Does something have to be accurate to be true?


Founding Member
I'm specifically talking about our old friend, the Bible.

If you hear the story that God created the Earth in 6 days, and on the 7th, he rested - that's unlikely to be accurate and more, cannot be proven. But what if the real meaning is that the storyteller wanted you to remember that God created the Earth?

Or, let's take poetry which by nature is also inaccurate, but which forms a shield to protect and advance the truth of the issue.

I'm not asking you to believe in God, I'm trying to establish whether our never-ending quest for facts and evidence blinds us to the more philosophical points. And in doing so, is this why some humans struggle with theoretical discussions and cognitive development? For example, are we too busy looking in the weeds for the evidence, when we should be looking at the skies for the ideas?

Discuss :)


Staff member
I think considering that God created the universe, with an estimated trillion trillion trillion stars, or whatever it is, that he deserves a break, don't you? Perhaps the real meaning was that you should take a break each week. Is that the Sabbath? Interesting that Muslims take off Friday, Jews Saturdays and Christians Sundays. No overlap! Very convenient if you want to coexist and not have the shops shut!

Maybe philosophy is more about interpretation of facts than verification. Whimsical hypothesising about the nature of reality.


Founding Member
Ah... you fell into my trap of focusing on one element - that he rested. My point was that it is unlikely to be accurate that he created the earth in 6 days and that we are so focused on evidence that perhaps we are missing the bigger picture.

Whimsical hypothesising - or creative thought?

But now I have to drive to MK so this discussion will have to wait!


Founding Member
The Bible is perhaps a bad starting point anyway since there are multiple interpretations of it. I agree we cannot reasonably take it literally. Some people think of it as allegorical, which is more in line with your idea of "not literally right, but perhaps a starting point for consideration." I see it differently, in that I don't see the Bible as being about God at all. It is about and by people who believed in God, giving us their viewpoints and their understanding.

I see it as a collection of stories to pass along information about traditions. I also see it as a collection of stories passed along by oral tradition, waiting for that day when the people who held those traditions finally learned how to write. Finally, I see the Bible as telling stories to amaze, amuse, admonish, or anesthetize (via boredom) small children who didn't have TV, Radio, Video Gaming, or other methods of calming down for bedtime.

However, that still doesn't invalidate the question. When we hear stories about some heroic action or rousing adventure, even when it is supposedly based on reality, the REAL question is whether the teller is being literal-minded or whether that person is composing enhancements along the way for effect. In essence, a little bit of on-the-fly rewriting of history to make the story more memorable or more palatable. Or good enough to entice someone to buy the story teller another round at the bar. We have to remember that history is written after-the-fact and we have to hope that the author had an eye for detail.

In a sense, modern journalists have a worse problem than the old bards and story tellers. Modern journalists often have video and audio of the actual event and thus run a risk of being caught when embellishing the truth. It heavily affects police cases where video might be shot at any moment that either supports or undercuts an officer's viewpoint of what happened. When we see made-for-TV docu-dramas (such as the recent discussion about the Central Part Five), we have to ask how much is fact and how much is embellishment (for dramatic purpose) and how much is some type of rational interpolation (to fill in blank spots in our knowledge)?