02 June 2008

Top Ten Abominations to God

When the subject of abominations comes up, most people think of homosexuality, because that is one of the few things that God hasn't changed his mind about since he became a born again Christian a couple thousand years ago. God still likes Leviticus 18:22, although he's softened up a bit on Leviticus 20:13.

Here are ten other things that are (or were) abominations to the non-denominational, pre-Christian Bible-God. (In God's favorite order -- biblical!)

  1. Lobsters, shrimp, clams, octopus, and squids
    Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:12
  2. Four-legged fowls
    All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:20
  3. Four-footed flying, creeping things
    But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:23
  4. Whatever crawls on its belly, goes on all four, or has lots of legs
    Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth ... are an abomination. Leviticus 11:42
  5. Sacrificing a blemished sheep or goat
    Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 17:1
  6. Women who wear men's clothing
    The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 22:5
  7. The hire of a whore or the price of a dog
    Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 23:18
  8. Taking back an ex-wife after she's been defiled
    (If you get married and then find that you hate your wife because she's unclean or something, go ahead and divorce her and kick her out of your house. After she's gone, if some other guy marries her and also hates her and divorces her, don't take her back as your wife. It really pisses God off. It's an abomination to him.)
    When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD. Deuteronomy 24:1-4
  9. The work of a craftsman
    Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman.... Deuteronomy 27:15
  10. Whatever people value the most
    (Like kindness, wisdom, truth, courage, honesty, love, compassion, beauty?)
    That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15

76 comments:

v_quixotic said...

I hate to play Devil's advocate, [no he doesn't Ed.] but you're taking Luke a little out of context.

Luke 16:13
"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Luke 16:14
"And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him."

Luke 16:15
"And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

When you consider the 2 preceding verses and the unquoted section of 16:15, it appears, to me at least, that Jesus is saying that either wealth (mammon) or the esteem of one's colleagues is the abomination in the sight of god... not that which might be esteemed generally by enlightened beings like us.

Jason said...

Yes, the old law was certainly strict.

Steve Wells said...

Context doesn't help here, v_quixotic. Jesus may have meant to say that wealth and respect are abominations to God (and that would have been silly enough). But he didn't say that. He said, "That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." If he didn't mean to say that, he shouldn't have said it. (Which he probably didn't, but that's another story.)

Steve Wells said...

Biblical law is not just strict, Jason. It's immoral, absurd, and batshit crazy.

Kirk said...

I've often wondered what kind of schizophrenic god the Hebrews were creating. Didn't they think that far ahead? Imagine BibleGod's internal conversation:
"Shellfish are an abomination to me. Alright, time to create shrimp." What a doofus.

Jason said...

Steve,

Perhaps to you, but not so to the Israelites.

Steve Wells said...

No perhaps about it Jason.
Biblical law is immoral, absurd, and batshit crazy -- to me, anyway. How about you?

v_quixotic said...

Steve said:
Jesus may have meant to say that wealth and respect are abominations to God (and that would have been silly enough). But he didn't say that. He said, "That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." If he didn't mean to say that, he shouldn't have said it.

True, an infallible word of godesque document shouldn't need such careful examination...

Jason said...

I think the laws were what they were, Steve. I'm happily ambivalent on the matter and until someone can intelligently explain what makes our morals and opinions of normalcy superior to theirs, I'll happily remain as such.

Anon said...

Steve said: "Biblical law is not just strict, Jason. It's immoral, absurd, and batshit crazy."

Jason replied: "Perhaps to you, but not so to the Israelites."

Are there specific verses, Jason, that say the Israelites didn't think the law was immoral, absurd, and crazy? Not words spoken by the prophets or leaders of the Israelites, but by the people themselves? Maybe there are some, but I don't remember offhand.

