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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Simian
ah, israel. Just another justification for my thesis that religious belief should be treated the same as any other mental illness. But that's another discussion entirely...



Well, this is another discussion entirely. smile

Thoughts?

I'm inclined to agree.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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spiralx
spiralx

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Location: London, UK
Member Since: 1st May 2002
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Posted:You can't use genetics as the basis for morality! As I think I've mentioned before. We're people, not genes. And besides, if you did that then rape should be legal!

FireTom - the eugenics movement started in the US and was very popular there with the elites for a long time, hence the practise of things like forced sterilisations which went on for a very long time. Hitler was certainly influenced by the US eugenics movement...


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:It's quite likely that there are genetic components to things like homosexuality or criminality. However that doesn't mean that a person should be judged based on their genetic predisposition.

It could well be that I am predisposed to criminality. However that wouldn't mean that I will become a criminal. People are judged on what they do, rather than what they were more likely to do at birth.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:That's not the whole truth. The criminal behavior is evidence of a criminal nature. Criminals do not have free will, and they cannot make "free" moral choices. They are simply doing what they are predisposed to do. When we punish them, we are in fact judging the genes that led to their behavior.

At least, that's one theory...


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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:A made up one I think... umm

A person can be a criminal despite not having a genetic predisposition to it. Genes do not control us, and I say that as a hardcore biologist. I think you may be confusing determinism with genetic disposition.

That said I think that the primary focus of a criminal justice system should be on rebalilitation with an element of deterant. The notion of punishment for revenge seems irrational in my opinion.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Tom, I would add that "standard American" sees a genetic basis for certain behavior not as a reason to judge that person, but as a reason not to judge. Thus, a criminal can claim "you can't punish me for my crime, it's not my fault... it's just my genes! You can't punish me for what my genes make me do!"

This suggestion is based on an assumption that because something is "genetic" we are required to think that it is ok. As I have said, from a humanist or naturalist perspective this assumption is not valid.


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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:I thought the definition of "Justice" was "Revenge with the consent of Society"? rolleyes

But then maybe I'm wrong. shrug


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:OFF TOPIC ubblol

we should merge at least three threads into one... wink

This is now about "free will" or about "religion"? umm ubblol

Anyway - the response to such person (as we have learned) might then be: "We will not judge you upon what your genes told you to do, but we will prevent your genes from creating further grief for society..."

However, Patriarch, I am somehow relieved that the above displayed views were not your own tonguehew: - as I said I'm a "bit" sensible when it comes to putting all in one bag and beat it... and it leads me to unrational behaviour... 4give me...

Gremlin: so by eating meat I am as "guilty" as the butcher? Or even more so, because without me (eating meat) there would be no need for a butcher?

Aaaaargh - all of this offtopic.. ? spank

*Trying to give it a spin* - Political ideologies can become somehow semi-religious...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Gremlin_Lou
Gremlin_Lou

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Location: Manchester
Member Since: 29th May 2005
Total posts: 131
Posted:No, but if you ran the farm that supplied the animals, you'd be sa guilty as the slaughterer.

'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

New Testament on Homosexuality:
Rom 1:26-27
1 Tim 1:10
1Cor 6:9
As far as condemning homosexuality on other grounds there are a few ways to construct a moral framework, such as:
Gods law
Mans law
Natural law
According to the Bible, God clearly condemns homosexuality. Since God defines what is good and evil, it is evil.
From a humanist perspective, homosexuality is wrong if it contradicts the morals that society has invented for itself. Thus, homosexuality can be condemned if enough people (a democracy) or the right people (other forms of government) decide that it is wrong.

From a naturalist perspective, actions can be judged good or evil based on whether they contribute to the fitness and survivability of our species. Thus, murder is wrong because if a disposition toward murder was allowed to spread through our species, our species would die. Therefore, we should execute or isolate murderers to eliminate their genes and their influence over others.

In the same way, homosexuality if allowed to spread would mean the death of our species. Homosexuality has no competitive advantage from an evolutionary perspective. Therefore, we should not allow them to spread their lifestyle through genes, or influencing others.

Of course, from a natural law there is also no reason not to condemn something unless it is positively contributing to the species. Therefore, we are allowed to condemn whatever we want unless there is some reason not to. Unless we can find some reason why homosexuality gives us a competitive advantage against other species, we should feel free not to encourage it, or even to discourage it for an arbitrary reason.



