Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 80 (8871 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 10-23-2018 11:03 PM
271 online now:
ICANT, Minnemooseus (Adminnemooseus), ringo (3 members, 268 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: paradigm of types
Upcoming Birthdays: DrJones*
Post Volume:
Total: 840,662 Year: 15,485/29,783 Month: 1,429/1,502 Week: 186/241 Day: 65/74 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
3233
34
3536
...
59NextFF
Author Topic:   Religion or Science - How do they compare?
JonF
Member
Posts: 4214
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 496 of 882 (833806)
05-26-2018 5:26 PM
Reply to: Message 473 by Faith
05-26-2018 12:01 PM


Re: Faith's fantasies vs reality
ALL WE NEED IS DATING.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 473 by Faith, posted 05-26-2018 12:01 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 4214
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 497 of 882 (833808)
05-26-2018 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 490 by Faith
05-26-2018 1:50 PM


Re: Faith's fantasies vs reality
You misunderstand the implications of "witnesses"

To me a witness is someone who sees something, and they are typically poor ways to find the truth about that something. If there's some further significance you haven't written anything about it. Even if you have written something you haven't connected it to "witnesses".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 490 by Faith, posted 05-26-2018 1:50 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19589
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 498 of 882 (833828)
05-27-2018 6:41 AM
Reply to: Message 473 by Faith
05-26-2018 12:01 PM


Re: Faith's fantasies vs reality
ALL YOU'VE GOT IS DATING. ...

What I have is evidence, objective empirical evidence, verified and validated from many sources reaching the same result: the earth is significantly older than any YEC fantasy delusion.

... If other evidence conclusively shows a young earth there is something wrong with the dating methods no matter how convincing they seem. ...

There is no evidence that shows a young earth that is in any way conclusive of anything other than delusion.

... I think other evidence will eventually conclusively show a young earth. ...

What you think is irrelevant and immaterial: until you actually have evidence you don't have evidence. Any belief that it will turn miraculously turn up is just self delusion.

... For now I put the dating methods in the column for your side.

Then you need to stop making claims of a young earth until such time as you can actually address the issues. It is dishonest to spread YEC lies about the age of the earth.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 473 by Faith, posted 05-26-2018 12:01 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15429
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


(2)
Message 499 of 882 (833861)
05-27-2018 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 486 by Faith
05-26-2018 1:26 PM


Re: On "Original Sin" and "The Fall"
Faith writes:

If you really believe that "knowing good and evil" was an improvement on our original condition, or that the Bible seems to say that...


The Bible does say that. I quoted it. You can believe that it doesn't mean what it says but don't pretend that it doesn't say what it says.

There was no "original condition" that changed. The story explains why human life is what it is. It's about growing up. The "original condition" that you idolize is a state of infantile dependence.

Yes, growing up is an improvement.

Faith writes:

... we lost touch with our Creator...


We didn't. The whole Bible is the story of people being in touch with their Creator.

Faith writes:

... a benevolent Satan who nevertheless tyrannizes us...


Satan doesn't exist. That's just a copout, passing the buck, an excuse for not taking responsibility for our own actions.

Faith writes:

Anything to render the Bible meaningless I guess.


On the contrary, I accept the Bible (and appreciate it) for what it is and for what it says. It's your perversion of the Bible that makes it meaningless. The only meaning you find in the Bible is made-up dogma.

Faith writes:

I'm sure you don't really feel you are "like God"....


The important thing is that God does. I quoted Him.

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 486 by Faith, posted 05-26-2018 1:26 PM Faith has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 502 by GDR, posted 05-27-2018 11:57 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15429
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 500 of 882 (833862)
05-27-2018 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 493 by Phat
05-26-2018 4:10 PM


Re: On "Original Sin" and "The Fall"
Phat writes:

All of this wouldnt be so bad if jar and others had more respect for what the mainstream apologists and Christian leaders teach and believe.


Why should they?

