I'm talking about.
how do I test thee, let me count the ways....
- Adam in history? fails
- founder population from only two? fails
- global flood? fails
- founder population from about eight? fails.
- one global language? fails
- exodus? unless you want to scale it wayyyyyyy back to like 60, fails,
- temple of solomon? fails
- Davids KINGDOM? unless you want to scale it wayyyyyyy back to a hill tribe, fails
- power of prayer? fails, unless you want to give it the same average as chance, then you might as well call it chance
- I could go on, but you get the idea

Secondly your logic assumes that not only is there no way of testing each strand of revelation you are assuming that each strand present itself within a vacuum. This is not the case either. The Hindu, Christian and Jew etc.. should be walking on the roads offered. Therefore not only should the claims be tested but the various paths demonstrated.
are all paths valid? how much time should a person spend on each path to find the 'right' one? what if they don't live long enough? what if god is up to his old capricious tricks and defies giving up the evidence and insists on 'faith alone'?

Faith alone, thats what I expected the average answer to be.

I even said as much in the article
All you can do is just pick a direction and go.

Lee Randolph said...

bahram,
thats the point. you can't figure out what the right one is. It accurately reflects the state of the world does it not? If god really wants people to choose him, then, once again, he's picked a bronze age, uh, I mean poor strategy.

I thought you'd be happy that I wrote about something else this week.

Shaded Spriter said...

Of course there is some theists who think that the answer doesn't matter because "all roads lead to Rome"

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

I would approach and say, "Show me someone who believed what you said".

franklin.d.ross said...

The four people and four roads problem is easily solvable. Just say in a loud voice so all four can hear "Did you know that they are giving away free beer in town?" And then watch which road all four take.

Charlie said...

This is utterly disanalogous to religion. Thanks for usless post, Lee.

RichD said...

Hi Lee,
thanks rich,
and if you are 'rich the believer' that I know and love,
never would have expected that in this context, you would come to my defense!


Ahh, the unexpected. But that is what makes me,, uh well..., me;)
I actually ask people this all the time, well not exactly this, but similar questions. I don't think God established all the different religions. I think it is an attempt of people trying to best understand scriptures. I have been trying to find a good explination of the Plan of Salvation from the Evangelist camp. part of that seems to be picking yourself a church that uses the bible as the ultimate authority, then attend and study. So even though you're studying the bible, and most likely harder than most believers, since you don't use it as the ultimate authority, you're headed for the pit of despair. I guess no one has a good answer for you yet.
(The blogger formerly known as rich)

BahramtheRed said...

Lee, I'm glad for something new but if your looking for a mindless sycophrant to parrot your points boy have you got the wrong guy.

I agree with your point, disagree with your analogy. I think it fails the laugh test.

Craig Duckett said...

The Analogy of the Black Box

Imagine that a black box is discovered, a one-foot square cube that has no detectable seams along any of its edges and no apparent way to look inside. The source of the box is a complete mystery and what it may contain even more mysterious.

In order to learn more about the box—and what it might possibly contain—it is taken to the local University and examined by a team of scientists. To their dismay, the scientists quickly learn the box is completely impervious to scientific analysis. Nothing, it seems, can penetrate its surfaces, neither x-rays nor fluoroscopy nor sonograms. They bombard it with radioactive scans to see if they might get a shadowy profile of whatever the box might contain, but this too proves futile. More scientists are called in from around the world, and even though they spend a million man-hours and utilize every technological advance at their disposal, no one can crack the box. Even with all their effort, they are unable to say whether the box even contains anything at all or if it is solid all the way through. They agree the only thing they can say about the 'thing' inside the box—if there is a 'thing' at all—is that it is completely and utterly unknowable.

Every few years, as technology advances, a new team of scientists make an attempt at looking inside the box, but they too must eventually admit defeat. No one, they conclude, can know whatever's inside the box. Any suggestion as to what might be inside the box is purely speculative and without any basis in reality.

A few more years pass, and suddenly there is a flurry of activity. Five different people come forward all claiming to 'know' what's inside the box. Since none of them came by this information scientifically or empirically—no one used their five senses or any tools to determine the contents of the box—the scientific community immediately considers these claims delusive and impossible, although the rest of the world decides to wait and see.

At a press conference, the first claimant explains he had a dream and in his dream the 'thing inside the box' revealed itself to him. He describes the thing as a glowing red sphere with a thousand eyes that can see into the past, present, and future simultaneously. The thing, he explains, is well-disposed and compassionate and wants only to award 'universal knowledge' to all those willing to surrender themselves to it.

At another press conference, the second claimant calls the first claimant's assertions the "despicable words of Satan" because she has the "real" answer as to what the box contains. As proof she holds up an English translation of a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy of an ancient manuscript that no one knows who really wrote. Using this book, she turns to several chapters and verses that seem to describe the attributes of something living inside a box. When pressed by reporters as to why she can trust the veracity of this ancient manuscript, she quotes directly from the manuscript as her proof: "You have no need to doubt the words of this book because these words are all perfect, true, and good." When a reporter complains that this is just circular reasoning and not really proof at all, she quotes from the book finding verses that berate the "foolish wisdom of this world." According to her book, an ancient tribe was in daily communication with the 'thing inside the box'—a pyramid-shaped creature with three eyes all working in unison. Using human 'prophets' as its mouthpieces, the 'thing inside the box' was able to make known all the rules and regulations it required of this tribe. She has no reason to doubt anything these 'prophets' said because, as her book goes on to explain, they were all "inspired by Spirit of the Lord."

