Christians Must Be Agnostic

The Use Or Intent Of Information Does Not Determine Its Quality
Over at Sophies Ladder, Jeff says
"Reliability, on the other hand, I take to mean “can be dependably used” and so, obviously, reliability relates to the purposes intended."

Reliability is not an IDQ dimension, however it clearly is important. But the use of the information does not determine its quality. Poor quality data can be used to make a living with. Its called Fraud. Information can be presented in such a way as to be persuasive whether it accurately represents real world states or not.

Blaming The Victim
Is the Bible reliable – not as a history or science book – but as a conveyor of information regarding the transcendental, spiritual realm? How can one ever know? There is nothing to compare it to, nothing to triangulate (aka cross-check) it with. That is really the point of all my IDQ articles. Using the information in the Bible, the Christian remains agnostic about God whether they realize it or not. For example Jeff brings up Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus.
“How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” he asks. Jesus chastises him for not knowing any better than to be so literal. “You’re a master of Israel and you don’t know these things?”

This is completely ambiguous and, additionally, lacks nurturing. Can anyone be blamed if they don't understand something that is presented ambiguously? Generally, teachers are held accountable if the students don't comprehend the information. In a small percentage of cases, the student has some individual difficulty that prevents them from grasping the information whether its ambiguous or not. When that is the case, the student is not chastised. In all cases, principle dictates that more attention is given to the student, until the student can comprehend the information. From the text it doesn't seem likely that Nicodemus was being deliberately difficult, it seems that the material was exceptionally difficult for Nicodemus, and, as we can see, it is of poor quality because it demonstrates the IDQ flaws of Incomplete Representation and Ambiguous Representation. Simply stated, Jesus did not explain himself clearly. Simply stated Nicodemus is being blamed for not understanding. Is the material impossible to convey in words? Considering how common the phrase "Born Again" is, when clearly explained, it can be "understood" by some. But Jeff says
In the case of the Bible, it is likely that it’s not possible to speak plainly, given the subject matter.

If God Engineered Us, And If We Don't Get It, It's Not Our Fault
Alright, I'll stipulate that "it is not possible to speak plainly given the subject matter" for the sake of argument and I'll point out that if the material necessary to be comprehended to obtain salvation is too complicated for our minds, then, since God supposedly engineered us, he is solely responsible. But he has another option. Being all powerful and the creator of all things gives him the option of implanting the knowledge directly in the brain. There's no excuse for the material to be unobtainable, incomprehensible unless it was of poor quality.

Getting Burned is All You Need To Know About Fire
At this point Jeff tries to build the case that
There is something very small about a concept if it can be contained in words alone.

additionally he goes off down a slippery slope. He asks
Why do we shout for joy or turn to music to express ourselves, if words alone can suffice?

but he seems to ignore the fact that plenty of understanding goes on without shouting for joy or turning to music. The theory of General Relativity and String Theory can be explained in words alone, it takes a long time, and a lot of words, but it can be done. I know because I understand them and can explain them. I can also explain how schizophrenia is produced by a genetic mutation, and how human behavior is affected by that. I can also explain the History of the concept of the Soul starting with Orpheus. In my opinion someone who says that a thing is indescribable doesn't understand it well enough to talk about it.

Data Abstraction
Jeff goes on to reference John 21:25 where Jesus says that the world cannot contain the books necessary to express the Logos. That's fine, but using data abstraction, I don't need to know how fire works or how my computer works, or how the elements in my steak marinade combine for me to benefit from them. Likewise I didn't need to know how the Logos worked for more than thirty five years as a Christian to appreciate it. When I realized that the Jihadists were right when they said that it looked like their prayers were answered and Allah guided those planes into the towers and that, to me, it looked like God was ignoring the prayers of those people jumping out of the towers I decided to stop using a double standard for my religion. I started to "cross-check" Christianity.

Circular Reasoning And Shooting Yourself In The Foot
Jeff's reasoning is circular. There is nothing to Triangulate his data except with such things as the Bible, his personal experience, the personal experience of other Christians, the personal experience of non-christians and Science. Unfortunately the more data we accumulate to triangulate with, the weaker Jeffs case gets. While Jeff continues to minimize the importance of the text of the Bible and emphasize the importance of the inner dwelling of the Spirit, he keeps using Biblical texts to support his case. The problem is that he is weakening his own case by minimizing the information in the Bible.

Christians Must Be Agnostic About The Things They Do Not Agree On
Unless Christianity can value each others information equally, they must remain agnostic on the topics they do not agree on. The topics they do not agree on get to the fundamental tenets of Christianity. Since that is the case, Christians must necessarily be agnostic about a large percentage of the things they think they know. They must be Agnostic.