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 493 by Phat, posted 05-26-2018 4:10 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Capt Stormfield
Member
Posts: 382
From: Vancouver Island
Joined: 01-17-2009
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 501 of 882 (833888)
05-27-2018 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 486 by Faith
05-26-2018 1:26 PM


Re: On "Original Sin" and "The Fall"
If you really believe that "knowing good and evil" was an improvement on our original condition, or that the Bible seems to say that, while we lost touch with our Creator and had to toil for a living among thorns and bear children in agony and suffer all kinds of sufferings, hideous diseases and death and murder and mayhem, you are stuck accepting a hostile environment as an improvement, a hostile God, a benevolent Satan who nevertheless tyrannizes us, a world of pain and death as opposed to the original Creation. You do all accept all that, don't you? You think it's normal. I guess I can't talk you out of it. You think that's a good thing, I don't, but you are stuck with it given your view of the eating of the apple. Anything to render the Bible meaningless I guess. In the end of course you just have to give up on it, no matter how clearly our actual reality fits the biblical description of its consequences. I'm sure you don't really feel you are "like God" -- either the true omnipotent good God or the evil God you think the Bible talks about.

What an eloquent paean to the lost opportunity for an eternity of blind, boot-licking ignorance. It's a puzzle to me why primitive Christians aspire to be the sort of slave that lacks not just the will for freedom, but even the ability to imagine it. It's inspiring to see you working so hard to recreate this lost opportunity, though.

As an aside, it may surprise you to learn that saying "...how clearly our actual reality fits the biblical description of its consequences" is more than a bit meaningless. Is it your impression that the authors of the Bible weren't already surrounded by the human condition they describe? Did it occur to you that women had been bemoaning labor pains for quite some time before Genesis was written?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 486 by Faith, posted 05-26-2018 1:26 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4507
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 502 of 882 (833902)
05-27-2018 11:57 PM
Reply to: Message 499 by ringo
05-27-2018 2:15 PM


Re: On "Original Sin" and "The Fall"
ringo writes:

The Bible does say that. I quoted it. You can believe that it doesn't mean what it says but don't pretend that it doesn't say what it says.
There was no "original condition" that changed. The story explains why human life is what it is. It's about growing up. The "original condition" that you idolize is a state of infantile dependence.

Yes, growing up is an improvement.


Absolutely except that I would add that growing up is hopefully an improvement
ringo writes:

e didn't. The whole Bible is the story of people being in touch with their Creator.

..and the story shows that we are slow learners.

ringo writes:

Satan doesn't exist. That's just a copout, passing the buck, an excuse for not taking responsibility for our own actions.

I'm kinda agnostic on that but I lean towards the idea of satan metaphorically representing the evil that I am capable of.

ringo writes:

On the contrary, I accept the Bible (and appreciate it) for what it is and for what it says. It's your perversion of the Bible that makes it meaningless. The only meaning you find in the Bible is made-up dogma.

I'm not sure I'd say meaningless but it sure is a distortion of the nature of God that we see in Jesus.
Your post is another example of non-Christians often sounding more Christ-like that some Christians.

ABE Sorry about the Pats today. I was cheering for them.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 499 by ringo, posted 05-27-2018 2:15 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

    
Paboss
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: 10-01-2017


Message 503 of 882 (834141)
05-31-2018 5:03 AM
Reply to: Message 323 by GDR
05-21-2018 12:09 AM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
GDR writes:


Absolutely, but so has nationalism, greed , lust for power etc. Actually I would say that when the Bible is used as justification for evil there is actually another motivation such as the ones I named behind it. In other words those atrocities, including those in the Bible, would have been justified by something else. Even the stories in the OT can be seen as lust for power and control over neighbouring tribes.

Is not that Religion is the only thing that is either used as an excuse or as reason for people to cause harm to others. It may be our tendency to think dualistically and see others as part of the in-group or out-group (friend or foe). This is probably legacy of our tribal ancestry. But religion has that added negative value of “revealing” the unquestioned truth to believers and move people to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. Religion can be either the reason or the excuse; in any case it can be very influential in moral values.

See for example the conflict between Palestine and Israel. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a religious conflict. I think it all comes down to the needs of both nations to have a land where to live. But what is the one thing that has for decades fuelled the mutual hatred?

GDR writes:


Paboss writes:


The New Testament says on the one hand nice things about Jesus. On the other hand encourages slaves to serve their masters with all their will, even the more if they are Christians too.


Yes, but slavery was not the same as we think of slavery from more modern history and in the case of the Jews was not usually race based. In many ways it was similar to what a paid employee is today.

I find this rather dubious. Are you saying that the institution of slavery that we know took place in the Roman Empire, where and when those epistles were written, was simply the equivalent to modern employment?