How about homosexuality cutting down on overpopulation of a species? Without homosexuality, a species will grow out of control and put a strain on the world's quickly dwindling resources. Otherwise we will literally eat ourselves into starvation...

Oh yeah, and which version of the Bible? The King James or the original Aramaic?


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Neon Shaolin




How about homosexuality cutting down on overpopulation of a species? Without homosexuality, a species will grow out of control and put a strain on the world's quickly dwindling resources. Otherwise we will literally eat ourselves into starvation...



Oh yeah, and which version of the Bible? The King James or the original Aramaic?





Summary execution at age 65 would do much more to help with the overpopulation problem. However, this benefit is not enough to justify legalizing this policy, according to many systems of morality.



It doesn't matter to me whether you wish to read the scriptures I've referenced in the original languages or in an English translation. I would add that it is very unlikely that Paul wrote them in Aramaic, it was probably Greek or Hebrew.


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:It does matter which version because you cannot be sure that each version isn't written without the author's own personal take on the materal. That includes issues of translation and their own personal issues with morality.



How do you know that God's plan isn't to honour those who see fault with his writing and work out for themselves what it means to be 'a good person' even if it contradicts the scriptures? Is it not more rewarding and transcedental for a parent if their child work out the values right and wrong themselves because they genuinely believe in them instead of following the rules to a tee without question to avoid eternal damnation?


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Neon Shaolin




How do you know that God's plan isn't to honour those who see fault with his writing and work out for themselves what it means to be 'a good person' even if it contradicts the scriptures? Is it not more rewarding and transcedental for a parent if their child work out the values right and wrong themselves because they genuinely believe in them instead of following the rules to a tee without question to avoid eternal damnation?





How do you know that God's plan isn't to honor those that trust His word even when they think they see fault with it, and are willing to follow His scriptures even if it contradicts what they think it means to be a 'good person.' Is it not more rewarding and honoring to a parent if their child is willing to respect them by believing that the parents superior knowledge and experience is a more trustworthy guide to right and wrong than the rules that a child may try to work out for itself?



As a parent, I find that I am in a better position to determine the rules for my two year old than she is, because I have a better understanding of the world. Thus, rather than letting her work out for herself whether it is a good idea to play in the street, I will tell her the truth beforehand. The reason for this is that she cannot recover from the "errors" she would experience in the process of trial and error. It is no good to let her learn by experience that playing in traffic is a bad idea, since she will not be around to experience the benefits of the lesson after learning it.



Amplify this parent/child relationship to beyond infinity, and you will begin to grasp the way we should relate to our heavenly father. If a parent who merely has a few decades of experience can be trusted by a child to be in a better position to know what is good for them, can't God who is flawless, infinite in wisdom, and the creator of all things be trusted to know better than us the best way to act? We can certainly see why he would give us moral guidelines up front such as "don't eat the fruit..." just like playing in traffic, the consequences of the error were too great to justify letting man experiment on his own.



Thankfully, just as an earthly father who see's his child run into traffic is willing to come out of his postion of safety and be willing to die in order to offer the child a chance to be saved, so also God has descended from his position of power, taken the consequences of our disobedience upon himself, and offered us the chance to be saved.


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Tao Star
Tao Star

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Location: Bristol
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Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

As a parent, I find that I am in a better position to determine the rules for my two year old than she is, because I have a better understanding of the world. Thus, rather than letting her work out for herself whether it is a good idea to play in the street, I will tell her the truth beforehand. The reason for this is that she cannot recover from the "errors" she would experience in the process of trial and error. It is no good to let her learn by experience that playing in traffic is a bad idea, since she will not be around to experience the benefits of the lesson after learning it.




i'm not trying to prove any kind of point here, but i just thought i'd say this cause it's interesting...there's a book called conversations with god that some of you might have read...and in it a man asks god what his plan is and why we are here...and god says 'i don't care'.

he goes on to make the analogy of humans being children out to play and god being the parent...god doesn't care what you play. as long as no one gets hurt...and it would be nice if you learn something about the world, really it doesn't matter if it's cowboys and indians or hopscotch!

in this analogy, god's already chosen the garden, not the street for us to play in..

now who's to say what is real and what isn't, but i like this idea that the idea is just to have fun, maybe learn something and don't get hurt!

the point is....analogies are all we really have. we have this evidence of the bible etc, and we have our own observations about the world, and you could speculate forever about maybe god did this or maybe he wants that, but at the end of the day that's all decided by us... if we can't help inflicting our own ideas about god on it weather we believe the bible word for word or not, then we've already begun the process of deciding for ourselves...why not carry on?

life is not a guessing game...you have to live it at some point, and if you chose to spend your whole life guessing what god may or may not want then it's your choice. personally,i'm in my garden - i'm gonna play!


