What Did the Southern States Do That Isn't Found Here?

Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

You can buy slaves from foreign nations! They will become your property! You can will them to your children! You can make them slaves for life!

290 comments:

edson said...

You can buy them from foreign slave traders! They will become your property! You can will them to your children! You can make them slaves for life!

And that's what the Southerners did! So what's the big deal?

Raul said...

"Well,that was the Old Testament..." (c)

syzygy said...

Not only is that "only" the Old Testament; it's only a small part of the Old Testament. There are many passages about slaves in the OT and many of them are pretty awful, but consider these: Exodus 20:10, 21:2, 21:26-27, 23:12; Deuteronomy 5:14-15, 15-12-15,16:11-12, 23:15. The awful parts prove that the OT is a very human set of documents (and probably disproves an evangelical's fundamentalist faith), but they leave open the possibility that God was working through the history and struggles at understanding of a very human Israelite community.

Bluemongoose said...

This post hasn't taken into consideration divine sanction vs. divine permission. People were consistently ignoring God's sanctions, so He gave them rules to abide by while they were engaging in the slave trade. Mind you, as we see in the book of Job, for instance, there is encouragement that the slave is equal in his/her humanity to that of the slave owner. God also warned the Hebrews not to treat others as they had been treated in Egypt. Finally, we see that slaves were further encouraged to ultimately hope for and actively work towards their emancipation.

But in closing, because of the relativistic society you live in, who are you nay sayers to judge this kind of behavior? After all, isn't everything up for individual interpretation? I mean, the slave industry worked for pre-Civil War era slave owners. If all we have to go on is "what works for the individual" as a measure of morality, then why do you care?

nomad said...

"He gave them rules to abide by while they were engaging in the slave trade."

That was thoughtful of him.

Scott said...

Bluemongoose wrote: People were consistently ignoring God's sanctions, so He gave them rules to abide by while they were engaging in the slave trade.

Why not give people rules to abide by when committing murder or homosexual acts? Or working on Sundays?

If God demanded death for everyone who kept slaves, don't you think it's likely people would stop ignoring his sanctions?

Given God's response in other areas, culturally acceptability doesn't seem to be a valid justification in the case of slavery.

Of course, In anticipation of your response, I'll change the wording of my last sentence to assert that I'm absolutely sure it's correct. That way, I'm free from those shackles of relativism you keep talking about.

So why the exception for slavery? Given God's response in other areas, culturally acceptability WAS NOT a valid justification in the case of slavery.

P.S. Does this mean I'm not a novice any more?

Bluemongoose said...

Good questions, Scott! Very important stuff.

He did give people rules when taking another's life. They are located in the rules for warfare section.

The reason there are no permissions for homosexuality is b/c it devalues God's original plan for what romance is supposed to look like. But why is that important? Human marriage/romance was meant to be a reflection of the anticipated marriage between Christ (the male entity) and His bride, the church (female counterpart). Anything less than a representation of this is a counterfeit. And why are counterfeits bad? B/c they devalue the genuine. Think of the illustration of counterfeit money. There is an element of deceit implied in this context. A marriage romance anything less than the male/femal context has implicit within it an element of deceit, hence the counterfeit label.

God did demand death for sin in general. But, as you can see from the way people live today, many think that if they just choose not to believe in something, then it won't apply to them.

God's response in other areas. Great discussion point, Scott! I'm glad you brought this up. What if I told you that originally God didn't want to give us any rules or heirarchies? What if all He wanted was for us to love Him and love one another, live relationally like the trinity and not have to have structured laws? What if He only set down principles after people repeatedly begged Him to do it? What does that say about God? What does that say about people?

Anticipation of responses. You're funny. I thoroughly enjoy our debates. Adding your revised statement does not help cover up the fact that you left the prior phrasing visible for me to see. I still have access to your verbage that implies your confusion. Also, the way you framed your final statement doesn't help. I could just come back and ask, "Where did you hear that?" Then the discussion would rage on from there.

So why the exception for slavery? What if it was a way to physically illustrate our ultimate problem: slavery to sin?

Novice? You're improving. I'm so well-pleased.

Chuck O'Connor said...

John,

Great post. I had lunch with a friend of mine yesterday. He happens to be a young pastor, graduate from Trinity and is planting a church in Minnesota. He preached on Acts 17 and how Christianity may be 1 generation from extinction. His premise was that the Gospel is irrelevant to younger Americans for three reasons 1) Personal experience of abuse within Church 2) Intellectualism and inability to understand the mysteries of faith (e.g. The Trinity, Jesus as fully human and fully divine) 3) Cultural alienation (e.g. An Indian resident who has no context for monotheism). I suggested a fourth area where the Gospel is being questioned and that is around the desire for truth-seeking people to pursue a path with not as many obvious internal self-contradictions. As I take a skeptical look at the superiority claims of Christianity centered on sciptural inerrency claims I am coming to see the bible as a product of men trying to understand their cirucmstances via myth. Therefore the whole foundation of a Christian God starts crumbling for me. Your post hightlights the inability for scripture to be an absolute guide towards optimal morality because it perfectly supports the institution of slavery.

My friend agreed and said he wishes the bible said exactly what you have said, "It is absolutely wrong to own another human being." He still holds their is a lesson to be learned by considering these aspects of the bible as part of a larger narrative. I see them as self-contradictory and therefore am coming to the conclusion that Christianity and the bible are elements of our culture but are not superior to other elements.

Thanks for the thoughts. Good stuff.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Blue you said,

"What if I told you that originally God didn't want to give us any rules or heirarchies? What if all He wanted was for us to love Him and love one another, live relationally like the trinity and not have to have structured laws? What if He only set down principles after people repeatedly begged Him to do it? What does that say about God? What does that say about people?"

The KJV of Genesis 2 16-17 says,
"16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Those two verses are rules. Please reconcile your position that the god of the bible didn't want us to live by any rules.

Also Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:18, "18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

This is an appreciation for and sanction of the law, even with the realization of the Christ.

Explain yourself.

Your rhetorical questions contradict scripture.

God wants rules as evidenced by his commands to Adam and, according to Jesus, we are still living under them.

Thanks.

savedbygrace said...

Love IS the rule! Love God and love your neighbor.

Chuck O'Connor said...

lovedbygrace,

You said, "Love IS the rule! Love God and love your neighbor."

If you believe this then how do you reconcile Matthew 5:18 where Jesus said every jott and tittle of the law will remain in place until heaven and earth passes away.

It seems Christ's legislative perspective was broader then your intepretation. Now, who is correct here? Jesus or you?

I think you believe what you believe but what you believe contradicts what your savior said he believed as the "truth".

AndreLinoge said...

[quote]So why the exception for slavery? What if it was a way to physically illustrate our ultimate problem: slavery to sin?[/quote]

So all the slaves throughout history who endured beatings, separation from their families and homes, torture, starvation, etc. were actually an object lesson!

Glory! Oh Praise Him!

savedbygrace said...

Hi Chuck,

You left out the end of the verse where it says "Untill all is fulfilled"

All the law was fulfilled at the cross. Paul said that Jesus was the end of the law, and that we are no longer under the law but under grace. The law was only a tutor until Christ came.

savedbygrace said...

Many slaves were treated like family and actually liked being slaves. Even some husbands beat their wives, so should we look the same way at marriage? A baseball player once said that his contract was equal to slavery and I think he even went to court over the slavery issue in baseball contracts.

Are servicemen slaves to the government military? I think one could argue for that. They are not free to come and go as they please.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved by Grace,

you said, "All the law was fulfilled at the cross. Paul said that Jesus was the end of the law, and that we are no longer under the law but under grace. The law was only a tutor until Christ came."

Well then I guess Paul contradicts Jesus too because, that isn't what Jesus said.

Jesus said not until Heaven and Earth pass away. Not when he gets crucified. Jesus was speaking of a specific theological outcome. Paul's idea is different.

So, now which one do you believe? Yours? Paul's? Jesus'?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"Many slaves were treated like family and actually liked being slaves."

Can you provide objective statistics to this assertion.

"Even some husbands beat their wives, so should we look the same way at marriage?"

Yes, demanding that a woman defer her mind to her husband as her "head" is bigoted and archaic.

"A baseball player once said that his contract was equal to slavery and I think he even went to court over the slavery issue in baseball contracts."

And what resulted, free agency. The baseball player's name was Curt Flood and he was correct. The law changed.

Are servicemen slaves to the government military? I think one could argue for that. They are not free to come and go as they please.

No, they volunteer.

Your struggle to rationalize biblical contradiction is impairing your ability to reason.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Paul is the one who spoke AFTER the cross and according to the new covenant of grace. Jesus was speaking to the Jews who were still under the law. So I will go with the new covenant under grace and take what Paul said. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. Jesus came only to the Jews.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"Paul is the one who spoke AFTER the cross and according to the new covenant of grace. Jesus was speaking to the Jews who were still under the law. So I will go with the new covenant under grace and take what Paul said. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. Jesus came only to the Jews."

Jesus came only to the Jews? So then should non-Jews be called "Paulians" and be washed in the blood of Paul? No Saved, your are mutilating the text to rationalize a contradiction and gloss over the evidence that scripture is a constrution of syncretic men. Jesus' words are plain and refer to the apocalyptic tradition. Paul's words contradict them by imposing a Hellenic reinterpretation of Jewish tradition. That is all a reasonable person can see.

savedbygrace said...

Many blacks had no education and could not even get a decent meal, just like many homeless today. Living with rich people, even as a slave was much superior to starving to death.

So should we have free agency slaves? Trade from one family to another?

And the military use to be a draft system and not volutary. So was that slavery? If a slave is a volunteer, does that make it acceptable?

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

You need to study some differing aspects of dispensationalism. The Gentiles were not included in the covenant until after the day of Pentecost - post resurrection. The Gentiles were considered unclean and a Jew could not even eat with a Gentile. Read the book of Acts for all the controversy over how the Gentile converts were now suppose to be treated. It was a major problem they had to deal with.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

You said,

"Many blacks had no education and could not even get a decent meal, just like many homeless today. Living with rich people, even as a slave was much superior to starving to death."

Ummmm, what if there were no slave trade Saved? The "blacks" would be in their own country and not subject to a culture that was alien. You need to consider the whole historical story if you are going to make a point.

"So should we have free agency slaves? Trade from one family to another?"

I don't even know what you are arguing for here. Before Flood's actions a player didn't have the right to negotiate his talent in the open market because a team "owned" his rights. Now, there is a collective bargaining agreement which defines labor rights thus recognizing the talent of an individual is his property to freely negotiate under a service contract. Do you understand what the idea you are presenting here. If you don't, I suggest you drop it.

"And the military use to be a draft system and not volutary. So was that slavery? If a slave is a volunteer, does that make it acceptable?"

The military draft does not exist and therefore your illustration of it is irrelevant.

savedbygrace said...

The military draft did exist, and for many years! So was that equal to slavery? Yes, or no?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"Chuck,

"You need to study some differing aspects of dispensationalism. The Gentiles were not included in the covenant until after the day of Pentecost - post resurrection. The Gentiles were considered unclean and a Jew could not even eat with a Gentile. Read the book of Acts for all the controversy over how the Gentile converts were now suppose to be treated. It was a major problem they had to deal with."

Studying differing aspects of dispensationalism has as much intellectual merit to me as studying the causal impact my zodiac sign will have on my future.

The church I attend with my wife practices expository preaching and we've been studying Acts this entire year.

The book's appreciation of bloody martyrdom for God's glory (Stephen's stoning); implausibility of Paul's authority (an hallucination) and anti-semitism (see Acts 17) convince me that it is nothing more than a theological polemic of men with little knowledge of how things work.

There is very little that is enlightened or intelligent in the book.

Acts is helping me deconvert.

savedbygrace said...

So is volunteer slavery ok? If someone agrees to be owned by a wealthy family to better their circumstances, is that ok?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"The military draft did exist, and for many years! So was that equal to slavery? Yes, or no?"

No.

Read this,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States#Legality

The opportunity to claim conscientious objection indicates that one's moral identity need not be subsumed by a dogmatic master.

You might want to understand the nuance of your illustrations before you use them.

savedbygrace said...

The point remains that we atre nio longer under the law, and that we are now under grace according to the new covenant. Why is that so hard for you to understand? The law was temporary till Christ came. The New Testament is very clear on that point, and reaffirmed many times.

savedbygrace said...

Oh, so there was an out to being a slave! So then that makes the rest of the draft slavery to military ok, right?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

"So is volunteer slavery ok? If someone agrees to be owned by a wealthy family to better their circumstances, is that ok?"

No.

That would be a contradiction in terms. If someone volunteers then it is a service contract and if that contract denies the person their individual rights it is not a valid contract.

Your belief in a "meta-narrative" of the bible seems to indicate your inability to appreciate internal contradiction but, your illustration is contradictory and therefore null.

savedbygrace said...

Someone who was drafted was NOT a volunteer!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

You said,

"The point remains that we atre nio longer under the law, and that we are now under grace according to the new covenant. Why is that so hard for you to understand? The law was temporary till Christ came. The New Testament is very clear on that point, and reaffirmed many times."

But, isn't it a punitive law to punish a person to an eternity of hell-fire if, for example, he is an atheist and says he does not want to serve Christ or believe him to be god? Or, if a Muslim says no, the Hadith and Q'ran supersede the bible? Or the Buddhist says that mindfulness in practice is the way to peace?

The Atheist, Muslim and Buddhist are punished because they disagree with your concept of grace and are victims of a law.

Don't you see how your theology is a mish-mosh of self-justified contradiction.

If there is no law then, why is there Hell? Because God is just? Well then how does justice exist without law?

Christianity is emotionalism wrapped in riddles that is internally self-contradicting yet, wishes to impose its insanity on every one else as some sort of moral standard.

What you believe only makes sense to you because you believe the superstitions. It is silly when looked at with a realistic and mature perspective.

savedbygrace said...

Who said anything about anyone being punished????

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"Someone who was drafted was NOT a volunteer!"

What are you arguing here?

It makes no sense to me.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"Who said anything about anyone being punished????"

I take it you don't believe Hell exists?

Now, you're getting closer to the truth.

savedbygrace said...

I am saying that the draft system to the military was pretty close to being the same as slavery. Am I making this too complicated for you?

savedbygrace said...

The word HELL will not be found in a literal bible.

John W. Loftus said...

Saved said: The point remains that we atre nio longer under the law, and that we are now under grace according to the new covenant. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Try telling these scholars that. There are at least five views here. Why is that so hard for you to understand? ;-)

But stop trying to defend what you were raised to believe for one moment and place yourself as a slave back then who was ripped from another nation, stripped naked on the auction block, sold independently of your parents, wife or children, treated harshly (not like the Israelites), a forced servant all of your life; willed to the very children you saw grow up before you, and you want to say that a perfectly good God: a) could not have said anything different or better; b) that such a scenario expresses his complete and utter love toward you, just as each sparrow who falls to the ground; and c) that this so-called distinction you made makes any sort of difference to you personally?

I don't think so. Not at all. Not by a long shot. It can't. On this rock your faith dies. But no, here you are kicking and screaming against this rock because it means everything you have believed and needed to believe is wrong. It means that you will have to truly "work out your own salvation" in the scary darkness of the night. It means everything you believe is a delusion. No, since that cannot be you make what I consider to be the silliest objections against what is the case. You are so deluded that you don't even know you are. That describes a brainwashed person. That describes someone who is holding tightly with his last once of energy to something that he simply cannot let go. What he doesn't realize is that he's only 6 inches of the ground and yet he thinks the fall will kill him so he hangs on. He doesn't look down. He's afraid to. But the ground is only six inches below you. It's okay. You'll do well. Let go.

savedbygrace said...

Hi John,

I am sorry that I have not communicated my position more clearly. I am not defending the slavery where we took blacks from their country by force. In fact, I am not defending or promoting any type of slavery. I am just comparing it to the military draft system, so that we do not get so high and mighty with our so called ideals. We have practiced "owning" the citizens and forcing them to go to war unles they were concientious objectors. Some had to flee to Canada to avoid being drafted. Some gave up their citizenship. Some war protesters were killed by the National Guard.

That is my comparison.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"I am saying that the draft system to the military was pretty close to being the same as slavery. Am I making this too complicated for you?"

No your not. Did you read the Wiki entry I sent you?

Conscription does not equal slavery.

Obfuscation is not confusing, it is infuriating and when ignorant people feel compelled to adopt an intellectually superior position due to their acceptance of fairy tales as truth then, it becomes insulting.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

You said, "We have practiced "owning" the citizens and forcing them to go to war unles they were concientious objectors."

This would be a contradiction.

Not really all that different from Pauline Christianity and that which is found in Mark and Matthew.

The first step would be for you to understand the meaning of an internal contradiction.

It would allow you to be more honest.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Are you simply arguing semantics? Forcing people to do what they do not want to do - call it whatever you like. I say it is very close to slavery. The result is the same - control and dominance.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

You said, "Are you simply arguing semantics? Forcing people to do what they do not want to do - call it whatever you like. I say it is very close to slavery. The result is the same - control and dominance."

Very close to something is not the thing you are arguing and therefore is a very poor illustration.

I am not arguing semantics, I am arguing ideas.

Did you read the Wiki article? Did you educate yourself on the meaning of conscription?

Do you want me to post one on "semantics" because you are misusing that term too. You are the one practicing semantics by equating conscription with slavery.

And, what point are you trying to make by the way? Are you saying slavery is good because conscription exists?

How is that intelligent?

savedbygrace said...

I am NOT saying that slavery is good, I am just comparing it to the miltary draft that existed for years. Everyone wants to harp on slavery in the Bible while ignoring our own "slavery" systems like the miltary draft.

Let's move on now, shall we! This horse has long been dead.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"I am NOT saying that slavery is good, I am just comparing it to the miltary draft that existed for years. Everyone wants to harp on slavery in the Bible while ignoring our own "slavery" systems like the miltary draft."

Admit you are wrong and I will move on.

Slavery has nothing to do with conscription and your willingness to bring it up as an equivalent is confusing.

We aren't harping on slavery being bad. We are harping on the biblical sanction for slavery and the willing ignorance of "believers" to this fact when stating how "moral" the bible is.

Do you get that?

Also, the slavery practiced by humans was far less immoral than the one advocated by god because humans don't have perfect knowledge and therefore can't fully know that what they do is wrong. God would, yet he advocated slavery. Or, god doesn't exist and imperfect man excused his immoral behavior towards other humans by using the imprimateur of god in the bible. What do you think?

savedbygrace said...

Slavery was never commanded or sanctioned in the NT. It was simple spoken about that it existed. So what exactly is your point? That the Bible should have condemned slavery? The chuerch was not involved in the political system like we have here today in the US!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"Slavery was never commanded or sanctioned in the NT. It was simple spoken about that it existed. So what exactly is your point? That the Bible should have condemned slavery? The chuerch was not involved in the political system like we have here today in the US!"

