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Thread: Why do christians

  1. #1 Why do christians 
    Forum Sophomore Pikkhaud's Avatar
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    Why do christians tend to quote the good things in the old testemant, but when an atheist aurguments with so of the stuff there about how crule and wicked the christian god is, christians always tell you that jesus disbanned the old testament.

    So why can christians use the old testament but not atheist?


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    Because... arr... What?!
    Atheists still point Christians to the bible to points which strenghten
    their own points...
    For example; an atheist can point out the flood chapter
    to say that god is a "learning being" and things alike... :?


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    Would you rather they still believed in all the cruel stuff?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Would you rather they still believed in all the cruel stuff?
    Yes, then I wouldn't feel so bad for hating the person because of his religion because the person himself would be a jack ass. =P
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  6. #5  
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    Hypocrisy abounds. Christians often times ask: Where - if not from the bible - do you get your moral values from? As if I need some fairy tale to see the difference between wrong and right. And when you point out the nasty parts in the bible and what a revengful, egocentric, homophobic and mysogynistic god they actually worship they're fast to point out that Jesus set all things straight. How can that be as the trinty states they are both (plus the holy spirit, whoever this guy might be in the first place )are on entity. So no reversal, god still means what he/she/it stated in the old testament whith all the killing of the firstborn Egyptians (so how could HE have possibly done this when even in the christain thoery of everything a child that has not been baptized but born to christain parents is per se innocent and goes straight to heaven. Are the Egyptians less worthy of HIS mercy?? Obviously HE does not treat them as human beeings) and slaughtering men, women and children during and after battles for the higher glory of their god. So they pick whatever they like from this book, discard the rest and get on your nerves with their (officially legitimized by the church BTW) homo- and xenophobic worldviews and that god loves you but if you do not love him back you WILL burn in hell........YAAAAWN.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Would you rather they still believed in all the cruel stuff?
    You have to admit it would be a relief if they admitted to NOT believing in the Old Testament stuff any longer - thanks to the redemptive power of the Christ and the new agreement that God, through him, has worked out for humanity.

    But as Pikkhaud points out, some Christians try to win both sides of the argument.

    Not all, it is true - I have never seen you attempt that, for instance - but it can be frustrating.
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    so since Jesus Christ is God's incarnation or whatever on Earth and in material form then he's arguing with himself and he made a deal with himself for mans well being?
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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  9. #8  
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    Exactly..........but the theists will certainly come up with some crappy argument like: "MY GOD does not need to subject to YOUR judgement" or somesuch nonsense. Pointless exercise.

    On the 6th day god created man. In the 7th day man returned this favour.
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  10. #9 Re: Why do christians 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkhaud
    Why do christians tend to quote the good things in the old testemant, but when an atheist aurguments with so of the stuff there about how crule and wicked the christian god is, christians always tell you that jesus disbanned the old testament.

    So why can christians use the old testament but not atheist?
    Presumably because the 'good things' largely stay consistent between the old and new testament.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Would you rather they still believed in all the cruel stuff?
    Yes, then I could actually respect the person to accept all angles of his/hers religion and views.

    Which makes his/hers arguments more interessting to read, cause he/she had to find new arguments and an mor interessting disscusion rather then just coming with the same old crap about Jesus dissbaned the laws of the old testement.
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    It seems you have come on the forum to complain that Christians believe as they believe and not as you do. Is that about the extent of it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It seems you have come on the forum to complain that Christians believe as they believe and not as you do. Is that about the extent of it?
    I would think he's trying to point out that christians don't believe in what they should believe.

    But of course, it could be argued that that is his belief.
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  14. #13 Re: Why do christians 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkhaud
    Why do christians tend to quote the good things in the old testemant, but when an atheist aurguments with so of the stuff there about how crule and wicked the christian god is, christians always tell you that jesus disbanned the old testament.

    ...

    Which makes his/hers arguments more interessting to read, cause he/she had to find new arguments and an mor interessting disscusion rather then just coming with the same old crap about Jesus dissbaned the laws of the old testement.
    What do Jews say to you when you point out how wicked and cruel their God is?
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    So what is it that you folks thinks Christians believe or don't believe about the Old Testiment?

    Personally, I believe that the events described there happened. I'm not sure, however, which events you claim show God's cruelty. Especially, in view of the fact that you call these stories fairy tales.

    (You do, I hope, realize that fairly tales were usually based on real people and events being cloaked in symbolism. Little Miss Muffet, Mary quite contrary, Humpty Dumpty, Little Tommy Tucker, Jack and Jill, Little Boy Blue, Jack Horner and their fairy tale siblings represented actual people and events. These stories no more appeared out of thin air than did the Bible.)

    If the Bible stories are fairy tales and not true, then they cannot show a cruel God, since the events you say show God to be cruel did not happen.

    If on the other hand, they are true, then it would seem you would understand how offended God was and how drastically he is capable of dealing with sin and disobedience.

    In the latter case, an understanding of how serious God is about these things, it would seem you would prefer the forgiveness offered in salvation through Jesus Christ.

    You do have a choice. You can face the God of wrath as shown in the Old Testament or you can receive His mercy by believing in your heart and confessing that Jesus is Lord.

    As the New Testament says (Heb. 10:31): "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand sof the living God."
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    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Personally, I believe that the events described there happened. I'm not sure, however, which events you claim show God's cruelty. Especially, in view of the fact that you call these stories fairy tales.
    Leviticus, Chapter 1.)
    "He shall tear it open by the wings, not severing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord .
    Nice, HE likes his animals torn to shreds while still alive and also likes the smell of burning flesh. A fifteen year old male with the same behaviour nowadays would earn himself an appointment at the shrink's office.

    Cruel??? Noooooooooooooooo

    1 Corinthians 14.)
    As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
    So put up or shut up for the chicks and if they have questions they have to ask their MASTER and swallow whatever his oppinion is. Well, I guess this is against the constitution in all civilized countries.

    Mysogynistic?? Aaaaaabsoooooluuuutely NOT!!

    Exodus 12, 28.)
    And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.

    Bloodthirsty?? NEVER!!

    Jeremiah 49, 20.)
    Therefore hear the plan which the LORD has made against Edom and the purposes which he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Even the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate.
    Hmmmmmm, why does this remind me of the time between 1939 and 1945, just they people committing atrocities wore different uniforms.

    Disgusting?? GOD ordered it, it can't be disgusting!!

    Here's one of my favourites:
    Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open

    Jeffry Dahmer could not have been more vicious, disgusting and sociopathic than this one, don't you think? Just because the all-loving, mild-mannered and all forgiving god is pissed off as the Samaritans don't give a flying old-rat's tushy about HIM - the megalomaniacal prick - their newborns have to be slaughtered and pregnant women sliced to pieces in oder to prevent them from giving birth to potential new enemies? The SS under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler argumented along the same line of thought, let's kill them all and not let a single one escape unless they come back and avenge their parents. And this was an actual speech given by Himmler in front of a large audience of an SS-school and actually survived as taped speech.


    Auntie Edit seeezzz: I almost forgot about this precious little gem, the story of Jephtha's daughter. If the god you worship (no matter what kinda flavour of the trinity you preferr most) really is cool with this (and there is no evidence in the bible to the contrary) then you think that George Bush is an intelligent, honest human beeing. Let's check this out,shall we:
    Then the spirit of Yahweh came upon Jephthah and he passed through Gilead and Manaseh… Jephthah made this vow to Yahweh: 'If thou will deliver the Amonites into my hands, then the first creature that comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return from them in peace shall be given to Yahweh; I will offer that as a whole-offering.' So Jephthah crossed over to attack the Ammonites, and Yahweh delivered them into his hands… But when Jephthah came to his house in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him with tambourines and dances but his daughter, and she his only child… When he saw her he rented his clothes and said, 'Alas, my daughter, you have broken my heart… I have made a vow to Yahweh and I cannot go back.' She replied, 'Father, you have made a vow to Yahweh; do to me what you have solemnly vowed, since Yahweh has avenged you on the Ammonites, your enemies. But, father, grant me this one favor. For two months let me be, that I may roam the hills with my companions and mourn that I must die a virgin.' … At the end of two months she came back to her father, and he fulfilled the vow he had made; she died a virgin. [New English Bible, modified]

    Ever heard of projectile vomiting? I know, I know, this is just metaphorical to show the devotion of Jephtha to his god and has NOTHING to do with this delusional sheep shagger killing his only child (and no excuses like with Abraham and stopping short of killing HIS firstborn son) for the higher glory of a devine beeing. And keep in mind he swapped the life of his daughter for the lifes of several hundreds if not thousands of enemies.
    What an all-loving, all-forgiving, not the least bit jealous or moronic devine authority.

    So you use THIS book as a moral guideline?? Holy shit
    But no wonder, I mean the only persons god spared in Sodom or Ghomorra were Lot and his daughters who: "......left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father"
    And those were the ones god likes to spare from fire and brimstone, the "moral" ones? The daughters deliberately get their father shitfaced so they can have sexual intercourse with him? Can you spell disfunctional family?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If the Bible stories are fairy tales and not true, then they cannot show a cruel God, since the events you say show God to be cruel did not happen.
    If on the other hand, they are true, then it would seem you would understand how offended God was and how drastically he is capable of dealing with sin and disobedience.
    In the latter case, an understanding of how serious God is about these things, it would seem you would prefer the forgiveness offered in salvation through Jesus Christ.
    You do have a choice. You can face the God of wrath as shown in the Old Testament or you can receive His mercy by believing in your heart and confessing that Jesus is Lord.
    Now we are down to cherry-picking again. Take the things you like and toss out or ignore the things you don't like. Does not work as the old-testament god is identical with Jesus, no difference. Damn trinity! Leaves you no choice but than accepting both parts of the fairy tale stories. They can't be ripped apart and then re-assembled to make your own little pick-n-choose religion.
    As you stated above, even fairy tales have a realistic background so I guess this is the mindset of the old testament and the worldviews of the tribes worshipping this atrocity called "good Lord". Let's kill them all, let god sort them out. Now that's something the born-again christians love. Especially when it gives them an excuse to bomb the shit out of the civilian population in some backwater country, nay?
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  17. #16  
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    Zitterbewegung says (among other things)

    Now we are down to cherry-picking again. Take the things you like and toss out or ignore the things you don't like. Does not work as the old-testament god is identical with Jesus, no difference. Damn trinity! Leaves you no choice but than accepting both parts of the fairy tale stories. They can't be ripped apart and then re-assembled to make your own little pick-n-choose religion.
    As you stated above, even fairy tales have a realistic background so I guess this is the mindset of the old testament and the worldviews of the tribes worshipping this atrocity called "good Lord". Let's kill them all, let god sort them out. Now that's something the born-again christians love. Especially when it gives them an excuse to bomb the shit out of the civilian population in some backwater country, nay?
    It is truly amazing that you cannot see the folly of your argument -- actually lack thereof.