GDR writes:


Also, if you read the short book in the Bible called Philemon you can see that Paul writes a letter to Philemon asking that he treat his slave Onesimus as “no longer a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord”. (Philemon 1:16)

It seems like this Onesimus was a person dear to Paul, and who both he and Philemon, found “useful” in Paul words. Note here that Paul is not pleading for slaves to be treated as brothers but for one specific person who found favour in Paul’s sight. Furthermore, for Paul to be asking for Onesimus to receive a treatment “better than a slave, as a brother” implies that they saw slaves not simply as employees but as inferior people, with lesser rights. He’s pleading for his dear Onesimus because he knows being slave is not nice. The slavery condoned by the New Testament is the horrible institution we know of.

GDR writes:


Firstly it doesn’t say that women can’t teach men…

Yes, it does:

quote:

1 Timothy 2:11-12 (ESV):

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.


GDR writes:


…and when you read through the NT there are numerous cases of women holding authoritative positions in the early church.

That’s because the Bible is contradictory, so you can find biblical support for contradictory arguments. Being supposedly inspired by God, this should not be the case.

GDR writes:


Also, Paul is part of his culture, but after he talks about wives submitting to husbands he goes on to say that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave up his life for it. In other words a husband is to put his wife’s interest above his own.

Nevertheless the church is subordinate to Jesus just as Paul expected women to be subordinate to their husbands. This is perfectly understandable as Paul being part of his culture. But again, if this scriptures are to be taken as inspired by God, they shouldn’t look immoral by our modern standards. But they look as what they are: fabrication of the men of ancient times with no evident divine insight.

GDR writes:


Paboss writes:


After all, as you say, religions are human inventions. They are made up after the moral values of the people who created them and that’s why they tend to provide such ill advice.


I think that is true in some cases in the bible but I don’t think that is always true. I do believe that God, with His still small voice or Holy Spirit, does speak into our hearts and I believe that to be the case in many of the writers of the OT.

When you say that God speaks into the hearts of many of the writers of the OT, you imply is not into all of them. So how do you decide which writers are listening to God’s voice in their hearts and which are not? I think the answer is you have to use your own criteria; which in your case, is informed by modern moral values.

GDR writes:


In the NT the picture of morality is based on the life and teachings of Jesus which I believe to be the embodiment of the moral nature of God. If that is correct then the moral values of the NT writers are based more upon Jesus than they are upon their own understanding. Just look at how Paul’s moral values were changed by his encounter with Jesus.

But this is you again evaluating the NT and using your modern values to decide that Jesus teachings align with what you consider to be good. Since the NT has also some morally disgusting verses it is you again who has to decide what comes from God and what is just the reflection of the culture of the writers, like you do with Paul talking about women.

GDR writes:


But there is a criteria given to us by the Bible which fundamentalist Christians such as Faith ignore. The Gospel John starts out by telling us that in Jesus the Word, wisdom or nature of God became flesh, namely in Jesus. The question then is why do we give that statement credibility? I give it credibility because I believe that God resurrected Jesus into a life that is associated with, but distinct from the life that was taken from Him on the cross. God confirmed Jesus’ life and teaching.

But this is something that you take on faith, from what you consider to be good. So it doesn’t work as a criteria for others because it’s dependent on everyone deciding if John’s testimony is true or not. There should be some criteria that could be equally used by believers and nonbelievers to tell what comes from God and what doesn’t. If your criteria is an statement taken on faith it doesn’t get you any closer to the truth; there is no reason to rely on those claims.

GDR writes:


God confirmed Jesus’ life and teaching. Taking that as a given, (which I am fully aware you don’t), then I can read through the OT where it has God commanding genocide and public stoning and be able to confidently say that those commands were not of God but of very fallible humans.

So what do you make of those passages? Why did God allowed such horrible texts to be present in the book that was supposed to convey his truth to people?

GDR writes:


I think in many ways that we are just as self centered as we ever were but it just looks different.

We are not perfect, but I can confidently say we are morally better than the people of previous ages. This is only because we have a vantage point: we can look from the present towards the past, evaluate history, decide which mistakes of the past we don’t want to commit again and try to be better than them.

GDR writes:


However, we have no real evidence that our evolved set of social and moral standards are the result of an evolutionary process set in place by intelligence or by mindless processes.

