I was just given two AiG Newletters.
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04-04-2012, 03:55 PM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
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05-04-2012, 06:58 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
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05-04-2012, 08:33 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
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24-04-2012, 04:47 PM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(03-04-2012 11:58 PM)SixForty Wrote:  There's a whole lot that you've said here that I'd love to discuss, but don't really have time for at the moment. But I will comment on a few things.

(27-03-2012 02:18 PM)kineo Wrote:  But we've largely reached a point in humanity where we regard these things as wrong- and that they always were wrong. {snip} You want me to recognize an objective law, but I do not.

These 2 statements seem to me to be contradictory. If something was always wrong, how is that not an objective standard? If you do not recognize an objective standard, then how can something have been always wrong?

You're ignoring the meaning of what I said so you can fit it to your point. I said we "regard" these things as wrong- and that they always were wrong. That means we regard them as if they always were wrong, even if before many people in the US thought slavery was perfectly acceptable. That doesn't mean that we hold them as absolute truth.

(03-04-2012 11:58 PM)SixForty Wrote:  
(27-03-2012 02:18 PM)kineo Wrote:  But the fact remains that neither the Bible nor God has anything to say about slavery being bad

On that we'd have to disagree. Forced slavery, which is what you appear to be discussing here, is definitely classed as bad. Exodus has laws against kidnapping and selling someone into slavery - the punishment is death. So it's definitely discouraged! But the voluntary bond-servitude, which is unfortunately translated as "slavery" in some versions, was a solution to a problem. A solution that everyone involved knew going into it.

I'm sorry- the many times where God commands forced slavery and forced marriage disagree with you then. Or else it exposes a contradiction in the Bible. You'll need to provide actual chapter and verse rather than reference the entire book of Exodus, because even Exodus 21 gives rules on how to acceptably treat your slaves. Even IF you come back with chapter and verse, I can point you to the prior posts and we can re-hash how God commands forced slavery. And slavery in general we now believe to be a bad thing. And not because God says so... because if he does, it apparently isn't in the Bible. If you're trying to suggest to me that in each of those cases it's supposed to mean voluntary bond-servitude, then I don't think you're be honest with yourself about what the Bible actually says.

(03-04-2012 11:58 PM)SixForty Wrote:  
(27-03-2012 02:18 PM)kineo Wrote:  We are now morally superior to the Bible in that respect.
Again, this simply comes back to moral objectivity. If objective moral values do not exist, then we aren't superior to the Bible as you claim - we are simply different. Superiority implies a direction towards something better. I don't see how you can claim we are superior without using an objective moral standard to make such a measurement.

I believe that for the most part, the morality that I have personally is morally superior to that of the Bible- especially the OT. That in no way suggests objectivity. It suggests predilection, education, and intelligence. That predilection for ending slavery (context of your quoted snippet) seems to be shared by a majority of people in the US, the Americas as a whole, in Europe, in Australia, and in other parts of the world. I think I can speak pretty confidently in stating that we are now morally superior to the Bible in terms of our outlook on slavery, and that's without objectivity.

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26-04-2012, 12:33 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(24-04-2012 04:47 PM)kineo Wrote:  You're ignoring the meaning of what I said so you can fit it to your point. I said we "regard" these things as wrong- and that they always were wrong. That means we regard them as if they always were wrong, even if before many people in the US thought slavery was perfectly acceptable. That doesn't mean that we hold them as absolute truth.

I don't think I'm missing the point of what you are saying. I'm pretty sure that I understand it. You are using the example of slavery, so let's stick with that. You claim that we regard this as wrong. In addition, we regard this as if it was always wrong, even though 180 years ago the people then regarded it as right. They were simply mistaken, and now we know better. Am I understanding your point correctly? If not, please let me know.

As for the objectivity of it, let us consider this. We regard slavery as wrong now. We regard it as having always been wrong. Do we regard it as something that WILL always be wrong? Even if people in the future turn around and think that it is right again, do we now still think that they would be mistaken, and slavery would at that point in the future actually be wrong?

I would anticipate that your answer is probably yes. If not, then your point about not being an absolute truth is well taken. But if your answer is yes, that slavery always was wrong, is wrong now, and always will be wrong - how would that not be an objective absolute truth?