Halfway around the world, a third claimant holds his own press conference. He too has a copy of an ancient manuscript that he consults to determine the nature of the 'thing is inside the box', although his book is completely different book than what the second claimant is using. Like her, he too can quote from his book to 'prove' his book's validity and veracity, thereby contending that only the words inside his book are "perfect, true, and good." In fact, by selectively quoting from his book, he is able to argue that the 'thing inside the box' demands that all those who don't recognize his book as the ultimate authority are proving themselves nothing less than demons in disguise and therefore candidates for bloody annihilation. "The thing inside the box," he explains, "is a donut-shaped eye composed entirely of gold, as the blessed Prophet has revealed." It seems this third claimant's book was composed by a lone prophet who is said to have had divine communication with the 'thing inside the box'.

Not far from where the third claimant was holding his press conference, a fourth claimant was going from city to city spreading the "good news" of his conversion. It seems he was walking to work one day when the 'thing inside the box' temporarily blinded him and began speaking directly to him in a voice only he could understand. With the thing's voice thundering inside his head, this fourth claimant not only learned the nature of the 'thing inside the box' but was also taught the requirements it expected of all mankind. The fourth claimant didn't have to talk to anybody to discover this, or read anything, or do any other type of research, because the voice of the 'thing inside the box' was by itself telling him everything he needed to know. According to the fourth claimant, the 'thing inside the box' is perfect and just, composed entirely of love, and wants nothing more than to love and protect all of mankind forever—but only if mankind loves it first. If mankind doesn't love first then all bets are off—the 'thing inside the box' will torture the loveless unbelievers for all eternity. "Such," beamed the fourth claimant, choking with tears, "is the power of the thing's righteous love!"

A fifth claimant had very little to say about the 'thing inside the box' except that it wasn't an entity at all but actually a portal to another universe. "That's what caused the Big Bang," she explained. "Someone in the previous universe finally got the damn box open and everything sucked right into it starting the whole shebang all over again. It's a cyclical black hole, man, folding inward on itself. Eternal recurrence. Every few billion years or so someone figures out how to open the box and whooooosh, we start all over again! " When asked if she had any proof of this, the fifth claimant used a lot of scientific double-talk and metaphysical mumbo-jumbo then produced charts and graphics and reams of mathematical equations before admitting she had no 'real' proof at all. "But what else could it be? I mean, think about it? It makes perfect sense!"

In time, more and more claimants came forward, each fleshing out the nature and attributes and character of the 'thing inside the box'. Pretty soon there were thousands of claimaints each offering a different version. Like the first five, none of these claimants had any proof of what was actually inside the box, because no one had ever opened the box. It couldn't be opened. No one could know what was inside. Everything any of them claimed or quoted or argued—whether taken from dreams and visions or books and theories—was never based on anything inside the box, on anything real, on anything proven or touched or measured or observed.

In short, anything that anybody said concerning the nature and attributes or like and dislikes or rules and regulations of the 'thing inside the box' was pure and total nonsense. It was all made up. Unless one could actually examine the 'thing inside the box' any words used to describe it would remain complete fabrications. In which case, such talk is meaningless. The words are meaningless. They are not based on anything knowable.

I repeat —

When it comes to describing the nature and attributes and character of that which cannot been known, the words used to make these descriptions are by necessity empty and meaningless. Why? Because they are nothing more than words pointing back-and-forth to abstract words.

And words pointing back-and-forth to abstract words do not a reality make.

So now's as good a time as any to ask the question —

Without relying on words, what do you really know?

What do you really know about God?
What do you really know about the Soul?
What do you really know about Death?

Charlie said...

Is this build-a-stupid-analogy-for-atheism week or something?

The black box thing is utterly disanalogous and grossly oversimplifies the complexities of theistic or deistic belief. (Not to mention, in the real world, many scientists and philosophers do believe in a God of some sort, and their reasons don't involve anything like the analogy.) Craig doesn't get out much, it seems.

On top of it all, he decides to refute himself:

"When it comes to describing the nature and attributes and character of that which cannot been known,"

Really? So would you describe this being as something which can't be known?

the words used to make these descriptions are by necessity empty and meaningless. Why? Because they are nothing more than words pointing back-and-forth to abstract words.

And words pointing back-and-forth to abstract words do not a reality make."


Then your words are "empty and meaningless" by your own standards. Don't try to drag everybody else down into your arbitrary, bizarre, and incoherent restrictions on language -- especially when they're not argued for.

Toby said...

Craig,

I loved the analogy. And in my opinion, it did what an analogy should, it simplified a complex subject so that we could better understand the situation we find ourselves in. It was very thought provoking.

Ps Your photo looks a bit like Daniel Jackson of the original Star Gate movie!

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Hey Lee,

Wow so many posts keep it up.

You said,
no it doesn't, thats exactly what I'm talking about.
how do I test thee, let me count the ways....
- Adam in history? fails, Actually I disagree. It depends if you read Genesis in a literalistic manner or not, something I think the author of Genesis means not to.

(further Please see my blog http://christianityversusatheism.blogspot.com/ on how should atheists and Christians are to take the Genesis account)

There is also a great Australian web site Centre for Public Christianity which has more on the topic in line with what I am trying to say.

See http://www.publicchristianity.org/

- founder population from only two? fails

Again see my blog entry on this

- global flood? fails

I will blog about this soon again if you are interested.

- founder population from about eight? fails.

As above

- one global language? fails

Sam as above

- exodus? unless you want to scale it wayyyyyyy back to like 60, fails,

I'm have not heard this before, could you blog on this for me????

- temple of solomon? fails

Sorry also this?

- Davids KINGDOM? unless you want to scale it wayyyyyyy back to a hill tribe, fails

And this one, Sorry Lee making heaps of work for you, maybe just give me the gist?

- power of prayer? fails, unless you want to give it the same average as chance, then you might as well call it chance

I'll blog on this one also for you. I have prepared some responses for a meeting to speak about J. Stenger and his book.

- I could go on, but you get the idea

I do Lee.

Lets talk about these ones.

Regards, Rev Phil.

Rachel said...

Toby,

Daniel Jackson of the original Star Gate movie

Just curious, you ever see the series?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Craig,
I liked your analogy too,
thanks for the help!

Lee Randolph said...

