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Defining, understanding selfishness...

christianity selfishness right and wrong

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#31 addx

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:33 AM

http://biblehub.com/matthew/15-24.htm

The old testament is full of such references and Jahve has often declared himself as the God of jews and working only on their behalf. The old testament does not really refute the existence of other Gods, but merely proposes Jahve to be the most powerful God among them and proposes that jews should honor ONLY Jahve and not these other, lesser gods. This is what one of the 10 commandments is infact about.

Edited by addx, 21 July 2015 - 11:34 AM.


#32 Valor5

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:00 PM

Hey Duchykins, I replied to part of post 18. See post 30 for my reply.

 


 

     

     



#33 Valor5

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:43 PM

Please understand the sanctuary and the mission of the Jews, It is written, "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:2-3.

 

I love foreign languages so I will quote the above in Latinized Croatian. Are you Croatian?

 

"Velik ću narod od tebe učiniti,blagoslovit ću te, ime ću ti uzveličati, i sam ćeš biti blagoslov. Blagoslivljat ću one koji te blagoslivljali budu, koji te budu kleli, njih ću proklinjati; sva plemena na zemlji tobom će se blagoslivljati." Poglavlje 12:2-3.

 

 

What other conclusion can you come up with for Matthew 15:24? I have a reply for you but since you believe there is an apparent contradiction before I give you my reply I was wondering if you could come up with an alternative one since the bible says that he wants to save all, not just the Jews.

 

Some Jews just like imperfect Christians failed to be a blessing yet some of them where a great blessing, Paul, Luther, as examples.

 

As far as other Gods are concerned. Some of these Gods where imaginary. Some may have been demons. I am going to get breakfast. So, I have to stop here.

 

 

http://biblehub.com/matthew/15-24.htm

The old testament is full of such references and Jahve has often declared himself as the God of jews and working only on their behalf. The old testament does not really refute the existence of other Gods, but merely proposes Jahve to be the most powerful God among them and proposes that jews should honor ONLY Jahve and not these other, lesser gods. This is what one of the 10 commandments is infact about.

 



#34 addx

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 01:57 PM

Croatian is written in (extended) latin, it doesn't need 'latinization'. Serbian on the other hand is written in cyrillic

My opinion is that Judaism was from its inception a jewish religion meant for jews only. Jahve works only on behalf of jews and jews are called "gods people" across the old and new testament. In your quote: why would god curse someone who curses the jews? Are jews a perfection that musnt be cursed? Jews, even in the bible, were depicted as foul nation, if that foulness steps on someones toes and that someone complains and curses the jews, jahve will punish him and not the foul jew?

Jesus attempted to "hijjack" the already established followers of judaism so he preached as if he was part of judaism and presented himself as the son of Jahve, a jewish god.

While jesus' teachings in the new testament (love, compassion, forgiveness, humility) are very much contradictory to what is depicted in the old testament (jahve sadistically punishes, controls and doesn't forgive anything but rather slaughters anything he doesn't appreciate).

The two testaments depict very different philosophies (Jahve shows master morality reasoning while Jesus is quite the opposite and shows 100% slave morality reasoning - as explained by Nietzsche) that can hardly be consistently integrated into a single philosophy.

Since preaching a brand new religion would hardly catch on or get attention, Jesus in fact attempted to remodel the existing religion and in that way hijack the existing followers of Jahve.

This is somewhat reinforced by that fact that Jesus had most fierce confrontations with existing jewish priests and establishments which are his only adversary, he needed to steal followers from them and so saw them as his prime adversary, not the romans, but the jewish priests and the jewish establishment. He needed to undermine their authority so he could get those who place trust in them.

I do think, that, if you really want to, you can read anything you want from the bible, you can find some quote that states that Jesus wanted to save everyone. Maybe he said it, maybe he meant jews when he said everyone, maybe it's a wrong translation, maybe he never really said it.

But what is blatantly obvious is that all gods&sons appearances ever were made for jews. Old testament and new were all about jews. There is no jesus like person appearing in greece, persia, india. So, given the fact that both testaments underline jahve and jesus being devoted to jews only and given the fact that both testament describe only Jahves appearance to jews and noone else - one can not conclude anything other than the fact that both Jahve and his supposed son Jesus seem to favor Jews and stories about both of them are a reflection of jewish struggles through times. Jewish subjugation by other nations gave birth to supremacy in the imaginary realm (the most powerful god favours the most weak and opressed nation of the time - jews).


If you really want to discuss, for me, the most interesting failure of Jesus is the fact that he never appeared resurrected to anyone except his friends, who had an interest in faking his resurrection. The "disappearance" of his body was supposed to show that he resurrected, but why would that even be necessary? Do you really need your physical body to disappear so you can go to heaven? Do our bodies disappear when they're burried? Does that show christians don't really go to heaven?

My idea is that the body was hidden by his pupils to give some credit to the claims he resurrected. The bible speaks of jewish priests BRIBING roman soldier to "lie" that jesus didn't resurrect. This is also an obvious lie, if it really happened, it would not happen in front of jesus' pupils for them to witness it and put it in the new testament, would it? And why would jewish priests need to bribe anyone? As far as both jewish priests and soldiers know, jesus did not resurrect as he did not appear to them or to the soldiers, but supposedly to the pupils. So this is a ridiculous claim showing just how fake his resurrection was. And lastly, jesus announced to the jewish priests he will resurrect, but he did not show himself resurrected to them, he did not appear to them. If he had no intention of appearing resurrected in front of them, why tell them about it in the first place? Also, why not tell them what would really happen: 'I will resurrect but will not show myself to you'? They would laugh if he told them that. But that's what he in fact did. Jesus promised a show, and failed, his pupils faked it the best they could and that's that. It's blatantly obvious even from the scripture written by his pupils.

The interest of the pupils to fake the resurrection was quite obvious from what happened later. While jesus supposedly knew days ahead death awaits him, he did not establish any legacy within that timefram. He did not install peter as the "pope", he spoke nothing of the future, gave no instructions about how to sustain and spread his legacy. Soon after his death, his pupils proclaim that jesus appears to them and gives them instructions about his legacy, something he never did while he was alive, not even when it was obvious that he will die.

Edited by addx, 21 July 2015 - 02:34 PM.


#35 Valor5

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 03:22 PM

Ok, I have to go to work shortly so I will not be able to give a fuller reply but just to say that Jesus talks about Naaman the Syrian and how he was healed and also the woman of  Sarepta. See Luke 4:25-27. The Jews believed that they were just saved because of their lineage to Abraham, just by virtue of genes but that was not the basis for salvation but by the grace of God exercised by faith.

 

Naaman tried to pay with gifts but was denied, implying salvation is a free gift and your opportunity to be saved is wholly a work of grace.

 

The Jews got it wrong and Christians can also get things wrong and I would expect somebody which doesn't quite understand the sanctuary to get things wrong as well. Jesus criticized some of the Jews quite heavily. So it is not about the Jews. And it is not a "Jewish" religion. The Jews had a mission appointed to them by God and failed.