(24-04-2012 04:47 PM)kineo Wrote:  I'm sorry- the many times where God commands forced slavery and forced marriage disagree with you then. Or else it exposes a contradiction in the Bible. You'll need to provide actual chapter and verse rather than reference the entire book of Exodus, because even Exodus 21 gives rules on how to acceptably treat your slaves. Even IF you come back with chapter and verse, I can point you to the prior posts and we can re-hash how God commands forced slavery. And slavery in general we now believe to be a bad thing. And not because God says so... because if he does, it apparently isn't in the Bible. If you're trying to suggest to me that in each of those cases it's supposed to mean voluntary bond-servitude, then I don't think you're be honest with yourself about what the Bible actually says.

I think the basics of this comes down to the details of what slavery actually entails in the bible. It's not even close to what we consider slavery today. First, we'd need to differentiate between slavery in ancient Israel and then other nations, such as the Roman empire, or Greek or Babylon culture. Because they are different, and they are talked about in different times in the bible. Context is important, but thankfully not difficult to understand. Then we'd have to look at the issue of slavery which you claim God condones, and consider it for what it really is. Unfortunately, the word slavery conjures up immediate images for people today, which are vastly different than what people back then understood it to mean.

Instead of going into myself, here's a link to a pretty detailed look at it, from biblical sources as well as other ancient sources: http://christianthinktank.com/qnoslave.html There's a ton of fantastic information in there. It's long, but I'd encourage you to read the whole thing. It gives an accurate account of what old testament biblical slavery entailed, unlike the information that you find coming from a lot of anti-bible websites. There may be a few small things in there that I would have a slightly different view upon, but overall it's a great picture of the issue, with lots of the references you'd be looking for. Once you've read that, let me know what you think.

(24-04-2012 04:47 PM)kineo Wrote:  I believe that for the most part, the morality that I have personally is morally superior to that of the Bible- especially the OT. That in no way suggests objectivity. It suggests predilection, education, and intelligence. That predilection for ending slavery (context of your quoted snippet) seems to be shared by a majority of people in the US, the Americas as a whole, in Europe, in Australia, and in other parts of the world. I think I can speak pretty confidently in stating that we are now morally superior to the Bible in terms of our outlook on slavery, and that's without objectivity.

Again, I'd have to say that making a claim of superiority clearly implies objectivity. To claim superiority, you must be able to make some type of comparison or measurement. To claim that one thing is better than another thing, you are implying that there is a standard against which they can both be compared.

For example, if you say that chocolate is a superior tasting ice cream to vanilla, you are making a claim that they can be compared to a standard of taste preferences. If that standard is subjective, and can change, then on one day chocolate may not be superior to vanilla. So the claim can't hold when the standard is subjective. It's just a preference. The concept of superiority can't really apply. It's only if that standard of taste preferences is absolute can something actually be called superior, for then the comparison is solid, the measurement of one over the other is sufficiently defined, and the relationship becomes concrete. The concept of superiority can only really exist in such a comparison - where the standard of measurement is objective.
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26-04-2012, 04:57 AM (This post was last modified: 26-04-2012 05:01 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
the "Curve of Knowns"
http://www.c14dating.com/int.html
Empirical data for a vast range of radionuclides now exists. Kaye & Laby's Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants, devised and maintained by the National Physical Laboratory in the UK, contains among the voluminous sets of data produced by the precise laboratory work of various scientists a complete table of the nuclides, which due to its huge size, is split into sections to make it more manageable, in which data such as half-life, major emissions, emission energies and other useful data are included. The sections are:
[1] Hydrogen to Flourine
[2] Neon to Potassium
[3] Calcium to Copper
[4] Zinc to Yttrium
[5] Zirconium to Indium
[6] Tin to Praesodymium
[7] Neodymium to Thulium
[8] Ytterbium to gold
[9] Mercury to Actinium
[10] Thorium to Einsteinium
[11] Fermium to Roentgenium (name not yet officially recognised by IUPAC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_dating
http://aigbusted.blogspot.com/2007/09/hu...young.html
http://www.reduciblycomplex.com/index.ph...-debunked/
http://home.earthlink.net/~ironmen/qumran5.htm
http://www.harvardhouse.com/Gabriel-to-D...Method.htm
http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creat...html#prove
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-c14.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educat...teach.html
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/Learning.html
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/McKinney.html
http://www.acad.carleton.edu/curricular/...gback.html
http://www.acad.carleton.edu/curricular/...index.html
http://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/stan-3/
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/vi...184#269184
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/201...161307.htm

There are multiple methods used all of which give answers in about the same range. (When you're dealing with ages in billions of years being off by a million or three is a small percentage). The Earth is estimated to be about 4.6 billion years old.