But in any case, if I was an Israelite and thought the law was completely crazy and unjust, I would keep my mouth shut, given God's penchant for punishing or killing people who complain or don't follow his law. I certainly wouldn't tell my leaders I thought God was nuts, since especially in the early days they were in close touch with God. I'd either shut up or start praising God out of fear for what would happen to me if I didn't.

It reminds me a little of Big Brother from the book 1984: you didn't openly say anything against Big Brother no matter what. You don't question or complain about Big Brother: you just did what you were told, no questions asked. I don't think it's a stretch to think that's why the Israelites followed the law, they knew their leaders or their God would treat them harshly if they did anything other than obey.

What's that you say? Don't eat four-footed flying creepy things? Excellent idea, o Lord! Don't sacrifice any goats with evilfavouredness? I'm with you all the way on that one, Yahweh.

Jason said...

Anon,

I'm not sure what you're getting at. There's no record the Israelites thought God's law was immoral, absurd or crazy. My point then is that Steve can think one thing, but the people the law was actually given to aren't recorded as sharing the same opinion.

Anon said...

Jason said: "I'm happily ambivalent on the matter and until someone can intelligently explain what makes our morals and opinions of normalcy superior to theirs, I'll happily remain as such."

Jason, are you saying that the Israelites made up these laws/rules about what to eat, wear, etc.? If so, then your argument makes sense. There are countries with laws prohibiting eating dogs; the Israelites had laws against eating lobsters. Just different cultural values. To each his own.

But I suspect that you believe God handed down these and similar laws to the Israelites. Am I correct? If so, then Steve has a very valid point/question: why did God tell them it was abominable to eat lobsters, but it's okay for us to do so? Doesn't make sense.

You brought up old vs new law again. Is part of the reason Jesus died on the cross so that we could eat lobster?!? It simply doesn't make sense why God would consider it an abomination then but it's okay now.

If this was God's law, then until you give a valid reason why it would be abominable in God's eyes to eat lobsters then but it's okay now, I will believe these and other laws and rules are at least crazy and unjustified, in some cases, immoral.

Anon said...

Jason said: "I'm not sure what you're getting at. There's no record the Israelites thought God's law was immoral, absurd or crazy. My point then is that Steve can think one thing, but the people the law was actually given to aren't recorded as sharing the same opinion."

I never claimed that the Bible says the Israelites thought the law was immoral, absurd, or crazy. My point is that even if people did think the laws were crazy and/or immoral, we probably wouldn't know about it. If God, Moses, etc. are going to either kill me or make me suffer for not following the law, I am a lot less likely to come out and say I think these laws are crazy or wrong. I'd either follow the law and shut up about it, or else pretend I like the law.

Those who spoke up against God are not usually dealt with kindly in the Bible, particularly in the olden days.

Another analogy I guess would be that it's kind of like when dictatorships hold false elections and get 95% of the vote. It doesn't mean 95% of people really want the dictator in office, they're just smart enough (or afraid enough) not to say or do anything about it. If any Israelites thought a prohibition against eating lobster was goofy, they probably weren't willing to raise a big stink and lose their life over it. That was my point: we don't know and probably never will how many if any Israelites thought the law was crazy, immoral, or absurd.

sconnor said...

Mr. Doomahss said, I think the laws were what they were, Steve. I'm happily ambivalent on the matter and until someone can intelligently explain what makes our morals and opinions of normalcy superior to theirs, I'll happily remain as such.

That's because you are a mindless, deer-in-the-headlight, fuck-tard, that has never had an original thought and can't think on his own -- wallowing in delusional bliss.

--S.

Jason said...

Anon,

Whether or not God's laws make sense to us isn't the issue. God wanted the Israelites obedience, regardless of the circumstance or request. If He said don't gather sticks on the Sabbath, you didn't do it. If He said you don't eat shellfish, you didn't do it. It is not what people eat per se which is at stake here, but whether or not they obey. The former really makes no difference to an omnipotent God. But the latter does. The issue is whether or not the creation which He made to serve His purpose, actually obeys or not. Take the example of a child stealing from the proverbial cookie jar - is the parent upset because the child is eating cookies, or because their express instruction has been disregarded?