#36 Duchykins

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 05:36 PM

Duchykins you say back in post #18

 

"Jesus was only in it for the Jews...'I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" Matt 15:24.

 

That's a cunning and crafty reply. Do you mind sharing where you got this one from?

 

I am trying to use the quoting system, editor, but for some reason it is not working for me so I have to type everything. So, it is more time consuming for me to reply to you than it is for you to reply to me.

 

This story has a lot to do with the working of grace upon the human heart.

 

I am glad that you admit, "Sometimes he makes exceptions for gentile converts..." See the story of Cornelius if you think that God is the way you describe in all instances or of the Ethiopian eunuch.

 

You see and understand something of what is happening yet you do not see the full picture and therefore your conclusion is completely wrong. Or if you are exceptionally intelligent you do see what is happening yet do not wish to say it. Not a big deal, because even the disciples where many times stumped at what Jesus said or did.

 

How is it that he can both say this and also say, "For God so loved the world that He Gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" and also say, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

By the way I can give you a reply as to why your conclusion is wrong but I was wondering if you could give an alternative explanation.

 

I was born to Christians, the kind that really went to church and took it all seriously (and were also old earth creationists), and when I got older I tried to reinvest in my faith by studying Christianity further but only ended up in atheism.  

 

I'm not terribly interested in Bible study with you because it seems clear you think I am not intelligent enough to interpret scripture unless I'm using my Biblical glasses.  I'm not saying this is a special fault of yours because I would see this all the time in Christians, Muslims.  But perhaps I am merely projecting my experience with other theists onto you.  So maybe I am wrong.

 

In any case it probably won't be fruitful because you and I have diametrically opposed perspectives of reality.  Meaning there are a few things you see as moral or at least morally innocuous that I see as immoral or subtly immoral.  And vice versa.  We don't share the same values.  We have both already expressed some of those things in this thread.  We're just not going to agree on a great deal of what messages certain Bible passages imply.

 

Additionally, countering one bit of unpleasantness in the Bible with something nice in the Bible isn't effective because the scripture is not uniform in its moral proclamations.  In other words, there is something for everyone in the Bible, that is why Christians with different personalities (with equal religious education) can read the same Bible can come away with completely different interpretations of the doctrine.  The Bible makes it too easy for people to do this (the Qur'an does the same with Muslims).


Edited by Duchykins, 21 July 2015 - 05:37 PM.


#37 Duchykins

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 05:54 PM

 

I agree, but I don't really see this as something that christianity gives rise to, it is how people try to understand christianity but due to their own psychic issues.

I'm not really sure Valor represented christianity with his posts. Maybe his own view of it.

As I am an educated christian in a sense, although I do not believe in the christian God, I acquired different notions about christianity than those represented by some christians on this forum.

My notion of this: Because noone could perfectly follow Gods rules (10 commandments) their entire lives, everyone was still destined for hell so God changed the rulebook through jesus. He created the institution of forgiveness and repentance (however you say that) which allows people to break rules and still go to heaven if they repent and decide to be better next time and try to follow jesus' path. This makes some sense as a story of some sort.
There is no sense in God being so blind that he requires several experiments with "setting up humans" to get it right, but that pretty much the idea behind every religious story - God is omnipotent in theory, but in practice, God always seems lacking in some way and this lack gives way to a story of something that God did to "get it right" (as if he couldn't have created it right in the first place).

I have never heard my priest claim that only christians can be moral or anything remotely similar. It is not a true christian claim. I have only seen such claims from people who try to indoctrinate others with christianity - on forums like this.

Such people need to support a notion that simply declaring yourself to "join the club" (of christianity) somehow gives you an "moral advantage" over your past self (and others equal to your past self). As if you become somehow better simply by "chosing your colors" (color of christianity). After that is done, one can begin to preach to the "lesser" infidels from that high ground.. And this is what I see on forums. This is what shadowhawk does in here. Through christianity he deluded himself that he became better than his atheist parents. His need to be "beat" his parents most surely superseded his choice to be a christian. This need infact caused this choice as means of becoming better, and since this doesn't really work, it eventually pushed him to chase his "betterness" further into delusion and christian extremism. The whole "play" doesn't have anything to do with upholding christian values and does not really represent christianity. Similarly here, Valor tried to explain the same idea, equating christianity (his colors) with "good/unselfishness" and all else with "selfishness".

It is very different to hear an educated, sucessful, intelligent, wise christian speak his heart. My country is predominantly christian and also there are many christians here are very good scolars from families that have been good scolars, wise, educated people, gentle people that have nothing to do with extremism of any kind. The wisdom they dig up from the bible is often insipiring and interesting. This is opposed to "redneck christianity" or "competitive christianity" which the U.S.A seems to foster (as far as I can tell). There are "red necks" here as well, but they don't seem to get involved in preaching christianity.. maybe because, at least by declaration, 80 or 90% of this country is christian so there's noone to preach to, and there's noone you can beat simply by the act of becoming a christian..

 

  

 

It's true that American Protestantism is unique (the Roman Catholics ... just ordinary R. Catholics).  It has something to do with our attitudes about freedom and diversity and all that (some of it is that stereotypical American arrogance), and because our constitution is secular, consequently no one denomination had power over another (part of our Founding Fathers' intentions)... and lots of different denominations could rise.

 

Another reason we know our culture is the cause of all this oddness in Christianity here is because of our special propensity for conspiracy theory.  Conspiracy theory's popularity started right here in Derptown, USA during the 1950s with Area 51 stuff.  This is why we have a grossly disproportionate number of creationists per capita for such a developed country.

 

So I understand why Valor's propositions seem extreme and unusual to you.  But I grew up seeing and hearing this kind of stuff all the time from Christians of different denominations.  So there are a few denominations I truly dislike, and others which I can appreciate some (for not preaching these kinds of things).  After my atheism became known I only saw more of just this thing.  And on the internet it's even easier to come across.



#38 Duchykins

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:17 PM


But what is blatantly obvious is that all gods&sons appearances ever were made for jews. Old testament and new were all about jews. There is no jesus like person appearing in greece, persia, india. So, given the fact that both testaments underline jahve and jesus being devoted to jews only and given the fact that both testament describe only Jahves appearance to jews and noone else - one can not conclude anything other than the fact that both Jahve and his supposed son Jesus seem to favor Jews and stories about both of them are a reflection of jewish struggles through times. Jewish subjugation by other nations gave birth to supremacy in the imaginary realm (the most powerful god favours the most weak and opressed nation of the time - jews).


If you really want to discuss, for me, the most interesting failure of Jesus is the fact that he never appeared resurrected to anyone except his friends, who had an interest in faking his resurrection. The "disappearance" of his body was supposed to show that he resurrected, but why would that even be necessary? Do you really need your physical body to disappear so you can go to heaven? Do our bodies disappear when they're burried? Does that show christians don't really go to heaven?

