How can you expect anyone to believe the Bible is inerrant given the story of the flood?
May I ask why anyone should believe in the Bible? You claim that the global flood was miraculous, yet what does that have to do with evidence? Did God completely heal the earth? Is that what you’re saying? You wish people to believe that God kept the ocean animals, plant life, bacteria all from dying? Do you not know that there are people who were still alive 6000 years ago according to science? Why do you want to appeal to us with myths of global floods, as well as the Bible? An atheist will see the Bible as equally fraudulent as the Quran, and the Iliad. Saying the Bible is inerrant and using it as proof that a flood happened is circular reasoning. And many atheists will see through it. Is faith all we have to look forward too?
I think you have a point here, and I appreciate your perspective. I am assuming you are a believer who is made nervous by “unscientific” claims that miracles happen, especially when such claims seem to go against what appears to be clear scientific evidence. I cannot blame you for being uncomfortable with this. Let me propose a way to see through at least some of this. First of all, as a Christian and as a person who has looked at the historical evidence, I have become convinced that miracles do happen. In particular, I believe that Jesus worked miracles and even more specifically I believe that he was raised from the dead. I will not defend the evidence for miracles in the Bible right now, but will simply throw that out there for your consideration. The evidence from eye witnesses that Jesus was a worker or real, actual miracles which defy natural laws is sufficient for me to conclude that Jesus did in fact work miracles such as feeding 5000, walking on water, healing the blind and raising Lazarus from the dead.
If we have concluded that miracles happen, then we also have to conclude that there is a supernatural reality out there. Most commonly we call this supernatural presence God. If we have established that miracles do happen and that supernatural events are real, then this gives us a different perspective as we read the Bible than devoted naturalists who, philosophically, reject the existence of the supernatural. Now, if miracles happen, then seeking a scientific explanation of these events is obviously not helpful. It is literally impossible to use science to prove that Jesus did not walk on water or did not heal the blind. If we ASSUME that there are no miracles, then using this assumption as evidence miracles do not happen is circular reasoning and is a bogus argument. I do not use science to support my belief in miracles. I use history, not science for this.
Let us get to the flood. I believe that the flood happened, but my evidence is not scientific. I believe that heaven is real. I do not have scientific evidence for this. My belief in heaven is entirely based on faith in the reliability of the scripture. My belief in the flood of Genesis 7-8 is based principally on that same faith in the reliability of the scriptures. There is some evidence for the flood in the days of Noah, but that evidence is not particularly convincing. You ask ” You claim that the global flood was miraculous, yet what does that have to do with evidence?” The evidence for the flood is the reliability of the scriptures. It has relatively little to do with the “evidence” if you mean geologic evidence. Let me make this clear. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead because of the evidence. I believe in heaven and in the flood of Noah because of faith in the reliability of the Bible. I do not believe in these things in spite of evidence, but I also do not believe in them because of physical evidence. This is my response to your concern. We need to be careful to ask ourselves why we believe what we believe.
As for atheists, if they assume that there is no God, I cannot help them. If they allow for at least the possibility that there is a God, then I believe that a simple straight-forward reading of the Qur’an, the Iliad and of the Bible will convince any reasonable person that the Bible is inspired but that the Qur’an and the Iliad are not. As long as an atheist assumes that miracles cannot happen, then there is not much point in discussing the evidence for the flood. It is not my job to frame the argument about the flood of Noah in terms that an atheist can accept. I believe that this was a miracle performed by God for the reason that he wanted to judge the earth and the people on the earth.
I agree that saying the Bible is inerrant and using this as “evidence” the flood happened is circular reasoning. Therefore, we should not use this kind of bogus argument. I hope that I have never made such an obvious error of logic. The argument should go like this: First of all I do not have physical proof of the flood. What I do have is evidence (not from the flood) that the Bible is inerrant and inspired by God. Having reached the reasonable conclusion that the Bible is inerrant and inspired, I then conclude, by faith, based on that evidence, that the flood of Noah happened. This is logical and reasonable, but it certainly is not “proof” of the flood by any means.
Those who defend the Bible need to think carefully and defend and explain their beliefs carefully. If they do so, then the problems you perceive will pretty much disappear, even if you are not able to convince those who have already assumed that the Bible cannot be true. In fact, such people are impervious to evidence, so arguments with them are not going to be fruitful.
Is faith “all we have to look forward to?” I am not sure what you mean by this question. I would say that Christianity involves great faith, but faith which is solidly based on reasonable interpretation of a great amount of data which supports this faith.