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Written by: Patriarch917


Summary execution at age 65 would do much more to help with the overpopulation problem. However, this benefit is not enough to justify legalizing this policy, according to many systems of morality.







With this one, it involves the active extinguishing of a human life, in effect is murder. Basic decency excludes - rape, murder, adultery, victimisation, paedophila. These acts actively infringe on the lives of other people and those who partake in them should be castigated. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice does not actively harm anyone (relationship issues can apply to all orientations) If two men or women come together in love, is that not something to celebrate in a world filled with hate?



You study law right? Have there not been times when the law, in its technicalities, have favoured the agressor?

For example, a man attempts to burgle a house but falls through the window and successfully sued the owner for shoddy workmanship. What is your angle on that?

I am just asking you is it possible that thereare situations where the law/scriptures, for the sake of morality, cannot be followed to the letter?



It is a sin to steal but would you judge a man who steals to feed his family?



Some very good points made there in terms of earthly parenting. I agree with you in the subject of teaching a child on aspects of physical and personal safety. Playing with traffic is definitely a bad idea.



But then again, was there not a time when your parents told you not to play with fire?



You say you have a child, may I ask you if you are married? (actually I've just read your homepage and found you are, was gonna delete this but decided to leave it and admit ignorance)



God is not an active parent in our sense in that he's not there to slap our wrists or give us stern words if we do something wrong. All you have to work on is guilt, the law and your own beliefs. Anything bad that happens to you after the act could be construded as bad luck, chaos, or if you choose to believe it -retribution.



I want you to understand that I am not attacking you, I am just presenting you with another side to this argument which i really wish didn't have to exist but does. I just feel that whatever a person believes, if that belief gives a person comfort and makes their lives and the lives of other people around them better, then it should be embraced. But if that belief starts to impose upon the lives of others in a seriously negative way then its time to ask questions like we are doing now.



The story of the Good Samaritan is overused but still carries a potent message. - it is not your beliefs but your actions which define you.


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Sethis
Sethis

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Location: York University
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Posted:God has a more developed view of morality than we do? He's a better teacher than we are? I have yet to see any evidence of it. Hell, he's still punishing us and all of creation for the actions of 2 human beings millenia ago.

It's also a God who, according to scripture, thinks it's ok to kill women and children, wipe out cities and cause lots and lots of death, destruction and unhappiness.

Moral Superiority? I think not.

Written by: Neon Shaolin

But then again, was there not a time when your parents told you not to play with fire?



No... they encouraged me to set fire to the garden (literally. I kid you not.), light fireworks, make bonfires and play with candles. All healthy childhood activities. Fire Spinning and Breathing is just an extension of that. smile


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Written by: Sethis


Written by: Neon Shaolin

But then again, was there not a time when your parents told you not to play with fire?



No... they encouraged me to set fire to the garden (literally. I kid you not.), light fireworks, make bonfires and play with candles. All healthy childhood activities. Fire Spinning and Breathing is just an extension of that. smile



Was this with or without supervision?

Then again my parents are the type to fart in my face and make dick jokes. Look at how I turned out...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Neon Shaolin

You study law right? Have there not been times when the law, in its technicalities, have favoured the agressor?
For example, a man attempts to burgle a house but falls through the window and successfully sued the owner for shoddy workmanship. What is your angle on that?




I have studied the laws of the U.S., and the laws of God. I know of a famous case in the U.S. in which people left a trap in an abandoned house, which severely injured a thief. That thief was successful in his suit for damages. He was also punished for stealing.

There is a passage in the Book of Proverbs which says that men do not despise a thief who steals food when he is hungry, but if he is caught he will be made to pay the fine.

Written by: Neon Shaolin

I am just asking you is it possible that thereare situations where the law/scriptures, for the sake of morality, cannot be followed to the letter?