My idea is that the body was hidden by his pupils to give some credit to the claims he resurrected. The bible speaks of jewish priests BRIBING roman soldier to "lie" that jesus didn't resurrect. This is also an obvious lie, if it really happened, it would not happen in front of jesus' pupils for them to witness it and put it in the new testament, would it? And why would jewish priests need to bribe anyone? As far as both jewish priests and soldiers know, jesus did not resurrect as he did not appear to them or to the soldiers, but supposedly to the pupils. So this is a ridiculous claim showing just how fake his resurrection was. And lastly, jesus announced to the jewish priests he will resurrect, but he did not show himself resurrected to them, he did not appear to them. If he had no intention of appearing resurrected in front of them, why tell them about it in the first place? Also, why not tell them what would really happen: 'I will resurrect but will not show myself to you'? They would laugh if he told them that. But that's what he in fact did. Jesus promised a show, and failed, his pupils faked it the best they could and that's that. It's blatantly obvious even from the scripture written by his pupils.

The interest of the pupils to fake the resurrection was quite obvious from what happened later. While jesus supposedly knew days ahead death awaits him, he did not establish any legacy within that timefram. He did not install peter as the "pope", he spoke nothing of the future, gave no instructions about how to sustain and spread his legacy. Soon after his death, his pupils proclaim that jesus appears to them and gives them instructions about his legacy, something he never did while he was alive, not even when it was obvious that he will die.

 

The synoptic gospels don't even agree on who Jesus appeared to first, which for me is a big problem.  This is not some minor event that maybe someone remembered and recorded wrong.  The resurrection is a major event.

 

Other problems in the synoptic gospels is the walking of the dead all over a largely populated city when Jesus was resurrected.  This is not recorded in any other found document (Roman or Jewish) and appears in only one of the gospels (Matthew). 

 

That's just two things wrong in the resurrection story.  The resurrection only.

 

However I'm not sure this person (the man whom the initial cult was built around) actually existed.  The timelines are all wrong, everything is wrong.  



#39 Duchykins

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:32 PM

Ok, I have to go to work shortly so I will not be able to give a fuller reply but just to say that Jesus talks about Naaman the Syrian and how he was healed and also the woman of  Sarepta. See Luke 4:25-27. The Jews believed that they were just saved because of their lineage to Abraham, just by virtue of genes but that was not the basis for salvation but by the grace of God exercised by faith.

 

Naaman tried to pay with gifts but was denied, implying salvation is a free gift and your opportunity to be saved is wholly a work of grace.

 

The Jews got it wrong and Christians can also get things wrong and I would expect somebody which doesn't quite understand the sanctuary to get things wrong as well. Jesus criticized some of the Jews quite heavily. So it is not about the Jews. And it is not a "Jewish" religion. The Jews had a mission appointed to them by God and failed.

 

 

Revelation reinforces this.  Jews from each of the tribes of Isreal still get special treatment in the New Testament.

 

We know that Jesus criticized Jews frequently.  Most of his attention and efforts were spent on Jews, talking to Jews about Jews, as I said before.  But he saved the majority of the criticism for the religious leaders.  He came to change Jews.  Other ethnicities were like a peripheral goal, an afterthought.

 

Talking to us about other times Jesus helped people isn't going to work because it comes off as hand-waving or distracting from the times Jesus did something morally reprehensible.  Those are what we need to be talking about.  An ordinary human can make mistakes, do hurtful things in haste, and other times do or saying good things.  But what about a god, or special human ...?

 

If you habitually avoid actually acknowledging or talking about things I specifically said or addx said then we quickly see there is no back-and-forth discussion.  We are wasting our time (this is what happens with ShadowHawk if you need an example).  Preaching at people when you should be engaging them does not work, this has been demonstrated time and time again.  It comes off as bot-like.  There is no faster way of turning people off to you and the things you are saying.

 

If you would like tips on how to talk to nonChristians about Christianity in a productive way you can google around a bit since this is a very common problem.


Edited by Duchykins, 21 July 2015 - 07:10 PM.


#40 addx

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 08:08 AM

It's true that American Protestantism is unique (the Roman Catholics ... just ordinary R. Catholics).  It has something to do with our attitudes about freedom and diversity and all that (some of it is that stereotypical American arrogance), and because our constitution is secular, consequently no one denomination had power over another (part of our Founding Fathers' intentions)... and lots of different denominations could rise.


That's probably it, you're right, there's too much "competition" between denominations giving rise to extremism.

There's no competition here, it's all roman catholic so it's all relatively "gentle".

I never believed in God, I always had my INTP mind, but probably similar to you, I went through the entire deal, all sacraments, going to church every sunday, going to "catholic school" every saturday.. But I didn't mind it, I had friends, we often played during "catholic school", we had good priests that would even play soccer with us on a good day, it was relatively fun.
I like my local church, they always cared to offer something to children, we had billiard tables, ping pong tables and so on, kids like to play around the church and the priests have always been extremely benign and honestly caring. This is why I enjoyed getting married in my church by my priest that I grew up with. And I don't mind giving my church some money here and there, I still see lots of kids playing on church grounds, I can't imagine a safer place to grow up. This is what I respect about the church, but I also know it is a lucky fluke. Not all churches have benign priests and offer to the community what mine does.
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#41 addx

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 08:42 AM

However I'm not sure this person (the man whom the initial cult was built around) actually existed.  The timelines are all wrong, everything is wrong.



For me, Jesus probably existed. The stories of his behavior for me depict a psychologically very consistent character - up until his death. Jesus spent his life dismantling the existing power hierarchies of the jews, undermining them in a way. He never intended to replace them with his own hierarchy. He didn't want any power for himself, he truly didn't want power. He just wanted to take it away from those he thought shouldnt have it, to reduce them to "slaves" as we are all slaves according to christianity as Nietzsche explains. I similarly seem to be inclined toward slave morality reasoning so I think I very much understand what made jesus "tick". This is why I can't accept the sudden change in his character after death, it makes no sense.

#42 Valor5

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 12:30 PM

Jesus is not exclusive. To be among the chosen does not require you to be genetically linked to a Jew, Abraham. In fact Jesus said, "And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise  up children for Abraham." Matt. 3:9. I can't resist, "I ne usudite se govoriti u sebi: 'Imamo oca Abraham!' Jer, kažem vam, Bog iz ovoga kamenja može podići djecu Abrahamovu." Matej 3:9. "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Romans 2:28-29. "Ta nije Židov tko je Židov naizvana i nije obrezanje ono izvana, na tijelu, nego pravi je Židov u nutrini i pravo je obrezanje u srcu, po duhu, ne po slovu. Pohvala mu nije od ljudi, nego od Boga." Rimljanima 2:28-29.

 

The Bible is not interpreted. It is to be understood. "but know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 1 Peter 1:20-21.

 

To be continued...

 

 



#43 addx

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 12:48 PM

Jesus is not exclusive. To be among the chosen does not require you to be genetically linked to a Jew, Abraham. In fact Jesus said, "And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise  up children for Abraham." Matt. 3:9. I can't resist, "I ne usudite se govoriti u sebi: 'Imamo oca Abraham!' Jer, kažem vam, Bog iz ovoga kamenja može podići djecu Abrahamovu." Matej 3:9. "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Romans 2:28-29. "Ta nije Židov tko je Židov naizvana i nije obrezanje ono izvana, na tijelu, nego pravi je Židov u nutrini i pravo je obrezanje u srcu, po duhu, ne po slovu. Pohvala mu nije od ljudi, nego od Boga." Rimljanima 2:28-29.
 