Hi bahram,
if your looking for a mindless sycophant to parrot your points boy have you got the wrong guy.
where did that come from? Whats behind that?

Lee Randolph said...

franklin solved the puzzle!

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Charlie,
many scientists and philosophers do believe in a God of some sort,
got any numbers to go with that?
Nature did a study (google it, or look for it referenced on this site), and as far as I know the study is still going on to show that of the scientists that responded more than 75% did not believe in a god.

Then your words are "empty and meaningless" by your own standards.
whats so meaningless about, "unless you have experience with what is in the box, you can't know what it is"
and please don't equivocate the meaning of experience.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rev,
everything I said can be easily found in university text books (probably can be found cheap at a used book store) in the disciplines they represent.

If you want to say, "we don't have enough evidence, or we just haven't found them yet...."
fine,
but I've done my homework and more, I would appreciate if you would do yours instead of just nay-saying. if you want me to go chase info down, I've already done it from reputable sources, mainly university courses and textbooks and scientific papers available on the net in the "Geek Section" of the internet. Throw me a bone with a sentence describing what it is I'm looking for, like for example,
"founder population from two or eight, new evidence yada, yada.." or just simply "god did it".

other than that, you look like you are trying to use a strategy of distraction and dispersion, sending me on wild goose chases.

heres a list of all my posts, most of the research is referenced in here.

Logossfera said...

No matter the details of the imaginary puzzle the reality is this: there is one more road that no-one is watching/quarding, all those people guarding the other roads are telling that the unguarded road is definetely wrong and... they are all lying :)

Logossfera said...

@Reverend Phillip Brown

I always laugh when the supporters of revelation-based knowledge present recent explanations.

How much time should it pass from the time God revealed the Adam story to whoever wrote it before God reveals that it is a metaphoric story? 3-4, 10 generations would be enough don't you think? I mean if you really believe God is trying to reveal ALL OF US the truth, don't you think clarifications should come along for those that are a little hard headed?

When a revelation-based explanation is presented I only ask this: ok, now give me the source where this explanation is present at most 300 years after the original revelation.

Lee Randolph said...

logossfera,
ok, now give me the source where this explanation is present at most 300 years after the original revelation.

good point!

Craig Duckett said...

Charlie --

I'm a post-structuralist and ignostic which explains my "arbitrary, bizarre, and incoherent restrictions on language." Of course, as a post-structuralist and ignostic this means I see language as imposing arbitrary, bizarre, and incoherent restrictions on reality. Since I'm forced to utilize language in order to communicate in a medium that is both digital and virtual, this produces something of paradox when I call language "empty and meaningless." Of this I defer to a Zen koan by way of explanation: When you have a thorn stuck in your finger, you use a second thorn to remove it, and then when you're finished you throw both thorns away. Language is like these thorns...

Now, about analogies...

By definition, an analogy is imperfect. The whole notion behind teaching by analogy is to make or explain a point while keeping complications and distractions to a minimum, to clarify sometimes intangible ideas, to use something knowable to discuss things otherwise abstract or unknowable, and to simplify for the sake of understanding often broad or unwieldy topics through the use of comparison.

The Analogy of the Black Box is simple and basic. It seeks to compare the unknown contents of a seamless and impenetrable black box with the attributes often claimed for God. If it is impossible to ever look inside the box, if it is impervious to x-ray and other scientific analysis, then no one can truthfully describe the thing contained within, or if there is anything inside at all. Any claims made that do describe the box's inner contents are therefore complete and utter fabrications, products of the imagination, speculative or wishful-thinking, with no basis in reality.

The point here is that "God" is merely a word that is defined into existence by invoking other words. All religious language is meaningless because any words can be invoked to imply meaning. Why? Since there are no traits or attributes derived from anything tangible outside the use of words, religious traits and attributes are 'supplied' only by words themselves pointing back and forth to each other. This is a closed loop and inherently meaningless.

When someone makes the claim that "God is love" how did they come by this information? How were they able to determine this attribute? Where did they point? If they can only point to words to gather this information, then they can point to any words with the same degree of certainty. Saying "God is love" is as meaningful as saying "God is hate" since both phrases rely on words alone to determine what God is or is not. No matter what you say about God—or Heaven or Hell or Angels for that matter—you can't prove or disprove it because it all comes down to pointing back to words and language. All of it. This means you can say anything, absolutely anything at all to define God, because a word is a word is a word. If this is the case, if you can only point to words to determine religious traits and attributes, then religious language is ultimately meaningless. One word is as good as another. If you can't encounter God (or Heaven or Hell, etc) in the real world or outside the use of language constructs (religious terminology) then religious claims are inherently meaningless and illusory.

Since religion relies solely upon words (disconnected from our natural state and the real world) and because so many people embrace religion as an assumed matter of course, this reveals the extent by which the majority of people are under the spell of the world's illusions. And when I say 'world's illusions' what I really mean is serving words, believing that words are somehow more real and important than the life they're living right now.

Without words, without language, without religious books, religion is impossible. Religion is not a part of our natural state because religion by necessity requires words in order to exist.

Where would Judaism be without the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), Christianity be without the Old and New Testaments, Islam be without the Qur'an, Hinduism be without the Vedas, Buddhism be without the Sutras, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be without the Book of Mormon, and so on? For the most part, all these religious books are mutually exclusive and their respective adherents each think that 'their' religion is the one true religion. Why do they believe this? Because this is what they were told. Because of words. Outside of such words there is nothing to support the legitimacy of one religious book over another because the words themselves point to nothing in the real world that could possibly legitimize their proprietary supernatural language.

People embrace specific religious teachings solely because of things they were told and not because of anything in the real world. Choosing to adhere to a supernatural religious teaching that directly contradicts the real world indicates the extent by which believers are under the spell of illusion, the artifice of words. The real world needs no words, the natural state needs no words, but religions need words because without them they cannot exist. The supernatural only exists through the use of words and language.

