Question for our Christian visitors

Randalllord
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Question for our Christian visitors

Most Christians claim that Jesus fulfilled the law of the Old Testiment and therefore they are no longer under it. They claim to now be under grace. If that true then why do you get so upset when someone tries to remove dispalys of the Ten Commandments form public places like courthouses or schools?

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Quote:Most Christians claim

Quote:
Most Christians claim that Jesus fulfilled the law of the Old Testiment and therefore they are no longer under it. They claim to now be under grace. If that true then why do you get so upset when someone tries to remove dispalys of the Ten Commandments form public places like courthouses or schools?

Personally, I don't see the harm in having the Ten Commandments anywhere.  I can see how some Christians would get in an argument in a public place with an atheist and find it prudent to point at the stones as backup, but that person would deserve to be kicked in the shin (I hate it when jerks call themselves Christians).

I find it to be an attack on the Christian religion.  Like their next step is to pass regulations to move all churches 15 miles outside city limits, or that Bibles can't be seen in public because of what they mean.  Separation of church and state seemed like one of these movements.  Much of the foundation of the United States was Christian-based (yes, there's a huge debate being begged there too, but we'll skip that).

The Ten Commandments are also a symbol of hope and justice.  Many outdated objects still mean something today.  You can pick up a model of one at your closest Walmart supercenter.

 

In conclusion: they still have a valid use in public places.


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Quote:The Ten Commandments

Quote:

The Ten Commandments are also a symbol of hope and justice.

 

Only to people who regard hope as something restricted to members of a particularly delusional club and justice a reward only to those members for obeying that club's delusional rules.

 

True justice thankfully is a concept which transcends such a narrow psychosis. The insistence on that club's behalf by its members that their "ten commandments" be displayed prominently where justice is dispensed reveals the extent of their delusion, but also reveals their desire to impose that psychosis on everyone else. It is yet another example of how sad delusional fools aspire to be dangerously sad delusional fools.

 

Most important of all its placement in such places is a symbol to all true believers in justice that justice itself is a precious commodity which survives only by being constantly defended against assault from self-interest. The christian insistence that its members' interests should override all others places them on the side of society's enemies, not its defenders, and that makes the "ten commandments" into even another symbol - that of the intention to oppress.

 

 

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doctorpeppor wrote: I find

doctorpeppor wrote:

I find it to be an attack on the Christian religion.

Why, in the world, is every conceivable attempt to follow the establishment clause of the first amendment an attack on Christianity? Why, in the world, do you make this argument when it is a red herring? Oh right, because you're a Christian.

doctorpeppor wrote:
Like their next step is to pass regulations to move all churches 15 miles outside city limits, or that Bibles can't be seen in public because of what they mean.

Doctorpeppor, I introduce you to: the slippery slope fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

"In debate or rhetoric, a slippery slope (also the thin edge of the wedge or the camel's nose) is a classical informal fallacy. A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step inevitably leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant impact, much like an object given a small push over the edge of a slope sliding all the way to the bottom.[1] The fallacious sense of "slippery slope" is often used synonymously with continuum fallacy, in that it ignores the possibility of middle ground and assumes a discrete transition from category A to category B."

doctorpeppor wrote:
Separation of church and state seemed like one of these movements.
 

Yes, because your intuition triumphs over all.

doctorpeppor wrote:
The Ten Commandments are also a symbol of hope and justice.

1) You mean it's a symbol of hope and justice for Christians.

2) This doesn't change the fact that it's a violation of the separation of church and state.

3) If we are no longer under the OT, then why do you want to promote the Ten Commandments? Why not Leviticus 12:2-5 or Deuteronomy 13:6-10 or Numbers 31:15-18?

4) The text that you deem to be a symbol of hope and justice includes the paragraph,

"You shall not make for yourself and idol in the form of anything in heaven or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:4-6

doctorpeppor wrote:
]Many outdated objects still mean something today.

Definitely. The Fatiha means something. Why don't you try to get that into a public building? Mein Kampf means something. Why don't you vouch to place that in a government building? No? How about Twilight of the Idols? Lord of the Rings? The Iliad? No? Why not?  

doctorpeppor wrote:
You can pick up a model of one at your closest Walmart supercenter.

In conclusion: they still have a valid use in public places.

Oh yeah? Then so does everything else I just mentioned. You want those things to be next to your precious ten commandments?

Valid how? Valid for what? Valid for whom?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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spelling ETC ETC ETC

Where have you EVER SEEN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS posted at schools etc!!!! THAT IS A BUNCH OF B**&*&*T!!!!!!you are just here to goof off and show your mantality?????? THAT WOULD NOT EVEN BE ALLOWED IN THE USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!... AND LEARN HOW TO SPELL!!!!!....This has got to be the most idiotic comment I have ever heard!!!!!!!!...and I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN!!!!

Lori Eden O.T.O


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lorieden wrote:Where have

lorieden wrote:

Where have you EVER SEEN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS posted at schools etc!!!! THAT IS A BUNCH OF B**&*&*T!!!!!!you are just here to goof off and show your mantality?????? THAT WOULD NOT EVEN BE ALLOWED IN THE USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!... AND LEARN HOW TO SPELL!!!!!....This has got to be the most idiotic comment I have ever heard!!!!!!!!...and I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN!!!!

Learn to disengage the Caps Lock key and write coherent sentences with proper punctuation?  Honestly, I'm sure you had some real objection to some post, but it's not exactly possible to discern to what post you are referring1, even if some sense can be made of your post.

1In fact, I have figured out that you're addressing the OP, however, you don't make much sense.  The ten commandments have been posted in those places and Christians do make a big deal of it when people point out that they shouldn't be there.  You're correct, in the US it would appear not to be allowed and yet it has happened.

(Thomathy is amazed that this thread is still active.)

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"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Nordmann is amazed that

Nordmann is amazed that "mantality" has never been used as a word before. Feminists would love it!

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It should be used as a

It should be used as a common term, right along with "man-centered maleocracy."


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LOL. 

LOL.

 


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I was about to ask you what

I was about to ask you what OT means, but I replaced a faulty fuse in my brain and figured it out (after 4 days).

So my question???

Why did god create evil?
(My guess it that god's a real prick. AFter all god's hung up about killing huge numbers of people, and whenever the fancy strikes him, just killing everyone (except a few goats, and a few people.) Geez! Did you ever think of what it would be like to repopulate the World by fucking your own sisters aver 9 months, and then fucking your daughters as soon as they could be impregnated.

Seems like god's quite an asshole. Wondered if you're into incest, like god is, or if you had any additional ideas as to repopulating the world... perhaps a bit of goat and monkey fucking would do it?


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 God did not create evil.

 

God did not create evil. As I understand it *and I do not officially pronounce myself a Christian or a "theist" in any way * God is supposed to have created the human being, as a free entity, and the human being then created evil. God is not supposed to be sitting up there on his throne moving people around like chess pieces. He is not like the Zeus in the Disney Hercules movie, either, moving lightning bolts around to destroy things. When will some atheists stop taking the Bible so literally? A huge amount of Christians have largely discarded the Old Testament as a book of metaphors to help society attempt to understand where it comes from, not necessarily as a list of events that actually took place. Notice how the God from the Old Testament is so different from the God in the New Testament. The Old Testament writers were just trying to come up with some reason to explain death. The New Testament writers seem much more inclined to see it as inevitable, whether you believe in God or not.

 

Also, you do realise that although there is a big chance that the Old Testament is not all "true", human beings must have succumbed to incest to populate the earth anyway?


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treat2 wrote:Why did god

treat2 wrote:
Why did god create evil? (My guess it that god's a real prick. AFter all god's hung up about killing huge numbers of people, and whenever the fancy strikes him, just killing everyone (except a few goats, and a few people.)

Although I am not exactly a Christian, I would assume that God didn't create evil. I think it makes sense that God created man as a free entity, and man then created evil. God is not sitting on his throne creating machine guns out of clay or planning the next World War. Neither is he like Zeus in the Disney Hercules movie, throwing lightning bolts around to create thunder storms and maybe flushing his toilet to create hurricane katrina. At least this is not how I see it, and I don't think it's what Christianism is suggesting. Man is supposed to have been created by God with the freedom to hurt and kill other human beings. God hopes man will not do it, but man does it anyway. In my opinion man is the real prick in this scenario.

As for those killings mentioned in the Old Testament... well, the OT has been generally discarded by a large portion of Christians who simply see it as an allegory, or a metaphor, a way to explain things we cannot possibly explain. Not all Christians believe it literally word for word. In fact most Christians are more for the message of the New Testament, rather than "an eye for an eye", a concept which has been quite abandoned throughout the ages. The 10 commandments are more true to what Jesus was trying to do; to spread good and help us establish what that good actually is. It is interesting that many of the commandments are actually laws, and if you break them you will be imprisoned. If we are still following these laws, which God is supposed to have made up, it seems to me like God is wiser than you have suggested, treat2.

 

treat2 wrote:
Geez! Did you ever think of what it would be like to repopulate the World by fucking your own sisters aver 9 months, and then fucking your daughters as soon as they could be impregnated. 

You do know, even if you are not religious, that it is most probable if not absolutely certain that we have succumbed to incest to populate the earth right? I mean... how else would we be here? 


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  treat2 wrote:Why did god

  

treat2 wrote:
Why did god create evil? (My guess it that god's a real prick. AFter all god's hung up about killing huge numbers of people, and whenever the fancy strikes him, just killing everyone (except a few goats, and a few people.)

Although I am not exactly a Christian, I would assume that God didn't create evil. I think it makes sense that God created man as a free entity, and man then created evil. God is not sitting on his throne creating machine guns out of clay or planning the next World War. Neither is he like Zeus in the Disney Hercules movie, throwing lightning bolts around to create thunder storms and maybe flushing his toilet to create hurricane katrina. At least this is not how I see it, and I don't think it's what Christianism is suggesting. Man is supposed to have been created by God with the freedom to hurt and kill other human beings. God hopes man will not do it, but man does it anyway. In my opinion man is the real prick in this scenario.

As for those killings mentioned in the Old Testament... well, the OT has been generally discarded by a large portion of Christians who simply see it as an allegory, or a metaphor, a way to explain things we cannot possibly explain. Not all Christians believe it literally word for word. In fact most Christians are more for the message of the New Testament, rather than "an eye for an eye", a concept which has been quite abandoned throughout the ages. The 10 commandments are more true to what Jesus was trying to do; to spread good and help us establish what that good actually is. It is interesting that many of the commandments are actually laws, and if you break them you will be imprisoned. If we are still following these laws, which God is supposed to have made up, it seems to me like God is wiser than you have suggested, treat2.

 

treat2 wrote:
Geez! Did you ever think of what it would be like to repopulate the World by fucking your own sisters aver 9 months, and then fucking your daughters as soon as they could be impregnated. 

You do know, even if you are not religious, that it is most probable if not absolutely certain that we have succumbed to incest to populate the earth right? I mean... how else would we be here? 

 


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mig_killer2 wrote: just my

mig_killer2 wrote:

 

just my .02 cents.

 

/facepalm


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"christians" only follow

"christians" only follow what is not too difficult. If they followed everything in the new testement they should all be walking around with their hands cut off and eyes poked out. I think jesus said that somewhere in there, I can't remember where. Maybe someone knows the verse. Christians seem to think they are better than you when you can quote a verse from memory.

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against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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I really wish I'd written

I really wish I'd written the name of the book down, but there's this book out there where a guy decided to live according to *every edict and command* in the Bible- Torah, Tanakh, Gospels and Epistles- literally. The results were quite... funny, from what I heard.