The Bible is not interpreted. It is to be understood. "but know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 1 Peter 1:20-21.
 
To be continued...


Seriously? Jesus giving jews the "no true scotsman(jew)" argument? That's your argument that Jesus was in it for everyone? I think it rather confirms my argument about what Jesus was doing - hijjacking existing jews - Jahve worshippers.

And this about interpretation and understanding, what are you saying there?

You obviously misinterpreted or misunderstood the Jesus' "no true scotsman" argument, it has nothing to do with non-jews similarly as the no true scotsman has nothing to do with non-scotsman people :) So what now? Did you misinterpret it or misunderstand it or what?

And furthermore, the entire scripture was written by a human hand. Saying that it "came from god" doesnt mean anything. If god has any power whatsoever, and he is supposedly omnipotent, he could have at least given us the scripture cut out by the hand of god, rather than a human hand (as were the ten commandments created for example) in some ideally unbreakable material that will last for ages rather than leave it all to humans to remember, translate, censor, lose, corrupt and abuse. After 2000 years of Gods children corrupting the scriptures I'm supposed to discern some truth from it? No thanks, I'd like a fresh one if possible, if not, I wont bother with the corrupted text and I find it quite unfair that I have to find faith in a corrupt book while some people could witness jesus bringing people from the dead. I'd like such a personal show as well.. I know I'm a tough cookie, but God, trust me, it'll be worth your while to make me believe! I want a show!

Anyway, if a part of the scripture can be understood in more ways than one, then we obviously have an interpretation issue. That's that. There's nothing that can change that. You can repeat 100 times that "there is no interpretation", but there is.

You also do realize there are parts of the bible which speak of curing issues with bird blood and guts and similar insane and unhealthy ideas. If these are literally interpreted we're back into the stone age, so what about that?

Also, your quote in fact only speaks of prophecies not being interpretable, not the entire bible. Prophecies are events foreseen in the future only.

Edited by addx, 22 July 2015 - 01:06 PM.


#44 Duchykins

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 02:17 PM

Honestly you can't decipher parables without interpreting them. So in a way Jesus called for a lot of interpretation by not using clear unamibiguous plain langauge.

#45 Valor5

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 04:07 PM

Jesus is not exclusive. To be among the chosen does not require you to be genetically linked to a Jew, Abraham. In fact Jesus said, "And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise  up children for Abraham." Matt. 3:9. I can't resist, "I ne usudite se govoriti u sebi: 'Imamo oca Abraham!' Jer, kažem vam, Bog iz ovoga kamenja može podići djecu Abrahamovu." Matej 3:9. "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Romans 2:28-29. "Ta nije Židov tko je Židov naizvana i nije obrezanje ono izvana, na tijelu, nego pravi je Židov u nutrini i pravo je obrezanje u srcu, po duhu, ne po slovu. Pohvala mu nije od ljudi, nego od Boga." Rimljanima 2:28-29.

 

The Bible is not interpreted. It is to be understood. "but know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 1 Peter 1:20-21.

 

To be continued...

 

Do you not see it? Anyone can be a Jew. Even the woman that Jesus said I am only come to the sheep of the house of Israel. She was that sheep even though she was a canaanite. She was of the house of Israel because of her faith in Jesus.
 



#46 Duchykins

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 05:00 PM

Actually, the more appropriate metaphor was that she was a dog, and a slave.  Not sheep.



#47 Duchykins

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 05:07 PM

But what I want to know is more about our innate and total depravity from your perspective.  

 

This silliness about Jesus' potential racism is a side issue, our immorality was the main issue before we got side-tracked, which you are eagerly overlooking in favor of doing pointless Bible study with us.

 

You need to address what we were talking about before.  

 

You know, all that stuff we said that you ignored.

 

If you need help, Addx and I could redirect you, if you wish.



#48 addx

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 08:16 AM

Do you not see it? Anyone can be a Jew. Even the woman that Jesus said I am only come to the sheep of the house of Israel. She was that sheep even though she was a canaanite. She was of the house of Israel because of her faith in Jesus.


No, I don't see it. Lemme rephrase it for you: not all jews will enter heaven, but only "true jews" ("jews" on the inside). What jesus said already has a meaning that is aimed at jews. It can also be rephrased as it is not enough to merely be of jewish descent, but you need to be a good person to go to heaven.
This meaning can not be extended to include "it doesn't matter if you're not a jew, you only need to be good to go to heaven". He didn't mean that. He was talking to jews - children of abraham so that wouldn't make much sense, he was obviously stressing that their descent doesn't assure them with God. Think about it. What would really happen if Jesus started preaching to jews that non-jews are also Jahves people? Would they react the same or would it cause more confrontation as it goes against the root of jewish beleifs at the time, would it risk Jesus' position as the messiah from jewish prophecies? You're interpreting far more than what you should.

Also, take into account that at that time all religions were born out of a people/nation and belong to a people/nation. All religions were "national". There were no shared religions, each people had their own gods, romans had theirs, greeks had theirs, egyptians had theirs, jews had their. At those times in history nations didn't really force their religions on other nations they defeated in combat. Jesus is no exception to that rule. Only later in history it became popular to enforce christianity or islam and they did it by sword.

With that in mind it is understandable that Jesus couldn't have even conceived of a "global religion" but simply continued the trend of such "national religions".

It is also understandable why the old testament doesn't really deny other gods, but rather forbids jews to worship them. This comes from "an understanding" that each nation has their own religion. Which is why jewish religion is for jews only and romans or greeks are allowed to have their own gods. Jahve doesn't claim or care about non-jews.

I'm sure jesus would not reject a non-jew from his grace in his travels(whatever that means), but jesus aimed his efforts towards the jewish nation and didn't really think of spreading "the faith" beyond that.

He came to fulfill a jewish prophecy made by a jewish god jahve who declares himself as the most powerful god, but also a god of jews only. This made Jesus very incompatible with any non-jewish nation at the time that cared nothing for jahve or abraham or king david or anything along the lines of that.

If jesus really aimed his efforts at all humanity and not just jews, I think it would have been a lot more obvious and you wouldn't need to misinterpret and stretch his bible quotes to make that case. Jesus would have to avoid references to the old testament and jewish history and icons such as king david or abraham to make an attempt at a global religion, and he did not avoid those things but rather referenced them in agreement with existing jewish culture/religion.

Regarding mentioned jewish icons such as king david - people that have authority, especially people that desire it much and then get authority tend to create "persona cults" and dictatorships. Such people often are able to rewrite history, especially few thousand years ago when there were little literate people and even fewer historians. King david, whom jesus shows respect to as part of the jewish legacy is not really some holy person but simply created a legacy which portrayed him as such. At that time in history, there were no or few people that recorded history. Most recorded events were recorded by the "rulers" building statues and temples to praise themselves, writing their own history on stones and such. If we trust the jewish legend about king david, why wouldn't we trust for example egyptian legends of pharaohs written all over their temples being man-gods with special powers?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David
" Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman have identified as the oldest and most reliable section of Samuel those chapters which describe David as the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws who captures Jerusalem and makes it his capital.[35] Steven McKenzie, Associate Professor of the Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College and author of King David: A Biography, states the belief that David actually came from a wealthy family, was "ambitious and ruthless" and a tyrant who murdered his opponents, including his own sons"

Today, you can still see such behavior in northern korea, where a dictator is trying to establish himself as something uberhuman.