If you want to know whether something is 'real' or not, here's a simple test: Whatever is claimed, can you know and experience it without words? If it can be experienced without words then it is real. If it requires words in order to be known, then it is not real. Of course, this applies as well to all other book learning, which is an indictment on what we think we know is 'real' both socially and culturally. As I said, I'm a post-structuralist and consider all language to be mere mental constructs, artificial, and abstract, a tool, yes, powerful and necessary in today's world, but not at all real.

Charlie said...

Craig,

I'm not wading through all of your incoherent "post-structuralist" nonsense above, especially given absurd remarks like this: "When you have a thorn stuck in your finger, you use a second thorn to remove it, and then when you're finished you throw both thorns away. Language is like these thorns..."

Clarity is a virtue, Craig. So is concision. Practice them.

Please.

Craig Duckett said...

Charlie --

As concise as I can make it:

'God' (like 'Heaven', 'Hell', 'Angel', etc) is only a word whose 'attributes' are defined into existence by invoking other words and not through any real experience. As such, since ANY words can be used to define 'God' and his/her/its attributes, any discussion of said attributes are arbitrary, imaginary, and meaningless.

Finally, I myself would never be so presumptuous to comment on a text I never actually read (slogging through Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Derrida is a case in point). I even took years of classes in Hebrew and Koine Greek so I could be better equipped to read and understand the claims of Old and New Testaments freed from the biases of proprietary church doctrine. That was a real eye-opener!

Pax et bonum,

Craig

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie said...

Craig,

'God' ... is only a word whose 'attributes' are defined into existence by invoking other words and not through any real experience.

First of all, this claim has not been supported and is therefore dogma.

Second, it's false on its own. We do not need to experience things to discuss them meaningfully in sentences. That's ridiculous for several reasons. A. Linguistic bits like copulas, for example, have never been experienced, yet we use them in meaningful communication. B. Many predicates of concrete entities have not been experienced, yet we can still speak meaningfully about them. C. Your arbitrary view would commit one to the existence of fictional entities. 'There are no unicorns' has a truth-value (namely, true) and is thus a meaningful sentence. But since on your view sentences are meaningful only if their referents have been experienced, this means we must have experienced unicorns -- which is silly. This is all assuming that nobody has experienced something divine; remember, you haven't actually argued for that claim.

Derrida

Eww.

BahramtheRed said...

Lee; sorry about the last post. Bad night at work and was more than a little mad. Snapped a bit, but I stand by the idea I'm not a yes man.

Craig; Just to play Devil's advocate- What if there was something in the box?

Without fully understanding the box their would be no way to disprove it. I know that's one of your points but I think your later post took it one step too far.

Lee Randolph said...

charlie,
where did you come up with the idea that there were no unicorns?

and I'm honoured you've got a blog debunking us. Are we really worth all that effort? I can feel my self esteem growing.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Hi Lee,

You said this.

Hi Rev,
everything I said can be easily found in university text books (probably can be found cheap at a used book store) in the disciplines they represent.

If you want to say, "we don't have enough evidence, or we just haven't found them yet...."
fine,
but I've done my homework and more, I would appreciate if you would do yours instead of just nay-saying. if you want me to go chase info down, I've already done it from reputable sources, mainly university courses and textbooks and scientific papers available on the net in the "Geek Section" of the internet. Throw me a bone with a sentence describing what it is I'm looking for, like for example,
"founder population from two or eight, new evidence yada, yada.." or just simply "god did it".

other than that, you look like you are trying to use a strategy of distraction and dispersion, sending me on wild goose chases.


Firstly, what puzzles me is that you said you have done your homework, yet on the one challenge you set me you either blatantly did not do your homework or were intellectually dishonest. And to quote you... Pick your poison.

What's more you set me the challenge and yet did not have dignity to respond or even acknowledge the post to your challenge. So forgive me if I do not take you at face value that you have done your homework because as yet this is not my experience of your posts to me personally.

Secondly, you say you have done your homework but as yet all I can gather is from this comment and your posts is that this is done in the biological, physical, archeological, material, chemical etc... field. Yet you appear to fail to do what you are accusing me of. You blog is devoted to debunking evangelical christianity yet distinguished biblical scholars like Conrad Hyers on the Genesis account are not consulted at all.

Let me quote...

"What we are given in the first two chapters of Genesis are two distinct accounts of creation, the first using language, imagery and concerns of the agricultural/urban tradition of Israel... This in turn helps us harmonize the two accounts of creation as well as harmonize both of them with modern scientific accounts of origin.

and...

The attempts to interpret these materials as literal, chronological accounts of origins runs into enormous difficulties internally well before modern scientific scenarios are introduced."

From Hyers, Conrad 2003, Comparing Biblical and Scientific Maps of origin. Perspectives on and Evolving Creation.

I find it interesting that a lot of time by you Lee is spent trying to disprove a literal Genesis account when a quick study in literary criticism by evangelical Christians arrives at an answer long before attacks by science does.

There is no strategy or dispersion or distraction here Lee, just nothing to answer from your alleged disproofs, which come from a misconception of what Genesis has said, therefore leaving it pointless to answer. Until we can agree on what the Bible says your disproofs are pointless.

Maybe you need to heed your own advice and do your homework on what critical intelligent Christians are saying about the Bible? This is a blog devoted to such debunking is it not. Science is great but there are scientific journals for such things...?

@Iogossfera..

logossfera said...
@Reverend Phillip Brown

I always laugh when the supporters of revelation-based knowledge present recent explanations.

How much time should it pass from the time God revealed the Adam story to whoever wrote it before God reveals that it is a metaphoric story? 3-4, 10 generations would be enough don't you think? I mean if you really believe God is trying to reveal ALL OF US the truth, don't you think clarifications should come along for those that are a little hard headed?

When a revelation-based explanation is presented I only ask this: ok, now give me the source where this explanation is present at most 300 years after the original revelation.