We do have evidence, we know that as social species we have had to develop the ability to cooperate in order to survive. This ability to cooperate has been naturally selected, which means the most cooperative humans have had better chances at surviving. The sense of empathy that we and other social animals developed, helped our tribal ancestors to survive as a group by caring for each other. In tribal environments, this also meant we developed the tendency to think dualistically in terms of in-group/out-group (as I mentioned at the beginning of this very long post), thus translating into a sense of hostility towards those who belong to the out-group. As the development of technology, knowledge and awareness that we are not so different from each other, has helped us to transcend our tribal borders, empathy has been progressively extended to people belonging to other cultures, countries, groups. This is how moral values have improved through History.

The people who wrote the story of The Tower of Babel knew very well about the importance of human cooperation. They portrayed the gods becoming concerned as humans joined together in the enterprise of building a tower to reach the heavens. The gods realized, says the story, that when humans join forces there is nothing they cannot achieve. So they created the different languages to confound and divide people so that they could not cooperate. I understand it was Jews exiled in Babylon who wrote this story. Maybe they saw the Babylonians as a highly cooperative civilization (which in fact were building a tower, not meant to reach heavens, but quite high for the standards of the time) that had achieved their greatness by joining efforts to become the powerhouse they were back then.

GDR writes:


In order to accept the concept of an actual right and wrong ,then we pretty much have to accept that something beyond ourselves is a basis for that fact. If our understanding of right and wrong is simply evolved from mindlessness then there is no universal right and wrong and our views are then based on what seems to work best for us now.

If you look at history and anthropology, morals change from time to time and from culture to culture. If we were to consider morals to be absolute and to adopt those of Yahweh we would degenerate into an absolutist morally sick regime. Morals change with time, but they also tend to improve because we are standing on the shoulders of past generations. We can see what they got wrong and improve.

GDR writes:


In the future we may come to the conclusion that it is morally right to commit genocide because our tribe needs the resources of some other tribe and that becomes our moral imperative.

That would be highly likely the case in a scenario where our whole civilisation collapses and a new one has to start from scratch. That is precisely what the movie “The planet of the apes”, in its original version illustrates. But if future generations keep building upon our achievements the tendency should be for better moral values. For example, people in the future may get to the point where all their energy comes from renewable sources and their impact on Earth is neutral. They will certainly look down on us as immoral because of the way we treat the environment but they would also understand we were product of our time and ignorant on things they will have figured out by then.

GDR writes:


BTW. Your approach reminds me a lot of Chris Hitchens who in general I thought asked all the right questions, and in a lot of cases sounded more Christ like than a lot of Christians.

I’ve learnt a lot from watching his talks and debates. I think he was a great critical thinker and able to present very compelling arguments. Although by the time I heard from him I was already well in my way out of Christianity, his arguments helped me make more sense of the way I feel about Religion, and specially, Christianity. If you have read his book “God is not great”, he starts explaining how as he puts it “Religion poisons everything”. The arguments he offers for that have helped me inform my position that religion has exerted a negative influence on people, and its influence has been way more powerful than that of other ideologies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 323 by GDR, posted 05-21-2018 12:09 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 508 by GDR, posted 05-31-2018 10:55 PM Paboss has not yet responded

    
Paboss
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: 10-01-2017


Message 504 of 882 (834142)
05-31-2018 5:14 AM
Reply to: Message 344 by GDR
05-21-2018 4:19 PM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
GDR writes:


Different cultures have different ideas of what is right and wrong. If there is no universal standard then who are you or I to say that what ISIS terrorists do is wrong. They believe that what they are doing is the right thing to do. If there is no universal standard then it is only what we as individuals or to a lesser degree our own cultures decide what is right or wrong. If there is a universal definition for right and wrong then it means that there is an external basis for that.

ISIS policies belong to past times when it was morally acceptable to try to impose one’s beliefs and kill those who resist. Morals change with the times, but they also tend to improve because we can look back and see what kind of society we don’t want to be. That’s how we can tell ISIS morals are wrong; neither absolute morals nor gods are required for that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 344 by GDR, posted 05-21-2018 4:19 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 505 by GDR, posted 05-31-2018 5:40 PM Paboss has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4507
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 505 of 882 (834175)
05-31-2018 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 504 by Paboss
05-31-2018 5:14 AM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
Paboss writes:

SIS policies belong to past times when it was morally acceptable to try to impose one’s beliefs and kill those who resist. Morals change with the times, but they also tend to improve because we can look back and see what kind of society we don’t want to be. That’s how we can tell ISIS morals are wrong; neither absolute morals nor gods are required for that.


