IDQ Flaw of Meaninglessness Representation In The Bible

Very little in the Bible can be understood as it is written. To be understood as relevant and applicable to today necessitates speculation, interpretation and pre-processing for general consumption. The Bible, as it is written, has become meaningless even though Church leaders try to speculate, interpret and derive meaning from it. Since Christian leaders don't agree, large portions of the data in the Bible is demonstrably meaningless which is a result of the Information and Data Quality flaw of "Meaningless Representation".

This Article is part seven of the series of articles applying Information and Data Quality (IDQ) Principles to the Bible. The purpose of the series is to show that the Bible is not a reliable or trustworthy source of information about God because it has problems from its origin identified in Information and Data Quality research as causing inaccuracy and unreliability. Links to the previous articles are listed below.

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
4. Overview of IDQ Deficiencies Which Are Evident In Scripture
5. Jesus As God From IDQ Design Deficincies
6. "Son of Man" As Jesus From IDQ Deficiencies

A brief review of Meaningless Representation(1) follows.

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. Meaningless states can still represent Real World states properly, however it is not a good design in principle to include meaningless data if for no other reason than users may expend resources and make commitments based on the data only to later discover the data to be meaningless. For example, the ancient Greek historian Heroditus, while accurate to a large degree, is known to have exaggerated and to have uncritically included information from apparently unreliable sources.

Figure 1 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 1



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 2 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 2


GENESIS 1-11 IS REGARDED BY SOME LIBERAL CHRISTIANS AND JEWS AS BEING METAPHORICAL
The terms "Divinely Revealed" and "Divinely Inspired" have no consensus therefore they are meaningless terms with respect to the Bible. Additionally, the Bible contradicts established knowledge about such things as the principles and laws of physics of the Universe and Biology. If the Bible was divinely revealed then the fact that its metaphorical should have been divinely revealed. If it was divinely inspired, what does that mean? There is no consensus so it is meaningless. Christianity is meaningless because of its ambiguity, sliding windows and moving goalposts of criteria and definitions. I heartily endorse every Christian to take up their Bible and read it two or three times cover to cover and THINK HARD about what it says. Use your own brain to figure out what it means. Don't let anyone do your thinking for you.

Below are a few lines starting at the beginning of the Bible to ask some critical questions and do some thoughtful elaboration. Please follow along in your Bible.

GENESIS
1:1. So where did God come from? If a creation is evidence of a creator, and if everything that exists is created, then if god exists, he is evidence of his creator or he is "a special case" with no precedent and no extra-biblical evidence or God is a result of apologetic "special pleading" fallacies.
1:2. Is similar to pre-existing Egyptian creation myths
1:3. Where did the light come from without suns? Some speculative "Pre-light"?
1:4. Darkness is the absence of light. To say that light and dark "can be separated" is meaningless.
1:5. This depends on Gen 1:4 being true so its meaningless as well.
1:6. The ancients thought there was as much water in the sky as on the earth somehow being prevented from falling.
1:7. Depends on Gen. 1:6 being true so its meaningless
1:8. Also depends on Gen. 1:6 being true so its meaningless as well.
1:9. This is similar to the pre-existing egyption creation myth of Atum creating a hill out of the watery chaos to become the Egyptian city of Heliopolis so he could stand and then have his temple built on it. The Bible neglects to mention that there is more water than land and there are more than one land mass, which makes it meaningless to "gather the water into one place so that land can appear".
1:10. God named the land and the sea. But that presumes there was and always has been one original language, when it is known that this cannot be true due to the variety of fundamental differences and mutually exclusive features of the languages of the world. Communication between members of a species is not unique to Human Beings. And should there have been an original language that God spoke, then to guarantee its preservation to this day would have been a reasonable and efficient way of guaranteeing the integrity of the Data recorded in the Bible.

As one goes line by line through the Bible elaborating and assessing the information contained within, its mythological character should become undeniable to most people. If we take the Bible to be 100% true when we start reading it, then as we go through it and find statements that we know to be false and we find statements whose truth depends on false statements, then we should reduce our percentage of belief with every fact shown to be false.

Below is an overview of some major but not all inclusive problems with the remaining chapters of Genesis up to chapter eleven. Why is Genesis important? Because it lays the foundation for the human necessity of redemption by way of the Human Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.

