The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
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06-03-2015, 06:04 PM (This post was last modified: 06-03-2015 06:23 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(06-03-2015 08:24 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(06-03-2015 02:30 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Nearly everyone on this forum has had hermeneutic nonsense shoved down their throat time and again. The problem with hermeneutics is that it assumes that everything in the Bible was written by clever, intelligent, all knowing, god knowing individuals. The preacher lovingly fingers his leather bound tome and assumes it contains the words of God. If something in the Bible appears ridiculous, immoral or pathetic, it must be because the reader is interpreting it incorrectly.

In reality, the objective historians amongst us know that the Bible was written by primitive, ignorant, empire building, anonymous individuals who were using theological concepts to control and profit from superstitious crowds.

The control agenda is still being played out today. You are just the latest version of another priest or preacher or teacher or rabbi or imam who thinks he can wield a stick by interpreting these ancient texts.

What has been pointed out to you time and again by numerous posters here is that you are not reading these texts objectively. You assume we are the ignorant ones because we don't have the same level of understanding that you do, yet you fail to see the obvious nonsense in the Bible.

Yes, but you are being quite assumptive regarding my rubric. When I see something in the Bible that alarms me I research it. I look around, I wrap my mind around it I'm open-minded and will deconvert if I see something I discover in my research to be immoral--not on the part of the Bible "heroes" whose weaknesses are presented--but on the part of God.

You are also skirting the issue that the Bible itself makes claims about the text--that those who give it cursory readings are missing the "meat". Jesus spoke of wise people building on stone, not shifting sand--he gave this lecture in one of the lakeside spots where to get from sand to stone you have to dig deeper.

So overall, when you use remarks like "obvious nonsense" in the Bible, you must be referring to your presentist readings in the English; looking deeper into historical context, textual context, the original languages, etc. is recognized by serious scholars from liberal to conservative, from Christian to atheist--you and others here like to quote for example, the Jesus Seminar garbage--but that group does hermeneutics also.

Further, NO ONE reads Bible texts in the West objectively. NO ONE. But knowing my biases and being aware of them helps. Since I am again protesting that I, too, can be shocked or startled by Bible texts read in English without looking at surrounding context and honest research--you are making inflammatory statements as if you can read my mind, which you cannot.

Quote:In reality, the objective historians amongst us know that the Bible was written by primitive, ignorant, empire building, anonymous individuals who were using theological concepts to control and profit from superstitious crowds.

If that is an "objective" statement you might explain:

*How Jesus profited financially or otherwise from His preaching, not having a coin to address the Pharisees, not having a rock to lay his head on at night

*How much power and control Moses exerted over his charges as they rebelled against him and God ten times in the desert and called for his stoning

*How the apostles profited by limiting their income, number of wives, and wandered thousands of miles on foot and by sea through hardship to--as Paul put it--make tents and preach the gospel without charge...

Etc.

In sum, when you insult hermeneutics, you insult the liberal scholars who practice it also. And when you say I'm not objective, well, I'm not, but I have experience in the text, same as you. The difference is I haven't yet started a forum where people coalesce not only for fellowship but to make posts, 90% of which are indeed against Christianity and without substance or merit also.

Thanks for your patience with my rant.

Hi Q, I sense a tiny bit of humility in your answers which is something positive. Yet you are so, so wrong on many fronts. Allow me to explain why.

"When I see something in the Bible that alarms me I research it. I look around, I wrap my mind around it."

No you don't. As has been pointed out to you numerous times, you simply ignore addressing serious faults in the texts. You also, quite clearly, have done almost no research into the origins of the Bible, or into the life and times of the characters who wrote it. I will allow myself a generalisation; most of the atheists on this forum have. I, for example, have spent eight years in my spare time researching the history of the origins of Christianity. It is obvious to me from your answers that if you and I were to have a debate I'd have you for dinner. You just don't know how much you don't know.

"You are also skirting the issue that the Bible itself makes claims about the text--that those who give it cursory readings are missing the "meat""

Nonense. The "meat" is "off."Jesus’ teachings aren’t particularly meritorious, interesting or innovative. Many of them were invented to suppress critical thought, stifle people’s individuality, and to discourage crowds from complaining.

Jesus’ fans all cherry pick and reinterpret what he allegedly said, and that’s not intellectually honest.

It’s sad, wrong and ironic that generations of ordinary, trusting Christians have wasted their time looking for truth and meaning in the New Testament, hoping to be enlightened, when the characters who created it were so cavalier with the truth. Churches today always insist people believe the bible was divinely inspired, yet they have no facts to back up this assertion, and they will never be honest enough to admit that belief in the bible bolsters their own authority and income. By forcing faith on children and adults too busy to carefully consider it, priests and preachers have ruled over human reason to benefit themselves, not the consumer.

The human family has always had real thinkers, people who were clearly interested in the truth. I’m referring to men such as Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Celsus, Cicero, Philo, Seutonius, Tacitus and others, who employed high standards of integrity and scholarship. Their writings are believable, consistent and still read well. The Biblical authors weren’t in that group.

