Overview of IDQ Deficiencies Which Are Evident In Scripture

The originators of scripture had a remarkable lack of insight when creating scripture considering it was revealed to them by God. Apparently God didn't reveal to them some fundamental principles in ensuring they were creating quality information and data that would stand the test of time and generations.

This article introduces Information and Data Quality design deficiencies which will be elaborated on with scriptural examples in follow on articles and will serve as quick reference for them. It is part four of a series on applying IDQ priniciples to cross-checking the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible. Links to the preceding articles follow.
1. How Accurate is the Bible?
2. Applying Data and Information Quality Principles To The Bible
3. Applying IDQ Principles of Research To The Bible

What are Design Deficiencies?
As the saying goes "Do it right the first time" many industries recognize and practice the principle of ensuring quality early in the production cycle to avoid problems later in the cycle or in the market(27). As a marksman knows when taking aim, a tiny deviation from the target at the source can lead to large deviation at the target. By not ensuring data integrity and quality at the creation of scripture, many problems have manifested themselves and continue to appear as the scripture gets older. Metaphors do not retain their integrity in meaning over thousands of years. Some of the problems have led to persecution for heresy, divisions in the church and division of the Churches into denomintations until there are tens of thousands of variations of Christianity in existence. For example, they may all agree that Jesus died on the Cross, but they don’t all agree on his nature.

With these kinds of problems it is no wonder why after close to 2000 years, Christianity has only a 33% mind share while all other religions together total 66%(28). Its not that people are evil so they don't believe, it is that there are no compelling reasons to believe in Jesus. Comparing all these religions to some other philosophical ideas that were developing in parallel about the same time, Mathematics has become ubiquitous while the various religions are still languishing under the weight of implausibility(26).

The originators of scripture had a remarkable lack of insight when creating scripture considering it was revealed to them by God. Apparently God didn't reveal to them some fundamental principles in ensuring they were creating quality information and data that would stand the test of time and generations. And furthermore God had a choice in who he revealed scripture to. Using the law of large numbers, he would have been able to analyze and consider any number of millions of starting points for his desired outcome to include the one person that would start a path of reliable transmission of the data from person to person(29). He, like no one else, had the ability to choose the one in ten million starting point that would have gotten the scripture to this point uncorrupted.

Overview of Proper Representation and Design Deficiencies
Some fundamental deficiencies in data design and creation have been identified in the field of Information and Data Quality through research and trial and error(3). Each of them will be defined in this overview and then how they relate to scripture will be elaborated on separately in follow on articles.
They are as follows.
- Incomplete representation
- Ambiguous representation
- Meaningless representation
- Garbling by mapping to a meaningless state
- Garbling by mapping to a wrong state

Proper representation
In order for an Information System (IS) to accurately represent real world events, each of the datum in the Information System must "map" to real world states. Each real word state must be accounted for in the information system. Having more than one instance of a Real World state (a record) is appropriate if it represents an aspect of the Real World state that hasn't been previously accounted for. To have more than one instance of a record of the same Real World state doesn't add any significant value, but a record of the same Real World state that has related data, in another context for example, adds value if it doesn't lead to a meaningless Real World state such as a contradiction. For example, having two instances of the same story do not add any value unless one of the stories has different information in it which does not contradict the other. Figure 1 illustrates this point by showing three instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and four instances of Data in the D column. Each Real World state is represented by a datum in the information system with one instance of a Real World state being represented by two instances of data in the Information System.

Figure 1.

Incomplete representation
If the Information System is missing some information about the real world, then the information system cannot accurately represent the state of the real world for which it was intended. This is termed as "incompleteness". Figure 2 illustrates this point by showing three instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and two instances of Data in the D column. One instance of a Real World state is not represented by the Data in column D.