That misses the point. If this world is the result of nothing but mindless particles coming together by chance with no intelligence involved at any point, then our morality is then simply what works for us,(or me).

The morality that you espouse is what works for you in your corner of the world. That morality of ISIS is what works for them. Sure it is very reminiscent of the world centuries ago but that doesn't change anything. It simply means that there is no absolute right or wrong.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 504 by Paboss, posted 05-31-2018 5:14 AM Paboss has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 506 by jar, posted 05-31-2018 5:56 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 507 by NoNukes, posted 05-31-2018 7:24 PM GDR has responded
 Message 517 by ringo, posted 06-01-2018 11:43 AM GDR has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30920
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 506 of 882 (834177)
05-31-2018 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 505 by GDR
05-31-2018 5:40 PM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
GDR writes:

Sure it is very reminiscent of the world centuries ago but that doesn't change anything. It simply means that there is no absolute right or wrong.

And that there is no absolute right or wrong also simply fits the evidence and makes sense while some absolute right or wrong neither fits the evidence or makes sense.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 505 by GDR, posted 05-31-2018 5:40 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 507 of 882 (834179)
05-31-2018 7:24 PM
Reply to: Message 505 by GDR
05-31-2018 5:40 PM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
That misses the point. If this world is the result of nothing but mindless particles coming together by chance with no intelligence involved at any point, then our morality is then simply what works for us,(or me).

Don't kill folks. Don't hurt your brother. Just how huge a chunk of morality can be developed from a couple of what might be easy to come by precepts. It might even be that there is an evolutionary advantage to concepts like that.

I am not sure that the lack of absolutes is completely debilitating. Half of the ten commandments are about man's relationship to his closest neighbors and family. Surely there is more than one source for somthing like that.

Obviously, the half of the commandments that relate to God must come from a religion of sorts.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


This message is a reply to:
 Message 505 by GDR, posted 05-31-2018 5:40 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 509 by GDR, posted 05-31-2018 11:03 PM NoNukes has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4507
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 508 of 882 (834188)
05-31-2018 10:55 PM
Reply to: Message 503 by Paboss
05-31-2018 5:03 AM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
Paboss writes:

Is not that Religion is the only thing that is either used as an excuse or as reason for people to cause harm to others. It may be our tendency to think dualistically and see others as part of the in-group or out-group (friend or foe). This is probably legacy of our tribal ancestry. But religion has that added negative value of “revealing” the unquestioned truth to believers and move people to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. Religion can be either the reason or the excuse; in any case it can be very influential in moral values.
See for example the conflict between Palestine and Israel. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a religious conflict. I think it all comes down to the needs of both nations to have a land where to live. But what is the one thing that has for decades fuelled the mutual hatred?

The one thing that has fueled the mutual hatred is the lust for land, power and wealth. It is basic tribalism. It is actually no different than a merger of companies that I experienced a few years back. There quickly developed a visceral hatred between the groups fighting over how seniority rights were to be integrated, and this was between well educated people.
Paboss writes:

I find this rather dubious. Are you saying that the institution of slavery that we know took place in the Roman Empire, where and when those epistles were written, was simply the equivalent to modern employment?

In some cases yes. In the case of the Romans though I would say no. Their slaves usually came from conquered nations, and even then wouldn’t normally be race based. In the case of the Jews the slaves, at least the Hebrew slaves, were generally forced into it due to poverty and in many cases chose it. Also after a specified number of years they could choose their freedom. I thought I’d look it up on wiki and found this.
quote:
Ancient Israelite society allowed slavery; however, total domination of one human being by another was not permitted.[16][17] Rather, slavery in antiquity among the Israelites was closer to what would later be called indentured servitude.[15] Slaves were seen as an essential part of a Hebrew household.[18] In fact, there were cases in which, from a slave's point of view, the stability of servitude under a family in which the slave was well-treated would have been preferable to economic freedom.[19] It is impossible for scholars to quantify the number of slaves that were owned by Hebrews in ancient Israelite society, or what percentage of households owned slaves, but it is possible to analyze social, legal, and economic impacts of slavery.[20]