Take everything in the bible with grain of salt... It is not a divine book, but a human book. You need common sense if you want to understand it, not faith.
 

This silliness about Jesus' potential racism is a side issue, our immorality was the main issue before we got side-tracked, which you are eagerly overlooking in favor of doing pointless Bible study with us.


I wouldn't really call it racism. Maybe from todays perspective, if we really want to see Jesus as the Gods son we might find it a bit strange and so also racistic that jews are the "chosen people". A divine being would understand racism and avoid it even before humans were able to perceive racism as such. A true "son of god" would not set an example for people by favoring one nation over others.
But if we simply look at the bible for what it is, if we consider the way of life at the time and Jesus as a mere human with no relation to a supreme being, we can understand that it wasn't really racism, it was just how things were at the time, Jesus didn't know better, noone did and it also wouldnt work, jews would not be impressed by a completely new religion invented by jesus, so jesus had continue the jewish legacy in other to gain any ground with his target audience.

Christianity later spread across roman slaves which were of different nationalities but were united under their plight (and also stripped of their own culture - so ready to receive the new faith) and so christianity spread beyond its target population across not one, but many different nations. Roman empire (an empire of many nations) declaring it an official religion 300 years or so later sealed the deal and made christianity the first "pan-national" religion, even though it was conceived as all the others - as a national religion.

Edited by addx, 23 July 2015 - 09:00 AM.


#49 Valor5

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 03:17 PM

addx, You have a point. That Jesus had to be careful oftentimes about what he said and how he said it and how he went about the mission of establishing His kingdom. Jesus's responsibility was also to disciple his disciples. He had friends and foes to contend with so it was a careful balancing act which he had to play. Not an easy thing. This is why he spoke in parables in public but in private he spoke plainly.

 

 


Edited by Valor5, 23 July 2015 - 03:36 PM.


#50 Duchykins

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 03:40 PM

 

Do you not see it? Anyone can be a Jew. Even the woman that Jesus said I am only come to the sheep of the house of Israel. She was that sheep even though she was a canaanite. She was of the house of Israel because of her faith in Jesus.


No, I don't see it. Lemme rephrase it for you: not all jews will enter heaven, but only "true jews" ("jews" on the inside). What jesus said already has a meaning that is aimed at jews. It can also be rephrased as it is not enough to merely be of jewish descent, but you need to be a good person to go to heaven.
This meaning can not be extended to include "it doesn't matter if you're not a jew, you only need to be good to go to heaven". He didn't mean that. He was talking to jews - children of abraham so that wouldn't make much sense, he was obviously stressing that their descent doesn't assure them with God. Think about it. What would really happen if Jesus started preaching to jews that non-jews are also Jahves people? Would they react the same or would it cause more confrontation as it goes against the root of jewish beleifs at the time, would it risk Jesus' position as the messiah from jewish prophecies? You're interpreting far more than what you should.

Also, take into account that at that time all religions were born out of a people/nation and belong to a people/nation. All religions were "national". There were no shared religions, each people had their own gods, romans had theirs, greeks had theirs, egyptians had theirs, jews had their. At those times in history nations didn't really force their religions on other nations they defeated in combat. Jesus is no exception to that rule. Only later in history it became popular to enforce christianity or islam and they did it by sword.

With that in mind it is understandable that Jesus couldn't have even conceived of a "global religion" but simply continued the trend of such "national religions".

It is also understandable why the old testament doesn't really deny other gods, but rather forbids jews to worship them. This comes from "an understanding" that each nation has their own religion. Which is why jewish religion is for jews only and romans or greeks are allowed to have their own gods. Jahve doesn't claim or care about non-jews.

I'm sure jesus would not reject a non-jew from his grace in his travels(whatever that means), but jesus aimed his efforts towards the jewish nation and didn't really think of spreading "the faith" beyond that.

He came to fulfill a jewish prophecy made by a jewish god jahve who declares himself as the most powerful god, but also a god of jews only. This made Jesus very incompatible with any non-jewish nation at the time that cared nothing for jahve or abraham or king david or anything along the lines of that.

If jesus really aimed his efforts at all humanity and not just jews, I think it would have been a lot more obvious and you wouldn't need to misinterpret and stretch his bible quotes to make that case. Jesus would have to avoid references to the old testament and jewish history and icons such as king david or abraham to make an attempt at a global religion, and he did not avoid those things but rather referenced them in agreement with existing jewish culture/religion.

Regarding mentioned jewish icons such as king david - people that have authority, especially people that desire it much and then get authority tend to create "persona cults" and dictatorships. Such people often are able to rewrite history, especially few thousand years ago when there were little literate people and even fewer historians. King david, whom jesus shows respect to as part of the jewish legacy is not really some holy person but simply created a legacy which portrayed him as such. At that time in history, there were no or few people that recorded history. Most recorded events were recorded by the "rulers" building statues and temples to praise themselves, writing their own history on stones and such. If we trust the jewish legend about king david, why wouldn't we trust for example egyptian legends of pharaohs written all over their temples being man-gods with special powers?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David
" Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman have identified as the oldest and most reliable section of Samuel those chapters which describe David as the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws who captures Jerusalem and makes it his capital.[35] Steven McKenzie, Associate Professor of the Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College and author of King David: A Biography, states the belief that David actually came from a wealthy family, was "ambitious and ruthless" and a tyrant who murdered his opponents, including his own sons"

Today, you can still see such behavior in northern korea, where a dictator is trying to establish himself as something uberhuman.

Take everything in the bible with grain of salt... It is not a divine book, but a human book. You need common sense if you want to understand it, not faith.
 

This silliness about Jesus' potential racism is a side issue, our immorality was the main issue before we got side-tracked, which you are eagerly overlooking in favor of doing pointless Bible study with us.


I wouldn't really call it racism. Maybe from todays perspective, if we really want to see Jesus as the Gods son we might find it a bit strange and so also racistic that jews are the "chosen people". A divine being would understand racism and avoid it even before humans were able to perceive racism as such. A true "son of god" would not set an example for people by favoring one nation over others.
But if we simply look at the bible for what it is, if we consider the way of life at the time and Jesus as a mere human with no relation to a supreme being, we can understand that it wasn't really racism, it was just how things were at the time, Jesus didn't know better, noone did and it also wouldnt work, jews would not be impressed by a completely new religion invented by jesus, so jesus had continue the jewish legacy in other to gain any ground with his target audience.

Christianity later spread across roman slaves which were of different nationalities but were united under their plight (and also stripped of their own culture - so ready to receive the new faith) and so christianity spread beyond its target population across not one, but many different nations. Roman empire (an empire of many nations) declaring it an official religion 300 years or so later sealed the deal and made christianity the first "pan-national" religion, even though it was conceived as all the others - as a national religion.