    Either you believe these stories and situations are true and actually happened or you do not believe they are true. What I believe is irrelevant.

    If you do not believe the accounts are true and believe that they do not actually represent a real and living God, why are you concerned? It is totally insane to attempt to use that which you do not believe to prove that which you do not believe does not exist. In fact, in logic, two such negatives actually produce a positive in which case you would have to believe that which you don't believe in order to not believe it.

    On the other hand, if you do believe these stories are true, I cannot understand why it does not dawn on you that there is an aspect of God's personality which is truly all those things you claim. And, if God really is like that, maybe you would be better off on his good side than on his bad side.

    I can assume you had parents. Did they not display both displeasure when you failed to live up to their expectations and pleasure when you did? Were you ever punished for doing something wrong? Were you ever rewarded for doing something right? What about your spouse if you are married, or you boss if you work? Or your subordinates if you are a boss? Do some people get raises while others get fired? (What a cruel, horrible thing for a boss to do to someone who is not living up to their expectations!) What about your reactions to your children's' actions if you have them?

    What you are doing is expanding and providing examples of Richard Dawkins' claim that, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevelant bully."

    Dawkins then concludes that children who are exposed to these stories are desensitized to them. Geeeze, Louise, those things scare the hell out of me although I was not exposed to them as a child nor did I have that kind of stuff pounded into me.

    As a Christian, while I do not agree with all the characterizations, I do accept this as a somewhat reasonable picture of just how awful God can be when He is really, really pissed off. I do not even want to be around when He vents his final and ultimate anger. I know a few people like that. When they fly off the handle, I don't want to be in the way.

    Don't you see that it not the believer who rejects this aspect of God's nature, but Dawkins and his advocates who refuse to realize just how terrible the God of the Universe can be. We accept that God is a multifaceted personality, not unlike the humans he created.

    Strangely, when we look at human behavior, we often find the most abusive parent or spouse can also be the most gentle, apologetic, consoling, loving parent or spouse when the anger has been vented.

    If you actually believed God can be like that, you would fall on your face and beg for mercy. But you don't have to. All you have to do is accept the free gift of salvation in Jesus to receive God's mercy rather than the wrath you so lightly dismiss.

    If you believe the stories, repent and be saved. If you don't believe the stories, you can't use them as your excuse to disbelieve in God.

    It is not we Christians who are cherry picking. We accept all of God's personality. Does it not concern you that if God really is like that, you are in deep doo-doo?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Don't you see that it not the believer who rejects this aspect of God's nature, but Dawkins and his advocates who refuse to realize just how terrible the God of the Universe can be. We accept that God is a multifaceted personality, not unlike the humans he created.
    If you are fine with worshiping a bloody god who does things like ordering his followers to slaughter babies and rape women, well, okay - I applaud you for at least actually reading the OT and considering what it reveals about your deity. But the vast majority of christians claim that their god is all love and compassion, which seems to be strongly contradicted by a lot of stuff in the OT.
    If you believe the stories, repent and be saved. If you don't believe the stories, you can't use them as your excuse to disbelieve in God.
    I don't think that anyone uses them as an "excuse to disbelieve." He was simply pointing out that although most christians claim to base their beliefs on the bible, the specifics of their beliefs about god don't seem to actually reflect a lot of the stuff in the bible. The god portrayed by the bible is, to put it bluntly, a complete asshole who is not really worthy of genuine respect or adoration. I would never really respect a god who tells people to do things kill babies or rape women. If I really believed that he existed I would probably try to do what he wanted out of fear, but it would be exactly the same sort of "respect" that oppressed people living in despotic countries where anyone who makes trouble is likely to disappear in the night give to their "beloved leader".
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  19. #18  
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    Scifor said:

    The god portrayed by the bible is, to put it bluntly, a complete asshole who is not really worthy of genuine respect or adoration.
    As with any person on earth, if you look only at one aspect of his personality, you will get a skewed image of that person.

    The God of the Old Testament also displays other qualities while Jesus also displayed disdain for sin and hypocracy. It may be true that some see only the "good" side of God. How are you different from them when you see only the "bad" side of God? You are seeing what you want to see just as they are. Why should anyone agree with your point of view any more than they should agree with theirs. They are both incomplete views, one side of the coin which is never turned over.

    Have you ever personally met someone who you reasonably and actually believe received a message from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob telling them to kill babies or rape women? What's more, why was it wrong for those people to do those things when they were also victims of other groups doing that to them? Do you believe it was OK for others to kill, rape and imprison Jews while it was wrong for Jews to do that to others? Were the actions of the Philistines, Syrians, Asyrians, Babylonians, and Med-Persians justifyable because they were not instigated by God while the Jews can be condemned because they were led by God?

    You, Scifor, also fall into that fallacy of using what you consider the "evil" of a God you reject to justify your disbelief. What other people may or may not believe should have absolutely no bearing on what you believe.

    Again, as I have said in almost every post, if the Bible is a collection of fairly tales, God did not do those things and no such evil exists beyond the mind of man. In this case, you should reject mankind as the perpetrator of such evils rather than blaming a non-existent God. If God did instigate these things, then it shows what He is capable of doing, not only to those people, but to anyone. I am not aware of anyplace in the Bible where God is said to been delighted in meting out justice. Rather, the Bible depicts Him as a God who prefers to forgive and bless His people. Our legal system does not reward people who violate the law while penalizing others for following it. Neither does God.

    Do you feel that, if God does exist, He is barred from administering justice?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zitterbewegung
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Personally, I believe that the events described there happened. I'm not sure, however, which events you claim show God's cruelty. Especially, in view of the fact that you call these stories fairy tales.
    Leviticus, Chapter 1.)
    "He shall tear it open by the wings, not severing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord .
    Nice, HE likes his animals torn to shreds while still alive and also likes the smell of burning flesh. A fifteen year old male with the same behaviour nowadays would earn himself an appointment at the shrink's office.

    Cruel??? Noooooooooooooooo

    1 Corinthians 14.)
    As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
    So put up or shut up for the chicks and if they have questions they have to ask their MASTER and swallow whatever his oppinion is. Well, I guess this is against the constitution in all civilized countries.

    Mysogynistic?? Aaaaaabsoooooluuuutely NOT!!

    Exodus 12, 28.)
    And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.

    Bloodthirsty?? NEVER!!

    Jeremiah 49, 20.)
    Therefore hear the plan which the LORD has made against Edom and the purposes which he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Even the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate.
    Hmmmmmm, why does this remind me of the time between 1939 and 1945, just they people committing atrocities wore different uniforms.

    Disgusting?? GOD ordered it, it can't be disgusting!!

    Here's one of my favourites:
    Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open

    Jeffry Dahmer could not have been more vicious, disgusting and sociopathic than this one, don't you think? Just because the all-loving, mild-mannered and all forgiving god is pissed off as the Samaritans don't give a flying old-rat's tushy about HIM - the megalomaniacal prick - their newborns have to be slaughtered and pregnant women sliced to pieces in oder to prevent them from giving birth to potential new enemies? The SS under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler argumented along the same line of thought, let's kill them all and not let a single one escape unless they come back and avenge their parents. And this was an actual speech given by Himmler in front of a large audience of an SS-school and actually survived as taped speech.


    Auntie Edit seeezzz: I almost forgot about this precious little gem, the story of Jephtha's daughter. If the god you worship (no matter what kinda flavour of the trinity you preferr most) really is cool with this (and there is no evidence in the bible to the contrary) then you think that George Bush is an intelligent, honest human beeing. Let's check this out,shall we:
    Then the spirit of Yahweh came upon Jephthah and he passed through Gilead and Manaseh… Jephthah made this vow to Yahweh: 'If thou will deliver the Amonites into my hands, then the first creature that comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return from them in peace shall be given to Yahweh; I will offer that as a whole-offering.' So Jephthah crossed over to attack the Ammonites, and Yahweh delivered them into his hands… But when Jephthah came to his house in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him with tambourines and dances but his daughter, and she his only child… When he saw her he rented his clothes and said, 'Alas, my daughter, you have broken my heart… I have made a vow to Yahweh and I cannot go back.' She replied, 'Father, you have made a vow to Yahweh; do to me what you have solemnly vowed, since Yahweh has avenged you on the Ammonites, your enemies. But, father, grant me this one favor. For two months let me be, that I may roam the hills with my companions and mourn that I must die a virgin.' … At the end of two months she came back to her father, and he fulfilled the vow he had made; she died a virgin. [New English Bible, modified]

    Ever heard of projectile vomiting? I know, I know, this is just metaphorical to show the devotion of Jephtha to his god and has NOTHING to do with this delusional sheep shagger killing his only child (and no excuses like with Abraham and stopping short of killing HIS firstborn son) for the higher glory of a devine beeing. And keep in mind he swapped the life of his daughter for the lifes of several hundreds if not thousands of enemies.
    What an all-loving, all-forgiving, not the least bit jealous or moronic devine authority.

    So you use THIS book as a moral guideline?? Holy shit
    But no wonder, I mean the only persons god spared in Sodom or Ghomorra were Lot and his daughters who: "......left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father"
    And those were the ones god likes to spare from fire and brimstone, the "moral" ones? The daughters deliberately get their father shitfaced so they can have sexual intercourse with him? Can you spell disfunctional family?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If the Bible stories are fairy tales and not true, then they cannot show a cruel God, since the events you say show God to be cruel did not happen.
    If on the other hand, they are true, then it would seem you would understand how offended God was and how drastically he is capable of dealing with sin and disobedience.
    In the latter case, an understanding of how serious God is about these things, it would seem you would prefer the forgiveness offered in salvation through Jesus Christ.
    You do have a choice. You can face the God of wrath as shown in the Old Testament or you can receive His mercy by believing in your heart and confessing that Jesus is Lord.
    Now we are down to cherry-picking again. Take the things you like and toss out or ignore the things you don't like. Does not work as the old-testament god is identical with Jesus, no difference. Damn trinity! Leaves you no choice but than accepting both parts of the fairy tale stories. They can't be ripped apart and then re-assembled to make your own little pick-n-choose religion.
    As you stated above, even fairy tales have a realistic background so I guess this is the mindset of the old testament and the worldviews of the tribes worshipping this atrocity called "good Lord". Let's kill them all, let god sort them out. Now that's something the born-again christians love. Especially when it gives them an excuse to bomb the shit out of the civilian population in some backwater country, nay?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zitterbewegung
    Now that's something the born-again christians love. Especially when it gives them an excuse to bomb the shit out of the civilian population in some backwater country, nay?
    I have never heard any American politician use the Bible as an excuse to bomb a civilian population. To my knowledge, there has been no attempt to convert anybody to Christianity. What you said sounds more or less like a talking point of the Islamic militants. You remember them don't you? They are the ones who still do in fact believe in killing infidels, unlike the Christians who have you all bent out of shape.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As with any person on earth, if you look only at one aspect of his personality, you will get a skewed image of that person.
    If you saw your neighbour going on a killing/raping spree at the neighbourhood
    then later that day comes to your house with a goody-goody look, saving
    a couple of doggies being run over at the street and putting a hearty deposit
    at the church beforehand... you wouldn't let him greet your children.. or will ya??

    p.s.
    What's more, why was it wrong for those people to do those things when they were also victims of other groups doing that to them? Do you believe it was OK for others to kill, rape and imprison Jews while it was wrong for Jews to do that to others?
    מה ששנוא עליך אל תעשה לחבריך :wink:

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  23. #22  
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    Hanuka said:
    If you saw your neighbour going on a killing/raping spree at the neighbourhood then later that day comes to your house with a goody-goody look, saving a couple of doggies being run over at the street and putting a hearty deposit at the church beforehand... you wouldn't let him greet your children.. or will ya??
    No, not on your set of circumstances. First of all my neighbor has neither the right nor the authority to do those things. My neighbor is not God.

    Secondly, God is not subject to your (or my) personal feeling of how He should act. Rather, you are subject to His personal feeling of how you should act.

    You are continuing this folly of using that which you consider fiction to defend that which you don't believe. But you even gone beyond that to the point suggesting that you have the right to dictate how the God you don't even believe in should act. The silliness of these lines of argument is incredible.

    It is unbelieveable that the people who are posting these things have no idea how illogical and irrational this line of argument is. Were you folks on the same debate team with (Q)?

    This is your argument: "I can't believe in God because there is a fictionalize biography of his activities which activities I disaprove of and my disbelief is compounded by the fact that there are some people actually believe this fictional account."

    I see no problem if you honestly believe there is no God just because you do not believe the evidence supports such a finding. But you cannot logically support that disbelief through the use of what you consider fictional anecdotes. I don't believe in Simon Legree, not because the book paints what I consider a bad picture of him, but because I think he is a fictional character and it would not alter my opinion if he had been depicted as the most wonderful person in the south who bought slaves and set them free. Nor can I understand how the characterization of God in what you consider a work of fiction should have any relationship concerning your disbelief. There is no logical or rational relationship.

    There is some religious cult near where I live that believes only in prayer for sickness. Two children of this cult have died in the last year or so from medical conditions that could easily have been successfully treated by a doctor. I think these people are sick. I could understand if you also believe these people are sick, but I don't think their beliefs can confirm your disbelief any more than it disproves mine.

    I think there are legitimate reasons people can disbelieve in God, but this idea that God does not exist because a fictional book depicts Him in a light you do not like, just isn't one of the legitimate reasons.
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    You are continuing this folly of using that which you consider fiction to defend that which you don't believe.
    I think you keep missing the point as well, you are not considering the entire argument. All these atrocious happenings in the old testament are distinctly human in nature and were perpetrated by humans. The exact same thing happens today, only under the guise of some other justification. That is, the very fact that they exist and are presented as the will of God kind of puts a big question mark over the God inspired aspect of the bible and even if He was involved with the people that did those things. In short, it takes away from the possibility that god exists.

    Your statement that we are trying to judge God by our own convictions has a bit of a negating factor to it. Would it mean that we are not allowed to evaluate the authenticity of events in the bible? Would you then have us believe that all of the bible is true? While it is quite possible that some or even most of the event in the bible are true to some extent, it is the influence of God that is under fire.

    Let’s say that within a highly religious people the religious elders (conspicuously political) hold public speeches and claim that God Himself commanded them to go claim their new land and that they are to slaughter man, women and child when they get there. Those men, women and children would get slaughtered, but how would anyone KNOW that God had ordered it? Further, it would get recorded as God-ordered. So how do you know the difference? Belief?
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    I think that daytonturner encoureges blind faith, a faith that ignores all
    the bad things within` it and focuses only in beliving in it rather than trying
    to really understand it... :/

    This is no true faith, daytonturner :?
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    As you stated above, even fairy tales have a realistic background so I guess this is the mindset of the old testament and the worldviews of the tribes worshipping this atrocity called "good Lord". Let's kill them all, let god sort them out.
    Sorry for quoting myself, but that what it boils down to. There is no god but men. And those wrote the OT and this is what YOU claim to get your moral guidelines from. I do not give a stinking hamster-pussy about this devine entity you claim exists, I point out the flaws of this rather bloodthirsty book you are basing your actions on. You know there are two different reasons for behaving like a decent human beeing. Because you fear punishment or as a matter of general principle.



    First of all my neighbor has neither the right nor the authority to do those things. My neighbor is not God.

    Where did I hear this one before? Arrrr right, old theistic argument when they do not like the facts and are fresh out of arguments. And if I follow your line of thoughts, the lawgiver has the right to stand above the law. Our politicians rrrrreally will love this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As with any person on earth, if you look only at one aspect of his personality, you will get a skewed image of that person.
    I don't think there is any aspect of my personality - or indeed the personality of most normal people - that would cause me to order someone to slaughter babies or rape women.
    Have you ever personally met someone who you reasonably and actually believe received a message from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob telling them to kill babies or rape women?
    No, so far as I am aware the god of abraham has never actually done anything. But the bible reports it.
    What's more, why was it wrong for those people to do those things when they were also victims of other groups doing that to them?
    The babies and young virgins were raping the Israelite women and killing their babies?
    Do you believe it was OK for others to kill, rape and imprison Jews while it was wrong for Jews to do that to others?
    I believe it was wrong for both groups.
    Were the actions of the Philistines, Syrians, Asyrians, Babylonians, and Med-Persians justifyable because they were not instigated by God while the Jews can be condemned because they were led by God?
    No, I condemn them all. The Israelites of the bible do not appear to be particularly better or worse than the other tribe of the area - they were all killing each other when they could, raping women, enslaving people, etc. Basically a bunch of brutal assholes who didn't give a damn about anyone but themselves. But no one has the nerve to try to claim that the Syrians, Philistines, Assyrians, or Babylonians were acting on the orders of a perfect, just, loving being, so it isn't usually an issue.
    You, Scifor, also fall into that fallacy of using what you consider the "evil" of a God you reject to justify your disbelief.
    As has already been stated, I don't lack belief in christianity (or god in general) because of those passages in the bible. I lack belief in christianity because I have never encountered any convincing evidence to support any of it.
    Do you feel that, if God does exist, He is barred from administering justice?
    Frankly, I think the fact that you would call the slaughter of babies "justice" is a nice demonstration of how much your attempts to rationalize all this has warped your mind. But if god exists, he can obviously do whatever he wants - in much the same way that if only one person in a room has a gun, he can do whatever he wants.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    You are continuing this folly of using that which you consider fiction to defend that which you don't believe.
    I think you keep missing the point as well, you are not considering the entire argument. All these atrocious happenings in the old testament are distinctly human in nature and were perpetrated by humans. The exact same thing happens today, only under the guise of some other justification. That is, the very fact that they exist and are presented as the will of God kind of puts a big question mark over the God inspired aspect of the bible and even if He was involved with the people that did those things. In short, it takes away from the possibility that god exists.

    Your statement that we are trying to judge God by our own convictions has a bit of a negating factor to it. Would it mean that we are not allowed to evaluate the authenticity of events in the bible? Would you then have us believe that all of the bible is true? While it is quite possible that some or even most of the event in the bible are true to some extent, it is the influence of God that is under fire.

    Let’s say that within a highly religious people the religious elders (conspicuously political) hold public speeches and claim that God Himself commanded them to go claim their new land and that they are to slaughter man, women and child when they get there. Those men, women and children would get slaughtered, but how would anyone KNOW that God had ordered it? Further, it would get recorded as God-ordered. So how do you know the difference? Belief?
    I'm not sure you have released yourself from the trap I have been trying to point out. I keep trying to find new ways to explain it and your post may help to some degree.

    What is being said in general and in some variations is: "I do not believe the Bible is true. I do not believe in God because the Bible says . . ."

    My point has, all along been, that this is an illogical justification for disbelief in God. It would not make any difference what the Bible said about God. If one believes the Bible is a lie, why would anyone use a known lie to prove a point?

    There is a degree to which KALSTER simulates this process from a slightly different angle. He also seems to fall into the trap of suggesting that since he does not believe God would do those things, it casts doubt upon whether He did them. KALSTER's conclusion is about KALSTER, not about God.

    What people are doing is attempting to make 21st Century sense out of a society that existed some three to four thousand years ago. They are using 21st Century culture and standards and trying to apply them to a culture which was different. We and no more legitimately apply our culture to those people than we can apply their culture to people today.

    In the mind set of the people of the Old Testament, everything, and I do mean everything, was attributed to spiritual influence. So when things are attributed to God, it may or may not be over-embellishment. I think it far more valuable to take note of things which are not attributed to God

    If one wishes to question the degree of God's direct influence or how He may have influenced the events of the Bible, that is one thing. But to conduct this analysis as though the events were occurring today cannot produce a legitimate result.

    If God does directly influence specific events or history in general, does it stand to reason that He would not have to change his modus operandi as culture changes?

    Zit's post also needs to be popped. He says: "And those wrote the OT and this is what YOU claim to get your moral guidelines from..."

    Uhmmmm. I have made no such claim on this thread or any other. I have never said that the Bible is a book which establishes moral standards. Whatever standards might be expressed in the Bible were standards before they were enumerated in the Bible. There was never a time when homicide, for example, was a correct behavior. It did not suddenly become taboo when God delivered the 10 Commandments. Cain was punished for murder and Noah was told that homocide was wrong. From day one of human moral awareness, homicide has been wrong.