The Hebrew Bible contains two sets of rules governing slaves: one set for Hebrew slaves (Lev 25:39-43) and a second set for Canaanite slaves (Lev 25:45-46).[1][21] The main source of non-Hebrew slaves were prisoners of war.[18] Hebrew slaves, in contrast to non-Hebrew slaves, became slaves either because of extreme poverty (in which case they could sell themselves to an Israelite owner) or because of inability to pay a debt.[16] According to the Hebrew Bible, non-Hebrew slaves were drawn primarily from the neighboring Canaanite nations,[22] and religious justification was provided for the enslavement of these neighbors: the rules governing Canaanites was based on a curse aimed at Canaan, a son of Ham,[23] but in later eras the Canaanite slavery laws were stretched to apply to all non-Hebrew slaves.[24]

The laws governing non-Hebrew slaves were more harsh than those governing Hebrew slaves: non-Hebrew slaves could be owned permanently, and bequeathed to the owner's children,[25] whereas Hebrew slaves were treated as servants, and were released after six years of service or the occurrence of a jubilee year.[26][27] One scholar suggests that the distinction was due to the fact that non-Hebrew slaves were subject to the curse of Canaan, whereas God did not want Jews to be slaves because he freed them from Egyptian enslavement.[28]

The laws governing Hebrew slaves were more lenient than laws governing non-Hebrew slaves, but a single Hebrew word, ebed (meaning slave or servant, cognate to the Arabic abd) is used for both situations. In English translations of the Bible, the distinction is sometimes emphasized by translating the word as "slave" in the context of non-Hebrew slaves, and "servant" or "bondman" for Hebrew slaves.[29]

Most slaves owned by Israelites were non-Hebrew, and scholars are not certain what percentage of slaves were Hebrew: Ephraim Urbach, a distinguished scholar of Judaism, maintains that Israelites rarely owned Hebrew slaves after the Maccabean era, although it is certain that Israelites owned Hebrew slaves during the time of the Babylonian exile.[16] Another scholar suggests that Israelites continued to own Hebrew slaves through the Middle Ages, but that the Biblical rules were ignored, and Hebrew slaves were treated the same as non-Hebrews.[30]
The Torah forbids the return of runaway slaves who escape from their foreign land and their bondage and arrive in the Land of Israel. Furthermore, the Torah demands that such former slaves be treated equally to any other resident alien. This law is unique in the Ancient Near East



Paboss writes:

It seems like this Onesimus was a person dear to Paul, and who both he and Philemon, found “useful” in Paul words. Note here that Paul is not pleading for slaves to be treated as brothers but for one specific person who found favour in Paul’s sight. Furthermore, for Paul to be asking for Onesimus to receive a treatment “better than a slave, as a brother” implies that they saw slaves not simply as employees but as inferior people, with lesser rights. He’s pleading for his dear Onesimus because he knows being slave is not nice. The slavery condoned by the New Testament is the horrible institution we know of.

Certainly slaves had lesser rights, but frankly so do modern employees have lesser rights and are often treated as inferior by employers. It is human nature.
This is a total aside, but we were discussing this issue in church the other day and I had to admit that I am completely unsure of how I would have viewed all this if I had been living in Alabama in 1850. I would like to think that I would have been horrified by slavery but I certainly have my doubts.

GDR writes:

Firstly it doesn’t say that women can’t teach men…

Paboss writes:

Yes, it does:
1 Timothy 2:11-12 (ESV):Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.


That is certainly the most difficult verse to deal with in this regard. Firstly again let me say that to read it at face value puts it in contradiction to how Paul actually had women functioning in the early churches. Also Paul was writing to Timothy and it is generally believed that Timothy was in Ephesus at the time. The primary religion with the biggest temple at the time was a female only cult, which had as its god Artemis or Diana as the Romans called her. The Temple of Artemis was massive. The deity was female as were all the priests. They ruled and kept men in their place. It is very possible that this was to speak in opposition to that. In general Paul’s writing in general represented a huge advance for women so it seems to me that we can accept this statement as being in response to some specific situation. Also, at the time most women weren’t educated and Paul is encouraging them to become educated.
However, going back to my last post Paul also wrote that men should love their wives as Christ loved the church essentially meaning that a husband is to put the life of his wife above his own.
Paboss writes:

That’s because the Bible is contradictory, so you can find biblical support for contradictory arguments. Being supposedly inspired by God, this should not be the case.

