We can't judge god by our standards.
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28-11-2013, 11:12 PM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2013 11:20 PM by Chas.)
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:56 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 10:31 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Once you jump onto the 'we can't judge god' train of thought, then you are at a dead-end. If we cannot use our flawed limited means to judge a god for his moral failings, then we conversely cannot also use those same flawed limited means to judge him morally good or superior either.

But a Calvinist would have no problem with that. You judge Him morally good because He says He is morally good.

Yeah, well, Calvinism is completely amoral and irresponsible.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-11-2013, 11:16 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:31 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Once you jump onto the 'we can't judge god' train of thought, then you are at a dead-end. If we cannot use our flawed limited means to judge a god for his moral failings, then we conversely cannot also use those same flawed limited means to judge him morally good or superior either. At that point god is simply amoral, and worshiping him is about as pointless as worshiping a tornado or hurricane.

I don't understand the apparent compulsion you (and the others) are exhibiting. It is entirely possible to construct an internally consistent universe that is fictional, that is what Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Star Wars are. Calvinism is internally consistent as is Chabad.

Arguing about whether Yahweh is good or not is pointless, it is the same as arguing about whether Darth Vader is good or not. The Calvinist narrative accounts for the perception by humans of Yahweh's actions as wrong, it even accounts for atheism. It is a well-composed narrative. If you arrive at the conclusion that Darth Vader is good then you haven't understood the story. If you arrive at the conclusion that Yahweh is not all good then you also haven't understood the story.
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28-11-2013, 11:19 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 11:04 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 10:56 PM)Chippy Wrote:  But a Calvinist would have no problem with that. You judge Him morally good because He says He is morally good.


That might fly for a Calvinist, but that's not good enough for myself (a rational skeptic).

Yes that goes without saying so then what would be the merit of trying to alter a Calvinists narrative. It's their story.
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28-11-2013, 11:21 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 11:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 10:56 PM)Chippy Wrote:  But a Calvinist would have no problem with that. You judge Him morally good because He says He is morally good.

Yeah, well, Calvinists are completely amoral and irresponsible.

Yes and that is what they would expect you to say.
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28-11-2013, 11:23 PM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 11:10 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(28-11-2013 10:53 PM)Chippy Wrote:  Legitimate is the correct word in this context. A reading of a text can be said to be legitimate or illegitimate.

The narrative is what the adherents say it is. It doesn't matter whether it derives partly or entirely from scripture or from tradition. Both Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Church believe things that aren't in the Bible and that they do is entirely irrelevant to the legitimacy of their narrative. There is no privileged position from which to decide that their narratives are illegitimate.

When you decide to quibble about the details of a religious narrative what you are doing is essentially the same as quibbling about the details of any other narrative. That the narratives don't "touch" reality is besides the point. If the absence of factuality and historicity is troubling then why engage in the discussion about the narrative in the first place? This thread makes no sense. But the senselessness is taken a step further in this instance in that a separate narrative is being invented and quibbled about.

Spiderman shoots webs because Stan Lee says Spiderman shoots webs. That is part of Stan Lee's narrative about Spiderman. Telling Stan Lee that Spiderman doesn't shoot webs is meaningless in relation to Stan Lee's narrative. We can make the statement that the Marvel Universe doesn't exist but that is quite distinct from altering the narrative about the Marvel Universe which is what we would be attempting.

Arguing that Yahweh is not all good, right and just is just as absurd as arguing that Speiderman doesn't shoot webs. The Jewish narrative is the that Yahweh is all good, right and just so Yahweh is good, right and just. It is as simple as that. You can't alter their narrative any more than you can alter Stan Lee's. If you do alter their narrative then you are telling your own story rather than listening to theirs; just as you would be if you made Spiderman not shoot webs.

From the perspective of atheism there is absolutely no good purpose to be found in theological debate.

le·git·i·mate
1. conforming to the law or to rules.
"his claims to legitimate authority"
synonyms: legal, lawful, licit, legalized, authorized, permitted, permissible, allowable, allowed, admissible, sanctioned, approved, licensed, statutory, constitutional;

So, no, not legitimate in the context you used it. If one Catholic is arguing with another Catholic, they can argue over legitimacy with respect to Catholic dogma. But the Catholic can't say that the JW interpretation is not legitimate.


legitimate
n adjective
1 conforming to the law or to rules. Ø(of a sovereign) having a title based on strict hereditary right.
2 (of a child) born of parents lawfully married to each other.
3 able to be defended with logic or justification.
n verb make legitimate.