I'm not sure what you mean but in the Genesis story clearly the original readers could not have taken it literally because the two account are contrary to each other. Any reader will see that the same story told by the same author in a contrary manner is not meant to be literal.

And before you start asking why Christians have taken it literally, well I'm as baffled as you are?

Cheers, Rev Phil.

Logossfera said...

@Reverend Phillip Brown

If it is so clearly than you would have no problem presenting me with a papirus or something dating around 1000-1400 BC with the interpretation of such obviously metaphorical passage. You do believe god is trying to reveal and not conceil the truth, don't you?

PS: are you of the belief that Jesus really died for a metaphorical sin? If Adam and Eve story is metaphorical, then the original sin happened only in the world of imagination. So I would also like from you a piece of paper dating around 300 CE (I can go even to 1000 even though it would be utterly immoral for a Truth Revealer to be ca Truth Conceiler for 1000 years) where it states that Jesus died for a metaphorical original sin. Then we can start debating. :)

Lee Randolph said...

hi rev,
I'll answer you in a little while, please check back.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi charlie,
this is the second time you accused me of a 'useless' post. To me this implies that you are looking for some type of utility from them.

What is it you are looking for?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi logossfera,
BRAVO,
So I would also like from you a piece of paper dating around 300 CE (I can go even to 1000 even though it would be utterly immoral for a Truth Revealer to be ca Truth Conceiler for 1000 years) where it states that Jesus died for a metaphorical original sin. Then we can start debating. :)

Romans 5:12 (New International Version)
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—

Doesn't sound like paul thought it was metaphorical, and he engineered this human sacrifice reconciliation story.

Lee Randolph said...

HI Rev.
you either blatantly did not do your homework or were intellectually dishonest.
black and white, false dichotomy fallacy, you left out lazy not wanting to go get the urls and put them in the comment. But I'm over it, they will be included in a follow on comment, because it will help me in the draft for the last article my my series on Adam bombing.

So forgive me if I do not take you at face value that you have done your homework because as yet this is not my experience of your posts to me personally.
look, I think this will be the third time I've given you links to my articles in support of my claims. If you don't want to look at them, don't ask.

Yet you appear to fail to do what you are accusing me of. You blog is devoted to debunking evangelical christianity yet distinguished biblical scholars like Conrad Hyers on the Genesis account are not consulted at all.....Maybe you need to heed your own advice and do your homework on what critical intelligent Christians are saying about the Bible?
Its devoted to evangelical christians, not liberal christians, although I have set up a blog of my own where I intend to start up that kind of thing, you can find it in my profile. I think it would delightful to use christian arguments against each other, but since none of them are based on anything measurable, quatifiable or verifiable, theres really no point. My method is to use data, rational principles and informal logic to torpedo the whole thing.

Until we can agree on what the Bible says your disproofs are pointless.
no they aren't. the methods are suitable for debunking all types of christianiy, judaism, islam, ufo's, bigfoots, ghosts, and other types of stinking thinking.

the links to my articles in support of my claims will come in a follow on comment.

Logossfera said...

@Lee Randolph

Well that passage doesn't sound like what I ask either. Did Jesus feed those people using red herrings and bread made of strawmen?

If that passage means "Look Jesus died for a sin that din't exist because Adam and Eve is a metaphorical story" than any passage can mean anything. If you are want to provide your interpretation of what you think Paul wanted to say I will not accept it.

I want to see one of the following
a. a passage where it states "Jesus died for a metaphorical sin" dated around 300 CE or
b. a passage where it states "Adam and Eve didn't really exist" dated around 1000 BCE
Is it clear now or do you think I said I want a copy of Harry Potter send to my door by tommorow? :)

Lee Randolph said...

logossfera,
I was agreeing with you, I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear.

Toby said...

Logossfera,

My seminary days were some time ago, but wasn't Genesis supposed to have been passed down orally for the first 700 years (or so)?

If I am right about that, and I may not be, I think that would better account for the contradictory creation passages Philip refers to. Too, the passage that Lee refers to would suggest that Paul did not view Genesis as metaphorical either. This reminds me of the study of typology (type/anti-type). Well, the author meant this, but God meant this. A possible example of this is Isaiah 9:6. In a commentary that I have buried in my basement that I am not going to go dig out to cite, the authors gives compelling reasons to suggest that the author of this portion of Isaiah was not prophesying about Jesus, but rather thought that King Hezekiah was the fulfillment.

It seems to not matter to some people how the author or the author's contemporaries interpreted given passages, but I personally think that the author's interpretation is paramount, along with the interpretation of his or her contemporaries.

Craig Duckett said...

BahramtheRed --

As far as those of us outside the box are concerned, it makes no difference whether there is or isn't something in the box since we can never know. The point of the analogy is that anybody who does tell you the attributes of the 'thing in the box' is either (1) fabricating this out of whole cloth, or (2) actually communicating with the thing inside the box, but since the rest of us can't possibly know this (as said communication is unique and specific to the communicatee) we would be remiss to simply take his-or-her 'word on it' as there's no way to 'prove' or 'falsify' that word. The communicatee could literally say anything, so for the rest of us the 'revelation' is meaningless. This is one of the problems of 'revelation' since it is fully interior and unique to the one person 'receiving' it.

It's pretty clear to me that, in the end, faith isn't faith in the revelation, but in the words of the person-or-persons claiming they've had a revelation. Faith isn't faith in God, but in the 'revealed' words one asserts describes God, or God's Son, or God's Prophet, etc. People will live their whole lives, bookended between cradle and grave, pointing to words in a book as 'revealed truth' without ever once, once!, actually communicating with any of its cast of characters, heroes, ghosts, and goblins. In this case, a 'sacred' book is just like the thing inside the box, since we never actually experience anything the book claims.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Hi Guys, logossfera and Lee,

Firstly,

logossfera said...
@Reverend Phillip Brown

If it is so clearly than you would have no problem presenting me with a papirus or something dating around 1000-1400 BC with the interpretation of such obviously metaphorical passage. You do believe god is trying to reveal and not conceil the truth, don't you?

