Roman Catholics claim that Protestant theology is deficient because one cannot have infallible certainty about doctrine from scripture because they do not have a infallible church to interpret the Bible infallibly. All they have, according to the Roman Catholic, is the fallible opinions of men. In this post I hope to show that given this line of reasoning that Roman Catholics are in the same position as Protestants and that if there reasoning were consistent then this would require a infinite regress of infallible interpreters.
Roman Catholics are in the same position as Protestants:
If the infallible church infallibly interprets a statement x then the infallible interpretation is going to be interpreted by you, a mere fallible person. In short, the Roman Catholic has to fallibly interpret the infallible church, just like the Protestant has to fallibly interpret the infallible Bible.
A Infinite Regress of Infallible Interpreters:
The Problem is that if the Roman Catholics were consistent with their claims then they would end up having a infinite regress of infallible interpreters. Here is how:
If one lays out a condition for theology that for any statement of faith and practice, that statement ought to be infallibly interpreted.
Here is how such a condition would lead to a infinite regress: For every statement x that is interpreted that interpretation becomes a statement y about a statement x. Furthermore, since that infallible interpretation is a statement y then it needs to be infallibly interpreted by another statement w and once it is infallibly interpreted then w has to be infallibly interpreted and on and on.
The Roman Catholics might object and say that "well there comes a point were you just have to interpret the statement x". But if this is true then it becomes a fallible human opinion and no longer a infallible interpretation of the Church.
The problem with this infallible interpretation principle is that it leads to a unnecessary infinite regress and thus a violation of Ockham's Razor.
In conclusion we do not need a infallible interpretation of the Bible because the principles behind it lead to a unnecessary infinite regress. There is no reason to think that we cannot know the meaning of scripture without a church infallibly interpreting it. This is why I think it most reasonable to think that we interpret the Bible as fallible creatures before God, we know what it says but we know it as creatures and not as God.