Homosexuality and Biblical Ethics

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Homosexuality and Biblical Ethics

A thread in the Biblical Errancy forum got sidetracked onto a discussion of whether or not homosexuality is harmful. If you want to see the beginnings of this thread click here and scroll down to the last post on the page. The discussion continues on pages 3 and 4, where I am now going to try to move it to this new thread.


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REVLyle wrote: As a

REVLyle wrote:

As a married man, I know that marriage is more than sex. I assume that you do as well. I cannot imagine being comfortable with my wife being with other people. There is an emotional connection and the fact that we are a unit together raising our children. I am afraid I could not go there with you. I am not sure that is a religious thought. Even though I understand men lusting and wanting other women, what you describe is very "Unevolutionary." The idea of the male being comfortable with other males mating with their females. That is about as primitive as I can put it.

Yes, marriage is about a LOT more than sex. I have full faith in the strength of my marriage. I do not worry a bit about losing my wife to another man. I don't worry about her cheating on me and I know that if she did, it would bother her a lot more than it would bother me.

One of the beautiful things about the current stage of human evolution is that, with the advent of consciousness, we can now overcome many evolutionary urges. We are no longer complete slaves to our biology.

REVLyle wrote:

Already, cases of animal homosexuality have been cited in successful court cases brought against states like Texas, where gay sex was, until recently, illegal.

Yet scientists say we should be wary of referring to animals when considering what's acceptable in human society. For instance, infanticide, as practiced by lions and many other animals, isn't something people, gay or straight, generally approve of in humans/

Infanticide has been practiced by humans. I would argue that infanticide is natural as well. Whether it is moral is another question, but we were talking about "natural" not "moral" with regard to homosexuality.

It seems a bit odd to compare infanticide, which is the murder of a helpless child, to homosexual sex, which you cannot show to be any more harmful to consenting adults than non-homosexual sex.

REVLyle wrote:
Now you asked a great question. Why would someone choose something that would make them unhappy? I could ask that about any sin. Why would people choose to lie, cheat, steal, murder, adultery, homosexuality. The answer is that we are sinful people. We LOVE our sin.

So how have you manage to resist the overwhelming temptation to enjoy the incredible fun of homosexual sex? Or the joy of murder and theft?

One of the worst things Christianity does to society is to teach people that they are naturally debased. I don't buy it. I am naturally a happy, healthy person. It takes no effort for me to avoid theft, murder and cheating. It might take more if I was convinced that my nature was to commit these crimes.

REVLyle wrote:
YOU WROTE: Yes, and Muslims believe that women are worth half as much as men and that they are mentally deficient because Allah knows best. This is no justification for a belief system from where I stand.

Well, Muslims don't refer to the Bible when they make this claim. The Bible makes the EXACT opposite claim. I do not subscribe to the Koran as God's word. It was not inspired by God and so it is easy to see the fallicy of this claim.

You missed the point. Muslims base their morality on their holy book the same way you do. I can't see how you are any more justified in doing so based on your belief in the truth of your book than they are based on their belief in the truth of theirs. But lets see how much better the Bible is with regards to women anyway:

"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (I Corinthians 11:3)

"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (I Corinthians 11:8-9)

"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." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

"Let the women 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." (I Timothy 2:11-14)

"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 everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)

"Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go." (Judges 19:24-25)

Better than the Koran but not great.

REVLyle wrote:
YOU WROTE: I would argue that you do since the alternative is moral absolutism. Do you sanction killing gays, non-believer, unruly sons and those who fail to honor the Sabbath as the Bible commands? Of course not. You, along with the rest of your society, forms its own idea of what is ethically right and wrong.

Now the Muslims, on the other hand, often do take the absolutist route. They DO kill homosexuals. They DO kill women who turn out to not be virgins on their wedding night. So which do you prefer? Moral relativism or moral absolutism?

I prefer moral absolutism. Just because you bring up a perverse example does not mean that one must subscribe to the poor example. Show me the example of Christ killing anyone for their sin.

How are my examples perverse? They are strictly Biblical. Do you argue that Jesus is not part of the very same godhead that ordered the killings of gays, unruly sons and those who picked up sticks on the Sabbath? Since Jesus existed since the beginning, he must have been a full participant in everything that occurred in the Old Testament.

Jesus damned entire cities:

Matthew 11:20-23

Damnation, being eternal, is far worse than mere killing.

REVLyle wrote:
I seem to remember a prostitute coming to Christ and the crowds were going to stone her and HE said,

You are talking about John 8:3-11. Which Bible are you looking at? The two Bibles I usually refer to (Good News and New Oxford Annotated Bible) both state in the small print that this entire story is missing from the oldest available copies of John. It appears to be a late addition, probably from the 4th century.

Here is an article if you care to read more.

REVLyle wrote:
The first question should be, "Did any of the NT authors speak to the issue?" Did Jesus say anything about homosexuality or did any of the apostles state anything about it? The answer is YES, in Romans chapter 1.

Technically, Jesus never commented on homosexuality. Paul said that effeminate men would not inherit the kingdom of God. Seems pretty harsh. I know some effeminate men who aren't even gay.

Here is a pretty good article about what the New Testament really has to say on the subject. Of course I would rather you not find a way to see that the NT fails to condemn homosexuality as you think, but rather just use your own moral sense to realize that there is no basis for this condemnation.

Jesus also criticized the Jews for not killing disobedient children as commanded in the Old Testament law. See Mark 7:9-12. Corinthians condemns long hair on men. In Matthew 23:9, Jesus commands that you "call no man Father upon this earth".

Besides, Jesus made it very clear that the OT was still in full force:

 

For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:18-19

It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of law to fail. Luke 16:17

So not only does the NT have prohibitions that we routinely ignore, but Jesus made it clear that all of the OT still counts. I'd say that the fact that Paul says otherwise is a pretty big problem for Christianity. Who takes priority? Jesus or Paul?

 

REVLyle wrote:
#2 - we oppose homosexual marriage because God created marriage as a union between a man and a woman. If God did not sanction marriage between the same sex - we cannot do that either.

 

So you oppose something that can reduce suffering and make society safer because the Bible says so. See, that is my problem with religion in a nutshell.

Peace REVLyle


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First - thanks for starting

First - thanks for starting a new thread.  I am not sure how we got to where we did - but here we are.

I am not going to address the first point.  Again, I am not sure it is a religious thing concerning my wife with other men.  I know that God's word says that it is wrong AND on top of that - I just cannot go there.  It is not a matter of losing her - it is a matter of a bond there between me and her.  She and I have only been with each other and no one else.  We both believe in God's plan of one man and one woman only until death do you part.  Even before we were together, there were no others.  It is not that the possiblility was not there - it is simply something we have both held firmly to for all our lives.  Enough with that.

YOU WROTE:  Infanticide has been practiced by humans. I would argue that infanticide is natural as well. Whether it is moral is another question, but we were talking about "natural" not "moral" with regard to homosexuality.

It seems a bit odd to compare infanticide, which is the murder of a helpless child, to homosexual sex, which you cannot show to be any more harmful to consenting adults than non-homosexual sex.

I think you know that I was not the one who made that comparison, but the point is I am not sure we can get our example from the animal kingdom.  Again, I know that infanticide has been practiced but I am not sure where you get your backing for it being normal.  We know why lions pracitice it and it does not work that way in humans.  Again, I just cannot go there with you.  I guess you would have to give me your definition of normal.  It may have been praciticed but I would argue that it does not fit the norm.  I cannot see how it would be natural among humans.

YOU WROTE:  So how have you manage to resist the overwhelming temptation to enjoy the incredible fun of homosexual sex? Or the joy of murder and theft?

One of the worst things Christianity does to society is to teach people that they are naturally debased. I don't buy it. I am naturally a happy, healthy person. It takes no effort for me to avoid theft, murder and cheating. It might take more if I was convinced that my nature was to commit these crimes.