Indeed, the scriptures affirm this. The Messiah chastised teachers of the law who would follow the letter, but go against the spirit of the law. He also defended the idea (citing examples from the Old Testament) that necessity sometimes allows us to not follow the letter of the law. He said (I shall paraphrase) that the Law was created to benefit man, man was not created to follow the Law.

Written by: Neon Shaolin

God is not an active parent in our sense in that he's not there to slap our wrists or give us stern words if we do something wrong. All you have to work on is guilt, the law and your own beliefs. Anything bad that happens to you after the act could be construded as bad luck, chaos, or if you choose to believe it -retribution.




It is true that many people consider the presence of pain and suffering in the world to be the result of chance and chaos, rather than caused by the rebellion of man against God. Some have even said that God must just "enjoy" evil in order to have let it into the world. To continue our analogy (I must say, you picked a very good one), this can be thought of as being like my daughter deciding that, after she had tried to run out into the street, I punished her for it because I am "mean." To think of it another way, it is like me telling my daughter "don't touch the hot stove" and then her blaming me for when she gets burned after disobeying me.

Written by: Neon Shaolin

I want you to understand that I am not attacking you, I am just presenting you with another side to this argument which i really wish didn't have to exist but does. I just feel that whatever a person believes, if that belief gives a person comfort and makes their lives and the lives of other people around them better, then it should be embraced. But if that belief starts to impose upon the lives of others in a seriously negative way then its time to ask questions like we are doing now.




Of course I understand that you are not attacking me. Disagreeing with someone is not equivalent to an attack smile. Your philosophy regarding the beliefs of others seems very "Libertarian." I would suggest considering adding another principle. If someone believes something that is not negatively affecting others, but will only hurt themselves, you have a responsibility to warn them about the consequences of their beliefs.

This principle is expressed in the scriptures. When God chose Ezekiel to speak for him as a prophet, He told him the following:

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel. Therefore hear the Word of My mouth, and give them warning from Me."

"When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die'; and you do not give him warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked one shall die in his iniquity; but I will require his blood at your hand."

"Yet if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul."


Written by: Neon Shaolin

The story of the Good Samaritan is overused but still carries a potent message. - it is not your beliefs but your actions which define you.



That is affirmed, almost word for word, in the book of James.

I think also that another parable of the Messiah speaks even more directly to that principle than the one of the Good Samaritan. In the parable of the two sons, the Messiah said:

"But what do you think? A man had two sons; and he came to the first and said, Son, go work in my vineyard today. He answered and said, I will not. But afterwards he repented and went. And he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir; and did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?"

The people he told the parable to answered the same as we would: "the first." God is not looking for people who will praise Him with their lips and deny Him with their lives. God is looking for those that will prove the faith that they claim by acting on it.


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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

Of course I understand that you are not attacking me. Disagreeing with someone is not equivalent to an attack smile. Your philosophy regarding the beliefs of others seems very "Libertarian." I would suggest considering adding another principle. If someone believes something that is not negatively affecting others, but will only hurt themselves, you have a responsibility to warn them about the consequences of their beliefs.




Thank you for being so understanding and tolerant of what I have to say. I only hope I can afford you the same. I definitely agree that intervention would be advantageous if someone I knew was being self destructive in terms self-harm, excessive and reckless drink and drug abuse. But I cannot agree that homosexuality would be in the same classification since it is consensual on both parties' behalves and (provided they are safe) a healthy expression of love between two people. I still genuinely believe that it is nature's failsafe measure against overpopulation.

I recall the story of a man (was it Abraham?) who was asked by God to kill his firstborn son. Does that not go against the 'Thou shall not kill' commandment? Would this happen today? Would it not mean that God's views may have changed since the Old Testament? Therefore rendering the 'Thou shall not lie with man as with woman' quite outdated? Who was it that said that in the bible anyway? I cannot recall.

Do you think it is at all possible that God's views could evolve along with humanity? What about my previous notion that God may have thrown in a few connundrums for people to work out what they SHOULD follow and what sounds suspect, therefore ignore it and choose the right path?


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

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Posted:And a diverging path from this discussion I would like to ask is someone following a moral code they picked up from 5000+ year old scripture anymore insane than learning moral lessons from TV and film?

Many films and TV shows seem intent on their shows with a degree of moral messaging. Would a person be viewed as crazy if they take in ideas about life by films in any extreme. Whether it be a 'be thankful for your life' from 'It's a Wonderful Life' or 'You are NOT your possessions' from 'Fight Club'.