 

 

No there was legit racism problems between the Jews and other ethnicities in regions where these people co-mingled a lot.  There was a lot of prejudicial tension between Samaritans and Jews for example, between Jews and Greeks, Jews and Romans... and these problems were caused by more than politics alone.

 

Different treatment of an out-group is a classic trait of prejudice.  Let's not play around with these things, racism was the norm for nearly every group for hundreds of years BCE and CE.  Racism is a very very old habit of humanity itself.

 

We're also not going to say that they didn't really have slavery in those days, or that it wasn't that bad since slavery was "the norm."  We're also not going to say there wasn't really sexism in those days, since sexism was the norm.  It really was slavery, it really was sexism, it really was racism ... no matter how you look at it because these things are not wholly defined by how the perpetrators view them, not wholly defined by what the perpetrator thinks of them.  

 

We can say that yeah Jesus was just another guy that was raised in a particular culture where these things were the norm ... we can say these prejudices are not exceptionally his own, nor that he was especially bad for having these prejudices  ... he didn't know better ... sure we can say these things, but make no mistake, it was still prejudice.

 

Actually historically the only people Jews consistently lived in peace with were Hindus (perhaps because they are both ethnic religions and consequently don't proselytize as most religions do?).

 

Additionally, you're exactly right in that if Jesus had any kind of divine past, we might expect him to be more global-minded.   That would include not being given to the petty prejudices that were common during the time he supposedly lived.

 

 

And this ... " jews would not be impressed by a completely new religion invented by jesus, so jesus had continue the jewish legacy "   ...This is a very common excuse Christians give when pressed about why YHWH never outlawed slavery, why YHWH went along with their slavery ("God had to consider the people's customs"), about why slavery in Jewish and Christian doctrine was not a big deal, not so bad ... or why it wasn't really slavery.  It's not acceptable for slavery and it's not acceptable for any other type of prejudice.


Edited by Duchykins, 23 July 2015 - 04:10 PM.


#51 Duchykins

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 03:55 PM

addx, You have a point. That Jesus had to be careful oftentimes about what he said and how he said it and how he went about the mission of establishing His kingdom. Jesus's responsibility was also to disciple his disciples. He had friends and foes to contend with so it was a careful balancing act which he had to play. Not an easy thing. This is why he spoke in parables in public but in private he spoke plainly.

 

Because God couldn't impress people with large scale miracles like he did in the old days?  And cause a population to do something very out of character ... like making the Egyptians set all the Hebrew slaves free (although in reality, Egyptians never held Hebrew slaves en masse like that).

 

God couldn't figure out an effective way of getting people to change some of their customs in a relatively short period of time?  It was too hard for YHWH?  Jeez how on earth did it get anything done with the people in ways they couldn't do all by themselves in time?  How does that make it a god exactly?

 

These are not morally permissible excuses for keeping the status quo.

 

However, that's exactly how a powerless, ordinary human being would set about acquiring influence with the public, since they wouldn't be capable of anything more spectacular than that.  After all, humans are not gods. 


Edited by Duchykins, 23 July 2015 - 04:15 PM.


#52 Duchykins

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 03:41 AM

On second thought Addx, I might have misinterpreted your meaning in that post.   My first impression was that you were endorsing a moral relativistic position, which I might tend to disagree with since I'm a moral universalist.

 

Let me know if I made such a mistake.  See you soon.   :)



#53 addx

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 01:48 PM

On second thought Addx, I might have misinterpreted your meaning in that post.   My first impression was that you were endorsing a moral relativistic position, which I might tend to disagree with since I'm a moral universalist.
 
Let me know if I made such a mistake.  See you soon.   :)


I'm not sure what I would call my position.

As said in some previous post
 

For me, the word "God" in all religions can be understood as "karma", "time", "truth".

If you commit some action, the world/karma/time will reveal your action as "bad"/"false" or "good"/"true" by simply producing consequences that you will feel (immediately or delayed). If your action is "false" the world - through its consequences will likely exterminate you or disable you from repeating the action or in some other way stop it. This will reveal such action as false - not a truth of life. If the action is good it will have good consequences that will reinforce it (the source of it) as time goes by, thus showing the action as "truth of life". Such action will stand the test of time - it is the truth of life/existence - proven by "time". This paradigm is infact embedded in evolution of life - it is simply called "selection". And so "selection" (of truth) can be understood as "Gods bidding" and so God can be seen as the "truthrevealer" or simply "eternal truth" or whatever.


As you can see from this, for me, conscience or morality is simply a kind of medium that holds(and suppreses) "false"/"bad" behavior according to the above - or "behavior with a negative impact" for a mammal group. It is the groups heritage, the groups way of life, a cache of acquired/selected rules that allowed them to progress to where they are today. It is inherited through vicarious learning, conditioning from parents interaction with group members and so on.

I'm not sure how moral universalism (absolute morals?) is even conceivable. Just wikied the subject
 

According to R. W Hepburn, "To move towards the objectivist pole is to argue that moral judgements can be rationally defensible, true or false, that there are rational procedural tests for identifying morally impermissible actions, or that moral values exist independently of the feeling-states of individuals at particular times."[5]

Linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky states:

"if we adopt the principle of universality: if an action is right (or wrong) for others, it is right (or wrong) for us. Those who do not rise to the minimal moral level of applying to themselves the standards they apply to others—more stringent ones, in fact—plainly cannot be taken seriously when they speak of appropriateness of response; or of right and wrong, good and evil."[6]

This is a formulation of the golden rule.


This is not "universal morals". It is merely an anti-hypocrisy rule. If I deem that it's ok to cut off my arm if I steal stuff, then I can cut other peoples arms if they steal stuff. Racism as such is easily moral if you accept that others have the right to hate you because of your race/nationality and virtually all racists accept all racism as normal.

I can't really see that any kind of universal morals is really conceivable, but if you have a good way to explain it, shoot, I'm interested.

For me, Nietzsche describe the two coins of morality in a very functional way and that's for me the best explanation of human "morality".

Edited by addx, 27 July 2015 - 01:51 PM.


#54 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:40 PM

Okay I see where you're coming from now.  That's good.  

 

But moral universalism is strictly delineated from moral absolutism.    

 

For example when you see absolute morality, it's nearly always coming from a theistic belief system.  It's where a particular action is moral or immoral absolutely, this means in any given situation, under any circumstance, it's moral value does not change.  If any situation can alter it's moral value (eg "killing is immoral period" vs "killing is immoral except in these specific circumstances"), then it is not an absolute.

 

Nearly all Christians used to preach moral absolutism until the Enlightenment and deists hitting them with various moral quandaries.  Now many Christians disavow absolutism in favor of some form of moral objectivism (although I argue that they have a system that is more relativistic than universal).

 

There are many forms of moral objectivism (I prefer to say universalism because theists have hijacked "objectivism" and I don't want it confused with that, but either terms are appropriate).  Some (like the religious) can be absolute at the same time.  But most are not absolutist.