Well, I can tell you that I also am happily married.  I am healthy.  I have great children.  I live in a great area and things seem to be going well for me.  BUT . . . I can tell you that I deal with pride.  I know if put in the right situation I will lust.  I think of self too much.  I am a sinful man and given the right situation I am capable of any sin.  I have known teenagers who would never "murder" and yet they have killed their unborn baby.  I have known men who have cheated on their taxes simply to save some money.  So let me get this straight.  You have never taken even a dime that didn't belong to you.  I have.  You have never cheated on a test or on homework when you were in school.  I have.  You have never looked at a woman and lusted (Basically thought of her as a sex object rather than a person) I have.  You have never lied to get out of a situation.  I have.  You have never gossipped in order to put other people down and make yourself look better.  I have.  All of these are sins.  All of them are a part of my natural self.  WHy do they come so naturally to all of us.  They are part of who we are as sinful people.  All of them  - I thought - were ways to make life better at the time.  I was wrong every single time.  I didn't intend to hurt myself or others but 100% of the time I did.  I need forgiveness for these things which is why I turn to Jesus Christ. 

Why does the person choose to get drunk?

Why does the married man choose to sleep with another woman even though he promised not to do so?

Why does the student cheat on the test?

Why does the person look at porn?

Why does the person lie?

People do these things because they think it is fun or because they think it doesn't hurt anyone or they think it is easier.  All have negative consequences, but people still choose to sin.  I am not sure how you can argue with that.  Just because I have not murdered my neighbor and I have not raped a woman does not mean I am not a sinner.  What would happen to our society if we did not have law enforcement?  Take a look at New Orleans.  Did we see the best of mankind?  As soon as the law was not around to stop crime - it exploded.  Corruption is all around us because man is corrupt. 

YOU WROTE:  lets see how much better the Bible is with regards to women anyway:  

 I will address one of your passages tonight (it is getting late) and if you want I can take on the others as well.  Again, to take a passage and take it out of context is simply wrong.  In 1 Corinthians "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." (I Corinthians 14:34-35) Paul is addressing disorderly worship.  You will see that he talks about order in prophecy and you will see that he talks about order in regards to the gift of tongues.  So why would Paul say women be silent in the church?  This is the same person who wrote in Galatians:  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."  The issue here is CONTEXT.  Back in the day of Paul women were not educated and they lived in a very male dominated society.  Therefore, the women were not to cause disorder in the church by speaking out.  If they had questions - they were to wait until later and ask their husbands.  Is this something that the church just decided to abandon.  No, it is something that must be put into context.  Women, today are educated - they can read and write - and therefore they do speak in church today.  Does this mean that this passage is only to be taken culturally and not literally.  I believe it is some of both.  The man is to be the spiritual leader in the home.  If there is division between the man and woman on an issue within the church, the wife should remain silent on the issue and not display the division to all the church.  The husband and wife should discuss it at home.

It is not good to simply take a verse and make it say what one wants to prove a point unless that is the point within the context of the verse.  The point of Paul writing was disorderly worship and the man's leadership within the church as the spiritual leader within the home - not that women are less than men.

I will respond to the rest of your post later.  It is late and I have work in the morning.

Thanks Scottmax

 

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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REVLyle wrote: I am not

REVLyle wrote:

I am not going to address the first point. Again, I am not sure it is a religious thing concerning my wife with other men. I know that God's word says that it is wrong AND on top of that - I just cannot go there.

I agree it is not a religious thing. I also am not trying to imply that the non-jealous position is morally better than the jealous one. I'm sorry if it came across that I was. In fact, my wife has occasionally expressed the wish that I was a bit more jealous.

But this is actually my point. The "harm" done is measured by the affect it has on the actual participants in the relationship. It should not be the domain of religion at all.

I remember meeting a Japanese woman on a transpacific flight who talked openly about how she packed her American husband's condoms when he went on business trips to Japan. They had been married for about 30 years. She expressed concern that lately he hadn't been using any of his condoms so she was worried that he was getting old. Now I cannot know what really went on in that lady's heart, but she seemed not at all unhappy about the situation. Based on my many years in Japan, I know for a fact that sex is different in that society. For some couples fidelity is very important. For others it simply is not.

REVLyle wrote:
Again, I know that infanticide has been practiced but I am not sure where you get your backing for it being normal.

I never said normal. The argument was about whether it was natural. It occurs in nature therefore it is natural. Now you could look at our closest ape relatives and try to determine if it was likely a part of our evolutionary heritage or not. I don't have that information.

Homosexuality certainly does exist in the animal kingdom and occurs in the most intelligent of our brother animals.

REVLyle wrote:

Well, I can tell you that I also am happily married. I am healthy. I have great children. I live in a great area and things seem to be going well for me. BUT . . . I can tell you that I deal with pride.

Pride affects your relationship with your fellow man. You can increase your personal happiness by keeping pride in check. I think most people deal with this but I can't see turning this into a sin or into evidence that we are naturally debased.

REVLyle wrote:
I know if put in the right situation I will lust.

Of course you lust. There is nothing wrong with lusting. If you did not lust there would be no virtue in controlling your libido.

REVLyle wrote:
I think of self too much.

Being a "self", who else should you expect to think of primarily? If you were part of a group mind like an ant, you would not have this problem. If you were a tiger, it would be all but impossible to overcome. Fortunately we are social animals as well as individuals. Don't beat yourself up for thinking of yourself too much. We all do. That makes our selfless acts valuable.

REVLyle wrote:
I am a sinful man and given the right situation I am capable of any sin.

This is where your religion has done you a disservice. You are not full of sin. You are imperfect as are all men. But if you were full of sin, you would by definition be lacking in virtue. I would guess, based only on what little I have been able to discern about you from these conversations, that you are well over 50% virtuous, which means that you are well under 50% "sin".

And yes, you are probably capable of any sin given the rigid definition of sin created by religion. This is the trap of religion. You can imagine a situation under which you could kill a man, so that means you are capable of the sin of killing. But would you really kill a man unjusifiably? I can't imagine that I ever could.

REVLyle wrote:
So let me get this straight. You have never taken even a dime that didn't belong to you. I have.

I don't believe so.

REVLyle wrote:
You have never cheated on a test or on homework when you were in school. I have.

Oh sure. I was a kid. My morality was not fully formed yet.

REVLyle wrote:
You have never looked at a woman and lusted (Basically thought of her as a sex object rather than a person) I have.

Are you kidding? It is impossible to be straight and have an active libido in this society without feeling lust for a woman. Have I acted on that lust? No, I have not. Well, except when I was single and free to do so. Feeling lust is not bad. Acting on it inappropriately is the problem.

REVLyle wrote:
You have never lied to get out of a situation. I have.

Oh, all the time when I was younger. As I grew older and realized that this impaired my prospects for personal happiness, my honesty increased dramatically. That is just a part of personal growth.

REVLyle wrote:
You have never gossipped in order to put other people down and make yourself look better. I have.

Sure. Not so much lately. People don't like you as much when you do this.

REVLyle wrote:
All of these are sins. All of them are a part of my natural self. WHy do they come so naturally to all of us. They are part of who we are as sinful people.

According to your religion these are sins. According to my philosophy, these are good ways to decrease personal happiness. These are opportunities to become more loving than the average man. I don't need an ancient text to know this.

Based on the theory of evolution, it is natural for us to have these multiple conflicting goals. Why should we be so "naturally" imperfect if we were designed by a perfect God? Why would he intentionally set so many obstacles in the way of our happiness? He could have designed us without any of these tendencies if he so desired, right? Since most of these harm our relations with our fellow man rather than with God, the idea that he would create us this way seems pretty cruel.

REVLyle wrote:
I need forgiveness for these things which is why I turn to Jesus Christ.

The only people you should need forgiveness from are the ones you actually harmed. If you stole from someone, how does the forgiveness of Jesus for your crime help the one you stole from? It is between you and the affected party.

REVLyle wrote:
Why does the person choose to get drunk?

Could be many different reasons from genetic predisposition to unhappiness with the current life situation. I would never assume that he is in any way a bad person for getting drunk.