These methods include:
Radiocarbon dating
Potassium-Argon dating
Uranium-Lead dating.

All of these relate a known, relatively constant rate of decay of a radioactive isotope. They're not affected by external factors such as temperature, pressure, etc.

There are other dating methods as well that can be used to establish that the age of the Earth is WELL over anything the Creationists are proposing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_ti…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric…
http://ncse.com/cej/3/2/answers-to-creat...-14-dating

In Hebrew/Biblical culture, there is not a word "historical" -- the concept was "known", but not the point. ( http://video.pbs.org/video/1051895565/ )
They can't even tell you when Hebrew culture became monotheistic, (within a hundred years), or why, or even when exactly Genesis was first written, or in what language, when that language first appeared, and began to be written, and how, exactly the editors, who pasted together the Y(J), D, E, K, and P sources, had any way of knowing what happened before a human was "created", since that didn't happen, until the sixth "day".

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bible/flood.html

So much for YEC.

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26-04-2012, 10:40 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(26-04-2012 12:33 AM)SixForty Wrote:  I don't think I'm missing the point of what you are saying. I'm pretty sure that I understand it.

Then I suspect that this is a bridge we cannot overcome, and the discussion has turned into a spiral. I'll respond with one last response and then let you have the last word. Smile

(26-04-2012 12:33 AM)SixForty Wrote:  You are using the example of slavery, so let's stick with that. You claim that we regard this as wrong. In addition, we regard this as if it was always wrong, even though 180 years ago the people then regarded it as right. They were simply mistaken, and now we know better. Am I understanding your point correctly? If not, please let me know.

As for the objectivity of it, let us consider this. We regard slavery as wrong now. We regard it as having always been wrong. Do we regard it as something that WILL always be wrong? Even if people in the future turn around and think that it is right again, do we now still think that they would be mistaken, and slavery would at that point in the future actually be wrong?

I would anticipate that your answer is probably yes. If not, then your point about not being an absolute truth is well taken. But if your answer is yes, that slavery always was wrong, is wrong now, and always will be wrong - how would that not be an objective absolute truth?

I don't think that this is something we're going to see eye to eye on. Superiority doesn't have to require objectivity, if the superiority isn't objective superiority. In your example, if there is no one around in the future to say "slavery is wrong" then it doesn't matter one bit what we in the past thought about the subject. If everyone in the future believes it to be right, then there is no standard by which one can say it is wrong. Today that standard is twofold- an importance placed on human life and a desire to prevent and relieve suffering, and a majority consensus that slavery is wrong and works against that. There are some who believe slavery is against God's will, and support abolition of slavery for that and the first two reasons I said. I'm sure there is more to our disagreement with the idea of slavery, but I'll leave it at that for the sake of keeping it simple.

I know what you're saying, I just simply disagree. But I can see that the word "superior" bothers you. Let's use "predominance" instead, a synonym of superiority.

(26-04-2012 12:33 AM)SixForty Wrote:  I think the basics of this comes down to the details of what slavery actually entails in the bible. It's not even close to what we consider slavery today. First, we'd need to differentiate between slavery in ancient Israel and then other nations, such as the Roman empire, or Greek or Babylon culture. Because they are different, and they are talked about in different times in the bible. Context is important, but thankfully not difficult to understand. Then we'd have to look at the issue of slavery which you claim God condones, and consider it for what it really is. Unfortunately, the word slavery conjures up immediate images for people today, which are vastly different than what people back then understood it to mean.

Instead of going into myself, here's a link to a pretty detailed look at it, from biblical sources as well as other ancient sources: http://christianthinktank.com/qnoslave.html There's a ton of fantastic information in there. It's long, but I'd encourage you to read the whole thing. It gives an accurate account of what old testament biblical slavery entailed, unlike the information that you find coming from a lot of anti-bible websites. There may be a few small things in there that I would have a slightly different view upon, but overall it's a great picture of the issue, with lots of the references you'd be looking for. Once you've read that, let me know what you think.

You want me to read through a pro-bible definition of the word "slavery" because an anti-religious site is too anti-Bible? Ok, I'll read through it. If there is something worth discussing in that, I'll respond again- otherwise, like I said before, last word is yours in the discussion.

But your suggestion irritates me. This is why. Please read through that linked post, it's not long; I don't feel like repeating myself since I've had to type that a number of times in these types of discussions.