PS: are you of the belief that Jesus really died for a metaphorical sin? If Adam and Eve story is metaphorical, then the original sin happened only in the world of imagination. So I would also like from you a piece of paper dating around 300 CE (I can go even to 1000 even though it would be utterly immoral for a Truth Revealer to be ca Truth Conceiler for 1000 years) where it states that Jesus died for a metaphorical original sin. Then we can start debating. :)

Sure the original one... But I am confused, you say metaphorical? I never argued this...?

Have you decided to make this up and assign it to me and other Christians? Do you do this with other topics on religion also? Make up what you think the person is really not saying?

Metaphorical means a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

There is no word of phrase in the Genesis account, rather two different creation accounts. The phrase or words are not in question it is the differing accounts. You should not read Genesis as literal but neither should you read it as metaphorical. Literal and metaphorical are not options in this account.

Please see my blog for more details. https://christianityversusatheism.blogspot.com

Consequently no, Jesus did not die for a metaphorical sin, the above blog answers this... I look forward to the debate.

Secondly, revelation and concealment? No I believe Jesus is right in this gospel,

At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Matthew 11:25 if you want to check.

@ Lee,

You said...
black and white, false dichotomy fallacy, you left out lazy not wanting to go get the urls and put them in the comment. But I'm over it, they will be included in a follow on comment, because it will help me in the draft for the last article my my series on Adam bombing.

Thanks Lee, but you have mistaken me. You challenge to me was about Lord Rama and his Army of Monkeys and the validity of the Bible. Let me quote my blog as you have refused to visit it citing frantic work load and strategy of distraction and dispersion! Amazing, you can take five minuets to answers these comments on your own blogs..!

Recently, a Blogger from “Debunking Christianity” Challenged me to show the difference between the Vedas and the Bible. The answer given in the previous blog entry, see below.

However, the blogger returned with these comments found within the entry…

You don't consider it historical or making any claims in time and space because it causes a problem for you but the Hinus do.
You still haven't explained how your viewpoint makes sense when there was a court case in India over a company that was going to make a path through a land bridge that was made by Lord Ramas army of monkeys.
The land bridge was preserved last time I looked. Here's a link to the news article. anyway, its clear you are not interested in facts only in making claims and assertions to those who will trust you implicitly and not do their homework. To that end, I 'm going back to DC [debunking Christianity] and work on my articles over there.
Nice talking with you.


I felt obliged to respond to this and again offer a serious answer for Christians and Atheists alike. The reason being is to show that firstly there is no set problem as this Blogger maintians and secondly to show that facts are very important. I shall begin though by making two important observations.

The first thing to consider is that this blogger has misquoted or misunderstood where Lord Ramas fits into Indian Religion/Philosophy. Lord Ramas is not to be found within the Veda, rather the epic Ramayana. Historically we can attribute the Veda to the time of Moses 1500 – 800 B.C., the Ramayana is much later from around 400-B.C. to 200 A.D. in its present form.

Not once do I mention urls... Please Lee do you homework as you so aptly asked me to do? Urls are not the problem and never were? Your lack of understanding of the question that you challenged me with and your credible research was and still is.

You said.

look, I think this will be the third time I've given you links to my articles in support of my claims. If you don't want to look at them, don't ask.

I have looked Lee and still find you wanting. Please present your arguments in a fashion that fits with the position I have been expounding? Otherwise I can look and look and look and still find nothing! You will be answering something I am not defending.

You said,

Its devoted to evangelical christians, not liberal christians, although I have set up a blog of my own where I intend to start up that kind of thing, you can find it in my profile. I think it would delightful to use christian arguments against each other, but since none of them are based on anything measurable, quatifiable or verifiable, theres really no point. My method is to use data, rational principles and informal logic to torpedo the whole thing.

Firstly, fantastic side stepping... Perhaps though you should ask your friend E.T. Babinski who is a college of yours and a fellow blogger on this very site, why he assumes Hyers is an Evangelical Christian and you do not?

He has edited work on this very Evangelical??? Not Liberal.

Please re-answer the question?

Again Lee I must ask where is the rigor of your research, you appear to unaware of relevant positions on your own Blog?

Secondly, Lee you are not using reason, data or informal logic. Why? Because there is no consideration of historicity, literary criticism, internal inconsistency, philosophical cultural assumptions, genres the theology of revelation, ancient linguistic techniques, etc... in your blogs.

If you did consider these then this coupled with you grasp of science then maybe I would agree. However these do not register on your radar at all. Mainly just material, observable science and misunderstood religious claims.

Furthermore you then ask people like myself to do more homework??????? But seem unprepared to look at these areas to answer some of your attacks.

A wider scope of relevant literature is needed before your claims are even considered tangible.

You said,

no they aren't. the methods are suitable for debunking all types of christianiy, judaism, islam, ufo's, bigfoots, ghosts, and other types of stinking thinking.

This part is the weakest Lee. If you cannot dialogue with the above areas of scholarship in questions then you cannot debunk Christianity, Islam, ufo's etc... either, your just showing how ignorant a person can be about areas he has little knowledge of, and keep hammering away at new scientific data in an attempt to achieve something, I myself can only fathom.

Your use of the phrase "Stinking thinking" I assume means in the adverbial extreme, [as thoughts do not omit odor] something you are evidently lacking in your consideration of Christianity.

Regards, Rev. Phil.

Lee Randolph said...

hi rev,
you are a mighty motivating man.
;-)
I'm getting the links together right now.

why he assumes Hyers is an Evangelical Christian and you do not?
i don't even know what you are talking about, I don't care who this guy is, at least yet. My point was that I adhere to the mission of debunking fundamentalism on this blog, that means arguing agains a literal interpretation. You should join in since it seems we have the same goal.