GENESIS 1 continued
* Genesis 1:1-25 Is An Amalgam of Near Eastern Creation Myths
* Genesis 1:26-1:27, Creation of Humans in Near Eastern Myths And The Paleolithic Era

GENESIS 2
ADAM AND EVE
The Story of Adam and Eve is considered a metaphorical story in Liberal Christian Circles. Several disconfirming facts are listed below with links to my articles elaborating on them.
- Being made in the image of God is meaningless, there is no consensus on what "the image of God" is.
* Disqualifying Adam and Eve. There is no reason outside of the Bible to accept this story as representing a Real World event.
* Adam and Eve and the Problem of Evil. Shows how the Christian Tenet that humans are "incompetent" nullifies any reliable interpretation of the Bible or any knowledge supposedly gained through flawed Human reasoning.
* GENESIS 1:28-2:4a, Be Fruitful And Multiply, Founder Effect and Genetic Diversity. Shows how lack of Genetic Diversity would prevent the establishment of a Robust and Healthy population.
* Genesis 2:4b-20: Man Made From Earth Is Folklore, Conflated River Elements and the Myth of Adapa. Discusses a correlation between Hebrew and all other Folklore typologies regarding the first humans.
* Genesis 2:21-25: Woman From Rib and Mother Goddesses of Near Eastern Myths. Discusses a correlation between Hebrew and all other Folklore typologies regarding Eve.

GENESIS 3: THE FALL OF MAN
- Killed an animal and made clothes for them, the eyed-needle first showed up about 45,000 years ago with the Cro-Magnons(7).
* Adams Sin Was An Emergent Behavior. Shows how the physical makeup of the first Humans guaranteed the emergence of the behavior they subsequently got punished for.
* Gen. 2-3, Normal-form Game Matrix Shows That God Chose The Worst Outcome. Shows that the omniscient God Character in the Bible chose the worst possible outcome for his creation guaranteeing all the problems that subsequently occurred.
* Gen. 2:16-3:24: Adam and Eve Were Mentally Incompetent. Shows how Adam and Eve did not have enough life experience to make good decisions.
* Gen. 2:7-3:6, God Should Have Known That Adam Would Disobey.
* Gen. 2:6-9, God Ignored Adams Admonishment Option. Shows that using effective principles of parenting, Adam and Eve's transgression warranted nurturing correction rather than expulsion and the handicap of being cursed by a God.

GEN 4 CAIN AND ABEL
- Founder effect. Due to lack of genetic variation, the effect of the small percentage of natural mutations are amplified in a population generally reducing the efficiency of the organism and increasing the probability of birth defects.
* GENESIS 1:28-2:4a, Be Fruitful And Multiply, Founder Effect and Genetic Diversity
- Where did the other people come from, where they all first and second generation relatives?
- 4:17 he built a city and called it Enoch. People first lived in caves then around 28,000 years ago starting building shelter structures out of Mammoth bone(7). How did they go from cavest to bone structures to cities in one generation?

THE MARK OF CAIN
- The Mark of Cain is meaningless. There is no clear consensus on what it was.
- It was thoughtlessly regard by some as Black Skin, justifying racism. However all Cains offspring would have been destroyed in the Flood if the Flood had really happened. Any critical analysis of the text would have revealed that inconsistency.

GEN 5 DESCENDENTS OF ADAM
- no one lived that long, the human body cannot support it. Accumulated DNA Damage guarantees that.
* Wikipedia, DNA Damage Theory of Aging

GEN 6 CORRUPTION OF MANKIND
- Nephilim? Very similar to the Greek Titans.
- Similar to Babylonian myths, Enuma Elish
* Wikipedia, Enuma Elish
- Mathematically and Logistically, the Ark doesn't add up.

GEN 7 THE GREAT FLOOD
- Similar to Babylonian myths, Enuma Elish
- Where did all the water come from and go?

“The book of Genesis says of the Flood that ‘… all the high hills that were under the whole of heaven were covered…’ Taken literally, this seems to indicate that there were 10,000 to 20,000 feet of water on the surface of the earth, equivalent to more than half a billion cubic miles of liquid! Since, according to biblical accounts, it rained for forty days and forty nights, or for only 960 hours, the rain must have fallen at a rate of at least fifteen feet per hour, certainly enough to sink any aircraft carrier, much less an ark with thousands of animals on board.” - John Allen Paulos, Innumeracy, (Collins Publishers, 1988), p. 13.


GEN 8 THE FLOOD SUBSIDES
- God evidently changed his mind and said that he would never do that again even though "every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood". God cannot logically change his mind if he knows everything from the beginning. Once he knows the future, the future is set. If the future changes, then he didn't know it. If he knew of a finite number of outcomes, he should have know which one would happen, thereby making all other outcomes irrelevant.
- The earth would be a big marsh after that.

GEN 9 COVENANT OF THE RAINBOW
- Founder effect again.
- The rainbow is a refraction of light and can be reproduced in the lab. It would have been present before the flood unless the physics of the world was different prior. Since God set it up as a "note to self", God cannot be omniscient.
- Noah was mad at Ham so he cursed his son Canaan? All Ham did was tell his brothers that Noah was Naked. Any other interpretation is pure speculation.

