The infallibility and inerrancy of biblical teaching does not, however, guarantee the infallibility and inerrancy of any interpretation or interpreter of that teaching; nor does the recognition of its qualities as the Word of God in any way prejudge the issue as to what Scripture does, in fact, assert. This can be determined only by careful Bible study.
J. I. Packer
Papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy are the two ecclesiastical versions of this human idolatry. Both papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy require widespread and unchallenged ignorance to sustain their claims to power. Both are doomed as viable alternatives for the long- range future of anyone.
John Shelby Spong
I am most often irritated by those who attack the bishop but somehow fall for the securities analyst-those who exercise their skepticism against religion but not against economists, social scientists, and phony statisticians. Using the confirmation bias, these people will tell you that religion was horrible for mankind by counting deaths from the Inquisition and various religious wars. But they will not show you how many people were killed by nationalism, social science, and political theory under Stalin or during the Vietnam War. Even priests don't go to bishops when they feel ill: their first stop is the doctor's. But we stop by the offices of many pseudoscientists and "experts" without alternative. We no longer believe in papal infallibility; we seem to believe in the infallibility of the Nobel, though...
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Among the minor, yet striking characteristics of mathematics, may be mentioned the fleshless and skeletal build of its propositions; the peculiar difficulty, complication, and stress of its reasonings; the perfect exactitude of its results; their broad universality; their practical infallibility.
Charles Sanders Peirce
One of the strangest phenomena of our time, and one that will probably be a matter of astonishment to our decedents, is that doctrine which is founded upon this triple hypothesis: the radical passiveness of mankind, -the omnipotence of the law, -the infallibility of the legislature: this is the sacred symbol of the party that proclaims itself exclusively democratic.
You're only infallible about your own nervous system. You know what's going on in your own nervous system, whatever realities you're creating out of the infinite flux of being. You don't know anything about anybody else's reality unless they tell you about it. You gotta listen very sympathetically in order to understand them. So it's a limited infallibility.
Robert Anton Wilson
A Christian anarchist has no business belonging to such a reactionary organization [the Catholic Church]. I do not believe in original sin, indulgences, the infallibility of the pope, or obedience to any church official if it is against my conscience. I am not interested in earning "merit" or in being saved by priestly incantation.
The significant contribution of empiricism was not the eradication of certainty, but the eradication of infallibility as a criterion of certainty. And this shift from infallibilism to fallibilism has profound consequences not only for toleration, but also for the subordination of faith to reason and theology to philosophy.
George H. Smith
If the test of truth lay in a show of hands or a counting of heads, the system of magic might appeal, with far more reason than the Catholic Church, to the proud motto, Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus [always, everywhere, and by all], as the sure and certain credential of its own infallibility.
James G. Frazer
How can you claim infallibility and claim that in these 114 [drone] strikes there was just one mistake -- one person killed that was a civilian -- and at the same time say, 'Well, we don't really know how many people were killed or who they were, but we know they weren't civilians'? I don't know how you can do that.
The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility.
Allowances can always be made for your friends to disagree with you. Disagreement, vehement disagreement, is healthy. Debate is impossible without it. Evil does not question itself, only hope questions itself. Even the incorruptible are corruptible if they cannot accept the possibility of being mistaken. Infallibility is a sin in any man. All laws can be broken and are. Often. Like when a bumblebee flies or an ancient regime is toppled.
First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility. Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of the truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.
John Stuart Mill
Self-righteousness and presumptive moral judgments pose a great danger in the political arena. To become convinced of the divine infallibility of one's personal predilections on a secular political issue is to play God, to assume to oneself the attributes of deity. It cultivates an arrogant intolerance of dissenting viewpoints and relegates one's political adversaries to the category of evil per se.
The failure of the reformation to capture France had left for the Frenchmen no half-way house between infallibility and infidelity; and while the intellect of Germany and England moved leisurely in the lines of religious evolution, the mind of France leaped from the hot faith which had massacred the Huguenots to cold hostility with which La Mettrie, Helvetius, Holbach, and Diderot turned upon the religion of the fathers.