 

The golden rule in is most basic form is an example of a universal moral value, but not an absolute.  However, some formulations of the golden rule can be absolute in addition to being universal, it depends on how it's defined.

 

Absolutism is about moral rules that have no exceptions.  Univeralism is about moral rules that apply to everyone given similar circumstances.  Sometimes a few of them can also be absolute if that is what someone believes (killing children is immoral no matter what; slavery is immoral no matter what).  But most seem to have exceptions (killing adults is immoral unless they are initiating violence against your person or others) (lying is immoral except situations where telling the truth endangers you or others).  

 

But here is the most basic difference between relativism and universalism: with universal morality, when two people are in similar situations, the same set of moral rules apply to both.  With relativism, these same two people have two different sets of moral rules decreed by their native culture or something else the influences their moral philosophy, or what they see as moral or immoral, and perhaps even believe there is no actual moral or immoral choice in that situation (this is why theists always say that moral relativism is moral nihilism; while nihilism can come from a form of relativism, most relativistic systems disavow nihilism).    That is often annoying for me when a theist starts throwing awful Nietzsche quotes at me as if I am a nihilist, just because they do not accept that atheists can be universalists.

 

Another example of the different between universalism and relativism:  with universalism, you can use your moral judgment to analyze other cultures, religions, the actions of others in different cultures and different periods in time (that's why I objected to any insinuation that the slavery in old JudeoChristianity was not really slavery, or not as bad as we think slavery is,because it was the norm back then).   With relativism, your moral judgment is often claimed to be inappropriate to analyze other cultures, religions or actions of foreign people with (this is why I say theistic objectivism is really a form of relativism).

 

I hope I didn't bungle that too much.  I have to get ready to go out so I'm rushing.


Edited by Duchykins, 27 July 2015 - 03:53 PM.


#55 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:52 PM


double post


Edited by Duchykins, 27 July 2015 - 03:53 PM.


#56 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 04:10 PM

One last thing I wanted to say before I go: nearly all atheists, when evaluating the morality of gods based on theists' claims of its actions or makeup, are employing a moral system that is objective. decidedly not relativistic.  

 

Even if the atheist claims to be a moral relativist, when they turn around as say "well your god did X in this situation and X is immoral," they are practicing moral universalism.

 

The theist in this discussion, while usually claiming to be a moral objectivist, counterargues with something like "god is perfectly moral, and has better knowledge than humans, it does not do immoral things, so X is immoral when humans do it, X is moral when god does it" and additionally "you cannot use your moral judgment on god because you are human."   You can clearly see why this is not absolute morality.  But it's also not quite objective either.  That is having two separate set of moral rules for two different parties, where each set does not apply to the other.  That's the very essence of relativism, it's relativism on a grander scale.



#57 addx

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 06:12 PM

Okay I see where you're coming from now.  That's good.  

 

But moral universalism is strictly delineated from moral absolutism.    

 

For example when you see absolute morality, it's nearly always coming from a theistic belief system.  It's where a particular action is moral or immoral absolutely, this means in any given situation, under any circumstance, it's moral value does not change.  If any situation can alter it's moral value (eg "killing is immoral period" vs "killing is immoral except in these specific circumstances"), then it is not an absolute.

 

Nearly all Christians used to preach moral absolutism until the Enlightenment and deists hitting them with various moral quandaries.  Now many Christians disavow absolutism in favor of some form of moral objectivism (although I argue that they have a system that is more relativistic than universal).

 

There are many forms of moral objectivism (I prefer to say universalism because theists have hijacked "objectivism" and I don't want it confused with that, but either terms are appropriate).  Some (like the religious) can be absolute at the same time.  But most are not absolutist.

 

The golden rule in is most basic form is an example of a universal moral value, but not an absolute.  However, some formulations of the golden rule can be absolute in addition to being universal, it depends on how it's defined.

 

Absolutism is about moral rules that have no exceptions.  Univeralism is about moral rules that apply to everyone given similar circumstances.  Sometimes a few of them can also be absolute if that is what someone believes (killing children is immoral no matter what; slavery is immoral no matter what).  But most seem to have exceptions (killing adults is immoral unless they are initiating violence against your person or others) (lying is immoral except situations where telling the truth endangers you or others).  

 

But here is the most basic difference between relativism and universalism: with universal morality, when two people are in similar situations, the same set of moral rules apply to both.  With relativism, these same two people have two different sets of moral rules decreed by their native culture or something else the influences their moral philosophy, or what they see as moral or immoral, and perhaps even believe there is no actual moral or immoral choice in that situation (this is why theists always say that moral relativism is moral nihilism; while nihilism can come from a form of relativism, most relativistic systems disavow nihilism).    That is often annoying for me when a theist starts throwing awful Nietzsche quotes at me as if I am a nihilist, just because they do not accept that atheists can be universalists.

 

Another example of the different between universalism and relativism:  with universalism, you can use your moral judgment to analyze other cultures, religions, the actions of others in different cultures and different periods in time (that's why I objected to any insinuation that the slavery in old JudeoChristianity was not really slavery, or not as bad as we think slavery is,because it was the norm back then).   With relativism, your moral judgment is often claimed to be inappropriate to analyze other cultures, religions or actions of foreign people with (this is why I say theistic objectivism is really a form of relativism).

 

I hope I didn't bungle that too much.  I have to get ready to go out so I'm rushing.

 

Well, I have to kinda disagree with you on that one. 

 

Morality or "sense of morality" is a part of the psyche that is called superego. It is a SENSE, not some "disconnected (universal) rulebook". It is a sense of ones own CONDITIONED fears acquired as explained already through conditioning and upbringing. Superego causes you to halt action which would cause you to be shunned by your own moral standards which have been learned and internalized through upbringing from your environment.

 

So, if something is the norm at some period of time then people who exist within that time could not SENSE it being immoral and their brains would not halt such an action. Such behaviour was not selected against by the social pressures as it is today. It was not a part of their superego. So, a notion of "moral norms of a time" does really exist. I can understand if moral relativism offends you, but it is nevertheless the way we are set up as mammals. We can agree that slavery is a bad thing, but we can't agree that people were as aware/conscious of this back then as they were today meaning their sense of morality about it didn't work the same as yours or mine.

 

The golden rule is not so much golden as well IMO. I have applied this rule for a better part of my life only to realise that I have different standards than other people and I still might offend them easily. It is a good rule, but it is not right to rely on it exclusively.

 

 

 

I do subscribe to one idea of a universal morality which is mostly similar to the one from buddhism - skillfulness. 

 

While the superego (morality) only serves as means of social control of oneself in relation to others, "skillfulness" results from a well integrated ego, so it transcends id+superego. Skillfulness is IMO the reflection of acquired wisdom, rather than sense of ones own conditioning.

 

On that account, for example slavery as a choice is unskillful/unwise because people who made the choice and hold the slaves become inept and unable to perform the same tasks they did before slavery and so become dependant on slaves which eventually causes their downfall. You can see that from an evolutionary perspective, the master did not evolve through his ownership of slaves but devolved. 

