How have believers progressed to be as moral as unbelievers?
The question assumes that believers have made such progress. We already know that the "morality" we see in theocracies today is just as heinous as any practiced by religionists the past 3000 years. I wonder if, in the absence of secular governance, the "morality" shown us by religionists in the western democracies today would have improved any over what they have shown these millennia past.
This is a bit late, I know, but if a clarification could be made please.
The passages I have read in Judges 11, all in English, King James and a few others, have Jephthah promising god that "whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me ... " and not whosoever ...
Unless someone can show that the Aramaic/Greek/Hebrew whatever original indicates otherwise I think I'll go with Faith on this one.
It would appear from the English that Jephthah was not promising a human sacrifice as some here insist, but just an unspecified sacrifice. Can anyone show that it was or was not common/uncommon in them days for one's favorite dog or lamb or gerbil or elephant to be first out the door to greet the returning master?
Does it even matter?
The whole point of the story is that a promise was made to god and one did not welsh on god regardless of the cost. The disturbing thing is that the girl was roasted and no one, especially not this god, did a damn thing to stop it. And to think that 3 of this world's major religions are based on the love of this crap. Sick.
Seriously, AZ. Wouldn't this promise of necessity present an unacceptably high probability of sacrificing a family member or friend?
That is not the point, is it. The point is in that half of my post that Faith doesn't seem to care for.
I'm not the least bit bothered by God not interfering. This evil crap is all on Jephthah.
Well, you should be. This is another example of the evil crap that permeates the entire tome. There is enough evil in this story to smear on everyone involved. It doesn't matter if god said or did anything or not. This entire story is put forward as another example of what it means to live a "god fearing life". So many people we all have to deal with, work with, rely on, in this society believe and are in love with this demented shit.
The example is of a man who DIDN'T do according to God's Law, not an example of how to live a God fearing life at all. God condemns both rash vows and human sacrifice.
And where, prey tell, in your literal treatment, or even in some metaphorical application, of this scripture, does your god condemn/scold/admonish/wag a finger at the man for this supposed transgression? From what I can tell he went on to conquer other territories and commit other atrocities for Israel without any impediment from your god whatsoever. Show me where Jephthah was condemned by your god in even the smallest way for his rash vow or the burning to death of his daughter.
You have to know the Bible, AZ, you have to know God's law, you have to know what He has said throughout scripture about rash vows and human sacrifice.
I'm sure you can find plenty of other stories in your book that speak to those issues, but not Jephthah. If your god felt this way then here was a tale tailor made to illustrate those points and the author(s) did not go there. The story shows that this religious zealot lived righteously "in fear of the Lord," acted accordingly and suffered no consequence as a result of his vicious cruelty and went on to commit even more heinous abominations in the name of god as the leader of all Israel. The tale stands on its own quite well.
Perhaps I can spend the time to do the research later to show you what I mean but from your attitude I doubt it would make any difference.
I'm sure you are right about this. I certainly would not waste my efforts on trying to educate such a hopelessly lost soul with such a bad attitude, but I do appreciate your having considered such.