 

One does have to be selective. Else Christians would be Jews who believed in Jesus (horror of horrors) and would live *actually* according to the Law. Though without a doubt, that whole 'same substance, different person as God' thing would have to go. That's never been Jewish.

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My Answer

Randalllord wrote:
Most Christians claim that Jesus fulfilled the law of the Old Testiment and therefore they are no longer under it. They claim to now be under grace. If that true then why do you get so upset when someone tries to remove dispalys of the Ten Commandments form public places like courthouses or schools?

This is my first time to this forum, and I do not know the 'unwritten rules' about posting.  I know that most people viewing and making posts here are atheists, and I assume would not accept Bible quotes.  I, however, am a theist, and believe in the Bible.  Please understand that when I quote from the Bible, I am only trying to make manifest MY point of view.

Let me start my answer by agreeing with the spirit of this site, (religion has caused lots of problems and MOST conflicts throughout history), and by clarifying some of the terms used in the question.  

GRACE

Biblical grace is the same as wordly grace.  If a person were to do somthing to or against me which is against the law, I could either press charges or extend grace to that person.  If I chose to extend grace and did not press any charges against them,  I would not be giving them the right to continue to do the very thing they were guilty of doing in the first place.  My grace can be limited.  If the behavior continues, I have every right to press charges in the future.

Heb 10:26 - 10:29     For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto (insulted) the Spirit of grace?

THE LAW OF THE OLD TESTIMENT

Exd 24:12     And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

See above:  The law and the Commandments are not the same.

Gal 3:19     Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

The law was added because people would not obey the commandments.  The Bible states that where there is no law, there are no transgressions. 

Rom 4:15      Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [there is] no transgression.

 

Now to answer the question, people who believe that God's Commandments are the same thing as the law of Moses, and that Jesus somehow "fulfilled" the law so that we no longer need to obey the Commandments are simply not understanding what they read in the Bible.  Something WAS nailed to the cross along with Jesus, and it was commandments, but it was not God's 10 Commandments.

Eph 2:15     Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;

1) doctrine, decree, ordinance
     a) of public decrees
     b) of the Roman Senate
     c) of rulers
2) the rules and requirements of the law of Moses; carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment
3) of certain decrees of the apostles relative to right living
 

The law of commandments contained in ordinances = dogma /the rules and requirements of the law of Moses; carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment.  These rules and regulations that carry punishment no longer apply.  They were nailed to the cross, crucified with Christ.

Col 2:14     Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

In closing, from the beginning, all God has wanted from us is to Love each other, and to Love him.  Love is not an emotion, Love is somthing we do...it is active.  

Rom 13:10     Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

Loving each other means feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, not murdering each other, not lying to each other, not stealing from each other, ect.  One cannot Love his neighbor and break God's Commandments at the same time.  It is like the guy who beats up his girlfriend, then brings her flowers and says "I'm so sorry, I really do love you".  NO HE DOESN'T!  He may not want her to leave, he probably feels bad about what he did, he may even want to spend the rest of his life with her, but he does not Love her.  Beating her up is the oppisite of Love. Love works no ill towards her, Love is what he does, not what he feels.  

If 'religion' did not corrupt God's word and take it out of context, and actually Loved each other which Jesus Commanded us to do, maybe God would not be hated by so many people today!  

By the way, I use this same question to argue with "christians" who claim that we cannot keep God's Commandments.  I play Devil's Advocate and say "If the Commandments were nailed to the cross, or if it is impossible to keep them, why not get rid of them.  Why keep them up in schools, or public places is they are no longer valid?" 

I know I am long winded, I just hope I answered your question to your satisfaction.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Old post, but new member...My answer

 

Randalllord wrote:
Most Christians claim that Jesus fulfilled the law of the Old Testiment and therefore they are no longer under it. They claim to now be under grace. If that true then why do you get so upset when someone tries to remove dispalys of the Ten Commandments form public places like courthouses or schools?


This is my first time to this forum, and I do not know the 'unwritten rules' about posting. I know that most people viewing and making posts here are atheists, and I assume would not accept Bible quotes. I, however, am a theist, and believe in the Bible. Please understand that when I quote from the Bible, I am only trying to make manifest MY point of view.

Let me start my answer by agreeing with the spirit of this site, (religion has caused lots of problems and MOST conflicts throughout history), and by clarifying some of the terms used in the question.  

GRACE

Biblical grace is the same as wordly grace. If a person were to do somthing to or against me which is against the law, I could either press charges or extend grace to that person. If I chose to extend grace and did not press any charges against them, I would not be giving them the right to continue to do the very thing they were guilty of doing in the first place. My grace can be limited. If the behavior continues, I have every right to press charges in the future.

Heb 10:26 - 10:29 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto (insulted) the Spirit of grace?

THE LAW OF THE OLD TESTIMENT

Exd 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

See above: The law and the Commandments are not the same.

Gal 3:19 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

The law was added because people would not obey the commandments. The Bible states that where there is no law, there are no transgressions. 

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [there is] no transgression.

 

Now to answer the question, people who believe that God's Commandments are the same thing as the law of Moses, and that Jesus somehow "fulfilled" the law so that we no longer need to obey the Commandments are simply not understanding what they read in the Bible. Something WAS nailed to the cross along with Jesus, and it was commandments, but it was not God's 10 Commandments.

Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;

1) doctrine, decree, ordinance
  a) of public decrees
  b) of the Roman Senate
  c) of rulers
2) the rules and requirements of the law of Moses; carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment
3) of certain decrees of the apostles relative to right living
 

The law of commandments contained in ordinances = dogma /the rules and requirements of the law of Moses; carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment. These rules and regulations that carry punishment no longer apply. They were nailed to the cross, crucified with Christ.

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

In closing, from the beginning, all God has wanted from us is to Love each other, and to Love him. Love is not an emotion, Love is somthing we do...it is active.  

Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

Loving each other means feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, not murdering each other, not lying to each other, not stealing from each other, ect. One cannot Love his neighbor and break God's Commandments at the same time. It is like the guy who beats up his girlfriend, then brings her flowers and says "I'm so sorry, I really do love you". NO HE DOESN'T! He may not want her to leave, he probably feels bad about what he did, he may even want to spend the rest of his life with her, but he does not Love her. Beating her up is the oppisite of Love. Love works no ill towards her, Love is what he does, not what he feels.  

If 'religion' did not corrupt God's word and take it out of context, and actually Loved each other which Jesus Commanded us to do, maybe God would not be hated by so many people today!  

By the way, I use this same question to argue with "christians" who claim that we cannot keep God's Commandments. I play Devil's Advocate and say "If the Commandments were nailed to the cross, or if it is impossible to keep them, why not get rid of them. Why keep them up in schools, or public places is they are no longer valid?" 

I know I am long winded, I just hope I answered your question to your satisfaction.  


 


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Hello and welcome. There are

Hello and welcome.

There are no unwritten rules here, just the written ones. We often get pretty heated here, and will, on occasion, use REALLY strong language, so do be ready for that (if you haven't already prepared yourself with a few days of lurking; always a good idea no matter where you sign up.)

 

That said: Your recapitulation of the Nicene position on the Law still doesn't explain why it is/isn't important to have the Ten Commandments specificially in courthouses. What do you think about it? You talk about grace and love and that imply that certain commands were 'nalied to the cross with Jesus' (roughly paraphrasing here.)

First: How do you know which ones were done away with? The anti-homosexuality edicts seem pretty popular; those are somewhere in the middle of 'how to sacrifice a goat and do augury with its entrails' and 'shellfish is EEEEEVIIILLLL.'

 

So how does one *know*?

Is it what other Christians have said? Is it what Jesus said? If it's the former case, you're relying on the words of fallible humans; moreover, you've still got to pick and choose what's important- if you don't, you live by the Law of Moses. If it's the latter, you've only got his odd semi-related (read- potentially misquoted by the Gospel author(s)) 'commandments.' Jesus said plenty of things, but some of it was in direct contradiction to the specifics in the Law- even taking the potential tack that the punishments in Mosaic Law only represents the absolute maximum sentence, so to speak, and not the only sentence.

This brings us back to the Commandments. They were merely the first in a series of close to 600 commands from God. For some reason, possibly because they were vague enough and simple enough to keep and shove into peoples' faces, Christians kept them and ignored what they wanted to from the Law. Which is a big, fat 'no, no.'

It's something to consider, but ultimately a side issue in what we're talking about here, which is:

Why, in the face of all this (Christians ignoring whatever parts of the Law they want to, that Jesus' commandments weren't really *the* commandments, etc.) do Christians get all up in arms about the Ten Commandments in the first place? And why, further, bother to try and place them in a courthouse, as if they *truly mean* something to Christians as anything other than a sanctimonious symbol of their alleged moral superiority?

I look forward to reading your answers, isa.

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Hello, welcome to the

Hello, welcome to the forum!

Despite the length of your post, I'm still having a hard figuring out exactly what your perspective is. Is your opinion, in a nutshell, that all of the commandments still apply, except that we are now under grace? As such, there is to be no vast amounts of bloodshed, etc?


 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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crazymonkie wrote:So how

crazymonkie wrote:

So how does one *know*Is it what other Christians have said? Is it what Jesus said? If it's the former case, you're relying on the words of fallible humans; moreover, you've still got to pick and choose what's important- if you don't, you live by the Law of Moses. If it's the latter, you've only got his odd semi-related (read- potentially misquoted by the Gospel author(s)) 'commandments.' Jesus said plenty of things, but some of it was in direct contradiction to the specifics in the Law- even taking the potential tack that the punishments in Mosaic Law only represents the absolute maximum sentence, so to speak, and not the only sentence.

How does one know?  If one wants to believe what other people have said, their words must be checked against the word of God first.  If one believes that Jesus did come from God, then it is easy for them to know.  I believe that Jesus is God's Messiah, that he was sent from God to make the Law manifest, and to die for 'sins that are past'.  Therefore, I take the words of Jesus as gospel.  Here are some quotes from Jesus that help me know.

Mar 7:18 - Mar 7:23     And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, [it] cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

From these words I know that I can eat swine, or any other food because what goes in does not defile me.  I need to change my heart, because what comes out of my heart can defile me.

Mat 22:36 - 22:40     Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  

From these words I know that ALL law is ultimately about Loving God and Loving each other.  Why worry about anything else if one fulfills the law of Love?  Isn't this what Humanists want too?  Doesn't the entire world want to end war, end hunger and the like?  We all want love, right?  Man defiled God's word and distorted the truth.  Man created religion and carried out many crimes in the name of his religion.  This is man's fault, not God's. 

crazymonkie wrote:

Why, in the face of all this (Christians ignoring whatever parts of the Law they want to, that Jesus' commandments weren't really *the* commandments, etc.) do Christians get all up in arms about the Ten Commandments in the first place? And why, further, bother to try and place them in a courthouse, as if they *truly mean* something to Christians as anything other than a sanctimonious symbol of their alleged moral superiority?

I look forward to reading your answers, isa.

First, I'll directly answer the question, then I will clarify some of the terms you used.

I agree 100% that if one believes the Commandments are no longer valid, there is no reason to keep them in public view and expect people to respect them in some way.  I agree!   As far as the alleged moral superiority part, unfortunantly, I agree with this as well.  I can understand your frustration and disbelief based on what religion has done and is doing. This does not reflect the Bride of Christ, as the Bride of Christ is supposed to be a light to the world, so that others might see the light, and be drawn towards the light.  

I would not refer to people who fit your criteria Christians.  Christians are followers of Christ.  Christians obey the commands of Christ, and they obey the 10 commandments.  I know people from many denominations who fit this description.  This is what Jesus said about people (hippocrates) who preach but do not obey themselves:

Mat 7:21 - 7:23     Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  

I want the 10 Commandments shown because they help us to know how to Love God, and how to Love each other.

