IDQ Flaws Relevant To The Holy Spirit

Jeff Carter over at the Blog Sophies Ladder takes issue with applying IDQ principles to the bible and sums up his own blog inserted below.

"To sum all this up, since I don’t use the Bible as a historical or scientific document – I don’t even use it as an instrument of salvation – but instead use it as a guide to help me hear more clearly the living voice of God within me, I find it highly accurate and reliable in terms of this function, which is to convey the spiritual. My advice is to stop trying to use it as history or science. It will only lead to your confusion."

I would like to point out that Jeff's criticism is only relevant to himself and people that share his viewpoint.

He has more criticisms in his article and I will address them in follow on articles, but in this Article I will focus on his dependence on the Holy Spirit. I have written an article called "Reasonable Doubt About The Holy Spirit" that demonstrates the uncertainty that the Holy Spirit actually helps interpret scripture or give understanding. I'm sure there have been and still are quite a few faithful that were wondering what the heck was going wrong while they were being tortured or burned alive by fellow Christians who believed they had the spirit indwelling. The most recent manisfestation of this that I know about is the persecution of Children as Witches in Africa. In the article mentioned above I go into more detail about Christian on Christian disagreements, torture and murder. In the "Recommended Reading" section at the end of this article is a list and short description of all my articles rebutting the concept of the Holy Spirit.

The purpose of the principles of Information and Data Quality (IDQ) are to improve decision making. Therefore the principles of IDQ can be applied to any information that is used to make decisions with. Therefore the Bible qualifies as a candidate for application of IDQ Principles. For example, legislature prohibiting Homosexual marriages, in vitro fertilization, birth control, stem cell research, segregation, womens rights to vote, slavery, laws prohibiting commerce on Sunday morning ("blue-laws"), witchcraft, not being a christian, heresey, etc. Those are just a few decisions off the top of my head that depend on the information in The Bible, but I'm sure I've missed some. One of the goals of Information and Data Quality Principles is to prevent multiple interpretations of data because multiple interpretations of the same data will lead to inefficient decision making within the organization which adversely effects progress towards the goal.

According to The World Almanac of 2005, and I'm going off memory, about 33% (over 2000 years) of the world are Christians. Thats an average gain of about 1% every 200 years. There are Christian denominations of Christian denominations because of disagreements on interpretation of scripture. Jeff belongs to a group represented by a percentage smaller that 33%. There are others that share his viewpoint absolutely, somewhat and not at all. In this day and age there is little to worry about but in bygone days, a Christian could be persecuted by other Christians over disagreements regarding Christianity. The founding of America was a result of the desire by The Puritans for religious freedom.

Christianity shares some of the same Characteristics of an Enterprise or Organization, (not necessarily a business), which suffers from inefficiency. I won't say poor performance because I want to avoid judgments and labels. Efficiency should be a metric that can be agreed upon since I think most people would agree that processes can usually be improved. Efficiency can be measured by assessing how well the goals of the organization are being met. The goal of an organization is usually issued in the form of a "mission statement" and policies, procedures and processes are derived to support the goal. The mission statement should define what the organization is, what the organization aspires to be, distinguish the organization from others, serve as guide to evaluate current activities, stated clearly so that it is understood by all, limited in scope but allow for creative growth

Christianity has a similar "mission statement" called the apostles creed. It was established to try to define what Christianity was and what it means to be a Christian. It seems that Christians were having a hard time meeting the goals of "The Great Commission" (Mark 16:14-18, Matt. 28:16-20, Luke 24:44-49, John 20:19-23, and Acts 1:4-8 ) without some more amplifying information. This fact demonstrates the existence of the IDQ flaw of "Incomplete Representation" in scripture. Below is the apostles creed that the Roman Catholic Church acknowledges as being considered as being derived in part by the apostles.

(1) I believe in God the Father Almighty;
(2) And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
(3) Who was born of (de) the Holy Ghost and of (ex) the Virgin Mary;
(3) Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,
(4) Crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried;
(5) The third day He rose again from the dead,
(6) He ascended into Heaven,
(7) Sitteth at the right hand of the Father,
(8) Whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
(9) And in the Holy Ghost,
(10) The Holy Church,
(11) The forgiveness of sins;
(12) The resurrection of the body.