Amazing, you can take five minuets to answers these comments on your own blogs..!
see key point here, MY BLOG, MY TIME, USED EFFICIENTLY OVER HERE WHERE I MADE THE COMMITMENT.
does that clear it up?

The first thing to consider is that this blogger has misquoted or misunderstood where Lord Ramas fits into Indian Religion/Philosophy. Lord Ramas is not to be found within the Veda, rather the epic Ramayana.
and if I made a mistake about lord rama, which I'm not sure I have, what difference does it make in the greater point, the point that invested my resources in that hindus point to space and time to support thier religion too, why don't you beleive in thier gods or thier scripture? where lord rama fits is irrelevant. Thats a stinky red herring.

Because there is no consideration of historicity, literary criticism, internal inconsistency, philosophical cultural assumptions, genres the theology of revelation, ancient linguistic techniques,
I don't think you're reading my stuff. As you will see in those links, I touch on almost all that stuff. I'm not writing books or peer reviewed articles here, I'm writing commentary, op-ed, so while I don't think I'm wrong about any of it, my goal is to provide arguments and links to the information and demonstrating methods to analyze the data that is in the bible.

now excuse me but I have to get back to compiling those links for you.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rev,
i hope I didn't mess up the links because
this is all i had time for. these links are to my articles, and some other material that I didn't write about, but that doesn't mean that my claims aren't valid, but you should know that. Each article is full of other links to other material to follow up on, but my articles don't make up for a good university education.
;-)

- Adam in history? fails because any other context does not fit the bible and is based on sheer speculation. Adam and Eve specially created at a point in time with neanderthals other hominids has ZERO support anywhere except in the mind of the originator. If you want to make the claim, support it with data or some principle with precedent otherwise drop it.
- Genesis 1:26-1:27, Creation of Humans in Near Eastern Myths And The Paleolithic Era
- Adam and Eve Didn't Exist -- The Molecules Tell Us Why by Evan
- Genesis 2:21-25: Woman From Rib and Mother Goddesses of Near Eastern Myths this has a lot of links about adam and eve in it, some of them are already listed below

- founder population from only two? fails
GENESIS 1:28-2:4a, Be Fruitful And Multiply, Founder Effect and Genetic Diversity

- global flood? fails
Talkorigins.org, global flood
or just get a high school geology text book and try to find it in there.

- founder population from about eight? fails.
GENESIS 1:28-2:4a, Be Fruitful And Multiply, Founder Effect and Genetic Diversity

- one global language? fails
Genesis 1:26-1:27, Creation of Humans in Near Eastern Myths And The Paleolithic Era
Wikipedia, origin of language

- exodus? unless you want to scale it wayyyyyyy back to like 60, fails,
reference the work of Israel Finklestein or Bob Brier, and near eastern archeology in general
Wikipedia article on this
while i recognize its no authority, it reflects relevlant, and current scholarship on it.
- and take a course in egyptology, or a course on the near east.

- temple of solomon? fails
reference the work of Israel Finklestein or Bob Brier, and near eastern archeology in general
wikipedia

- Davids KINGDOM? unless you want to scale it wayyyyyyy back to a hill tribe, fails
reference the work of Israel Finklestein, and near eastern archeology in general

- power of prayer? fails, unless you want to give it the same average as chance, then you might as well call it chance
The promise of prayer

gotta run now.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Hey Lee,

Thanks.

You said...

i don't even know what you are talking about, I don't care who this guy is, at least yet. My point was that I adhere to the mission of debunking fundamentalism on this blog, that means arguing agains a literal interpretation. You should join in since it seems we have the same goal.

Maybe this is where our wires are crossed. The title of your blog is evangelical Christians not fundamental Christians? I think there is massive difference between the two but if you are only concerned with fundamentals then we are at cross purposes but you blog title therefore is misleading.

You said.

see key point here, MY BLOG, MY TIME, USED EFFICIENTLY OVER HERE WHERE I MADE THE COMMITMENT.
does that clear it up?

I'm sorry Lee but it doesn't because your initial challenge was on MY BLOG originally? The reasons cited were frantic work or a strategy of distraction.
If you cannot be bothered then please refrain from challenges to Christians in the future, however this would seriously damage your ability to dialogue in the future.

You said,

and if I made a mistake about lord rama, which I'm not sure I have, what difference does it make in the greater point, the point that invested my resources in that hindus point to space and time to support thier religion too, why don't you beleive in thier gods or thier scripture? where lord rama fits is irrelevant. Thats a stinky red herring.

The mistake was pointed out in the previous comment and on my blog please see again.

The difference it makes that the hindus in this case you argue have not looked at space and time and when they did they found the evidence lacking but for cultural/social reason the bridge was left to remain.

Why not believe, because they themselves in India have shown it to be false.....???

hmmm not so stinky a herring?

you said,

I don't think you're reading my stuff. As you will see in those links, I touch on almost all that stuff. I'm not writing books or peer reviewed articles here, I'm writing commentary, op-ed, so while I don't think I'm wrong about any of it, my goal is to provide arguments and links to the information and demonstrating methods to analyze the data that is in the bible.

I apologies, I confess I have not read all your stuff and you may do we to touch on all those topics. But the point remains Lee that you can decide that some fundamental Christians take a literal creation account and consequently refute that with scientific data, but a criticism of the writing style will do that for you before you mention science.

If you want to analyze the data in the bible, then I suggest you start with what the Biblical critics have been doing for hundreds of years. Otherwise you wont analyze the evidence in the bible you will analyze the data you think appears in the bible. A fundamental scientific mistake but one I'm sure you would like to happen.

You said

- Adam in history? fails because any other context does not fit the bible and is based on sheer speculation. Adam and Eve specially created at a point in time with neanderthals other hominids has ZERO support anywhere except in the mind of the originator. If you want to make the claim, support it with data or some principle with precedent otherwise drop it.