Figure 2

Ambiguous representation
While it is permissible to use to a multiple datum to represent one real world state, it is not permissible to use one datum to represent two real world states. If multiple Real World states are represented by one datum there is not enough information with which to accurately represent either Real World state. This situation is called "Ambiguity". It is similar to incomplete representation because it can be considered an instance of missing information, even though one datum could incompletely represent two instances of a Real World state because it is not specific enough. It is analogous to using the term "she" in a conversation when discussing an event concerning multiple women. By not specifying which "she" is being referenced, the details of the event become unclear because the "she" being referred to is ambiguous.

Figure 3 illustrates this point by showing three instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and two instances of Data in the D column. One instance of a Real World state is not represented by the Data in column D but instead, two instances of Real World states are represented by one instance of an information state.

Figure 3

Meaningless representation
When the information system contains superfluous information then it can lead to a situation where the Information System does not accurately represent (map back to) a real world state. For example this can occur by the use of too many descriptive terms, undefined terms or some minor addition to the story intended as an elaboration. To say that in a battle some person or group chose a brilliant strategy and exhibited exceptional strength or bravery may mean that an unintended desperate situation has been incorrectly represented and will be incorrectly interpreted. This situation happens often in television, movies and songs about historical events such as the Spartan battle with the Persians at Thermopylae depicted in the movie "300" or Egyptian Hieroglyphs documenting events in the lives of pharoahs.

Figure 4 illustrates this point by showing two instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and three instances of Data in the D column. One instance of an information state is not represented by or does not map back to a real world state .

Figure 4

Operation Deficiencies - Garbling:
Meaningless State
In human terms, garbling occurs at the point of "consumption" or reading and interpretation. In Information Systems, it occurs at operation time or when the database is being accessed. Garbling occurs when a Real World state is incorrectly mapped to a wrong state in the Information System. There are two cases in which this occurs. If a meaningless state exists, then Real World mapping will be to a meaningless state, or the mapping might be to a meaningful but incorrect information state. This can occur as a result of inaccurate data entry or omissions of real world states at the creation or origin of the data. Analogous examples of this type of garbling are legends, folktales and the "Artistic License" of the author or originator.

Figure 5 illustrates this point by showing two instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and three instances of Data in the D column. One instance of an information state is not represented by or does not map back to a real world state and a Real World state in incorrectly interpreted as being represented by the superfluous datum.

Figure 5

Map to a wrong state
Figure 6 illustrates this phenomena by showing two instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and three instances of Data in the D column. One instance of an information state is not represented by or does not map back to a real world state and a Real World state in incorrectly interpreted as being represented by a valid however incorrect or unintended information state.

Figure 6

In successive articles I will explore each IDQ design deficiency and give a biblical example.

1. Wikipedia, "Data Management"
2. Information Quality at MIT
3. Anchoring Data Quality Dimensions in Ontological Foundations
4. DMReview, Data Management Review
5. IQ-1 Certificate Program
6. Wikipedia, 2003 Invasion of Iraq
7. How Accurate Is The Bible?
8. Datalever.com
9. Wikipedia, Tanakh
10. Null Hypothesis
11. Beyond Accuracy: What Data Quality Means To Consumers
12. IQ Benchmarks
13. Reasonable Doubt About Adaption Theory
14. IQ Trainwrecks
15. Robert Harris' VirtualSalt
16. Data Quality Assessment
17. Cornell University Library
18. Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agnecies
19. East Tennesee State University Researchers Toolbox
20. George Mason Univeristy
21. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Evaluating Internet Resources
22. The Virtual Chase, Criteria for Quality in Information--Checklist
23. Know Your Bible
24. Wikipedia, Authors of The Bible
25. Ancient HistoriansPart 1, Part 2
26. Wikipedia, History of Mathematics
27. Data Quality Requirements Analysis and Modeling
28. Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents
29. Making Sense of Probability


Anthony said...

Lee, very interesting series of articles. One minor correction though, under the heading "Map to a wrong state" you refer to figure 5 but it should be figure 6.

Lee Randolph said...

thanks I'll fix it when I get some time

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Hey Lee,

Your best post yet!