REVLyle wrote:
Why does the married man choose to sleep with another woman even though he promised not to do so?

Maybe he married the wrong woman. Maybe she is not a nice person. Maybe he is just a selfish bastard. That is entirely between him and his wife.

REVLyle wrote:
Just because I have not murdered my neighbor and I have not raped a woman does not mean I am not a sinner.

Again, your religion does you a disservice by forcing you to label yourself with such an overwhelmingly negative term. Sinner is akin to criminal. I don't believe you are that bad a person and I believe you would probably be happier if you didn't impose such labels on yourself.

I'll start. I am a good person. I am not perfect, but I am far more good than bad. I have places that I could improve, but if I lived the rest of my life without becoming a better person than I am now, I have full confidence that my funeral would be well attended and that I will have left the world a better place for having been in it.

How about you? I bet you can say the same. Escape your label and accept that you are on the whole a good person.

REVLyle wrote:
What would happen to our society if we did not have law enforcement?

That is why we have this secular institution. That is why even the most secular countries have police. The crime rate in secular Japan is a fraction of what it is in this Christian country. If you look at the statistics, solid police enforcement works, relgious belief does not.

REVLyle wrote:
Corruption is all around us because man is corrupt.

God made us in his image. Any corruption you find in Man can only have come through the will and design of God.

REVLyle wrote:

Again, to take a passage and take it out of context is simply wrong. In 1 Corinthians "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." (I Corinthians 14:34-35) Paul is addressing disorderly worship. You will see that he talks about order in prophecy and you will see that he talks about order in regards to the gift of tongues. So why would Paul say women be silent in the church? This is the same person who wrote in Galatians: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The issue here is CONTEXT. Back in the day of Paul women were not educated and they lived in a very male dominated society.

There is actually a better explanation. That whole verse is thought by many Bible scholars to be an interpolation. It was probably added later as the church evolved. That is why we see similar statements in 1 Timothy which is generally agreed to be post-pauline.

You give a nice explanation but I don't buy it anyway. Would your explanation have been acceptable 200 years ago? I don't think so but the same situation often applied. Many men were uneducated in the 1st century as well. The author did not restrict the uneducated. He restricted women.

REVLyle wrote:
The man is to be the spiritual leader in the home. If there is division between the man and woman on an issue within the church, the wife should remain silent on the issue and not display the division to all the church. The husband and wife should discuss it at home.

So the husband need not remain silent but the wife must.

REVLyle wrote:
It is not good to simply take a verse and make it say what one wants to prove a point unless that is the point within the context of the verse. The point of Paul writing was disorderly worship and the man's leadership within the church as the spiritual leader within the home - not that women are less than men.

I have not taken the verse out of context. If the man is the spiritual leader, then he is greater than the woman. It is ironic to me how many times I hear the "out of context" charge and then the explanation adds a whole layer of detail that is not supported Biblically, just to save the verse and "make it say what one wants".

If I quote Psalms where it says "there is no God", that is out of context. I know the context of the verses I give and there is a good chance that I know that context at least as well as you. Can we please leave off with the "out of context" charge?

I hate to end on a negative note, but this annoys the crap out of me.  We can debate the context.  That is fine.  But please do not accuse me of taking it out of context.


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REVLyle wrote: YOU WROTE:

REVLyle wrote:

YOU WROTE: Yes, and Muslims believe that women are worth half as much as men and that they are mentally deficient because Allah knows best. This is no justification for a belief system from where I stand.

 

Well, Muslims don't refer to the Bible when they make this claim. The Bible makes the EXACT opposite claim. I do not subscribe to the Koran as God's word. It was not inspired by God and so it is easy to see the fallicy of this claim.

 

Well, what makes you think your holy book is better than their holy book? Don't you think the muslims would have had your same reply had they been given the same questions?... that "oh, the Christians are wrong because they don't refer to Quran."

 Can you prove that the Quran is not "words" from god. Same thing goes to Bible, can you prove that it's "words" from god? What i am saying here is, both books could have been words from people (aka homosapien) that composed the books for whatever reasons (power, wealth, or maybe even just out of their good intention to guide the uneducated society at that time)

What different are you, when you said Christianity is better than other religions (because Christian is the true religion from "god&quotEye-wink, from people who says :

"Man is better than woman"

"White is superioir than Black"

I will only be convinced if you tell me:

"Sun is larger than Earth"

"Neutron is heavier than Electron"

because science proves them correct.

Until the day Christians or Jewishs or Muslims or whatever religions out there can prove that their holy books are the true "words" from god, for the time being, it's pretty much like a bunch of kids claiming that their own fathers are the strongest among the fathers.


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Quote: Until the day

Quote:

Until the day Christians or Jewishs or Muslims or whatever religions out there can prove that their holy books are the true "words" from god, for the time being, it's pretty much like a bunch of kids claiming that their own fathers are the strongest among the fathers.

I think it was MattShizzle who had the signature "Religious war is people fighting other people over who has the best imaginary friend" <- priceless!

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


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Yep, that's mine!

Yep, that's mine!


REVLyle
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Well I have been out of

Well I have been out of town for a few days and I am back. I am sure that is the way the entire summer will be.

I want to immediately get to the point of what we were talking about. I guess now that we have discussed the sin of homosexuality and now it has come out that it is not just that sin that you do not believe in but you do not believe in sin at all. I think what you are saying correct me if I am wrong, is

1. Man has developed (or evolved) a sense of right and wrong AND

2. What is right is deemed right based solely on: Does it benefit me - does it increase my personal happiness.

SO THEREFORE - Something is right if it makes me happy. Something is wrong if it brings me or others pain or if it decreases my happiness. BUT I WOULD SAY - some of the things that you argue simply do not connect and are quite circular.

For instance: You state that lust is not wrong and then later you state that you can't follow a religion that puts women in a lower status than man (Christianity does not). For one to lust, it is simply to make a human being an object for self-gratification. It is to think of her as an object for one's pleasure and there is no comprehension of her as a person, with relationships, with feelings, or anything.

One of the things that you told me that you do not like is someone "forcing their views of right and wrong on others." If that is true: You do not want a theist to tell you what is right and what is wrong because it is subjective but at the same time, "Why do atheist tell theists that their view of right and wrong is wrong. - I thought it was all subjective."

SO SINCE IT IS ABOUT PERSONAL HAPPINESS - who's happiness are you thinking of? If it brings happiness to the individual to have sex with a minor, but it brings pain to the minor and to the parents of the minor - what is right? If it brings happiness to the adulterer, but brings pain to the spouse - what is right? If stealing brings happiness to the theif and pain to the victim - what is right?  Again, I could ask this about any sin.

One's first response might be - one must think about the affect on the over all society (other people) and therefore people have gotten together and made laws that are good for society. If that is true then society gets together and decides what is right and what is wrong. Well, if that is true then one would say that might (the majority) makes right. But then you are back to others (the majority) forcing their views of right and wrong on others. One might add that it is good for society, so the individual happiness may need to take a back seat to the happiness of the society.

BUT IF THAT IS TRUE: Then why do you think it is wrong for the Muslims to treat women however they want? They have, as a society, decided that women are lower than men and that is what makes them happy, so who are you to attempt to put upon them your subjective view of right and wrong when their subjective view is just as valid as yours.

I WILL TELL YOU WHY: Because there is something higher than culture that tells us what is right and wrong. There is an absolute right that stirs in you when you see absolute wrong being demonstrated in society. When you see injustice, it moves you to action because our Creator is JUST and you are made in His image. It doesn't matter that their culture has decided that women are lower than men - it is wrong and you want to stand up against it. It is not based upon a subjective view, but rather the objective truth of the value of life and people.

Again, if your view is right (right and wrong are simply subjective) we had no right to tell the Nazis that they were wrong. Their culture, society, thought it was best to kill others and we knew it was wrong. It doesn't matter how they justified what they were doing - it was wrong. That is why other countries outside their culture stood up for the value of life.

As far as the "perfect storm" for committing any sin - you stated that surely I would never kill someone unjustifiably and yet day after day good, hard working men and women choose to kill unborn babies. I know that you and I would disagree when that baby becomes a "person" but our country will not even pass a law against 3rd term abortions. We know for a fact that an abortion during the 3rd term is painful and traumatic for the baby. BUT AGAIN - if we go by your definition - it is all subjective so there should be no law at all  - as there is now.

I realized that you got upset because I said you took the verse out of context, I Corinthians 14:34-35, but let me tell you how you are taking it out of context. I may have been somewhat unclear.  1 Corinthians is a letter. It is an occasional writing. In other words, Paul had been informed about some problems concerning the church in Corinth. What we have in our Bible is his response. We have one side of the conversation. When you quote this passage and then say that it is making women less than men, you and I have no idea exactly what the reason for Paul writing this particular passage EXCEPT the issue was NOT the status of women, but rather "Order in worship." There was something that was going on, and it involved speaking in tongues, prophecy, and women in connection with orderly worship.  Therefore Paul's response that the women should be silent during the worship in the church in Corinth addressed one of the problems as did his comments concerning tongues and prophecy. Again, this passage has been applied by different people in different ways. Christians can disagree on this particular passage and that is OK. It may be a descriptive issue, (What was going on right there at that time and it does not apply to today) or it may be a prescriptive issue (This is something that should still be in practice today). I do not believe it applies to today. Others see it differently than me.

Let me give you an example:  If you were to walk into my house and hear me talking on the phone and I said, "Children should shut up in the classroom." Do you think that what I am saying is that children should never talk in the classroom or is it possible that the issue was that during the time when the teacher was attempting to teach, the children would not be quiet and my response is that children should shut up during that time. It would also be wrong for you to take from that one statement my view of children. The issue was not the status of children, but rather "order in the classroom."

That is another reason that Rook Hawkins is absolutely wrong when it comes to Paul's writings concerning Jesus and his physical life here on earth. Paul doesn't address things that the gospels do because Paul is not writing about Jesus' physical life. Not one single time have I mentioned my wife during this letter until now (and this is simply to make a point). It would be ridiculous for someone to draw the conclusion that I was not married because I did not mention her in a letter. Even when other eye witnesses have said that I was married, but simply because I have not mentioned her, then they are all wrong. It just does not hold water.

A subjective viewpoint of right and wrong simply does not work. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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LMAO. And what of

LMAO.

And what of Thecla?

Where was she when the two letters were written to Corinth?

Why would Paul need to express the ideas concerning women to the Corinthians?

These are questions that I would expect to arise concerning that epistle.

 

 

 

Has it ever occurred that individual values not reasoned are instead conditioned? Such as an aversion to homosexuality.

Have you noticed that gay people are often afraid to 'come out' to their families? Why is that? Is that something that you believe is programmed by your god or by upbringing?

Morals and ethics differ slightly in their definition. However, it seems to make a world of difference with regard to how we view the world in our respective ideologies.

To give another example via a question:

Is it unethical to label atheism as immoral?

Do you see the difference?

 

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Quote: A subjective

Quote:
A subjective viewpoint of right and wrong simply does not work.

Actually, it's the only way it works. If right and wrong were absolute, then the idea of killing someone would equally bother any human, because it is an absolute, just like a train hitting at 80Mph in the face equally kills all humans.

However, it is not the case.

Right and wrong in the mind of a human are nothing else but feelings. For each feeling, an intensity is given, and each connection of a feeling to other elements has a connection strength (ask any neural network programmer what I mean). In some humans, some feelings have higher strengths than in most others. When that feeling with a higher strength is pleasure through pleasure of others, you are labelled as "good", "moral", "altruistic", etc. When that feeling is pleasure through the suffering of others, you are called "sadistic", "insane", "murderer", etc.

And the best part is that nu human can be blamed for the wiring of their own brain.

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REVLyle wrote:

REVLyle wrote:
"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." (I Corinthians 14:34-35) Paul is addressing disorderly worship. You will see that he talks about order in prophecy and you will see that he talks about order in regards to the gift of tongues. So why would Paul say women be silent in the church? This is the same person who wrote in Galatians: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The issue here is CONTEXT. Back in the day of Paul women were not educated and they lived in a very male dominated society.

 

You confirmed the fallacy in your logic right here.

1. If Paul truely thought women were equal, what you call "dissorderly" wouldnt it make sense for Paul to say something like, "every person, female and male shall worship in an orderly fasion"

THAT IS NOT WHAT THE PASSAGE SAYS!

Quote:
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." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

Tell me how the heck you get gender equality out of that? That is subjegation.

Then you falsely try to counter that with Galatians:

Quote:
Galatians: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

BUT GIVE THE REALITY OF IT AWAY IN YOUR OWN WORDS, WHICH SUPPORTS THE FIRST VERSE, NOT THE SECOND

Quote:
Back in the day of Paul women were not educated and they lived in a very male dominated society. Therefore, the women were not to cause disorder in the church by speaking out. If they had questions - they were to wait until later and ask their husbands.

DUH! But somehow you think your religion was magically different in terms of treatment of women. But the second verse explains the back of the bus attitude tword non-Christians that still exists today.

Quote:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Who are you to speek for Jews or me? I forgot, god talks to you right? Yea, they are god's creation, but the outsiders must recognize that and take a back seat to Christians.

The first passage puts women in second class status. The second passage puts non-Christians at the back of the bus.

Who are you to quote this and decide for me that I was created by your Jesus? You dont think that passage sets you up to emotionally feel superior to me?

Neither of those passages are proclimations of equality and neither of them do anything but promote sexism and bigotry toward non-Christians.

And you gave it away and stated reality without even realizing it.

There was a reality back then. And the only thing you correctly stated in this post is that society back then was male dominated, so it is not a suprise that this attitude crept into a fictional myth.

And if I were god the word "slave" would never be part of the human lexicon. Please tell me what this "all loving" god's excuse is? Since you know him so well.

"We dont do that any more"

RIGHT! and thats a good thing. Thats because people dont take their holy books as seriously as they once did "MALE DOMINATED SOCIETY" your words. Those people back then were strictly following the word. You twist it because you dont want to face the absurdity of it. 

 

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What cheesed me off the

What cheesed me off the most in this post is the naked proclimation of treating all humans like they are the property of Jesus. SAYS WHO?

Just because it is written in a holy book?

SO?

"We were all created by Allah" This Christian would rightly call that egotistical and presumptive, or at least they should. I dont think this Christian is willing to have others make statements for him about who owns him, yet is far to willing to use circular self serving bible quotes to decide for others who owns them.

"Allah made you"

Is the same as

"Yahwey made you"

"Jesus made you"

Nothing but naked unsubstatial proclimation cheerleading that subjegates outsiders to the back of the bus. 

If you dont want others claiming their god made you on your behalf, I'd suggest you avoid quoting that passage. It makes you look like an egotistical self centered cheerleader, weither you realize it or not. But, you are in good company with Jews and Muslims who claim their god made you. Same boat, different deity name. 

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REVLyle wrote: 2. What is

REVLyle wrote:

2. What is right is deemed right based solely on: Does it benefit me - does it increase my personal happiness.

No, you misunderstood. What is right is what increases mutual happiness. As social animals, those things that increase community happiness also increase our personal happiness. This is the route to selflessness and altruism. This is why those traits exist in secular societies as well as religious.

Quote:

You state that lust is not wrong and then later you state that you can't follow a religion that puts women in a lower status than man (Christianity does not).

Christianity does not if you ignore all of those Bible verses I already gave you that prove otherwise, plus all of the verses from the old testament that also prove otherwise. I can give you hundreds more verses but you haven't responded to the ones that I have already given.

Quote:
For one to lust, it is simply to make a human being an object for self-gratification. It is to think of her as an object for one's pleasure and there is no comprehension of her as a person, with relationships, with feelings, or anything.