 

 


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butterbattle wrote:Hello,

butterbattle wrote:

Hello, welcome to the forum!

Despite the length of your post, I'm still having a hard figuring out exactly what your perspective is. Is your opinion, in a nutshell, that all of the commandments still apply, except that we are now under grace? As such, there is to be no vast amounts of bloodshed, etc?

My belief, in a nutshell, is that the 10 commandments will always apply, but the handwriting of ordinances, which was against us, was nailed to the cross with Jesus.  The ordinances were the rules and requirements of the law of Moses, as shown in my first post.  The Grace of God that we are under, does not in any way affect or negate God's commandments, or Jesus's demonstration of God's commandments.  Jesus made the Law of God manifest.  He lived it.  He showed us the spirit (attitude) of God''s laws, which is Love.  He also explained that God's law had been corrupted by man, and man was teaching man's commandments as if they were God's commandments.  

Grace is why God is slow to anger, not wanting any to perish.  Grace is why we have a chance to turn from our wicked ways, and to Love each other instead.  We are under Grace, but continuing to sin wilfully, after knowing what God demands of us, is known as 'insulting the spirit of Grace'.  

Grace and obiedence do not cancel each other out.

 

 


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You are essentially

You are essentially acknowledging that some ordinances are bad ones and need repealing, but that others are worth keeping. I agree.

 

Where you and I would disagree however is in selecting the criteria by which one chooses the "good" from the "bad". You, for example, think the 10 commandments of your faith "apply". In fact you go further and say "they will always apply". But to what do they apply?

 

As fundamental precepts from which just laws can be derived only some of them apply. The bits about taking some non-existent deity's "name in vain", for example, would be a disastrous and highly sectarian precept upon which to build any law. The general advice to "honour" one's parents, if taken literally, would in some circumstances lead to unimaginable suffering. Even apparently simple instructions, such as "don't steal" are so simplistically devoid of definition as to be worthless in the structuring of an equitable and fair justice system.

 

Yet we have in many societies developed just such a justice system, albeit with local flaws and variations but nevertheless remarkably uniform in its application across several cultures and apparently from different societal paths of development. So where does this common recognition of what's fair and just come from? It obviously doesn't derive from Jewish belief systems of the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. It seems, on the basis of archaeological evidence, to predate that rather limited and self-serving blending of religious edict and communal law which the commandments represent (even the ten which have been whittled down from their original several hundred). And in terms of refinement and effective application it has moved considerably from the narrow perspective enshrined in that piece of Judaeo-christian scripture.

 

Your filtering of your perception through the christian concept of grace derived from a divine deity is quaint, but rather irrelevant to the issue at hand. While you can interpret and express your own peculiar views in any way you want, the real question is if one of the by-products of such thinking - the ten commandments - deserves to be represented symbolically in a manner designed to insinuate that the values they represent should be associated in any way with a modern system of imparting justice. In the final analysis the ten commandments are just one rather ancient and quite archaic take on how people should live responsibly and in a manner least likely to impinge on the welfare of others - the fundamental intention of all legal systems based on the concept of justice. But others exist, many others. In fact as many as there are groups with the inclination to promote their own self-interests.

 

Justice cannot cater for such demands except to recognise them in order to ignore them. The greater good cannot be served by favouring one such group's ethical stance over another. Justice, to be effective, must apply to all equally and be seen to apply to all equally. Christians sticking a representation of their own peculiar ethical code in the face of all users of that system is an affront to the ideal of justice for all.

 

If you claim to be living in state of grace, then at least have the good grace not to force your archaic values down the throats of others. Have a statue of your favourite Bronze Age scripture in your house, by all means. But keep it away from courthouses, the buildings where justice should prevail, not partisan and sectarian allegiance to irrelevant and archaic ordinances. The desire to place it there, of all places, is obvious in its intent - and reprehensible for that reason. As are the advocates of such bigotry.

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 Nordmann wrote:Justice

 

Nordmann wrote:

Justice cannot cater for such demands except to recognise them in order to ignore them. The greater good cannot be served by favouring one such group's ethical stance over another. Justice, to be effective, must apply to all equally and be seen to apply to all equally. Christians sticking a representation of their own peculiar ethical code in the face of all users of that system is an affront to the ideal of justice for all.

When you refer to justice, are you referring to the moral principle determining just conduct, or some other definition of Justice?   

Nordmann wrote:

 

If you claim to be living in state of grace, then at least have the good grace not to force your archaic values down the throats of others. Have a statue of your favourite Bronze Age scripture in your house, by all means. But keep it away from courthouses, the buildings where justice should prevail, not partisan and sectarian allegiance to irrelevant and archaic ordinances. The desire to place it there, of all places, is obvious in its intent - and reprehensible for that reason. As are the advocates of such bigotry.

I believe the first sentence of the second quote is meant for somebody else that believes God's grace cancels out every sin they will ever commit.  This is not me.  I understand this arguement real well, and even have this discussion with other 'theists'.  I work for a guy who recently divorced his wife because she had commited adultry.  I know the guyu who had slept with his wife, too.  He walks around claiming to be a christian, and speaking about being under grace, and tells others that they only need speak a prayer to secure eternal life.  Non theists who are aware of the entire situation make comments like "why would I want to be a christian?", or "christians are hippocrates!".  This is not what the Bible states at all.  It is very unfortunant that people turn people away from Jesus because of their behavior.  Followers of Christ are to be an example to non-believers, are are to be recognized by their fruits.  I can present this from the bible in a future post if you want.

When you discuss people wanting to place the 10 commandments in courthouses and other areas, understand that they have been in those places for hundreds of years.  People are more trying to prevent them from being removed, although sometimes it is trying to get them back where they had been removed from.  I hope you can concede this point to me, as I have tons of founding father quotes and early court rulings as evidence to this fact.  


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isa820 wrote:butterbattle

isa820 wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Hello, welcome to the forum!

Despite the length of your post, I'm still having a hard figuring out exactly what your perspective is. Is your opinion, in a nutshell, that all of the commandments still apply, except that we are now under grace? As such, there is to be no vast amounts of bloodshed, etc?

My belief, in a nutshell, is that the 10 commandments will always apply, but the handwriting of ordinances, which was against us, was nailed to the cross with Jesus.  The ordinances were the rules and requirements of the law of Moses, as shown in my first post.  The Grace of God that we are under, does not in any way affect or negate God's commandments, or Jesus's demonstration of God's commandments.  Jesus made the Law of God manifest.  He lived it.  He showed us the spirit (attitude) of God''s laws, which is Love.  He also explained that God's law had been corrupted by man, and man was teaching man's commandments as if they were God's commandments.  

Grace is why God is slow to anger, not wanting any to perish.  Grace is why we have a chance to turn from our wicked ways, and to Love each other instead.  We are under Grace, but continuing to sin wilfully, after knowing what God demands of us, is known as 'insulting the spirit of Grace'.  

Grace and obiedence do not cancel each other out.

So several books in the OT were corrupted/written by man?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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isa820 wrote: Non theists

isa820 wrote:
Non theists who are aware of the entire situation make comments like "why would I want to be a christian?", or "christians are hippocrates!".  This is not what the Bible states at all.  It is very unfortunant that people turn people away from Jesus because of their behavior.  Followers of Christ are to be an example to non-believers, are are to be recognized by their fruits.  I can present this from the bible in a future post if you want.

This is a side issue, but STOP.... RIGHT.... THERE.

Don't put all atheists into the same category of turning from Christianity (not Jesus) because of hypocrisy. Most of us didn't even worry about that. Yes, yes, 'by their fruits.' So what? That's only one of the issues- the moral superiority thing- and another is the historical. And another is the logical. And another is the silence of a supposedly omniscient and omnipotent being.... but we could be here for ages talking about it. I needed to clear the air on this, because otherwise we're going to be talking past one another about this whole thing.

 

Anyway: The thrust of nordman's argument is that these are an antiquated code that don't really have much of anything to do with modern justice or laws. Especially in the U.S. John Locke and Napoleon Bonaparte have more to do with our laws nowadays, and we don't see atheists pushing hard to keep stone statues of those two men in the courts.

My addition was that you say that we are, and yet imply that we aren't entirely, under the Law. You're probably similar to many other Christians in that you pick and choose which parts of the Law are relevant to you and call them the pieces of the Law that are still in place.

My question of "how do you know, when Jesus certainly was pretty vague about it, and Paul outright said 'no more Law'" was meant to show that Christians are, to put it mildly, in a confusing situation. If they claim the Ten Commandments and some of the other pieces of the Law as their own, they are potentially going against what god commanded. As Christians, beyond what theologians have said about the Law, it's basically guess-work. And as it is necessary to appeal to the authority of theologians, it is unclear as to whether or not it is merely what those theologians *want* to be true, or what god wants.

Meaning: Even the Ten Commandments are suspect, and thus, it is pointless to place them in the courthouses. If they've been there for years, they should never have been there in the first place. They merely show the hegemony of Christian belief, nothing more.

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isa820 wrote:I believe the

isa820 wrote:

I believe the first sentence of the second quote is meant for somebody else that believes God's grace cancels out every sin they will ever commit.  This is not me.  I understand this arguement real well, and even have this discussion with other 'theists'.  I work for a guy who recently divorced his wife because she had commited adultry.  I know the guyu who had slept with his wife, too.  He walks around claiming to be a christian, and speaking about being under grace, and tells others that they only need speak a prayer to secure eternal life.  Non theists who are aware of the entire situation make comments like "why would I want to be a christian?", or "christians are hippocrates!".  This is not what the Bible states at all.  It is very unfortunant that people turn people away from Jesus because of their behavior.  Followers of Christ are to be an example to non-believers, are are to be recognized by their fruits.  I can present this from the bible in a future post if you want.

Yes, followers of Christ are supposed to be an example to non-believers, just like Muslims, Scientologists, etc. The problem is, they're just not. Of course, I understand that you just see that as "very unfortunate," but to any atheist, it's simply further evidence that none of these religions have any legitimate claim on morality whatsoever.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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The implications of

The implications of inferring moral standards from such a semantically vague expression as "grace" is something I happily leave to christians to argue about amongst themselves, so personally it doesn't matter to me how you or your fellow theists differ in your interpretations of the concept and how it applies to you. The man you refer to in your story is indeed behaving hypocritically, but that's beside the point too.

 

Back to your post, Isa820:

 

Quote:

When you refer to justice, are you referring to the moral principle determining just conduct, or some other definition of Justice? 

 

Justice can be defined in different ways. I concur that one valid definition is the application of moral principle through social legislation but that by no means explains the concept fully. In essence justice must translate an agreed standard of morally correct behaviour into law but the legal system's function is less to reward such behaviour than to identify and penalise aberration from it. For this reason effective justice tends to reduce morality down to a very few basic principles - all of which are concerned with the right of an individual to retain his property, his life, his health and his dignity (a fluid concept historically) against any unilateral attempt by another person or persons to take them. When it strays into more esoteric definitions - as religiously applied laws tend to do - it inserts compromises and loopholes at a very basic level into the mechanism. Weighting the "offence" of taking a non-existent deity's name in vain, for example, leads to so-called blasphemy "crimes" which in turn counter not only the individual's right to express himself but can be used as a platform for the oppression of people within society whose only "crime" is to be perceived as different from the particular religious sect prosecuting the law. That is just one example of unjust behaviour incorporated into a justice system tainted by deference to the sensibilities of a particular sect. There are others.

 

Quote:

When you discuss people wanting to place the 10 commandments in courthouses and other areas, understand that they have been in those places for hundreds of years.  People are more trying to prevent them from being removed, although sometimes it is trying to get them back where they had been removed from.  I hope you can concede this point to me, as I have tons of founding father quotes and early court rulings as evidence to this fact.  

 

Whether such emblems of injustice have been present for hundreds of years or thusands of years is completely immaterial. Likewise, even if you find "tons" of quotes indicating that this is how the founding fathers of your country wanted it (in fact their contrary views are well documented), it doesn't matter a jot. Despite, rather than because of, religiously biased interpretations of justice and how it should be represented, your country's legislators chose as their inspiration the humanist principles then being seriously promulgated for the first time in western history when drafting the basic precepts from which they hoped just laws could best be guaranteed to be drafted. That is something which the US should be grateful for and indeed proud of. In the context of their times they not only managed superbly to evict god to the sidelines of the legislative process but managed amazingly successfully to put into effect a political and legislative framework which would best guarantee that attempts by religious prejudice to erode these humanist principles would fail. The prevailing example of such a sect in the US has traditionally been christianity and US history is dotted with concerted attempts by members of this sect to use the democratic machinery itself in order to inflict their prejudice on society as a whole. For the most part they have failed - such is the strength of the US constitution - but that has only exaggerated the importance of the emblematic victories they have enjoyed.

 

The ten commandments have no place in the American legal system. The constitution and the laws derived from it are far superior a platform for an equitable system of dispensing justice than the prejudicial views expressed in that portion of christian scripture. Contrary to what christian proselytizers would have you believe, neither has that element of scripture ever figured as a contributory set of principles by which legislation has been drafted in the US, despite the apparent overlap of principles exhibited by a minority of the "commandments'" in question with basic principles of justice as expressed in humanist terms during the period called The Enlightenment.

 

No amount of rewriting history, placing false emphasis on scriptural importance, or indeed of attempting to stealthily insert theological mores into a secular legislative process will change that basic fact. Proceeding in an attempt to extract a "victory" in getting that scripture enshrined emblematically where secular law is dispensed is dishonest, arrogant, decidedly unpatriotic, unintelligent and - let's face it - about as immoral as behaviour gets if one purports to cherish the well-being of all of one's fellow man, not just one's christian associates.

 

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Nordmann, Viking to fellow

Nordmann, Viking to fellow Viking?  My first post on this forum was an answer to a question that (i guess) was believed to be a difficult question for "christians" to answer.  Why keep the 10 commandments up in public places when they no longer apply due to us being under grace.  

To answer what you are asking, although I would like the entire world to worship God, and believe on the name of Christ, I understand that this will not happen until the end, (every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess), and I know that although this country was founded on Christian principles and designed to be a republic where human rights came from a creator meaning that human power had no authority to revoke rights given by the creator, (sorry for the run-on sentence) and that a group of individuals gathered together can not have any rights or powers that an individual can have alone, I understand that the world has moved far, far past where it used to be.  There is a large movement who still believes that they can move this country back to its roots, back to the republic it was origionally, but I am not one of these people.  This country (USA) is now a democracy.  The problem with democracy's is that the majority (of humans) make the rules.  The majority is not stable in it's ways, and can be wrong, or even evil.  In the early days of the united States of America, the majority believed that black people were not as evolved as white people, and inferior to them.  Therefore, because of the majority, it was right.  Slavery was abolished not because of human morality, but because of the arguement that God had created all men with certain rights that could not be taken away, and because our country was founded upon this principle, slavery had no place in our country or the world.  

To end this discussion, let me say that I do not want to force my morals on anybody.  Doing so would be counter productive to God's plan.  This entire movement is spoken of in the Bible.  

2Th 2:1 – 2:12 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The Mystery of Iniquity means the spirit (or attitude) of being without law.  This is where I believe we are today.  A lot of Christians know that we cannot win, but believe that we must at least slow this attitude down, to win time to teach as many others about the truth.  I, and others know what will happen to us.  I know the direction things are heading.  Very soon here in the united States, it will be a federal crime to speak against sin, and soon afterwards it will be a federal crime to obey the commands of Christ ("go and make deciples of all nations&quotEye-wink.  Atheists will see this as necessary, and theists will see this as prophesy.  I understand that the powers that be in the world want human population to be under .5 billion.  I understand the perceived threat of global warming, and mans desire to find other planets in space that could support human life.  

It must be an extremely scary place to be in, believing that God does not exist, and believing that man is destroying the only place that supports their existance.  Concern over giant asteroids colliding with the earth and ending all life is probably nerve wrenching, too.  If God doesn't exist, we are alone at the wheel on this world, and must change the way we are living to ensure future generations a place to be born.  

I understand these things.  Understand that I am just one that watches these events, but am not actively trying to return our nation to a republic.  Yes it is extremely hippocriticle to want to enforce rules on other people that an individual believes do not even apply to themselves because of "grace".    

 

crazymonkie wrote:

isa820 wrote:
Non theists who are aware of the entire situation make comments like "why would I want to be a christian?", or "christians are hippocrates!".  This is not what the Bible states at all.  It is very unfortunant that people turn people away from Jesus because of their behavior.  Followers of Christ are to be an example to non-believers, are are to be recognized by their fruits.  I can present this from the bible in a future post if you want.

This is a side issue, but STOP.... RIGHT.... THERE.

Don't put all atheists into the same category of turning from Christianity (not Jesus) because of hypocrisy. Most of us didn't even worry about that. Yes, yes, 'by their fruits.' So what? That's only one of the issues- the moral superiority thing- and another is the historical. And another is the logical. And another is the silence of a supposedly omniscient and omnipotent being.... but we could be here for ages talking about it. I needed to clear the air on this, because otherwise we're going to be talking past one another about this whole thing.

Notice that I said that non-theists (who were aware of the entire situation) that was mentioned prior to me making this statement.  Not all atheists are referred to in this statement, just the ones who witnessed the behavior of the individual spoke of in this story.

 

crazymonkie wrote:

Anyway: The thrust of nordman's argument is that these are an antiquated code that don't really have much of anything to do with modern justice or laws. Especially in the U.S. John Locke and Napoleon Bonaparte have more to do with our laws nowadays, and we don't see atheists pushing hard to keep stone statues of those two men in the courts.

My addition was that you say that we are, and yet imply that we aren't entirely, under the Law. You're probably similar to many other Christians in that you pick and choose which parts of the Law are relevant to you and call them the pieces of the Law that are still in place.

My question of "how do you know, when Jesus certainly was pretty vague about it, and Paul outright said 'no more Law'" was meant to show that Christians are, to put it mildly, in a confusing situation. If they claim the Ten Commandments and some of the other pieces of the Law as their own, they are potentially going against what god commanded. As Christians, beyond what theologians have said about the Law, it's basically guess-work. And as it is necessary to appeal to the authority of theologians, it is unclear as to whether or not it is merely what those theologians *want* to be true, or what god wants.

Meaning: Even the Ten Commandments are suspect, and thus, it is pointless to place them in the courthouses. If they've been there for years, they should never have been there in the first place. They merely show the hegemony of Christian belief, nothing more.

God's commandments are not suspect.  I need to sleep now, but I will answer this in detail next time on.  This is where I was focusing my attention since confusion over this matter is common amoung theists and atheists.


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isa820 wrote:Very soon here

isa820 wrote:
Very soon here in the united States, it will be a federal crime to speak against sin, and soon afterwards it will be a federal crime to obey the commands of Christ ("go and make deciples of all nations&quotEye-wink.  Atheists will see this as necessary, and theists will see this as prophesy.

You really believe that this is what most atheists want?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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isa820 wrote:Nordmann,

isa820 wrote:

Nordmann, Viking to fellow Viking?

 

I fear any full-blooded Viking would be rolling in his funeral pyre if he heard you claim heritage! But I digress ...

 

Quote:

To end this discussion ...

 

Well, not quite, as you have raised a point of view which is founded on inaccuracies and it's only right that I should point them out to you.

 

You begin by stating out straight that you believe in something for which there is no evidence (that we're all heading towards a mythical day of reckoning) so I suppose I should be grateful that you have set the tone admirably for what followed in your post, which is also as skewey in terms of history, logic and fact.

 

You give a summary of what you believe the founding principles of the American republic to be. To an extent your summary reflects the rhetoric of the day alright, though it neatly edits out the avowed subscription many of the authors of the constitution and the Bill of Rights held to humanist principles then being proposed as superior, both morally and politically, to all that had gone before. In an age when outright declarations of atheism were still political anathema, there evolved a classification of thought one does not hear much about these days but at that time summarised a whole generation of radical politicians, including Franklin and Jefferson in the US. They described themselves as "pragmatic deists", a definition which stopped short of rejecting the concept of god outright but which stripped the deity of all function related to political implementation of human rights. These, pragmatists averred, were human in origin, human in definition, and the responsibility for their protection was therefore exclusively human. This more than any other motivation shaped the thinking behind the formulation of the constitution which protects your rights even today, and while it paid lip service to deistic concepts it very much intentionally sidelined dogma and religion-originated concepts of morality, especially in defining the political machinery by which the essentially humanist constitution would be translated into a country.

 

Your point about the problem of government being simply a reflection of majority will is absolutely correct (and every American atheist has good cause to note the flaws in such a system when it is defined as such), but again this is where the US founding fathers played a master stroke. The constitution which they, and later a few others, devised and adjusted contained within it a set of inalienable rights which even the majority would find hard to eliminate. Given the history of other supposedly "enlightened" and "democratic" European countries since that time you can readily appreciate how solid and visionary that provision proved to be. The constitution has not been immune to bad tinkering, and nor has the US been immune from serious internal threats to its political stability, but in comparison to other nations it has withstood attack and survived the worst of what could have happened had its founders had less foresight. An essential strength has been its general aloofness to religion in the thrust of its various declarations of what is just and morally right, and indeed its weaknesses have proven often to be where religious rhetoric was included in its wording.

 

The example of slavery is a moot point. Its toleration does indeed reflect on how immature "enlightened" thinking was in relation to its application politically, socially and economically. But even then there was a considerable number of delegates involved in drafting the 1776/77 Articles of Confederation who were vehemently opposed to the concept of slavery, and indeed the very constitutional provisions which would eventually be used to abolish slavery emanated from their insistence that their viewpoint be reflected in the articles, and later in the constitution and Bill of Rights. Your bald assertion that slavery's abolition owes nothing to human morality is frankly bullshit. It owed everything to human morality (what other morality applies to humans?) and to an unfortunately lengthy period in which those moralists had to work to get their views translated into political reality. The roots of their thinking lay in humanist principles, and indeed these principles as published by humanism's leading exponents, were regularly cited by abolitionists. The christian bible, with its theological ambivalence to the issue, and a christian history of collusion with slavery, devalued christianity as a source of any high moral principle which could be applied without hypocrisy - and in the debates which occurred this proved repeatedly to be the case.

 

You finish your remarks to me with two rather strange sentences. First you say that you think I must be scared, what with my atheism and worrying about asteroids and whatever. I can reassure you that my concerns regarding asteroids do not impinge on my peace of mind, and that my rational investigation of both astronomy and probability reassure me greatly, even should such fears arise. Nor do I feel in any way insecure or nervous knowing that the universe proceeds quite happily with me in it at the moment and without anything divine, magic, supernatural or otherwise ignorantly conceived dictating events in any size, shape or form. In fact I find the absence of such a perversion of nature quite comforting, thanks.

 

The other strange thing you say is that you do not wish to return the USA to a republic. It is one, mate, for whatever the definition is worth when its full title is "federal constitutional republic". So I am afraid your wish in that respect is rather misplaced both politically and historically.

 

One last thing (and only because you've done it twice now). I normally never pick on an interlocutor's typos and misspellings or even draw attention to them as I feel it is a cheap and egregious way of trying to advertise some kind of intellectual superiority, which of course it doesn't and we all do them anyway. Nevertheless I have to point out to you - if for no other reason than to rescue you from potential ridicule in the future - that Hippocrates was no hypocrite and using the name of the accepted "father of medicine" as a description for dishonest behaviour is one which could get you into real trouble should you ever find yourself in discussion with a bunch of medical historians.

 

Kom bort fra bedrageri! Slå imot sannhets lys!

(As king Håkon Sigurdsson advised a christian emissary sent to convert him. His christian servant Tormod Kark, under instruction from a bishop, assassinated him for it. For all the fiery reputation, being a Viking meant nothing when one came up against deviously murderous bastards working for "god".)

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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butterbattle wrote:isa820

butterbattle wrote:

isa820 wrote:
Very soon here in the united States, it will be a federal crime to speak against sin, and soon afterwards it will be a federal crime to obey the commands of Christ ("go and make deciples of all nations&quotEye-wink.  Atheists will see this as necessary, and theists will see this as prophesy.

You really believe that this is what most atheists want?

Forgive me for my poor forum etiquette.  I will try not to group everybody into one category from now on, If I do it again, it is only an accident.    

What I am explaining is from a 'christian' point of view.  Although we are not to judge other people, we are to Love others which includes telling them of God and of the ways of God...and of his Christ.  This is what Christians are called to do.  Last time I heard, Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009 had passed the House Judiciary Committee and is effectively a Hate Speech Act when paired with Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code.  Speaking against what MY bible calls sin will soon be against the law.  This is my only point, and yes, I see this happening and possibly more in the near future.

 

  


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isa820 wrote:Although we are

isa820 wrote:
Although we are not to judge other people, we are to Love others which includes telling them of God and of the ways of God...and of his Christ.

See- I've had a lot of other people talk to a lot of other Christians about this. This is, frankly, bullshit. Why? Because you have built a moral system wherein, while specific believers may not hate people based on what they do- or more often, act upon that hatred to harm the person- it is still enshrined in the doctrine that certain things are wrong, and that, depending on your interpretation (an all-too-common one that's been established for over a millenium and a half), women are lesser than men; indeed, downright evil and not worthy of trust, respect or power of any kind beyond the household.

By making a judgment on these matters (that is, by judging that your code is 'from God', that those who focus in on certain commands over others are right- based on their words, obviously, as Jesus said nothing about doing away with the Law, any part of it) you have judged. That you say you don't is where I call 'bullshit.' The judgment, and a feeble attempt to distance yourself from that same judgement, is implicit in your statement "Although we are not to judge other people..." It is impossible NOT to judge in an inflexible system where you and other followers of your god have a direct line to the true morality.

Quote:
Last time I heard, Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009 had passed the House Judiciary Committee and is effectively a Hate Speech Act when paired with Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code.

Sooooooo..... you've got a problem with someone stopping your rights to be a bigot?

Quote:
Speaking against what MY bible calls sin will soon be against the law.  This is my only point, and yes, I see this happening and possibly more in the near future.

It's not stopping hate speech, it's acts of hate. So you're on even worse ground than where you think you are. Even if it were: What's wrong with stopping hate speech?

I actually only ask as a rhetorical question. I'm all for hate speech: You can know for sure who the fucking bigots are then.

*edit* Also: One of the changes to this Hate Crimes law, versus the last one, is that 'hate crimes' now are defined, in part, as crimes against juveniles. I thought there was all that stuff about Jesus loving the children, how we should become like children, etc. Yet we're not supposed to protect them.....okay. /*edit*

....Seriously, you don't want to go this route. You'll only make yourself look worse.

@Nordman: Most of the Viking reputation, as you know, comes from seriously biased Christian accounts. In a lot of ways it was their own fault, though: Putting all their wealth in unguarded and badly defended monestaries or churches.... what did they think was going to happen?

I blame Lindesfarne for the bad press.

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crazymonkie wrote:What's

crazymonkie wrote:

What's wrong with stopping hate speech?


Excuse me?

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell

What's wrong with stopping hate speech?? How about the fact that hate speech is just speech that no one likes, which is why speaking out against Christianity is often considered hate speech? "Hate speech" is an arbitrary label imposed by the majority to silence whatever the same majority finds offensive. However, in this modern age, we now have a concept called freedom of speech, the idea that you should be allowed to speak your mind regardless of whether others agree. I have said this many times before, and I will not hesitate to declare it in the future; I support freedom of expression except when it trespasses on the rights of others. This means that I will not attempt to deprive the National Socialists' right to publicize their beliefs nor the Scientologists, the Pentecostals, radical Muslims, etc. I value freethought and an open forum above all else, because, my friend, that is how we can learn and understand each other. A world without censorship is a rational world, and, ultimately, a less religious world. 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Nordmann wrote:  You give a

Nordmann wrote:
 

You give a summary of what you believe the founding principles of the American republic to be. To an extent your summary reflects the rhetoric of the day alright, though it neatly edits out the avowed subscription many of the authors of the constitution and the Bill of Rights held to humanist principles then being proposed as superior, both morally and politically, to all that had gone before. In an age when outright declarations of atheism were still political anathema, there evolved a classification of thought one does not hear much about these days but at that time summarised a whole generation of radical politicians, including Franklin and Jefferson in the US. They described themselves as "pragmatic deists", a definition which stopped short of rejecting the concept of god outright but which stripped the deity of all function related to political implementation of human rights. These, pragmatists averred, were human in origin, human in definition, and the responsibility for their protection was therefore exclusively human. This more than any other motivation shaped the thinking behind the formulation of the constitution which protects your rights even today, and while it paid lip service to deistic concepts it very much intentionally sidelined dogma and religion-originated concepts of morality, especially in defining the political machinery by which the essentially humanist constitution would be translated into a country.

Here are some quotes from Ben Franklin.  

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

"This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins."

"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature."

"I believe there is one Supreme most perfect being. ... I believe He is pleased and delights in the happiness of those He has created; and since without virtue man can have no happiness in this world, I firmly believe He delights to see me virtuous."

"That Being, who gave me existence, and through almost threescore years has been continually showering his favors upon me, whose very chastisements have been blessings to me ; can I doubt that he loves me? And, if he loves me, can I doubt that he will go on to take care of me, not only here but hereafter? This to some may seem presumption ; to me it appears the best grounded hope ; hope of the future built on experience of the past."

You have more of a point on Jefferson.  Jefferson did not like the catholic church, and this is seen through most of his comments on religion.  I understand where he is coming from, and why he did not want the church controlling the state.  This is the reason we left England in the first place.  He was all about being able to choose which religion, if any, a person wanted to accept, and would not stand for anybody trying to tell himself, or others what to believe.  Here is a Jefferson quote that I believe explains his views about Christianity.

"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Nordmann wrote:

Your point about the problem of government being simply a reflection of majority will is absolutely correct (and every American atheist has good cause to note the flaws in such a system when it is defined as such), but again this is where the US founding fathers played a master stroke. The constitution which they, and later a few others, devised and adjusted contained within it a set of inalienable rights which even the majority would find hard to eliminate. Given the history of other supposedly "enlightened" and "democratic" European countries since that time you can readily appreciate how solid and visionary that provision proved to be. The constitution has not been immune to bad tinkering, and nor has the US been immune from serious internal threats to its political stability, but in comparison to other nations it has withstood attack and survived the worst of what could have happened had its founders had less foresight. An essential strength has been its general aloofness to religion in the thrust of its various declarations of what is just and morally right, and indeed its weaknesses have proven often to be where religious rhetoric was included in its wording.

Because you mentioned Jefferson, I will use another Jefferson quote to in this section.  These inalienable rights you mention were "inalienable" because they were given by our creator, and not by man.  Jefferson's point was that because man had not granted these rights, man could not take them away.  Here is the quote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." Jefferson 

 

Nordmann wrote:

The example of slavery...... ...................................The christian bible, with its theological ambivalence to the issue, and a christian history of collusion with slavery, devalued christianity as a source of any high moral principle which could be applied without hypocrisy - and in the debates which occurred this proved repeatedly to be the case  

Biblical slavery consisted in two different forms.  Slavery was applied BY God, as punishment to his people, due to their disobiedence to his commands.  Slavery was also expected as a form of debt payment.  If a person could not pay their debts, they would become slaves until their debts were paid.  God demanded that (these) slaves were to be treated fairly, and expected slaves to obey their masters.  

Biblical slavery never permits enslaving people because of their skin colour.  We are not to esteem one person over another, ever, for any reason.  God is taking the blame for man's mis-interpretation of his word.  Lots of church goers justified owning slave by pointing to scripture, and this is bad.  Eventually, God's principles prevailed, and bible believers fought slavery using the same bible as evidence why slavery is wrong.    

Nordmann wrote:

You finish your remarks to me with two rather strange sentences. First you say that you think I must be scared, what with my atheism and worrying about asteroids and whatever. I can reassure you that my concerns regarding asteroids do not impinge on my peace of mind, and that my rational investigation of both astronomy and probability reassure me greatly, even should such fears arise. Nor do I feel in any way insecure or nervous knowing that the universe proceeds quite happily with me in it at the moment and without anything divine, magic, supernatural or otherwise ignorantly conceived dictating events in any size, shape or form. In fact I find the absence of such a perversion of nature quite comforting, thanks.  

Again, I am sorry for grouping all atheists together.  I do not know if you (or any other readers) fit into this group, but I do know this group exists.  

Nordmann wrote:

The other strange thing you say is that you do not wish to return the USA to a republic. It is one, mate, for whatever the definition is worth when its full title is "federal constitutional republic". So I am afraid your wish in that respect is rather misplaced both politically and historically. 

The difference between our republic and a democracy, is that our republic was based upon the belief that our creator gave us rights, that no man could take away from us.  A democracy allows these rights to be changed based upon the opinion of the majority.  Although we may retain that title, America is a democracy now, it is different from the way it was.   

Nordmann wrote:

One last thing (and only because you've done it twice now). I normally never pick on an interlocutor's typos and misspellings or even draw attention to them as I feel it is a cheap and egregious way of trying to advertise some kind of intellectual superiority, which of course it doesn't and we all do them anyway. Nevertheless I have to point out to you - if for no other reason than to rescue you from potential ridicule in the future - that Hippocrates was no hypocrite and using the name of the accepted "father of medicine" as a description for dishonest behaviour is one which could get you into real trouble should you ever find yourself in discussion with a bunch of medical historians.

Thank you for the help...lol...I am normally tending to children's needs when writing, and overlook many mistakes. I doubt I will make that mistake again.

 

 

 

 


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crazymonkie

crazymonkie wrote:

Sooooooo..... you've got a problem with someone stopping your rights to be a bigot?

Bigot.  a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

I am not a bigot.  


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Quote:crazymonkie

Quote:

crazymonkie wrote:

What's wrong with stopping hate speech?


Excuse me?

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell

What's wrong with stopping hate speech?? How about the fact that hate speech is just speech that no one likes, which is why speaking out against Christianity is often considered hate speech? "Hate speech" is an arbitrary label imposed by the majority to silence whatever the same majority finds offensive. However, in this modern age, we now have a concept called freedom of speech, the idea that you should be allowed to speak your mind regardless of whether others agree. I have said this many times before, and I will not hesitate to declare it in the future; I support freedom of expression except when it trespasses on the rights of others. This means that I will not attempt to deprive the National Socialists' right to publicize their beliefs nor the Scientologists, the Pentecostals, radical Muslims, etc. I value freethought and an open forum above all else, because, my friend, that is how we can learn and understand each other. A world without censorship is a rational world, and, ultimately, a less religious world.

Aaall right- error on my part.

And a good way to explain how some European democracies went in the wrong direction.

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crazymonkie wrote:See- I've

crazymonkie wrote:

See- I've had a lot of other people talk to a lot of other Christians about this. This is, frankly, bullshit. Why? Because you have built a moral system wherein, while specific believers may not hate people based on what they do- or more often, act upon that hatred to harm the person- it is still enshrined in the doctrine that certain things are wrong, and that, depending on your interpretation (an all-too-common one that's been established for over a millenium and a half), women are lesser than men; indeed, downright evil and not worthy of trust, respect or power of any kind beyond the household.

Certian things are wrong, tho.  Are they not?  Wrong will always exist.  It is defined differently by everybody.  I don't know of a person who hasn't tried to convince others that certain things are wrong.  You just did it to me!  I don't have a problem with you doing it tho, just thought I would point it out.

As for the all-too-common example of women being lesser than men, I agree that that is wrong.  Christ did not teach that tho.  Blame that on religion, not God or Christ.  Gal 3:28 states that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

crazymonkie wrote:

By making a judgment on these matters (that is, by judging that your code is 'from God', that those who focus in on certain commands over others are right- based on their words, obviously, as Jesus said nothing about doing away with the Law, any part of it) you have judged. That you say you don't is where I call 'bullshit.' The judgment, and a feeble attempt to distance yourself from that same judgement, is implicit in your statement "Although we are not to judge other people..." It is impossible NOT to judge in an inflexible system where you and other followers of your god have a direct line to the true morality.

I am allowed to make judgements on matters.  We all do that.  I believe that Christ came from the Living God, to be an example to us, to show us the truth of God's law that had been defiled by man.  I believe this, you do not. Jesus told us that by loving each other, we are obeying every prophet ever sent by God, and every law given by God.  He also told us that "all "things are lawful", and that no food can defile a person.  He said that what comes out of our hearts defile us, because our hearts are evil.  He instructed us to cleanse our hearts, and to help the widows and the orphans.  We cannot love other people if we lie to them, or kill them, or steal from them, or cause them to fall away from God.  This is what Christ is about!  

By the way, here is the Bibles take on judging.  

Jhn 7:24   Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

What does righteous judgement mean?

1Cr 4:5   Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

Do not judge people because we do not know their hearts.  We cannot say that a person is good or bad, because we do not know.  If we do judge them anyway, based upon whatever reason, we will ourselves be judged by our same standard.  Telling people about God and his Christ is not judging.  Explaining what the Bible says about sin is not judging.  If I do, you may either believe me, or not believe me.  I do not think any less of you either way.  If I did, that would be judging.

crazymonkie wrote:
 

*edit* Also: One of the changes to this Hate Crimes law, versus the last one, is that 'hate crimes' now are defined, in part, as crimes against juveniles. I thought there was all that stuff about Jesus loving the children, how we should become like children, etc. Yet we're not supposed to protect them.....okay. /*edit*

....Seriously, you don't want to go this route. You'll only make yourself look worse.

Really???  I shouldn't answer this...but I will.  I too, am against crimes against juveniles.  This part is good.  But just because one part is good, it doesn't necessarily mean the entire bill is good, right??  I am quite sure I never said we shouldn't protect children.  

This is nice.  Despite all our differences, we can still have a conversation that leads us to discover that we also have things in common.  Smiling


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isa820 wrote: Gal 3:28

isa820 wrote:

Gal 3:28 states that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Oh, well what about:

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:34-36

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." Ephesians 5:22-24

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing." 1 Timothy 2:11-15. 

Or,

If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. Exodus 21:20

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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isa820, I understand why you

isa820, I understand why you might favour a christian-centric interpretation of late 18th century rhetoric and you're not completely wrong in ascribing a degree of theistic belief to either Franklin or Jefferson.

 

But while Jefferson is indeed a complex person to fathom with regard to his religious convictions (if indeed he had any) Franklin is not. Franklin belonged squarely within that body of thought which described itself as "pragmatic deism". How this pragmatism tended to convey itself politically is something the rhetoric of the Bill of Rights, the original constitution and the preceding articles are very good examples of. "God", to the pragamatist, could be cited as the common font of all humanist principle for two reasons - firstly because to the mindset of the day an alternative was not prosecutable politically, and secondly because there existed at the time within that philosophy a serious attempt to redefine "god" itself, even to the point of divesting it of all religious connotations and using it as a substitute for "universal". Franklin leaned to one side of this spectrum - his deity would be recognisable today as the christian god as is generally understood - but he was considered at the time something of a radical since he was open-minded enough to see that he had more in common with humanism as then described as with traditional theological standpoints.

 

When you read Jefferson's words therefore in the Declaration of Independence;

 

Quote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

 

you can (as indeed was the political intent) assume the "Creator" to mean whatever shade of christian deity you wish. You can also, as a "pragmatic deist" accept the term to mean nothing so exact at all, and still make sense - the "creator" being anything considered to be that which created mankind, be it a deity or a force of nature. A measure of intelligence, and possibly a fair measure of compromise, has gone into the rhetoric in other words, and if the parameters dictating that compromise are not understood by you then I submit you are failing to appreciate the true extent of genius which went into the preparation of that document.

 

Jefferson, as far as I understood from his own writings, had no particular objection to the catholic church which he did not share with regard to any other when it came to church involvement in state affairs. He had a particularly caustic view of Britain and its integration of the church into the body politic, and had little good to say either about states where protestant sensibilities were allowed to become the basis of political policy. The catholic church of course was the largest and most consistent offender in his view, but his rather sensible aversion to any church involvement in state was based on much more than simply a reactionary view to catholic policies.

 

My main point however is not to argue over how much or little these men were theists - by today's terminology they would most definitely qualify - but to warn against quoting them without either presenting or appearing to appreciate the complex and fairly radical humanist philosophical ideals which motivated their actions. Some of their quotes may appear to vindicate modern theological standpoints, but only on face value.

 

As regards your description therefore of a "god given republic" becoming "a human democracy" I can only refer you back to Jefferson's quote again and point out to you that he saw the two as expressions of the same political entity, and he wasn't wrong. When you understand how nebulous his meaning in his use of "Creator" you can see that to him it in no way contradicted the obligation of those "created" to run a democratic society based on humanist principles. It does not represent a contradiction, and nor does it represent a progression from one entity to another. It is a pragmatic deist way of rhetorically reinforcing what are inalienable rights in order to justify and make contingent the society which then follows when exercising those rights. That is where humanism was in the 1770s, and not just in the American colonies.

 

Be careful to what modern use you put quotations from that time now. Personally, I think if Jefferson found out his words were being used to back even an emblematic infusion of christian effigies in the machinery of state he'd be rather annoyed - to put it mildly!

 

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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butterbattle wrote:isa820

butterbattle wrote:

isa820 wrote:

Gal 3:28 states that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Oh, well what about:

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:34-36

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." Ephesians 5:22-24

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing." 1 Timothy 2:11-15. 

Or,

If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. Exodus 21:20

 

This is a good question, and deserves a good answer.  Plz be patient with this answer, as I am going to try to give an answer that is not condescending, and answers the question in the way I believe you want it to be answered. 


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Nordmann wrote:isa820, I

Nordmann wrote:

isa820, I understand why you might favour a christian-centric interpretation of late 18th century rhetoric and you're not completely wrong in ascribing a degree of theistic belief to either Franklin or Jefferson.

But while Jefferson is indeed a complex person to fathom with regard to his religious convictions (if indeed he had any) Franklin is not. Franklin belonged squarely within that body of thought which described itself as "pragmatic deism". How this pragmatism tended to convey itself politically is something the rhetoric of the Bill of Rights, the original constitution and the preceding articles are very good examples of. "God", to the pragamatist, could be cited as the common font of all humanist principle for two reasons - firstly because to the mindset of the day an alternative was not prosecutable politically, and secondly because there existed at the time within that philosophy a serious attempt to redefine "god" itself, even to the point of divesting it of all religious connotations and using it as a substitute for "universal". Franklin leaned to one side of this spectrum - his deity would be recognisable today as the christian god as is generally understood - but he was considered at the time something of a radical since he was open-minded enough to see that he had more in common with humanism as then described as with traditional theological standpoints.

Maybe this letter written by Jefferson (theist, but not trinitarian) to John Adams (Calvinist) will help put Jefferson into perspective.  I am goint to past the majority of this letter (it is short) into this post for the benifet of any future readers who do not like to click on links pasted in posts.  (they are out there).  I copied this letter from the website www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/jefferson_adams.html .  

 

"Dear Sir, — The wishes expressed, in your last favor, that I may continue in life and health until I become a Calvinist, at least in his exclamation of `mon Dieu! jusque à quand'! would make me immortal. I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Dæmonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his 5. points is not the God whom you and I acknolege and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a dæmon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. Indeed I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to Atheism by their general dogma that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a god. Now one sixth of mankind only are supposed to be Christians: the other five sixths then, who do not believe in the Jewish and Christian revelation, are without a knolege of the existance of a god! This gives compleatly a gain de cause to the disciples of Ocellus, Timaeus, Spinosa, Diderot and D'Holbach. The argument which they rest on as triumphant and unanswerable is that, in every hypothesis of Cosmogony you must admit an eternal pre-existance of something; and according to the rule of sound philosophy, you are never to employ two principles to solve a difficulty when one will suffice. They say then that it is more simple to believe at once in the eternal pre-existance of the world, as it is now going on, and may for ever go on by the principle of reproduction which we see and witness, than to believe in the eternal pre-existence of an ulterior cause, or Creator of the world, a being whom we see not, and know not, of whose form substance and mode or place of existence, or of action no sense informs us, no power of the mind enables us to delineate or comprehend. On the contrary I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it's parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to percieve and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of it's composition. The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces, the structure of our earth itself, with it's distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organised as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regenerator into new and other forms. We see, too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power to maintain the Universe in it's course and order. Stars, well known, have disappeared, new ones have come into view, comets, in their incalculable courses, may run foul of suns and planets and require renovation under other laws; certain races of animals are become extinct; and, were there no restoring power, all existences might extinguish successively, one by one, until all should be reduced to a shapeless chaos. So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have existed thro' all time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe. Surely this unanimous sentiment renders this more probable than that of the few in the other hypothesis. Some early Christians indeed have believed in the coeternal pre-existence of both the Creator and the world, without changing their relation of cause and effect. That this was the opinion of St. Thomas, we are informed by Cardinal Toleto, in these words `Deus ab æterno fuit jam omnipotens, sicut cum produxit mundum. Ab aeterno potuit producere mundum. — Si sol ab aeterno esset, lumen ab aeterno esset; et si pes, similiter vestigium. At lumen et vestigium effectus sunt efficientis solis et pedis; potuit ergo cum causa aeterna effectus coaeterna esse. Cujus sententiae est S. Thomas Theologorum primus' Cardinal Toleta.

Of the nature of this being we know nothing. Jesus tells us that `God is a spirit.' 4. John 24. but without defining what a spirit is . Down to the 3d. century we know that it was still deemed material; but of a lighter subtler matter than our gross bodies. So says Origen. `Deus igitur, cui anima similis est, juxta Originem, reapte corporalis est; sed graviorum tantum ratione corporum incorporeus.' These are the words of Huet in his commentary on Origen. Origen himself says `appelatio apud nostros scriptores est inusitata et incognita.' So also Tertullian `quis autem negabit Deum esse corpus, etsi deus spiritus? Spiritus etiam corporis sui generis, in sua effigie.' Tertullian. These two fathers were of the 3d. century. Calvin's character of this supreme being seems chiefly copied from that of the Jews. But the reformation of these blasphemous attributes, and substitution of those more worthy, pure and sublime, seems to have been the chief object of Jesus in his discources to the Jews: and his doctrine of the Cosmogony of the world is very clearly laid down in the 3 first verses of the 1st. chapter of John, in these words: 

Which truly translated means `in the beginning God existed, and reason (or mind) was with God, and that mind was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were created by it, and without it was made not one thing which was made'. Yet this text, so plainly declaring the doctrine of Jesus that the world was created by the supreme, intelligent being, has been perverted by modern Christians to build up a second person of their tritheism by a mistranslation of the word . One of it's legitimate meanings indeed is `a word.' But, in that sense, it makes an unmeaning jargon: while the other meaning `reason', equally legitimate, explains rationally the eternal preexistence of God, and his creation of the world. Knowing how incomprehensible it was that `a word,' the mere action or articulation of the voice and organs of speech could create a world, they undertake to make of this articulation a second preexisting being, and ascribe to him, and not to God, the creation of the universe. The Atheist here plumes himself on the uselessness of such a God, and the simpler hypothesis of a self-existent universe. The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.

So much for your quotation of Calvin's `mon dieu! jusqu'a quand' in which, when addressed to the God of Jesus, and our God, I join you cordially, and await his time and will with more readiness than reluctance. May we meet there again, in Congress, with our antient Colleagues, and recieve with them the seal of approbation `Well done, good and faithful servants.' "Jefferson

 

Jefferson believed in Jesus, and in the God of Jesus.  This next letter can be found in The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia at books.google.com/books .   

"I could not have believed that for so manv years, and to such a period of advanced acre Mr Pickering could have nourished passions so vehement and viperous. It appears that for thirtv years past, he has been industriously collecting materials for vituperating the characters he had marked for his hatred : some of whom, certainly, if enmities towards him h; < ever existed, had forgotten them all, or buried them in the grave with themselves. As to myself there never had been anything personal be- Vwcen us nothing but the general opposition of sentiment: and our personal intercourse had been that of urbanity, as himself says. But it seems he has been all this time brooding over an enmity which I had never fe.t, and that with respect to myself, as well as others, he has been writing far and near, and in every direction, to get hold of original letters, where he could, copies, where he could not, certificates and journals, catching at every gossiping story he could hear of in any quarter, supplying by 
suspicions what he could find nowhere else, and then arguing on this motley farrago as if established on gospel evidence. 'arraigns me on two grounds, my actions and my motives. The very actions, however, which he 
arraigns, have been such as the great majority of my fellow citizens have approved. The approbation of Mr. Pickering and of those who thought with him, I had no right to expect. My motives he chooses to ascribe to hypocrisy, to ambition, and a passion for popularity. Of these the world must judge between us. It is no office of his or mine. To that tribunal I have ever submitted my actions and motives, without ransacking the Union for certificates, letters, journals and gossiping tales to justify myself and weary them. * * If no action is to be deemed virtuous for which malice can imagine a sinister motive, then there never was a virtuous action : no. not even in the life of our Saviour himself. But He has taught us to judge the tree by its fruit and to leave motives to Him who can alone see into them. * * * I leave to its fate the libel of Mr. Pickering, with the thousands of others like it. to which I have given no other answer than a steady course of similar action * * " Jefferson
To Martin Van Buren, vii. 362. Ford Ed., x, 305. (M., 1824.) 


 

Nordmann wrote:

My main point however is not to argue over how much or little these men were theists - by today's terminology they would most definitely qualify - but to warn against quoting them without either presenting or appearing to appreciate the complex and fairly radical humanist philosophical ideals which motivated their actions. Some of their quotes may appear to vindicate modern theological standpoints, but only on face value.

As regards your description therefore of a "god given republic" becoming "a human democracy" I can only refer you back to Jefferson's quote again and point out to you that he saw the two as expressions of the same political entity, and he wasn't wrong. When you understand how nebulous his meaning in his use of "Creator" you can see that to him it in no way contradicted the obligation of those "created" to run a democratic society based on humanist principles. It does not represent a contradiction, and nor does it represent a progression from one entity to another. It is a pragmatic deist way of rhetorically reinforcing what are inalienable rights in order to justify and make contingent the society which then follows when exercising those rights. That is where humanism was in the 1770s, and not just in the American colonies.  

Hopefully, after reading the letters posted above, both by Jefferson, you will concede the fact that Jefferson was indeed referring to the God of Jesus when writing the Declaration of Independence.  He was not a deist, he just did not accept the trinitarian viewpoint.  A big fear of his was that the Union would be taken over by a religion, who would once again force their version of the Gospel on society and himself.

Enough about the founding fathers, and wether or not they were Christians.  If this nation was once a Christian nation, it is not one now.  If the unalienable rights spoken of by the founding fathers were unalienable because they were given by our creator, and not by man, these rights become negotiable once the Creator (God) is removed from the picture.  Lets even pretend that the Creator is nature instead of God.  Show me the right to life, property and the pursuit of happiness in nature.  If the Creator is mans own morals and sense of right, we would need to decide which man's morals and sense of right to use.  This must come down to majority opinion in the end. With God removed, the entire concept falls apart...IMHO. 

 

 

 

 


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isa820 wrote:Enough about

isa820 wrote:

Enough about the founding fathers, and wether or not they were Christians.  If this nation was once a Christian nation, it is not one now.  If the unalienable rights spoken of by the founding fathers were unalienable because they were given by our creator, and not by man, these rights become negotiable once the Creator (God) is removed from the picture.  Lets even pretend that the Creator is nature instead of God.  Show me the right to life, property and the pursuit of happiness in nature. 

Ha, and of course, the Christian forgets to mention that these "unalienable rights" only applied to white males or that the churches in the south were one of the most powerful defenders of slavery in the 19th century or that many churches were against granting women the right to vote in the 20th century. Now, we're in the 21st century, and homosexuals aren't allowed the same legal rights as everyone else because they're behavior is an "abomination."     

isa820 wrote:
If the Creator is mans own morals and sense of right, we would need to decide which man's morals and sense of right to use.  This must come down to majority opinion in the end. With God removed, the entire concept falls apart...IMHO.
 

Baloney. Regardless of whether objective morality exists, your religion has about as much a monopoly on it as Scientology. Even if a God exists, you have absolutely zero knowledge of what it considers to be moral. Your Holy Bible contains human sacrifice, rape, slavery, genocide, etc. etc. etc., and your religion is the cause of or partly responsible for innumerable wars throughout human history. So, you can jump around, pouting that the atheist is immoral and his worldview is dangerous, but you're in the exact same position. 

Of course, undoubtedly, you'll argue that this is not the case. If so, then prove it. Demonstrate to me, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you know what God wants. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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isa820, I did not dispute

isa820,

 

I did not dispute what you aver in your last post. However you seem to fail to appreciate the rather significant difference between how a skeptical mind worked in the late 18th century and today. To the best of my knowledge there were no - and I mean absolutely no - atheists in public life in western society by the standards one would use the term today. It is to Jefferson's credit that he achieved not only the degree of skeptical analysis which he did (and translated it into political reality to a large extent) but that he did so while working within the narrow parameters afforded by a nominal acceptance of scriptural stricture.

 

But as I said, it is dangerous to assume from this that the man was a "theist" either in the modern sense. By concentrating on his very well informed references to these strictures when defining his position you create an impression of a man struggling to reconcile his theistic beliefs with his humanist beliefs. There was no such disparity evident in Jefferson's behaviour at all, and his ability to emphasise the latter without ever openly averring atheism (an impossibility for a man in his position and something which he could never even have contemplated) is evidence of his innate intelligence and political astuteness.

 

If you forget religion for a moment and approach the study of the history of humanism in western society you will probably more readily see the point I am making. Humanism ultimately developed despite religion rather than out of it. At the point in time when the US was founded however the two were still rhetorically bound together - while one could be formulated independent of religion, no humanist principle could be expressed politically except with reference to religious doctrine and belief. That does not make humanists theists, and nor should it be made to do so retrospectively 230 years or so later.

 

And therefore my underlying point is that the US, founded by men of such a viewpoint (as well as by religious men in the conventional sense), had incorporated into its politic from the outset values and ideals which owed little or nothing to theistic belief and everything to humanist ideals. To aver now that it was founded as a purely christian concept is doing both its humanist founders, and indeed its constitution, a huge disservice through misrepresentation of the facts.

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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Nordmann wrote:If you forget

Nordmann wrote:

If you forget religion for a moment and approach the study of the history of humanism in western society you will probably more readily see the point I am making. Humanism ultimately developed despite religion rather than out of it. At the point in time when the US was founded however the two were still rhetorically bound together - while one could be formulated independent of religion, no humanist principle could be expressed politically except with reference to religious doctrine and belief. That does not make humanists theists, and nor should it be made to do so retrospectively 230 years or so later.

And therefore my underlying point is that the US, founded by men of such a viewpoint (as well as by religious men in the conventional sense), had incorporated into its politic from the outset values and ideals which owed little or nothing to theistic belief and everything to humanist ideals. To aver now that it was founded as a purely christian concept is doing both its humanist founders, and indeed its constitution, a huge disservice through misrepresentation of the facts.  

I am aware of the existance of the point you are trying to make, I just don't see the evidence.  You say that although people during that time used the terminology of theists, they were not.  You say that (correct me if i'm wrong) humanists/atheists were all "in the closet" during that time in history, and had to sound like theists to get their points accepted?  Why do you believe this, is there evidence???  

Can you fill me in on the history of humanism in western society...not the advanced class, just the 101.  Maybe show some evidence supporting the claim that they were not theists.  Maybe point out the humanist language you referred to earlier.    

By the way, I know that not all founding fathers or writers/signers were theists.  I believe that a few were deists and there were a couple who were possibly atheists, but the overwhelming majority of them believed in the God of Abraham and in Christ as savior.   

 


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butterbattle wrote:Ha, and

butterbattle wrote:

Ha, and of course, the Christian forgets to mention that these "unalienable rights" only applied to white males or that the churches in the south were one of the most powerful defenders of slavery in the 19th century or that many churches were against granting women the right to vote in the 20th century. Now, we're in the 21st century, and homosexuals aren't allowed the same legal rights as everyone else because they're behavior is an "abomination."   

When you say "the Christian", are you referring to me?  Well, I'll just assume you are and answer as if you were. Going to church does not make one a better person.  Pastoring a church doesn't either.  There are stupid people that attend church, and stupid people that don't.  Don't expect me to try to defend "religion", because I won't.  I don't like it.  Don't expect me to defend people who attend church either, attending church doesn't make them christians, or more righteous than anybody else.  I do not attend church myself.  I read the bible, pray and strive to love other people in the same way that I love myself.  

If I were to make the claim that people who believe in evolution are murderers because one of the columbine shooters had "natural selection" written on his shirt, you would think I was silly!  Listen, you are preaching to the choir!  I am working on the answer to your earlier questions, and hopefully if you can accept my answer, you will stop blaming God for everything man does, even if they believe that they are doing it in His name.            

butterbattle wrote:

Baloney. Regardless of whether objective morality exists, your religion has about as much a monopoly on it as Scientology. Even if a God exists, you have absolutely zero knowledge of what it considers to be moral. Your Holy Bible contains human sacrifice, rape, slavery, genocide, etc. etc. etc., and your religion is the cause of or partly responsible for innumerable wars throughout human history. So, you can jump around, pouting that the atheist is immoral and his worldview is dangerous, but you're in the exact same position. 

 

First of all, lol, I am not jumping around, or pouting about anything, and I never called you immoral.  We are having a conversation.  You must be having another conversation with a different theist at the same time because you keep getting our comments confused.

butterbattle wrote:

Demonstrate to me, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you know what God wants.   

 

OK, I will give it a shot.  

Rom 13:8 - 13:10     "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law."  

Mat 22:37 - 22:40     "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."  

