"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell

Monday, October 29, 2012

Contradictions Imply... Truthyness?

At one of the recent meeting of Free@VT, I mentioned that contradictions between Biblical accounts can actually be evidence that some of the events in the relevant Biblical account occurred. I was met with a great deal of credulity and confusion. "If there are contradictions, then, at most, one account has to be true and the other false," I remember one person stating. Another told me that he felt this criteria was deeply troubling.

The use of contradictions in making inferences of this kind might seem to raise all kinds of epistemic worries; but, properly contextualised, this actually seems reasonable.