How to gain truth from a document 3: Ancient writings, what are they good for? Specifically the Bible and Original sin.
By science impossible to prove. By humans, more probable than not.
Even what we do not like gives evidence of something else.
Sordid histories and tie ins with historical landmark events and even passionate discussion of a document and challenges to it’s authorship, lend credence to a writing, work of art or book. Say an artwork that was stolen by Hitler and hung in his office. That is just horrible and a travesty, but as to that paintings’ cataloging and authenticity it would be above the norm. Because of such events we would have a better history of that painting. A fire in Boston where a painting was water damages and smoke damaged, a colorful history lends credence to its’ provenance.
Hearsay is an out of court statement offered to prove the matter asserted therein, that type of evidence is excluded by reason. One huge exception to this rule excluding evidence is “not offered to prove the truth of a statement, but rather the authors’ state of mind” and another one is “not offered to prove the truth of a statement but simply to prove it was in fact written” and existed.
Science can only partially explain the creation of the Grand Canyon. But hike 20 miles into it and the vastnes removes all doubt.
Can you see it?
Do you gather proof from the ancient writings
The proof is in the pudding
So in the realm of proof, a wild long consistent and sometimes inconsistent story of a writing, lends credence to the matters contained thereby, not necessarily therein. The Bible proves the existence, in people’s mind of Christ and God. It proves the Bible was written long ago. It proves that it was an important enough of a writing that wars were fought over it’s meaning and that many were martyred for holding it sacred.
So let us take a particular concept trying to be proven by the bible. Let us take original sin. Here is a good discussion of the matter; http://vveasey.hubpages.com/hub/A-Very-Different-Look-At-The-Original-Sin#comment-10752630 What the author and commentators are trying to do is to use particular phrases in the Bible to prove the existence of that fact. That is a no, no as far as evidence of something is concerned. It is a clear case of hearsay. But WOW what a treasure trove of other evidence the Bible is to us all, believers and non-believers and even Truthers.
Of Course we must doubt what we can not empircally determine. But it stops there when the proof is in a more important place.
In this context it proves without doubt that there is a concept of original sin. Our reaction and interpretation may vary but the concept is real and has old historical roots. It proves that without a doubt people of the time were talking and writing about God. The writing compared to the literacy of the day is exemplary. The fact that it fully encompasses two languages of the time is amazing (and probably 3-4). The fact that alleged authors or those quoted have references to their existence elsewhere in proof is compelling. The clear indication of perspective slanting a view as in Mathew, Mark Luke and John is very trustworthy. (ever gone to a slideshow by husband and wife that just got back from vacation – whoa, perspective is everything, now that might not prove what they assert but for sure that they were both there.) The lack of spontaneous and recorded objection to the writings lends one to conclude that either antagonists were sleeping for a few centuries or there was nothing factual to object to – I must assume the latter.
So modern rules of evidence allow for a most compelling argument that our Bible is authentic. The test normally given in modern jurisprudence on matters not criminal is “more likely than not” or “more probable than not” Jurors(triers of fact and truth) are admonished fairly that it really is not a test of certainty but rather like a 51-49% test. Which proof carries the most weight, carries the day. They are also reminded that matters of human affairs are normally not subject to absolute right and wrongs or black and white. So if we put the bible in a scientific laboratory it falls short of being a law. But if we place it in a place where thousands of years of experience and finding the truth comes to bear upon a question most certainly the Holy Bible carries the day as more likely than not authentic.
The louder the voice of obstruction the more convinced I become.
Let not my weary mind lose conviction that the truth is to be found not only in logic but in the very conviction of man
Open up our eyes so we can see!
As to truth not proof, leave the beaker and the scope where it lay. I do not seek an empirical truth but rather one higher than that.
As to the truth of the matters asserted therein. That is unfair because a jury made up of 12 from the world would tell you (probably a 7-5 split) that the Holy Bible is telling the truth.
Now to the original point of Original Sin that vveasy brought up in his hub. Christian have argued over this point for two millennium. In fact all mankind has grappled with the issue. There was a great teacher that healed a man. He said to the man “your sins are forgiven” and the crippled man gathered his things and for the first time walked away. The lawyers of the day question the great teacher – “who the hell are you to forgive sins?”. The reply was to the effect, “what difference is it if I say ‘your sins are forgiven’ or if I say ‘you are healed gather your things and walk away’? Original sin is quite similar. What difference does it make if I say “a newborn’s sin are covered by Christ” or I say “my newborn son has no sin” It is so cool. Man and Man’s ego is out of the equation. His love is added thereto and we result in the same truth from different directions and who cares.
I would hope there are agnostics and atheists out there that rejoice in the fact that my son is born free of sin. There are a whole bunch of Evangelists out there that wholly/Holy agree. As for me an mine I like the being covered by Jesus. I think Love trumps sin.
And to wrap up on the evidence factor. Science has a great place in determining truth. A fingerprint or carbon dating do not lie. But science is not the arena to determine the hearts of men. No science can prove motive or faith yet both exist. No science can prove love or faithfulness and yet they both exist. And I am sorry but science can neither prove of disprove, Love, envy, hate, joy or coveting but I would die swearing they exist. So leave the world of scientific proof to the laboratory. When judging a conviction look inside not outside.
This is not an ancient writing
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