My point is that the book you point to as the enlightened word of God is not. It is a mish-mosh of self-contradicting myths which can motivate really bad behavior because those who wield it believe that it affords them the power of God's mind.

Slavery is the illustration to how foolish the bible is.

That is my point and the one I take from John's article.

savedbygrace said...

The Bible never promotes or endorses slavery to the church, so your point is moot. Is that all you have? Pretty weak arguement. What else have you got with a little more umph? Challenge me on my faith. Certainly you can come up with something more confounding that slavery.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"The Bible never promotes or endorses slavery to the church, so your point is moot. Is that all you have? Pretty weak arguement. What else have you got with a little more umph? Challenge me on my faith. Certainly you can come up with something more confounding that slavery."

I am not challenging you on your faith. I believe you believe what you believe.

I also believe what you believe has about much value to other people besides yourself as that of a person who believes in Tarot, or astrology or Buddhism. I think what you believe makes you feel good about yourself but, really isn't evidence of reality or moral truth.

I am not going to argue with you about what the bible says because I believe the bible is a loosely constructed collection of self-contradicting myths.

That's it basically.

savedbygrace said...

I know for an absolute first hand fact that prayer works. So if you want to explain that away as some sort of placebo effect or self fulfilling prophecy, then so be it. I know different! I have experience the incredible power of of God through prayer on a regular basis.

Bluemongoose said...

Chuck:

Very important points. With the A&E illustration here, it was about love. Their obedience was to be a reflection of their love for God. See John 14:15, 21, 23 and 24. Here you have Jesus Himself saying, If you love me, you will obey me. We get so wrapped up in, "How many times to I have to do this or this," or "What laws do I have to follow for this and this to happen". But God just ultimately wants us to love Him and love one another. He didn't want it to be as complicated as we make it out to be.

Reconcilling. See Galatians 3:5-6 and 10-12.

Matt. 5:28. The law in and of itself is used to show us what sin is. It does not, however, give us the solution to the problem of sin. See Romans 7:7. So until this earth passes away, we will need the law for this purpose.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

You said,

"I know for an absolute first hand fact that prayer works. So if you want to explain that away as some sort of placebo effect or self fulfilling prophecy, then so be it. I know different! I have experience the incredible power of of God through prayer on a regular basis."

I don't doubt you believe that.

However, all controlled group studies on the efficacy of prayer have shown it to be lacking any meaningful potency.

I'm sure your experience with prayer is probably similar to that of someone who gets at Tarot reading or one who sits ZaZen.

All three superstitions allow the practioner to feel good about themselves and their circumstances but, none of them prove predictive of anything.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Blue you said:

"Chuck:

Very important points. With the A&E illustration here, it was about love. Their obedience was to be a reflection of their love for God. See John 14:15, 21, 23 and 24. Here you have Jesus Himself saying, If you love me, you will obey me. We get so wrapped up in, "How many times to I have to do this or this," or "What laws do I have to follow for this and this to happen". But God just ultimately wants us to love Him and love one another. He didn't want it to be as complicated as we make it out to be.

Reconcilling. See Galatians 3:5-6 and 10-12.

Matt. 5:28. The law in and of itself is used to show us what sin is. It does not, however, give us the solution to the problem of sin. See Romans 7:7. So until this earth passes away, we will need the law for this purpose."

Your explanation seems to be a direct contradiction to the asserted truth that God doesn't want rules. He wants us to love him and if we don't then we burn in Hell. That sounds like a rule to me.

Explain that one.

savedbygrace said...

Hi Chuck,

I am not speaking about feeling good, or any such thing. I am speaking of bona fide miracles and undeniable supernatural intervention.

Bluemongoose said...

John:

So that's the answer, is it? Having numerous people agree on a particular point is what is required to make something correct? Then what of spontaneous generation? At one point, many people believed it to be true. Did that make it so?

Again, you resort to "If the Christian would only just think about it", and then you imply SBG was brainwashed. But how do you ultimately know that? Is that the best you can do? Do you possess infinite knowledge of the people you debate with on this forum? If not, then you are again assuming. What if I said to you, "Stop trying to defend a premise you only believe in b/c you want to absolve yourself of being responsible for where you end up in eternity"?

Slavery is wrong. We get it. The Bible doesn't advocate for it.

Why does faith in God live and die on the one issue you illuminated? Does your faith in atheism live and die on the fact that you can't defend relativism?

Silly objections. I could say your objections to theism are silly. Relatively speaking, who tips the scales? I could describe you as brainwashed b/c all you have to go on is human opinion(s). Again, ultimately, because of your finite perception, you cannot state definitively that there is no infinite. Doing so would mean you profess to have all the information in the world.

Why don't you let it go?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"Hi Chuck,

I am not speaking about feeling good, or any such thing. I am speaking of bona fide miracles and undeniable supernatural intervention."

Fine, my standing offer for those who wish for me to believe in miracles is that they provide a visual recording of the event defined and send it to me where I can then analyze it and rule out any naturalistic causes for said event. Let me know when you have a visual recording (DVD or VHS) and I will send you my mailing address.

Until then, I consider your description as well-meaning and sincere wishful thinking that allows you to feel good but has no bearing on what is real.

Thanks.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Blue you said (and keep saying):

"Does your faith in atheism live and die on the fact that you can't defend relativism?"

You keep throwing out relativism as if its mention then leads to an automatic acceptance of Christianity as absolute truth.

For discussion's sake here is a definition of relativism, "A theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them."

Would you agree with this as a workable definition of relativism?

And, how does it mention make Christianity true as the absolute standard of morality?

Isn't your absolutism really just relativism in the eyes of a Buddhist?

Thanks.

savedbygrace said...
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savedbygrace said...
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savedbygrace said...

I messed up - sorry about that.

Here is a link to a medically documented miracle. Let me know if you need more.

leestoneking.com/My%20Miracle.htm

Bluemongoose said...

Ultimately, does anybody here on this blog know why slavery is wrong? Remember, just b/c I ask a question doesn't mean I'm personally struggling with its implications.

savedbygrace said...

Paul said in Galatians that is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. God does not want us in bondage to sin, nor to any man, political system, or church! Slavery is an antithesis to freedom, and it comes in many forms.

savedbygrace said...

Blue,

I may not agree with everything you say, but I have read many of your posts and I think you are the best debater on this entire site. Your arguments are very organized and persuasive. Thank you for your valued imput. Well done.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

Sorry but, a blog where a source describes their miraculous recovery is far from an objective or documented source.

Do you really believe this is verifiable data?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Blue,

Slavery is wrong because it violates autonomy.

You can't have a free society if you don't own yourself.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said:

"Paul said in Galatians that is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. God does not want us in bondage to sin, nor to any man, political system, or church! Slavery is an antithesis to freedom, and it comes in many forms."

Jesus said in Matthew that he came to fulfill every jott and tittle of the law. This would of course include the passage John cites.

So, who is correct? Paul? You? Jesus? Bluemongoose? Who?

savedbygrace said...

They have the Drs names and the ambulance driver and all of the pertinant data!

And thay are all correct! You have to read the Bible in it's context and according to it's specific situations. That is why you are so confused. You are not rightly dividing the word of God according to it's differing dispensations.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

BluemongooseHe did give people rules when taking another's life. They are located in the rules for warfare section.

It seems you've misinterpreted my question it. I'm referring to individual acts of murder that have no national or even cultural relevance.

The reason there are no permissions for homosexuality is b/c it devalues God's original plan for what romance is supposed to look like.

So, slavery did not devalue God's original plan for human relations, which didn't include keeping each other as slaves?

God did demand death for sin in general. But, as you can see from the way people live today, many think that if they just choose not to believe in something, then it won't apply to them.

You've in no way responded to my point.

God demanded individuals who worked on Sundays be stoned to death at the hands of their own neighbors. This was a the same time he created "rules" for slavery.

What if I told you that originally God didn't want to give us any rules or heirarchies? What if all He wanted was for us to love Him and love one another, live relationally like the trinity and not have to have structured laws?

That's a lot of "if"s. What if God is actually a construct of human invention?

What if He only set down principles after people repeatedly begged Him to do it? What does that say about God? What does that say about people?

People begged God to allow them to keep slaves, so he gave in? I guess people didn't want to work on Sunday as much as they wanted to keep slaves?

Adding your revised statement does not help cover up the fact that you left the prior phrasing visible for me to see. I still have access to your verbage that implies your confusion.

Should I have deleted my previous version before posting it, I you wouldn't think I'm confused?

Blue, I was illustrating how merely asserting that one is right, doesn't actually cause reality to bend to their position.

Should you be unable to substantiate that God actually created or defined some form of "absolute knowledge" and that you have detail access to this knowledge, then it's unclear how my revised claim is any more factual than yours.

However, all you've done is constantly remind us of how "bad" it would be should such standard not exist.

Also, the way you framed your final statement doesn't help. I could just come back and ask, "Where did you hear that?" Then the discussion would rage on from there.

So, if I understand you correctly, whether I'm wrong or right is irrelevant. As long as I frame my statement so you can't ask any more questions, I "win?"

So why the exception for slavery? What if it was a way to physically illustrate our ultimate problem: slavery to sin?

For the sake of argument, what if God exists and clearly told this Israelites he denounced slavery? Or what if God didn't make his opinion known one way or the other. Instead, it was the Israelites wrote these laws under God's pen name because they wanted to keep slaves?

Does this seem more reasonable than a perfectly good God creating rules for slavery, but demanding the death of those who work on Sunday?

Of course, you can't even entertain such an idea, regardless of how more reasonable it appears, as you're "shackled" to God's "absolute knowledge."

Luis said...

To Chuck O'Connor
I agree that it is clear that the Bible is self-contradictory and that some passages can and have been used to condone slavery. Which is the whole point.
But you have repeatedly used Buddhism in your arguments. When you mention Zazen and mindfulness and equate them with the Tarot it clearly shows you don't know what you are talking about.
Both mindfulness and Zazen mostly deal with paying attention to the world as it is. There is no appeal to any supernatural entities involved and no miraculous results are expected.
You can be a buddhist and an agnostic at the same time.

http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-without-Beliefs-Stephen-Batchelor/dp/1573226564

Evangelical Christianity is not the same kind of thing as Buddhism.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Okay Saved, I'll bite. Dispensationalism. Okay, then, before Darby, who was correct? Paul? Jesus? You?

And if you are Catholic, or Anglican, or Greek Orthodox then who is correct? Jesus? Paul? You? (Because those Christians aren't dispationalists).

Also, here's a hint on evidence. If you want someone to believe your data then make sure it is authored by a third party. I could easily counter the truth of that miracle by simply putting up a site that says the person recovered due to my prayers for their health to Baal. Not convincing. Learn the meaning of double-blind study and get back to me on "verifiable" medical miracle.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Luis,

You said, "Both mindfulness and Zazen mostly deal with paying attention to the world as it is."

I am not equating the level of superstition between the practices but the moral superiority either practice might confer. I don't need an external source of anything to determine my experience.

I agree with you that the similarities between Christianity and Buddhism are nearly non-existent but, that was my point. As, Saved would discount the practice of a Buddhist towards enlightenment, I discount her prayer life.

Are you a Buddhist? If so, do you believe in Karma? And if you do please explain to me how my past lives will impact my immediate future. Thanks.

Luis said...

To Chuck O'Connor

I believe that in context your use of Buddhism in your arguments was sound.
If the claim is that something is true because I believe it. A useful counter argument is that (Insert religion here) make the same claim for their arguments but they don't agree with you.

As far as being a Buddhist I have been practicing Rinzai Zen Buddhism for five years.
I haven't found the concept of Karma useful. It is not mentioned
in practice that much. There are Buddhist practitioners that put a lot more emphasis in that type of doctrine. We could call them religious Buddhists.
The point is that belief is not central to my kind of Buddhist practice.
Any cultural practice like Buddhism that has lasted for such a long time undergoes changes.
Every once in a While Buddhism gets ossified, people get stuck on
Dogma and yes superstition. But
another constant in Buddhism seems to be (so far) that people come along that breathe new life on the old doctrine and bring back the emphasis in practice and experience over dogma.

circleh said...

savedbygrace constantly rationalizes his absurd positions and claims for one simple reason: His moral standards, such as they are, are totally dependent on the Bible, or rather how he interprets the Bible. But anyone whose ethics are based entirely on an external source, rather than internally driven, might as well have no ethics at all. That's what makes savedbygrace, and millions of others like him, monsters who would murder unbeleivers if they thought the Bible, the Quran, or whatever sacred scripture commanded that. We need not take such dishonest people seriously.

Dale Husband

Luis said...

Pd. To Chuck O'Connor

I forgot to address the "external source" argument. Buddhist tradition
claims that nobody can "teach" you, you have to find things out for yourself.
You might then ask what it the point.
If you find people who lead a kind
of life you like it makes some sense to join forces with them for a while.
As long as nobody is forcing anybody to believe or do anything
they or you don't like. And they are not threatening you with eternal damnation if you are not like them. Or forcing your School to teach it. There is no problem.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Luis,

I agree with you and found folks who practice ZaZen to be very conscious people. I really like the relationships I've been able to cultivate with them.

Thanks for the dialogue.

Luis said...

To Chuck O'Connor

Thank you for your answer.

savedbygrace said...

circleh,

I love unbelievers and so does God! I have no ill feelings towards unbelievers whatsoever. You accusations are totally unfounded and wrong!

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Like I said, Jesus and Paul are both correct. But one teaches the Jews under the law and the other teaches the Gentiles under grace. It's really very simple.

I do not believe in denominationalism as it is counter biblical. There is only ons church and one faith, not 1000's. You are judging denominationalism, which is not Chritianity. You are confusing these issues and teachings.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Do you believe in love? Can you prove that love exists? Can you define love for me scientifically? Can you show it to me or experiment with it in a lab setting?

Cole said...

"Can you show it to me or experiment with it in a lab setting?"

Grace,

I can show you love by hugging you, telling you, or through acts of service etc.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

You asked me if I can prove love. Well give me an fMRI and a photo of my beautiful wife and I can show you where in the brain love originates.

Now, can you provide the same type of objective data for your miracles.

Thanks

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved you said,

"I do not believe in denominationalism as it is counter biblical. There is only ons church and one faith, not 1000's. You are judging denominationalism, which is not Chritianity. You are confusing these issues and teachings."

So what church is the true church?

Are churches that don't conform to a dispensational view of history not Christian? If so, then are Catholics, Anglicans and Greek Orthodox not Christian?

And what about those Christians who existed before Darby invented the theory of Dispensational history to defend Calvinism in the mid 1800's, are they burning in Hell?

Do you see how illogical your self-centered beliefs are and why I oppose them?

Have a conversation with someone you deem moral who does not share the superstitions you build your life on and then realize how these superstitions do nothing to inform an intelligent ethic.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

There is one true church made up of all Christians. It does not have any name, and it is invisible.

Darby did not INVENT dispensationalism, he just taught a truth that he understood from God's word. The truth is always the truth. The earth was round even before mankind discovered it was round. You arguments are impotent and way off base.

And no one will be burning in Hell - NO ONE! We have been over all that already.

savedbygrace said...

Chuck,

Some part of your brain lighting up does not prove love! Is that part of your brain labeled LOVE? Come on now Chuck, certainly you can do better than that! That was a very pathetic attempt at an answer. PLEASE!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Saved,

I wish you well.

I don't think any further dialogue between the two of us will further anything.

For the sake of charity, I will allow you your thoughts.

You have not convinced me that they are nothing more than self-possessed superstition.

I've heard all of your arguments and they seem about as insightful as parsing the meal ate the day before Gilgamesh met Enkidu.

savedbygrace said...

Agreed.

Russ said...

savedbygrace, you said,

I know for an absolute first hand fact that prayer works. So if you want to explain that away as some sort of placebo effect or self fulfilling prophecy, then so be it. I know different! I have experience the incredible power of of God through prayer on a regular basis.

I've been around those who claim that prayer works all my life, several decades, but I have yet to see a single instance of "answered" prayer that didn't have a natural explanation.

When I was a kid some of my friend's were taught by their parents to put everything in their lives into a religious context, and the "miracle of answered prayer" was one of the commonly recurring themes. Even as a pre-teen kid I thought there was something a bit fishy about parents supplying a prayed-for birthday present, then seeing that interplay used as proof that "God answers prayer." That didn't sit right with me.

Then, too, I was puzzled about why, despite my sincere prayers, come birthdays or Christmas my packages were not answered prayers; they were socks and underware. Answered prayers were for kids who were well off, not for poor kids like me.

As a teen, maybe fourteen, I asked a minister friend about prayer one day while we ice fished. I couldn't see that God was doing anything. Yes and no were the only two possible answers. [The minister liked to throw in "wait," but as I saw it, "wait" was simply a postponement of yes or no.] But, you could get yes or no from a stone or a table leg. Lots of things could make the prayer be answered yes - mom, dad, friend, relative or just good luck - but even if it turned out no, I could still say the stone or table leg did it. His only response was to assure me that God was more effective at answering prayers than a stone or table leg.

Later, I fully understood that answered prayers were things that people gave themselves. Typically, they wanted the prayer to work, so any observed outcome, yes or no, served as the answer to the prayer. It was a complete head game. Christians sent their prayers out to God. Muslims prayers went out to Allah. Other's prayers targeted gods with names like Vishnu or Thor or Zeus. But, no matter who they prayed to, it was their chosen target that answered the prayer. It was their own personal head game.

I've been looking at the prayer phenomenon for decades, but I have yet to see a single instance of a prayer being "answered" that wasn't better understood as a wishful thinking head game.

Bluemongoose said...

Really good questions, Chuck. I like your style.

But why ask me for my personal perception on the relativism issue at all? If the definition you bring is correct, then the absolute nature of the definition cancels out relativism in general. It's self-defeating.

So why is belief in Yawheh the absolute standard of morality? B/c it is the only worldview that professes total absolutes, and it is not dependent upon fallible human perception and verification to prove it is valid.

We can clear this up with an illustration: boats in the water. Mind you, the boats are metaphores for worldviews. So, every worldview (boat) must answer these three questions: 1) Why am I even out here in the water to begin with (purpose); 2) How do I keep from bumping up against other boats (dealing with conflicting ideas from other worldviews); and 3) How do I stay afloat (truth).

Your last statement. Again, you're relying on human perception to be the system of weights and measurements we use when analyzing morality. So what do we do when worldviews bump up against each other? If all humans are equal in their humanity, then so are their viewpoints. What tips the scales?

savedbygrace said...

Hi Russ,

I have had a number of miracles in my life with no human intervention, no medicine, no doctors, and no natural explanation whatsoever. But I do understand you skepticism with all of the so called faith healers out there with their charades. But I have experienced the real thing with no faith healers in sight and no doctors or medicine. Just instant and miraculous healing from the divine hand of God.