That is a very simplistic definition of lust. It is also beside the point. Feeling lust is natural. Nurturing those thoughts can lead to your own personal unhappiness. Acting on those thoughts can harm those who have expectations of fidelity of either you or the other person. This is simple ethics and personal happiness. No "god" need intervene.

Quote:
One of the things that you told me that you do not like is someone "forcing their views of right and wrong on others." If that is true: You do not want a theist to tell you what is right and what is wrong because it is subjective but at the same time, "Why do atheist tell theists that their view of right and wrong is wrong. - I thought it was all subjective."

I don't know of any atheists "forcing" their views on others. It is totally OK to express your view and encourage others to share it, especially if you believe their view is harmful to society. But as soon as you try to legislate that view, especially if it cannot be supported outside of your religious book, that is a problem.

Quote:
SO SINCE IT IS ABOUT PERSONAL HAPPINESS

Covered above.

Quote:

If that is true then society gets together and decides what is right and what is wrong.

With or without religion, that is what actually occurs. We have learned enough to understand that we must respect minority opinion. That is social evolution, which religion has often stood in the way of, as it is trying to do now with the homosexual rights issues.

Quote:
BUT IF THAT IS TRUE: Then why do you think it is wrong for the Muslims to treat women however they want?

Because it decreases the happiness of half of the population for the benefit of the other half. Religion sanctions this, making it much harder to assert secular common-sense to defeat this brand of oppression.

Quote:
I WILL TELL YOU WHY: Because there is something higher than culture that tells us what is right and wrong. There is an absolute right that stirs in you when you see absolute wrong being demonstrated in society.

You are wrong. I can't put it any more simply. Christians often try to excuse their Bible's sanctioning of slavery and the oppression of women saying that the times were different. Then you try to say that there is a universal morality. You cannot have it both ways. If slavery being wrong is a universal truth, then the New Testament should not condone slavery as it does in 1 Timothy 6:1-2, 1 Peter 2:18 and Titus 2:9. And Jesus, being God and all-knowing, certainly should not have as he is said to have:

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Before you cry out of context on the Luke verse, I know that was part of a parable. But Jesus never condemned slavery or the whipping of slaves. Rather he uses this story to show that we deserve punishment if we are not proper slaves to God.

Quote:
Again, if your view is right (right and wrong are simply subjective) we had no right to tell the Nazis that they were wrong.

REVLyle, we have covered this very example previously. We can as a society decide that some people are doing something harmful enough that we must intervene. But this must be based on evidence of actual harm, not on the pronouncements of an ancient book.

Quote:

day after day good, hard working men and women choose to kill unborn babies.

We have covered this as well. I have no problem with banning abortion once the fetus becomes viable independent of the mother. But you don't even have a Biblical case for banning abortion in the first trimester. A first trimester fetus is in not a person yet. It is only a potential person. The Bible certainly does not equate causing a miscarriage with murder.

Quote:

Let me give you an example: If you were to walk into my house and hear me talking on the phone and I said, "Children should shut up in the classroom."

This is a very nice rationalization but it is a false analogy. Now if you said, "female students should shut up in the classroom", that might tell me something very interesting about your mindset.

Quote:

That is another reason that Rook Hawkins is absolutely wrong when it comes to Paul's writings concerning Jesus and his physical life here on earth. Paul doesn't address things that the gospels do because Paul is not writing about Jesus' physical life.

No good. Paul's writings are the earliest writings about Jesus and they are unique among evangelists in neither quoting a single thing Jesus said nor mentioning a single thing that happened in his life except for his death and resurrection. After the Gospels were written and after people started to generally mistake the stories for historical reality, I think you would be very hard pressed to find a single evangelist who did not make regular reference to the words and actions of Jesus. Paul quoted the OT when he should have been able to quote Jesus. The only reasonable explanation for that choice is that Jesus was not a historical person and thus Paul knew of no sayings of Jesus.

Quote:
Not one single time have I mentioned my wife during this letter until now

This thread is not about your wife. You are not preaching about the wonders of your wife. Even though this conversation is about God, Jesus and homosexuality, you have mentioned your wife in many posts. If this thread was about whether or not I should respect your wife (even worship her), I would expect you to give me much more detail about her than you have.

Quote:

A subjective viewpoint of right and wrong simply does not work.

A subjective viewpoint is all we have. You can show me no objective viewpoint. If an objective viewpoint is true, you should be able to show that a majority of people share it. I challenge you to write out 100 points of ethics that belong to your "objective" morality and to then find even one other person on the planet who agrees with all 100.


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Just curious Brian37 - did

Just curious Brian37 - did you push your keys through the keyboard when you responded.  It certainly came across as a lot of passion, but not very much thought.

YOU WROTE:  1. If Paul truely thought women were equal, what you call "dissorderly" wouldnt it make sense for Paul to say something like, "every person, female and male shall worship in an orderly fasion"

Again, as I pointed out evidently the problem dealt with tongues, prophecy, and something that the women were doing in worship.  It must not have been males and females - only the women.  In my example about talking on the phone - I only addressed the problem of context  - not every other issue.  Let me give you another example:  If you came into my house and heard me say, "The girls simply need to stop gossiping in the classroom."  This is not a statement about the status of girls in the class.  It is not saying that boys do not ALSO gossip.  It is simply my response when the teacher called me and said she was having a hard time teaching because the little girls in her class talk about each other all day long.  For you to make any other conclusion based upon what I said on the phone (One side of the conversation as is the case with this Pauline Epistle) is absolutely wrong.  That was my point.  There is no fallacy in that logic.

 Man did you get upset about this verse:  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Let me help you out since you are completely off base with your anger.  Here is the verse in context.

 26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3)

YOU WROTE:  What cheesed me off the most in this post is the naked proclimation of treating all humans like they are the property of Jesus. SAYS WHO?

Don't worry Brian37 - you do not belong to Jesus Christ.  You become a son of God THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST - you evidently do not have that faith, so calm down.  Those that belong to Christ are proud of that fact.  I do believe that God made you and me and I don't care if you share that belief with me or not.  I wish you would, but I cannot force my belief upon you.  I certainly do not care what Muslims think in regard to Allah creating me - It is wrong.  Tell me something . . . How is it any more egotistical for me to claim that God made you and me than for you to claim that He did not.  I have no empirical proof that he DID make us have no empirical proof that He DID NOT make us.  It is simply what I believe and what you believe.

YOU WROTE:  Neither of those passages are proclimations of equality and neither of them do anything but promote sexism and bigotry toward non-Christians.

You are EXACTLY RIGHT about the first passage saying nothing about equality.  THAT IS MY POINT.    People want to being up that passage to state that the church and Paul put women on a lower tier.  Thank you for admitting that this passage does not say anything about equality.  The passage in 1 Corinthians is not about a woman's status.  You are EXACTLY WRONG about the second passage though.  This passage is directed to Christians - not to atheists.  It explains that all who have faith in Christ - no matter what your earthly status [(ethnic (Jew or Greek), economic or social (slave or free), or gender (male or female)] we are the same in Christ.  We are clothed in Christ and we are one in Christ.  There is no status in salvation.  It does not promote bigotry or sexism - in fact it does quite the opposite.

YOU WROTE:  And if I were god the word "slave" would never be part of the human lexicon.  

Thank goodness that neither one of us are God.  Would the term abortion or pedophile be in your lexicon.  What about lie, cheat, steal, or adultery.  What you are talking about is simply the sinful condition of man.  The sinful condition of you and me.  This is what we wanted.  This is what we chose.  These are the poor choices of man.  God could have, I suppose, made us into robots and we would have obeyed his every command - but He chose to give us a free will and with that will - we have chosen to do any number of incredibly evil things.

You really need to calm down and think before you write.  I thought this was supposed to be "Rational" response.  I hope this helps you out in understanding these two verses.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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YOU WROTE:  Actually, it's

YOU WROTE:  Actually, it's the only way it works. If right and wrong were absolute, then the idea of killing someone would equally bother any human, because it is an absolute, just like a train hitting at 80Mph in the face equally kills all humans.