There are lots of contradictions in the Bible. If I am inspired by God to write a song that doesn’t mean that God dictated it to me. If an ancient prophet was inspired to write the history of his culture that doesn’t mean that God dictated it.
Paboss writes:

if this scriptures are to be taken as inspired by God, they shouldn’t look immoral by our modern standards. But they look as what they are: fabrication of the men of ancient times with no evident divine insight.

Firstly they have to be understood within the context of the culture at the time. If I wrote today that it was raining cats and dogs maybe somebody 2000 years from now would read it literally. It also, however doesn’t mean that there was no divine insight. It is written though with Paul’s insights, having had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus as well as with those who had been followers of the Pre-resurrection Jesus.
Paboss writes:

When you say that God speaks into the hearts of many of the writers of the OT, you imply is not into all of them. So how do you decide which writers are listening to God’s voice in their hearts and which are not? I think the answer is you have to use your own criteria; which in your case, is informed by modern moral values.


I’ve said this a number of times before. To understand Jesus from a theological POV you need the OT. Jesus was a Jew, speaking to Jews and using the Hebrew Scriptures as a background for His teaching. In order to understand the OT I understand it by using the lens provided by what we have of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The Epistles also should IMHO, as well as the whole Bible have to be taken in the context of Jesus and the culture.

As far as modern moral culture is concerned I’d again point out that it varies from culture to culture and I assume that the culture you have grown up in has judeo-christian roots.

Paboss writes:

But this is something that you take on faith, from what you consider to be good. So it doesn’t work as a criteria for others because it’s dependent on everyone deciding if John’s testimony is true or not. There should be some criteria that could be equally used by believers and nonbelievers to tell what comes from God and what doesn’t. If your criteria is an statement taken on faith it doesn’t get you any closer to the truth; there is no reason to rely on those claims.

As Bob Dylan said “you gotta serve somebody”. Each of us have some form of moral code that we follow and our own reasons for doing so. It can extend from being completely selfish or completely unselfish. We are all somewhere between the two. It is for all of us a faith. My Christian faith leads me to believe that I should be a person who loves unselfishly and sacrificially. That does not mean that someone who believes atheism represents all that is true can’t hold those values. We just have different foundations for our beliefs. The golden rule is in the majority of world religions, (as far as Christianity is concerned it is both the NT and the OT), in one form or another. It is also something a secularist can support.

GDR writes:

God confirmed Jesus’ life and teaching. Taking that as a given, (which I am fully aware you don’t), then I can read through the OT where it has God commanding genocide and public stoning and be able to confidently say that those commands were not of God but of very fallible humans.

Paboss writes:

So what do you make of those passages? Why did God allowed such horrible texts to be present in the book that was supposed to convey his truth to people?

You seem to keep wanting to understand the Bible in the same manner as Faith. I wouldn’t say that God allowed it but I would say that we can find God’s wisdom in it. We still hear people say today that God had told them to do something. I would say that those passages tell us to be very careful when someone makes a statement like that. It is very obvious when we read about God’s forgiveness, sympathy and commands to love our enemy that those passages are driven by human sin and not by God.
Paboss writes:

We are not perfect, but I can confidently say we are morally better than the people of previous ages. This is only because we have a vantage point: we can look from the present towards the past, evaluate history, decide which mistakes of the past we don’t want to commit again and try to be better than them.

In our society that is generally true, but it isn’t true for all societies. I’d add to that and say that when we read the Bible as a single narrative, I contend that it is clear that our understanding of the nature of God is a progressive revelation which would be consistent with your statement.

Paboss writes:

We do have evidence, we know that as social species we have had to develop the ability to cooperate in order to survive. This ability to cooperate has been naturally selected, which means the most cooperative humans have had better chances at surviving. The sense of empathy that we and other social animals developed, helped our tribal ancestors to survive as a group by caring for each other. In tribal environments, this also meant we developed the tendency to think dualistically in terms of in-group/out-group (as I mentioned at the beginning of this very long post), thus translating into a sense of hostility towards those who belong to the out-group. As the development of technology, knowledge and awareness that we are not so different from each other, has helped us to transcend our tribal borders, empathy has been progressively extended to people belonging to other cultures, countries, groups. This is how moral values have improved through History.