Bluemongoose said...

Chuck:

Continued contradictions. I understand it seems like that at the outset. Allow me to give you two illustrations to help clarify:

When you first start dating a girl, you're wild about her. You talk about her and to her all the time. You open doors for her, buy her dinner, give her flowers. When you're walking down the sidewalk, you walk on the side closest to traffic. Now, these are general rules a gentleman follows. But are you really just following the rules when you show her affection in this way? Nope. You're doing these things out of that love for her. This is how God wants the relationship between Him and us to be, not that we do things b/c we consider them to be rules; rather, b/c we love Him.

Illustration 2: When you have your first baby, you don't change her diapers b/c you have to or b/c it's a rule. Rather, you do it b/c you adore that baby and you want to do good things for her. When we love someone with all our hearts, we are constantly consumed with displays of affection for them.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Blue you said:

"So why is belief in Yawheh the absolute standard of morality? B/c it is the only worldview that professes total absolutes . . ."

Our Muslim cousins might disagree on that one.

(From About.com) The Arabic term 'islam means "submission" and itself comes from the term 'aslama, which means "to surrender, resign oneself." In Islam, the fundamental duty of each Muslim is to submit to Allah (Arabic for "the God") and whatever Allah wants of them. A person who follows Islam is called a Muslim, and this means "one who surrenders to God." It is thus clear that the concept of submission to the will, desires, and commands and God is inextricably linked to Islam as a religion — it's an inherent part of the name of the religion, of the religion's followers, and of the basic tenets of Islam."

You also said:

". . . and it is not dependent upon fallible human perception and verification to prove it is valid."

But isn't your boat illustration making the worldview "dependent upon fallibel human perception and verfication"?

I'm sorry. You need to provide better proofs than what you've provided for me to trust you.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Blue,

You talk about god and love.

Every five seconds a child dies on this planet due to starvation. This starvation is not derived as a consequence of human conflict. It is born out of natural circumstance.

Now, if god demands that a child die a senseless, painful and capricious death due to the behavior of two people in a garden then he is a petty being.

That is not love and accepting the blame for it (due to "our" collective sin) is not courage nor is it enlightenment. It is post-traumatic-stress-disorder.

I find your worldview complicit with evil and very dangerous.

Bluemongoose said...

Scott:

The Bible does not condone murder. Remember, God wants us to love one another. See John 13:34. But you're getting into the divine sanction vs. divine permission area again. Murder was not part of God's original plan, but b/c sin entered the world, we now have murder.

Slavery question. You are such a smarty, Scott! I was hoping you'd go in this direction! I will briefly mention that the divine sanction vs. divine permission dynamic again comes into play here. If it didn't, then yes, the biblical guidelines for operating within slavery would be very confusing. We don't condone unwed teens having sex, but we say, "If you do, do it with a condom." Ultimately sex before marriage and unwed parents aren't the original and best plan, but we give guidelines for how to operate in case it happens.

Death for sin. I answered your question, just not in the way you expected me to and not in a way you liked.

Stonings. What if we looked at it this way: What if this illustrates how serious God considers sin and how watered down it became throughout the years. Think of a game of "telephone".

What ifs. Scott, remember when I said why I phrase some of my statements in the "what if" format? It's not b/c it's not true; rather, it just makes what I bring to the table easier to digest for the reader.

Sending down principles. I was referring to right before the scribed laws were given to Moses, not that peopel were begging specifically for slavery laws. Certainly that would not have been at the forefront of their minds since they had just been released from captivity in Egypt.

Deleting versions. Then we still would have had the second issue that I illustrated.

Bending reality. Are you sure about that? What about the book, "The Secret"? Followers of that school of thought would disagree with you. So would Hindus.

Substantiating. Again, you're asking for objectivity out of subjectivity. I've given you answers, and you just didn't like them. You want them to depend on human verification for their validation. But if that were the standard, then the Bible wouldn't be the Bible, would it? After all, it does claim it does not require human verification for it to be true.

Wrong or right. I'm saying truth in any sense cannot be subjective or rely on human validation to make it correct.

Bluemongoose said...

Moving on, Scott:

"For the sake of argument..." Scott, I'd kiss you if I wasn't already married! You ask awesome questions! But God did denounce slavery to the Hebrews. Recall my statement about His admonishment to them about remembering when they were slaves in Egypt and not to treat others how they had been treated by the Egyptians.

2) When you write a letter, does the pen write it or do you? Likewise, people were God's instruments for writing the Bible. This question also assumes people are able to "pull one over" on God or get a way with things without His knowledge. But if He is who He says He is, then nothing gets by Him. Saying the opposite means you're suggesting He has human limitations. The Bible clearly illustrates otherwise.

Reasonableness. You're still assuming God has human limitations and things somehow get by Him. This issue is covered in that the ultimate provision still stands in which every sin warrants death as punishment. Kind of puts all of our "little white lies" into perspective, doesn't it?

I'll muddy the waters further. What if it was a sin to worry? How does that curl your noodle? What about when Jesus said if a man hates his brother, then he has committed murder in his heart? That sounds like we're responsible even for our thoughts! Maybe God really knew what He was saying when He represented that we trully were depraved...

Shackled. I am free of all my sins past, present and future. They have been cast into the sea of forgetfulness. I am shackled to nothing.

savedbygrace said...

Blue, dynomite posts man! You go guy!

Bluemongoose said...

Chuck:

You, too, have awesome comments! If I wasn't already married, I'd give you a big, sloppy kiss right smack dab on your cheek!

What an important illustration you give. But what if I said this: What if some people believe there are things they can do that God is not allowed to do? For example: Susie Atheist believes abortion is okay b/c it is a personal decision to take the life within her. And yet this same individual does not afford the same opportunity to God, saying basically that He is not allowed to choose who lives or dies. Is there a double standard at work here?

Bluemongoose said...

Oops! Sorry, Chuck. I didn't see the first part of that post.

Muslim cousins. Yeah, it seems that way at first until yous tart breaking it down. Some big differences between Christianity and Islam: Christianity is the only worldview in which the diety reached out to the humans and sacrificed Himself for their sakes. Muslims are never sure where they stand with Allah, and they never have assurance where they will spend eternity. They also don't know their god on a personal, relational level. Christians are encouraged to call Yahweh our Abba Father or "Daddy".

Formula. Thes questions are a way to ultimately find out which worldview is true. You still are stuck on using human perception as the only way to prove something is correct. For instance: gravity doesn't need my personal validation for it to be true.

Luis said...

Bluemongoose,

Have you ever heard of Rumi, Hafiz?
Stating Muslims do not claim to have a personal relationship with God does not mean they don't.
Im pretty sure from their point of view their certainty about what god intends is a strong as yours.
You can state differences in theology between Islam and Christianity. But in matters of faith there is no objective measure. I would not question that you believe that you have a personal relationship with God.
On what basis do you question theirs?

Bluemongoose said...

Luis:

Wonderful question!

However, you are basing your querry on human perception. If relativism has its day and everything is left to personal interpretation, then why do you care? What one person believes has no bearing on what another believes. Now, if there were absolutes, then that would mean somebody here is wrong; and atheists don't like that. It makes them "feel" bad. They've worked so hard in their efforts to try to prove that everything is relative...

Bluemongoose said...

Aww, shucks, SBG. Thanks.

Bluemongoose said...

SBG, I forgot to mention that I stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me. None of what I post is from my own knowlege or things I came up with by my lonesome. And ultimately, we know, all knowledge comes from Yahweh.

Luis said...

Bluemongoose,

You are missing the point. You can
claim that there is absolute truth in your brand of religion. But so can they! On which basis do you claim yours is right? If it is on faith, your claim is not stronger than theirs. Is the same argument.
If it is on which book is right I refer you to this website among
many that clearly show both books were written by deeply flawed humans.
You will probably ask me again to defend extreme relativism which is a position I don't subscribe to.

But on matter of blind faith relativism works very well.
All blind faith believers have equivalent claims to the truth.

On the other hand if you bring science and actual evidence into the picture not all claims carry the same weight because some are supported by empirical evidence
and others are not. That is not relativism.

Scott said...

Bluemongoose wrote: Murder was not part of God's original plan, but b/c sin entered the world, we now have murder.

And slavery WAS part of God's plan?

In case you've forgotten, you originally wrote.

People were consistently ignoring God's sanctions, so He gave them rules to abide by while they were engaging in the slave trade.

Should one have ignored God's sanctions on working on Sunday, God's response would be to demand death by stoning.

Should one ignore God's sanctions on homosexuality, God's response is to again, demand death by stoning.

But should one ignore God's sanctions on slavery, God's response is to create rules for practicing it?

Ultimately sex before marriage and unwed parents aren't the original and best plan, but we give guidelines for how to operate in case it happens.

So why not give rules about working on Sunday, in case it happens, instead of demanding death by stoning?

You're simply describing what God was depicted as doing, as if this somehow justifies the inconsistency.

Death for sin. I answered your question, just not in the way you expected me to and not in a way you liked.

No, you did not. Your response was...

But, as you can see from the way people live today, many think that if they just choose not to believe in something, then it won't apply to them.

Should an Israelite have chosen to not to believe that God would sanction him for working on Sunday, would he not have still demanded he be stoned regardless?

Certainly that would not have been at the forefront of their minds since they had just been released from captivity in Egypt.

God rescues his people from slavery at the hands of a foreign nation, then tells them they can buy slaves from foreign slave traders?

Deleting versions. Then we still would have had the second issue that I illustrated.

So, you agree that, had I deleted my earlier version, you would no longer consider it a indication of confusion? But the earlier version would?

Bending reality. Are you sure about that? What about the book, "The Secret"? Followers of that school of thought would disagree with you. So would Hindus.

Based on your arguments, you appear to agree with them.

Wrong or right. I'm saying truth in any sense cannot be subjective or rely on human validation to make it correct.

The existence of a true state of affairs in really in no way requires God to be a part of said state of affairs. Nor does this mean you have detail knowledge of said state of affairs.

Bluemongoose said...

Luis:

Notice how you said, "you can claim", indicating you're still arguing form the vantage point that truth requires validation from humans in order for it to be true. Scroll back up and look at the formula I gave Chuck for testing the validity of worldviews.

But you still inadvertently argue my points for me on why relativism is bunk and why there must be one truth for everybody.

Books written by humans. You're right. Books authored by humans are open to being flawed. But you assume that Yahweh is handicapped by humans. However, He wouldn't be God if that were the case.

"You will probably ask me again to defend relativism which is a position I don't subscribe to." Again, you prove my point on why relativism cannot have the day as Arthur Schlesinger suggested.

Blind faith. This illustrates that it's not just Christians who can be brainwashed. Muslims, atheists, Hindus, etc., are all subject.

"All blind faith believers have equivalent claims to the truth." Really? Are you sure about that? Can two complete opposites both be true at the same time?

Science. Why do you assume science and religion cannot co-exist? What if it was scientism and religion that could not co-exist?

Evidence. You are arguing that objectivity only comes from human validation and understanding. That would be like me saying science is the only way to validate any truth. But can science be used to validate music, art or love?

Scott said...

But God did denounce slavery to the Hebrews.

And you know this how?

Recall my statement about His admonishment to them about remembering when they were slaves in Egypt and not to treat others how they had been treated by the Egyptians.

God rescues the Israelites from death at the hands of the Egyptians, but then threatens them with death at the hands of their own people should they work on Sundays.

Sounds like they've exchanged one form of bondage for another.

This question also assumes people are able to "pull one over" on God or get a way with things without His knowledge.

It seems you've make the "mistake" of misinterpreting my position.

I do not think God clearly told the Israelites he forbid slavery, or that God was silent on the issue, as I do not think God exists.

Instead, I was illustrating how you could not accept this option, despite it appearing more reasonable.

Shackled. I am free of all my sins past, present and future. They have been cast into the sea of forgetfulness. I am shackled to nothing.

While that sounds nice, I've clearly illustrated otherwise.

Bluemongoose said...

Scott:

Again, read my teen pregnancy illustration.

Sin is sin, and it all warrants eternal separation from God.

There are rules about working on Sunday. Recall Jesus' illustration to the pharisees about whether or not pulling the boy out of the well on the Sabbath was considered work.

Stoning. Cast not the first stone... This is why judgment was supposed to be left up to God ultimately b/c only He can see the motives of an individual's heart. This would help out the mom treating her sick kid on the Sabbath. I can't wait to see where you take this.

Slave trade. You're forgetting the time lapse here. Certainly the Hebrews who first recieved the Law did not partake in owning slaves, as they were fresh out of being slaves themselves. The addition of the divine permissions for slavery were not added to the Law until later in time.

Deleting versions. I do not agree. I still would have asked you the why question.

Based on my arguments... Again, that's just your interpretation.

So where does truth come from then, Scott? We've already established that it doesn't come from humans.

Bluemongoose said...

Scott, I'll get to the second half of your questions tomorrow. Something has just come up. Have a good day.

Luis said...

blue,

I never claimed that science and religion cannot coexist. I never said I was in favor of extreme relativism.
Your own "Test" used the scientific idea of gravity. Evidence in favor of gravity is independent of human taste or opinion. That is the standard you claimed to agree on.
All claims to the "truth" based on
faith are on the same footing.

If I believed on faith that there
are blue unicorns.
And somebody else believed by faith that there are green unicorns.
Both arguments are equivalent.
If on the other hand you produce a real blue unicorn then your claim can be taken seriously.
Extraordinary claims need evidence and the burden of proof falls on those making the claim.

And, I am sorry, personal emotional arguments about miracles with no verifiable evidence. Do not count.

Cromm said...

Bluemongoose asked:

But what if I said this: What if some people believe there are things they can do that God is not allowed to do? For example: Susie Atheist believes abortion is okay b/c it is a personal decision to take the life within her. And yet this same individual does not afford the same opportunity to God, saying basically that He is not allowed to choose who lives or dies. Is there a double standard at work here?


Well, first of all, no, that would not be a double standard. Pro-choicers claim that individual persons have a right to dictate what happens with respect to their own internal organs. If Susie claims that she, and she alone, has the right to boot living things out of her body at her discretion, and that no one else does, then presumably that would include any deities in the "no one else" category.

Second of all, "some people", by which I gather you mean atheists, aren't making a point about what we think any gods would be "allowed to do." Clearly, if any gods existed, they would be "allowed" to do as they liked, insofar as we'd be powerless to stop them.

What we are saying is that the most popular Christian versions of god, specifically, would entail double standards if they existed. These are gods that have supposedly committed mass murder, issued exhortations to murder, and then subsequently denounced murder as an absolute moral wrong for humans. One standard for these gods, another for humans. Heck, sometimes Christians even claim that the standards set by their various versions of god did, in fact, depend on the context in which humans were placed. That would be divine relativism, right there, which is again something that we can't engage in, apparently, but is just fine for gods.

Owlmirror said...

«"Certainly the Hebrews who first recieved the Law did not partake in owning slaves, as they were fresh out of being slaves themselves.

Obviously, you are unfamiliar with what the Bible actually says.

Numbers 31:15-18 describes the slaughter of the non-virgin females, and males of all ages, among the Midianites. The virgin females were taken as slaves, as clearly shown in Numbers 31:25-47, where they are divvied up among the men just like the animals and the wealth.

God explicitly orders them to treat little girls as slaves -- no doubt as sex-slaves.

Deuteronomy 20:14 does not just give rules for how to treat slaves, but rather commands that the survivors of war be captured as slaves "as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.".

That's not just "sanction". That's clear permission.

savedbygrace said...

Owl,

Neither the Numbers verses nor the Deut verse that you quoted say one single word about slavery. Try again.

Owlmirror said...

«"Neither the Numbers verses nor the Deut verse that you quoted say one single word about slavery. Try again.

You're being disingenuous, and/or splitting hairs. Are you capable of arguing honestly?

The language of the bible often uses circumlocutions, euphemisms, and alternate language. When the text says that Adam "knew" Eve, it does not say that he copulated with her, but we infer, from the immediate context that after him "knowing" her, she gave birth, that "copulation" is the correct interpretation of the word. This is especially the case when the same word is used repeatedly of men "knowing" women and those women becoming pregnant and giving birth.

The verses I cited describe people being used; as being taken; as being property.

The only honest interpretation is that they were chattel slaves.

What dishonest interpretation do you have in mind, just out of curiosity?

Scott said...

Bluemongoose wrote: Again, read my teen pregnancy illustration.

Blue, equating teenage sex with rescuing or treating a child who fell down a well is a faulty analogy. Children (and even adults) accidentally fall into wells. Teenagers do not "accidently" have sex.

Sin is sin, and it all warrants eternal separation from God.

Even if this were true, this does nothing to explain God's inconsistent response to ignoring his sanctions here on earth.

There are rules about working on Sunday. Recall Jesus' illustration to the pharisees about whether or not pulling the boy out of the well on the Sabbath was considered work.

Should morality come from God then, YES, we'd need to be explicitly told that emergency rescue or medical treatment is not work. This is due to the fact that, should absolute morality come from God, rescuing or treating a injured child COULD be grounds for death by stoning, should God had deemed it so.

Cast not the first stone... This is why judgment was supposed to be left up to God ultimately b/c only He can see the motives of an individual's heart. I can't wait to see where you take this.

If God of the OT is the same God as the NT, why did he have the Israelites do his dirty work? Being omniscient, God could have been perfectly aware of the motive and circumstances of each individual and personally struck down only those who's work performed on Sunday offended him. This is in contrast to delegating finite human beings, who have no such ability, to cast stones when THEY thought one's work offended God.

I guess God wasn't interested in reducing the number of people stoned to death for the wrong reasons.

This would help out the mom treating her sick kid on the Sabbath.

This does nothing for all the mothers who may have been stoned to death trying to treat their sick children during the 800 or so years BEFORE Jesus divinely "revealed" this knowledge to the pharisees. God was just too busy doing more important things to help them?

Deleting versions. I do not agree. I still would have asked you the why question.

So, now I'm really confused. You're saying it make no difference If I assert I'm correct or not?

Based on my arguments... Again, that's just your interpretation.

Are you suggesting that you do NOT interpret my arguments? Have I not shown how you've incorrectly interpreted my arguments earlier in this thread?

So where does truth come from then, Scott?

Before we could answer this question we'd have to define truth.

We've already established that it doesn't come from humans.

Again, that depends on what you mean by truth "comes from" something.

For example, do you think it is true that God exits? Do you think it is true that God has always existed? If so, God didn't come from himself, as he was not created.

Therefore, the true or falseness of God's existence did not "come from" God. Instead, there would be true or false statements about God or his actions, should he exist.

Just as there would be true of false statements about human beings, etc.

For example...

- Am I currently thinking of a number between 1 and 10?
- Do you know what that number is?
- Am I dreaming all of this right now?

Surely, you'd agree there are true (in contrast to false) answers to these questions, right?