Well done Lee, Its gonna take me a while to get my head around this?

Regards, Rev Phil.

Lee Randolph said...

Thanks rev,
If anyone has difficulties with it, admittedly to me it was mindboggling at first, I'm open to further explanation without the debate.

but if you just want to jump and git bizzy, i'm open to that too! ;-)

Andre said...

Lee, as Mr. Burns on the Simpsons would say, "Eexcellent!" Keep up the good work sir.

Evan said...

Lee I really think this is an excellent approach and could represent a major future incursion into the terrain of apologetics. It's certainly proving hard for any apologist to come up with off-the-cuff responses at least.

BobCMU76 said...

I've been using a database structure I put together 18 months ago for one set of circumstances and have been adapting it to others with baling wire and duct tape (metaphorical) and it's time for a ground up restructure. So I'm not thinging so apologetically about this IDQ stuff. I'm waiting for Rev Phil to take a shot.

I'm reminded though of what I was taught way back in Sunday School... that women were portrayed as witnesses to the empty tomb, because who would fabricate a story with such a handicap as that. My same line from before -- if IDQ suggest fabrications would be better built, isn't that prima facie evidence that is anything but a made up story...

Just had to say that, and I've said it before, and Lee has ably responded. I do hope to see some cogent apologetic response, especially when it gets down to specifics in articles to come.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Bob,
My same line from before -- if IDQ suggest fabrications would be better built, isn't that prima facie evidence that is anything but a made up story...
as you are saying stuff like that, ask yourself whether it could be applied to any other religion. I am developing a good argument to show that the concept of the soul is anything but hebrew, therefore pagan and not of Yahweh.

Are you willing to commit to shoddy fabrications from the greeks about the soul as being prima facia evidence of it being revealed from Orpheus?

The point is that religion is a human phenomena, and unless you can show compelling evidence why is it is true and the others are not, then christians don't have a case.

Its like picking five people at random from around the world and taking them to the music store and telling them to pick the best Album. They all individually have their reasons for picking their "best one" but unless there are some distinguishing characteristics that they all can agree on, then collectively they won't come up with a 'best one'.

Lee Randolph said...

Thanks evan,
I need this series of arguments to support my earlier one about "god choosing the worst outcome". I have to show that scripture is not reliable to know anything about god, and show that god chose the worst outcome because he is a character in hebrew folklore and his choices were made by the authors of scripture.

This is the same thing I've been saying for years, but now I have rational principles and a field of research to back me up.

Its not just lee opining what god should do, I'm showing that god is ignoring rational principles which torpedoes his goal of revealing himself to us. If we can't understand him, and we are distinguished, "set apart" and or favored from the animal kingdom because we are rational creatures, then to not appeal to rationality is a gross oversight on Gods part. And it explains why after at least 2000 years, he hasn't gotten more than 33% mindshare in the world.

Its the principle of clarity in a conversation, or aka the principle of coherence.

Lee Randolph said...

after reviewing what the principle of coherence shows up as in google, I'll stick with principle of clarity and not "coherence". the concept is similar but I misspoke.

BobCMU76 said...

The mathematics of your concern are slowly beginning to sink in, Lee.

You mention "gambler's ruin" and then speak of EV. And of course, you do bring up finity... with an EV of 0.99, then I can expect to lose $100 making $1 bets somewhere around 10,000 bets, but I could lose it all in as few as 100, or keep betting for some inconceivably large, non-infinite number of bets, but I would go broke before infinity (but not necessarily before I die, time and money are both finite).

The "gambler's ruin" problem is the problem of "breaking the bank" -- and suppose a gambler comes in who is an embezzler risking the full faith and credit of an immense corporation, nation, or private fortune. The casino, though odds are in its favor, has finite resources. Say $1 billion. But the gambler has $100 billion. Then, over the course of play, the casino will lose, not because odds are against it, but because swings against the odds are likely to exhaust it.