It is not the sanctuary that is in danger; it is civilization. It is not infallibility that may go down; it is personal rights. It is not the Eucharist that may pass away; it is freedom of conscience. It is not divine justice that may evaporate; it is the courts of human justice. It is not that God may be driven from His throne; it is that men may lose the meaning of home; For peace on earth will come only to those who give glory to God! It is not the Church that is in danger, it is the world!
Fulton J. Sheen
Perhaps I had better inform my Protestant readers that the famous Dogma of Papal Infallibility is by far the most modest pretension of the kind in existence. Compared with our infallible democracies, our infallible medical councils, our infallible astronomers, our infallible judges, and our infallible parliaments, the Pope is on his knees in the dust confessing his ignorance before the throne of God, asking only that as to certain historical matters on which he has clearly more sources of information open to him than anyone else his decision shall be taken as final.
George Bernard Shaw
There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church's infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmata carrying the mark of infallibility.
Pope Paul VI
all the ideals and beliefs you ever had have crashed about your gun-deafened ears - you don't believe in God or them or the infallibility of England or anything but bloody war and wounds and foul smells and smutty stories and smoke and bombs and lice and filth and noise, noise, noise - you live in a world of cold sick fear, a dirty world of darkness and despair - you want to crawl ignominiously home away from these painful writhing things that once were men, these shattered, tortured faces that dumbly demand what it's all about in Christ's name ...
The Supreme Court is composed of two groups known as the Infallible Five and the Furious Four. The first group writes those majority decisions on patent law that have brought patent lawyers to their present condition. The second groups writes the dissenting opinions, trying to hold to the law as it was laid down by the first groups the week before. The composition of each group shifts from decision to decision, so that no one justice is right all the time. They sort of pass the infallibility around to keep peace in the family." - The Improbable Profession
Rationality or consciousness is itself a ratio or proportion among the sensuous components of experience, and is not something added to such sense experience. Subrational beings have no means of achieving such a ratio or proportion in their sense lives but are wired for fixed wave lengths, as it were, having infallibility in their own area of experience. Consciousness, complex and subtle, can be impaired or ended by a mere stepping-up or dimming-down of any one sense intensity, which is the procedure in hypnosis. And the intensification of one sense by a new medium can hypnotize an entire community.
A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.
Where is your brother, he asked, and cain responded with another question. Am I my brother's keeper, You killed him, Yes, I did, but you are the one who is really to blame, I would have given my life for him if you had not destroyed mine, It was a question of putting you to the test, But why put to the test the very thing you yourself created, Because I am the sovereign lord of all things, And of all beings you will say, but not of me and my freedom, What, the freedom to kill, Just as you had the freedom to stop me killing abel, which was perfectly within your capabilities, all you had to do, just for a moment, was to abandon that pride in your infallibility that you share with all the other gods, and, again just for a moment, to be truly merciful and accept my offering with humility, because you shouldn't have refused it, you gods, you and all the others, have a duty to those you claim to have created, This is seditious talk, Yes, possibly, but I can guarantee you that if I were god, I would repeat every day Blessed are those who choose sedition because theirs is the kingdom of the earth, That's sacrilege, Maybe, but no more sacrilegious than you allowing abel to die...
I was only beginning to enter into the infinite subtlety of Gregorian chant. It was - and remains - the only public prayer I have ever been able to engage in without feeling like a phony and a jackass. But then, one day in 1965 or so, it was simply abolished. With a stroke of his pen, Pope John XXIII - who had such good ideas about other things - declared that liturgy would henceforth be in the vernacular language of the people. That was, effectively, the end of Latin chant. Then all those monks and nuns who had devoted hours and hours a day began to sicken and fall into depressions, but nobody noticed for a long time. Maybe, as I can well believe, the music toned up their systems in some mysterious way. Or perhaps chant really was a language that God understood. Faced with numerous liturgical scholas shrieking away in the new vernacular hymns, Divinity may have covered its ears and withdrawn, leaving the monks to pine. We parish musicians, illiterate in anything written after the 13th century, stumbled around trying to score liturgies for guitar and bongo drums, trying to make sense of texts like "Eat his body! Drink his blood!" It wasn't because the music got so bad that I quit going to Mass, but it certainly was the beginning of my doubts about papal infallibility.
Mary Rose O'Reilley