Did God cause me to choose selecting a number between 1 and 10 to illustrate my point? Did he cause me choose the specific number I selected?.

And, most importantly, do you have detailed knowledge of these answers, and why (or why not?)

Bluemongoose said...

Scott:

How do I know God denounced slavery to the Hebrews? You wrote the answer in the next paragraph.

Death for working on Sundays. Death is the price for all sin. You are still operating from the perspective that there are sliding scales for different sins.

You do not think God clearly told the Hebrews He forbade slavery. Notice how you preface your statement with "I think", indicating this is just your interpretation. However, that perception is incorrect. We are rehashing, and I've already given you an answer. You didn't like it, and we are wasting our time.

You do not think God exists. That's fine for you to say, but then you cannot make the leap to say that He definitively does not exist. How can you know that for sure with only your finite perception to guide you? Sure you can rely on other human finite perceptions, but then you're still back at square one. Can the finite difinitively say the infinite doesn't exist?

Shackles. You've illustrated your bias, nothing else. Your opinion matters to you and you alone. It carries no more weight than any other human opinion. Therefore, you don't tip the scales.

Owlmirror said...

«"Death is the price for all sin. You are still operating from the perspective that there are sliding scales for different sins.

The perspective of "sliding scales" is that of justice: seeking to make the punishment fit the crime, whatever that might be.

Having the same extreme punishment, permanent death, for anything and everything -- even acts that harm no-one -- is the way of extreme injustice, or evil.

The logical conclusion is that you are asserting that God is evil.

«"You do not think God clearly told the Hebrews He forbade slavery. Notice how you preface your statement with "I think", indicating this is just your interpretation.

But the interpretation is correct. Yours is simply wrong. The bible has clear statements that permit slavery, so obviously, it is not clear that God forbade slavery.


«"You do not think God exists. That's fine for you to say, but then you cannot make the leap to say that He definitively does not exist.

God cannot exist as an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being. Those definitions are contradicted by reality.

«"Shackles. You've illustrated your bias, nothing else. Your opinion matters to you and you alone. It carries no more weight than any other human opinion. Therefore, you don't tip the scales.

That's how we know that you are indeed shackled to your delusional opinion of yourself. Your biased opinion matters to you and you alone, and carries no weight. You can't argue coherently. Your worldview is sunk.

Bluemongoose said...

Scott:

Let me clarify. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the Bible states slavery is bad and so is sex before marriage; and both are sins. Both rules are frequently ignored by people. So guidelines ar set up for humans to follow while they engage in those practices. Both sins merit eternal punishment (spiritual death).

The reason I gave the well scenario is b/c some men came to Jesus and asked Him to explain exactly what would be considered violating the no work on the Sabbath rule. And Jesus basically, with the well illustration, He was saying, Look you guys are micromanaging this stuff. If you would just acto out of love for each other, thne you don't have to worry about all the fine print.

Why do you believe God ignored His sanctions? See Numbers 23:19, 1 Sam. 15:29 and James 1:17. You asume, again, God has human limitations. We see from these verses just the opposite. In your finite knowledge, how do you know God doesn't punish sin on earth? Atheists like to profess karma exists, a system where an unthinking process just decides on its own to punish evil and reward good. So why is it so hard to make the leap that an intelligent God could be the one making the judgments?

Why would we need everything spelled out to us in explicit detail? Are you insulting humanity's intelligence?

Doing God's dirty work. So here we go w/the old, "Blame God for all the bad stuff that happens in life, but give Him none of the credit for the good stuff" slogan. You again assume God is limited by humans in that He can't operate w/out the use of them. But what of tornados, hurricanes and plagues? Certainly these aren't things that man has control over. Why couldn't God use those things?

You're right, though, that God could have struck down any one person for any one of their sins. Frequently, that Zeus image w/the lighting bolt is how we picture Yahweh -- twirling His moustache, waiting for us to screw up so He can zap us and get kicks out of it.

But what if I painted this pic. of Him: as a long-suffering daddy who is crazy about all of His human kids and doesn't desire for any of them to be hurt or worse, die an eternal death? So much so that He died in their place.

Bluemongoose said...

Moving on, Scott:

I'm sorry this is getting so long. We'll have to cut it down eventually.

Casting stones. The statement here implies authority does not come from God. Why do you believe that to be so?

People stoned to death for wrong reasons. Let me ask you this: What if a person was stoned to death (like Stephen in Acts 6) unfairly, but had given his life to Christ before his death? Certainly the death would have been a blesing b/c he got to go to heaven.

Human deaths before Jesus' death. Smartypants! I love your questions! Allow me to throw you a curveball here. Let's assume again for the sake of argument that Jesus was a part of the trinitarian Yahweh. And what does Yahweh call Himself? The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Yahweh operates outside of the entity we know of as time. So if He sacrificed Himself for us, that means all the sins over all of time are covered by His blood no matter where within time the sacrifice happened. Remember, He is not like us in His parameters, so He doesn't have human limitations.

Asserting yourself. Exactly, b/c you derive your conclusions from your personal human perception.

"Depends on what you mean by truth 'comes from' something. Again, you are implying that my human perception is necessary to prove the truth of something. We've already established that human perception is not a fruitful system of weights and measurements in this area.

I know there are absolute truths. However, they do not rely on human perception and human verification to validate them.

"Did God cause me..." Ah, ye olde total autonomy vs. predestination argument. Let's just cut to the chase here. You will no doubt present this as an either/or scenario. To which I will answer: What if there was a third option?

Bluemongoose said...

Hello again, Luis!

The problem w/the word faith is that in recent times, it has become synonymous with hope. Like, I hope X, Y and Z will happen. In Hebrew, there is no word for faith. The term they use is faithfulness.

I agree that those professing Christianity cannot ride the coat tails of their ancestors' beliefs; but they must learn the whys of their religion. They must learn why Christianity is logical and must be able to debate it on an intellectual level.

Green and blue unicorns. So what tips the scales when all we have to go on is equal human opinions?

Direct evidence. But we have direct evidence Jesus was a real man who walked the earth. Muslims and the Qur'an acknowedge it. Even Ghandi acknowledged it. Look at the writings of Flavius Josephus, Jewish philosopher and historian. You blindly accept that your secular history books are correct, but yet you profess the Bible's historical claims are bunk. Hmm...looks like a double standard.

Extraordinary claims. I could flip that around on you, Luis. I could say you make extraordinary claims and that you bear the burden of proof. What then? Who tips the scales? What you are asking for is objectivity from subjectivity, meaning you want the Bible and its claims to be validated through human verification. Look at it this way: are scientific principles valid b/4 we humans "discover" them?

Owlmirror said...

«"Let's assume for the sake of argument that the Bible states slavery is bad and so is sex before marriage; and both are sins.

Since the bible makes no such unequivocal statements, your premise is false.

«"Both rules are frequently ignored by people. So guidelines ar set up for humans to follow while they engage in those practices.

In other words, they are condoned rather than clearly and unequivocally condemned.

Also, your "guidelines" are also rules. You're back into the paradigm of legalism.

«"The reason I gave the well scenario is b/c some men came to Jesus and asked Him to explain exactly what would be considered violating the no work on the Sabbath rule. And Jesus basically, with the well illustration, He was saying, Look you guys are micromanaging this stuff. If you would just acto out of love for each other, thne you don't have to worry about all the fine print.

No, he gives an example of a reasonable exception; one where one rule outweighs another. It's the exact opposite of 'one punishment for every "crime"'; it brings forth the judicial concept of extenuating circumstances.

«"In your finite knowledge, how do you know God doesn't punish sin on earth?

If the punishment for everything is death, everyone on earth would be dead. Since everyone on earth is not dead, there must be no punishment -- or there's something very wrong with the premise that punishment for all sin is death.

«"Atheists like to profess karma exists, a system where an unthinking process just decides on its own to punish evil and reward good.

Which atheists are you talking about? Hindu atheists? Buddhist atheists? Jain atheists?

«"So why is it so hard to make the leap that an intelligent God could be the one making the judgments?

Because there is no evidence for an intelligent God.

«"Why would we need everything spelled out to us in explicit detail? Are you insulting humanity's intelligence?

Since God doesn't speak for himself, and you pretend to speak for God, it's actually you who are insulting our intelligence.

«"But what of tornados, hurricanes and plagues? Certainly these aren't things that man has control over. Why couldn't God use those things?

Because they destroy without justice. They show no discrimination; no intelligence. You're insulting our intelligence again.

«"But what if I painted this pic. of Him: as a long-suffering daddy who is crazy

An insane God might exist, but he wouldn't be good.

«"about all of His human kids and doesn't desire for any of them to be hurt or worse, die an eternal death?

I'm sorry, are you talking about the same one who sends tornadoes, hurricanes and plagues to slaughter those same human kids?

You're insulting our intelligence, again.

«"So much so that He died in their place.

According to Trinitarian theology, he didn't really die at all, and knew that he wouldn't die. It was just a trick. And it insults our intelligence to say that it was in "their place". Since God makes the rules, and changes them at his whim, it was not necessary that anyone die.

Bluemongoose said...

Howdy, Cromm!

Why do you believe the baby inside Susie is just another internal organ when it clearly has a different DNA structure than she does?

"Some people." You imply the only way for Yahweh to exist is if He took our free will away. Why do you believe this is so? Wouldn't it say more about the truth of His existence if He left our free will alone?

Double standards. You make my arguments for me. The sum total or your implications here are that it's okay for humans to take life, but it's not okay for God to take life. But if life is His, then why wouldn't the choice to maintain it or snuff it out be His? Ah, yes, then you'll say, but I'm assuming God doesn't exist so He can't make any choices. To which I will answer: Prove it.

"Sometimes Christians even claim..." This illustrates the inferiority of human perception when used as the standard of weights and measurements for validating the truth of something. Perhaps somebody is wrong in your illustration? "Various versions of God did, in fact, depend on the context in which humans were placed." What if I told you this wasn't divine relativism, but rather wrong definitions of God?

Owlmirror said...

«"People stoned to death for wrong reasons. Let me ask you this: What if a person was stoned to death (like Stephen in Acts 6) unfairly, but had given his life to Christ before his death? Certainly the death would have been a blesing b/c he got to go to heaven.

By all means, avoid the question with a complete non-sequitur. It's not like anything you write makes sense anyway.

«"Let's assume again for the sake of argument that Jesus was a part of the trinitarian Yahweh. And what does Yahweh call Himself? The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Yahweh operates outside of the entity we know of as time. So if He sacrificed Himself for us, that means all the sins over all of time are covered by His blood no matter where within time the sacrifice happened.

So, you're a universalist?

Really, if God is that temporally transcendent, it leaves unanswered the question of why a sacrifice several thousand years after the fall was necessary at all. All he had to do was "kill" himself after Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and <*poof*>, no more sin at all for anyone! And therefore no expulsion from Eden.

Actually, if the "sacrifice" was retroactive, it should have erased Adam and Eve's sin anyway. So the sin would not have happened, and they should not have been expelled. But they were expelled. Therefore, the sacrifice cannot possibly have been retroactive.

«"Remember, He is not like us in His parameters, so He doesn't have human limitations.

Sorry. I just proved that he is bound by temporal sequence, at the very least. Too bad for your incoherent and irrelevant worldview.

«"I know there are absolute truths. However, they do not rely on human perception and human verification to validate them.

If they don't rely on human perception and verification, then you cannot possibly know that they are either absolute or true. Because, see, you're a human.

«""Did God cause me..." Ah, ye olde total autonomy vs. predestination argument. Let's just cut to the chase here. You will no doubt present this as an either/or scenario. To which I will answer: What if there was a third option?

Stop insulting our intelligence. I have already pointed out, repeatedly, that power and knowledge confer responsibility. Therefore, God, who has all knowledge and all power, has all responsibility.

Your "third option" conjecture is utterly incoherent.

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

Numbers 31:15-18

You act as if God never gave the Midianites a chance. As a matter of fact, He gave them about 400+ years worth of chances to quit sacrificing their children to pagan gods, not that Yahweh wanted the sacrifices for Himself, but rather b/c it's a terrible practice and wrong.

No doubt. How do you know the girls were sex slaves? It doesn't illustrate that in the text. You are adding your own narrative.

Deut. 20:14. But prior to that you must read the rules of warfare for the Hebrews. They were not to just arbitrarily go to war. They were first to talk it out w/the opposing leaders, and battles were a last resort.

"That's not just sanction. That's clear permission." Thank you. That's what I've been saying. Divine permission. See my illustration regarding teen sex vs. slavery.

Owlmirror said...

«"But we have direct evidence Jesus was a real man who walked the earth.

So you admit that Jesus was a man and not God? But while we have evidence that there were people named Jesus, we don't have evidence of the one who did the things written about in the NT, outside of the NT.

«"Look at the writings of Flavius Josephus, Jewish philosopher and historian.

Yes, why don't you look at those very unconvincing writings.

«"I could flip that around on you, Luis. I could say you make extraordinary claims and that you bear the burden of proof.

That's called "shifting the burden of proof". Since your arguments are utterly incoherent, the burden of proof remains on you to make them coherent, at the very least.

-----------

«"The sum total or your implications here are that it's okay for humans to take life, but it's not okay for God to take life. But if life is His, then why wouldn't the choice to maintain it or snuff it out be His?

You still have a double standard here. You're arguing that God's might means that God is always right -- not that God adheres to an absolute standard of right and wrong.


«"What if I told you this wasn't divine relativism, but rather wrong definitions of God?

God does not communicate his own definition. Since your "definition" of God has been obviously and ridiculously incoherent and contradictory, it, too, must be wrong.

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

You illustrate the ultimate problem w/siding scales with your "whatever that might be" statement. How do we humans know what is the best punishment for any crime? Can we see into the heart of a criminal and find out the true motives for his actions? No, we cannot. Sure, he can verbalize something to us; but how do we know he's not lying?

Permanent death for all sins. Kind of puts the gravity of all our "little white lies" into perspective, doesn't it? It also shows how wonderful Yahweh's gift of salvation trully is.

Logical conclusion or your perception? Anyway, it's your interpretation. And since it is just that, then you have no standing to tell me I'm wrong -- unless you like using one ended stick arguments. But why would a holy, righteous God sacrifice Himself for us if He wasn't madly in love with us?

Bible's clear statements permitting slavery. I told you before it gave guidelines for permitting slavery. No one is trying to hide that. But I also gave you he context in which this happened within the divine sanction vs. divine permission dynamic. Again, see the teenagers vs. slavery illustration. I can't help if you don't like it, but that doesn't mean what I've brought to the table is false.

Contradictions in reality. Okay. Prove to me with your finite perception why God can't be real.

Sunken worldview. How can you tell me definitively that I am wrong in any context? If you trully are a student of relativism, then you can't absolutely tell me anything is absolutely wrong or right. Again, you use one ended stick arguments and thus cancel out your own statements.

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

Fully man and fully God dynamic. Allow me to give you an illustration to clarify:

A farmer went outside on a cold winter night to find a group of sparrows freezing in the snow just outside of his barn. Having compassion on the birds, he opened the door to his barn to let them in so they could get warm. However, the birds flew further away from him, in the opposite direction. Every time he tried to herd the sparrows toward the barn, they flew in a different direction. Thoroughly exasperated and fearing the birds would soon die, the farmer said, "Oh, if I could only but become one of them so that I could show them not to be scared and lead them to safety." This is how we are to look at the God/Jesus dynamic, viewing that God was able to become one of us.

Problems with Wiki: Wiki has come under much scrutiny as to its authenticity. Remember, anyone can write anything they want in Wiki. It doesn't have to be forthright. But I could say any secular history book is littered w/flaws once we put it under any level of scrutiny.

Incoherent arguments. your opinion, Owlmirror. But you understood my comments enough to reply, didn't you?

"You still have a double standard here." I'm not so sure you undertand what I mean by a double standard. Your examples here illustrate you see problems, but they are issues that are separate and apart. I was in no way saying that the toughest guy is the right guy. The issue of God adhering to an aboslute standard is a different subject altogether.

"God does not commiunicate His own definition." Wrong. I could give you many scriptures that define God and His personality. Do you want to look at them?

"Since your definition..." You still imply I'm using my own human perception to validate the truth of something. Not so. Again, if what I've said has been so ridiculously incoherent and contradictory, then how could you understand it enough to respond?

Owlmirror said...

«"As a matter of fact, He gave them about 400+ years worth of chances to quit sacrificing their children to pagan gods

Where does it say that the Midianites sacrificed their children? It's all very well to make accusations, but accusations with no basis are false accusations.

«"not that Yahweh wanted the sacrifices for Himself,

But he did. It was ordered that the males of all ages -- babies, small children, preteens, teens -- all be slaughtered. For God.

«"but rather b/c it's a terrible practice and wrong.

Of course it's terrible and wrong. But it's terrible and wrong when the Israelites did it, and when God does it. Saying otherwise is a double standard and moral relativism.

And why, exactly, are the little girls punished with slavery for what their parents did? Isn't that terrible and wrong as well?

«"How do you know the girls were sex slaves? It doesn't illustrate that in the text. You are adding your own narrative.

I am making a reasonable extrapolation that soldiers are not going to just play pattycake with young girls.

And you have a double-standard again: you add your own narrative to what is not illustrated in the bible text, all the time.

«"Deut. 20:14. But prior to that you must read the rules of warfare for the Hebrews. They were not to just arbitrarily go to war. They were first to talk it out w/the opposing leaders, and battles were a last resort.

And even if the city surrendered, they had to become slaves to the Israelites (Deut 20:11).

And the cities nearby were to be destroyed without mercy or negotiation.

«"That's what I've been saying. Divine permission.

You've been saying that there was divine permission to take slaves? So you now agree that the Bible says that slavery is OK, in and of itself?

Scott said...

I'll wrap this up tomorrow, but wanted to respond to this in particular...

People stoned to death for wrong reasons. Let me ask you this: What if a person was stoned to death (like Stephen in Acts 6) unfairly, but had given his life to Christ before his death? Certainly the death would have been a blesing b/c he got to go to heaven.

Is this a serious response?

Let me ask you this: What if someone had yet to be saved or their faith had temporarily lapsed due to a specific situation they were going through, but were unfairly stoned to death before it returned? Certainly death would be a curse as they would go to hell.

Luis said...

Bluemongoose,

Lets assume that the evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus
was so good there was no room for doubt. Which actually is not the case.
That still would not prove anything about the truth of the bible or the existence of god.
There is evidence for the existence of Mohamed. There is even better evidence for the existence of Joseph Smith. Does that mean that Mormons or Muslims are right?
You agreed with me on the Unicorn argument that the only way to choose between those without evidence is human opinion.

The only way to chose between Islam and Christianity is human opinion because there in no evidence in favor of either of those.
Yo repeatedly claim that your statements are not based on human opinion but on a "higher authority". This is the same claim a Muslim would make and
his claim is as valid as yours.