Secondly, the reason why Christ died on the cross is well documented in the NT.

And finally, once again, there's no record of the Israelites sharing the same opinion of Steve regarding the laws given to them. There are numerous records however of the people choosing not to obey God and of worshipping idols. I'm not aware of the excuse in either instance being because they thought God's law was immoral or crazy. My point therefore is that stating as such is simply conjecture.

sconnor said...

Asshole said, Take the example of a child stealing from the proverbial cookie jar - is the parent upset because the child is eating cookies, or because their express instruction has been disregarded?

Yes, yes, and because the child didn't obey, the parent can inject the child with a hideous disease, causing the child to suffer, for months, only to die. Not only that but the parent's wrath did not stop at the child with cookie crumbs on her hands; the parent also punished the other children by causing them to have great pain the rest of their lives -- it's the only moral thing to do.

Face it Jason you are a delusional, dick-head, with a knob full of goo.

--S.

Anon said...

Jason said: "Whether or not God's laws make sense to us isn't the issue."

I think this is the issue, or at least part of the issue. Strictness is understandable and possibly even justifiable, when there's a reason behind it. If you tell your teen he isn't allowed to do drugs or else he won't be allowed to use the car for a year, then he gets caught using drugs, then there is a reason for the prohibition (drugs can cause all sorts of problems, including death) and a reason for the punishment (as enticement not to do the dangerous and potentially fatal thing). This rule and punishment make sense.

A number of rules and punishments in the Bible simply don't make sense, and as sconnor points out, the cookie in the jar analogy is probably ill-chosen here, although I see what you were getting at. In Deuteronomy and elsewhere, sometimes the prohibition doesn't seem to serve a purpose (e.g. no multi-clothed fabrics), or the punishment associated is not proportionate or is simply cruel (e.g. stoning a woman to death because she didn't scream loudly enough while being raped).

Jason said: "The issue is whether or not the creation which He made to serve His purpose, actually obeys or not."

Obedience, but for what purpose? People generally send dogs to obedience school so they behave themselves and don't hurt humans or other animals. What purpose does not eating lobster serve? You would think God would be concerned about his creations' well-being (why else did he save his son to save humanity?).

I'm sure there are plenty of bad or dangerous things that aren't expressly prohibited in the Bible, while God takes time out to talk about the importance of wearing fringes. Couldn't God have told his people not to use cooking implements containing lead (because of lead poisoning), instead of wasting his and everyone else's time on not mixing fabrics or telling them to punish rape victims with death?

About the reason for Jesus' death resurrection, I know what the main reason given is, but his fulfillment of the law also meant that people could eat lobsters, correct? Certainly God knew this was one of the laws that no longer would have to be followed. If it wasn't part of the reason, I guess it could be considered a fringe benefit of sorts. Maybe you think it foolish of me to see it that why, but I think it's foolish to tell people what fabrics they can or can't wear.

Jason said...

Anon,

People can critique and criticize the old laws until they're blue in the face, but the fact remains: The Israelites were expected to follow the laws, irrelevant of what these laws were. The purpose of obedience is explained in great detail throughout the OT. It's also explained in detail throughout the NT under the new law of Christ, the same law that freed believers from the law of bondage.

That aside, my original point was that the old law is strict. Whether or not it's "absurd" or "crazy" is simply conjecture and claiming these laws are "immoral" can only be done after proving the morals of the 21st century are somehow superior to the morals of 4000 years ago.

Steve Wells said...

Whether or not it's "absurd" or "crazy" is simply conjecture and claiming these laws are "immoral" can only be done after proving the morals of the 21st century are somehow superior to the morals of 4000 years ago.

OK, Jason, let's conjecture.

Leviticus 20:14 says, "And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you."