We, modern people who genuinely care about the health and happiness of our fellow men, and particularly our children, mustn’t let these writings and those who advocate them have an undeserved authority. It’s time bibliolatry and theology were replaced with open-mindedness, pragmatic thought, and genuine empathy. The era in which uninformed people blindly believe Christian dogma and bow down to those promoting it should now be over.

*How Jesus profited financially or otherwise from His preaching, not having a coin to address the Pharisees, not having a rock to lay his head on at night"

Your ignorance about who "Jesus" was and who wrote the gospels blows me away. Your "jesus" may or may not have existed. What "he" said and did is a story... One made up by the multitudes of anonymous people who wrote the gospels. It has little or no relationship to a once living human character. If I tried to lecture you on what Harry Potter thought and did you wouldn't be impressed, would you? Has this (rather simple) concept got through to you yet?

*How the apostles profited by limiting their income, number of wives, and wandered thousands of miles on foot and by sea through hardship to--as Paul put it--make tents and preach the gospel without charge..."

Oh dear, oh dear! You quite clearly have no idea who the apostles were (if they even existed) or who Paul was. It is abundantly clear that all you have done is read your bible and assumed the truth thereof. Do you not realise how intellectually bankrupt that approach is?

"In sum, when you insult hermeneutics, you insult the liberal scholars who practice it also."

Bingo! You have hit the nail on the head there. No one has any issue with reading ancient texts in a certain context, one in which they were written. Yet the mental gymnastics that over imaginative preachers go through when using hermeneutics is an insult to the intelligence of all modern readers. They deserve derision, because they take their mental masturbation too far.
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06-03-2015, 06:21 PM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(06-03-2015 12:16 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(06-03-2015 08:31 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  1. I agree with Kingschosen in that the evidence you are "seeking", which I don't think you're really seeking, isn't to be found in many cases. But what is a true fact is that the Bible states that God will judge nations for not only wickedness but their treatment of Israel and the Jewish people. You can find a lot of truth in the latter if you look. Spain is an oft-cited example. It was a long time after the Inquisition began but the Spanish armada was destroyed and the Spanish empire broken. Germany is another, at the risk of Godwin, we don't speak German in America or the UK and Germany was utterly thrown down after the holocaust. Not so utterly that she couldn't rise again to become a European power, but...

2. You want me to own that God is great because babies died? I do. Of course He's still great. The Passover has been celebrated in Jewish homes millions of times for millennia. The issue is that you won't own how great God is if babies go to Heaven. If Heaven and Hell are real, we have you upset at God for genocidal, slave owners going to Hell and their children getting free tickets to Heaven. Do you deny this? Of course you do because God's ways are usually only mysterious to nonbelievers. But the babies were denied life? No, they weren't. They live FOREVER. The parents were grieved at their losses, yes. Switch to that if you want to make a more persuasive argument.

1. So, what you would have me look for is a statistical trend that nations who greatly mistreat their Jewish populations eventually, even after centuries, suffer severe reversals, to a significantly greater extent than those who do not? That's not there. There are too few examples of nations with significant Jewish populations, who treated their Jewish populations well, and did not eventually suffer reversals, to draw a sufficient contrast.

I leave out nations practicing modern religious liberty for two reasons. First, because we are talking about a judgement which could come only after centuries, meaning that it takes centuries after that treatment for us to say whether or not the trend has been satisfied or defied. If some scientist discovers that a certain chemical is poisonous but takes 5 years to kill a person, we can't point to someone who is alive 5 weeks after ingesting it as a counterexample. We have to wait at least 5 years before that person is a data point. Similarly, if you say it sometimes takes centuries to have an effect, we have to wait centuries for a nation to count as a data point, be it as an example or as a contrast. Second, I view nations which practice freedom of conscience and ethnic equality as being inherently more stable and prosperous than those that don't. Nazi Germany is an example of both conditions -- an unfree dictatorship which also persecuted Jews -- and cannot be seen as supporting one proposition over the other.

(EDIT: Also, even if there were data to establish such a statistical trend? There would still remain the question of what was behind it.)

2. I actually am a bit upset at the notion of Hell in general... not the possibility that it's real, but the way it seems to be viewed by many people as a good thing, the way it speaks to some primally dark instinct in large parts of humanity. If I were a believer, I'd wish for universalism, mercy for everyone, regardless of their crimes.

But no, I'm not upset at the idea of children going to the heaven you describe. (I don't think it HAPPENS that way, but it wouldn't upset me if it did.) Does that make ending their lives justified or even excusable? Why should we not simply kill every child at the age of 2 months, then, to guarantee their entry into heaven? Give the task to unrepentant murderers, if you want to keep from (further) damning everyone who participates. Let those murderers convert on their deathbeds, even. For the record, no, I don't think we should do this. But what is the moral distinction in your eyes? Does thinking or believing that the children will go to heaven make killing them morally acceptable? If so, why not do it to guarantee their entry into heaven before they have the moral agency to sin? If not (and I guess you'll say not... quote "as you do unto the least of these" if you like), then how does their supposed entry into heaven make the killing of infants morally defensible?