One line of dialogue from a TV show in particular that has had the most effect on me personally.

'If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.'

Meaning that even if there is no afterlife or karmic reward or vindication, if every deed, good or bad, has no effect on where we end up, then all that matters is that we keep doing what we believe to be right.

Am I insane for taking this one line of dialogue from a fantasy genre TV show to heart and living by it?

(It's from 'Angel' if you're wondering)


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
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Posted:NeonShaolin: this is exactly what I think about it.

Those scripts are very very old and might need proper adjustment as anything else needs to be serviced after some time. And to claim that this is the book of books, which words come straight from the creator is as absurd as claiming that the "Evil Bible" or any issue of the "New York Times" or the "Sun" is not coming straight from the creator.

Patriarch, you are taking a heck of a fundamentalists position across a number of threads here on the board, well articulated too - you'll make a good advocate I guess...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Gremlin_Lou
Gremlin_Lou

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Location: Manchester
Member Since: 29th May 2005
Total posts: 131
Posted:Proper Adjustment!

That is exactly what we need!

Every religion in the world needs to grow with the world around it, otherwise it will die. As a reform Jew, thats what i do, I look at the scriptures and make my own decisions. Fundamentalists help no-one. Judge not, lest ye be judged?

If somebody really is against Homosexuality, then all they can do is not practice it. If you think its not natural, then stay away from it and stop complaining. Be happy in the fact that, if you are right, those people will have to answer to G-d. I'm sure most people would find that scary enough not to repeat the mistake in a future life, or to be truly apologetic.

Argh,. Fundamentalists make me wanna burn things!


'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Neon Shaolin


I recall the story of a man (was it Abraham?) who was asked by God to kill his firstborn son. Does that not go against the 'Thou shall not kill' commandment? Would this happen today?




You are correct, it was Abraham. You will probably recall that this was, in fact, a test and that God actually stopped Abraham from killing his son. I will address that in more detail at the end of this post. Leaving that aside for now, let us address the fundamental question of whether God telling you to kill someone would actually contradict the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill.'

The short answer that this commandment "really" means "thou shalt not murder." This is supported by the original Hebrew (the word translated "kill" when used in this context is in fact better translated as "murder" in our modern English). If you simply think of murder as "the unjustified killing of someone" and you accept that a direct commandment of God constitutes a sufficient "justification," then there is no problem.

I have a much more complicated suggestion this commandment, which I will set off in a quote box for those who want to skip over a complicated analysis based on common law statutory construction.
Written by:

Rather than focusing so much on the word "kill," I suggest you take a moment to consider the full purpose of the word "Thou."

Of course, we do not use the word "Thou" much in modern English, but we still know what it means. The verse is translated in modern English versions as "You shall not kill." I suggest that the word "You" is a very important, somewhat overlooked part of the commandment.

Obviously, it is not a sin for God to kill someone. God kills people every day, with a variety of methods for a variety of reasons. Sin, we know from the Bible, is not a violation of some moral standard that exists outside of God. Sin is a rebellion against God's commandment. God has the authority to decide, at any time and for any reason He sees fit, to kill someone.

However, I think that when God says "You shall not kill" He is explicitly stating that we do not have the authority to decide kill someone. The most obvious reason I can think of is that we are simply not capable of deciding when, where, how, and for what reason someone should be killed. Therefore, God has reserved that authority for Himself.

However, we know that God often chooses to work through agents, rather than directly. You are probably aware that God sends spiritual beings (we often call them "Angels") on missions to carry out His will. Indeed, when man was first created he was given the task of ruling over the earth.

It is not surprising to see then that, having made the decision that someone needs to be killed, God may assign that task to an angel (the Bible records this happening several times). We also know from scripture that God has also sometimes charged a person (or group of people) with the task of killing someone that God has decided needs to be killed. A dramatic example of this would be in First Samuel Chapter 15.

In American and English Law, there is a doctrine known as "Respondeat Superior" which basically says that a Master is responsible for the actions of his servant. Thus, when a woman had hot coffee spilled on her at a McDonalds drive through, she did not sue the employees who had prepared the coffee. She sued McDonalds who had ordered them to serve the coffee in that particular way.

The same principle seems to apply with God and His agents. The work that Angels do is properly called the work of God. So also are the things that God orders men to do. When God orders someone to be killed, it is really God that is doing the killing.