Are you really unsure about whether it is crazy and immoral to burn people to death?

John L. said...

Angry Xtians, your ideas are not quite there...

mammon is mammon...

get it? where does it say rich?

things mean what they say..

John L. said...

Steve Wells, then please go do this :) enjoy killing.

Steve Wells said...

I don't understand your meaning, John L. Could you explain it to me?

EATINGVIRGINSISGOOD said...

Steve if you are not an Xtian, I really am sorry....

But to tell you honestly, all of you according to your word are guilty and deserving Hell Fire.

Nobody according to the word is saved.

Continue in injustice and continue in your hatred. Don't be surprised if you see injustice in the church.

http://www.answering-christianity.com/

sconnor said...

Screwy, McDingbat said, That aside, my original point was that the old law is strict. Whether or not it's "absurd" or "crazy" is simply conjecture and claiming these laws are "immoral" can only be done after proving the morals of the 21st century are somehow superior to the morals of 4000 years ago.

Jackass Jason, JJ for short; you are without question, a gigantic asshole, of cosmic proportions, only surpassed by your imaginary, voyeuristic, ubiquitous, dictator-genie . What doesn't take any conjecture, on our part, is your repulsive megalomaniacal sky-daddy, the one who allegedly handed down morals, through the old law, has none himself. That is what is so absurd and bat-shit, crazy. Bible-god is a colossal, sadistic, hypocrite, that not only kills millions and commands people to kill hundreds of thousands -- in light of his commandments -- he also doles out unimaginable, cruel and unusual punishments, causing millions of his children to suffer, egregiously. And as he wields his wrath, like a psychotic, abusive, father, in a blind rage; the innocent, who happen to get in the way, are subject to the same insane and deranged punishments. And your only, mindless, lame-ass defense is: he's god; he can do whatever he wants, with his creation. There is no conjecture; it is all in the Bible. Your god is not strict; he is a demented fuck and wholly immoral and because you are so steeped, in your delusion, you are blind to the obvious or you have to do mental gymnastics in order to salvage god's repulsive reputation.

--S.

...a God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slaves to worship him!
-- Mark Twain

v_quixotic said...

Quoth Jason: "my original point was that the old law is strict. Whether or not it's "absurd" or "crazy" is simply conjecture and claiming these laws are "immoral" can only be done after proving the morals of the 21st century are somehow superior to the morals of 4000 years ago."

So slavery as endorsed and sanctioned by the OT (eg. Leviticus 25:44-46) is OK with you, Jason?

Jason said...

Steve,

Burning people to death might be immoral today but my point, again, is that unless you can prove your 21st century opinion of proper morals is any more right then the same opinions of proper morals 4000 years ago, passing these kinds of judgments is purely conjecture and doesn't advance your argument any further. For example, just because the punishment for marrying your own mother today is different then it was back then doesn't settle the issue. The ancient Egyptians cut off limbs as punishment for crimes and in other cases, drowned or burned people at the stake. The Romans crucified criminals. The Babylonians flogged, mutilated and banished their criminals. Assyrians impaled criminals on stakes and flayed others while husbands were free to mutilate an adulterous wife. While we might think these to be grotesque, the fact is, the people of the time didn't think this to be immoral - they simply accepted it as punishment for a transgression of the law. It was accepted by their culture and indeed, wouldn't have been all that different from the laws of the land in other nations of the time.

Ironically, if these ancient civilizations knew we had vastly different punishments for the same crimes, they would consider our laws to be "absurd", "crazy" and "immoral" as well. Does this make them right for simply thinking this way?

The same goes for slavery as well. It's not acceptable today because society deems this kind of behaviour improper and inappropriate. However, thousands of years ago, slavery wasn't frowned on by anyone. It was accepted and woven into the social and economic fabric of the time. So again, unless someone can explain what makes their opinion any more right than those living two thousand years ago, I don't see how your argument stands.

Dave said...