GEN 10 DESCENDENTS OF NOAH
- Founder effect again.

GEN 11 TOWER OF BABEL
- How does an ancient Zuggarat no more than 170 meters tall threaten a god and space travel doesn't?
- There was never a single language. The exact definition of Language differs from one theory to another, but it is evident that other species have forms of communication, therefore, it is likely that communication and language develop within a culture, therefore independent of each other.
Wikipedia, Origin of Language
- DNA Damage guarantee humans can't live much more than 120 years.
- God didn't know everything because he was evidently surprised by how capable humans were to build the Zuggarat.

MEANINGLESS ITEMS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
If the Bible was Divinely inspired or Divinely revealed, then its truths should be timeless, not just applicable to the the time frame they were written. Apologists will tell you that the authors were speaking to people of their time, but that excludes any influence that an omniscient being would have had. In fact, plenty of "truths" originating from the ancients have survived relatively uninterpreted and sound to this day, specifically mathematics. Likewise, an omniscient being could be expected to do just as well as its human creations in creating and preserving ideas.

The New Testament is full of meaningless things. Here are a few examples.

DO CHRISTIANS NEED TO LIVE UNDER OLD TESTAMENT LAW OR NOT?
It seems clear that Jesus intended Christians to keep the old testament laws without apologetic equivocation.

17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
18"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK, ON ITS FACE, IS BAD ADVICE
It enables bad behavior to continue. The middle ground is the more appropriate where harm is minimized and less harmful behavior is nurtured. As it is written, it is meaningless without some further interpretation and speculation on the intention behind the speaker, namely God as Jesus. And who is qualified to interpret the intentions of God?

38 "You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.'
39 "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
41 "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Are Christians saved by Faith, Works or Both?
Depends on who you talk to. There is no consensus therefore it is meaningless.

JESUS COMMITS A FALLACY
"Whoever is not with me is against me" and "whoever is not against us is for us". Logically this is mutually exclusive and it is a fallacious reasoning scheme. If you have three groups of people, committed, rebellious, and ambivalent, then Luke 12:30 would exclude 66% percent while Mark 9:40 would only exclude 33%. Luke would exclude the Middle while Mark would include them. What happens to those that don't care one way or the other? Who knows? Therefore its meaningless and logically inconsistent coming from the mouth of God.

Luke 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters."
Mark 9:40 "For he who is not against us is for us."


Is it possible that God revealed his word to Joseph Smith?
Again, it depends on who you talk to. There is no logical reason that it could not have happened, especially if it presumed that Gods interaction in peoples lives is ongoing to this day.

PRAYER IS MEANINGLESS
My article on "The Promise of Prayer"
Why does one pray? God should already know what is desired. People should not be able to influence God if he has a plan and already knows everything in advance. Does he need or want praise? How does a perfect being need or want anything?

I invite the reader to continue to apply what they already know to elaborating and evaluating the data in the Bible.

References and Further Reading
1. Anchoring Data Quality Dimensions in Ontological Foundations
2. GENESIS 1:28-2:4a, Be Fruitful And Multiply, Founder Effect and Genetic Diversity
3. Wikipedia, DNA Damage Theory of Aging
4. Wikipedia, Enuma Elish
5. John Allen Paulos, Innumeracy, (Collins Publishers, 1988), p. 13.
6. Wikipedia, Origin of Language
7. Human Prehistory and The First Civilizations, Brian M. Fagan, The Teaching Company

My Criticisms of Genesis One through Three consolidated.
Highlights the characteristics and typologies of Near Eastern folklore in the Bible and points out where it deviates from what we know about history and nature.

1. Genesis 1:1-25 Is An Amalgam of Near Eastern Creation Myths
2. Genesis 1:26-1:27, Creation of Humans in Near Eastern Myths And The Paleolithic Era
3. GENESIS 1:28-2:4a, Be Fruitful And Multiply, Founder Effect and Genetic Diversity
4. Genesis 2:4b-20: Man Made From Earth Is Folklore, Conflated River Elements and the Myth of Adapa
5. Genesis 2:21-25: Woman From Rib and Mother Goddesses of Near Eastern Myths

Criticisms of the Story of Adam and Eve (AKA Adam Bombing).
1. Adam and Eve and the Problem of Evil
2. Disqualifying Adam and Eve
3. Gen. 2:16-3:24: Adam and Eve Were Mentally Incompetent
4. Gen. 2:7-3:6, God Should Have Known That Adam Would Disobey.
5. Gen. 2:6-9, God Ignored Adams Admonishment Option
6. Adams Sin Was An Emergent Behavior
7. Gen. 2-3, Normal-form Game Matrix Shows That God Chose The Worst Outcome

35 comments: