What about the Golden Rule?

julio
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What about the Golden Rule?

I don’t know about the Golden Rule! Jesus had just taught it to his disciples and next James and John asked for fire from heaven to incinerate a village of Samaritans for the little aggravation of not giving them lodging for a night, while they were on the road to Jerusalem to worship Jehovah!! Do you think it is the solution for social anarchism?…

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Hey Julio, good post, but 

Hey Julio, good post, but  (I really don't want to quote scripture, but since you brought it up...) Jesus scolded John and James for even thinking of such a thing.. its (i believe) the very next verse.

 


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julio wrote:Do you think it is the solution for social anarchism

 You gotta tell me what do you think social anarchism is !!! Today the word anarchism is used in very negative terms,while the true concepts of Anarchism Philosophy is not discussed at all,anarchism today paints with a wide brush.

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thedjjudah wrote: Hey Julio,

thedjjudah wrote:

Hey Julio, good post, but  (I really don't want to quote scripture, but since you brought it up...) Jesus scolded John and James for even thinking of such a thing.. its (i believe) the very next verse.

 

Yes, you're right. However, why would the two brothers make such a weird request? Because Jesus or the synagogue told them that for such types of problems, sometimes the god of the Jews [Jehovah] used such violent methods to subjugate the opposition! Besides, not too later afterwards, the church of Jesus christ went on in Jerusalem killing the first two INNOCENT victims of the Official Inquisition in MONEY matters - later in the centuries computing into MILLIONS! Acts 5:1-11, Ananias and Sapphira!
Jesus himself never applied the Golden Rule, for he had the big mouth to say he had come to bring dissension and conflict among families, son against father, daughter against mother and so on! He also declared that he came NOT to bring peace on earth but a sword [today he would say a MACHINE GUN, since swords are now useless]. A violent an insolent junior christ that ended up causing massive disruption in the moral fiber of society, turning out to be the BIGGEST failure in matters religious for the last TWO THOUSAND years!

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 Jesus' disciples did have

 Jesus' disciples did have rather thick heads though. How many times did Jesus have to rebuke or correct them in their misunderstandings on his teachings? Like many people at that time (and today), his disciples misunderstood the things he was teaching.

 

You're absolutely right that he said, "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Mt 10:34b)... yet also bore the title 'Prince of Peace'.

 

Like most things though, it is easy to take someone out of context when looking at isolated statements taken out of context. The whole silliness of Obama supposedly saying he was a Muslim comes to mind. Merely calling oneself a 'Christian' does not make someone wise nor correct, as Fox news increasingly seems to demonstrate.

 

Following the statement on peace quoted above though, Jesus goes on to detail how men will go against fathers, and daughters against mothers... in the context of whom they 'love' more, and on those who 'receive' him.

 

In other words, Christ does bring peace/shalom... peace between man and God, and the contentment that comes from this. This does NOT mean that followers of Christ will be rich, safe and pain free. Quite the contrary, we are told that those whom God loves, he puts through all kinds of trials, just as a father may correct and rebuke his children. Yet there is great peace in this.

 

Speaking of this peace, Paul writes, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want...

I can do everything through him who gives me strength'" (In Philippians 4).

 

Yet this same peace with God and reception of Christ Jesus, will also bring conflict. This conflict is why this website is here. Because even in one family, there can be those who war over who Christ is, and whether there is a God. The sword used may sadly be a human sword, or the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

As well, the teachings of Christ will inevitably bring conflict with the teachings of this world. I'm not talking about the politics of Right and Left wing here... I'm talking about core beliefs on what life is about and how one should live to the fullest. What things do we desire? What things do we covet?

 

James writes about this when he talks about what causes fights and quarrels amongst us. In part, he states that 'friendship with the world is hatred towards God. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God' (James 4)

 

In other words, Jesus does bring peace and the ability to become children of God... but to become a child of God will create conflict with the world which desires material riches, prides itself on its power, and places boasting and rage as means of dealing with other men. Christ brings peace with God, but war with the world.

 

I pray that this is a step in clearing up any confusion on this point. Each of us is free to choose what we will or will not believe, but I do desire and hope that we make those choices on what is true and truthful. There are so many misconceptions about what both Christians and Atheists believe.

 

Peace be with us all. 


julio
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"Jesus' disciples did have

"Jesus' disciples did have rather thick heads though. How many times did Jesus have to rebuke or correct them in their misunderstandings on his teachings? Like many people at that time (and today), his disciples misunderstood the things he was teaching."
Clearly, Jesus failed in the choices he made, regarding his disciples.
Immaturity aflame, that is.

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The proper way to phrase

The proper way to phrase such questions is "What did the writer (and later editors) think was the message being conveyed by this story?"

Whether such an incident actually took place is another question - it is almost certain that such events never occurred exactly as described ( who was writing it down at the time? ).

Typically the writers would have described what they were confident would have happened in such circumstances, what they would have said, even if they had no evidence at all about it. They were not consciously lying, or making it up, as they saw it.

The Golden Rule is inconsistent with the rest of the 'moral' pronouncements in the Bible, in that it is based on a purely subjective measure of good and bad, ie what would you like done to yourself.

It would certainly endorse a lot of sexual acts which I doubt Christians would accept... 

A better version of the Rule is the negative one, "Do NOT do unto others what you would NOT like done to you".

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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Julio wrote, "Clearly, Jesus

Julio wrote, "Clearly, Jesus failed in the choices he made, regarding his disciples. Immaturity aflame, that is."

 

Did he though? Or did his choices reflect a very different thinking than what the 'world' typically values?

 

The disciples he chose (excluding Judas of course, who fulfilled a different purpose) each went on to live lives that were dedicated to Christ. Historical tradition asserts that each went on to be martyred professing the truth of what Christ taught and who he claimed to be. Perhaps God does not see and value man as the 'world' values men, but perhaps he sees and values us in other ways.

 

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God was not born in a palace, but to simple people in a lowly place. The 1st to hear of his birth were not Kings and the wealthy, but humble shepherds in the fields. God's 'Chosen People' were not powerful Empire builders like the Romans or the Mayans, but a 'stiff-necked' bunch of nomadic herders (initially). Saul, who persecutes Christians, is changed into Paul who carries light to the non-Jews. Israel's King David is not the best looking or biggest of Jesse's sons... but it is he that God chooses with the words, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1Samuel 16:7)

 

But God chose the foolish things of the world top shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1Corinthians 1:27-29)

 


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My god, my god....

Dragoon wrote:

Julio wrote, "Clearly, Jesus failed in the choices he made, regarding his disciples. Immaturity aflame, that is."

Did he though? Or did his choices reflect a very different thinking than what the 'world' typically values?

The disciples he chose (excluding Judas of course, who fulfilled a different purpose) each went on to live lives that were dedicated to Christ. Historical tradition asserts that each went on to be martyred professing the truth of what Christ taught and who he claimed to be. Perhaps God does not see and value man as the 'world' values men, but perhaps he sees and values us in other ways.

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God was not born in a palace, but to simple people in a lowly place. The 1st to hear of his birth were not Kings and the wealthy, but humble shepherds in the fields. God's 'Chosen People' were not powerful Empire builders like the Romans or the Mayans, but a 'stiff-necked' bunch of nomadic herders (initially). Saul, who persecutes Christians, is changed into Paul who carries light to the non-Jews. Israel's King David is not the best looking or biggest of Jesse's sons... but it is he that God chooses with the words, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1Samuel 16:7)

But God chose the foolish things of the world top shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1Corinthians 1:27-29)

 

Why have you forsaken me?

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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BobSpence1 wrote, "The

BobSpence1 wrote, "The Golden Rule is inconsistent with the rest of the 'moral' pronouncements in the Bible"

 

Does it though?

 

For clarity, the actual passage is;

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

 

Would anyone truly listening and seeking to obey Christ think that he was saying to do things to benefit our own selfish desires? In the context that it is given, Christ precedes it by speaking of what a good father would give to his children. Before that, it is dealing with our own faults and failings before seeking to criticize others. Before that, it is on trusting God to provide for our needs. 