Well, is it wrong to murder?  The correct understanding of The Ten Commandments is "Thou shall not murder."  So, is it wrong?  I am not talking about war.  That is not the same as homicide.  Again, if feelings determine what is right and wrong - then why do you respond with, "That's not fair" when someone cuts in line or steals your money.  Because it is always wrong to cut in line and it is always wrong to steal money.  You are describing subjective morality and in reality - you do not believe in it.

You have described something that causes death (Train hitting someone at 80MPH) which is a physical cause of death and used that to attempt to answer a philisophical question.  That doesn't work.  Exact same thing Brian and Keelly attempt to do when they want emperical science to answer a philisophical question (Does God exist).  It is a trick question that cannot be answered.

YOU WROTE:  Right and wrong in the mind of a human are nothing else but feelings.

Not even close.  Try again.  You tell me.  Is there anything right about a mother killing their child.  Maybe they felt like it.  They felt trapped by the responsibility of the child.  They felt that the child was holding them back from happiness.  They felt that the child took too much of their time.  They felt that the child was too much of a financial burden.  They felt that the only thing to do was kill it.  She felt right about it so therefore it was right.  TRY AGAIN.  They may have felt all those things but it is still wrong - for all people, for all times, and for places to kill a child simply because they felt like it.  So is it absolutely wrong to kill the child - YES.  That is an absolute.  It is objective not subjective.  What their mind tells them does not matter when put up against reality.  The reality is that it is wrong to kill a child.

YOU WROTE:  And the best part is that n(o) human can be blamed for the wiring of their own brain.

Finally, the heart of the issue.  It is not my fault.  That is the way I am wired, so I am not to blame.  I can't control myself.  That is just who I am.   That is really interesting because in an earlier post, someone said that we have reached a point in our "evolution" that we no longer have to follow what is hard wired in us.  Maybe you guys should get back together and get that idea worked out.  Why have any law at all?  I am wired to drive fast.  I fell like driving fast and therefore I do.  It is not my fault.  I am wired like that.  I am not to be blamed.  Try that in front of a logical judge sometime.  You might get away with it in CA, but again, I said a logical judge.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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REVLyle wrote: YOU WROTE:

REVLyle wrote:

YOU WROTE: And the best part is that n(o) human can be blamed for the wiring of their own brain.

Finally, the heart of the issue. It is not my fault. That is the way I am wired, so I am not to blame. I can't control myself. That is just who I am. That is really interesting because in an earlier post, someone said that we have reached a point in our "evolution" that we no longer have to follow what is hard wired in us.

Actually, theism would predict that we are not really responsible for our actions. God must have known exactly what course each life would take before he ever kicked off the Big Bang. If he had wanted any individual life to take a different course, he could have modified the initial starting conditions of the universe to produce the result he desired.

On naturalism, we have to make due with the physiology that we were either fortunate or unfortunate enough to have been born with, but within that physiology, we really do have a great deal of control. This is why belief systems are so important. If you believe that only you are responsible for how you live your life, then you are likely to be a responsible person.

Here is a real-world example. When you are raising children, there is only 100% of responsibility available to play with. If you take 98% of the responsibility for your children's safety and actions, you leave only 2% for the children. This leads to a bunch of overprotected babies who have to be looked after far after they should have developed personal responsibility. Children being not fully mature yet cannot be given 100% responsibility for themselves, but it is our duty as parents to give them as much self-responsibility as possible so that we turn out fully functional adults. As they become adults, our kids should assume 100% responsibility for themselves.

With God in the picture, you hope and pray and spend far too much time on your knees. If your life is going poorly, "it must be God's will". In the meantime, I'll be up on my own two feet taking complete responsibility for my life, whether mentally, emotionally, physically or professionally. If life is crappy, nobody but me is going to figure out how to make it better.


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Hi folks.  Just a quick

Hi folks.  Just a quick note to ask that you all use the quote function rather than copying and pasting others' posts.

If you haven't tried it yet, here is a tutorial.

Thanks.

 

 

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REVLyle wrote: Well, is it

REVLyle wrote:

Well, is it wrong to murder? The correct understanding of The Ten Commandments is "Thou shall not murder."

BTW, "correct understanding" according to whom? As far as I have been able to discover, the original Hebrew could have used several different words to specifically mean "murder" but the author instead chose to use a more general word which simply means "kill". Thus it is translated as "kill" in most Bibles.

So where does this "correct understanding" come from?


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YOU WROTE:  No, you

YOU WROTE:  No, you misunderstood. What is right is what increases mutual happiness. As social animals, those things that increase community happiness also increase our personal happiness. This is the route to selflessness and altruism. This is why those traits exist in secular societies as well as religious.

Now the issue is mutual or community happiness and individual happiness occurs when the community is happy.  You view is EXACTLY backwards.  One does not make the society happy and then believe that individuals will then follow suit.  The society or community is a collection of individuals - not the other way around.  What part of society are you making happy?  I would love to know what subjective laws are based upon the good of the society that are not good for the individual.  Again I will bring up the abortion issue.  One (I have others) of the reasons that I believe it is simply wrong because it is wrong to murder.  By the way you asked for clarification.  The word used in the 10 Commandments is tansliterated "ratsach."  It is in the Qal imperfect tense.  It's definition is 1) to murder, slay, killa) (Qal) to murder, slayAgain, I do not want to get into the debate about when the "cells become human" but let me show you the problem.  A portion of society has decided that the best for all society is to allow abortion upon demand - even in the last three months of development - even to partially birth the baby and kill it (partial birth abortion)  Of course, this does not consider the society (group of individuals) that are being murdered AND it certainly does not consider the individual baby's happiness - We know for a fact that the baby feels pain in this last stage of development.  What is even more screwed up - If I kick a woman who is pregnant in the stomach and she loses her baby - I can be charged for man slaughter.  DUDE - that is messed up.  Is it murder or not????  The problem is that we have decided as a society that subjective view points matter and objective view points simply do not.  The objective viewpoint (DO NOT MURDER) benefits the mother, the child, and society as a whole.  The subjective viewpoint (it is alright to kill an unborn or partially birthed child) is hurtful to the mother, the child and all of society.  What I find so amazing is that the pro-choice group acts like the man and woman did not have a choice about having sex in the first place.  Instead of being responsible for the choice that the man and woman made - society has decided that the temporary happiness of the adult (joy of sex and no consequence for sin) is more important than the life of a person.  That is what subjective morality has done for us.  WHEREAS, if we would act in accordance to God's plan - the laws and rules that he has placed before us:1.  Sex outside marriage would not take place 2.  STD's would be a thing of the past instead of current epidemics3.  Children would be born into families rather than single parent situations4.  Children would be considered the product of a loving relationship rather than the burden of a bad choiceWhat is even more messed up is that society has made a choice that IS NOT good for the individual and it is not good for the society.  A whole new area for psychological health has been opened when these women who have had abortions realize later in life what they did - they killed a child.  The depression and guilt for killing an inocent child does not just "go away."  I have seen this many times as a minister.  What is bad for individuals is also bad for society.

YOU WROTE:  Christianity does not if you ignore all of those Bible verses I already gave you that prove otherwise, plus all of the verses from the old testament that also prove otherwise. I can give you hundreds more verses but you haven't responded to the ones that I have already given.

Again, I simply took one verse and quite clearly pointed out that the verse had NOTHING to do with equality.  No one seems willing to admit the one verse so why take on the others.  If you want to know what Paul thought about concerning equality I suggest reading 1 Cor. 12.  This entire passage deals with how God has gifted people in the church to do different things and none is greater than the other.

YOU WROTE:  That is a very simplistic definition of lust. It is also beside the point. Feeling lust is natural. Nurturing those thoughts can lead to your own personal unhappiness. Acting on those thoughts can harm those who have expectations of fidelity of either you or the other person. This is simple ethics and personal happiness. No "god" need intervene.