(Also, we're talking about unbaptized children who'd never accepted Christ, but I'll let that slide. I don't know your stance on those theological points.)

And I won't switch to arguing about the grief of the parents, many of whom would themselves have been innocent... because that's been part of my argument all along. I can hardly switch to it if I'm already on it. Feel free to address it whenever.

I admire your patience. Bowing Keep it up.
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09-03-2015, 12:38 PM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(06-03-2015 12:16 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(06-03-2015 08:31 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  1. I agree with Kingschosen in that the evidence you are "seeking", which I don't think you're really seeking, isn't to be found in many cases. But what is a true fact is that the Bible states that God will judge nations for not only wickedness but their treatment of Israel and the Jewish people. You can find a lot of truth in the latter if you look. Spain is an oft-cited example. It was a long time after the Inquisition began but the Spanish armada was destroyed and the Spanish empire broken. Germany is another, at the risk of Godwin, we don't speak German in America or the UK and Germany was utterly thrown down after the holocaust. Not so utterly that she couldn't rise again to become a European power, but...

2. You want me to own that God is great because babies died? I do. Of course He's still great. The Passover has been celebrated in Jewish homes millions of times for millennia. The issue is that you won't own how great God is if babies go to Heaven. If Heaven and Hell are real, we have you upset at God for genocidal, slave owners going to Hell and their children getting free tickets to Heaven. Do you deny this? Of course you do because God's ways are usually only mysterious to nonbelievers. But the babies were denied life? No, they weren't. They live FOREVER. The parents were grieved at their losses, yes. Switch to that if you want to make a more persuasive argument.

1. So, what you would have me look for is a statistical trend that nations who greatly mistreat their Jewish populations eventually, even after centuries, suffer severe reversals, to a significantly greater extent than those who do not? That's not there. There are too few examples of nations with significant Jewish populations, who treated their Jewish populations well, and did not eventually suffer reversals, to draw a sufficient contrast.

I leave out nations practicing modern religious liberty for two reasons. First, because we are talking about a judgement which could come only after centuries, meaning that it takes centuries after that treatment for us to say whether or not the trend has been satisfied or defied. If some scientist discovers that a certain chemical is poisonous but takes 5 years to kill a person, we can't point to someone who is alive 5 weeks after ingesting it as a counterexample. We have to wait at least 5 years before that person is a data point. Similarly, if you say it sometimes takes centuries to have an effect, we have to wait centuries for a nation to count as a data point, be it as an example or as a contrast. Second, I view nations which practice freedom of conscience and ethnic equality as being inherently more stable and prosperous than those that don't. Nazi Germany is an example of both conditions -- an unfree dictatorship which also persecuted Jews -- and cannot be seen as supporting one proposition over the other.

(EDIT: Also, even if there were data to establish such a statistical trend? There would still remain the question of what was behind it.)

2. I actually am a bit upset at the notion of Hell in general... not the possibility that it's real, but the way it seems to be viewed by many people as a good thing, the way it speaks to some primally dark instinct in large parts of humanity. If I were a believer, I'd wish for universalism, mercy for everyone, regardless of their crimes.

But no, I'm not upset at the idea of children going to the heaven you describe. (I don't think it HAPPENS that way, but it wouldn't upset me if it did.) Does that make ending their lives justified or even excusable? Why should we not simply kill every child at the age of 2 months, then, to guarantee their entry into heaven? Give the task to unrepentant murderers, if you want to keep from (further) damning everyone who participates. Let those murderers convert on their deathbeds, even. For the record, no, I don't think we should do this. But what is the moral distinction in your eyes? Does thinking or believing that the children will go to heaven make killing them morally acceptable? If so, why not do it to guarantee their entry into heaven before they have the moral agency to sin? If not (and I guess you'll say not... quote "as you do unto the least of these" if you like), then how does their supposed entry into heaven make the killing of infants morally defensible?

(Also, we're talking about unbaptized children who'd never accepted Christ, but I'll let that slide. I don't know your stance on those theological points.)

And I won't switch to arguing about the grief of the parents, many of whom would themselves have been innocent... because that's been part of my argument all along. I can hardly switch to it if I'm already on it. Feel free to address it whenever.

There are simple answers to your questions:

1. The Abrahamic covenant is sevenfold and involves blessing host nations who are kind to Israel as well as destruction on nations that persecute Israel. And since Jews are 1/4 of 1% of the world's population but win 12% of Nobel prizes, outperforming per capita 48 times, you have one such of many illustrations as to how God has blessed the Jewish people themselves (as well as, yes, the reverse, for disobedience to Messiah).

2. No, you and I should not kill infants to take them to Heaven because a) that is the province of those unfortunate mental cases/drug addicts who do so prominently in the news b) we Christians know it should be a free will/level playing field choice for adults with the exception of those who die not at our agency because c) God can kill, but humans killing infants is murder.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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09-03-2015, 12:49 PM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(06-03-2015 06:04 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(06-03-2015 08:24 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Yes, but you are being quite assumptive regarding my rubric. When I see something in the Bible that alarms me I research it. I look around, I wrap my mind around it I'm open-minded and will deconvert if I see something I discover in my research to be immoral--not on the part of the Bible "heroes" whose weaknesses are presented--but on the part of God.