Christianity is a disorganized mess and it has all the symptoms of an organization that needs their data cleaned up using the principles of IDQ.
But I think that would be its undoing, and I think that Christians know that intuitively, and that the biological algorithms for comfort and self-preservation kick in to preclude them from committing to the inference from the Data.

With help from John, Prup, an Ed Babinski article, and Sconnor, here are a list of some disputed topics within Christianity.
And following that, I listed the staggering number of Christian Denominations.

- Evolution or creationism?
- Being Born Again?
- Trinity or no?
- Arianism
- The disputes that drove the creation of Protestants.
- Denominations of Protestants
- Denominations of Catholics
- War between Catholics and protestants
- Holy Spirit male or female?
- Holy Spirit is a person or not?
- Salvation, faith or works
- Baptism
- Infant Baptism
- Hell is real and fiery or not?
- Purgatory
- Snake handling
- Once saved always saved?
- Where do Suicides go?
- Speaking in tongues
- Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
- New covenant theology
- The 'two natures' in Christ.
- The Ordination of Women
- The attitude towards gays
- The various parts of the Bible that seem to be later additions, such as the 'story of the woman taken in adultery' and the 'Great Commission' that ends Matthew, etc.
- The Rapture
- Slavery
- Biblical inerrancy
- Christendom
- Papal Infallibility
- Double Predestination
- Just War Theory
- Penal Substitution
- God as a Male
- Sin
- Unforgivable Sin
- Second coming has already happened
- The point in time that the holy spirit indwells and fills you
- Gifts of the spirit given to everyone or different people at different times
- 'pre-Nicean' controversies

List of Christian Denominations from Wikipedia
1 Catholicism
1.1 The Catholic Church: Churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome
1.2 Other Churches that are Catholic, But Who Are Not In Communion With Rome

2 Eastern Churches
2.1 The (Eastern) Orthodox Church
2.2 Western-Rite Orthodox Churches
2.3 Other Eastern Orthodox Churches
2.3.1 Assyrian Church of the East
2.4 Oriental Orthodoxy
2.4.1 Oriental Orthodox Communion

3 Anglicanism
3.1 Anglican Communion (in communion with the Church of England)
3.2 Independent Anglican and Continuing Anglican Movement Churches

4 Protestant
4.1 Pre-Lutheran Protestants
4.2 Lutheranism
4.3.1 Presbyterianism
4.3.2 Congregationalist Churches
4.4 Anabaptists
4.5 Methodists
4.6 Pietists and Holiness Churches
4.7 Baptists
4.7.1 Spiritual Baptists
4.9 Apostolic Churches - Irvingites
4.10 Pentecostalism
4.11 Oneness Pentecostalism
4.12 Charismatics
4.12.1 Neo-Charismatic Churches
4.13 African Initiated Churches
4.14 United and uniting churches
4.15 Other Protestant Denominations
4.16 Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

5 Messianic Judaism

6 Restorationism
6.1 Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement
6.2 Southcottites
6.3 Millerites and Comparable groups
6.3.1 Sabbath Keeping Churches, Adventist
6.3.2 Sabbath-Keeping Churches, Non-Adventist in north Pennsylvania
6.3.3 Sunday Adventists
6.3.4 Sacred Name Groups
6.3.5 Other Adventists
6.3.6 Bible Student Groups
6.4 Anglo-Israelism

7 Nontrinitarian Groups
7.1 Unitarianism and Universalism

8 Religious movements related to Christianity
8.1 Manichaeism
8.2 The New Church also called Swedenborgianism
8.2.1 Episcopal
8.2.2 Congregational
8.3 New Thought
8.4 Christian mystery movements

9 Ethnic or syncretic religions incorporating elements of Christianity

10 Christianism

Information and Data Quality (IDQ)
* Journey to Data Quality, from Amazon
* Data Quality Assessment
* Beyond Accuracy: What Data Quality Means To Consumers
* Anchoring Data Quality Dimensions in Ontological Foundations

IDQ Applied To The Bible
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
7. IDQ Flaw of Meaningless Representation In The Bible

* "Triangulation", University of California, San Francisco, Global health Sciences
* "Triangulation", Wikipedia

IDQ Applied
* National Transportation Safety Board information quality standards
* Thank Sully!

* IDQ Flaws Relevant To The Holy Spirit
* Cooking The Books To Avoid IDQ Principles
* Accuracy In Detecting The Spiritual Realm Using "Triangulation"