 

While we may have reached the same conclusion about slavery with either morality, it is quite a different route of thought. Skillfulness deems the slave master as ignorant of the consequences of his own choice on his wellbeing while common superego morality simply marks him as a bad person (for others, not so much for himself). 



#58 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 07:55 PM

Ohhh I see what you're saying.

 

When I say universal morality, I don't mean "objective" in the sense that something exists apart from us that determines the value.  It's not "objective" is the sense that is opposite of "subjective", that's the wrong application of the word objective in "objective morality" which is another reason why I prefer to say "universal."  There is something I like to say sometimes that theists don't like: morality does not exist in a social vacuum.  It is contingent upon there being more than one entity.  Morality is defined in relation to other entities.

 

However the fact that we don't have perfect knowledge and don't necessarily agree on everything moral does not mean that we can't have universal morality.  And I certainly agree that the golden rule is not the end-all of universal morals, it's not and I never meant to imply that it was when I was giving an example of it.  It's just one principle.

 

Relativism doesn't offend me, I used to be a relativist in the early days of my atheism before I started learning more about this topic.  So I can see where it's very easy to prefer relativistic perspective and from a strictly biological perspective, you're partly right.  

 

But in social species, there are a number of behavioral rules that are generally enforced by the group or its leaders because doing otherwise threatens the stability and survival of the group.  These are the simplest examples of universal morals and this is the root of morality.  This is part of the reason Social Darwinism is actually toxic to social species (and thank goodness Darwin himself rejected it).  SD wouldn't do as much damage to solitary species, but that really just defeats the purpose of SD.

 

I don't know what to make of your slave/master argument except to say that from a strictly evolutionary perspective, there is no such thing as devolution.  From sociological perspectives have can have a "de-evolution" of sorts, where a culture seems to go backward, but this does not exist in biological context.  Evolution is not striving linearly toward some goal, nor is it about ever-increasing compexity, etc.  I have to explain this to creationists all the time (for all the good it does lol), but this shit is really everywhere in nonscientific public.

 

"More evolved" and "less evolved" are not legit concepts in evolutionary biology; these are concepts that linger from the ladder of life concept and species hierarchy laid down by religionists (with humans at the top, of course), and in modern media, it never dies in the movies.  Hollywood still likes to make its tyrannosaurs without feathers, says humans only use 10% of the brain, and that we can meet technologically advanced aliens that are "more evolved" than humans because they are just smarter, and all that whatnot.  

 

In any case, biological evolution is just change, so for example if a small group of one fish species becomes trapped in a dark cave, and after a good chunk of generations the body starts redirecting energy from making eyes that are only wasteful in darkness toward more useful physical traits.  If the new fish species ceases to grow eyes, that fish did not evolve backward, or devolve, or become "less evolved" than its sighted cousins.  It just became something different, it evolved.

 

The other problem with that concept is that we always apply our own values to what constitutes a "better" trait in another species.  We're nearly always wrong when we do this.  So this perfect example of the fish, we highly value our own sight, and we see all these other species that have eyes, so we decided having eyes is the current gold standard.  Nature does not care about our cognitive biases.  Another reason this is wrong is because what is "better" depends on the environment; there are relatively few traits that could be considered universally advantageous regardless of environment and having eyes is not one of them.

 

i'm not terribly fond of Freud though, and this came about only after delving deeper into evolutionary biology and ethics nearly 15 years ago.  I'm not saying he was wrong about everything (he's not wrong about everything) but I respectfully decline to adopt his system.

 

But these are still things worth discussing!  It can be beneficial to see a critique of your own system from someone in a more objective position, as well as hearing other people present their cases, seeing if you can improve your own or help someone improve theirs in the process.



#59 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 08:34 PM

**I also didn't mean to imply that "moral norms of the past" did not exist.  They certainly existed, but that doesn't mean they were moral.

 

Spousal rape was only recently made a crime in our generation.  So before the 1970s, a guy could rape his wife and never be arrested or charged with anything because it wasn't considered rape or any crime of any kind.  Husbands were entitled.  That was the moral norm, but that doesn't mean it was actually moral, or that it wasn't really rape.  It was rape and it was wrong.

 

This is actually still the norm in most Islamic cultures.  Husbands are entitled to sex and the Qur'an even explains how a husband could punish his wife if she says no.

 

Things like this are why I was forced to abandon relativism. 

 

I think we also should delineate between it actually being rape, on it actually being immoral, and the degree of responsibility the perpetrator has for his actions.   I should have noticed that earlier because it would have avoided some of the miscommunications here on my part; I consider these two different things and you seem to blend them together.   That's something you keep bringing up, is that people in antiquity have less accountability for their actions.   I was agreeing, but was also saying that that doesn't take away from the immorality of their actions.  

 

And these men in Islamic Middle East and upper Africa, are they less responsible for their martial rape crimes or upholding these codes of conduct?  Maybe.  Does marital rape at any time become something other than rape?  No.  Does it increase the morality of rape?  No.  


Edited by Duchykins, 27 July 2015 - 09:09 PM.


#60 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 09:49 PM

Hey on a side-note, since you are INTP and I am INTJ, how many INTs or ENTs do you think are atheists?

 

(Or so I was told from some silly tests, the Keirsey one especially, done in a freshman college course.  Don't ask me why we had to do them, I have no idea.  I usually don't tell people I am INTJ since too many people claim INTJ when they are clearly nothing of the sort.  In any case, it matches my autistic personality perfectly.)

 

I used to think all that personality stuff was just silly bullshit on the internet for people to play with like astrology, but I was a little creeped out by how specific and accurate things like this were:

 

Masterminds are rare, comprising no more than one to two percent of the population, and they are rarely encountered outside their office, factory, school, or laboratory. Although they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once they take charge, however, they are thoroughgoing pragmatists. Masterminds are certain that efficiency is indispensable in a well-run organization, and if they encounter inefficiency -- any waste of human and material resources -- they are quick to realign operations and reassign personnel. Masterminds do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don't, aren't, no matter who thought of them. Remember, their aim is always maximum efficiency.

 

Masterminds tend to be much more definite and self-confident than other Rationals, having usually developed a very strong will. Decisions come easily to them; in fact, they can hardly rest until they have things settled and decided. But before they decide anything, they must do the research. Masterminds are highly theoretical, but they insist on looking at all available data before they embrace an idea, and they are suspicious of any statement that is based on shoddy research, or that is not checked against reality.

 

The stuff in bold have always been major aspects of my personality that can easily cause me some trouble if I don't tread lightly, and have a long history of causing just as many good impressions and bad about me.  Examples:  I'm notorious for taking over in lab if whomever is in charge of our group at the time starts fucking up.  I have little tolerance for fuck-ups running the project and will hijack their command any time I feel like it, and always get away with it because everyone is the group benefits when I do it.  At the same time, I often turn down offers for leadership because that position requires me to spend time doing certain things when I would rather spend that time directly investigating something or doing work like that.  I also check the journals of any papers cited (on LongeCity especially) and usually bust them out as junk journals if they are, which often irritates the people who want to believe the paper's conclusions.


Edited by Duchykins, 27 July 2015 - 10:06 PM.






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