That sounds very much like Dawkin’s memes. It is an evolving process that requires intelligence amongst other attributes. That again tells us nothing about why that process and capability exists at all.
Paboss writes:

If you look at history and anthropology, morals change from time to time and from culture to culture. If we were to consider morals to be absolute and to adopt those of Yahweh we would degenerate into an absolutist morally sick regime. Morals change with time, but they also tend to improve because we are standing on the shoulders of past generations. We can see what they got wrong and improve.

We can call our deity God, Allah, Zeus or whatever we like. It is all religion and all religion is about trying to understand the nature of our deity and what that means to our lives. Yes morals change but the basis of those morals comes from somewhere. I believe that our morality is not so much what we do but our motivation for what we do. It is all about the heart and, once again is it all about us or can we live to love others, and all creation for that matter sacrificially.

GDR writes:

In the future we may come to the conclusion that it is morally right to commit genocide because our tribe needs the resources of some other tribe and that becomes our moral imperative.

Paboss writes:

That would be highly likely the case in a scenario where our whole civilisation collapses and a new one has to start from scratch. That is precisely what the movie “The planet of the apes”, in its original version illustrates. But if future generations keep building upon our achievements the tendency should be for better moral values. For example, people in the future may get to the point where all their energy comes from renewable sources and their impact on Earth is neutral. They will certainly look down on us as immoral because of the way we treat the environment but they would also understand we were product of our time and ignorant on things they will have figured out by then.

We still see genocidal cultures today and nazism was a major force during the life time of some of us.
Paboss writes:

I’ve learnt a lot from watching his talks and debates. I think he was a great critical thinker and able to present very compelling arguments. Although by the time I heard from him I was already well in my way out of Christianity, his arguments helped me make more sense of the way I feel about Religion, and specially, Christianity. If you have read his book “God is not great”, he starts explaining how as he puts it “Religion poisons everything”. The arguments he offers for that have helped me inform my position that religion has exerted a negative influence on people, and its influence has been way more powerful than that of other ideologies.

Followers of Christianity have also done a great deal of good in the world. Christianity is a religion formed around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. People have twisted the Scriptures into something that is self serving and have used it to do despicable things. That tells us nothing about the truth of Christianity. In the end, God resurrected Jesus or He didn’t. If He didn’t then we should be looking elsewhere, but if He did then we should all be looking to Jesus to understand how that should impact our lives, and as Jesus said it is all about loving our neighbour as ourself.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 503 by Paboss, posted 05-31-2018 5:03 AM Paboss has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4507
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 509 of 882 (834189)
05-31-2018 11:03 PM
Reply to: Message 507 by NoNukes
05-31-2018 7:24 PM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
NoNukes writes:

Don't kill folks. Don't hurt your brother. Just how huge a chunk of morality can be developed from a couple of what might be easy to come by precepts. It might even be that there is an evolutionary advantage to concepts like that.

I am not sure that the lack of absolutes is completely debilitating. Half of the ten commandments are about man's relationship to his closest neighbors and family. Surely there is more than one source for somthing like that.

Obviously, the half of the commandments that relate to God must come from a religion of sorts.


As I said in an earlier post I don't see morality as being what we do. What we do is usually evidence for whatever sense of morality we hold but it isn't morality itself.

Our morality is based on where we find or joy, contentment and meaning. It is all about the heart. I contend that we all have as part of our being that still small voice of God which calls us to joyfully do the loving thing when we encounter situations that test our sense of morality. We can choose to listen to that voice and make it part of who we are, or we can freely reject it.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 507 by NoNukes, posted 05-31-2018 7:24 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 510 by NoNukes, posted 05-31-2018 11:26 PM GDR has responded

    
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 510 of 882 (834190)
05-31-2018 11:26 PM
Reply to: Message 509 by GDR
05-31-2018 11:03 PM


Re: Moral problems in the Bible?
Our morality is based on where we find or joy, contentment and meaning. It is all about the heart.

I am not sure I understand what you mean when you distinguish between our heart and our mind here. Describing things as "heart" is not literal thinking. Our heart pumps blood, delivers oxygen and helps remove waste products from our cells. Everything we do is mind driven.

Whatever the source of our morality, we can grow emotionally attached to following it. How is that different from morality being about our heart. How does the source matter?

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


This message is a reply to:
 Message 509 by GDR, posted 05-31-2018 11:03 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 511 by GDR, posted 05-31-2018 11:43 PM NoNukes has responded

  
RewPrev1
...
3233
34
3536
...
59NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2018