Please stop being a dickhead, if you can.
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28-11-2013, 11:27 PM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2013 11:30 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 10:53 PM)Chippy Wrote:  Spiderman shoots webs because Stan Lee says Spiderman shoots webs. That is part of Stan Lee's narrative about Spiderman. Telling Stan Lee that Spiderman doesn't shoot webs is meaningless in relation to Stan Lee's narrative. We can make the statement that the Marvel Universe doesn't exist but that is quite distinct from altering the narrative about the Marvel Universe which is what we would be attempting.

Arguing that Yahweh is not all good, right and just is just as absurd as arguing that Speiderman doesn't shoot webs. The Jewish narrative is the that Yahweh is all good, right and just so Yahweh is good, right and just. It is as simple as that. You can't alter their narrative any more than you can alter Stan Lee's. If you do alter their narrative then you are telling your own story rather than listening to theirs; just as you would be if you made Spiderman not shoot webs.

From the perspective of atheism there is absolutely no good purpose to be found in theological debate.

Here I have to disagree with you. What a writer or storyteller wants to convey with their narrative is not the same as how that narrative is received by it's audience. Your analogy to Spider-Man is not a good one unfortunately. Arguing over Spider-Man's webbing is not equivalent, and shooting web is something that Spider-Man either does or does not do; simple as that. Where the judgement call comes into play is how Spider-Man uses his powers, not if he has said power or which other ones he has. Stan Lee might have wanted to tell a very heroic story back in his 60's Spider-Man comics, but after saving Mary Jane from improbable peril for the umpteenth time, we now might judge the overall arc a bit misogynistic by today's standards. Stan Lee can portray Spider-Man as a heroic ideal all he wants, but that doesn't stop me from making my own judgement call that doesn't necessarily have to agree with what Stan Lee is portraying in his narrative.

This has nothing to do with what powers Spider-Man has, and everything to do with his actions. The Great Flood didn't actually have to have happened for us to be able to critique the narrative and the actions of the characters, and find the God being presented as less than the stellar moral exemplar that the original Jewish scribes thought he was; it is possible for us to critique the the story and find their God concept severely wanting by our standards. Original narrative intent doesn't matter if you cannot convey that to your audience, and the audience for the Bible has changed these 2000+ years.

This is why we can critique the Twilight novels for being pandering pro-life heavy handed moralizing with creepy pedophilia undertones, even if the author's original narrative intent was a simple fantasy high-school love story with vampires; arguing over whether vampires really sparkle or not is simply inconsequential. The ancient Greeks held up heroes like Achilles as heroes, but that doesn't stop me from disagreeing with what Homer considered heroic, noble, or honorable.

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28-11-2013, 11:55 PM (This post was last modified: 29-11-2013 12:43 AM by Chippy.)
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 11:27 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Here I have to disagree with you. What a writer or storyteller wants to convey with their narrative is not the same as how that narrative is received by it's audience. Your analogy to Spider-Man is not a good one unfortunately. Arguing over Spider-Man's webbing is not equivalent, and shooting web is something that Spider-Man either does or does not do; simple as that. Where the judgement call comes into play is how Spider-Man uses his powers, not if he has said power or which other ones he has. Stan Lee might have wanted to tell a very heroic story back in his 60's Spider-Man comics, but after saving Mary Jane from improbable peril for the umpteenth time, we now might judge the overall arc a bit misogynistic by today's standards. Stan Lee can portray Spider-Man as a heroic ideal all he wants, but that doesn't stop me from making my own judgement call that doesn't necessarily have to agree with what Stan Lee is portraying in his narrative.

This has nothing to do with what powers Spider-Man has, and everything to do with his actions. The Great Flood didn't actually have to have happened for us to be able to critique the narrative and the actions of the characters, and find the God being presented as less than the stellar moral exemplar that the original Jewish scribes thought he was; it is possible for us to critique the the story and find their God concept severely wanting by our standards. Original narrative intent doesn't matter if you cannot convey that to your audience, and the audience for the Bible has changed these 2000+ years.