    Christians generally believe God's law is written in our hearts -- that we know right from wrong almost instinctively and as we develop a mature relationship with our world moving from instinctive behavior to cooperative behavior.

    God's saying certain conducts are right and certain conducts are wrong is not what makes them that way. They were already that way and that is why God said it.

    Zit also festered:


    And if I follow your line of thoughts, the lawgiver has the right to stand above the law. Our politicians rrrrreally will love this one.
    That is, in a sense true when put it the proper perspective. Society is made up of several layers of prerogative relationships. In a home, parents have certain prerogatives which are not shared with their children. We do not allow our children to control the finances of the home. That prerogative is retained by the parents. We do not allow children to establish the rules of the home; that's the parents' job.

    In a work environment, the boss always retains prerogatives that he does not extend to employees. He is allowed to make decisions and do things that others in his organization cannot do -- I mean if they want to keep on working there.

    We do not allow children to drive motor vehicles -- that is a prerogative we retain for people of a certain age. We allow emergency vehicles to exceed speed limits. Is this being above the law?

    In much the same way God has retained prerogatives which he does not share. This is not being above the law as Zit suggests. My bet is that Zit operates in the same way unless he is still a child living with his parents. He has areas where he retains prerogatives that he does not extend to others. Certainly, he would not just hand his credit cards out for others people to do what they will with them.

    Hanuka blindly states:

    I think that daytonturner encoureges blind faith, a faith that ignores all the bad things within` it and focuses only in beliving in it rather than trying to really understand it
    Here, again, I have related absolutely nothing concerning faith in this discussion. Hanuka has placed his own spin on what I have said and decided that it must mean something about faith. In fact, I have no idea where faith even fits into this discussion. Nowhere have I ignored what have been suggested as "bad" things.

    Just because one person lists something as being "bad" does not make it so. That is an idea which must be confirmed by reality in order to be truth.

    Was it "bad," as I think Zit wrote, for Lot's daughters to get him drunk and get him to impregnate them. My personal opinion would be that such conduct was improper. Nothing in the story suggests that it was God's idea nor that the conduct was rewarded.

    To be honest, if I had been in control of writing the Bible, I might not have allowed this dirty laundry to see the light of print. But not even God has ignored the "bad" things. I would probably also leave out the information which shows Jesus' forbearers included several unsavory people.

    So Hanuka, why don't you impart some enlightenment on what you think I believe without actually understanding it? But before you do that, also explain where you or anyone else posting here obtained the authority to apply current social and cultural standards to an ancient civilization.
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    I missed Scifor's reply.

    Scifor, also, is judging an ancient culture by 21st Century standards and culture. They just don't apply.

    In so doing, are you attempting to suggest that 21st Century Christians are the same as people from the 2000 years before Christ?

    Maybe they should have done things the way we do. We have this group of mostly Saudi Arabians who were trained in Afghanistan who came to the U.S. and slew 3000 innocent people working in two office buildings. So we go invade Iran and make sure it's leader is deposed and executed.

    I am sure that when we dropped A-bombs on Japan, many women and children were killed.

    I agree that the Bible reports some instances where the Israelites were instructed to obliterate the people of a specific territory plus all their possessions, but I am not aware of anyplace where God told them to go in and rape young women.

    I remember earlier that Zit said something about a prophesy of heinous slaughters of pregnant women in destruction of Samaria. I do not recall whether this prophecy unfolded (or is yet to take place) or, if so, whether it was at the hands of the Jews or some other invading force.

    I myself am not one who looks at prophesy as an event or series of events which God personally manipulates to make them occur. If I tell you that if you keep on smoking, you may well die of lung cancer and you keep on smoking and eventually die of lung cancer, did I cause your death?

    To me the great bulk of doom type prophesies, are laid out in the form of, "If you do this, then that is sure to happen." I say this from the standpoint that God would know the expected result of certain types of behaviors.

    Even when couched in terms of retribution from God, the threats are stated in terms of this is (or was) the conduct and the result of that conduct will naturally be that.

    I am merely saying here that it is ineffective to condemn ancient societies based on 21st Century cultural practices. When you see people doing thos things today (Islam for example), that is when you have both the right, if not the duty, to condemn such behavior.
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    Are you really sayng that God adjusts himself according to the prevailing human culture of the time? What an extraordinary statement. :?

    Also, I still stand by my point that you have NO way of knowing that any events in the bible, or the accounts of the contributers to it, are God-inspired. Other than faith that is. In fact, when you look purely at the historical aspects, the events, wars and such, I don't see anything that would hint at a godly influence. All even you can point to is the say-so of he leaders and actors in these events. Everything happens exactly as would have happened when the people act according to their own nationalistic and cultural moral convictions. The accounts of Jesus could Very Easily have been the doings of a common illusionist coupled with inflated tales from "witnesses", similar to modern faith healing hoaxes, mesmerism, etc. This is wat points to the absense of a God, the unreliability of the bible for being a human creation, being subject to human flaws.
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  31. #30 Re: Why do christians 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkhaud
    Why do christians tend to quote the good things in the old testemant, but when an atheist aurguments with so of the stuff there about how crule and wicked the christian god is, christians always tell you that jesus disbanned the old testament.

    So why can christians use the old testament but not atheist?
    Because they want to and can. It just to a lot of people makes them look like invalid fools. My theory is that they say all the good they see in the Bible and when something that contradicts, or seemingly contradicts their beleifs makes them feel insecure and question their beliefs so they put in the good stuff. Personally, I believe the bad things in there (or what we percieve to be bad, they're just words after all) are not what some intended The Bible to be about, aka it has been added text, perhaps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    This is wat points to the absense of a God, the unreliability of the bible for being a human creation, being subject to human flaws.
    Let's be clear. This only points to the absence of a fundamentalist style, Christian God.
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    Aye, besides, we - humans learn from our mistakes;
    At early times(bible years) people were too ignorent and belived almost any
    prankster that would come up with a witty fairytale that gave them hope
    at the time *cough* JC *cough*

    In fact, you know that Christianity is one of the most common religions
    in the world today by a mere chance?
    Aye, at the time of Jaysus there were rising many spiritual leaders that
    had almost the same exact stories and agendas but still different, and
    if I'm not wrong there was one that was as popular as Jaysus but not enough
    and eventually their religion became extinct and JC took the lead in the
    common religion race :?

    Meaning... a small shift at the followers count back then and you wouldn't
    of even knew whoos Jaysus be todays...
    Heck, I can't even recall the name of Jaysuses follow up in the religion race... :? :?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    This is wat points to the absense of a God, the unreliability of the bible for being a human creation, being subject to human flaws.
    Let's be clear. This only points to the absence of a fundamentalist style, Christian God.
    True. AFAIK, the same could be said for all the other religious texts as well though. So it paves the way to agnosticism, no? :wink: All that remains is subjective wisfull thinking IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Scifor, also, is judging an ancient culture by 21st Century standards and culture. They just don't apply.
    Why don't they apply? It's perfectly valid for me to judge those ancient cultures as full of horrible, bloodthirsty people. The fact that many cultures back then were horrible and bloodthirsty doesn't change that. The fact that they didn't consider themselves to be horrible at the time doesn't change that.
    In so doing, are you attempting to suggest that 21st Century Christians are the same as people from the 2000 years before Christ?
    Obviously not. I am simply pointing out that christians today worship a god that, according to their own holy book, ordered the slaughter of babies and rape of women.
    I agree that the Bible reports some instances where the Israelites were instructed to obliterate the people of a specific territory plus all their possessions, but I am not aware of anyplace where God told them to go in and rape young women.
    In Deuteronomy at one point god tells the Israelites to take women as "plunder" to be "used". The word "rape" never actually appears, but it seems pretty clear. There's also an instance in Numbers where the Israelites are told to kill all the males and any women who have slept with a man, but to save any women who has not slept with a man for themselves. Again, the meaning seems pretty clear.
    I am merely saying here that it is ineffective to condemn ancient societies based on 21st Century cultural practices. When you see people doing thos things today (Islam for example), that is when you have both the right, if not the duty, to condemn such behavior.
    How is it "ineffective"? I think it was wrong for them to do it 3000 years ago, and it's still wrong today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    So what is it that you folks thinks Christians believe or don't believe about the Old Testiment?

    Personally, I believe that the events described there happened. I'm not sure, however, which events you claim show God's cruelty. Especially, in view of the fact that you call these stories fairy tales.
    They are considered fairy tales due to their fantastic and magical nature, shrouded in mystery no different than any other fairy tale. In fact, other fairy tales are more believable than that portrayed in the Old Testament.

    The fact that you believe some of those atrocities really took place and are not able to recognize them as such is both disturbing, yet typical.

    (You do, I hope, realize that fairly tales were usually based on real people and events being cloaked in symbolism. Little Miss Muffet, Mary quite contrary, Humpty Dumpty, Little Tommy Tucker, Jack and Jill, Little Boy Blue, Jack Horner and their fairy tale siblings represented actual people and events. These stories no more appeared out of thin air than did the Bible.)
    In other words, there really never was a walking/talking giant egg man who fell off a wall. Yet, the events in the bible were real. Uh-huh.

    If the Bible stories are fairy tales and not true, then they cannot show a cruel God, since the events you say show God to be cruel did not happen.
    Hence, if they are not true, your god doesn't exist.

    If on the other hand, they are true, then it would seem you would understand how offended God was and how drastically he is capable of dealing with sin and disobedience.
    And how horribly cruel and immoral he really is, and the admittance that he made some serious mistakes with his creation.

    In the latter case, an understanding of how serious God is about these things, it would seem you would prefer the forgiveness offered in salvation through Jesus Christ.
    Aren't they one and the same, Dayton? Does your god and his son have totally different morals and ethics, contradicting one another?

    You do have a choice. You can face the God of wrath as shown in the Old Testament or you can receive His mercy by believing in your heart and confessing that Jesus is Lord.
    Or, you can ignore the hypocritical and contradictary claims found with both gods, or is it one god, or maybe three gods rolled into one?
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    Let's bring this closer to home, Scifor.

    Do you feel it would be appropriate for me to judge you by the standards of what I think is right and wrong? I mean considering we are contemporaneous in time and belong to essentially the same society, the same culture and probably have a very similar value system.

    If not, then why do you think it appropriate for you to judge the rightness or wrongness of the practices of a people who existed almost 4,000 years ago which is far from contemporaneous to you and had a vastly different society, culture and value system?