In the civil Laws given to Israel, officers of the government were commanded by God to execute certain criminals (murderers, kidnappers, etc.). However, they were not given the authority to decide on their own that other people should be killed (they could not impose a death penalty for speeding, for instance).

Would this happen today? The Law has not been destroyed. We humans still lack the authority to decide to kill someone. The only way that a person can take the life of another without sinning is by God choosing to kill someone, and authorizing a particular agent to carry that out.




Law school is obviously starting to seriously screw with my mind smile

Written by: Neon Shaolin

Would it not mean that God's views may have changed since the Old Testament? Therefore rendering the 'Thou shall not lie with man as with woman' quite outdated? Who was it that said that in the bible anyway? I cannot recall. Do you think it is at all possible that God's views could evolve along with humanity?




The passage you quoted was said by God.

I do not know if you could describe it as "God's views" changing. God is perfect, and not bound by time, therefore He cannot really be said to "change" in the way that we think of it. However, it is true that humans change, and that when humans change God's instructions to them have changed as well.

A great example would be the prohibition against marrying close relatives, which was not prohibited until the time of Moses. Consider the following quote from AIG:

Written by:

Originally, there would have been no risk of this causing harmful deformities in the offspring. There is a problem today, because all of us have inherited copying mistakes in our genes, called mutations, which are usually harmful

Fortunately, we carry two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent (called alleles). Usually we inherit mutations in different places, so usually the mutated genes effect is fully or partly masked by the good gene. But if close relatives marry, then there is a one-in-four chance of a child inheriting mutant alleles in the same place (locus) from both parents. This one-in-four chance applies to each mutation, of which there are thousands, so the chance of some deformity is great.

But Adam and Eve were created very good (Genesis 1:31) the Hebrew meod tov, in the context of a finished creation which God had already called good after most creation days, indicates physical perfection without any blemishes. They would not have had copying mistakes, so brother-sister intermarriage would not have had the problem it has today. Harmful mutations would take many generations to accumulate to levels where close intermarriage would be dangerous for the offspring. As mentioned, even Abraham, living long after the creation of mankind, married his half-sister Sarah, and they were the ancestors of the very vibrant Jewish people group.

But as many centuries passed, many harmful, degenerative mutations accumulated in the human gene pool. This is probably a major reason for God giving laws to the Israelites through Moses against intermarriage between close relatives (Leviticus 1820). Today there would be even more chance of deformity/disease in the offspring of such a union than in Moses timeconsequently, even first cousin marriages are outlawed in many countries.



God at one time allowed humans to marry close relatives, then prohibited it when it was no longer good for them. God has also withdrawn requirements (such as the sacrifices) when the sacrifice of the Messiah fulfilled their purpose. Of course, we can see from scripture that God has not withdrawn all commandments it is still forbidden to murder, to commit adultery, to steal, etc.

If God's will has changed for us on the subject of homosexuality, He will no doubt make that change clear to us as He did with other commandments. However, He has never given us the authority to "pick and choose" between his commandments based on our own opinion of them.

Written by: Neon Shaolin

What about my previous notion that God may have thrown in a few connundrums for people to work out what they SHOULD follow and what sounds suspect, therefore ignore it and choose the right path?



This theory is unsupported by the scriptures, which say "Trust in YHWH with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding." There is no evidence to support a theory that God would give a commandment that He actually wanted us to disobey. In fact, the things God has done in the past suggest the exact opposite. If God gives us a commandment that sounds wrong in our opinion, He wishes us to choose to obey Him rather than depend on our own opinion.

This is evident from the story of God giving Abraham a commandment that He knew Abraham would not want to obey. The Bible says that God was testing Abraham. However, to pass the test Abraham was not expected to see a commandment he didn't like and choose to disobey. Rather, Abraham passed the test because he was willing to obey even a commandment which he did not like. This was proof of Abraham's childlike faith and trust that God would work all things out for the good. In fact, this was actually what happened. God did work it all out (He stopped Abraham's hand at the last minute, and provided a sacrifice to be put in the place of Abraham's son).