You are also skirting the issue that the Bible itself makes claims about the text--that those who give it cursory readings are missing the "meat". Jesus spoke of wise people building on stone, not shifting sand--he gave this lecture in one of the lakeside spots where to get from sand to stone you have to dig deeper.

So overall, when you use remarks like "obvious nonsense" in the Bible, you must be referring to your presentist readings in the English; looking deeper into historical context, textual context, the original languages, etc. is recognized by serious scholars from liberal to conservative, from Christian to atheist--you and others here like to quote for example, the Jesus Seminar garbage--but that group does hermeneutics also.

Further, NO ONE reads Bible texts in the West objectively. NO ONE. But knowing my biases and being aware of them helps. Since I am again protesting that I, too, can be shocked or startled by Bible texts read in English without looking at surrounding context and honest research--you are making inflammatory statements as if you can read my mind, which you cannot.


If that is an "objective" statement you might explain:

*How Jesus profited financially or otherwise from His preaching, not having a coin to address the Pharisees, not having a rock to lay his head on at night

*How much power and control Moses exerted over his charges as they rebelled against him and God ten times in the desert and called for his stoning

*How the apostles profited by limiting their income, number of wives, and wandered thousands of miles on foot and by sea through hardship to--as Paul put it--make tents and preach the gospel without charge...

Etc.

In sum, when you insult hermeneutics, you insult the liberal scholars who practice it also. And when you say I'm not objective, well, I'm not, but I have experience in the text, same as you. The difference is I haven't yet started a forum where people coalesce not only for fellowship but to make posts, 90% of which are indeed against Christianity and without substance or merit also.

Thanks for your patience with my rant.

Hi Q, I sense a tiny bit of humility in your answers which is something positive. Yet you are so, so wrong on many fronts. Allow me to explain why.

"When I see something in the Bible that alarms me I research it. I look around, I wrap my mind around it."

No you don't. As has been pointed out to you numerous times, you simply ignore addressing serious faults in the texts. You also, quite clearly, have done almost no research into the origins of the Bible, or into the life and times of the characters who wrote it. I will allow myself a generalisation; most of the atheists on this forum have. I, for example, have spent eight years in my spare time researching the history of the origins of Christianity. It is obvious to me from your answers that if you and I were to have a debate I'd have you for dinner. You just don't know how much you don't know.

"You are also skirting the issue that the Bible itself makes claims about the text--that those who give it cursory readings are missing the "meat""

Nonense. The "meat" is "off."Jesus’ teachings aren’t particularly meritorious, interesting or innovative. Many of them were invented to suppress critical thought, stifle people’s individuality, and to discourage crowds from complaining.

Jesus’ fans all cherry pick and reinterpret what he allegedly said, and that’s not intellectually honest.

It’s sad, wrong and ironic that generations of ordinary, trusting Christians have wasted their time looking for truth and meaning in the New Testament, hoping to be enlightened, when the characters who created it were so cavalier with the truth. Churches today always insist people believe the bible was divinely inspired, yet they have no facts to back up this assertion, and they will never be honest enough to admit that belief in the bible bolsters their own authority and income. By forcing faith on children and adults too busy to carefully consider it, priests and preachers have ruled over human reason to benefit themselves, not the consumer.

The human family has always had real thinkers, people who were clearly interested in the truth. I’m referring to men such as Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Celsus, Cicero, Philo, Seutonius, Tacitus and others, who employed high standards of integrity and scholarship. Their writings are believable, consistent and still read well. The Biblical authors weren’t in that group.

We, modern people who genuinely care about the health and happiness of our fellow men, and particularly our children, mustn’t let these writings and those who advocate them have an undeserved authority. It’s time bibliolatry and theology were replaced with open-mindedness, pragmatic thought, and genuine empathy. The era in which uninformed people blindly believe Christian dogma and bow down to those promoting it should now be over.

*How Jesus profited financially or otherwise from His preaching, not having a coin to address the Pharisees, not having a rock to lay his head on at night"

Your ignorance about who "Jesus" was and who wrote the gospels blows me away. Your "jesus" may or may not have existed. What "he" said and did is a story... One made up by the multitudes of anonymous people who wrote the gospels. It has little or no relationship to a once living human character. If I tried to lecture you on what Harry Potter thought and did you wouldn't be impressed, would you? Has this (rather simple) concept got through to you yet?

*How the apostles profited by limiting their income, number of wives, and wandered thousands of miles on foot and by sea through hardship to--as Paul put it--make tents and preach the gospel without charge..."

Oh dear, oh dear! You quite clearly have no idea who the apostles were (if they even existed) or who Paul was. It is abundantly clear that all you have done is read your bible and assumed the truth thereof. Do you not realise how intellectually bankrupt that approach is?

"In sum, when you insult hermeneutics, you insult the liberal scholars who practice it also."

