Other Names: Cult of sacred scriptures
Nature: Excessive veneration of a book believed to be divinely inspired. This may be more generally understood to include those major books which are the basis of either religions or, by extension (but to a lesser degree), of major ideologies. In the case of religions, the sacred writings are the plenary depository of the divine spirit and as such are of eternal duration and of superhuman origin. The book may be held to transcend all created things and possesses the quality of absolute infallibility being the perfect channel of divine revelation. Within the religion such a book proscribes all criticism and ranks as the one all-sufficient standard of appeal in questions of belief. Absolute submission to this sacred book is the obligation of the bibliolatrist. Outside it their exists no final tribunal in matters of faith.
Incidence: Common within religions based on a single sacred book, otherwise known as 'book-religions'. These include Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Zorastrianism. Whilst veneration for their sacred books may not be a required article of faith, it may become so in the practice of some of the faithful. Similar veneration may be seen for certain ideological writings such as those of Marx, Lenin and Mao Tse Tung.
Claim: The well known phenomenon of biblical fundamentalism destroys the value of observations, injunctions, warnings and encouragements of the people who figure in the books. For if the wsords have to be true, if the voice of God through the prophet has to be wise, then we cannot know what they mean. We may seem to know what they mean, but if what we thought was meant turns out not to be so wise, not to accord with our own experience, to be inconsistent with some other voicing of God's voice, then what we thought to have been meant cannot have been what was meant. (Max Deutscher, Subjecting and Objecting).
Counter Claim: It is only natural to venerate the revelation of divine understanding, the Word of God, as it is expressed in Holy Writ.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 06.11.1999 – 00:00 CET