The Constitution
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29-01-2012, 01:51 PM
The Constitution
What's the difference between the Bible and the Constitution?

They're both texts written hundreds of years ago that tell us how to live our lives.

I'm asking a serious question. I hope we can put aside the obvious "cuz the Bible is fake!" answers.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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29-01-2012, 01:59 PM
RE: The Constitution
For starters, the Constitution was written by some of the greatest political philosophers in centuries, and the Bible was written mostly by a superstitious tribe of nomads.

More importantly though, the Constitution is based off of carefully reasoned ideas. It's does not rely on divine revelation to validate its claims.

Most importantly of all, it doesn't claim to be an absolute authority. It even includes a process for amendment in itself.
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29-01-2012, 02:35 PM
RE: The Constitution
(29-01-2012 01:59 PM)Ben Wrote:  It even includes a process for amendment in itself.

That.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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29-01-2012, 02:45 PM
RE: The Constitution
Yes, definitely the most important difference is the claim the bible makes of absolute authority. It is the end. There is no room for improvement. Also the bible enforces its rules with eternal damnation, and in real terms, death.
Break some constitutional rules these days and you'll go to court, possibly get jail time, or nothing... Leaves people less afraid to question it.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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29-01-2012, 05:02 PM
RE: The Constitution
Hey Ghost,
Good question to ponder. Is it too early to give away your hand? Are you suggesting that both documents may have irrelevancy to modern day humanity because they are aged documents from times of different understanding? That we might need a different, ie., more modern way way of doing our Social Contract?

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29-01-2012, 05:41 PM
RE: The Constitution
They are texts of very different origin. One is the collected oral tales of desert herders based on made-up theology, the other is a well-designed plan of government based on rational Enlightenment principles.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-01-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: The Constitution
Sup, Erxomai?

Quote:Good question to ponder. Is it too early to give away your hand? Are you suggesting that both documents may have irrelevancy to modern day humanity because they are aged documents from times of different understanding? That we might need a different, ie., more modern way way of doing our Social Contract?

I suppose one argument is that they are both irrelevant. Should a document written hundreds of years ago be slavishly adhered to? Perhaps not.

That being said, perhaps there is some wisdom that is worth setting in stone?

The larger question has to do with the parallel I see. Both are touted as inviolable and we're told to follow them "religiously" if you'll pardon the pun. But following the life rules laid down in the Constitution is seen as making perfect sense while following the life rules laid down in the Bible is seen as the height of stupidity. Content aside, what's the difference?

There’s something to be said for not reinventing the wheel all the time, but there’s also value in making sure that minimum standards are adhered to.

As for the other answers, I'm not going to get mired in a "the Bible is dumb, the Constitution is great" argument. That ignores the point entirely and it’s precisely what I had hoped to avoid. This is a question about following old documents, not the content of those documents.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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29-01-2012, 09:46 PM
RE: The Constitution
The Constitution is a cohesive document written a few hundred years ago by known authors for a unified purpose and has been preserved word for word exactly as written since we have the original written in our own language.

The Bible is a collection of individual, uncoordinated writings written 2000 to 4000 years ago by unknown authors with their own individual purposes who did not know that the writings would be selected from a set of ancient documents collected into a united document. We do not have the original writings and the versions we have have been re-translated and re-transcribed thousands of times, allowing numerous erroneous and intentional changes of fact and meaning to be introduced.
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29-01-2012, 10:35 PM
RE: The Constitution
(29-01-2012 09:45 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Sup, Erxomai?

Quote:Good question to ponder. Is it too early to give away your hand? Are you suggesting that both documents may have irrelevancy to modern day humanity because they are aged documents from times of different understanding? That we might need a different, ie., more modern way way of doing our Social Contract?

I suppose one argument is that they are both irrelevant. Should a document written hundreds of years ago be slavishly adhered to? Perhaps not.

That being said, perhaps there is some wisdom that is worth setting in stone?

The larger question has to do with the parallel I see. Both are touted as inviolable and we're told to follow them "religiously" if you'll pardon the pun. But following the life rules laid down in the Constitution is seen as making perfect sense while following the life rules laid down in the Bible is seen as the height of stupidity. Content aside, what's the difference?

There’s something to be said for not reinventing the wheel all the time, but there’s also value in making sure that minimum standards are adhered to.

As for the other answers, I'm not going to get mired in a "the Bible is dumb, the Constitution is great" argument. That ignores the point entirely and it’s precisely what I had hoped to avoid. This is a question about following old documents, not the content of those documents.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

The constitution was designed to protect the rights of people. It's a minimum standard designed to be above the whims of the current politicians, but not unchangeable. Ultimately though, nobody should follow anything religiously. The constitution is worth following in my opinion because I've examined it and found it to be useful and reasonable to have a set of minimum standards that people agree to follow. But if someone doesn't like it, they're free to dispute it or even move somewhere else if they want to - that's the beauty of it.
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30-01-2012, 09:46 AM
RE: The Constitution
I would perhaps argue (although I'm not as well versed in the Constitution as maybe I should be) that the Constitution does not necessarily "tell us how to live our lives," but more broadly that it helps establish the parameters by which this particular group of people thought it best to let other people determine how to live their lives.

But I think, if I'm understanding your question, that would get into more of a direction that you're not looking to go into.

I think the difference between the two stems from intent, origin, and belief of intent and origin, and of course from whom these claims are being made.

(At this point I keep typing, deleting, and retyping... trying to find the crux of the points I'm trying to make).

Ultimately, I think the difference between the two, or the difference amongst any aging/ancient/old text, is what we as a general consensus can agree to and change. Examine these texts that "tell us how to live" - and decide for yourself, or amongst your community, or state, or nation, what is worthwhile and has been demonstrated to work for the common good, and what can be discarded. In the example of the Constitution, change it if it needs it. The Bible too for that matter - but you get a lot of people who claim it cannot be changed because of its supposed origin. You probably get a lot of people who claim the same for the Constitution.

Obviously these would (and do) involve large, difficult movements, lots of time, arguing, and discussion - and above all may never be fully resolved. But I think it's the best you can do.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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