What does it mean for something to be ‘inerrant’?

2 12 2010

What does it mean for something to be “inerrant”?  Well, the Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘inerrant’ (an adj.) as: “That does not err; free from error; unerring.”  Notice, “free from error”.  And just to be complete, ‘perfect’ (an adj) is defined as “In a state of complete excellence; free from any imperfection or defect of quality; that cannot be improved upon; flawless, faultless.”  Notice, “flawless, faultless” and “free from ANY imperfection”.  This means that even the slightest error is enough to show something claimed to be inerrant to not be so.

This brings a recent example to mind.

Recently I have been in a discussion with an individual who claims that bible is nothing less than the perfect, inerrant word of his god (presumably Yahweh).  I pointed out the passage 1 Kings 7:23 which states: “He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.”  This passage claims that they made a circle with diameter of 10 and a circumference of 30.  If one recalls, pi=C/d=30/10=3.  This statement is 100% false, even at the time 1 Kings was written.  How do we know this? Well, pi was known to the Babylonians to be at least 3.125 in circa 2000BC (Source: http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~huberty/math5337/groupe/overview.html).

Thus showing the bible, containing at least one error (oh and there are plenty more) and is therefore not inerrant.

As the say in math.

Q.E.D.





This is Shit: On the Arbitrary Nature of “Profanity”

29 11 2010

It doesn’t take a great thinker or one of great insight to see that the words “this” and “shit” contain exactly the same letters just arranged differently resulting in different phonemes.  Phonetically they look like this: [ðIs] and [ʃIt].  Nothing about the sounds contained within each of these words warrants the label of “profane” or unworthy of being spoken.  To  quote the late, great George Carlin “…it’s the context that counts.  It’s the user. It’s the intention behind the words that makes them good or bad.  The words are completely neutral. The words are innocent.”  He is 100% right.

Furthermore, what is considered “bad” language changes over time.  Does anyone know why we call it “white” meat and “dark” meat?  It was to avoid the use of breast and thigh, which was considered “bad” or “offensive” language at the time.  Is that a problem now?  Not for a majority of English speakers.

Speaking of the avoidance of certain phrases/words, deciding instead to substitute them for a euphemism.  If what I’m saying is to hold, that it is the intention or the idea being conveyed is what is important, then euphemisms are a fools errand.  If everyone knows you mean ‘fuck’ when you say ‘fudge’ you are actually drawing more attention to the idea than you would by just saying ‘fuck’ for fuck sake.  To quote the amazingly talented Tim Minchin: “F**k means ‘fuck’ more than ‘fuck’ means ‘fuck”.  Point here being,  that trying to cover it up by bleeping it out, replace letters with asterisks or silencing the speaker is having the direct opposite effect that such actions are aimed at achieving.

 

This=shit

Joel





Birth is NOT a miracle.

4 10 2010

Miracle-

1. A marvellous event not ascribable to human power or the operation of any natural force and therefore attributed to supernatural, esp. divine, agency; esp. an act (e.g. of healing) demonstrating control over nature and serving as evidence that the agent is either divine or divinely favoured.

2. A remarkable, wonderful, or (in weakened sense) very surprising phenomenon or event; an achievement or occurrence seemingly beyond human power; an outstanding achievement.

3.A wonderful object, a marvel; a person or thing of more than natural excellence; a surpassing specimen or example of some quality.

There have been countless billions of humans born and if you count those fetuses that didn’t make it to birth maybe trillions made.  Even if we didn’t understand the process the way we do by sheer numbers alone, the birth of a child does not, by definition, constitute a miracle.

Quit calling it what it isn’t.  Being memorized by birth is like being memorized by flipping a quarter.

-Joel

All definitions courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary.





Word of the Day 4/4/2010

4 04 2010

Easter

Definition: Easter, n-

  1. One of the great festivals of the Christian Church, commemorating the resurrection of Christ, and corresponding to the Jewish passover, the name of which it bears in most of the European langs. (Gr. {pi}{alpha}{sigma}{chi}{gaacu}, ad. Heb. pésa{hdotbl}, L. pascha, Fr. Pâques, It. Pasqua, Sp. Pascua, Du. pask). According to the modern rule it is observed on the first Sunday after the calendar fullmoon{em}i.e. ‘not the actual full moon, but the 14th day of the calendar moon’ (Bp. Butcher){em}which happens on or next after 21 March. In ordinary language Easter is often applied to the entire week commencing with Easter Sunday.
  2. The Jewish passover. Read the rest of this entry »




Word of the Day 4/2/2010

2 04 2010

Great

Definition: Great, adj, adv, n-

  1. Thick, coarse, massive, big.
  2. Of things, actions, events: Of more than ordinary importance, weight, or distinction; important, weighty; distinguished, prominent; famous, renowned.
  3. Pregnant; far advanced in pregnancy: app. orig. referred to the stoutness of the body. Chiefly with with (child, etc.); {dag}occas. with of{dag}Also said of the body. (Confer BIG a. 4.) arch.

Etymology

Compare with West Germanic: Old English gréat = Old Frisian grât, Old High German, Middle High German grô{hgz} (G. grosz).  “On the assumption that the primary sense is ‘coarse’ (sense 1 below), some scholars regard the word as cognate with ON. graut-r porridge, OE. grút fine meal, grot particle, grytta coarse meal, gréot sand, gravel, ON. griót stones. But the connexion is not free from difficulty, as the cognates of these words outside Teut. point to a root meaning ‘to pound’, a sense from which that of the adj. is not easily derived. It has been suggested (Stokes in Fick Idg. Wb.4 II. 119) that a cognate of the Teut. adj. may exist in the OIrish gruad (?:{em}pre-Celtic *ghroudes-) cheek (? lit. ‘thick or fleshy part’ of the face; cf. sense 2 below, and the contrasted notion in OE. {th}unwang lit. ‘thin cheek’, the temples). The prevailing senses in OE. are ‘coarse, thick, stout, big’; but the word also appears as an intensive synonym of micel MICKLE, which in the later language it superseded. In OHG. grô{hgz} had the senses of ‘big, awkwardly large’, and of ‘pregnant’, but was also used as a synonym of mihhil (though not with reference to length); in OS. grôt is recorded only in the sense of ‘great’, in which it is less frequent (and possibly more emphatic) than mikil. The development by which great has superseded mickle (not only in Eng. but also in Du., Ger., and Fris.) may be illustrated by reference to the mod. colloquial substitution of big for great, and to the supersession of L. magnus in Rom. by grandis big, full-grown (see GRAND a.).”

Modern Usage

Follows definition 2 mostly.

All definitions and etymology information was obtained using the Online Oxford English Dictionary.





Word of the Day 4/1/2010

1 04 2010

Fool

Definition: Fool, n-

  1. One deficient in judgement or sense, one who acts or behaves stupidly, a silly person, a simpleton. (In Biblical use applied to vicious or impious persons.)
  2. to be every way inferior to, to be as nothing compared to
  3. A dish composed of fruit stewed, crushed, and mixed with milk, cream, or custard. Often gooseberry fool. Read the rest of this entry »




Word of the Day 3/31/2010

31 03 2010

Vulgar

Definition: Vulgar, a, n-

  1. Having a common and offensively mean character; coarsely commonplace; lacking in refinement or good taste; uncultured, ill-bred.
  2. Employed in common or ordinary reckoning of time, distance, etc.; esp., in later use, vulgar era, the ordinary Christian era.
  3. Of language or speech: Commonly or customarily used by the people of a country; ordinary, vernacular. In common use c 1525-1650; now arch. Read the rest of this entry »