The best illustration is the double up... though the illustration here becomes the finite gambler and the theoretically infinite house. Bet $1 on a coin toss paying 2to1, lose, then bet $2, lose, then bet $4 and keep doubling, and when you finally win, you get your original $1 back. At some point, I can't make the next bet, say at the 9th try when I've started with $1000, and have already bet 511, but only have 489 left and not the 512 I need. Finity stands in the way of me getting that $1 back. That's gambler's ruin.

Interesting that you keep bringing up math as the faith proposition with 100% adherence. And yet that's not true. When you get into real math, which is a jargon shared by thousands, maybe millions, but not 10s of billions, you get into stuff adherent care very deeply about, but the rest of us go Huh? Who gives a damn?

What we do believe in is certain practical and tangible processes and propositions that math gives us. To wit -- when I join 3 bins of wutknaht together, I don't need to count them again. I have sufficient knowledge from the counts of the 3 separate containers to determine and be confident in a number in the union. Math, more often than not, will tell us when the objects joined are such that a new count would differ from what we might know from the old counts....

And who's gonna believe them?

Any system of analyis which would say the Koran or the Book of Mormon is reliable, but the Bible is not (and apply IDQ to either, and you say -- yah, God told the right person at the right time to assure proper attribution and textual integrity, quantities absent in the Bible) is suspect, because I know how many wutknahts are in that bin.

But seriously -- I don't know how to say it math, but I want my scriptures to be spontenous and breathlessly in-exact -- impressionistic -- a Van Gogh, not a Vermeer. Subjectivity, like my love of Jimmy Rodgers Blues Yodels? In my mind, Lee, you're an advocate of elevator music and Stalinist poster art.

Lee Randolph said...

the point is that you can resonably expect that if you go trade someone something somewhere in the world, you are both going to use the same algorithm to ensure a mutually fair trade for both of you and you don't need calculus for that.

and there it is like a cool breeze on a warm summers day,
the ad hominem.....
Lee, you're an advocate of elevator music and Stalinist poster art.

When you run out of ideas, the ad hominem comes in handy doesn't it?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi bob,
I forgot to ask
but I want my scriptures to be spontenous and breathlessly in-exact -- impressionistic -- a Van Gogh, not a Vermeer. Subjectivity, like my love of Jimmy Rodgers Blues Yodels?
How about your taxes? Is that how you feel about your taxes. The analogy is that you have something to lose with your taxes and your christianity, but not with yodelers and painters.

BobCMU76 said...

But that's a metaphorical adam hominem.

I guess when Britain went decimal, 100% mindshare was reached. But they dream of shillings, still.

BobCMU76 said...

Believe it or not, Lee, I pay taxes monthly on sales taxes I "collect" from my flea market sales. I don't collect directly, and don't really keep books. So I pay on a WAG, usually an overestimate. I'm not offended by taxes. I like intersection signal lights to function and potholes to be patched.

And I like God to bring beauty into my life, not precision. Becuase I agree with you that precision is not an attribute of our knowledge of God, though it is perhaps an attribute of God, Herself. How we respond to that discovery is what differs. I take it you once responded as I do, but found my response to be unsustainable. I may someday discover that to be true as well.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi bob,
is it fair to say that it doesn't matter if its true or not as long as it makes you feel better?

BobCMU76 said...

Lee -- that's a fair question. I'm getting a flu shot in about 20 minutes, and I'll ponder the question while I'm away.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Bob,
how ironic,
Does it matter whether or not your flu shot is effective as long as it makes you feel better for the moment?

Do you feel better knowing that there is accountability associated with that shot, that theoretically it can be traced back to the batch in the factory and to the point of origin?

that makes *me* feel better than painters and yodelers.

BobCMU76 said...

It seems that plot summaries of The Island and Fountainhead have failed to gain traction in the Calvinist God is Evil discussion. The good Rev Phil even brushed me off with a "Huh?" So I guess all my energy can go right here.

