Trompe News. Linguistics and religious behavior. Is there a spillover from absorbing and asserting belief in unprovable fact-events, in the religious setting; and requiring absolute fact proof before acting on equally unknowable matters, such as climate change. Adoption of false-facts, or matters that are not really facts because they are undemonstrable, matters of individual adoption regardless, is a mindset worth exploring.
Definition and Implication
A False-Fact is a position asserted as certain, for purposes of institutional dominance, when in reality there are many alternative interpretations from the linguistic analysis.
The ScienceTimes clarifies that no controls can be asserted from the outside, of course, on what religious groups choose to do or require as belief or not, but this neutral, academic linguistic analysis enables the membership to make more informed choices about the bases of so-called required belief, and choose to leave earlier rather than later if desired. It may also be useful in assessing whether an elected representative or senator is belief-caged, or open to an evolving world; or whether some board of education in filtering facts to suit its own dogma, is entitled to present False-Facts to students as unassailable. Critical thinking: a value for a child's education, or not.
New impetus for the field stems from the new civil tort of False-Fact Perpetuation. The linguistics approach will add a firmer analysis of evolving meanings in word roots, new and neutral translation and transliteration of old texts in separating out False-Facts from the Demonstrable, or at least, the Reasonably Demonstrable. There will be comparisons among traditional commentary, both institution-authorized, and independent scholarly; identifying which address objectively demonstrable fact, or close to it, in meanings and theological implication.
Intent of Analysis
The column, to appear monthly, expressly will state that it is intended to lead only to identification of which in required belief is False-Fact. Where an asserted Fact is in reality ambiguous and subject to varying academic interpretations, such False-Fact may, of course, continue as a required belief. The believer, however, will have a choice in what to believe as absolutely so, and what may well not be. The institution remains free to rely on identified False-Facts, so identified. The individual's faith in the overall system is not intended to be shaken. Why should any institution rely on False-Fact? Let the quality of the individual's life determine whether that life has been good for creation or not. By extension, the issue of self-identification by label and reliance on label for justification, appears.
Among the texts to be applied to modern church positions will be oldest forms of paleo-Hebrew, Hebrew, Phoenician, Greek, Aramaic; and shall include any and all though-lost-but-found gospels and books and writings excluded from the Roman Canon. Jerome's Latin Vulgate shall not be the starting point of translation or transliteration; neither shall statements of those not present at the life of JC be presented as though they were: where the author is not known, such shall be revealed, and additions and deletions to old texts pointed out.
Statements of faith to be subject to these texts include the National Association of Evangelicals, at http://www.nae.net/about-us/statement-of-faith, with particular emphasis on Applied Inerrancy, Pros and Cons; the Meaning of Virgin Birth; What JC knew or did not know; Masculodominance in theology; and Resurrection as being roused (as from a sleep), or lifted from the actual dead. Where and when did theology change the meaning, and thanks to whom and whose interests. From the Roman Catholic view, see the Catechism, at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm#. What in the texts support those conclusions of faith.
Purpose of Column
As this new Religious Linguistics was brainstormed among editors and contributors, many voiced a hope that traditional religions can indeed absorb fact and sense from word meanings into old belief, with the goal being broader acceptance of each other's systems globally.
Yet, can any religious group sieve out its own lumps even when lumps are pointed out. If this backing off of an asserted power to decide can be accomplished in the spectrum of Christian-type groups, could it extend to other religions of the world. Or are believers in political or economic or religious systems so brand-identified that they cannot alter the fact bases of the brand and still be an advocate for the institution's more general approach. What are essential beliefs, and do they pass the False-Fact test.
Anticipated First Column
The first column, according to sources present at the Editorial Board meeting last week, shall address a Christian fact-issue: Where was JC really born? Does it matter, and what evidence supports the location as not Bethlehem of Judea but Bethlehem of Galilee, see NPR, Dig Finds Evidence of Another Bethlehem. See also the pop culture approach to that topic earlier, in Archeology Magazine, Questions about Jesus' Birthplace by Peter A. Young, http://archive.archaeology.org/0511/abstracts/jesus.html/. In other words, can one be "Christian" and believe that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem of Judea, or does challenge of facts challenge the institution too much? The column will explore where there is demonstrable ambiguity, choice and evidence, why impose as certain that which is not certain at all?
Examine the reasons for the ultimate Church Choice -- why not let people know there was active filling in gaps in the gospels, for example, to show all was foreseen and fitting in a certain applied geneology? If, of course, there was.
Initial response to this Scientific Believer approach, a broadly available analysis of various belief systems, has been received favorably among those under 40 who are skilled at and enjoy research access technologically; and among those over 40 who actually look forward to broadening their own horizons. Others fear rocking their boat, and will hop on any vessel promising certainty. Is certainty the deity? Can we leave home without it. Selah.