Bingo! You have hit the nail on the head there. No one has any issue with reading ancient texts in a certain context, one in which they were written. Yet the mental gymnastics that over imaginative preachers go through when using hermeneutics is an insult to the intelligence of all modern readers. They deserve derision, because they take their mental masturbation too far.

You are basing your case against the Bible with your interpretation of it. Again, what you are accusing Jesus and the apostles of teaching, to become some kind of master manipulators, is simply not reflected in the outcome of their lives. Jesus was crucified and the apostles gave their lives for love of their fellow man, not to acquire followers and riches.

In my own case, I am conversant with all manner of arguments for the historicity of Jesus, JEDP theory, Q theory, Markan priority theory, as well as "swoon theory", "twin theory" and other schools of thought meant to deride the Bible, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. I'm (somewhat) glad you've undertaken 8 years of Bible studies. I'm in my 40's, and after trusting Jesus as a junior at a secular university, changed my major to complete a Bachelor's in Religion, and then and since have been studying liberal and secular thought on what I believe. My studies in literature apart from Bible source texts and higher criticism, etc. inform me that if we wish to criticize a text we must begin with its own internal statements and claims. Mark, you are no different than Orthodox scholars who say the NT is invalid because "the writers are suspect". It's a copout in both cases.

More specifically in your case, I noticed you tried to pawn off on The Q a theory regarding the entire NT being written by a Roman manipulation, a conspiracy designed to cause NT believers to follow and obey Rome. Amazingly, and likely because you assumed in error I didn't know what I know about the source texts and the sources themselves, you expected me and other TTA members to buy this story--despite the fact that you teach different gospels and epistles were written by competing teams of writers, and despite the fact that there are about four verses in the NT about obeying the Roman authorities and thousands of other verses, despite the fact that Jesus clearly taught to obey only where it doesn't conflict with worshipping YHVH, etc. (I guess I'm saying that I'm fortunate I can smell poop a mile off whether or not it has to do with higher criticism.)

You are in no way objective in these matters. No way. If you were, you would adhere to the historicity of Jesus, whether or not you believe He is the Christ. Even the Jesus Seminar did so.

Time will tell for both of us. I pray you learn the truth soon. Thank you.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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09-03-2015, 01:05 PM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(09-03-2015 12:49 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  In my own case, I am conversant with all manner of arguments for the historicity of Jesus, JEDP theory, Q theory, Markan priority theory, as well as "swoon theory", "twin theory" and other schools of thought meant to deride the Bible, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.

Are you conversant with the "cannibal theory" (my own favorite)? You see, Jesus told his Apostles that they had to eat his flesh and drink his blood if they wanted to get to Heaven -- so, after he died, they did exactly that. And that's why nobody could find a body. Resurrection, no -- consumption, yes.

Knights who say NI!
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09-03-2015, 01:31 PM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(09-03-2015 12:38 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... God can kill, but humans killing infants is murder.
When your god commands you to kill an infant, is that murder? That happens a lot, around this world of ours, god commanded killers doing god's killing.

Or would you tell your god, "No, I'm more more of a man than you take me for, and I won't do your bidding."?

Surely you are not so stupid as to think your god would never ask you to do something you couldn't bring yourself to do. That's the hallmark of virtually every god: push you beyond yourself, to do what you think you can't.

So will we read about you in the newspaper tomorrow, another of god's killers, being correctly obedient?

Personally I don't see how anyone of sane mind can answer this question without revealing himself either a coward (won't say no to god) or a fool (allows god to override his own intellectual discretion).
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09-03-2015, 05:47 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2015 07:20 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(09-03-2015 12:38 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(06-03-2015 12:16 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  1. So, what you would have me look for is a statistical trend that nations who greatly mistreat their Jewish populations eventually, even after centuries, suffer severe reversals, to a significantly greater extent than those who do not? That's not there. There are too few examples of nations with significant Jewish populations, who treated their Jewish populations well, and did not eventually suffer reversals, to draw a sufficient contrast.

I leave out nations practicing modern religious liberty for two reasons. First, because we are talking about a judgement which could come only after centuries, meaning that it takes centuries after that treatment for us to say whether or not the trend has been satisfied or defied. If some scientist discovers that a certain chemical is poisonous but takes 5 years to kill a person, we can't point to someone who is alive 5 weeks after ingesting it as a counterexample. We have to wait at least 5 years before that person is a data point. Similarly, if you say it sometimes takes centuries to have an effect, we have to wait centuries for a nation to count as a data point, be it as an example or as a contrast. Second, I view nations which practice freedom of conscience and ethnic equality as being inherently more stable and prosperous than those that don't. Nazi Germany is an example of both conditions -- an unfree dictatorship which also persecuted Jews -- and cannot be seen as supporting one proposition over the other.

(EDIT: Also, even if there were data to establish such a statistical trend? There would still remain the question of what was behind it.)

2. I actually am a bit upset at the notion of Hell in general... not the possibility that it's real, but the way it seems to be viewed by many people as a good thing, the way it speaks to some primally dark instinct in large parts of humanity. If I were a believer, I'd wish for universalism, mercy for everyone, regardless of their crimes.