You are correct that feeling lust is natural - it is our sinful nature.  God is quite clear that it does lead to personal unhappiness and you are correct that it does harm society.  BUT AGAIN, according to your definition of right and wrong being subjective - what you are stating is just your point of view rather than objective truth.  The pornography business is thriving on the idea that lust is NOT harmful and it does not affect socity in a negative way.  If it is simple ethics and personal happiness then why doesn't society recognize it?  The reason it does not is that individuals believe the temporary feeling of happiness is more important than the damage it does to the individual and to society.  AND, since it is subjective why are you right in your view and others are not right in their view of it being OK?

YOU WROTE:  I don't know of any atheists "forcing" their views on others. It is totally OK to express your view and encourage others to share it, especially if you believe their view is harmful to society. But as soon as you try to legislate that view, especially if it cannot be supported outside of your religious book, that is a problem.

This is certainly circular logic.  I certainly do not believe that one CAN legislate morality.  It hasn't happened yet.  We still have murder, theft, and so on, but we must have laws concerning morality.  You stated in an earlier e-mail that you would not want your kids walking down a street and seeing a heterosexual couple having sex.  We have laws against that (legislating morality) and you are fine with that because it fits YOUR view of what is right and wrong.  I would say that you would even vote for that law because you know it is good for your family and society, but wouldn't that be forcing your view on society?  There are many issues that atheists - those who reject that there is a God and also reject the laws of God are forcing on society.  I would be more than happy to give you one example.  Many schools cannot even teach abstinence in their sex education because those who do not hold to the objective view of sex is only for marriage have made it so.  My kids must be taught sex fine as long as both individuals are consenting and it is fine if one uses some sort of protection - AND YET WE KNOW - outside the Bible that sex for teenagers is bad - they are not ready for it psychologically or financially.  The younger girls are when they have sex they are at a higher risk for cerevical cancer.  Once kids have sex, they are more likely to want it more and more AND YET WITH ALL OF THAT DATA - we will not teach kids to simply wait until marriage.  Again - the joy of subjective morality - if it feels good, do it.  We do not want to teach kids that what is best for them as individuals and what is best for society is sex within the confines of marriage.  Those that do not hold to the teachings of God do not legislate morality, they legislate immorality. 

YOU WROTE:  With or without religion, that is what actually occurs. We have learned enough to understand that we must respect minority opinion. That is social evolution, which religion has often stood in the way of, as it is trying to do now with the homosexual rights issues.

That is simply to rewrite history.  Our government was set up based on Judeo Christian teachings.  It was not because we just got together and made up what we have today.  I agree that we ought to respect minority opinion - if it is right.  Just because someone has an opinion does not mean I have to respect it.  I can listen to it and then I can weigh it against what is objectively right and wrong and if it is right - respect it.  If it is wrong - reject it.  You are buying into a new definition of tolerance.  The new definition is that everything has the same weight (subjective view - what is right for you is fine and what is right for me is fine).  We ought to tolerate all points of view as equal.  As a matter of fact currently what seems to be the trend is that everything ought to be tolerated EXACT intolerance.  When I weigh the view the homosexuality against the objective view of God's laws - it doesn't hold up and therefore I reject it.  We have not one single study that tells us that homosexuality is good for society, but because a minority wants it - we should give it the same status as that of heterosexual couple and family - WHICH WE KNOW IS GOOD FOR SOCIETY.    

I will respond to the rest of your post later.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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Hi REVLyle. Your post shows

Hi REVLyle. Your post shows that we are so far apart on most of these issues that there is not much point in debating these points. But I do want to address the end of your post.

REVLyle wrote:
Our government was set up based on Judeo Christian teachings.

This is very popular Christian revisionist history, but it is clearly not true. Our government was based on the English system and our laws are based on laws that predate Christianity. The concept of democracy is nowhere in the Bible. How many of the 10 Commandments are laws in this nation? Let's break it down:

1. "No other God". Nope. Actually, our laws do exactly the opposite and protect your right to worship other gods.

2. "No idols". Nope, that's protected, too.

3. "Lord's name in vain". Nope.

4. "Keep holy the Sabbath". Nope. The closest you get are some community-level blue laws. Nothing in the federal system, though.

5. "Honor your parents". Nope. We actually take children away from their parents and help them recover the self-respect that those abusive parents robbed them of.

6. "Do not kill". Yay, here is the first one that is against the law, just as it has been in virtually every society.

7. "Adultery". Some places still have anti-adultery laws on the books but these are not enforced and are generally struck down if someone attempts to enforce them.

8. "Do not steal". Yay, here is our 2nd solid hit. Again, theft has been an obvious violation of law in virtually all societies.

9. "Do not lie". We only regulate this in a courtroom setting and in slander cases. Otherwise, you are free to lie.

10. "Do not Covet". Certainly not a law. It is the basis of our consumer society and has been since before the country was founded.

So please explain what evidence you have that our government is in any way based on Judeo-Christian teachings.

REVLyle wrote:
Just because someone has an opinion does not mean I have to respect it. I can listen to it and then I can weigh it against what is objectively right and wrong and if it is right - respect it. If it is wrong - reject it.

As can I. What is your point? That is how we form societal laws. You are making my point for me.

REVLyle wrote:
You are buying into a new definition of tolerance. The new definition is that everything has the same weight (subjective view - what is right for you is fine and what is right for me is fine).

I certainly am not. For instance, I do not think that the Islamic idea that it is OK for a grown man to satify his sexual desires by "thighing" an infant has any merit whatsoever. Neither do I think the Christian idea of harrassing and denying rights to homosexuals has any merit. The Islamic idea that honor killings of female relatives who have been raped is horrifying. The ideas of some Christians that it is morally justifiable to murder abortion doctors is likewise horrifying. I object to the Islamic death penalty for converting to another religion and I object to the Christian idea that it is OK to terrorize people into believing in God through the threat of eternal hellfire.

You overrate my tolerance.

REVLyle wrote:
We have not one single study that tells us that homosexuality is good for society, but because a minority wants it - we should give it the same status as that of heterosexual couple and family

Please show me one study that shows that Caucasians, Mexicans, blacks, macho men, people of average or lower intelligence, short people, tall people or preachers are good for society. While you are at it, how about a study that proves that mixed marriages are good for society? Should we ban those again if you can't show their benefit?

We do not need to prove that something is beneficial. You need to prove that it is harmful. We do not ban things that are not beneficial. We ban things that cause harm.

So please show me one study that shows the harm homosexuals do to society. And no, I won't accept a study from Focus on the Family or any other evangelical group with a Biblically-based, anti-homosexual agenda. I want actualy statistics showing objectively measurable societal harm.


REVLyle
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REVLyle wrote:Our

REVLyle wrote:

Our government was set up based on Judeo Christian teachings.

YOU WROTE:  This is very popular Christian revisionist history, but it is clearly not true. Our government was based on the English system and our laws are based on laws that predate Christianity.

It is all cool with me if you do not agree with my worldview, but don't rewrite history.  I never said that the government was set up on the 10 commandments.  Your ideas are clearly stated at http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/TenCs.htm  I said it is based on Judeo Christian teachings. 

1.  Virtually every one of the 55 writers and signers of the United States Constitution were members of various Christian denominations: 29 were Anglicans, 16 to 18 were Calvinists, 2 were Methodists, 2 were Lutherans, 2 were Roman Catholic, 1 lapsed Quaker and sometimes Anglican, and 1 open deist--Dr. Franklin who attended every kind of Christian worship, called for public prayer, and contributed to all denominations. - So you would like me to believe that these men wrote the constitution devoid of their in God and his statues and commands.  NO WAY.  They based what they wrote on their worldview.  This is the same as you and I.  For you or anyone to think they were theists but then they wrote the constitution and the bill of rights as atheists is absurd.  They wrote based upon their understanding of scripture and God.  This is the way our country was founded. 

2.  "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian." - United States Supreme Court, 1892. - I don't think I have to say anything else about this.  This is not a church statement but rather a government institution making this declaration.

3.  George Mason is called the father of the Bill of Rights, for he insisted that the first ten amendments be added to the Constitution. The purpose for such an addition? "The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth," - Again, this is not my idea - these are quotes from our founding fathers.