You know, Jason, we have all endured a lot of your inane repetitive ramblings on this site, but your last one may be your most self-revealing post ever. I have stated before that your religion has robbed you of your basic human morality, and here it is in black and white. Of course, as a Christian, you are blind to it, as I used to be, and will no doubt continue on with your twisted cognitive dissonance. Perhaps someday you will endure a life-changing event such as what has happened to sconner or myself to open your eyes and soul and reveal Christianity for what it really is: a cruel immoral charade.

If you lived in the past, you would be one of those gleefully stoning someone to death for their transgressions, beating your slave, turning on the chamber gas valve, or raising a knife to plunge it into your own son’s chest under god’s command. As an ex-Christian, I am proud to say that I am no longer bound by the book that makes otherwise good people like you morally bankrupt.

Kirk said...

Quoting Jason: "While we might think these to be grotesque, the fact is, the people of the time didn't think this to be immoral"

Exactly the point, Jason. The people thought slavery was okie-dokie, so their idea of a god laid out price lists. They thought stoning and burning were acceptable, so their god told them when and where.
Either you have a god that changes morality... or BibleGod is a creation of ancient peoples, not vice versa.

Jason said...

Dave,

Listen to yourself. You're implying that, somehow, without any idea of what morals and ethics would be like in the 21st century, you would be the ethical champion and guide for a civilization you lived in by possessing some kind of moral clarity that allowed you to transcend the only moral system you know - the one you existed in. For example, if you lived in ancient Assyria, you're stating you would inherently "know better" then to flog a criminal to death. This is ridiculous. Under Babylonian law, adultery was punishable by the drowning of both parties. If you were Babylonian, you would agree this punishment was "right" and acceptable. Do you disagree?

The point is, if any of us lived in the past, we'd all be stoning someone to death for their transgressions. These were the laws of the land and they were accepted - I don't possibly see how you could argue you would behave any differently or argue against the morals of the society you lived in.

Jason said...

Kirk,

You're right, that is the point. Thank you. Everyone thought slavery was okie-dokie back then and we would have to if we were around at that time. Stoning and burning were also acceptable since these were common punishments used by dozens of ancient civilizations. Just because we don't use them today doesn't mean they're immoral - it simply means the society we live in has decided on other forms of behaviour and punishment, or, in many instances, removing the latter altogether. If we lived 2000 years ago and we understood what things were going to be like in the 21st century, there's no doubt we would have labelled this civilization "immoral", "crazy" and "absurd" as well. If we had, would we have been correct? What's our basis for judgment? What makes our morals and opinions of normalcy superior to theirs?

Dave said...

Jason said ”Listen to yourself.”.

I did, and that is why I am no longer a Christian. I hated what I was saying. Perhaps some day, you will hate what you are saying as well.

Jason said ”…If you were Babylonian, you would agree this punishment was "right" and acceptable. Do you disagree?”

Yes, I disagree. I do not agree with the death penalty. I think hunting for sport is disgusting. I have never used corporal punishment on my children. I cannot worship a baby-murdering god. All acceptable cultural norms.

Dave said .”Jason…you will no doubt continue on with your twisted cognitive dissonance.”. Yep.

Jason said...

Dave,

The 'listen to yourself' comment was directed at your claim that had you lived back in an age where stoning and slavery were morally accepted, you would have somehow known better. How do you know you would have known better when the 'better' hadn't even been established? I fail to see how or why you would assume your belief structure would be exactly the same back then as it is today when the morals and ethics of the two societies and time periods are vastly different.

And whether or not you disagree with the death penalty isn't the point. There are many people who do agree with the death penalty, atheists included, and I'll suggest there were far more supporters thousands of years ago. Disagreeing doesn't make anything immoral unless you can prove why your personal morals are superior to those who believe the opposite. So I'll ask again: what makes your morals superior to theirs?

v_quixotic said...

Jason said:

"However, thousands of years ago, slavery wasn't frowned on by anyone. It was accepted and woven into the social and economic fabric of the time."

Spartacus frown upon slavery. As have abolitionists since then. If laws and punishments change and the result is a net increase in the quotient of human happiness then that is a clear proof for you.

The people who would be slaves today are happier than they would be if the moral code that allowed slavery endured. The morals evolved, they are self evidently superior.

sconnor said...

JJ asshole,

Too bad, when your "moral", law-giving, demented fuck-job, sky-fairy, was bestowing said laws, he didn't have the foreknowledge to know that slavery was a grossly inhumane, vile and a wholly immoral institution, that ranks right up there, if not, entirely surpasses, "thou shalt not kill" as one of the most evil and hideous of all depredations of human rights.

But your imaginary, morally-challenged deity-dunce, needed to hand down laws on eating shrimp and pork and how one should beat his child with a rod, neglecting to mention the horrors and repugnant, violations of slavery, that has ripped apart families and whole generations, leaving people in ruin, broken, forever crippled, scarred and drenched in blood.

Oh, wait, your fuck-knob, god did consider (frowned upon) the bondage of slavery wrong, when he killed the babies and children of Egypt, so he could lead his children to the promised land, but yet your monumentally, hypocritical, cloud-daddy, forgot to hand down the law, as to why slavery is so repulsive and immoral.

Jason you and your god are complete psycho-fuck, shit-holes, only worthy of disrespect and mockery.

--S.

Steve Wells said...

Burning people to death might be immoral today but...

Burning people to death might be immoral? You're not sure?

Do you think it is immoral, Jason? I'm not asking you what most people today think, or what people in Old Testament times might have thought. I'm asking you what you think.

So what do you think, Jason? Is it wrong to burn people to death?

Jason said...

Quixtoix,

I'm not saying people haven't frowned upon slavery. What I'm saying is that during the time of the Israelites (and Egyptians and Assyrians and Persians and Geeks and Babylonians), slavery wasn't immoral. It also wasn't immoral to kill someone by stoning them to death. It was just the way things were done back then.

As for us being morally superior to people living back then, come on. We have a family unit in shambles, rampant drug use, corrupt governments who deny their citizens aid, child pornography, animal testing, Guantanamo Bay, pharmaceutical companies withholding medical cures, countries refusing to sign pollutant agreements, and the list goes on and on and on. Tell me, what's so "better and superior" then the moral age of the Egyptians, the Assyrians or the Israelites? Prove to me the quotient of human happiness has increased.

Jason said...

Steve,

Let me ask you a question: What's so different from burning someone to death then death by lethal injection?

Is it wrong to burn to death a random person? Of course it is. It's just as wrong to walk up to someone and shoot them in the head. This is murder. We're talking about punishment for a crime, Steve. If a society considers it acceptable to hang an offender, what right does another society have to say it's immoral simply because they happen to prefer electrocution?

Steve Wells said...

Jason,

So you think it is moral to burn to death a man, his wife, and his mother-in-law if they are guilty of whatever the hell Leviticus 20:14 is talking about (The man having sex with his mother-in-law? The man marrying his mother-in-law? Or whatever...)?

You think it would be moral to kill them, and you see no big difference between lethal injection and burning them to death. Wow! Only someone whose heart has been hardened by the Bible could think something like that.

Do you have any idea why the wife should be burned to death, Jason? I guess it doesn't matter to you. Just burn all three and let God sort it out.

I was just about to ask sconner to tone his comments down just a little. But I've decided not to. Because he's right. "You and your god are ... only worthy of disrespect and mockery."

Anon said...

Jason,

You seem to be arguing for cultural relativism. You are saying we have to decide whether stoning rape victims, for example, is right or wrong as a punishment based on whether or not it was acceptable to the culture in question at the time in question.

Arguments can obviously be made for cultural relativism, but I have to say that this is an interesting position for a Christian to take in this context.