But no, I'm not upset at the idea of children going to the heaven you describe. (I don't think it HAPPENS that way, but it wouldn't upset me if it did.) Does that make ending their lives justified or even excusable? Why should we not simply kill every child at the age of 2 months, then, to guarantee their entry into heaven? Give the task to unrepentant murderers, if you want to keep from (further) damning everyone who participates. Let those murderers convert on their deathbeds, even. For the record, no, I don't think we should do this. But what is the moral distinction in your eyes? Does thinking or believing that the children will go to heaven make killing them morally acceptable? If so, why not do it to guarantee their entry into heaven before they have the moral agency to sin? If not (and I guess you'll say not... quote "as you do unto the least of these" if you like), then how does their supposed entry into heaven make the killing of infants morally defensible?

(Also, we're talking about unbaptized children who'd never accepted Christ, but I'll let that slide. I don't know your stance on those theological points.)

And I won't switch to arguing about the grief of the parents, many of whom would themselves have been innocent... because that's been part of my argument all along. I can hardly switch to it if I'm already on it. Feel free to address it whenever.

There are simple answers to your questions:

1. The Abrahamic covenant is sevenfold and involves blessing host nations who are kind to Israel as well as destruction on nations that persecute Israel. And since Jews are 1/4 of 1% of the world's population but win 12% of Nobel prizes, outperforming per capita 48 times, you have one such of many illustrations as to how God has blessed the Jewish people themselves (as well as, yes, the reverse, for disobedience to Messiah).

2. No, you and I should not kill infants to take them to Heaven because a) that is the province of those unfortunate mental cases/drug addicts who do so prominently in the news b) we Christians know it should be a free will/level playing field choice for adults with the exception of those who die not at our agency because c) God can kill, but humans killing infants is murder.

In 1, you point to a modern trend rather than a historical one. Why not ask how this trend does historically? If we were to rewind a few hundred years, and look for people who were doing above and beyond prominence, how would Jews rank up? Pretty poorly. They'd be undereducated and underpriveleged... primarily because education was the province of the church and reserved for those who adhered to church doctrine. The Nobel Prize didn't exist then of course, but if we imagine a similar prize being handed out to the great scientific minds of the era... Newton, Da Vinci, Galileo... we might note a prominent LACK of Jews. If the success of Jews in such modern endeavors is to be taken (as you would have it) as evidence that they are blessed by God, should we not under that same standard take that past lack of success as evidence that they had been cursed by God, and that the blessing upon the nation of Israel is, at best, intermittent? Or is the standard of evidence different when the conclusion being reached doesn't match your preconceived notions?

In 2, you present 3... not-quite-arguments, but assertions or explanations or something like that, none of them particularly coherently phrased save the third. Addressing each in turn:

a) Killing infants is wrong because crazy people do it. You forgot to add, also, that God does it. (Supposedly.) This isn't really a reason why doing something is morally wrong. It is, at best, a statement that doing it is unconventional.

b) You assert that going to Heaven should be a consequence of free will/agency, and that Christians know this. (I imagine that the hardcore predeterminist Calvinists would differ on the subject... but then I guess that makes them not true Christians.) You seem to be (if I am parsing your sentence correctly) asserting that a principle moral error in killing infants to send them to Heaven is that it denies them free agency to make the decisions, whichever decisions those might be, that would qualify them to enter into heaven or not on their own. Which raises the question... why would we think this okay when God does it? You say it is, but give no reason why. And that segues neatly into

c) Divine exceptionalism. What would be awful when we do it is perfectly fine when God does it, because...

.... because what?

Is there no universal, objective moral standard here? Is the same act good when one being does it and evil when another does it? For no better reason than that Entity X always arbitrarily gets the pass? Can statements about good and evil even mean anything when contorted to this degree?

I can't help but thinking you don't really believe this. And one of the principle reasons I think it, is because you tried to dredge up an excuse in the slain firstborn infants of the Exodus narratives going to Heaven. WHY BOTHER? If it's all right if God does it, why even bother with that? If God sent them all to Hell instead, it's still okay if God does it.... RIGHT? God is still morally good and just no matter how horrifically evil and unjust his actions would be if undertaken by anyone else, RIGHT?

But I guess I have to take you at your word that you believe it. Fine. So if some supernaturally rapid human serial-killer had swept through all of Egypt killing these firstborns FIVE SECONDS before God was about to, well that would have been a heinous and unforgivable act of barbarism... but when God does it, it becomes okay. Is this really what you're saying here?
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10-03-2015, 10:08 AM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(09-03-2015 01:31 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(09-03-2015 12:38 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  ... God can kill, but humans killing infants is murder.
When your god commands you to kill an infant, is that murder? That happens a lot, around this world of ours, god commanded killers doing god's killing.

Or would you tell your god, "No, I'm more more of a man than you take me for, and I won't do your bidding."?

Surely you are not so stupid as to think your god would never ask you to do something you couldn't bring yourself to do. That's the hallmark of virtually every god: push you beyond yourself, to do what you think you can't.

So will we read about you in the newspaper tomorrow, another of god's killers, being correctly obedient?