 

In that context, I would interpret it as meaning to do the good that God desires unto others, just as you would desire God to bless you through others. The focus is not on us, but on God and a right relationship with Him. 

 

Certainly, a person could take the statement and twist it... but then it would not be exactly that. Twisted.

 

I think it useful to remember another passage of Matthew, where he says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Mt 22:37-40)

 

God is the focus, not man. We love men because of and in the ways that honour and please God.

----

 

The negative form of the rule ("Do NOT do unto others what you would NOT like done to you&quotEye-wink has a subtle but very different focus than the Biblical version though. The Negative prohibits and gives rules... the Positive compels one to act, and places an implicit injunction to THINK about what we are doing in the context of its effects on others.

 

Merry Almost Christmas gentlemen and ladies

(please don't take this as a 'Christian' statement. I really don't see much Biblical root or reason for the Christmas holiday. It is a time to be with loved ones and to focus our thoughts on the joys we share though... so on that basis; Merry Almost Christmas )

 


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My God, My God...

  Atheistextremist wrote, "Why have you forsaken me?"

 

Because you haven't washed your balaclava in about a month!

Its starting to have crusty bits around the mouth, and I HOPE the white stuff coming out the top is dandruff  

 

If you're asking about Mark 15: 34 though, as I understand it, Jesus is actually referencing Psalm 22. There were no books or chapters in the time of Christ, and Jews usually referenced sections of the Tanakh by the first words. The Torah's book headings today still comprise the first word of each book (ie. Exodus = Sh'Mot = "The names of'... Exodus begins with 'the names of' the sons of Israel). Any Jewish readers, please correct me on any of this I may have misunderstood. 

 

Psalm 22 begins with, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"... and closes with "They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn- for he has done it." 

 


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Dragoon, you are twisting

Dragoon, you are twisting it, maybe in the same way the writers of the passage you refer to were. The rule itself preceded the Bible, and the writers had to twist it to get away from the very subjective, personal basis of morality it implies.

The negative one is the better version, since the other assumes that everything that I might wish for myself would be the same for you, which does not account as well for individual needs and desires. 

The negative version emphasises the priority of not causing harm to another person, which should be given higher priority than positive actions. In the ancient phrase:

'Primum non nocere' - First, do no harm.

 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Mmmm

Dragoon wrote:

  Atheistextremist wrote, "Why have you forsaken me?"

 

Because you haven't washed your balaclava in about a month!

Its starting to have crusty bits around the mouth, and I HOPE the white stuff coming out the top is dandruff  

 

If you're asking about Mark 15: 34 though, as I understand it, Jesus is actually referencing Psalm 22. There were no books or chapters in the time of Christ, and Jews usually referenced sections of the Tanakh by the first words. The Torah's book headings today still comprise the first word of each book (ie. Exodus = Sh'Mot = "The names of'... Exodus begins with 'the names of' the sons of Israel). Any Jewish readers, please correct me on any of this I may have misunderstood. 

 

Psalm 22 begins with, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"... and closes with "They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn- for he has done it." 

 

 

Hi Dragoon - I was actually just bemoaning my feelings of torment as I read your post. I felt like my brain had been speared, bashed up and hung out to dry.

Merry Christmas to you too, by the way. I agree with your sentiments about christmas....

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Dragoon
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 BobSpence1 wrote,

 BobSpence1 wrote, "Dragoonyou are twisting it, maybe in the same way the writers of the passage you refer to were. The rule itself preceded the Bible, and the writers had to twist it to get away from the very subjective, personal basis of morality it implies."

 

My apologies if it seemed I was saying that 'you' were twisting the statement. The statement is far older than either of us, and my meaning was simply that to take it out of context would require some deliberate twisting.

 

You are absolutely correct that A 'Golden Rule(s)' preceded it, but you are assuming that the Biblical rule is thus the same. There are many things that the Bible refers to that existed in some form or other in previous writing... this does not mean however that the meaning is the same.

 

And I would also agree with you 100% that the Bible's morality is not subjective or personal (in the sense of each individual using their own parameters for what is right or wrong). 