(26-04-2012 12:33 AM)SixForty Wrote:  Again, I'd have to say that making a claim of superiority clearly implies objectivity. To claim superiority, you must be able to make some type of comparison or measurement. To claim that one thing is better than another thing, you are implying that there is a standard against which they can both be compared.

For example, if you say that chocolate is a superior tasting ice cream to vanilla, you are making a claim that they can be compared to a standard of taste preferences. If that standard is subjective, and can change, then on one day chocolate may not be superior to vanilla. So the claim can't hold when the standard is subjective. It's just a preference. The concept of superiority can't really apply. It's only if that standard of taste preferences is absolute can something actually be called superior, for then the comparison is solid, the measurement of one over the other is sufficiently defined, and the relationship becomes concrete. The concept of superiority can only really exist in such a comparison - where the standard of measurement is objective.

I think your example is a great one to highlight why superior doesn't imply objectivity. We live on a constantly changing world... in a constantly changing universe. Based on what you've said, you'll be in agreement with the below.

Let's say chocolate is superior to vanilla (though I disagree- clearly vanilla is better Wink). Tomorrow the cacao beans are part of a bad crop that slips through unnoticed, and the batch of chocolate ice cream comes out terrible. Then vanilla is better. Or, the producers of the chocolate change the recipe, not for the better- vanilla is now preferable here also. The vanilla recipe is improved over chocolate's, here too vanilla becomes superior. The point is- superiority is judged by the taster, and many things contribute to how it tastes to the taster. If many people come together to judge the taste and the majority agree that vanilla is better- then it is regarded that the vanilla ice cream is the best. Then the vanilla ice cream producers can hang a sign on their door that says, "Best ice cream in town!" The people of the town will wonder what in the hell those other people were thinking when they chose chocolate over vanilla, and why anyone would ever choose chocolate over vanilla. Clearly vanilla is predominant over chocolate, it is the superior flavor.

But the example is a little trivial when compared to the great suffering of people in the bondage of slavery. The whim of the people is buffered that suffering; and so long as we remain empathetic, slavery is easier to deem "wrong". So long as people suffer in slavery, and are denied the option of freedom, we can look at it and confidently call it wrong- even in a universe lacking such objectivity in morality.

I am in no position to judge the future- but I can judge the past. And I can say that those who kept slaves- especially as we know it in the US- lacked empathy for humanity, disregarded the humanity of their slaves, and caused tremendous suffering of their slaves and their slaves' families. And for that they were clearly wrong. Because suffering is something to be avoided, and relieved whenever possible. Why? Because I wouldn't want to suffer like that. And I know others do not want to suffer like that. And I don't want to cause anyone else to suffer like that. And I can confidently hold everyone else to that same standard and judge others and myself according to it.

I'll conclude with the definition of superior, because I think it is clear that the term superior CAN include preference and doesn't imply objectivity.

Quote:su·pe·ri·or

adjective/səˈpi(ə)rēər/

Higher in rank, status, or quality
- a superior officer
- it is superior to every other car on the road

Of high standard or quality
- superior malt whiskeys

Greater in size or power
- deploying superior force

Above yielding to or being influenced by
- I felt superior to any accusation of anti-Semitism

Having or showing an overly high opinion of oneself; supercilious
- that girl was frightfully superior

Further above or out; higher in position

(of a letter, figure, or symbol) Written or printed above the line

(of a planet) Having an orbit further from the sun than the earth's

(of the ovary of a flower) Situated above the sepals and petals
Source

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30-04-2012, 04:18 PM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(26-04-2012 10:40 AM)kineo Wrote:  Then I suspect that this is a bridge we cannot overcome, and the discussion has turned into a spiral. I'll respond with one last response and then let you have the last word. Smile


I won't bother with any last word - I've said my part on this issue. You are right - we simply disagree on whether or not morality is objective, and how that plays out in practicality. I did read your other post, about studying the bible in depth, and there's a lot of truth to what you say. My only comments on that would be: 1) the basic messages aren't difficult to understand at all, and they are far and away the most important parts; and 2) the biggest reason we find it difficult is not because of the bible, but because of us. We've changed. Since the time it was written, language has changed, culture has changed, customs have changed, society has changed. So yeah, it's going to take some work sometimes to understand just how much we've changed, and why that makes a difference. But I don't think that's the bible's problem - it's ours.

If you ever did read that paper on biblical slavery, I'd love to hear your thoughts. If not here, feel free to PM me some time.
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