Personally I don't see how anyone of sane mind can answer this question without revealing himself either a coward (won't say no to god) or a fool (allows god to override his own intellectual discretion).

The boldest way to answer the question:

Is infanticide ever justified? Why or why not? What are your claims to objective standards here? How do you support your objective standards?

You would likely say infanticide is never justified. Are you pro-choice?

You would judge God for killing babies as you've put it. If you were a doctor, would you be willing to terminate an ectopic, late-term child to save the life of a mother? Would you risk a Caesarian in less-than-sanitary conditions to save the life of a baby and risk the life of the mother or vice versa?

I hold to Bible standards in life and death. You are claiming moral high ground while being an atheist who believes in ethics, not morals. You are claiming objective standards on shaky ground as well. It's a slippery slope. I'm surprised someone else at TTA, some atheist, hasn't the courage to say how judgmental everyone else is on this Exodus issue.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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10-03-2015, 10:17 AM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(09-03-2015 05:47 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(09-03-2015 12:38 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  There are simple answers to your questions:

1. The Abrahamic covenant is sevenfold and involves blessing host nations who are kind to Israel as well as destruction on nations that persecute Israel. And since Jews are 1/4 of 1% of the world's population but win 12% of Nobel prizes, outperforming per capita 48 times, you have one such of many illustrations as to how God has blessed the Jewish people themselves (as well as, yes, the reverse, for disobedience to Messiah).

2. No, you and I should not kill infants to take them to Heaven because a) that is the province of those unfortunate mental cases/drug addicts who do so prominently in the news b) we Christians know it should be a free will/level playing field choice for adults with the exception of those who die not at our agency because c) God can kill, but humans killing infants is murder.

In 1, you point to a modern trend rather than a historical one. Why not ask how this trend does historically? If we were to rewind a few hundred years, and look for people who were doing above and beyond prominence, how would Jews rank up? Pretty poorly. They'd be undereducated and underpriveleged... primarily because education was the province of the church and reserved for those who adhered to church doctrine. The Nobel Prize didn't exist then of course, but if we imagine a similar prize being handed out to the great scientific minds of the era... Newton, Da Vinci, Galileo... we might note a prominent LACK of Jews. If the success of Jews in such modern endeavors is to be taken (as you would have it) as evidence that they are blessed by God, should we not under that same standard take that past lack of success as evidence that they had been cursed by God, and that the blessing upon the nation of Israel is, at best, intermittent? Or is the standard of evidence different when the conclusion being reached doesn't match your preconceived notions?

In 2, you present 3... not-quite-arguments, but assertions or explanations or something like that, none of them particularly coherently phrased save the third. Addressing each in turn:

a) Killing infants is wrong because crazy people do it. You forgot to add, also, that God does it. (Supposedly.) This isn't really a reason why doing something is morally wrong. It is, at best, a statement that doing it is unconventional.

b) You assert that going to Heaven should be a consequence of free will/agency, and that Christians know this. (I imagine that the hardcore predeterminist Calvinists would differ on the subject... but then I guess that makes them not true Christians.) You seem to be (if I am parsing your sentence correctly) asserting that a principle moral error in killing infants to send them to Heaven is that it denies them free agency to make the decisions, whichever decisions those might be, that would qualify them to enter into heaven or not on their own. Which raises the question... why would we think this okay when God does it? You say it is, but give no reason why. And that segues neatly into

c) Divine exceptionalism. What would be awful when we do it is perfectly fine when God does it, because...

.... because what?

Is there no universal, objective moral standard here? Is the same act good when one being does it and evil when another does it? For no better reason than that Entity X always arbitrarily gets the pass? Can statements about good and evil even mean anything when contorted to this degree?

I can't help but thinking you don't really believe this. And one of the principle reasons I think it, is because you tried to dredge up an excuse in the slain firstborn infants of the Exodus narratives going to Heaven. WHY BOTHER? If it's all right if God does it, why even bother with that? If God sent them all to Hell instead, it's still okay if God does it.... RIGHT? God is still morally good and just no matter how horrifically evil and unjust his actions would be if undertaken by anyone else, RIGHT?

But I guess I have to take you at your word that you believe it. Fine. So if some supernaturally rapid human serial-killer had swept through all of Egypt killing these firstborns FIVE SECONDS before God was about to, well that would have been a heinous and unforgivable act of barbarism... but when God does it, it becomes okay. Is this really what you're saying here?

1. Jewish people were ostracized and persecuted for millennia. Many made outstanding gains in culture and the sciences, etc. but had to shave their beards, assimilate and leave their ghettos (prisons) to do so...

2. This thread since its inception has been ignoring most of the Exodus story and backstory. Millions of Jews have rejoiced and celebrated Passover... for millennia. While there are some modern revisionist Hagaddahs and an emphasis on freedom for slavery for all today, not just the Israelites, Jews celebrate the deliverance from Egypt with joy and don't point fingers at God as some kind of mass murderer...