    The stories are either true or false.

    And as I have pointed out before, if you think these stories are fiction (i.e. lies) where is your support for the idea that either God is evil or He does not exist. If your proof (the Bible) is a lie, how can your conclusion be true?

    If you think the stories may be true, consider that the victims of what you consider atrocities were people God considered His enemies or those who were blatantly disobedient, in which case where would that leave you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Let's bring this closer to home, Scifor.

    Do you feel it would be appropriate for me to judge you by the standards of what I think is right and wrong?
    What other standard could you use to judge me? The standards of a samurai from feudal Japan? A Tibetan buddhist monk? My own? We can all only judge others by our own standards. If you judge others by their own standards, then everything would always be okay because people's actions are generally acceptable by their own standards. You are only trying to makes excuses for the Israelites because you don't want to contemplate the fact that "god's chosen people" were actually a bunch of murderous assholes. If it was any other ancient society and the issue wasn't tied to your religion, you would instantly agree that they were horrible people.

    And as I have pointed out before, if you think these stories are fiction (i.e. lies) where is your support for the idea that either God is evil or He does not exist. If your proof (the Bible) is a lie, how can your conclusion be true?
    I don't think that most of the fantastical things in the bible are true because they seem absurd, and I have never seen any evidence to support them. When I hear absurd claims that aren't backed by evidence, I generally assume that they are probably not true. Clearly the fact that the god of the bible appears to be a viscious asshole who orders the slaughter of babies does not have any bearing on whether or not the bible is actually true, or if such a god actually exists.

    Although like I said, the fact that you actually support the things described in the bible indicates to me that your attempts to rationalize all this to yourself have left you deeply unhinged. Any time your reach the conclusion that slaughtering babies=okay, you need to go back and reevaluate your thought processes, because clearly something has gone very wrong somewhere.
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    Scifor said:

    What other standard could you use to judge me? The standards of a samurai from feudal Japan? A Tibetan buddhist monk? My own? We can all only judge others by our own standards. If you judge others by their own standards, then everything would always be okay because people's actions are generally acceptable by their own standards. You are only trying to makes excuses for the Israelites because you don't want to contemplate the fact that "god's chosen people" were actually a bunch of murderous assholes. If it was any other ancient society and the issue wasn't tied to your religion, you would instantly agree that they were horrible people.
    I don't think I have said that they would have been pillars of our society at lall. (Some of Islam, I think, provides an excellent example of how that society fits in with Western culture. It doesn't. But you don't seem concerned about the fact that they still practice those things.) The Jews were much like the other cultural groups of their time -- savage and brutal and warlike. The groups that were strongest controlled their territory and attempted to eliminate their competition much like we can observe in animal world. The ones who are best at doing what they do, are the survivors. Society has not changed all that much even in the ensuing mellinia.

    I am not justifying or pretending to condone that type of human behavior today. But remember, they were barred from killing or harming their own people but killing and eliminating people outside their group was not considered wrong in their world. Lion prides may contest territory and one pride may wipe out the males and cubs of another tribe and then take the females as mates. It is their society; it is the way they survive. Yet they do not kill cubs or males within their own groups. Meerkats, now there is a group which does kill offspring from within their group. Are Lions more moral than Meerkats?

    But back to the Jews and their ancient culture. I would note that of all the cultures which existed in that corner of Asia in those days, only the Jewish people seem to have survived almost intact religiously and pretty much ethnically. If those tactics were the only tactics to insure their survival, why would you condemn them because they claimed to be favored by God? Perhaps you are just pissed off because Ba'al or Artemis didn't win out.

    You are probably also the descendant of some similar brutal, savage, warlike group which successfully survived by eliminating their enemies in like manner. Were they more moral because they did not claim to be under the auspices of a God?

    I just don't think one can judge that people by todays standard and then leap to the condemnations Christians because they acknowledge the same God. If Christians were out there doing those things in the name of God, then perhaps you would have a complaint. Why don't you complain about the one religion which does remain warlike, savage and brutal. Why are you so reactive toward a religion whose only weapons are a book and words. I have never heard of anyone being killed by hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I don't think I have said that they would have been pillars of our society at lall. (Some of Islam, I think, provides an excellent example of how that society fits in with Western culture. It doesn't. But you don't seem concerned about the fact that they still practice those things.) The Jews were much like the other cultural groups of their time -- savage and brutal and warlike.
    Yes, I quite agree with this. The problem, however, is that your god explicitly ordered them to act that way. It's not like the Israelites were just doing the normal thing despite what god might have wanted. God was actually encouraging it. As I recall, there were even instances in the bible in which god scolded the Israelites for being too merciful because they spared the lives of women and children, so he ordered them to go back and "finish the job." There are also places where it’s stated that god actually deliberately caused the other tribes to want to attack Israel, so that the Israelites could massacre them. It appears that if anything, the ancient middle east would have been a less “savage, brutal, and warlike” place if your god hadn’t been ordering his follower to go out and act that way.

    But back to the Jews and their ancient culture. I would note that of all the cultures which existed in that corner of Asia in those days, only the Jewish people seem to have survived almost intact religiously and pretty much ethnically. If those tactics were the only tactics to insure their survival, why would you condemn them because they claimed to be favored by God?
    So ordering his follower to slaughter babies and rape women was the only way your all-powerful, all-knowing god could come up with to keep his followers safe? I'm pretty sure that if I had all the powers ascribed to god in the bible, I could come up with a plan to keep a tribe of people in the ancient middle east safe that didn't involve slaughtering babies and raping women.
    You are probably also the descendant of some similar brutal, savage, warlike group which successfully survived by eliminating their enemies in like manner. Were they more moral because they did not claim to be under the auspices of a God?
    No, if they behaved equally badly then they were equally immoral. What's your point?
    I just don't think one can judge that people by todays standard and then leap to the condemnations Christians because they acknowledge the same God.
    Why not? If I think that's it's wrong to rape people and kill babies, then why can't I criticize people today who worship a god that, according to their own holy book, ordered people to rape women and kill babies? It's still the same god, isn't it?

    Why don't you complain about the one religion which does remain warlike, savage and brutal.
    If you want to start a thread complaining about violent muslims, I will agree that they're bad people too.
    Why are you so reactive toward a religion whose only weapons are a book and words.
    This all started because you claimed that you didn't understand how the OT showed god's cruelty - as if it was difficult for you to understand why it's cruel for a god to use mind-control to get tribe A to attack tribe B, then order tribe B to slaughter the babies in tribe A. Somewhat astoundingly, you still don't seem to understand it.
    I have never heard of anyone being killed by hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    So far as I know, no one has ever been killed by having any holy book read to them. But that has no apparent relevance to this discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Why don't you complain about the one religion which does remain warlike, savage and brutal.
    Are you referring to the fundamentalist Christian Republican sect by any chance? I've certainly complained about them in the past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Yes, I quite agree with this. The problem, however, is that your god explicitly ordered them to act that way. It's not like the Israelites were just doing the normal thing despite what god might have wanted. God was actually encouraging it. As I recall, there were even instances in the bible in which god scolded the Israelites for being too merciful because they spared the lives of women and children, so he ordered them to go back and "finish the job." There are also places where it’s stated that god actually deliberately caused the other tribes to want to attack Israel, so that the Israelites could massacre them. It appears that if anything, the ancient middle east would have been a less “savage, brutal, and warlike” place if your god hadn’t been ordering his follower to go out and act that way.
    This is starting to sound more and more like the 32x20+26 man downstairs.. :?
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  43. #42  
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    Scifor asked:

    No, if they behaved equally badly then they were equally immoral. What's your point?

    I think the point was that if your ancestors had not been the meanest, dirtiest, most successfully warlike SOBs in their neck of the woods, they might not have survived to be your forbearers. Let's face it, if the bow and arrow had been a superior weapon, all of us in the U.S. would be living in teepees today.

    Scifor erroneously stated:

    This all started because you claimed that you didn't understand how the OT showed god's cruelty
    No, this all started when I showed the illogical sequence of people claiming that the Bible is fiction and then justifying their disbelief in God because -- the Bible says . . .

    So I am back to where I started. oNE cannot logically take what one considers a piece of fiction (i.e a lie), and use it to justify anything. No matter what picture the Bible paints of anyone, if you think it is a fiction then you can have no opinion about the character as a real person.

    You could say: I'm glad God does not exist because I do not like His Old Testament character, and this would not be using a lie to deny His existence. You have established your disbelief independently of the Scripture. If you don't believe addition is a proper method for deriving sums, you cannot use the lie of 2+2=17 to prove that proposition. I don't think you see it, but that is what was being done.

    If you believed God existed and characterized Him in according to the Dawkins declaration (as you apparently do), that would be your (collective your) opinion based on a 21st Century times, cultures and circumstances. It is not how people who know and love God characterize those events in view of the times, cultures and circumstances of 2,000 B.C.

    If you don't believe in God and you don't believe the Bible is true, it is irrelevant to you what the Bible says about Him -- unless you begin to think that maybe God exists or maybe the Bible is true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Scifor asked:

    No, if they behaved equally badly then they were equally immoral. What's your point?

    I think the point was that if your ancestors had not been the meanest, dirtiest, most successfully warlike SOBs in their neck of the woods, they might not have survived to be your forbearers. Let's face it, if the bow and arrow had been a superior weapon, all of us in the U.S. would be living in teepees today.

    Scifor erroneously stated:

    This all started because you claimed that you didn't understand how the OT showed god's cruelty
    No, this all started when I showed the illogical sequence of people claiming that the Bible is fiction and then justifying their disbelief in God because -- the Bible says . . .

    So I am back to where I started. oNE cannot logically take what one considers a piece of fiction (i.e a lie), and use it to justify anything. No matter what picture the Bible paints of anyone, if you think it is a fiction then you can have no opinion about the character as a real person.

    You could say: I'm glad God does not exist because I do not like His Old Testament character, and this would not be using a lie to deny His existence. You have established your disbelief independently of the Scripture. If you don't believe addition is a proper method for deriving sums, you cannot use the lie of 2+2=17 to prove that proposition. I don't think you see it, but that is what was being done.

    If you believed God existed and characterized Him in according to the Dawkins declaration (as you apparently do), that would be your (collective your) opinion based on a 21st Century times, cultures and circumstances. It is not how people who know and love God characterize those events in view of the times, cultures and circumstances of 2,000 B.C.