God wants us to Love each other.  This does not mean smiling and saying "I love you", like some T.V. people do. This is tending to peoples needs, feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless, not lying to or about others, not stealing from others, not murdering others (in thought or deed), not being partial due to appearance or wealth, not being angry at others without a cause (prejudice), not envying, esteeming others as better than ones self, and not working ill towards anybody.  

This is what Christ preached.  Christ came to make God's will manifest.  

1st Jo 3:11     "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another."

Loving each other is good, right?  I do not think you are immoral.  Although we do not completely agree on what is wrong and right, I know that you, along with the majority of the world want the same thing.  We all want to end war.  We all want to end hunger and suffering.  We are all made in the image of God.  God's law is written in our hearts, we know Love is right.  

I know God want's us to Love each other because his word matches our hearts.  

Yes, you could argue that because we created God he would naturally reflect our desires and longings, but that wouldn't explain why we've never been able to achieve peace on earth.  The Bible teaches that our flesh only cares about self and because of this is incapable of Love, (love works no ill towards others) and that we are incapable of being right with God while we follow the desires of our flesh.  BUT, by dying to our flesh (which is what baptism actually symbolizes) we become capable of Loving others, and pleasing him.  

If I did not give what you wanted, let me know why and I will try again.  This is from my viewpoint, and "beyond a reasonable doubt" is going to vary from person to person. 

 

 

 

  


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isa820 wrote:Enough about

isa820 wrote:

Enough about the founding fathers, and wether or not they were Christians.  If this nation was once a Christian nation, it is not one now.  If the unalienable rights spoken of by the founding fathers were unalienable because they were given by our creator, and not by man, these rights become negotiable once the Creator (God) is removed from the picture.  Lets even pretend that the Creator is nature instead of God.  Show me the right to life, property and the pursuit of happiness in nature.

butterbattle wrote:

Ha, and of course, the Christian forgets to mention that these "unalienable rights" only applied to white males or that the churches in the south were one of the most powerful defenders of slavery in the 19th century or that many churches were against granting women the right to vote in the 20th century. Now, we're in the 21st century, and homosexuals aren't allowed the same legal rights as everyone else because they're behavior is an "abomination."

isa820 wrote:
When you say "the Christian", are you referring to me?  Well, I'll just assume you are and answer as if you were. Going to church does not make one a better person.  Pastoring a church doesn't either.  There are stupid people that attend church, and stupid people that don't.  Don't expect me to try to defend "religion", because I won't.  I don't like it.  Don't expect me to defend people who attend church either, attending church doesn't make them christians, or more righteous than anybody else.  I do not attend church myself.  I read the bible, pray and strive to love other people in the same way that I love myself.  

If I were to make the claim that people who believe in evolution are murderers because one of the columbine shooters had "natural selection" written on his shirt, you would think I was silly!  Listen, you are preaching to the choir!  I am working on the answer to your earlier questions, and hopefully if you can accept my answer, you will stop blaming God for everything man does, even if they believe that they are doing it in His name.

           

Ugh, I apologize. I think I misread your previous post and thought you were implying that America was a better country because it was a "Christian nation." However, I wasn't arguing that Christianity perpetuated slavery, etc. either. Rather, I was showing how many people were denied their rights in America for most of its history, responding to your claim that America was the land of the free due to Christianity. But, since you weren't even making that claim anyways, I guess my point is meaningless.

isa820 wrote:

First of all, lol, I am not jumping around, or pouting about anything, and I never called you immoral.

 

Yes, upon review, it looks like I messed up again. I must have been in a weird mood.

isa820 wrote:
If I did not give what you wanted, let me know why and I will try again. 
 

Well, I'm sure you've been through enough of these debates to know, that in order to satisfy the skeptic, you have to first show how you know that the Bible is the word of God.

And, of course, there are hundreds of verses throughout the Bible that I have objections to, in addition to the ones I posted above.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Nordmann
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Quote:I am aware of the

Quote:

I am aware of the existance of the point you are trying to make, I just don't see the evidence.  You say that although people during that time used the terminology of theists, they were not.  You say that (correct me if i'm wrong) humanists/atheists were all "in the closet" during that time in history, and had to sound like theists to get their points accepted?  Why do you believe this, is there evidence???  

Can you fill me in on the history of humanism in western society...not the advanced class, just the 101.  Maybe show some evidence supporting the claim that they were not theists.  Maybe point out the humanist language you referred to earlier.    

By the way, I know that not all founding fathers or writers/signers were theists.  I believe that a few were deists and there were a couple who were possibly atheists, but the overwhelming majority of them believed in the God of Abraham and in Christ as savior

 

Hi isa820,

 

I am obviously failing in my attempt to explain what I mean. For a start I thought I had already said unequivocaly that these people were theists. "Atheism" at that moment in history and in that society was tantamount to a denial of nature itself, so ingrained was theology with everything which could be said academically to be linked to understanding our universe and man's role in it.

 

But that is not to say that these people were not skeptical, analytical and in many ways the people who laid the foundation for what we regard as scientific principles in the modern sense. Our oft-cited disparity between the purely scientific and the religious mind-set would have been something largely beyond the understanding even of men of Jefferson's intelligence. The nearest they would have to equate with it would have been then enlightened views towards witchcraft and the occult, and even there the barriers were vague. All the same they - or at least some of them - believed in perpetual inquiry, and were at the vanguard of the movement, whether they knew it or not, away from docile dependence on subjective interpretation from doctrine and into the new disciplines which valued empirically deduced fact above all else.

 

Humanism as a distinct branch of philosophy has its roots in that endeavour, and while some of its proponents were avowedly atheistic, the vast majority were people who could not relinquish theistic thinking without losing an ability to think coherently by the standards of the day. Jefferson was one such, and highly typical of many others. When he said in a letter to Francis Hopkinson, for example, "I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent" he was summarising the epitome and central tenet of humanist thinking as expressed by more vociferous humanists such as Mann. God, like much else, had become a maleable concept - something which had to be redefined in a world where it was recognised that morality and the machinery to implement it socially originated with men, not gods. He summed it up himself when he said "All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God". God was not denied as a concept, so by that reckoning Jefferson and his ilk were theists. But god was something which stood secondary in importance to man's own ability and will when it came to defining and running society, so in that sense they were humanists first and foremost.

 

I trust that your use of terms like atheists "in the closet" etc were based on your own sensibilities and viewpoint, and not on anything I'd written. Should you wish to be "educated" on the development of humanism in western thought - even in an elementary way - then I'd recommend you read up on the subject yourself. Barnes&Noble etc would have several books on the theme, though few I dare say under the "religion" category.

 

But I recommend even more that you develop an ability to read what is written, and not what you think you see. It helps a lot.

 

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


isa820
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butterbattle wrote: Well,

butterbattle wrote:

 

Well, I'm sure you've been through enough of these debates to know, that in order to satisfy the skeptic, you have to first show how you know that the Bible is the word of God.    

 

This is my answer.

I would rephrase "the Bible is the word of God" to 'the Bible contains the word of God'.  The word of God came to us through the prophets, who when in the spirit, were given the word.  As those prophets spoke the word of God to the people, the words and events were recorded.  

Christ spoke the word of God.  

Rev 1:1 - 1:2   The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Jhn 17:8   For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received [them], and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Is Psalms the word of God?  I personally do not believe so.  Psalms is mainly recorded songs and prayers of David. If God was speaking to David telling him what to say, David's prayers and songs to God don't have much meaning.

Compare the opening of Ezekiel to the opening of Luke.

Eze 1:1 - 1:4   Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, as I [was] among the captives by the river of Chebar, [that] the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.  In the fifth [day] of the month, which [was] the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity, The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.  And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness [was] about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.

Luke 1:1 - 1:4   Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

Some of Paul's letters to the different churches and brothers in the lord were written because certian Jew's were trying to teach 'the law' to the gentiles who had recently discovered God.  Others were written because certian people who had received the knowledge of Christ were not growing, or were continuing in the lifestyle they had before being told the good news.  ect...

This does not mean that I abandoned any of the books of the bible.  Scripture was given to be an example to us, so that we could see that God keeps his promises to us, and that the wages of sin is death, and that living according to his word brings blessing.  

Now I will tell you why I believe that the words of Christ are the words of God.

Acts 26:4 - 26:5   My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Saul was a pharisee and had a great life.  He had respect from all his people.  He received money from his people. Everything was going great for this guy.  He actually persecuted Christians having them arrested and testifying against them at their executions.  One day he was on his way to Damascus.  He saw a light shining all around him as bright as the sun, and heard, as he described, Jesus speaking to him.  

After this meeting he left his good life and followed Christ.  He was now hated by his old friends, and eventually persecuted himself.  He was stoned on one occasion, beaten up a couple of times, thrown into prison, and had his life threatened a few times.  

This goes completely against all logic.  If he had not seen/heard from Christ, why would he give up everything and be willing to face death unafraid fulfilling the commission of Christ.  (by the way, this is still happening today all over the world.)

Matthew, Mark, the apostile John, Peter and others wrote their books because they witnessed the miracles of Christ, and wanted to let other people know that Christ not only actually lived, but that he came from God and performed miricles, died and rose from the dead.  Almost all of the apostiles were put to death for preaching the word of God, but it did not matter to them.  They also gave up everything to follow Christ, and gave up their lives for preaching his gosple.

A question for you:  How much would you give up for the spaghetti monster?  Imagine you went to Iran teaching that the spaghetti monster created the world and that all must worship it.  Imagine that you were arrested, and brought before a councel that commanded you to renounce this monster as a false God or lose your head.  Would you renounce him?  I would.  I know he is not true and is not worth losing my life over.  The apostiles knew Christ, and witnessed his miracles and teachings, and witnessed his being raised from the dead.  Remember, after Christ died, all those who followed him were in hiding.  They were scared that they would suffer the same fate as Christ because they followed him.  After he rose and appeared to them, they were fearless!

Conclusion to me, Christ really lived, died and lived again.  He DID come from the Father.  If the apostiles were lying, they would never give their lives for the lie.  I cannot believe that.

Look at the history of the Jewish nation.  Never has a people been scattered so far, and for so long, and remained a people.  God said that Israel would be scattered amoung the nations,but he would never allow them to perish.

Leviticus 26:44:     Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God.

After being scattered throughout the nations, Israel returned to the land God had given them.

Ezekiel 34:13   I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.

I need to sleep now, but If you want to continue on THIS subject let me know.  Maybe I could tell my personal experience, on how I used to be an atheist less than two years ago and why I changed.  (If I tell you MY story you would really think I was a nutcase, and you will probably get a good laugh out of it at my expense.)

 





 

 


isa820
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What is your personal

Nordmann, What is your worldview?


crazymonkie
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isa820 wrote:butterbattle

isa820 wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

 

Well, I'm sure you've been through enough of these debates to know, that in order to satisfy the skeptic, you have to first show how you know that the Bible is the word of God.    

 

This is my answer.

I would rephrase "the Bible is the word of God" to 'the Bible contains the word of God'.  The word of God came to us through the prophets, who when in the spirit, were given the word.

Surely you can see the problem here, though.

This isn't proof- it's an assertion. You need evidence- extra-Biblical evidence- for your assertions. And the first, and most difficult proof you must establish is that of the supernatural. Just any ol' supernatural. No, personal experience does not count, because it can be (and often is) mistaken- biased to the point of uselessness. No, 'holy books' do not count, because each literate society thus far has made 'holy books,' each with competing claims, each claiming to be the truth. No, commentaries or expansions on the books do not count- see the previous remark about 'holy books.'

Any believer of any stripe can toss verses at us, and be completely right within their own framework.

This means nothing for the actual truth of the claims.

OrdinaryClay wrote:
If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.