3. ...Because it is never "Divine Exceptionalism" to say a potter can smash his clay or reform it or make two pots with it, one for treasures and one for a garbage can. When you die in a hospital bed, you die, God fills out the timesheet, but no one, atheist or Xian, calls it "murder" or "homicide". You would say, "Because death is the natural order of things!" and so if you were in the Exodus, being an atheist, when you woke up and found all these babies dead, you wouldn't say, "God killed them--God is a murderer!" or you would say, "There is no God, so ALL these babies dying must have been some kind of natural cause we don't yet understand, perhaps some plague." So yes, that's why we'd arrest a human if he started killing babies.

The double standard at TTA is part and parcel of this argument. God didn't send an angel of death to slit babies' throats that night, they all just died... of natural causes.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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10-03-2015, 10:29 AM
RE: The Worst Religious Holiday - EVER!!!!!!
(10-03-2015 10:17 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(09-03-2015 05:47 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  In 1, you point to a modern trend rather than a historical one. Why not ask how this trend does historically? If we were to rewind a few hundred years, and look for people who were doing above and beyond prominence, how would Jews rank up? Pretty poorly. They'd be undereducated and underpriveleged... primarily because education was the province of the church and reserved for those who adhered to church doctrine. The Nobel Prize didn't exist then of course, but if we imagine a similar prize being handed out to the great scientific minds of the era... Newton, Da Vinci, Galileo... we might note a prominent LACK of Jews. If the success of Jews in such modern endeavors is to be taken (as you would have it) as evidence that they are blessed by God, should we not under that same standard take that past lack of success as evidence that they had been cursed by God, and that the blessing upon the nation of Israel is, at best, intermittent? Or is the standard of evidence different when the conclusion being reached doesn't match your preconceived notions?

In 2, you present 3... not-quite-arguments, but assertions or explanations or something like that, none of them particularly coherently phrased save the third. Addressing each in turn:

a) Killing infants is wrong because crazy people do it. You forgot to add, also, that God does it. (Supposedly.) This isn't really a reason why doing something is morally wrong. It is, at best, a statement that doing it is unconventional.

b) You assert that going to Heaven should be a consequence of free will/agency, and that Christians know this. (I imagine that the hardcore predeterminist Calvinists would differ on the subject... but then I guess that makes them not true Christians.) You seem to be (if I am parsing your sentence correctly) asserting that a principle moral error in killing infants to send them to Heaven is that it denies them free agency to make the decisions, whichever decisions those might be, that would qualify them to enter into heaven or not on their own. Which raises the question... why would we think this okay when God does it? You say it is, but give no reason why. And that segues neatly into

c) Divine exceptionalism. What would be awful when we do it is perfectly fine when God does it, because...

.... because what?

Is there no universal, objective moral standard here? Is the same act good when one being does it and evil when another does it? For no better reason than that Entity X always arbitrarily gets the pass? Can statements about good and evil even mean anything when contorted to this degree?

I can't help but thinking you don't really believe this. And one of the principle reasons I think it, is because you tried to dredge up an excuse in the slain firstborn infants of the Exodus narratives going to Heaven. WHY BOTHER? If it's all right if God does it, why even bother with that? If God sent them all to Hell instead, it's still okay if God does it.... RIGHT? God is still morally good and just no matter how horrifically evil and unjust his actions would be if undertaken by anyone else, RIGHT?

But I guess I have to take you at your word that you believe it. Fine. So if some supernaturally rapid human serial-killer had swept through all of Egypt killing these firstborns FIVE SECONDS before God was about to, well that would have been a heinous and unforgivable act of barbarism... but when God does it, it becomes okay. Is this really what you're saying here?

1. Jewish people were ostracized and persecuted for millennia. Many made outstanding gains in culture and the sciences, etc. but had to shave their beards, assimilate and leave their ghettos (prisons) to do so...

2. This thread since its inception has been ignoring most of the Exodus story and backstory. Millions of Jews have rejoiced and celebrated Passover... for millennia. While there are some modern revisionist Hagaddahs and an emphasis on freedom for slavery for all today, not just the Israelites, Jews celebrate the deliverance from Egypt with joy and don't point fingers at God as some kind of mass murderer...

3. ...Because it is never "Divine Exceptionalism" to say a potter can smash his clay or reform it or make two pots with it, one for treasures and one for a garbage can. When you die in a hospital bed, you die, God fills out the timesheet, but no one, atheist or Xian, calls it "murder" or "homicide". You would say, "Because death is the natural order of things!" and so if you were in the Exodus, being an atheist, when you woke up and found all these babies dead, you wouldn't say, "God killed them--God is a murderer!" or you would say, "There is no God, so ALL these babies dying must have been some kind of natural cause we don't yet understand, perhaps some plague." So yes, that's why we'd arrest a human if he started killing babies.

The double standard at TTA is part and parcel of this argument. God didn't send an angel of death to slit babies' throats that night, they all just died... of natural causes.

We're critiquing the biblical myth, it is a story of a murderous thug-god, but none of us here are surprised at your moral degeneracy in defending the mythical psychopath.

Remember, you can always leave this forum if you don't like it. Otherwise, suck it up buttercup.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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