Sometimes you find among new clothing a piece of paper saying "Inspected by #17" and think -- yah, 17 knows if she lets something get by her, it'll come back to her. Keeps her on her toes.

When I quit smoking a few years ago, I figured I'd never get so sick around this time of year as I once did. But twice last year I was dragged down by cold that lingered 3 weeks or so. So this year, I'm getting the flu shot for the first time. Since flu shots don't prevent colds, I expect to be deathly ill at least once this winter. And I'm not sure when I've ever had the flu. It's sort of an irrational act. But it would pass rational muster if I lied about the reasons and said it was a considered and informed decision. It was impulsive and made with dubious (and untestable) faith that anything will be different because of it.

But then, my doctor is convinced that at my late age, I ought consider ADHD as a possible cause for my social inadequacy of long standing (I've blamed numerous things myself, most lately Aspergers Syndrome), and begin Ritalin treatment.

That frightens me. I begin and commit myself for a short duration based on a modification of Pascal's wager. IT won't (I hope) do much harm over 2 months and the faint possibility exists that something life-altering might result.

As for Quality Control and data morgues, you have a point. It's not something I think about, but when I do, I guess it's comforting to know that if I'm poisoned, someone's gonna pay, which gives him either greater diligence in preventing accidental poisoning, or motivation to obscure the paper trail of deliberate poisoning.

I've brought up Star Trek a number of times, and lately I've been thinking of the guy who changed the ship's records to implicate Kirk in the attack of an innocent... a plot point that returned in one of the movies, if I recall.

More in a bit on the feel good factor. And maybe some on the all important (to me) subject of graciousness, and its conveyance to the world through the arts. Lots of folks see God in the colors of the sunset. I can see Her too in our ability to know when the sun will dip below the horizon to the thousandth of a second 1,000 years from now. And part of that confidence comes from folks saying what they observed 1000 years ago, even though their observations were made and data organized based on a discredited model of the solar system and further reaches.

BobCMU76 said...

Lee, I think of myself as an epitemelogical agnostic. Right after my example of a sunset in the year 3008, that must sound odd. To the thousandth of a second? C'mon!

How many seconds in a thousand years? Do I know the interval of a seoond to that precision that a length of time numbering 3E10 wont have several more of less seconds than my best estimate of 11 significant digits of the length of a second would predict. And in what units? Right now the second is defined relative to some measurable quantity, I think the frequency of light emitted by excitation of a certain element. A second is measured essentially by counting the waveforms.

But we're talking an annual reset at the equinox or solstice, so the origin is not midnight tonight GMT, but Autumn equinox 3008. That's still 7 significant digits, and 3 more for the thousandth of a second. Somehow I can accept 10 sig digits, but not 14. Folks in the know might tell me that their measurements are reproducible and reliable to 40, or maybe only 4. I've not read it in a book anywhere, but expect it may be written down, even google-able, or on Wikipedia.

Ah -- tangents. I love em. I get lost in them. And they may be more responsible for my long standing social inadequacy than anything remediable by neurotoxins. But I won't give 'em up.

Back to the point... you asked if it matters what's true or not, so long as it feels good. And I wanted to get into how we know something is true.

And particularly, I want to examine how we know documentary evidence is true, since that's central to your concern. And intuition and subjective validation are not absent in the truth search. But ringing true doesn't make it true. And telling me what I want to hear or expect to hear doesn't make it true -- it only makes it harder for me to know that it's a lie. And the pleasing lie is, frankly, the work of the Devil.

No! Feeling good is not what it's all about. But I often refer to my desires and my gut reactions when discussing data.... you are correct in pointing that out. Part of that is trying to fight the Devil by candor about my biases and inclinations. But partly it's about what I take to be a valid epistemological process.

I think a person, being told a story, can sense if he's hearing an account or a fabrication, especially upon questioning. Being asked to fill in the blanks, the teller of an account will search his recollection. The spinner of yarns will consult his purpose in telling the tale, and fill in the blanks with details that augment what he's trying to accomplish. I don't know how to measure this distinction or place categories upon it. Though I do think one can articulate his apprehensions and see them shared by another witness to the story.