Owlmirror said...

«"You illustrate the ultimate problem w/siding scales with your "whatever that might be" statement. How do we humans know what is the best punishment for any crime? Can we see into the heart of a criminal and find out the true motives for his actions? No, we cannot. Sure, he can verbalize something to us; but how do we know he's not lying?

That's completely irrelevant. Punishing everyone with death for everything is unjust, not just; evil, not good. You offer no counterargument.

«"Permanent death for all sins. Kind of puts the gravity of all our "little white lies" into perspective, doesn't it? It also shows how wonderful Yahweh's gift of salvation trully is.

No, it shows how evil Yahweh is.

«"Logical conclusion or your perception?

Logical conclusion.

«"And since it is just that, then you have no standing to tell me I'm wrong.

Since it is a logical conclusion that you're wrong, of course you are wrong.

«"But why would a holy, righteous God sacrifice Himself for us if He wasn't madly in love with us?

Do you curse those you are in love with with unending pain and drive them away from you? Do you murder those you are in love with, as God does with the flood?

And why would you even say that God "sacrificed" himself when he obviously did no such thing? Sacrifice means permanent destruction and loss. According to Trinitarian theology, God was not destroyed. It's simply absurd to claim that God "sacrificed" himself.

«"Bible's clear statements permitting slavery. I told you before it gave guidelines for permitting slavery. No one is trying to hide that. But I also gave you he context in which this happened within the divine sanction vs. divine permission dynamic. Again, see the teenagers vs. slavery illustration. I can't help if you don't like it, but that doesn't mean what I've brought to the table is false.

Of course it is false. There are divine commandments to take slaves. Your "teenager" analogy is false as well.

«"Contradictions in reality. Okay. Prove to me with your finite perception why God can't be real.

If God exists and is all powerful, all knowing, and all good, he could and would speak for himself or otherwise demonstrate his existence in the real world. God does not speak for himself, and does not demonstrate his existence in the real world, therefore either God is not all good, not all knowing, not all powerful -- or does not exist in the first place.

No matter what, God does not exist as defined as being all powerful, all knowing, and all good.

«"How can you tell me definitively that I am wrong in any context? If you trully are a student of relativism, then you can't absolutely tell me anything is absolutely wrong or right.

Since I am not a "student of relativism", I can indeed absolutely tell you that you are absolutely wrong.

«"Again, you use one ended stick arguments and thus cancel out your own statements.

Nope. That's what you are doing.

Owlmirror said...

«"Fully man and fully God dynamic. Allow me to give you an illustration to clarify:

Your illustration is a false analogy. If God exists, he's not as weak or ignorant as a man - he would be able to speak to the "birds" in their own language. He wouldn't have to become a bird. And humans aren't as stupid as birds. If God spoke for himself in human language, so that everyone could hear, understand, and see God's power and omniscience demonstrated, people would listen.

You are not needed to speak for God -- unless God does not exist. In which case, you're just speaking for your own imagination.

«"Wiki has come under much scrutiny as to its authenticity. Remember, anyone can write anything they want in Wiki.

You're going to ignore the references offered as well, of course. Well, I see no reason to read your references, either. Anyone can write anything they want in a history book.

«"But I could say any secular history book is littered w/flaws once we put it under any level of scrutiny.

So, what are you arguing? That Josephus is flawed and should not be accepted?

The bible is littered with flaws as well under any level of scrutiny. It's far worse than a secular history book -- secular history books can be corrected when they are wrong. The bible never is.

«"Incoherent arguments. your opinion,

Incoherent arguments, period. You just have a double-standard when it comes to your own incoherence.

«""You still have a double standard here." I'm not so sure you undertand what I mean by a double standard. Your examples here illustrate you see problems, but they are issues that are separate and apart. I was in no way saying that the toughest guy is the right guy.

You were arguing that God can do what he wants to what he creates. "Creation" is a power. You are arguing that the power of creation gives the right of destruction. That's might makes right.

«"The issue of God adhering to an aboslute standard is a different subject altogether

More fallacy of special pleading. You keep doing that, but I've learned I can expect no better from you.

«""God does not commiunicate His own definition." Wrong. I could give you many scriptures that define God and His personality. Do you want to look at them?

You are not God.

Scripture is not God.

Scripture is not God communicating, here and now, like any human being can communicate in the here and now.

You have nothing.

«""Since your definition..." You still imply I'm using my own human perception to validate the truth of something. Not so.

Sure you are. Like I said, you're human. Human perception is all you have.

«"Again, if what I've said has been so ridiculously incoherent and contradictory, then how could you understand it enough to respond?

Delusional people may be able to express themselves, but that does not mean that they are not delusional. And as I've noted, you're not always able to express yourself coherently. Remember "tritheism"?

Russ said...

Owlmirror,
In responding to Bluemongoose's query, "How do you know the girls were sex slaves?" you said,

I am making a reasonable extrapolation that soldiers are not going to just play pattycake with young girls.

I say you got it right.

In the modern Christianities any interpretation is completely acceptable. Even among the so-called "orthodox" Christianities, the beliefs under the "Christian" rubric are inconsistent, incoherent and incompatible. I personally know many Christian atheists, some of whom are active Christian clergy in their respective "orthodox" churches. Today, the word "Christian" is a synonym for "whatever some group of believers decides to believe."

Clear proof of this lies in comparing Bluemongoose's version of Christianity wherein the "captured young virgins were not sex slaves" apologetic holds sway, to other Christianities wherein the "soldiers are not going to just play pattycake with young girls" apologetic is taken as correct. There are so many distinct versions of Christianity that you can be sure to find a "God's loving soldiers placed the young girls with loving families" apologetic and a "the young girls deserved to be sex slaves" apologetic. After all, it's Christian apologetics. It's not truth, and it's not looking for truth. That being the case, any explanation that makes it seem as though today's world conforms with the unknowing ignorance and superstition of the ancient world rises to the level of acceptable apologetic for some subset of Christianities.

Also, you said regarding Bluemongoose,

And you have a double-standard again: you add your own narrative to what is not illustrated in the bible text, all the time.

Once more you make a great point.

There are no rules or regulations for Christian apologetics. There is no "True Christianity Clearinghouse." There is no standard against which correctness can be assessed, not even the Holy Bible. There are Christianities that reject the Bible altogether. There are Christianities that throw away major portions of it wholesale, the Old Testament, for instance. And every single Christianity rejects much of the Bible in a piece here and a piece there fashion. For the would-be apologist it is simply a case of "Add your own narrative to what is not illustrated in the bible text," and, voila', you are a Christian apologist.

One might ask, "How do we know there are no rules or regulations for Christian apologetics?"

To start we could ask a member of one of today's Christianties who outside their particular Christian group they would trust to correctly tell them about Christianity. Would the Pentecostals say they trust the Roman Catholic Pope concerning Christian matters? I think not. Would Roman Catholics let Methodists be their guides? Again, I think not. Would the Presbyterians follow the Mormons? Nope. Would Mormons heed the preachments of the Seventh Day Adventists? Once more "NO" is likely the right answer. They do not trust each other on matters of their own version of "true" Christianity. That's one reason there are so many of them in the first place.

We could continue looking at "How do we know there are no rules or regulations for Christian apologetics?" by comparing apologetics writing to the Bible, although, as mentioned, some Christianities reject it. The Bible has around three quarters of a million words in it, but over time there have been billions and billions of words put down telling people what it really, truly, actually, factually means. Apologetic writers have always known that what god wrote wasn't clear enough that all could understand it, so they've continuously added their new, improved versions of "what god really means" to the mountains of other widely differing versions.

Is it the case that a book poorly written by the creator of the universe becomes easier to understand as more and more apologists provide more and more increasingly divergent explanations for it? Nope.

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

The Midianites worshipped Baal Peor, who they felt was the god fo nature. Baal Peor is very similar to the Moabite god Chemosh and the Amalekite god Molech. Moab and Midian were kin by virtue of their common descent from Terah, Moab through Lot from Haran and Midian from Abraham by Keturah. See Gen. 11:27, 19:37 and 25:2. Moreover, Moab and Midian were so closely associated that the elders of both peoples acted as one group. See Num. 22:4-7. The northern Midianites are often linked w/the cruel Amalekites and the Canaanites. See Judges 6 & 7. Num. 25 tells us how the Midianites led Israel astray in worshipping Baal Peor. This is where you'll find the backdrop for your illustration regarding the war between the Jews and the Midianites. So b/c the Midianites were so closely intertwined w/the Amalekites, Canaanites and Moabites, we see why their worshipping habits are similar.

Slaughter. Again, you add your own narratives based on your own presuppositions. Maybe you are the one who should be doing some homework? War is never a good thing, but you'll notice that the killings were done in a military context by the Jews.

Terrible and wrong. Again, God gave the Midianites roughly 400 years to quit their vile acts. Would you have taken so long in doling out punishment? Probably not with your quick temper.

So why were the little girls punished too? As we see from videos on the net where the Taliban are equipping their kindergarteners for work as jihadi militants and bombers, sometimes the children are heavily involved in these things too.

Reasonable extrapolations. Show me where in the Bible it says they were anything but regular house slaves?

You accuse me of adding my own narrative. Give me specifics. Merely stating something doesn't make it so. I hope you're not in college. Your follow-up is terrible. Your professors would be very upset with you.

Read all of Deuteronomy 20 before you take bits and pieces out of context. Specifically you'll see that these guidelines were only meant to be used when the nations reached the warfare stages.

Divine permission. Recall my illustration comparing the guidelines for teenage sex and slavery.

Bluemongoose said...

Scott:

Yes, it was a serious response. Not everyone is afraid of death.

Your illustration is fabulous! This highlights why the time to come to God and accept His generous gift is now b/c we are not promised tomorrow.

Bluemongoose said...

Luis:

I agree with you that there is evidence that Mohamed was a real man who actually walked this earth. You can visit his tomb. Same with Joseph Smith. However, evidence that these two men existed proves nothing. Rather, we must dissect the messages they brought.

Unicorns. I never said the only way to choose between those w/out evidence is human opinion. Go back over that part again.

Islam vs. Christianity. Are you sure the only way to find out which option is truthful is solely by human verification? But what of car accidents where two individuals, both present for the same event, each have completely opposing accounts?

Higher authority. Luis, do you need a "higher authority" to find out if gravity works? Do you solely need human verification to prove it works? I agree that human opinions don't tip the scales. So we'll have to compare and contrast Christianity v. Islam, won't we? Recall my worldview formula.

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

Punishment by death. But you're leaving out the best part of this equation. By accepting Yahweh's free gift, your slate is wiped clean and you no longer need to worry about death. He died so you wouldn't have to. This is the counterargument.

If He fully takes your place and wipes your slate clean, how is that evil?

Show me why it's an absolute logical conclusion to everyone? Who are you to force your beliefs on me or anyone else?

Owlmirror, you keep forgetting the 2nd half of the equation. Jesus became a curse for you, became the forsaken so you wouldn't have to be.

God is a good parent and b/c He is, He disciplines His kids. You are still arguing from the vantage point that God should have taken away people's free will. He offers protection from bad things if those individuals are obeying the laws, and He gives them every opportunity to turn from their bad behavior. You act like He never gives any chances. Are we to also assume you don't expect parents to discipline their children?

God sacrificing Himself. You argue this point as if you were there to watch it all go down. How do you absolutely know this did not happen?

Sacrifice does not always mean permanent anything. Parents sacrifice in many ways for their kids every day. But if Yahweh is who He says He is and the only Son aspect of the trinity died, then why couldn't the Father God raise the Son from the dead? You again, are putting human parameters on Yahweh.

Why is it absurd that God would sacrifice Himself for His kids? We hear reports on the news frequently of human parents giving their lives for their children. Why couldn't God do this as well?

Teenager analogy. So you're saying nobody tells teens, "Don't have sex; but if you do, then use a condom"?

God's existence. He does speak all the time. He speaks through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit and also sends angels as messengers to communicate with us. But athesist chalk all that up to human manipulative lies and hallucinations on the part of believers.

Your statement that He doesn't exist in the context described is your opinion, and you still don't give any follow-up. I can say oranges don't exist all I want, but does that make it so?

Relativism. Again, prove to me that I'm wrong in any context. All you have is your opinion and declarative statements, no evidence.

One ended stick arguments. Prove I'm wrong with something other than your opinion that only affects you.

Owlmirror said...

«"The Midianites worshipped Baal Peor, who they felt was the god fo nature. Baal Peor is very similar to the Moabite god Chemosh and the Amalekite god Molech.

And to the Israelite god Yahweh.

«"Moab and Midian were kin by virtue of their common descent from Terah

Moab and Midian and Israel were kin by virtue of the same common descent.

«"So b/c the Midianites were so closely intertwined w/the Amalekites, Canaanites and Moabites, we see why their worshipping habits are similar.

In other words, you have nothing. You're making a false accusation up from vague and tenuous guilt by association.

«"War is never a good thing, but you'll notice that the killings were done in a military context by the Jews.

Slaughter of the non-virgin women and children, after the battle was already conclusively won and over, was a "military" context? Where Moses was specifically angry because the victorious soldiers showed mercy to the women and children?

The killings were not in a "military" context -- unless all massacres of unarmed civilians and other war crimes are in a "military" context.

«"Again, God gave the Midianites roughly 400 years to quit their vile acts.

You have no evidence whatsoever that they performed any vile acts. You are just making false accusations.

«"So why were the little girls punished too? As we see from videos on the net where the Taliban are equipping their kindergarteners for work as jihadi militants and bombers, sometimes the children are heavily involved in these things too.

Another accusation with no evidence.

«"Reasonable extrapolations. Show me where in the Bible it says they were anything but regular house slaves?

And you show me in the Bible where it says the girls were guilty of anything. Show me in the bible where it says the Midianites sacrificed children. Back up your false accusations.

«"You accuse me of adding my own narrative. Give me specifics.

I just did, above. Your false accusations are your "own narrative" added to the bible.

Your excusing the slaughter of the male children as being in a "military" context is your own narrative that contradicts the bible.

«"Merely stating something doesn't make it so.

And yet you state things all the time as if that makes it so. This is nothing but hypocrisy, double-standards, and relativism.

For example, you claim to "know" things not with human perception. You don't offer any proof. You just say it as if saying it makes it so.

«"Read all of Deuteronomy 20 before you take bits and pieces out of context. Specifically you'll see that these guidelines were only meant to be used when the nations reached the warfare stages.

No. You're adding your own narrative to the bible again. There's nothing about nations reaching the "warfare stages". It's about Israel being given divine permission to conquer, and in some cases, commit total genocide.

«"Divine permission. Recall my illustration comparing the guidelines for teenage sex and slavery.

Your analogy is false. Teenage sex, where consensual, harms no-one. Slavery harms the slaves. Slavery violates the principle of treating others as yourself.

Owlmirror said...

«"By accepting Yahweh's free gift, your slate is wiped clean and you no longer need to worry about death. He died so you wouldn't have to. This is the counterargument.

It's not a counterargument. It's a complete non-sequitur. It doesn't address the fact that capital punishment for everything is unjust, not just; evil, not good.

It's also false. If Christians didn't die, it might be true, but Christians die exactly like everyone else.

«"If He fully takes your place and wipes your slate clean, how is that evil?

It's unjust to say, in the first place, that there must be capital punishment for everything. That which is unjust is evil.

Analogy: When you were growing up, did your parents tell you, in all seriousness, that you deserved to have your throat cut for anything you did wrong, even for something like not making your bed, or drinking milk from the container? If they did, then they were unjust -- even if they did not actually cut your throat.

«"Show me why it's an absolute logical conclusion to everyone? Who are you to force your beliefs on me or anyone else?

Who is forcing beliefs? It's a logical conclusion based on common definitions and concepts. You simply ignore those common definitions and concepts via the fallacy of special pleading and other fallacious arguments.

«"Owlmirror, you keep forgetting the 2nd half of the equation.

There is no "2nd half of the equation".

«"Jesus became a curse for you, became the forsaken so you wouldn't have to be.

No, he didn't. Jesus did not die, was not destroyed, and according to your own theology, knew that he would not die; knew that he would not be destroyed; and knew that he would go to heaven.

That's no curse. That's not being forsaken.

«"God is a good parent and b/c He is, He disciplines His kids.

Cursing kids is discipline? Evicting them from the house is discipline? Being silent when they ask for you to talk is discipline? Is that how your parents treated you?

«"You are still arguing from the vantage point that God should have taken away people's free will.

No. I'm arguing from the vantage point that people have no free will anyway, since God's omniscience contradicts free will, and that if God exists, his free will should have included benevolence. God did not and does not demonstrate benevolence.

«"He offers protection from bad things if those individuals are obeying the laws

No, he doesn't. If that were true, Christians would not get sick; would not be in accidents; would not suffer; and would either not die at all, or die only of peaceful old age at 120.

But Christians have the exact same fates as non-Christians.

«"and He gives them every opportunity to turn from their bad behavior.

Since he doesn't tell them what their bad behavior is, he cannot possibly be giving them any opportunity to turn from it.

«"Are we to also assume you don't expect parents to discipline their children?

I would expect good discipline to include clear communication about exactly what the child has done wrong, and what actions must be performed to improve behavior. God offers no such thing.

I would also expect that "discipline" would not include eviction and death for the slightest infraction -- which is what you claim is the "discipline" that God offers. That's not discipline. That's cruelty.

«"God sacrificing Himself. You argue this point as if you were there to watch it all go down. How do you absolutely know this did not happen?

Why would I need to watch it? I absolutely know that it did not happen because you're using words that obviously do not describe what happened (never mind, for now, the fact that there is no evidence that it ever happened).

(...continues...)

Owlmirror said...

~~continued~~

«"Sacrifice does not always mean permanent anything.

Sure it does.

«"Parents sacrifice in many ways for their kids every day.

They sacrifice their time. That time is permanently gone. They sacrifice their money. That money is permanently gone. If they jumped in front of a car or a bullet to save their child, and died, I would agree that they had sacrificed their own lives -- because their lives are permanently destroyed.

Sacrifice always means permanent loss. God lost nothing permanently and cannot lose anything permanently, so God did not sacrifice anything.

«"But if Yahweh is who He says He is and the only Son aspect of the trinity died, then why couldn't the Father God raise the Son from the dead?

It doesn't matter if that's what happened (not that there's any evidence that it did): It still means that God did not actually sacrifice anything, because of course, he got his son/self back exactly as he was.

«"You again, are putting human parameters on Yahweh.

No, I'm not. I'm pointing out that you are using false and incorrect definitions of words and concepts to argue in favor of sheer nonsense and absurdity.

And really, why should I not put human parameters on Yahweh? You've been claiming all along that Yahweh became human. Well, Yahweh is just going to have to accept the way that words and concepts are used by humans.

«"Why is it absurd that God would sacrifice Himself for His kids? We hear reports on the news frequently of human parents giving their lives for their children. Why couldn't God do this as well?