Case in point Lee. You are assuming data from the Bible that is not there to a point. We cannot take the accounts literally, but neither can we take it metaphorically. Meaning Adam was real specially created man by God but beyond that, the context is not literal as my Friend myers writes and explains. Therefore the point is useless because a context is not supported in the writing your attacking.

That's the principle Lee. Your arguing against silence.

I also have to run Lee I have had a quick glance at some of you articles but I fear urgency will crowd out attention at this point.

Regards, Rev. Phil.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi rev,
for cultural/social reason the bridge was left to remain.
that is an equivocation of 'religious' reasons. Face it, you are in denial.

I'm going beyond what the biblical critics etc have done. I am applying rational principles evenly across domains which is usually taboo to do to religion because religion breaks.

So I used the term fundamentalist when I should have used the term evangelical, sorry. It doesn't have any bearing on whether the bible accurately reflects the state of the world, meaning the christian god exists. The bible is poor data source for information about the abrahamic god, and I'm doing the research now to demonstrate that.

with regard to adam
That's the principle Lee. Your arguing against silence.
as I stated before, you refuse to look at the data and consider the ramifications. your argument is that we "just haven't found it yet" but the fact is that it has been demonstrated that the infrastructure for "an adam" doesn't exist. genetically it is impossible and if you want to say that we know that adam exists but the bible is a poor source of information about it more power to you but you are proving my point. The only data source you have about adam is the bible, and the rest is pure speculation. Paul thought he was real and based christian theology on it. He based in on pure speculation of unknown authors.

You seem to agree that the bible is poor data source but thats all you have. You have built your world view on a house of cards.

Lee Randolph said...

HI Rev,
I forgot to address this,
I'm sorry Lee but it doesn't because your initial challenge was on MY BLOG originally? The reasons cited were frantic work or a strategy of distraction.
If you cannot be bothered then please refrain from challenges to Christians in the future, however this would seriously damage your ability to dialogue in the future.

When I do that, I consider it a "shot across the bow". I don't do it all the time, only to the most worthy.
;-)

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Hi Lee,

Ha, great rhetoric and thanks for the compliment.

You said,

that is an equivocation of 'religious' reasons. Face it, you are in denial.

I'm going beyond what the biblical critics etc have done. I am applying rational principles evenly across domains which is usually taboo to do to religion because religion breaks.

No I disagree again. On my blog there is sufficient links to sites which speak about the falsehood of the religious claims but the fact that cultural reasons dominated, not religious, for it remaining.

You said,

So I used the term fundamentalist when I should have used the term evangelical, sorry. It doesn't have any bearing on whether the bible accurately reflects the state of the world, meaning the christian god exists. The bible is poor data source for information about the abrahamic god, and I'm doing the research now to demonstrate that.

Don't you mean the other way around? Fundamentalist instead of evangelical? It is good to clear it up though.

I will beg to differ with you on that but wait eagerly for further blogs about such issues on poor biblical data and what I can say to that.

I don't think the bible is a poor data source or am trying to argue against it just that a finite literal reading of Genesis 1-2 is not actually good Biblical reading.

Regards, Rev Phil.

P.S. Lee, I am complying my response on my blog from Atheists about the Noahacin/Global flood. Have you knowledge of responses to the "Vapor Canopy Theory" espoused by some creationists from scientists or other atheists? The link to your site did not mention it?

P.P.S. No extra work required just wondered if you knew of hand...

Cheers.

Evan said...

Rev, it shows a weakness in your research process if you think there is anything to the vapor canopy.

It's most effectively destroyed by a believer here.

Lee Randolph said...

HI Rev,
I used to buy into the water vapor canopy as a christian in my early days of literal interpretation, but after I sought out better sources of information, I realized it was bunk.

there is a saying related to information, "garbage in, garbage out".

that means roughly that if you only have bad information to make your decisions with, you will make bad decisions and or come to bad conclusions.

so check your sources, and, as I said, I'm researching an article that will give you some established, principled criteria to use for that.

Lee Randolph said...

You can see this article I'm talking about here, where I'm working on it. Its a big job and its going to take a while. So I'm probably going to post more of these smaller posts just to facilitate discussion for a while, then get back on my adam bombing track.

Vince R said...

Solution
Ask any one of them:
"If I had asked you yesterday which way was the right road, what would you have told me?"

Works no matter how many liars or truth tellers you have.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi vince,
how do you figure?

tigg13 said...

Vince's solution will work if you are using simple "yes and no" type questions.

If you ask a liar, "should I choose your path?" and the truthful answer is "no" then the liar will say "yes".

If instead you ask the liar, "what would your answer to the question 'what path should I take' have been if I asked it yesterday?" the truthful responce would be "yes", but, being a liar, the liar would have to say "no".

A lie about a lie is the truth.

Truth tellers will give you the same answer no matter when you ask them.

This is similar to the problem christians have when defending the crusades and the inquisitions; they either have to lie about their beliefs now or lie about christian beliefs back then.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Tigg,
thanks for the explanation.

The name Vince sounds kind of Italian.

I should know better than to match wits with a Sicilian.
;-)

Lee Randolph said...

Hi tigg,
I would like to point out that "If instead you ask the liar, "what would your answer to the question 'what path should I take' have been if I asked it yesterday?"
is really a question embeddeded in another which is two questions.

"what would your answer
(to the question 'what path should I take')
have been if I asked it yesterday?"

If that were legal, then the questioner could tie all kinds of questions together.

;-)

anyway....

rainwater72001 said...

I would just like to say that a real problem here is truth. Truth is relative and subjective. You can say that someone will always tell the truth and that is fine, but they could still be wrong. You can state the truth as you know it. I am a woman. If I said I was a man I would be a liar. However if I was fully convinced that I was a man, I could tell you I was a man and still be telling the truth. To me it is the truth and therefore even if it isn't how things are i still told you the truth and you have still been misled. It is all about perception in the end.