And I see Van Gogh as one giving an account. I see Jimmie Rodgers as one giving an account. I see elevator music as manipulating the psyche. I see Stalinist poster art as manipulating the psyche. I see Vermeer as deeply reverent art referential to the object of interest. I see such in the Biblical literature of Job and Jonah and other imaginative works. I ought not have scorned Vermeer before.

In the Bible I see a mix. I detest the Gospel of John, and it makes me physically ill to read it, and dammit, it's so often read. But I see Van Gogh and I see Vermeer along with Stalin. And call it feel-good, but I call it subjective validation of truth. It feels REAL. And I think God, in all His power knows that he needs humans to speak to have what's spoken be heard as REAL.

And what little I've seen of the Book of Mormon and the Koran looks as phony as an Arbeit Macht Frei banner.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Bob,
so then, is it fair to say that you don't believe because it makes you feel good, you believe on something else, which is not clear to me?

However it does make you feel good to have evidence behind your medicines, but you think Mormonism and Islam are fake and I'm not sure for what reasons.

It sounds to me, that you take the authority for your beliefs from your culture. Generally speaking, you trust the judgment of the people around you whom you like enough to take their belief as evidence in favor of Christianity, and I presume they are mostly Christians, and you've grown up a christian, though you are free thinking enough to have formulated you own mental image of god as female.

How did I do with my "WAG"'s?

On what grounds do you base your belief that god is female?

BobCMU76 said...

For the most part, I don't like Christians. I like a few. And yes, I do value their judgement.

And I grew up in a household that didn't take God all that seriously, but thought it kinda cute that I did, when I started attending a neighborhood OPC. And there, I thought taking God seriously was a sign of virtue -- the essence of virtue. I don't think so anymore. I still take God pretty seriously, but if anything it's more pathological than virtuous. The Bible says as much, but you gotta read between the lines.

If you've read anything by Peter Breggin, like "Talking back to Prozac," you wouldn't have much trust in medicine. Any evidence that I trust is self-referential... it works for me. I've been blamed by doctors for harboring a malcebo effect. I expect medicine not to work, and so it doesn't. I expect to get side effects, and blame anything odd that happens on what I'm taking at the time.

I think Lao Tzu must have been right (and most agree that Lao Tzu did not actually write Tao Te Ching, and it have several IDQ related defects -- which aren't disqualifying).

Certain things just don't get across so very well. My examples of distinguishing the testimony of a witness from the fabrications of a liar don't resonate with your experience. I'll just point you to the movie Breaking Glass.

Though as I think again of the movie, it proves your point more than mine. The lies broke down by the details not adding up. And details were falsifiable --- it's just that no one took the trouble because the kid was so earnest and the stories so compelling.

Evidential apologetics is mostly a parcel of lies. I think I told you that Josh MacDowell's books took me almost to the point of rejecting Christianity.

Anyhow... I've a predilection to believe I'm being lied to, in the marketing of products, in the appeal for votes, in inviting my allegiance and contributions to an organization like a church. But Jesus rising from the dead is not a lie. Much of what followed is.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Bob,
Earlier, in the other IDQ article, you said,
I like Jesus self-referential parables, though when even the Bible testifies them to be coded allegory instead, then I wonder and keep wondering why I persist believing Jesus was God incarnate, truly died, and truly resurrected. I certainly don't rest that belief upon the unarguable authority of the Canon of Scripture given us.

I don't think I caught why you think that jesus rising from the dead is not folklore. I won't say its a lie, because it may not have started as a lie but a retelling of story with the details mixed up.

Why do you believe in it if you don't get more comfort from believing than not, or you don't take it from scripture?

BobCMU76 said...

Lee, I find myself talking in circles which is always a bad sign... But a good sign that I'm being pushed past complacency.