Again, the relationship between earthly parents and children are a good analogy to the relationship between us and our heavenly Father. When playing together, I will sometimes let my daughter climb onto her small step stool. I will then hold out my arms and tell her to "jump." I do not do this so that I can pull away at the last minute and let her fall. My intention is not to teach her the lesson that I cannot be trusted to care for her, and that obeying me leads to getting hurt. I do not hope to instill in her the lesson "my father's commandments are sometimes for my good, and are sometimes lies intended to hurt me, thus I should always doubt him and can only depend on my own judgment instead." This would be a horrible thing to do to my child.

Instead, when I ask her to take a very literal "leap of faith," I always make sure to catch her. She knows from experience that when she falls off her stepstool alone she can get hurt. However, I give her this seemingly ridiculous, harmful commandment in order to demonstrate that my commandments can be trusted never to be intended to hurt her.

Someday, a wasp is going to land on her back. When I yell "hold still" and run over to her, I do not want her to spin around, ask "why," and worry that I am about to kick her from behind. I want her to trust me so that I can flick the wasp away without her getting stung.

In the same way, when God asked Abraham to take the "leap of faith," it had the effect not only of testing whether Abraham really trusted God, but the results also served to strengthen Abraham's trust that God's commandments could always be followed in the future.

Childlike faith and trust in God goes against the rebellious nature that we have inherited. Our instinct is to always doubt God until our own understanding provides a justification for believing Him. However, the Messiah confirmed that childlike faith is needed in order to experience the full benefits of being a child of God.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:And then man is arrogant enough to judge, encarcarate and even kill g-d's messengers...

How arrogant of us - how inappropriate.

We should hail murderers, as they have childlike faith in what "the voices" have told them.

YAY for screwed up views of the world and how it works... [/ironic rant]


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

Written by: Neon Shaolin


I recall the story of a man (was it Abraham?) who was asked by God to kill his firstborn son. Does that not go against the 'Thou shall not kill' commandment? Would this happen today?




You are correct, it was Abraham. You will probably recall that this was, in fact, a test and that God actually stopped Abraham from killing his son. I will address that in more detail at the end of this post...



.....This is evident from the story of God giving Abraham a commandment that He knew Abraham would not want to obey. The Bible says that God was testing Abraham. However, to pass the test Abraham was not expected to see a commandment he didn't like and choose to disobey. Rather, Abraham passed the test because he was willing to obey even a commandment which he did not like. This was proof of Abraham's childlike faith and trust that God would work all things out for the good. In fact, this was actually what happened. God did work it all out (He stopped Abraham's hand at the last minute, and provided a sacrifice to be put in the place of Abraham's son).

Again, the relationship between earthly parents and children are a good analogy to the relationship between us and our heavenly Father. When playing together, I will sometimes let my daughter climb onto her small step stool. I will then hold out my arms and tell her to "jump." I do not do this so that I can pull away at the last minute and let her fall. My intention is not to teach her the lesson that I cannot be trusted to care for her, and that obeying me leads to getting hurt. I do not hope to instill in her the lesson "my father's commandments are sometimes for my good, and are sometimes lies intended to hurt me, thus I should always doubt him and can only depend on my own judgment instead." This would be a horrible thing to do to my child.

Instead, when I ask her to take a very literal "leap of faith," I always make sure to catch her. She knows from experience that when she falls off her stepstool alone she can get hurt. However, I give her this seemingly ridiculous, harmful commandment in order to demonstrate that my commandments can be trusted never to be intended to hurt her.

Someday, a wasp is going to land on her back. When I yell "hold still" and run over to her, I do not want her to spin around, ask "why," and worry that I am about to kick her from behind. I want her to trust me so that I can flick the wasp away without her getting stung.

In the same way, when God asked Abraham to take the "leap of faith," it had the effect not only of testing whether Abraham really trusted God, but the results also served to strengthen Abraham's trust that God's commandments could always be followed in the future.




Your child analogy initially seems plausible, but I fear that it is geared more towards justifying the Abraham story than it is about being a close analogy.

God was not asking Abraham to jump off a small step, God was commanding Abraham to execute his son, for no other reason than that God was commanding it.

I feel that a closer analogy would be you telling your child not to jump off a small step, but instead, telling your child to take a beloved family pet, for example, the cat; placing it in the microwave and switching it on.

Of course, you, taking the role of God, would intervene by disabling the oven so the cat remains unharmed, but the child would not know this until they had gone through the trauma of sincerely believing they were bringing about the death of a loved pet.

I think that this would be a far closer analogy of the Abraham incident, don't you?