Because, as I keep pointing out, God did not give his life. As I pointed out above, parents who give their lives are permanently dead. If God had given his life, God would be permanently dead. But your own theology says that God is not and was not permanently dead, so he did not give, or sacrifice, his life.

«"God's existence. He does speak all the time. He speaks through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit and also sends angels as messengers to communicate with us.

Humans speak directly in human language, not using old books. If God existed and was all powerful, he would need no intermediaries like angels.

«"But athesist chalk all that up to human manipulative lies and hallucinations on the part of believers.

Of course they are lies, delusions, and hallucinations. If they were not, it would be possible to verify these communications in the real world all the time.

For example, if God were real and really able to talk to you, he would be able to tell you a simple real-world fact that I could verify for myself, such as the random number I have stored on my hard drive. But no believer has ever been able to respond with this simple, real-world information. Obviously, you are all deluded in your claims that God speaks to you.

«"Your statement that He doesn't exist in the context described is your opinion, and you still don't give any follow-up.

It's not an opinion, it's a logical conclusion. No follow-up is necessary.

«"I can say oranges don't exist all I want, but does that make it so?

We know that oranges exist because of their real-world properties. God has no real-world properties. That's how we know that God does not exist in the real world.

«"Again, prove to me that I'm wrong in any context. All you have is your opinion and declarative statements, no evidence.

The evidence is that you have nothing. After all this time and all of your fallacious arguments, you cannot bring forth God himself, or any communication from God in the real world.

Cromm said...

Bluemongoose;

Hi there;

Why do you believe the baby inside Susie is just another internal organ when it clearly has a different DNA structure than she does?

I was referring to the human uterus. That is the organ in question. Pro-choicers claim that women do not have to give over the use of their uterus to another entity if they do not wish to.

"Some people." You imply the only way for Yahweh to exist is if He took our free will away. Why do you believe this is so? Wouldn't it say more about the truth of His existence if He left our free will alone?

I didn't mean to say or imply anything about free will with respect to Yahweh. Let me try again. A pro-choicer who decries the apparently murderous tendencies of Yahweh is not applying a double standard, since they view the right to abortion in the context of personal autonomy. Unlike embryos, humans do not actually co-opt the internal organs of any gods or encroach upon their personal autonomy in any way. Pro-choicers view the right to abortion as upholding the autonomy of sentient beings (namely women), while the murders supposedly perpetrated by Yahweh would violate the same (for whichever humans are killed), while doing nothing to preserve the autonomy of Yahweh. The same standard is being applied.

Double standards. You make my arguments for me. The sum total or your implications here are that it's okay for humans to take life, but it's not okay for God to take life.

Define "life", and I'll tell you if I think it's OK to take it. Human life? Animal life? Sentient life?

But if life is His, then why wouldn't the choice to maintain it or snuff it out be His? Ah, yes, then you'll say, but I'm assuming God doesn't exist so He can't make any choices. To which I will answer: Prove it.

Obviously the choice to snuff out life would be available to gods, if any existed, owing to their godly powers. However, unless you simply wish to claim that might makes right, then it's still incumbent upon you to explain why we humans shouldn't object to a god ending lives on a whim.

And as long as we're proving things, how about you prove that I don't have an invisible unicorn in my backyard that poops invisible pink cupcakes?

"Sometimes Christians even claim..." This illustrates the inferiority of human perception when used as the standard of weights and measurements for validating the truth of something. Perhaps somebody is wrong in your illustration?

Not really. Some Christians, but by no means all, do indeed make the claim I mentioned.

"Various versions of God did, in fact, depend on the context in which humans were placed." What if I told you this wasn't divine relativism, but rather wrong definitions of God?

The sentence you have in quotes is not what I said. I said that the behavioral standards, for humans, supposedly laid down by various Christian gods are sometimes claimed to have varied based on context. The standards are what is claimed to have changed, not the gods. A prime example would be the slaughter of various ancient tribes by the Israelites, supposedly commanded by Yahweh. Some Christians claim that this mass murder would have been perfectly moral in it's ancient context, but similar massacres perpetrated today in the name of a god would be immoral. The standard laid down by their gods changes depending on the context, hence divine relativism.

Gandolf said...

Bluemongoose said....But in closing, because of the relativistic society you live in, who are you nay sayers to judge this kind of behavior? After all, isn't everything up for individual interpretation? I mean, the slave industry worked for pre-Civil War era slave owners. If all we have to go on is "what works for the individual" as a measure of morality, then why do you care?

No Blue my deceitful friend....You know very well the morals of a relativistic society need not add up to individualism or even anarchy as you deceitfully try suggesting so often here on DC.

Your christian beliefs are for deceitfulness?.....And even worse not many so called christians here will even bother reminding you you are willfully showing relativistic societies to be something its actually not??.They all dont mind you lying for the good of their belief??.

Individuals do have opinions yes,but only (the group) makes the laws.With things of great importance that effect everyone its not a individual exercise at all!,mostly we (do not) have dictatorships in this world controlled by singular men.That type of society i suggest is closest to faith beliefs run by singular faith believing gurus,and lean much more towards a type of absolutism.

L.o.L ...I have read here on these blogs where you in your (self important) way have suggested some people here are supposedly novice debaters....But man you really take the cake,you seem to live in some dream world where you believe a relativistic society must = decisions of the individual only.

Pull your head out of the sand and smell the roses.A relativistic society can come up with laws and morals etc,by use of majority of group opinions and decisions etc.

savedbygrace said..."Many blacks had no education and could not even get a decent meal, just like many homeless today. Living with rich people, even as a slave was much superior to starving to death."

Savedbygrace personally i feel so sorry for you that you feel such a need to try to protect your beliefs at any cost.You wonderfully try pointing out anything you can find to try suggesting these peoples lives were supposedly better in some way,downplaying the abhorrence we rightly should have of slavery no matter what type it is.

Slavery mostly happens by force,often folks are uprooted from their homelands and families.Slavery is very different to agreeing to work for somebody.

And then with the holy spirit acting within you as you tell us it is,you try suggesting uneducated black people in America not being educated enough to find work themselves.Is maybe some good reason why slavery maybe should have been seen to be ok.

Where did the slaves first come from Savedbygrace?...Your holy spirit (that supposedly never lets you down) says if a slave is there having been ripped from his real homeland and family and is uneducated...Then that somehow makes his need of slavery moral?.

Why do you think it is that some atheists make suggestions that maybe many faithful folk are deluded?.

Gandolf said...

Saved says"Everyone wants to harp on slavery in the Bible while ignoring our own "slavery" systems like the miltary draft. "

Maybe we have some systems that are close to slavery,these things could be very wrong and may even need changing.Should we really expect not to still have some of these nasty things within society,when nasty faith beliefs for so long have had such a big influence on us all?.However at least we non believers not being ruled by some old book written ages ago by barbarians,can learn new things and change.

The difference is your bible supposedly was the word of god,and if he is who we are led to believe surely he should always have known slavery was no good...And would have always told us so.Then the feeble unlikely excuse of him supposedly waiting for Jesus,would never have been needed to be used.

Savedbygrace says"Slavery was never commanded or sanctioned in the NT. It was simple spoken about that it existed"

Well even if it wasnt commanded or sanctioned etc it sure as hell wasnt spoken out against very clearly either,because faith believers were right in the midst of the use of slavery.

Bluemongoose said..."Luis:

Wonderful question!

However, you are basing your querry on human perception. If relativism has its day and everything is left to personal interpretation, then why do you care? What one person believes has no bearing on what another believes."

There you go with your head in the sand again suggesting relativism = personal interpretation.It does not!, it is about group interpretation....And we have reason to care when many things effect us all.

savedbygrace said..."Blue, dynomite posts man! You go guy!"

Oh you really think using lies and deception is to be commended?

Why would anyone bother being a faith believer?

savedbygrace said...

Gandolf,

There would be no purpose to speak out against slavery. It was not a democracy like we have here in the US. Are maids and butlers ok to have? The word slave can also be translated servant. So how do you know their conditions back 2000 yrs ago? Were they mistreated in any way? What do you want the Bible to say concerning this subject of slavery, that it does not?

Scott said...

Blue,

You're having difficult time understanding my argument. This is because you do not see God's actions as a problem. Therefore, you see merely describing what God did is an presenting an "answer."

For example, you wrote...

This post hasn't taken into consideration divine sanction vs. divine permission. People were consistently ignoring God's sanctions, so He gave them rules to abide by while they were engaging in the slave trade.

Which is essentially describing what God supposedly did.

When I illustrated the problem with this response, you attempted to deflect this by indirectly describing what God did using an analogy. You wrote...

I will briefly mention that the divine sanction vs. divine permission dynamic again comes into play here. If it didn't, then yes, the biblical guidelines for operating within slavery would be very confusing. We don't condone unwed teens having sex, but we say, "If you do, do it with a condom."

But, when you say "comes into play", you're essentially saying, this is what God did in this situation, which is exactly the behavior we're questioning. This is essentially, an attempt to disguise God's actions as an "answer."

However, I'm not buying it. Nor is it clear that you're even aware of how inadequate your response actually is, as you keep telling me...

We are rehashing, and I've already given you an answer. You didn't like it, and we are wasting our time.

Which tells me you simply do not see God's actions here as a problem. And if it's not a problem for you, then I'm wasting your time.

The problem is, you're not giving me an explanation for God's behavior, you're merely keep telling me what God did or presenting human analogies that describe what God did as if they were answers.

This is not an argument. It's a tactic.

Gandolf said...

savedbygrace said..."Gandolf,

There would be no purpose to speak out against slavery. It was not a democracy like we have here in the US. Are maids and butlers ok to have? The word slave can also be translated servant. So how do you know their conditions back 2000 yrs ago? Were they mistreated in any way? What do you want the Bible to say concerning this subject of slavery, that it does not?"

Ohhhhh i see so god only bothers to speak out when democracies exist?...How many other feeble excuses like this can faithful folk try finding?.

Maids and butlers have a choice which they are also paid for.Yes we could put out a stupid pointless battle of words and try suggesting slavery = servant.Can you honestly say you see no real difference??,or are you just hoping (akin to the bible type attitude) that enough confusion with wording etc will somehow win the day over?.

"What do you want the Bible to say concerning this subject of slavery, that it does not?"

Oh i dont know how about something kinda simple and much less confusing....Like simply just dont do it.Most people would find that kinda hard to really make many mistakes with huh?

Or do you think its real great that the supposed god rattles on to such great lengths, confusing as many folks as possible along the way?.Does it even seem logical?

Now im not purposely out to be hateful of any god.Me thinking the likes of the bible is most likely some bullshit babbling thoughts of mere men in days of old,does not = me being hateful of gods.

savedbygrace said...

These servants/slaves would not even have a place to live, a job, or anything if they were set free. Do you even know the customs of those times? Apparently not. You are speaking from your cultural ignorance of those times. Maybe you should do some research. You cannot simply say "Don't do it"!

How were they treated. That is of the main importance. Were they happy? Were they treated as family? What if they did not want to be set free? What if being a servant/slave is what was best for their situation in that culture? What if they would have been killed otherwise? Were you there? Do you know all of the conditions surrounding slavery at that time and in each location?

Gandolf said...

Savedbygrace why would you think god would likely think slavery was quite ok in certain years?.

Going by that pretense,does that maybe mean, adultery could actually be quite ok now?.

And Christians argue from some supposed law of absolutes?

savedbygrace said...

Gandolf,

I noticed that you coveniently ignored all of my questions. So I will ignore yours also.

Owlmirror said...

«"These servants/slaves would not even have a place to live, a job, or anything if they were set free.

Why not? What's wrong with a commandment like: "Thou shalt pay thy workers a living wage, and give them living quarters that they might rest."?

«"Do you even know the customs of those times? Apparently not. You are speaking from your cultural ignorance of those times. Maybe you should do some research.

So... You're arguing in favor of cultural relativism?

«"You cannot simply say "Don't do it"!

Not even if you are almighty God giving people an absolute moral law?


«"How were they treated. That is of the main importance. Were they happy? Were they treated as family?

Were family members treated like slaves?

«"What if they did not want to be set free?

What if they wanted to be paid a reasonable wage for their work?

«"What if being a servant/slave is what was best for their situation in that culture?

Nah. The best situation was being a priest. Minimal work, maximal pay.

«"What if they would have been killed otherwise?

I seem to recall a commandment against killing. But perhaps my memory is faulty.

«"Were you there? Do you know all of the conditions surrounding slavery at that time and in each location?

Do you approve of cultural relativism?

Gandolf said...

savedbygrace said..." Gandolf,

I noticed that you coveniently ignored all of my questions. So I will ignore yours also."

You spitting the dummy?

No talkies and excommunication now is it? :)


Im sorry i really thought possibly i might have already answered you.Im wondering how culture and customs etc could matter in the eyes of some supposed god to allow him to change according to the times as suits.

Yeah some slave folk were likely treated ok, a few might have even been treated like royalty.But i think we know fairly certainly that very many were treated little better than dogs.

Can you actually show me any links to evidence of slaves that didnt want to be set free?.

Why are you trying to teach me about times and customs etc i already know about time and peoples culture and customs etc,but we are talking about a god supposedly said to be the same yesterday today and tomorrow right?

savedbygrace said...

Owl,

These people in the NT were under Roman law. What was the Roman law concerning slaves? And they did have a place to live and food to eat. They were treated as part of the family by their Christian household.

Are your children your slaves until they move out of the house? Are they forced to do chores without any allowance at times? Are they free to move out on their own when they are 13 yrs old? Can they quit school at 13 yrs old? Can they get married and have a full time job at 13 yrs old? What does our culture say? Is the same true in every culture?

Owlmirror said...

«"These people in the NT were under Roman law. What was the Roman law concerning slaves?

I was not aware that we were arguing specifically Roman culture. But if you want to do that, you still lose...

To the best of my knowledge, there was no Roman law that said that a slave could not be given his or her freedom, and paid a living wage while staying with (and working for) the household.

If I am mistaken, please point to a historical source that makes this strange restriction explicit.

«"And they did have a place to live and food to eat. They were treated as part of the family by their Christian household.

I repeat: Were family members treated like slaves?

«"Are your children your slaves until they move out of the house?

Bolding for emphasis. Were slaves allowed to move out of the household?

There's a word for taking someone in as an actual family member. It's called "adoption"; perhaps you were unaware of it. There's a word for treating someone like an animal; like property to be bought and sold against their will. That's called "slavery". Please refrain from confusing these two distinct concepts.

Children are treated like children. Slaves were treated more like animals. No matter how kindly someone treats their domestic animals, making sure that they have food to eat and a place to live, those animals are not paid wages and are not free to leave on their own and set up their own households.

savedbygrace said...

Owl,

So can your children leave your house at 13 yrs old? Are they free to come and go as they please at any hour of the night, like at 3 AM? Do you own your children, or can they go live by themselves somewhere if they choose to? You did not answer these questions.

In other words, you children are not really free, are they?

savedbygrace said...

"Slaves were treated more like animals."

Prove it!

Owlmirror said...

«"So can your children leave your house at 13 yrs old? Are they free to come and go as they please at any hour of the night, like at 3 AM? Do you own your children, or can they go live by themselves somewhere if they choose to?

You continue to disingenuously confuse minors with chattels. This is a false analogy. Responsibility for a minor -- guardianship -- is not the same as being able to buy them, sell them, and otherwise treat them like chattels.

Guardianship is a responsibility; property is legal right. Guardians have responsibility towards their wards, which may include restrictions on their actions; they do not have the right to sell them.

«"In other words, you children are not really free, are they?

Once children reach the age of majority, they are indeed free.

Was there any age that slaves reached where they could simply walk away?

-----

«""Slaves were treated more like animals."

Prove it!


It is implicit in the concept of slavery itself: A person that is considered as a chattel.

savedbygrace said...

The Jews have a Barmitzvah(sp?) at age 13 when they say a boy becomes a man. So who are you to say that a 13 yr old is not a man? So why all the control? Let them alone and let them make all their decisionson their on. Your guardianship is over. So now, you are treating them like a slave and emasculating their manhood!

Cromm said...

Last I checked, boys aren't put up on the auction block and sold to the highest bidder following their Bar Mitzvah. So again, no, they're not being treated like slaves.

Cromm said...

Oh, and incidentally, some of my relatives are observant Jews. They say you're full of it. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are symbolic celebrations of the teenager's slow growth into adulthood. They don't literally make you an adult on the spot.

savedbygrace said...

Cromm,

That's how it is with TODAY's Jews. But in Jesus's day, they were getting married at 13 and 14 yrs old! So the point remains and not just for the NT Jews, but for many other cultures as well. And some people do sell their children. You are judging everything according to YOUR culture and YOUR values.

Owlmirror said...

«"So who are you to say that a 13 yr old is not a man?

Society tries to figure out when children become responsible enough on their own. It's a gradual process -- and is more gradual in some than in others.

You're rather childishly avoiding the main argument about slavery for this red herring, for example.

«"So now, you are treating them like a slave and emasculating their manhood!

No, treating them like a slave would be selling them to the highest bidder. Responsibility does not include the right of sale.

«"But in Jesus's day, they were getting married at 13 and 14 yrs old!

Some places marry children at even younger ages... 3, 4, 5. So what?

-----------

«"And some people do sell their children.

True. Are you say that this is a good thing; that children should be treated like property?

«"You are judging everything according to YOUR culture and YOUR values.

Are you arguing for cultural moral relativism? You keep saying things like this as though those cultures must be "right". So of course, there is no divinely mandated absolute morality, or even some general secular intersubjective standard of morality. There's just what every culture decides -- according to you, anyway.

Cromm said...

saved;

That's how it is with TODAY's Jews.

I know. I just told you that.

But in Jesus's day, they were getting married at 13 and 14 yrs old!

So?

So the point remains and not just for the NT Jews, but for many other cultures as well.

What point? You still haven't explained how Jewish teens are treated like slaves following their Bar Mitzvah.

And some people do sell their children. You are judging everything according to YOUR culture and YOUR values.

Yeah, and? Are you claiming that selling children is just dandy for some people? Are you claiming that I should judge everything according to someone else's values? How is that even possible?

savedbygrace said...

Look,

All I am saying is that you are judging slavery according to YOUR cultural values today, and according to YOUR understanding of how slaves are treated. Other times and other cultures may have seen it quite differently. But you cannot go there because you were not raised in that culture. Some cultures do things that we find quite deplorable and hideous. Slavery is just one of them.

Cromm said...

saved;

All I am saying is that you are judging slavery according to YOUR cultural values today, and according to YOUR understanding of how slaves are treated.

Just for your information, I judge slavery in the light of my personal empathy for other human beings and my careful consideration of the practice. My culture certainly influences, but does not wholly determine, my attitude towards slavery.