4.  Charles Cotesworth Pinckney also signed the Constitution, and served as a delegate to the national Constitutional Convention and an author of the Constitution of South Caroline. Pinckney was a statesman, soldier, planter, a brigadier general and a candidate for President and Vice-President. Like the rest of the signers of the Constitution, he too recognized the Sovereignty of God.

"Blasphemy against the Almighty is denying his being or providence, or uttering contumelious reproaches on our Saviour Christ. It is punished, at common law by fine and imprisonment, for Christianity is part of the laws of the land." - so you really think this guy did not have God in mind when he signed the constitution - Good luck with that idea.

5.  And, for those who fear this sort of Law breeds intolerance or disrespect for others, Patrick Henry boldly declared:

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded assylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here. - I am quite aware that we are not a theocracy, but rather a democracy.  That is the reason that other religions and beliefs are tolerated here and not in OT times.

6.  Thomas Jefferson even suggested that the national seal be a portrayal of "the children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night." - So where do you think he got this image from???

I could easily do this all day and all night.  Dr. Kennedy clearly states what you and every other person cannot deny:  “The Constitution of the United States, a document which has served as a foundation of the freest country in the history of the world, is largely the product of Christian men with a biblical worldview.”  To reject this is simply an attempt to rewrite history. 

I highly suggest that you look at this:  http://www.eadshome.com/FoundingFathersflash1.htm

Yes, it is a christian site, but it simply records what our founding fathers said in the early period of our country. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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REVLyle wrote: It is all

REVLyle wrote:

It is all cool with me if you do not agree with my worldview, but don't rewrite history. I never said that the government was set up on the 10 commandments. Your ideas are clearly stated at http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/TenCs.htm. I said it is based on Judeo Christian teachings.

And you have not shown a single law based on a Judeo-Christian teaching as an example. You just gave me a bunch of personal quotes. Well, how about this legally binding quote from the Treaty of Tripoli:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Official records show that after President John Adams sent the treaty to the Senate for ratification in May of 1797, the entire treaty was read aloud on the Senate floor, including the famous words in Article 11, and copies were printed for every Senator. A committee considered the treaty and recommended ratification, and the treaty was ratified by a unanimous vote of all 23 Senators. The treaty was reprinted in full in three newspapers, two in Philadelphia and one in New York City. There is no record of any public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers. - Wikipedia

This treaty was negotiated under Washington and finalized by Adams.

I could give you a few hundred personal quotes as well but that does not seem like a good use of our time. I looked through the slideshow you recommended. I recommend that you read:

Fighting Words: A Toolkit for Combatting the Religious Right


REVLyle
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I am not questioning your

I am not questioning your honesty Scottmax, but I do question your sources at times.  When we were talking Biblical theology concerning homosexuality you refered me to an article that you felt gave the correct interpretation of what the New Testament said about homosexuality. 

YOU WROTE:  Here is a pretty good article about what the New Testament really has to say on the subject. Of course I would rather you not find a way to see that the NT fails to condemn homosexuality as you think, but rather just use your own moral sense to realize that there is no basis for this condemnation.

This is the link that "article" refers to:  http://www.lionking.org/~kovu/bible/section09.html

 That article is under Walt Disney's "The Lion King."  I certainly do not believe that if we are going to have intelligent debate that our source (yours in this case) can stem from Walt Disney.  The second link is to the "First Church of Simba" which of course does not even exist anymore (quote from the website):  And finally, this tunnel leads you to the First Church of Simba's very first establishment. We appologize, but the light at the end of the tunel has been turned off until further notice because of funding cuts.  

And sure enough the leader of this organization is openly gay and his name is Jason Ahrens.  He is 23 and his areas of interest include "The Lion King" and computers

So what view of homosexuality is he going to take - I wonder . . .

An article by Robin Scroggs is what you wanted me to read.  He is a liberal Christian and I am a conservative Christian.  We view God's word quite differently.  Don't you find it interesting that for 1960 years it was quite clear what the Bible had to say on the issue, BUT NOW all of a sudden, all those men and women who went before us did not know what he Bible said AND NOW the homosexual agenda is pushing that all those people for all those years got it wrong.  I am not buying it.  Let me quote an oustanding scholar of the Bible.

An approach taken by the revisionists is to deny that biblical passages actually refer to homosexuality at all, or to argue that the passages refer to specific and ‘oppressive’ homosexual acts. For instance, some argue that Paul’s references to homosexuality are actually references to pederasty [the sexual abuse of young boys], to homosexual rape, or to "non-committed" homosexual relationships. The same is argued concerning passages such as Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, and Leviticus 20:13. Yet, in order to make this case, the revisionists must deny the obvious — and argue the ridiculous.

BUT LETS TURN TO THE SUBJECT AT HAND: 

YOU WROTE:  Well, how about this legally binding quote from the Treaty of Tripoli:

With only doing a little research - your quote has some serious problems.

1.  Today the Treaty with Tripoli is considered obscure, although it remains the occasional subject of vigorous debate between "Christian nation" proponents and advocates of church-state separation. Occasionally, the treaty has been quoted out of context by overzealous separationists. In 1955 an atheist group attributed its famous words to George Washington.

2.  In 1793, Algerian pirates captured the cargo ship Polly, plundered it and imprisoned the 12-man crew. The Algerian captain informed the American captives they could expect harsh treatment "for your history and superstition in believing in a man who was crucified by the Jews and disregarding the true doctrine of God's last and greatest prophet, Mohammed."

Incidents like this underscore the current of religious tension between the United States and the Barbary region, but they do not prove conclusively that Article 11 was an attempt to mollify those pressures.

The reality is that no one is certain how Article 11 got into the Treaty with Tripoli. "It's an interesting question - why this was put into the treaty," says Robert J. Allison, a Suffolk University history professor who authored the 1995 book The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776-181 S. Allison's research did not turn up any definitive clues, but, he adds, "I don't think you can ascribe a treaty to any one author. There are too many interests at play. Whether it came from Barlow or Tripoli will remain unknown."

Nevertheless, Barlow seems a likely candidate. Although he served as a military chaplain representing the Congregational Church during the Revolutionary War, Barlow later in life drifted into the Deist camp championed by his friend Jefferson. And, like Jefferson, Barlow was a strong advocate of church-state separation. (Also like Jefferson, Barlow was frequently accused of being an atheist by his political enemies.)

BOTH FROM:  http://candst.tripod.com/boston4.htm (NOT A RELIGIOUS GROUP)

3.  I also suggest you go to http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1796n.htm (NOT A RELIGIOUS GROUP). 

My point is that even though the treaty was read and approved for peace - it does not reflect the attitude of Adams or Washington.  It was a tool in order to get peace between Muslims and Christians.  Would a government body compromise in order to create peace????  It happens every day.  Article 11 was not written by Adams or Washington and the article was not written by congress.

I gave you quotes from religious men who spoke their hearts.  You gave me an obscure article (11) that NO ONE knows who wrote it and exactly how or when it was inserted into the treaty.  This is not opinion - This is fact.  Again, you are grasping at straws to promote that theists sat down and wrote our constitution as atheists.  This line of thinking does not hold water.

Any law that I show you, you will simply say that it came from somewhere else. I would simply be waiting my time. 

YOU WROTE:  "Do not kill". Yay, here is the first one that is against the law, just as it has been in virtually every society.

Nice try - but these men were not part of these other societies - they were, for the most part, Christian.  They were not muslims or buddists.  They were Christian.  They wrote with Christian worldviews.  That is like thinking that I am writing you NOT from a Christian worldview - but rather a Mormon, because the book of Mormon has some of the same principles.  That may be true, but I do not write as a Mormon - I write as a Christian.  My views are Christian based, not Mormon based.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


Susan
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Please learn to use the

Please learn to use the quote function. It would make things soooo much easier to read.

There is a tutorial here.

Thank you.

{edit - I shouldn't have to post this a second time in the same thread} 

 

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