Folklore of the Greek pantheon is pretty outlandish. I wonder if it was taken all that seriously at the time. Was Homer read as history? Or as heritage? And until wackos made Genesis into history, wasn't it accepted as heritage?

Perhaps the Resurrection was a matter of heritage -- something everybody agreed was a tall tale, like Paul Bunyan and Babe the Ox, but it was our tall tale. One we tell ourselves and our children and those other guys don't.

But two things distinguish the Resurrection from heritage, and move it toward history. One is that people insisted this was no tall tale, though it must seem so. Another is that dozens of insular groups claimed that tale as part of their heritage.

What is interesting to me is that the response to the Good News should be the formation of closed cliques, though most have faded into history. And several evangelical movements, of which one became the dominant. The existance of all those groups is evidence that what has come down to us is an arbitrary response to what happened... Folks like Ehrman have explored the diversity of those responses.

Is some guy risen from the dead such a compelling and credible lie that would provoke such a response?

Something happened, Lee. Something that did not begin as a story, but began as an event, witnessed by several.

Lee Randolph said...

HI bob
if your criteria is simply that a lot of people believe it and are willing to stand up for because something happened, I invite you to read my article linked below.
Hindu God 1, Scientists 0

the Indian Government wanted to build a canal through this land mass but it was blocked in court because believers insisted that Lord Rama and his army of monkeys built it. According to your reasoning, then, by god, an army of monkeys built that land bridge.

BobCMU76 said...

The distinction between heritage and history is evident here, with the blue monkeys. Fundamentalism likes to turn heritage into history. And it is not a variant of Christianity, or Islam, or Hinduism. It's a social pathology whose variants are more similar to each other than each are to the tradition they claim to represent.

OK... I was about to make an assertion here, and I'm tripping over my own words... so best be candid.

Lots of forms of Christianity now. Lots in the second century. Some homogeneity in the interim, but plenty of offshoots. I make much of the heterogeneity of yore in claiming that this was not a story which orginiated within a community, but an event which spawned competing communities, each with their own story.

But my argument seems to fall apart with the schism of the modern church, where each, looking backward 1500 years or more, has its own interpretation of what it all means, what happened way back when. How is schism (which existed as early as the mid first century, and is more a fight over heritage than history) to be distinguished from corroboration in which independent witnesses formed distinct communities.

I'm counting on all those kinds of Christianities that Erhman describes as being corroborators, not collaborators or competators.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi bob,
so is it fair to say that your belief that Jesus rose from the dead boils down to wishful thinking?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi bob,
I am wondering why you don't consider the other hypothesis
- that the body was stolen, which was the reason given to put guards on the tomb, or
- that the body never made it to the tomb because he survived (like the quran says)
more believable than a resurrection which has no precedent or subsequent reproduction?

The other events are more plausible based on their precedence and reproducibility.

BobCMU76 said...

Lee, I have a 79 year old father, so I've grown accustomed to repeating the same conversation several times. It's the third time you bring up wishful thinking, maybe 4th or 5th, if you count variants of the question. And at least the second time you bring that other things may well have happened.

You don't much care about your sources when they're 5 centuries after the fact when they affirm your wishful thinking. But 5 decades is too damn much time elapsed.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Bob,
so to be so repetitive, but I never really felt like you answered the question.
You don't much care about your sources when they're 5 centuries after the fact when they affirm your wishful thinking.

this time you did. Thanks for being honest.

BobCMU76 said...

You're good for a chuckle, Lee.

Many folks speak in second person plural when speaking of generalities. The line quoted was intended as second person singular (in place of the archaic THOU) and specifically referenced your belief that the Koran is more plausible than 1st and 2nd century canonical and other writings, when THOU SEEIST it affirming THY bias.

Further wishful thinking is viewing that statment as a concession of some sort. I've answered the wishful thinking question aplenty. I think it's time for me to move on.

Lee Randolph said...

Well bob,
thanks for proving my point. See how easy it is to misinterpret something not clearly presented and how apt to wishful thinking we all are?
see ya round.