----

 

 BobSpence1 wrote, "since the other assumes that everything that I might wish for myself would be the same for you, which does not account as well for individual needs and desires." 

 

I think you're missing the point I was trying to clarify though. The Biblical Golden Rule is not addressing my desires or your desires, but rather the desires that God has for all of us. Note that the sentence immediately prior to the 'Golden Rule' says that "if you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children" and contrasts it to "how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Mt 7:11)

 

The desires and 'good' of God is the standard being held forth, not our individual desires.

 

This returns to your comment about the "very subjective, personal basis of morality". The Biblical Golden Rule is not setting forth a subjective, personal basis for morality, but rather one centred around a good and loving God. There may be other 'Golden Rules' written, but similarity does not mean totally equal meanings. There is a gulf between primum non nocere and the Biblical view.

----

 

Side question: Primum Non Nocere is a key component of modern Wicca as well. Are you a Wiccan or an Atheist? Just curious Eye-wink


 


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Mmmm brain...

 Ahhh nothing like some speared brain to perk a body up!

 

Sorry for my inelegant writing. Hopefully the meaning comes through despite my best attempts to hide it behind my words.


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BobSpence1 wrote: A better

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

A better version of the Rule is the negative one, "Do NOT do unto others what you would NOT like done to you".

 

Hillel, the Jewish sage who died in about 10 CE said "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Go and learn." The so-called Golden Rule that Christians like to attribute to Jesus predated him. Actually Confucius' rule of reciprocity said pretty much the same thing five hundred years before the birth of the alleged Christ.


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Dragoon wrote: Side

Dragoon wrote:

 

Side question: Primum Non Nocere is a key component of modern Wicca as well. Are you a Wiccan or an Atheist? Just curious Eye-wink

No, I just find that expression captures a fundamental part of true ethical/moral thinking. 

Thank you for clarifying what the Bible means when it appears to use the 'Golden Rule'. It always seemed inconsistent with the rest of the approach to morality in the book.

So now I can be more comfortable condemning the Bible as being utterly devoid of proper moral thinking, being rather based on the idea of strict obedience to primitive codes and commandments, ie it is more of a legal system than a moral system.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Ahhhh.... NOW you understand

 BobSpence1 wrote, "So now I can be more comfortable condemning the Bible as being utterly devoid of proper moral thinking, being rather based on the idea of strict obedience to primitive codes and commandments, ie it is more of a legal system than a moral system."

 

Ahhhh.... NOW you understand 

 

Yes, absolutely. Each of us should make rational choices based on what we know, and if your choice is to condemn the Bible because you disagree with its core precepts, then I 100% support you in your right to choose (though I may disagree with your choice).

 

What 'worries' me isn't what people choose, but rather when their choices are made from either false assumptions or incorrect facts.

 

Is the Bible 'moral'? Only if you believe that God is perfectly good, because it is His viewpoint that is used as a measure for 'morality'. Sin is not being 'bad' by human measure, but rather rebellion against what God has laid forth as right.

 

Is the Bible a 'primitive' code? Depends again upon the nature of God. If God truly exists, and is who the Bible lays Him out to be, then it is not 'primitive', but rather timeless. That 'if' is the crux.

 

 


Dragoon
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gold, gold, gold...

 Largo wrote, "Hillel, the Jewish sage who died in about 10 CE said "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Go and learn." The so-called Golden Rule that Christians like to attribute to Jesus predated him. Actually Confucius' rule of reciprocity said pretty much the same thing five hundred years before the birth of the alleged Christ."

 

Please refer back to post 8 though. Merely because someone else stated a 'Golden Rule' does not mean that it is the same statement or meaning as that made by Jesus.

 

I might also add that when Confuscius is told that a person wishes to follow the Golden Rule you mention, he tells then that this is beyond them (Analects V:12). There are also difficulties translating the 'true' meaning of Confuscius, even for native Chinese scholars, because of the differences between ancient Chinese and modern. The word translated as 'reciprocity'/shu/tolerance is one example of this.