This is why we can critique the Twilight novels for being pandering pro-life heavy handed moralizing with creepy pedophilia undertones, even if the author's original narrative intent was a simple fantasy high-school love story with vampires; arguing over whether vampires really sparkle or not is simply inconsequential. The ancient Greeks held up heroes like Achilles as heroes, but that doesn't stop me from disagreeing with what Homer considered heroic, noble, or honorable.

What you are overlooking is that part of the Orthodox Jewish and Calvinist theology that humans' faculty for determining the morally right and the good is debased. That is the vital part of the story which you have ignored or overlooked. That Yahweh appears evil to you is taken as evidence of the correctness of that theology.

You are appealing to an external, privileged position from which you are making your judgements about Yaweh. The point of Orthodox Judaism and Calvinism is that there is no such position.

If Chabad and Calvinism were true then they would be correct that Yahweh is always good, right and just. There is no internal inconsistency in either doctrine and that is key point. Arguing that "by my standard Yahweh is evil" misses the point.

Your comments about authorial intent and literary interpretation are misplaced. The point of the Spider-Man example is not to demonstrate that a reading of a text can't become separated from authors' intentions. The point of the example is to elucidate the notion of an internally consistent fictional universe and the futility and incoherence of trying to alter such a universe because you don't believe that such a universe exists.
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29-11-2013, 12:16 AM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 11:27 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Here I have to disagree with you. What a writer or storyteller wants to convey with their narrative is not the same as how that narrative is received by it's audience. Y...The ancient Greeks held up heroes like Achilles as heroes, but that doesn't stop me from disagreeing with what Homer considered heroic, noble, or honorable.

The other thing you and the others have overlooked is that as an atheistic argument the "Yahweh is evil" argument has no force. Even if your interlocutor concedes that Yahweh is evil according to current moral standards and moral intuitions where does that get you? The Calvinist and Chabad follower would argue that it is exactly what is to be expected because current moral standards and moral intuitions are Godless and hence misguided.

The argument is question-begging to the extent that it assumes a liberal-humanistic worldview when that is what it is supposed to be arguing for.

There is no level at which the project of this thread makes sense.
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29-11-2013, 12:48 AM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(28-11-2013 11:55 PM)Chippy Wrote:  What you are overlooking is that part of the Orthodox Jewish and Calvinist narrative is that humans' faculty for determining the morally right and the good is debased. That is the vital part of the story which you have ignored or overlooked. That Yahweh appears evil to you is taken as evidence of the correctness of that narrative.

You are appealing to an external, privileged position from which you are making your judgements about Yaweh. The point of Orthodox Judaism and Calvinism is that there is no such position.

If Chabad and Calvinism were true then they would be correct that Yahweh is always good, right and just. There is no internal inconsistency in either doctrine and that is key point. Arguing that "by my standard Yahweh is evil" misses the point.

Your comments about authorial intent and literary interpretation are misplaced. The point of the Spider-Man example is not to demonstrate that a reading of a text can't become separated from authors' intentions. The point of the example is to elucidate the notion of an internally consistent fictional universe and the futility and incoherence of trying to alter such a universe because you don't believe that such a universe exists.

Well, if the extent of their reasoning is 'the book says it, I believe it, that settles it' I'd be obliged to tell them to fuck off and be done with them. Their position is all presupposition and fiat, there simply is no reasoning with that world view. Once you've rejected the use of reason, of course reasoning is pointless. But for everyone else?

I don't care if you think it's pointless, I can and will use reason to make judgement calls and not simply accept things on authority alone. I might not be able to convince a Calvinist that their position is groundless, but he sure as hell isn't going to convince me anytime soon to abdicate my critical thinking and accept their position on faith. I will judge their presentation of God, however pointless they (or you) think that endeavor is, because at the end of the day I'm responsible for my own actions.

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29-11-2013, 01:05 AM
RE: We can't judge god by our standards.
(29-11-2013 12:48 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But for everyone else?

The argument has no persuasive force, it is question-begging so there is no point in invoking it with any Jew or Christian.

Quote:I don't care if you think it's pointless, I can and will use reason to make judgement calls and not simply accept things on authority alone. I might not be able to convince a Calvinist that their position is groundless, but he sure as hell isn't going to convince me anytime soon to abdicate my critical thinking and accept their position on faith.

Given that Calvinists believe in irresistible grace they are unlikely to try and persuade you to do that. Orthodox Jews also believe that they are God's chosen so they won't try and persuade you of that either.

The "Yahweh is evil argument" is just another example of preaching to the choir.
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