In any case, again, I ask you; so what? Should I be judging slavery according to someone else's values, and if so, whose values? Why theirs in particular?

Other times and other cultures may have seen it quite differently.

In fact, I know they did. So what?

But you cannot go there because you were not raised in that culture. Some cultures do things that we find quite deplorable and hideous. Slavery is just one of them.

Again, what's your point? Should I stop deploring things that I find hideous, and if so, why?

savedbygrace said...

Cromm,

This whole discussion started concerning the Bible not speaking out against slavery. Slavery is a CULTURAL issue, not a moral issue. Our culture defines it as immoral, therefor we want the Bible to condemn it also. And because the Bible does not, apparently shows the Bible is somehow bogus or itself immoral. Have you been following this discussion from the beginning, or do you need to brought up to speed?

Cromm said...

This whole discussion started concerning the Bible not speaking out against slavery.

Uh, no, this discussion started with the observation that the bible condones slavery in Leviticus. Have you been following this discussion from the beginning, or you do need to be brought up to speed?

Slavery is a CULTURAL issue, not a moral issue.

If it were purely a cultural "issue", why would we even be describing it as an issue in the first place? If it had no moral dimension at all, it would just be another morally neutral cultural practice, like cooking spicy food or going to NASCAR races. Is that really your position?

That's not a even a trick question dude, I'm genuinely curious. Do you honestly think that slavery is not a moral issue at all?

Carbon Based said...

Cromm;
SBG is just looking for an reason to excuse god from a moral failing by not prohibiting the keeping of slaves.

Any harbor in a storm.

savedbygrace said...

Cromm,

The only moral dilemna is in your cultural mindset. PERIOD! You cannot think ouside your own little cultural box.

savedbygrace said...

Carbon Monoxide,

Maybe God should prohibit atheism.

Cromm said...

saved;

The only moral dilemna is in your cultural mindset. PERIOD!

Really? The only moral dilemma is in my "cultural mindset", whatever that is? Did it just blow right past you when I said that my views on slavery are not derived purely from my culture?

Furthermore, even if they were, what about the many cultures and individuals that have wrestled with the issue of slavery? I guess they weren't experiencing moral dilemmas, I'm the only one to whom it's ever occurred that this might be a moral issue?

Oh well, at least you've confirmed that you're a relativist. Congratulations.


You cannot think ouside your own little cultural box.

What reason have you given me to think outside this supposed "box" of yours? I've asked you repeatedly to explain your thinking on this issue. It you seems you either cannot or you will not.

To reiterate, why is it acceptable for Leviticus to have condoned slavery? Saying "it was their culture" is not going to cut it. I already know it was their culture. That's a non-answer.

savedbygrace said...

Cromm,

If you grew up in a culture that practiced slavery, and your parents had slaves, you would think much differently. So please do not tell me that your thinking is NOT purely cultural. You have no idea why you think the way you do. You have been programmed by your environment, just like everyone else. Please do not kid yourself into thinking that you have broken the mold, because you have not.

Cromm said...

If you grew up in a culture that practiced slavery, and your parents had slaves, you would think much differently.

Unless I hadn't. For Pete's sake, man, where do you think abolitionists came from? Here's a hint; they weren't airdropped in from another planet. Slaveowners and their descendants rejecting slavery is not an unknown phenomenon.

So please do not tell me that your thinking is NOT purely cultural

I did, and I will. It's not purely cultural.

You have no idea why you think the way you do.

We have these great things, called psychology, neuroscience, history and ethics, that give us all kinds of insight into how we think. I happen to find these things very interesting, and am a somewhat reflective person. So yeah, actually, I do have some idea why I think the way I do.

You have been programmed by your environment, just like everyone else.

Yep, absolutely, to some extent.

Please do not kid yourself into thinking that you have broken the mold, because you have not.

I never claimed to have broken a mold.

How about you man up and answer my original question? Why is it acceptable for Leviticus to have condoned slavery?

savedbygrace said...

Hi Cromm,

Yes it's cultural. The northern states did not have slavery, so there was a no cultural standard for the entire nation. It was hotly debated and we fought a war over it! So you just confirmed my point. Thank you very much.

Cromm said...

Your "point", such as it was, was that if I had been born into a slaveholding culture, I would certainly have supported slavery.

Which is false.

Some people born in the South rejected slavery. People who derived material benefit directly from slavery. Abolitionists did not all come from the North. The culture one is born into is not the sole determinant of one's views. We have seen this in the past, we see it today, I can all but guarantee we will continue to see it in the future.

I'm trying to spell this out for you as clearly as I can, but I suspect I'm wasting my time.

And you since you keep dodging the question, why is it acceptable for Leviticus to have condoned slavery?

Owlmirror said...

«"If you grew up in a culture that practiced slavery, and your parents had slaves, you would think much differently. So please do not tell me that your thinking is NOT purely cultural.»

If you grew up in a culture that practiced slavery, and your parents WERE slaves, and YOU were a slave as well, YOU would think much differently.

So please do not tell me you are not a moral hypocrite.

savedbygrace said...

Cromm,

I already said that many were opposed to slavery and that is why you CANNOT use the US as a truly cultural example. So yes, you are wasting your time presenting bogus arguments that have no bearing on the issue. You are programmed by your environment and culture. End of discussion and you lose. Now let's move on. This is getting boring already.

Owlmirror said...

«"This is getting boring already.

You are indeed boring. You demonstrate the stultified disingenuous moral hypocrisy of a sociopath, the dull stupidity of an arrogant moron, and the sadly consistent banality of evil.

Let us indeed move on, for you started out a pathetic loser, and have ended by losing.

Feel free to leave and never return.

Cromm said...

I already said that many were opposed to slavery and that is why you CANNOT use the US as a truly cultural example.

In other words, heads you win, tails I lose. If someone in the South was on-board with slavery, they were doing as their culture programmed them to. If they went against the prevailing cultural sentiment, that was entirely a result of their culture too, for some reason you never mention.

Let's be honest here. You were always going to declare victory regardless of how the argument went, or what the facts really are.

I mean, you made a claim that is false. Demonstrably false. Trivially false. Like, anyone with a 7th grade education and/or Google could disconfirm it. Right here:

If you grew up in a culture that practiced slavery, and your parents had slaves, you would think much differently.

That statement is not bloody well true.

It is simply a historical fact that not everyone from slavery-practicing cultures, or whose parents had slaves, endorsed slavery. OK? You lost on this one.

Now let's move on. This is getting boring already

The one thing I can agree with. How about you answer my freakin' question:

Why is it acceptable for Leviticus to have condoned slavery?

savedbygrace said...

Where does Leviticus condone slavery!

Owlmirror said...

«"Where does Leviticus condone slavery!

Are you being disingenuous again, or are you really that stupid?

Cromm said...

I'm guessing a little from column A, a little from column B.

savedbygrace said...

Owl,

Yes, I am really that stupid. Now show me where Leviticus condones slavery.

Owlmirror said...

Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Look familiar, perchance?

savedbygrace said...

Owl,

Get yourself a REAL Bible!

Lev 25:44 "As for your servants and your maidservants who become yours from the nations which are round about you, from them you may buy servants or maidservants."

Concordant Literal Version

savedbygrace said...

45 "Also from the sons of guests sojourning among you, from them you may buy and from their families who are among you, whom they begot in your land; they will belong to your holding.

46 "You may entail them as an allotment to your sons after you together with the tenancy of the holding. For the eon you may make them serve. Yet over your brothers, the sons of Israel, a man over his brother, you shall not hold sway over them with rigor."

Owlmirror said...

Exactly. Leviticus condones slavery.

What do you think a servant is, that is "bought", and given as an "allotment"?

A slave, of course.

Note also the moral double-standard: Fellow Israelites should not be treated "with rigor", but doing that to foreigners is just fine and dandy.

Oh, and as for a REAL bible -- how about the original:


ויקרא 25: 44 וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר יִהְיוּ־לָךְ מֵאֵת הַגֹּויִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתֵיכֶם מֵהֶם תִּקְנוּ עֶבֶד וְאָמָה׃
45 וְגַם מִבְּנֵי הַתֹּושָׁבִים הַגָּרִים עִםָּכֶם מֵהֶם תִּקְנוּ וּמִמִּשְׁפַּחְתָּם אֲשֶׁר עִםָּכֶם אֲשֶׁר הֹולִידוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶם וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לַאֲחֻזָּה׃
46 וְהִתְנַחֲלְתֶּם אֹתָם לִבְנֵיכֶם אַחֲרֵיכֶם לָרֶשֶׁת אֲחֻזָּה לְעֹלָם בָּהֶם תַּעֲבֹדוּ וּבְאַחֵיכֶם בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ בְּאָחִיו לֹא־תִרְדֶּה בֹו בְּפָרֶךְ׃

What Up? said...

Do you actually read Hebrew or are you just cutting and pasting?

Owlmirror said...

I actually do read Hebrew.

What Up? said...

Individual words, or entire sentences?

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

Your opinion that Yahweh is similar to Chemosh and Molech. Wrong. In Deut. 12:30-32 and 18:9-10, we see that Yahweh instructed the Hebrews to not copy how the Midianites, Amalekites, Moabites, Canaanites, etc. worshipped their gods, specifically singling out child sacrifice. Yahweh even adds here that the practice is detestable and He hates it. Proving, once again, Yahweh is not like the aforementioned gods.

Kin. Except the caveat that the Hebrews gave deference to Yahweh, whom we clearly established previously is unique.

Your claim that I am making false accusations. Your interpretaion. See what I mean about how some people will go to great lengths to bury their heads in the sand when confronted with truth?

Military context. I knew you were going in this direction. But you know what they say: "Give a man enough rope..." The Hebrews went to war in a military fashion and followed military rules. Just b/c the women and children in the enemy nation were taken out doesn't negate this. Notice how approval was never given for single individuals secretly go into a town w/o warning and bomb market places, etc. The enemy nations had plenty of warning about the impending war.

Why was Moses angry? B/c God generally told the Hebrews to wipe out the enemy nation so none of the inhabitants could infect the Jews w/any pagan practices. Only on a few occasions was this deviated from with God's permission. And then it was mediated under His watchful eye. Gee, I wonder why...

Massacres of unarmed citizens. Notice the emphasis on the word "nation", meaning the massacre of the entire community only happened when all the people were committing repeated vile acts. Also notice at what great lengths God goes to in order to save a handful of individuals from a doomed country (story of Lot, Noah, Rahab, etc.)

Accusations w/no evidence. I just gave you evidence. But this just goes to show again what great lengths an indivdual will go to in order to not accept truth.

Reasonable extrapolations. Ah, ah, ah. I've been overly fair in answering your questions. But you are just dodging mine now. You do your own damage to your statements. Honestly, you make this too easy for me.

Narratives and false accusations. You didn't prove anything. You just restated your declarative statement w/no proof as follow-up.

Male children. Show me the contradictions in the Bible.

Hipocrisy. What, like your hipocrisy? You can't even back up your statements w/any evidence. What's the matter, Owly? Afraid to get a little Christian on ya? Afraid to do your own homework?

Deut. 20. Again, you still haven't read it yet.

Teenage analogy. This just proves that you have no idea what nature intended for our benefit and what it intended for garbage.

Your slavery comparison. In a relativistic world, why should your definition matter? The individual does what works for the individual. And slavery worked for the slave owners in this context. So what if it didn't work for some of the slaves? The more powerful people financially and politically were the owners. But if there were absolutes and relativism was bunk...

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

Non-sequitur. You just don't like what I've brought to the table. But, again, you forget that no one has to have the ultimate judgment. The choice is up to each person as to where they go. But you don't want to be responsible for where you spend your eternity. So you think by just not believing in it, you can be the exception to the rule. To which I will answer: recall my gravity illustration.

Capital punishment is unjust. Says who? You? That's just your opinion.

Christians dying. True, our earthly bodies will die too, just as non-Christians; but then they get to spend eternity in a brand new, perfect body with God and away from sin, pain and sickness.

My parents were Christian and did tell me that all sin merited ultimate spiritual death. No gray areas. Therein lies your caveat: spiritual death v. physical death.

Forcing beliefs. If you weren't then you wouldn't tell me I'm wrong, deceitful, etc. You also imply you're correct and the one being logical. That's your opinion and in your relativistic society, you have no right to tell me I'm wrong. Just playing by your rules.

2nd half of the equation. So you say. You have no proof, just your declarative statements. Your mere human opinion doesn't tip the scales.

Jesus death according to my theology. You're still not doing well with your follow-ups. Show me where it says He knew He wouldn't die, and I'll show you were it says He did. You start.

Discipline and silence. Show me where God was silent to His kids.

Free will. You argue this from an either/or perspective. But what if God could see all of time (from beginning to end) and we had free will? What if the two concepts didn't cancel each other out?

God's protection. Good discussion points! Sickness just proves that this world and our human bodies are subject to the havoc sin wreaks. When we are in heaven, sin will be absent and no longer can have an effect on our existence.

Identification of bad behavior. The Bible says, "I would not have known what sin is but for the Law." Also, we see God giving people guidelines as far back as A&E just by verbally telling them not to do something. But your statement that God didn't give clear communication regarding laws is evidence that you haven't studied the Bible much. We could go on for days as to what your defintion of "clear" is.

Eviction and death. Evidence you don't know how serious sin is. Also evidence of how important Christ's death on the cross was.

Watching. Your opinion again. This is just another slick way for you to avoid answering my question, "Were you there?" Just answer that simple question with a yes or no. If you can't do that, then it says a lot about you. Remember, can't ask me a question. You must answer yes or no.

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

Permanent sacrifice. What do you mean you never get time back? I don't know what world you live in, but everyday I get another 24 hours. I also get a new chance every day to make money at a job.

Why do you see a parent's life as being destroyed if they sacrifice their life for their kid? Are you sure that wouldn't be a success?

God's sacrifice. You've got a double standard here. So in one sense, you say a human never gets his time back when he gives it, and yet that standard isn't afforded to God? Hmm... So watching His son brutalized and murdered on a cross was no sacrifice? What about the God of the universe coming down to earth to become an indigent human being? That's not sacrifice? Okay. So just b/c Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon can go out and make more money tomorrow means they didn't suffer loss at the hands of Bernie Madoff?

Human parameters on Yahweh. You are blending lines again. what does your opinion that Yahweh doesn't exist have to do with the misconception that He has human limitations? I never said Yahweh was solely human. Recall the fully man and fully human dynamic in that God the Son came down to earth, was born as a human baby by a human mother, grew into a man that was hungry, thirsty, winded when He ran, had to go to the bathroom, etc.; but still maintained His relational quality within the Trinity.

Your opinion that God did not give His life for you is just your opinion. You still give no evidence to prove your point. A bad habit for you. Permanent death. Here again, you assign human parameters to God. Yes, we humans, have no power to raise ourselves back from the dead. But that doesn't mean God is also limited in this way. The Son was dead and the Father raised Him up.

So are you saying humans never use written words to communicate? Then what are we doing right now, Owlmirror? Are you saying all history books and literature after it reaches a certain age are no longer valid forms of communication? Good discussion points on God's use of angel intermediaries. The reason He doesn't use His own voice to communicate w/us is b/c He is so holy that the sound would cause your human body to explode. You physically can't handle it. Recall when Isaiah and Daniel barely even got close to God's presence and the described earsplitting volume. They likened it to listening to the roar of the sea or soldiers marching. I will liken it to a semi rushing by you on the highway.

But if Yahweh was not like us and is higher than us, why would His only form of communication be a tawdry human verbalization?

So if God did do the palor trick for you, how then could you make others beleive your own personal account? After all, the Bible is filed with accounts of God revealing things to individuals. You prove the Bible correct when it says if people don't believe what the prophets said in the scriptures, then they won't believe even if a dead person comes back to testify.

I'm deluded you say? Your opinion. Sounds awfully arrogant of you. But I could flip it around on you. You don't provide me any evidence that your atheistic brainwashing is correct, and I'm the deluded one?

Logical conclusions. No follow-ups necessary or you've tuck tail and run b/c you can't prove I'm wrong? I call you out. Prove me wrong.

God has real world properties. For ex. you could physically touch Jesus when He walked the earth. We also see God has real world properties b/c of the reference that we were made in His image; and in Genesis He walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, to name a few.

Your last paragraph again proves that you like to avoid bringing proof b/c you know your arguments tanked. You again skirted the issue. All you have are your brainwashed mantras and no proof whatsoever to back you up. Merely stating your opinion proves nothing.

Owlmirror said...

«"In Deut. 12:30-32 and 18:9-10, we see that Yahweh instructed the Hebrews to not copy how the Midianites, Amalekites, Moabites, Canaanites, etc. worshipped their gods, specifically singling out child sacrifice.

None of the verses that you cite refers to any particular tribe or people. So you specifying the Midianites, or anyone else, is still a false accusation.

«" Yahweh even adds here that the practice is detestable and He hates it. Proving, once again, Yahweh is not like the aforementioned gods.

Contradicted by Genesis 22, where God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. He doesn't say that he hates it, when the angel stops Abraham.

And also contradicted by Numbers 31, where killing children is specifically commanded, and all the other places where God commits genocide, or orders genocide.

God is just as detestable and hateful as those he hates.

«"Your claim that I am making false accusations. Your interpretaion.

Since you are making false accusations, it's a fact that you are making false accusations.

«"Military context. I knew you were going in this direction. But you know what they say: "Give a man enough rope..."

Feel free to hang yourself on your rope of double-standards, moral relativism, and special pleading.

«"The Hebrews went to war in a military fashion and followed military rules. Just b/c the women and children in the enemy nation were taken out doesn't negate this.

Only if by "military rules" you mean the "military rules" recorded in the bible, and "taken out" means "slaughtered in cold blood". I agree that "genocide" and "slaughtering women and children in cold blood" is included in the "military rules" in the bible.

«"Notice how approval was never given for single individuals secretly go into a town w/o warning and bomb market places, etc.

What a strange red herring. The ancient Hebrews did not have bombs.

«" The enemy nations had plenty of warning about the impending war.

So what?

«"Why was Moses angry? B/c God generally told the Hebrews to wipe out the enemy nation so none of the inhabitants could infect the Jews w/any pagan practices.

Yes, I agree that God ordered the Israelites to commit genocide, because God is evil and murderous -- but how is it that children and infants are supposed to "infect" people with pagan practices?

And since the alleged "pagan practice" was slaughtering children (still a false accusation) for their God, the slaughter of the children demonstrates that they were already infected, by Yahweh himself.

«"Massacres of unarmed citizens. Notice the emphasis on the word "nation", meaning the massacre of the entire community only happened when all the people were committing repeated vile acts.

Yes, even infants and children -- what exactly was it that infants and children did that was so vile? The children were supposedly the victims (still a false accusation), yet God says to kill them too.

«"Also notice at what great lengths God goes to in order to save a handful of individuals from a doomed country (story of Lot, Noah, Rahab, etc.)