    If you don't believe in God and you don't believe the Bible is true, it is irrelevant to you what the Bible says about Him -- unless you begin to think that maybe God exists or maybe the Bible is true.
    He proves his points using the Bible because it's the only way that one
    can adress to theists regarding religious matters.
    And it's not the Atheists/Agnostics belief that's being questioned here, but
    the Christians. Therfore there is no need to say things such as "if you dont
    belive in teh Bible you don't have a saying in here".

    One who thinks that 2+2=17 can only be disproved by using the common ground
    which is math(the Bible in our case).
    How are you suppoused to disprove him if you are restricted from using math in
    your case? by using Biology?
    Sheesh...
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    Geeeze. Do you folks understand the difference between lies and the truth and what you can deduce from them?

    If I am a liar and I say God is a three-wheeled ATV, the one thing you can rely on is that God is not a three-wheeled ATV. If I am a liar and God is a three-wheel ATV, I would not say He is a three-wheeled ATV.

    If the Bible is fiction, that is, actually a lie, and it presents a specific description of God, then you can rely on the idea that God does not fit that description. If it is a lie, it is not true. Something cannot both be and not be at the same time.

    One cannot say that the Bible is a lie but it accurately describes God. If it is a lie, it will inaccurately describe God. There is no logical situation in which one can say a lie is actually the truth.

    So when you say the Bible is fiction and it portrays God as XYZ, you cannot then turn around and use XYZ is a valid reason either to believe or disbelieve the existence of God.

    I don't know how many more ways I can say this. This is simplistic logic. If it is beyond your comprehension to understand it, I just don't know how to explain it.
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    You still don't see it Dayton? If a group of rightwing radicals overthrow a state government and claim that the ghost of Davy Crocket told them to do it, how would you disprove it or bring it into serious question? Well, they are rightwing radicals and overthowing government is exactly what would be expected of them. You would have NOTHING thta could hint that Davy Crocket's ghost actually does exist and told them to do what they did, since they behave exactly as they are expected to behave, whether the ghost exists or not. You would not necessarily question the fact that they did overthrow the government, only their account of the spitefull spectre. Similarly, the people of the bible behaved exactly as people with their moral and survival mechanisms and needs would behave with no real God's involvement, only a God consisting of pure belief , both "chosen people" and hedons. NOTHING implies a real Godly influence. And this very strongly points towards no Godly waypointing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I think the point was that if your ancestors had not been the meanest, dirtiest, most successfully warlike SOBs in their neck of the woods, they might not have survived to be your forbearers. Let's face it, if the bow and arrow had been a superior weapon, all of us in the U.S. would be living in teepees today.
    I'm still puzzled at why you think this is relevant. No one is trying to claim that those "meanest, dirtiest, most successfully warlike SOBs" were good people, or that they were acting on the orders of a just, loving god. Except you, who is trying to make excuses for one particualr band of mean, dirty, warlike SOBs and the god that you think encouraged them to act the way they did.

    No, this all started when I showed the illogical sequence of people claiming that the Bible is fiction and then justifying their disbelief in God because -- the Bible says . . .
    How many times does this have to be explained to you? No one here (so far as I can tell) is saying that the bible is fiction because the god portrayed in it is bloody, unjust, and cruel. We are merely pointing out that most christians do not appreciate how cruel and wicked the bible portrays their god as being.

    No matter what picture the Bible paints of anyone, if you think it is a fiction then you can have no opinion about the character as a real person.
    No, but I can certainly have an opinion about people who believe that their god ordered his followers to rape women and slaughter babies, but then go on to claim that their god is just and loving.
    If you don't believe in God and you don't believe the Bible is true, it is irrelevant to you what the Bible says about Him -- unless you begin to think that maybe God exists or maybe the Bible is true.
    Why do you keep going on and on about this? How many times will I have to explain to you that I am not concluding that god does not exist because of the descriptions of him in the bible. I have already said that many times in this thread, so I'm astounded that you still don't seem to get that. I am merely saying that if such a god exists - which I don't believe he does - he would be terrible, cruel, and immoral by my standards. You apparently have some different set of moral standards that sometimes permits one to rape people and slaughter babies. Okay, I guess we'll have to disagree on that point; I think that it's always wrong to rape people and kill babies, you disagree. I'll leave it up to everyone else here to decide which of us has a better moral code. However the fact that you at least acknowledge that your god does these things puts you ahead of most christians, who seem to prefer to imagine that their god is all love and sunshine.
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    You have not really changed your argument though you may have recharacterized it.

    What you are saying is you believe in neither God nor the book which He supposedly wrote -- and, therefore, I should not believe in him either. And one reason I should not believe in him is that the book you don't believe paints a picture of one mean, bad dude.

    I agree, the Bible reveals God to be one mean, bad dude when He is dealing with His enemies. While I do not fully subscribe to all your (or Dawkins') characterizations, some of them are certainly examples of what God can and will do when He vents His wrath.

    I do not find it strange that my parents did not neglect to discipline me when I was disobedient, but they also displayed their love for me. Who among us treats the people we dislike in exactly the same manner as the people we like? Which of us treats the neighbor kids the same way we treat our own kids?

    I would agree that the Bible says God told the Israelites to completely obliterate some peoples -- men, women, children and all their possessions -- they were conquering while taking over the holy land. However, I would disagree that it says He told them to go in and rape the women.

    What I would say is that if this is an accurate picture of God, that he can be one mad, mean, bad Jose toward those who he considers his enemies, it might be wise to avoid being on his bad side.

    Scifor said:
    No one here (so far as I can tell) is saying that the bible is fiction because the god portrayed in it is bloody, unjust, and cruel. We are merely pointing out that most christians do not appreciate how cruel and wicked the bible portrays their god as being.
    If I suggested that you were saying the Bible is fiction because of its contents, it was not my intent. What you are doing is saying that the Bible is fiction and then using its portrayal of a God you don't believe in to justify not dealing with Him. And then saying that because you don't believe in Him, it is wrong for others to believe in him.

    Where do you get off telling me my beliefs are wrong? Who gave you that authority -- Richard Dawkins? In contrast, when I suggest that your beliefs are wrong, my authority comes from a living God who is both just and loving.

    Far from Christians not appreciating how cruel and mean and vindictive can be the God we believe in, it is you who does not appreciate this nor the consequences of subjecting yourself to His wrath.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    What you are saying is you believe in neither God nor the book which He supposedly wrote
    Correct
    -- and, therefore, I should not believe in him either.
    Well, I believe that you are mistaken in your beliefs. But you are entitled to believe what you want.
    And one reason I should not believe in him is that the book you don't believe paints a picture of one mean, bad dude.
    I am not saying that you should not believe in him because the bible paints a bad picture of him. I am simply saying that if you both genuinely respect your god and also genuinely believe that he ordered the rape of women and slaughter of babies, that reveals something about your character.
    I do not find it strange that my parents did not neglect to discipline me when I was disobedient, but they also displayed their love for me.
    Again, I have to point out that if you really believe that raping women and killing babies is ever an acceptable form of "discipline," then I think your mind is badly warped.
    Who among us treats the people we dislike in exactly the same manner as the people we like? Which of us treats the neighbor kids the same way we treat our own kids?
    No matter how much I disliked someone, I don't think that I would ever rape them or slaughter their children.
    However, I would disagree that it says He told them to go in and rape the women.
    No, it simply says that he told them to take women as "plunder" to be "used."
    What you are doing is saying that the Bible is fiction and then using its portrayal of a God you don't believe in to justify not dealing with Him.
    My justification for not dealing with god is that I don't think he exists.
    And then saying that because you don't believe in Him, it is wrong for others to believe in him.
    Again, you are entitled to your beliefs. But if those beliefs include accepting that sometimes it's okay to rape people and kill babies, well, that's going to cause me to form an opinion about you.
    Where do you get off telling me my beliefs are wrong?
    When you have absurd beliefs, don’t be surprised when people point out that your beliefs seem absurd. You believe in a an ancient book that's full of stories of talking animals, talking plants, people conjuring things out of thin air, people surviving in the stomachs of whales, and many other things that are absurd on their face. And by way of evidence that this book of fantastical stories is true, you have nothing – merely the book itself. Even if you do believe that the bible is true, is it really so hard for you to understand why other people don’t believe it?
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    Scifor says:

    Again, you are entitled to your beliefs. But if those beliefs include accepting that sometimes it's okay to rape people and kill babies, well, that's going to cause me to form an opinion about you.
    As I said before, if God were doing that in this 21st Century culture, I would consider it as wrong as you do. It is not something I would advocate or support and as I recall, most of Europe and America joined in a savage war against Nazism which practiced those tactics. Were it not for that, it could well be that that main language of this forum today would be German rather than English. We dropped bombs which killed civilians including non-combatant men, women and children.

    It is not your prerogative to attribute your mis-interpertations and beliefs concerting Scripture onto me and then tell me I am in error because that is what I believe, when it isn't.

    I do not believe it would have been wrong for God to do whatever was necessary to insure the survival of His people in that 2,000 B.C. culture any more than it was wrong for us to drop bombs and kill innocents during WWII. For the children of Israel to have acted in accordance to our 21st Century value system may have meant almost certain extermination. They lived in an exterminate or be exterminated culture. This is pretty close to WWII was about. I do not read, nor do I know any Bible scholars who read the texts to whisch you refer as being God's orders to the Israelites to rape women.

    To the best of my knowledge you have no training in Bible studies or in Hebrew so what you are saying is likely something you have heard or read someone else say. Nor do I have any formal Bible training and know little about Hebrew other than what is in my Hebrew-Chaldee dictionary. My feeling is that the source of your interpretation is not likely to have come from either a Bible scholar or a scholar of Hebrew texts, but rather some anti-religious zealot such as Dawkins.

    All of us are entitle to our opinions, no matter how stupid or foolish they may be. However, one's opinion is only as valid as that person's knowledge on the subject of his opinion or the authorities upon which the opinion is based. All opinions are not equal -- some are right and some are wrong. In this case, yours is wrong.

    My Bible opinions are based on others' years and years of study of literature, Bible, Hebrew and theology. If your source are Richard Dawkins and his contemporaries, trust me, they not a literary scholars, Bible scholars, Hebrew scholars or theologians and lack any credibility in any of those fields.

    I think ywour opinions on these matters are not based on authoritative sources and are, therefore, highly suspect as being representative of reality. While that does NOT cause me to have an opinion about you as a person, it does nothing to move me toward accepting your unathoritative opinion.
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    Can I ask you to respond to my posts in this thread and the one one the links between religions Dayton?
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    I'm not sure, KALSTER, which posts you are referring to.