I feel that your example deliberatly omits to include the very aspect that leads many to reject the truth/worth of the bible precisisly because of the Abraham story.


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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave
Your child analogy initially seems plausible, but I fear that it is geared more towards justifying the Abraham story than it is about being a close analogy.

God was not asking Abraham to jump off a small step, God was commanding Abraham to execute his son, for no other reason than that God was commanding it.

I feel that a closer analogy would be you telling your child not to jump off a small step, but instead, telling your child to take a beloved family pet, for example, the cat; placing it in the microwave and switching it on.

Of course, you, taking the role of God, would intervene by disabling the oven so the cat remains unharmed, but the child would not know this until they had gone through the trauma of sincerely believing they were bringing about the death of a loved pet.

I think that this would be a far closer analogy of the Abraham incident, don't you?

I feel that your example deliberatly omits to include the very aspect that leads many to reject the truth/worth of the bible precisisly because of the Abraham story.




My analogy was intended to illustrate a real life example of childlike faith. I chose to use a very young child in order to emphasize the extreme power difference that existed between God and Abraham. To a toddler, jumping is a big risk.

It is true that another analogy would be asking an older child to sacrifice a pet. An even closer analogy would be God asking ME to sacrifice my daughter. These, however, have the disadvantage of not being examples drawn from something I have actually experienced.

Your analogy is fine, but it needs details to make it closer to what actually happened with Abraham. Implicit in my jumping example was the promise to catch the child. There is an analogous promise by God to Abraham.

God did not simply ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. There was a lot more going on. God had promised Abraham that Isaac would be the son to carry on Abrahams lineage, that Isaacs ancestors would become a great nation, and that through Isaac eventually the messiah would come who would save the entire world.

Remember, Abrahams context was not the Ten Commandments (which had not been given at that time). The question Abraham was facing was not isnt it wrong to kill my son, since it is obviously never wrong to obey God. Abrahams issue was the seeming contradiction between Gods promise that Isaacs children would become a great nation (Isaac had no children at the time), and the order to sacrifice Isaac. How could Isaac go on to produce a great nation if he were dead?

Abraham had to have faith in God that God would still be able to keep his promise, even if Abraham were to sacrifice his son. Abraham had to believe that, despite the death of his son, God would still somehow keep his promise.

Thus, onewheeldave, your analogy would be closer to the truth if I the parent were to tell the kid not just turn the microwave on, but rather turn the microwave on, and I promise that I will make sure that the pet will stay alive.

When you consider Gods command in the context of his promise to make Isaac live long enough to produce a great nation of ancestors, the point of the story becomes more clear: God can be trusted to keep His promises.

How a story whos point is God can be trusted can lead some people to conclude God should not be trusted is somewhat of a mystery. However, we can see that if you take a portion of this story by itself while remaining ignorant of the context, you can easily miss what is truly going on.


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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:So Abraham sees no ethical problem with killing his son on God's order... provided that it doesn't contradict a prediction that God has made.

...

Wow. Ethical. Y'know, if my Dad wandered over to me with a knife and told me that he wanted to kill me because a voice in his head told him to, I'd have no recourse other than to run away and call the police. I assume that other people would do the same.

Y'gotta love the Old Testament! rolleyes


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:I would express it differently. There is not ethical problem with killing someone, if God has ordered you to do it.

"Ethical" values are derrived exclusively from either being in rebellion or in obedience to a commandment of God.


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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917
I would express it differently. There is not ethical problem with killing someone, if God has ordered you to do it.


One word for this: sickness frown


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917
"Ethical" values are derrived exclusively from either being in rebellion or in obedience to a commandment of God.


And so we ask ourselves why? Why did God give us those values? Are they just arbitrary rulings? Did he just make them up for no reason? Or...just mabey...is God a humanist? umm


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:To understand "why" God likes the things that He does probably isn't possible for humans. God cannot look to any higher standard then Himself to determine what is "good." In that sense, "good and evil" are decided by God's arbitrary decision.

We can identify "good" results from God's commandments, such as "happiness." But we cannot really say why "happiness" is good. God could have, perhaps, instilled in us a desire to experience pain. Thus, "unhappiness" would be "good."

When you reach this level, it is impossible to say "why" things are. We must be willing to describe simply "what" they are. Asking "why" rebellion against God is wrong, is like asking "why" light exists. Both exist because God says they do. (He created them).


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