People inherently think that they are correct. If people did not think they were correct, they would not hold those particular views. And although everyone claims not to be perfect, few people show real actions that confirm that they think their own knowledge is flawed. The best indicator is a change of mind based on new information (preferably about something that actually matters to the individual).
The Bible is against those who are know-it-alls:
1Co 8:2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
In both my previous posts, I confront authors who are very sure of something that even their own evidence does not confirm.
In regards to the ending of Mark, James Tabor writes that “this ending is patently false” and “the evidence is clear.” I show that the evidence is not all that clear.
In regards to women and the Bible, Sean McElwee writes:
Although the right often claims the Bible supports their absurd ideas about gender roles (just like the Bible supported anti-miscegenation) such claims have been thoroughly debunked by theologians.
Going to his link (titled “thoroughly debunked”) we get to a page by N. T. Wright (whom I respect as an author). NT Wright is not quite as confident as his minion about the merits of his argument:
That’s a lot of ‘perhaps’es. We can only guess at the dynamics of the situation – which is of course what historians always do. It’s just that here we are feeling our way in the dark more than usual.
The best approach for understanding complex situations using fragmentary evidence is humility. Intellectual opponents might have valid points or possible points (their conclusions still might not be correct), but dismissing their arguments out of hand or overstating your own case is intellectually dishonest. Sometimes a “yeah, but” is more honest than a “this is patently true”. Confidence might win debates in the eyes of spectators, but it blurs the real issues and is discouraged by the Bible.
Also see: omnipresence and rational irrationality