What do you think of the Doctrine of Infallibility? For me, this doctrine correlates with inerrancy. For religions, infallibility includes saying my/our religion can't err because I/we have the Truth. Infallibility is about being right absolutely and without exception. Infallibility proclaims the inerrancy of the Bible. In 1870, the Roman Catholic Church formally announced the doctrine of papal infallibility on matters of faith and doctrine. However, all religions have some doctrinal forms of infallibility of their doctrine and dogma. Proscription includes an infallibility concerned with banning, restraining, and restricting. It denounces those who are disagree. Proscriptive dogmas frequently concern denouncing, condemning, prohibiting, ostracizing, and forbidding. Religious dogmas often marginalize those who are different, and can reject societies disenfranchised. Proscriptive religions perform holy wars, crusades, jihads, and inquisitions. Pro- scription can involve a destruction of those who dare-to-differ from their religions infallible view of reality. Dogmas are often about restricting and a denaturalizing of Nature’s revelations and gifts. Amgod is dogma spelled backwards. Infallible dogmas always go beyond religious belief and ultimately head in the direction of power, control, economics, politics, money and wealth. Dogma is “deus ex machine,” or “god from the machine.” The machine of concrete thinking and robotic behaviors. Immanuel Kant said, "the death of dogma is the birth of morality." For Dorothy Parker, "you can't teach an old dogma new tricks." I suspect Voltaire had in mind Catholic Church dogma and persecution when he stated, "ecraser l'infame;" i. e. "crush the infamous thing!"

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Comment by Michael Penn on February 1, 2019 at 7:18am

In real life how could there be such a thing? It's like saying I cannot be wrong. I have something in writing here from an imaginary being and it cannot be wrong. Oh, come on now!

Comment by Grinning Cat on January 28, 2019 at 3:57pm

(AN ate the subscript formatting in the chemical formula for sucrose... you know what he meant!)

Comment by Grinning Cat on January 28, 2019 at 3:48pm

Scientific theories are indeed always provisional, but almost always refined rather than discarded outright in the face of new information. Not all wrongness is equal, as Isaac Asimov wrote in "The Relativity of Wrong":

How do you spell "sugar?" Suppose Alice spells it p-q-z-z-f and Genevieve spells it s-h-u-g-e-r. Both are wrong, but is there any doubt that Alice is wronger than Genevieve? For that matter, I think it is possible to argue that Genevieve's spelling is superior to the "right" one.

Or suppose you spell "sugar": s-u-c-r-o-s-e, or C12H22O11. Strictly speaking, you are wrong each time, but you're displaying a certain knowledge of the subject beyond conventional spelling.

Suppose then the test question was: how many different ways can you spell "sugar?" Justify each.

Naturally, the student would have to do a lot of thinking and, in the end, exhibit how much or how little he knows. The teacher would also have to do a lot of thinking in the attempt to evaluate how much or how little the student knows. Both, I imagine, would be outraged.

There's much more in the essay, including discussion of how the flat-earth idea is slightly but significantly wrong, and the "wrongness" of the successive approximations of a perfectly spherical earth, or an ideal oblate spheroid, kept getting less and less. ("Actually, the pearlike deviation from oblate-spheroid perfect was a matter of yards rather than miles and the adjustment of curvature was in the millionths of an inch per mile.")


Comment by Loren Miller on January 28, 2019 at 6:39am

Ruth, you make a good point.  While some of science's discoveries are verified all but to the point of certainty, it still treats them as provisional and subject to further discovery.  Further, the process of peer review is there because humans are fallible and because the goal of science is the discovery of reliable, verifiable fact regarding the reality around us.

Meanwhile, religion NEVER shows its work or explains its rationale, but just makes pronouncements ex cathedra which are supposed to be followed without question.  It wishes to bully everyone into accepting its dogma without justifying it, the utter antithesis of science.  Worse, too many of its arrogant assertions are, to use the words of Aron Ra, "either not evidently true or evidently not true."  The dismissive, totalitarian attitude taken by religious dogma should automatically disqualify it from any serious consideration, period.

Comment by Compelledunbeliever on January 27, 2019 at 9:51pm

 The doctrine of infallability, is fallable.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on December 15, 2018 at 10:36pm

I ground my reality in science, which avoids infallibility doctrines. Why waste your valuable mental resources on that nonsense?

Comment by Frankie Dapper on December 15, 2018 at 8:53pm


Interestingly it is as close to a response as you have come. 

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