Source The Catholic Encyclopedia

The apostles creed depends on quite a few things listed below, and some of those things have dependencies on the dependencies as noted below. I might have missed some dependencies but I listed enough to make my point. The Apostles Creed depends on the following:
1. Gods existence
2. that Gods representation in the Bible is accurate (depends on 1)
3. Jesus existence
4. That Jesus representation in the Bible is accurate (depends on 1, 2, 3)
5. The existence of the Holy Ghost (depends on 1, 2)
6. The accurate representation of the Holy Ghost in the Bible (depends on 5)
7. The existence of Mary
8. The accurate representation of Mary in the Bible (depends on 1, 2, 7)
9. That Jesus was Crucified
10. That Jesus was buried (depends on 3, 7, 8, 9)
11. That he rose from the dead (depends on 1, 2, 9, 10)
12. On the third day
13. The existence of Heaven (depends on 1, 2)
14. He ascended into heaven (depends on 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 13)
15. That it is possible to sit next to God (depends on 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13)
16. If he returns to Judge or not depends on the INTERPRETATION of Christians of the Hebrew Bible is more accurate that the Hebrew Interpretation of their own Bible.
17. depends on "The Church" actually being authorized by God (depends on the accuracy of 1-16)
18. The forgiveness of Sins (depends on 1 - 16 and Romans 5)
19. The resurrection of the Body (depends on 1-17)

So, unless I've misunderstood, when people in the group that Jeff belongs to say that

"To sum all this up, since I don’t use the Bible as a historical or scientific document – I don’t even use it as an instrument of salvation – but instead use it as a guide to help me hear more clearly the living voice of God within me, I find it highly accurate and reliable in terms of this function, which is to convey the spiritual. My advice is to stop trying to use it as history or science. It will only lead to your confusion."

It seems as though they don't give any importance to most of the apostles creed being true or accurate except the Holy Spirit. If they derive their meaning and understanding from the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not detectable or measurable, and the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of all "true Christians" then it is necessarily a self-centered understanding, indistinguishable from a personal bias, and demonstrably different from other "true Christians" which has enabled the justification for Christian on Christian violence.

Since the meaning given by the Holy Spirit is different among groups of Christians, then we have to wonder what the intent of the singular intelligence behind that is. The phenomena of different interpretations deriving from one source doesn't seem to be consistent with a singular intelligence but a collective. Collective intelligence within groups in an organization is consistent with different interpretations. Collective intelligence within groups in an organization is consistent with Human Behavior and does not require any other agent. Therefore there is no reason to posit any external agency except because it appears in the Bible. It is a manifestation of the IDQ Flaw of Ambiguous Representation.

That means that it matters if the representation of the Holy Spirit in the Bible is accurate. If, when applying IDQ metrics we determine that the quality of information about the topics in the Bible have a low accuracy rating relative to their potential, then since the information about the Holy Spirit is contained in that information, it will negatively impact the Believability rating of the information which decreases the likelihood that the information about the Holy Spirit is of Good Quality. For those mathematically minded, this may be a starting point to apply a meaningful Bayesian analysis to the probability of the likelihood that scripture represents real world events.

If the Quality of Information about the Holy Spirit is poor relevant to its potential, and there are disagreements among those who have the Holy Spirit indwelling and disagree about the nature and characteristics of the Holy Spirit, then one cannot say they have a good understanding of what the Holy Spirit is or does. They are agnostic with respect to the Holy Spirit.

In future articles the two metrics I will focus on in my application of IDQ Principles to the Bible are Accuracy and Believability. Once the Accuracy rating is derived, it can be used to derive the believability rating. Once I am finished rebutting Jeffs Article and then J.L. Hinmans over at Cadre Comments I will provide an article showing the calculation of the ratings.

Recommended Reading
Reasonable Doubt About the Holy Spirit
This article is an exploration of some stated and less disputed characteristics of the Holy Spirit. I purposely tried to avoid claims about the Holy Spirit that were disputed between denominations and Churches. I use these relatively undisputed claims as my core premises to construct the argument in favor of the Holy Spirit in order to express doubt about it.
The Role of Persuasion in The Question Of The Holy Spirit
This article takes one of the examples in the "Reasonable Doubts about the Holy Spirit" article and explores it further to show that there is no possible way for a person to come to an informed belief based on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the alleged interference of Satan or the stubbornness of Humans and that the beliefs that we form about ambiguous subjects are results of factors of persuasion in our environment.
Children Are Targets of Nigerian Witch Hunt
Introduces the problem of Children in Africa being harmed and killed because the congregation are being persuaded by Evangelical Church Leadership that the children are possessed.
The Holy Spirit and The Analogy of The Flame
This article compares the Holy Spirit to a flame and attempts to weaken the claims found in the bible about the Holy Spirit. The flame informs in a way that the Holy Spirit does not.
Feelings As A Result of The Indwelling of The Holy Spirit
Discusses flashes of intense emotion that I used to attribute to the Holy Spirit but now I realize is apparently a biological response to some hardwired morality/altruism/excitement that humans have built in.