Doomed because God committed genocide. What did the children of the world do to deserve being drowned? What did the children of Sodom and Gomorrah do to deserve being burned to death? God killed them pretty much as sacrifices to himself.

«"Accusations w/no evidence. I just gave you evidence.

No, you didn't. You just repeated the accusation, with no evidence. Just like the rest of your hypocrisy.

(...continues...)

Owlmirror said...

~~continued~~

«"I've been overly fair in answering your questions.

You have not been fair, nor have you given reasoned answers to any questions.

«"Deut. 20. Again, you still haven't read it yet.

I read it. You did not. The text says orders genocide upon near cities, and conquest on distant cities.

The text also says that females may be taken captive as slaves.

«"Male children. Show me the contradictions in the Bible.

Noted above. Numbers 31 contradicts the claim that God finds the slaughter of children detestable.

Although, reading back what I wrote, I originally meant that you were contradicting the bible because the slaughter of the children was not in a military context -- in the sense that the fighting was over; they had already won. In modern terms, killing civilians after a battle would not be in a military context, because the civilians were captured prisoners. Such a massacre would be a war crime.

However, if you interpret "military context" in the sense given in Deuteronomy 20, then massacring civilians is ordered by the bible as part of war. So I will concede that if you are referring to the genocide ordered by the bible, the mass murder of the male children was in a "military context".

«"Hipocrisy. What, like your hipocrisy? You can't even back up your statements w/any evidence.

No, you are the hypocrite who cannot back up your statements with evidence.

«"Afraid to get a little Christian on ya? Afraid to do your own homework?

I'm not afraid. I'm just disgusted by your double-standards, distortions, and dishonesty.

«"This just proves that you have no idea what nature intended for our benefit and what it intended for garbage.

Since nature "intends" nothing in particular, your argument is garbage.

«"Your slavery comparison. In a relativistic world, why should your definition matter? The individual does what works for the individual. And slavery worked for the slave owners in this context. So what if it didn't work for some of the slaves? The more powerful people financially and politically were the owners. But if there were absolutes and relativism was bunk...

I agree that by an standard of morality based on treating others as you would wish to be treated, God is evil, and the Israelites were hypocrites for taking, buying, and selling slaves. Of course, you are a hypocrite with relativist double standards yourself, so I don't expect you to acknowledge this.

Bluemongoose said...

Hey, Cromm!

Pro-choicers. But what of the rights of the baby in utero? Are you saying that just b/c the baby isn't self-aware or conscious as we know consciousness, then they automatically forfeit their rights?

Decries of the pro-choicer. Notice how you said, "apparently murderous tendencies". This implies your double standard and your bias. It can't be murder in one instance and not in the other. Humans v. embryos. So are you saying that b/c the embryos are dependent on another individual, then they are not human and therefore not entitled to rights? Well, then I fully expect you to champion the murder/killing of all your dependent children out of utero b/c they are dependents. Autonomy. Again, what of the rights of the babies? You are discriminating.

Defining life. Ah, the relativistic stance. Are you sure you want to go in this direction? But, anyway, life begins at conception otherwise you are being discriminatory, among other things. Why do you think human life is the equivalent of animal life?

Why would the ability to give and take life be available to anyone but Yahweh? Give me evidence that any human-made gods are physically capable of doing anything, let alone create and take life.

Might makes right. You're blending lines. Life belongs to Yahweh b/c He created it. Why do you believe God arbitrarily ends life? You imply he has human parameters again.

Unicorns. Why is the burden of proof on me when you're the one doing the claiming that it's in your yard? You want me prove why your claims that Yahweh doesn't exist are wrong when you're the one making the claims. But this is just par for the course when dealing people who don't want to do their homework and want theists to do it for them...

Your last paragraph. 1) What if your perception on this subject is incorrect? 2) What if some professing Christians have an incorrect view of God's parameters? How do we answer these two questions?

Your prime example. This is evidence that your perception is skewed b/c of your lack of study on this subject. Honestly, do you always throw out pre-chewed atheist mantras before you research them? Study why the "mass murders" happened before you jump to conclusions.

John W. Loftus said...

savedbygrace, I know who you are. You have been banned. Try again under another account DenCol. And then we'll do it again and again. Get the point okay?

Bluemongoose said...

Owlmirror:

The Deuteronomy scriptures instruct the Hebres to not copy the behaviors of the people whose land they were moving into. Whose land was it? The Canaanites who were strongly influenced by the Midianites (and others). Honestly, I'm tired of doing your work for you.

Gen. 22. You conveniently leave out the second half of the Abe/Isaac story. A very telling habit for you. So why else would God stop Abe if He didn't want the sacrifice?

Again, prove I'm making false accusations. Merely stating something and restating it doesn't make it so.

Feel free to hang myself. Why, Owlmirror, I am shocked. I thought you anti-theists were the reasonable ones. You prove my points for me when you froth at the mouth and hit below the belt.

Slaughtered in cold blood. Your skewed opinion. How do you know those men wanted to kill anybody? Were you there?

Red herring. I knew you would go there. If you can't or won't read the implication, then I can't help you there.

"So what." This is ultimately the only argument you are left with. It illustrates your true frame of mind.

Genocide. Look, I agree with you that murder on any level is awful. All of the deaths could have been avoided if humans would have just loved Yahweh and loved each other instead of being so prideful. Children and babies shouldn't die -- or any moms or dads. However, at least we can know that it won't be this way forever. One day sin, sickness and death will be eliminated. Nobody will cry or be hurt or be alone. At least if you're on Yahweh's team, you have that promise. He will make all the wrongs right. All those innocent lives will be avenged. Whatever you lose on this earth, Owlmirror, it can be returned to you in eternity. Atheism makes no similar claims. If Yahweh was so evil, then why would He make the promises to right these wrongs and eventually eliminate death?

Owlmirror said...

«"Non-sequitur. You just don't like what I've brought to the table.

You've brought nothing but your opinion, which you cannot defend rationally.

«"The choice is up to each person as to where they go.

Not if God is omniscient and omnipotent.

«"But you don't want to be responsible for where you spend your eternity.

If God has the knowledge and the power, God has the responsibility.

«"Capital punishment is unjust. Says who? You? That's just your opinion.

Capital punishment for everything is unjust because it violates the principle of treating others as you would wish to be treated, and of seeking to have the punishment fit the crime.

Besides, saying that everything does deserve death is just your opinion.

«"Christians dying. True, our earthly bodies will die too, just as non-Christians; but then they get to spend eternity in a brand new, perfect body with God and away from sin, pain and sickness.

Since Christians do not come back from the dead to tell us this, it can be rejected as most likely false. Besides, it's just your opinion.

«"My parents were Christian and did tell me that all sin merited ultimate spiritual death.

That's just their opinion.

«"spiritual death v. physical death.

Which means what?

«"Forcing beliefs. If you weren't then you wouldn't tell me I'm wrong, deceitful, etc.

But you are. I can't force you to believe me, though.

«"You also imply you're correct and the one being logical.

I am.

«"That's your opinion and in your relativistic society, you have no right to tell me I'm wrong. Just playing by your rules.

I'm arguing from the absolute rules of real-world logic, not relativism. You're the one who is being relativistic, so you have nothing but opinion. If you played by my rules, you would try to be logical, and back up your assertions with evidence. But you have no evidence, and your logic is all bad.

«"2nd half of the equation. So you say. You have no proof, just your declarative statements.

That's just your opinion because you don't understand logic.

«"Jesus death according to my theology. You're still not doing well with your follow-ups. Show me where it says He knew He wouldn't die, and I'll show you were it says He did. You start.

You're not doing so well with your opinion. It follows from logic:

1) God knows all
2) Jesus is God
3) Therefore, Jesus knows all
4) It was knowable that Jesus would not die forever, that is, that he would be resurrected
5) Therefore, Jesus, who knows all, knew that he would not die forever.

Is that simple enough for you?

«"Discipline and silence. Show me where God was silent to His kids.

When Eve spoke with the serpent, God as silent.
When Eve offered the fruit to Adam, God was silent.
When Cain raised the rock to bash Abel's skull, God was silent.
(...and so on...)
When I say "Hey, God", there is nothing but silence.
All prayers are answered with nothing but silence.
Right now, as we argue over God's existence, God is silent.

«"Free will. You argue this from an either/or perspective. But what if God could see all of time (from beginning to end) and we had free will? What if the two concepts didn't cancel each other out?

You might as well as ask "What if 1=2?" Omniscience logically contradicts free will.

«"God's protection. Good discussion points! Sickness just proves that this world and our human bodies are subject to the havoc sin wreaks.

In other words, God does not protect. God curses, and the curses last forever.

«"When we are in heaven, sin will be absent and no longer can have an effect on our existence.

That's just your opinion.

(...continues...)

Owlmirror said...

~~continued~~

«"Identification of bad behavior. The Bible says, "I would not have known what sin is but for the Law." Also, we see God giving people guidelines as far back as A&E just by verbally telling them not to do something.

Actually, he just told Adam. He didn't tell Eve. So right there, we see a failure of clear communication.

He didn't tell them honestly what would happen if they did eat the fruit. That's another failure of clear communication.

«"But your statement that God didn't give clear communication regarding laws is evidence that you haven't studied the Bible much.

Why would I need to study the bible if God communicated clearly, here and now, in common language that everyone could understand?

«"We could go on for days as to what your defintion of "clear" is.

That's because you have a problem with basic words and concepts, including clear communication.


«"Eviction and death. Evidence you don't know how serious sin is.

Evidence that God did not communicate clearly how serious sin was.

«"Watching. Your opinion again. This is just another slick way for you to avoid answering my question, "Were you there?" Just answer that simple question with a yes or no. If you can't do that, then it says a lot about you. Remember, can't ask me a question. You must answer yes or no.

No, I wasn't there. But of course, neither were you, so all of your yammering and blathering on about it is nothing but your opinion -- and it says a lot about you that you think it means anything more.

And you missed my point. I don't need to be there if someone claims that they have drawn a square triangle, or made 1=2. The contradiction is in the claim. Your claim about what happened is a contradiction. I don't have to be there to point that out.

And why should I ask you a question? You don't have any answers besides your own opinion.

«"Permanent sacrifice. What do you mean you never get time back? I don't know what world you live in, but everyday I get another 24 hours. I also get a new chance every day to make money at a job.

You don't get time that is past back. The time that is past is gone; the time you have now is time not yet spent.

The same goes for money. The money you spend is gone. The money you get as salary is not the money you have already spent.

«"Why do you see a parent's life as being destroyed if they sacrifice their life for their kid? Are you sure that wouldn't be a success?

Are you sure that you're not brain-damaged? If the parent is dead, it would not be as much of a success as if they lived and could continue to be with their child.

(...continues...)

Owlmirror said...

~~continues~~

«"God's sacrifice. You've got a double standard here. So in one sense, you say a human never gets his time back when he gives it, and yet that standard isn't afforded to God?

Now you're putting human limitations on God. No, God does not play by the standard of human limitations.

«" Hmm... So watching His son brutalized and murdered on a cross was no sacrifice? What about the God of the universe coming down to earth to become an indigent human being? That's not sacrifice?

It's an infinitesimally minor and temporary inconvenience for an infinitely powerful being. Since God could completely undo it, and did completely undo it, it wasn't much of a sacrifice.

«"So just b/c Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon can go out and make more money tomorrow means they didn't suffer loss at the hands of Bernie Madoff?

False analogy. Humans are not God. The finite and limited is not the infinite and limitless. If they could snap their fingers and get their money back exactly as it was, then the "loss" would be nothing more than a temporary inconvenience.

«"Your opinion that God did not give His life for you is just your opinion. You still give no evidence to prove your point.

All of your theology is nothing more than your opinion. I gave basic logic to prove my point; it's not my fault that you cannot grasp basic logic.

«"Permanent death. Here again, you assign human parameters to God.

No, I am pointing out that since God is not human, God does not have human limitations.

«" Yes, we humans, have no power to raise ourselves back from the dead. But that doesn't mean God is also limited in this way. The Son was dead and the Father raised Him up.

Right. God, who has limitless power, undid death. So the "Son" was not permanently dead. God did not sacrifice anything -- by your own theology.


«"So are you saying humans never use written words to communicate? Then what are we doing right now, Owlmirror?

No, we do not use OLD BOOKS to communicate. You have trouble reading these very written words!

And if God sent e-mails, or postcards, or letters which could be verified as being from God, that would be fine, if a bit convoluted. If God is real, God can speak.

«"Are you saying all history books and literature after it reaches a certain age are no longer valid forms of communication?

No, this is not relevant -- because they are all known to be written by humans. It isn't claimed that they are written by God.

«"The reason He doesn't use His own voice to communicate w/us is b/c He is so holy that the sound would cause your human body to explode.

Bullshit. Purest, lying garbage. That's just your opinion -- and your opinion contradicts the bible!

Adam did not explode. Eve did not explode. Cain -- the murderer! -- did not explode. Noah did not explode. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses and Aaron did not explode. Joshua did not explode. None of the Israelites around Sinai exploded. Elijah did not explode.

Your opinion also contradicts your own theology. A God who can do anything can speak without causing your body to explode.

«"Recall when Isaiah and Daniel barely even got close to God's presence and the described earsplitting volume. They likened it to listening to the roar of the sea or soldiers marching. I will liken it to a semi rushing by you on the highway.

Pft. More garbage. A God who can do anything can speak quietly -- and according to your own bible, has. 1 Kings 19:12 -- and after the fire a still small voice.

(...continues...)

Owlmirror said...

~~continued~~

«"But if Yahweh was not like us and is higher than us, why would His only form of communication be a tawdry human verbalization?

Because that's what we humans understand. Duh.

I'll take a written communication -- if God demonstrates his omniscience in writing, that's OK too.


«"So if God did do the palor trick for you, how then could you make others beleive your own personal account?

I would ask God for a convincing demonstration of his omniscience that I could communicate to others.

«"After all, the Bible is filed with accounts of God revealing things to individuals.

So? What has God done lately?

«"You prove the Bible correct when it says if people don't believe what the prophets said in the scriptures, then they won't believe even if a dead person comes back to testify.

Nonsense. Since no dead person has come back to testify, the Bible is not proven correct in that claim.

«"You don't provide me any evidence that your atheistic brainwashing is correct, and I'm the deluded one?

Of course. You don't provide any evidence of God, so you must be deluded.

«"I call you out. Prove me wrong.

Easy. God doesn't talk. If God existed, God could talk -- and, for fuck's sake, not blow us up if he didn't want for us to blow up -- so that we could understand.

Since God is silent, God does not exist.

«"God has real world properties. For ex. you could physically touch Jesus when He walked the earth. We also see God has real world properties b/c of the reference that we were made in His image; and in Genesis He walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, to name a few.

These are all meaningless claims. Jesus is not here. Adam and Eve are not here. Statements about them don't count as evidence. You can't say that we are made in God's image unless God actually shows his image. No image, no God.

You have nothing.

«"Your last paragraph again proves that you like to avoid bringing proof b/c you know your arguments tanked. You again skirted the issue. All you have are your brainwashed mantras and no proof whatsoever to back you up. Merely stating your opinion proves nothing.

I have been arguing from basic logic. It is you who have been blathering brainwashed mantras and nonsensical delusions, and merely stating your opinion -- and I agree that your opinion proves nothing.

Owlmirror said...

«"The Deuteronomy scriptures instruct the Hebres to not copy the behaviors of the people whose land they were moving into. Whose land was it? The Canaanites who were strongly influenced by the Midianites (and others). Honestly, I'm tired of doing your work for you.

You're not doing "my work". You're making up your own narrative. Where does it say that that Midianites sacrificed children? It doesn't. You made it up.

«"Gen. 22. You conveniently leave out the second half of the Abe/Isaac story. A very telling habit for you. So why else would God stop Abe if He didn't want the sacrifice?

Don't ask me. I'm not God. All I can say is that God does not say that he hates child sacrifice.

«"Again, prove I'm making false accusations. Merely stating something and restating it doesn't make it so.

You've been stating and restating your false accusation that the Midianites sacrificed children, with no evidence to back it up -- just your own opinion.

«"Feel free to hang myself. Why, Owlmirror, I am shocked. I thought you anti-theists were the reasonable ones. You prove my points for me when you froth at the mouth and hit below the belt.

I'm sorry, you were the one who said you were "giving me rope". What did you intend by that, if not to froth at the mouth and hit below the belt?

«"Slaughtered in cold blood. Your skewed opinion. How do you know those men wanted to kill anybody? Were you there?

Why do I have to have been there? The text says "kill". The children were prisoners. What other interpretation is there?

«""So what." This is ultimately the only argument you are left with. It illustrates your true frame of mind.

That's just your skewed opinion. You have nothing.

(...continues...)

Cromm said...

Hi Blue;

But what of the rights of the baby in utero?

What of them? To my knowledge, pro-choicers don't advocate aborting late term pregnancies, by which time there is clearly a "baby" involved, unless there is some compelling medical reason to do so, ie. if the pregnancy could not possibly be continued successfully in any case.

Are you saying that just b/c the baby isn't self-aware or conscious as we know consciousness, then they automatically forfeit their rights?

If we're discussing an embryo that does not think, feel pain or have experiences of any kind, then I do not see why whatever interests we might assign them should override the will of the woman.

Notice how you said, "apparently murderous tendencies". This implies your double standard and your bias. It can't be murder in one instance and not in the other.

I'm defining murder as ending the life of a sentient being. You don't have to adopt my definition if you don't feel like it, but you can't accuse me of having a double standard. Destroying a zygote/early term embryo would not be murder because they are not sentient. Killing a thinking, feeling adult would be.

So are you saying that b/c the embryos are dependent on another individual, then they are not human and therefore not entitled to rights?

No, I'm saying that an embryo's use of someone else's body is an issue here.

Well, then I fully expect you to champion the murder/killing of all your dependent children out of utero b/c they are dependents.

Nice try at verbal jujutsu, but you fail.

Defining life. Ah, the relativistic stance. Are you sure you want to go in this direction? But, anyway, life begins at conception otherwise you are being discriminatory, among other things. Why do you think human life is the equivalent of animal life?

You're reading quite a few bizarre things into my questions, it seems. I haven't claimed to hold a relativistic stance here, nor have I implied that human life is the "equivalent" of animal life, whatever that even means.

I only brought up animal life because there's a pretty good chance, statistically, that you're not a vegetarian. In which case, you have animals killed on your behalf all the time, or maybe you even kill them personally, which would be incompatible with the notion that you value "life" in general.

So, once again, I must ask you to define "life" as clearly, rigorously and concisely as you can. When you say "life" begins at conception, how am I supposed to know what you mean? That doesn't even make sense, taken literally. Sperm and eggs are no less alive than a zygote. For that matter, I can't even infer that you're referring to human life. You could be referring to pollination, for all I know.

(continued)