You seem to be saying that the law and its enforcement is good or evil based on what the given society of the time thinks. Is this correct? In your opinion, can something be inherently evil or inherently good? If it was considered okay to stone a rape victim in olden times but it's not considered okay to do so now, does that mean it's a sin now but it wasn't a sin back then?

You bring up your own examples of why you think our modern morality is not superior, and have asked several people to prove why we as a society morally superior, but you don't support your own argument. We have modern morality right now; the Bible proposes that a different morality existed for the Israelites back then. Since that morality is not the one accepted today, I think you would be the one who would have to prove your point. What proof do you have that Israelite's morality was just as good as ours?

I don't think "Because God told them the law" is a valid argument here, because God later sent Jesus to fulfill the old law, and it no longer applies. If anything, I would think this might prove that the old morality was inferior, otherwise why would God want to do away with it?

Others above have made other arguments about why the old morality is inferior or why ours is superior, but I think this argument (about the new law superceding the old law) may be framed in a way that can help us reflect on it from a Biblical perspective. Why would what is bad and how to deal with it both change, when it was supposedly God handing down the rules in the first place?

The only logical conclusion I see is that God takes into account what is right and wrong in a given society. You would think though that God would be the one determining right and wrong, and not basing it off of humans (who are said to be sinful by nature).

I really hope that you don't truly believe the punishments outlined in the Old Testament are all moral. You probably think you should believe this, and you are trying to convince yourself to believe it. I, and I'm sure other former Christians like Dave, can understand why you're doing this. But I hope that you can take a step back for a second and carefully consider not only today's morality, as you did above, but as evaluate the Bible's morality--not based on what you think you should believe is right, but what you *actually* believe is right.

Jason said...

Steve,

Please answer my question: What's so different from burning someone to death then death by lethal injection?

If a society considers it acceptable to burn an offender of the law to death, what right does another society have to say it's immoral simply because they either happen to prefer some other form or don't punish for the same at all? In other words, disagreeing with a form of punishment doesn't automatically make it an immoral act unless you can prove you're morally superior.

In the ancient ages, capital punishment ranged from drowning to impaling to stoning to burning. Which of these were considered immoral by the people of the time?

Jason said...

Anon,

I would agree with your first question. Also, whether something being inherently evil or inherently good, yes, it I believe it is possible.

Regarding stoning a rape victim, I'm not sure where you're coming from...?

The proof that the Israelite's morality is just as "good" as ours is that under the law given to them by God, there was nothing in it that would have been considered immoral at the time. The laws reflected the views of the age. Likewise, our laws today reflect the views of this age.

As for the old law and the new law, it changed because this was the whole point of Christ. It wasn't about morals or ethics, it was about an old law that offered a constant reminder of sins (Heb 10:3).

Finally, from my 21st century perspective, no, I don't think the punishments outlined in the OT are all moral. I've also never argued as such. What I've been arguing is that just because we have this opinion doesn't automatically make them immoral. We're products of the day and age we live in. If society finds it acceptable to put a murderer in prison instead of stoning them to death, stoning is an unacceptable act. If another society finds it perfectly acceptable to stone a murderer to death, letting them live and potentially walk free after a few years is an unacceptable act. Both would view the other as being "immoral" but only because there's a conflict of opinion. Neither society can lay claim to moral superiority which is exactly the crux of the problem and the futility of the arguments thus far. The only solution I can see is by simply admitting our perspective is too biased and limited to objectively judge the morals in ages and civilizations much, much different from ours.

Steve Wells said...

Please answer my question: What's so different from burning someone to death then death by lethal injection?

OK, I'll answer yours, even though you refuse to answer mine.

Burning someone to death is cruel; lethal injection is not.

Is anything cruel to you, Jason?

Jason said...