    I do see that you said:
    If a group of rightwing radicals overthrow a state government and claim that the ghost of Davy Crocket told them to do it, how would you disprove it or bring it into serious question?
    The one time incident you describe is hardly comparable to a 4,000 year history of activities. Let's see, Davy Crocket lived late 18th, early 19th centuries. Check back in four milennia and we will see how well the Davy Crocketites have fared. I'm thinking the Daniel Boonists will likely prevail. I think you would be better placed to cite some actual political group such as the Simbionese Liberation Organization and its leader, whoever it was. Or perhaps Hamas or the Taliban in another 4,000 years. My bet is that they will be gone and the Jews will still exist as a people.

    Had the Israelites not survived, that would be one thing, but they did survive while none of the other groups claiming their God's superiority did not. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. Where are the Ba'alists and the Atemusians and the Zoroastrians today? Are there significant numbers of followers of Zeus or Jupiter?

    I think you also mentioned something someplace about similarities in religious texts being a validation of agnosticism. I think the test here is not where are they similar, but where are the different?

    If they agree on 10 things and disagree on one thing, then they cannot both be accurate. If they agree on 100 things and disagree on one, they they are still not in agreement.

    There is no competition in agreement, it is in disagreement that competition arises. If you think the Bible is like any other religious text, it would not appear to me that you have put in a lot of study on this topic or, have read only those things which support your position. If you are not reading some Bible apologetics, I have no idea what the basis of your contention can be other than just uneducated.

    (For study on this topic, I would highly suggest Josh McDowell's book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Josh was a rabid anti religious college student who set out to prove the Bible was an absolute lie and as a result of his research on the topic he ended up believing it was true. His book is not much on narrative analysis, but merely a compilation of his research notes and an extensive bibliography of his resources. When you can come up with a similarly extensive research project which conclude the Bible is a lie, I will consider listening.)

    I will say the same thing to you that I said to Scifor. You are most certainly entitled to your opinions. But just having an opinion does not mean it is correct. Not all opinions are equal. Some are right and some are wrong. As it is, I will go with the extensive research rather than a rhetorical opinion.

    If this is not the stuff you were referring to, please point out more directly the posts which you are referring to.
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    Ok, I think I (as usual) failed to produce a proper analogy. The parallel I was trying to make was between Davy Crocket and God. I could have used anyone for the analogy instead of old Davy for my purposes.

    I am not questioning the truth of the Bible’s historical content per se (I am sure that much of it is in fact at least qualitatively true), only a Godly involvement in them. My point is that the people in the Bible act exactly as people in their position would. When they are threatened, they defend themselves. When a religious leader tell them that their God told him that a certain land was given to them by Him and that they should kill all that inhabit these lands etc., they do exactly that. These people grew up in the moral climate they find themselves in and grow into these morals by default. They do not know any better, like we do. The people of the bible behaved exactly as people with their morals, survival mechanisms and needs would behave with no real God's involvement (only a God consisting of pure belief), both "chosen people" and hedons. NOTHING implies a real Godly influence. And this very strongly points towards the absence of Godly way-pointing.
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    I don't know, KALSTER, if you expected or wanted a reply.

    I do understand your skepticism. In those days, it was the mind set of almost all social groups that whatever happened was orchestrated by God no matter what the social group -- Hittites, Philistines, Syrians or whoever.

    So I could agree that some things attributed to God may not have had any spirtual participation whatsoever but were, rather, natural phenomena or the result of man-inspired actions.

    However, my observation of Bible stories is that even when men did something on their own, God was still able to use it to bring about his purposes and then you have to begin to wonder if maybe that was the way He intended all along.

    I think of the story of when the brothers sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt and his presence there ultimately worked to save Jacob's family from famine. What's more, it allowed the Israelites to grow and multiply in isolation and remain pure in their ethnicity because the Egyptians would not intermix with them. The punchline of the story is when Joseph tells his brothers, "You thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good."

    Both "thought" and "meant" are the same Hebrew word which connotes intent. So, less freely translated, it would say what they intended as evil, God intended as good.

    The Israelites remained in Egypt for some 400 more years, growing and multiplying in numbers and strength to an army of people who could go back and claim the land they believed God had given them. Could they have done that had not Joseph been sold into slavery -- a horrible, dastardly deed perpetrated by his brothers?

    Perhaps it is necessary to believe God exists before one would be willing to attribute God's involvement. And in order to believe that, one would have to consider that something(s) exist beyond our observable, natural world.

    I don't think one could know God exists in quite the same sense that one knows George Washington existed. But we learn and know things in different ways and to different degrees.

    Knowledge is a belief which is supported by adequate reason. Conversely, if you know something, you have to believe it and it does have to be true.

    Knowledge does not require 100 percent certainty for us to accept it as knowledge. I suspect we "know" a lot of things of which we are not 100 percent certain. We do not have to have something proved to us beyond no possible uncertainty to consider it knowledge. When know something, it is always important to be able to consider the other side of the coin but not necessary to agree with the other side.

    Just as anyone who claims to know with 100 percent certainty that God exists, so are those who claim to know with 100 percent certainty that evolution is the only paradigm for all of earth's biodiversity. In either case, the person is merely fooling himself as to his degree of certainty.

    In this discussion one person believes in God and feels he has obtained adequate reason to do so. The other does not believe in God and also feels he has obtained adequate reason not to do so.

    The thing is, they cannot both be right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    I don't think one could know God exists in quite the same sense that one knows George Washington existed. But we learn and know things in different ways and to different degrees.
    George Washington was a real man, your god is one of many gods claimed to exist, but has never been shown to exist. Colossal difference.

    Knowledge is a belief which is supported by adequate reason.
    BS, knowledge is supported by evidence, of which you have neither.

    Conversely, if you know something, you have to believe it and it does have to be true.
    And there you have it, you believe because you were told to believe, repeatedly.

    Knowledge does not require 100 percent certainty for us to accept it as knowledge.
    Knowledge requires evidence, not certainty.

    I suspect we "know" a lot of things of which we are not 100 percent certain.
    If there is evidence for something, it can become knowledge. If no evidence, no knowledge, zip, nada, ziltch.

    We do not have to have something proved to us beyond no possible uncertainty to consider it knowledge. When know something, it is always important to be able to consider the other side of the coin but not necessary to agree with the other side.
    That is a load of crap. We examine evidence to gain knowledge. Simple, really.

    Just as anyone who claims to know with 100 percent certainty that God exists, so are those who claim to know with 100 percent certainty that evolution is the only paradigm for all of earth's biodiversity. In either case, the person is merely fooling himself as to his degree of certainty.
    Evolution explains diversity, gods do not.

    In this discussion one person believes in God and feels he has obtained adequate reason to do so. The other does not believe in God and also feels he has obtained adequate reason not to do so.

    The thing is, they cannot both be right.
    They are both most likely wrong, as neither has any evidence for their beliefs, nada, zip, ziltch, regardless of their speculative reasoning's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I do not believe it would have been wrong for God to do whatever was necessary to insure the survival of His people in that 2,000 B.C. culture...
    Again, it seems very unlikely to me that a god with all the powers that the bible ascribes to your god would be unable to come up with a way to protect a tribe of people that didn't involve raping women and killing babies. If those things were really necessary for the Israelite's survival, it would seem to me that they probably didn't have an all-powerful deity looking out for them.
    For the children of Israel to have acted in accordance to our 21st Century value system may have meant almost certain extermination.
    This might be true, but again, it's not consistent with the idea that they had an omnipotent deity protecting them. Or at least, if they did have an omnipotent deity protecting them and it was still necessary for them to do those sorts of things to survive, it would cause me to have a low opinion of that deity’s morals.

    I do not read, nor do I know any Bible scholars who read the texts to whisch you refer as being God's orders to the Israelites to rape women.

    To the best of my knowledge you have no training in Bible studies or in Hebrew so what you are saying is likely something you have heard or read someone else say.

    Nor do I have any formal Bible training and know little about Hebrew other than what is in my Hebrew-Chaldee dictionary. My feeling is that the source of your interpretation is not likely to have come from either a Bible scholar or a scholar of Hebrew texts, but rather some anti-religious zealot such as Dawkins.
    My opinion is based on a plain reading of the text. When it says that women are to be taken as "plunder to be used," that appears to mean rape to me. You are of course entitles to disagree, but I suspect that if it were any other document describing the actions of any other ancient culture you would immediately agree that rape seemed like the most likely interpretation.
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    Scifor's post refers back to an earlier post in which he said:

    In Deuteronomy at one point god tells the Israelites to take women as "plunder" to be "used". The word "rape" never actually appears, but it seems pretty clear. There's also an instance in Numbers where the Israelites are told to kill all the males and any women who have slept with a man, but to save any women who has not slept with a man for themselves. Again, the meaning seems pretty clear.
    The text of the Numbers reference (31:18 ) is as follows:

    "But of all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (KJV)
    The Hebrew word here translated "keep" is shamar which means to guard, to protect, to attend to. Somehow this does not seem to lead to the idea that "for yourselves" would be an order to rape the girls for their own sexual pleasure when the actual charge is to protect them. I do not know if they used them as servants or slaves or eventually married them, but somehow rape just does not fit the picture.

    But here we have another classic example of postmodern thinking where Scifor has made up his own meaning to a word that already has a meaning of its own. As a mostly modernist, I work from the idea that words have the meaning assigned to them by the writer when written or speaker when spoken. Postmodernists generally work from the idea that the writer or speaker means whatever it means to the reader or listener. Here, Scifor has made up his own meaning for words.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to discern the cite for the reference saying "god tells the Israelites to take women as "plunder" to be "used." I do not find the word plunder is a word employed anyplace in the King James version of the Bible. So I must assume that Scifor has "used" (according to him that would mean raped) another version of the Bible to come up with this. Either that or he has again employed postmodernist thinking by substituting his own word for the actual word.

    Scifor is using rhetoric in this discussion. Rhetoric is the use of emotionally charged words or images in the place of reason. A word such as rape is emotionally charged while reason tells us that "keep" is not the same as rape nor is "use" the same as rape. If this is what these words mean to Scifor, I would hardly recommend anyone allow him to "keep" watch over their daughter or sister and I would certainly not let him "use" my hunting dog.









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    The Hebrew word here translated "keep" is shamar which means to guard, to protect, to attend to.
    Where the heck are you getting this? The word "shamar" does not appear in the text. The word that appears in the original Hebrew in Num. 31:18 that the KJV translates as "keep alive" is "chayah," which literally translates as "remain alive". But it can also mean "to spare from death," which is the most likely connotation here since it appears following a sentence in which the Israelites were given a list of people to kill. There is none of this “protect” connotation that you are trying to attach.
    But here we have another classic example of postmodern thinking where Scifor has made up his own meaning to a word that already has a meaning of its own. As a mostly modernist, I work from the idea that words have the meaning assigned to them by the writer when written or speaker when spoken.
    No, as I stated I am operating off a plain reading of the text. But in light of your own attempt at inserting bullsh*t meaning that would be convenient to your position, your statement here is ironic beyond belief.
    Unfortunately, I am unable to discern the cite for the reference saying "god tells the Israelites to take women as "plunder" to be "used." I do not find the word plunder is a word employed anyplace in the King James version of the Bible. So I must assume that Scifor has "used" (according to him that would mean raped) another version of the Bible to come up with this. Either that or he has again employed postmodernist thinking by substituting his own word for the actual word.
    It's Deut. 20:14. The word being translated as "plunder" is shala, which means "spoils, plunder, booty." In the KJV they translate it as "spoils".

    Scifor is using rhetoric in this discussion. Rhetoric is the use of emotionally charged words or images in the place of reason. A word such as rape is emotionally charged while reason tells us that "keep" is not the same as rape nor is "use" the same as rape.
    While your own finely-honed style of discussion apparently centers on a strategy of making false claims about what words were used in the text?
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    OK, Scifor, upon second glance at the Numbers verse, I can see that the word Chayah is the correct word and that it contains the entire thought of "keeping alive" or preserving the life of. I misunderstood the way my Strong's Exhaustive Concordance was referencing the word "keep."

    Still, you are apparently considering the rest of the phrase, "for yourselves" as permission from God, or perhaps an order from God, for them to rape the female children. I still contend that a plain reading of that text has no suggestion of rape in it.

    This specific incident revolves around the destruction of the Medianites in which the Israeli armies had, apparently been instructed to kill all living things. However, the armies killed only the adult males, returning with all women as well as children and animals and other spoils (OK, it can be called plunder).

    They had apparently followed the wrong general rule of conquest which is later explained in the Deuteronomy text which codifies two different ways in which the Israelites were to conquer people groups in the promised land.

    Deut. 20:14 comes from the directions for conquering one group of people who were not to be exterminated, except for the adult males. Verse 14 then says:

    "But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee."

    This is the verse about which Scifor said, "god tells the Israelites to take women as 'plunder' to be 'used.'" It is not just the women who are to be kept alive and taken. I still cannot find the word "use" in the text. The word "take" here is bazaz (I'm sure of that) which means to catch or gather up.

    I think from the plain reading of the English text, one could build a stonger case for canabalism than for rape, since women and children were a part of the spoils which they were directed to eat!

    There were other people groups about whom the Israelites were instructed in verses 16 and 17:
    ". . .thou shalt save alive [same word as keep alive (chayah), and properly noted in Strong's] nothing that breatheth: but thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee."
    In the Numbers situation, it sounds as though the second directive was in effect against the Medianites and the armies applied the first directive.

    Could someone interpret these verses as sanctioning or directing rape? I suppose someone could come to that conclusion if that was their belief going in.

    But I still don't think either of these verses you cited, when taken in the context of the Bible as a whole or even within the context of the passages in which they appear, could lead one to conclude that God was ordering or approving of rape.

    So, anyway, I do apologize for my mistake. But I still would not let Scifor "keep" watch over my teenage grandaughters nor "use" my hunting dog.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Still, you are apparently considering the rest of the phrase, "for yourselves" as permission from God, or perhaps an order from God, for them to rape the female children. I still contend that a plain reading of that text has no suggestion of rape in it.
    Okay, I have to admit that rape is not explicitly ordered here. The Israelites are merely told to slaughter all the men, all the male children, and all the non-virgin women. They are then told to keep the virgins "for themselves".
    Deut. 20:14 comes from the directions for conquering one group of people who were not to be exterminated, except for the adult males. Verse 14 then says:

    "But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee."

    This is the verse about which Scifor said, "god tells the Israelites to take women as 'plunder' to be 'used.'" It is not just the women who are to be kept alive and taken. I still cannot find the word "use" in the text. The word "take" here is bazaz (I'm sure of that) which means to catch or gather up.
    "Bazaz" also means to despoil or prey upon. The conotation is much more sinister than simply "gather up" or "catch". If they were being told to gather up the women, they probably would have used the word "qabats". If they had wanted them to "catch" the women, they might have used the word dabaq. You would not tell someone to "Bazaz up all the socks and put them in the washer." It can be used to mean "gather up" or "catch" in the sense that a pack of wolves "gathers up" and "catches" flock of sheep. Again, you are trying to avoid the actual meaning of the words that are used in the text, and again I have to point out how ironic this is in light of your previous comments about postmodernism etc.
    I think from the plain reading of the English text, one could build a stonger case for canabalism than for rape, since women and children were a part of the spoils which they were directed to eat!
    The Israelites are being told to take the women as plunder/booty/loot and despoil/prey upon/plunder them. Since the meaning there isn't entirely explicit some interpretation is necessary, and rape seems the most straightforward to me. You are, of course, entitled to disagree. The word "akal" that appears in a later sentence, and does indeed mean "eat," is presumably referring to the animals.

    So, anyway, I do apologize for my mistake. But I still would not let Scifor "keep" watch over my teenage grandaughters nor "use" my hunting dog.
    Well, probably not in Hebrew anyway, since based on what you have displayed so far it seems likely that you would accidentally ask me to despoil or plunder them.
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    Well, Scifor, assuming for the moment that I totally agreed with you (which I don't, I would still be left with a question.

    I would wonder why all this stuff that happened 4,000 years ago is so upsetting to you. I mean in view of the fact that there is nothing that can be done about it today and your presence here on earth would suggest that those events in no way have directly impacted you whatsoever. And neither Jews nor Christians do such things in the name of God today.

    Meanwhile, the fact that exact same things are actually happening today in the Darfur region of the Sudan does not seem to upset you to the same degree even though they seem to pit one religious group against another. And this is something, perhaps, you could maybe do something about.

    And while there remains a question as to whether the children of Israel practiced raping their victims, there is absolutely no question but what survivors of Darfur massacres directly report that happening.

    And all of this is directly the result of a forced union between Sudan and Darfur which was perpetrated by the British in 1916. So, maybe the British authorized and sanctioned the Sudanese to exterminate, rape and pillage the Darfurians. It makes about as much sense and saying God directed the Israelies to rape their conquests.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I would wonder why all this stuff that happened 4,000 years ago is so upsetting to you. I mean in view of the fact that there is nothing that can be done about it today and your presence here on earth would suggest that those events in no way have directly impacted you whatsoever. And neither Jews nor Christians do such things in the name of God today.
    Well with the same right it's cool for the Nazis to have a party revival in let's say 1000 or so years, because they commited countless atrocities and the whole idea behind it is ablosutely vile and vicious but hey, that was then 1000 years ago, so hey, don't hold them accountable for it.

    You still do not get it, do you? My assesment of the worl as is: no god exists. This judgement is due to a lack of evidence for the existence of a devine beeing other than in the brain of men. Or rather logic tells me that the chance of the existence of such a beeing is 1:10^gogolplex. All we are saying that you use a book as a guidline for your life that you claim to show the love and mercy of some all-knowing, allmighty beeing that in reality is full of stories that prove this god to be an absolute asshole. The stories you claim to be inspired by god or the word of god are to a large extent disgusting and the atrocities commited in the name of god are just the logical extension of this line of thought.
    BTW...did you ever see an atheist running into a building full of people with 10 kgs of TNT strapped to his body screaming: "There is no god, you believer-scum!" and pulling the trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Meanwhile, the fact that exact same things are actually happening today in the Darfur region of the Sudan does not seem to upset you to the same degree even though they seem to pit one religious group against another. And this is something, perhaps, you could maybe do something about.
    And while there remains a question as to whether the children of Israel practiced raping their victims, there is absolutely no question but what survivors of Darfur massacres directly report that happening.
    And all of this is directly the result of a forced union between Sudan and Darfur which was perpetrated by the British in 1916. So, maybe the British authorized and sanctioned the Sudanese to exterminate, rape and pillage the Darfurians. It makes about as much sense and saying God directed the Israelies to rape their conquests.
    Did I miss the speech of the british prime-minister ordering the people in Darfur to kill each other for the praise and higher good of the Commonwealth???
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I would wonder why all this stuff that happened 4,000 years ago is so upsetting to you. I mean in view of the fact that there is nothing that can be done about it today and your presence here on earth would suggest that those events in no way have directly impacted you whatsoever. And neither Jews nor Christians do such things in the name of God today.
    The events themselves don't particularly "upset" me, since as you said this all happened thousands of years ago. I am somewhat disturbed, however, that people today can read descriptions of these events and not immediately see that they were cruel and wicked.
    Meanwhile, the fact that exact same things are actually happening today in the Darfur region of the Sudan does not seem to upset you to the same degree even though they seem to pit one religious group against another. And this is something, perhaps, you could maybe do something about.
    I agree that this is deplorable as well. But since you seem to recognize that this is bad behavior and aren't trying to make excuses for the militias that are committing atrocities in Darfur (or the leaders who order the atrocities), I don't see how it's relevant.

    And all of this is directly the result of a forced union between Sudan and Darfur which was perpetrated by the British in 1916. So, maybe the British authorized and sanctioned the Sudanese to exterminate, rape and pillage the Darfurians. It makes about as much sense and saying God directed the Israelies to rape their conquests.
    No, blaming the British for the atrocities in Darfur does not make as much sense as blaming god for the slaughter of children in the bible because so far as I know the British never ordered the Sudanese to rape or kill anyone. Since according to the bible god did explicitly order the Israelites to slaughter people, a better analogy would be to compare the god depicted in your bible to the Sudanese militia leaders who issue orders to their followers to go out and pillage.

    On a side note, it's somewhat amusing (in a dark sort of way) how you seem to be fine with the Israelites slaughtering children, but get all huffy and want to argue about whether or not it meant rape when the Israelites were told to "take women as plunder" and whatnot. Surely slaughtering babies is a vastly worse crime than rape anyway.
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