Steve,

You're saying then it's not the taking of a life for a crime that's immoral, it's how painfully the life is taken away that somehow defines it's level of morality. Interestingly enough, many states in the U.S. disagree with your opinion on the cruelty of lethal injection. What's ironic is that this form of punishment was originally thought to be humane - 30 years later, people are starting to rethink things.

And this is precisely my point: Firstly, disagreeing with a form of punishment doesn't automatically make it an immoral act unless you can prove you're morally superior. Can you prove you're morally superior to the State of Florida or Texas?

Secondly, in 50 years from now, what guarantee is there the moral stance towards lethal injection won't have changed? Based on the way things are going, what if in 100 years from now lethal injection is considered immoral? Will that give people the right to call you "absurd" and "immoral" or would you ask them to first consider the day and age you lived in...?

Anon said...

Jason said: "Finally, from my 21st century perspective, no, I don't think the punishments outlined in the OT are all moral."

I appreciate your candor in your response. You never said either way what you thought personally about the morality of the laws/punishments of the old testament, so I am glad to hear that you don't consider all of them moral.

You can understand, then, why some people object to them. Your conclusion faced with this is that those were the times and we shouldn't be so quick to judge; my conclusion is that there are some things that are wrong and shouldn't be condoned in a holy book, no matter what the society of the time thought. (You've said elsewhere this is history, but it is also still presented to this day as the inspired word of God.)

The reason I use the stoning a rape victim as an example is because I think it is a case of something that should be clearly immoral, no matter what age you live in. Deuteronomy 22:23-24 indicate that if a man sleeps with a betrothed virgin in the city and people don't hear her crying for help, then both her and her attacker should be stoned to death. There are any number of reasons people wouldn't have heard the woman cry for help besides her "wanting it", but instead the Old Testament condemns her to death.

Yes, I am seeing this through 21st century eyes, but I believe there have to be some things where you just say they're wrong no matter what, no matter what century. You seem to think this is not the case.

I see humanity overall as improving through the ages. I like to hope that, for all of our errors as a race, we are getting better. Barack Obama is a candidate for president in a country where a half century ago, he would have had to use a separate drinking fountain in some of the states he won in. 21st century morality isn't perfect, but hopefully we are at least getting closer to being more moral. Your view doesn't seem to allow for progress morally, just difference. I think this is a pessimistic outlook on morality.

You also say the old law was a reminder of sins. But Christianity, at least the majority of denominations as far as I can tell, reminds people incessantly that they "are by nature sinful and unclean" (as Lutherans word it). Isn't the cross, present in nearly all Christian denominations, a constant reminder of humanity's sin? When God sent Jesus to Earth, God was counting on us being sinful and violent enough to kill his only Son. That's what I used to see when I looked at the cross: a constant reminder of humanity's sinfulness. If the point of the cross is to show God's love and forgiveness, why pick the instrument of his death (a torture device) as the symbol of the religion?

About Steve's argument, I agree that there are ways of killing someone that are more humane than others. Jason, wouldn't you agree that if someone is to be killed, it is better to kill them humanely? As an opponent of the death penalty, I would argue, and I'm sure others will disagree, that this is at least a step in the right direction. Burning someone to death is torture. Hanging them on a cross is torture. Lethal injection, when done "correctly", involves a lot less pain. I still think it's wrong personally, but I think it, like many other moral issues that have changed throughout the centuries, is at least a gradual improvement.

Jason said...

Anon,

I understand why people object to some of the OT laws. But like I’ve been saying, because we might disagree about the morality of certain laws and punishments doesn’t make them immoral. I come back to my comparison of acceptable punishments in the two different societies – both would consider the other immoral but this doesn’t make it so.

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 is talking about consensual sex. “If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her…” (NIV)

I do believe there are some things that are wrong no matter what as indicated in my previous post to you. However, as already explained, I don’t believe any of those things are found in the laws given to the Israelites.

Moral progress? Humanity improving? I'm sorry but I couldn’t disagree more. We have problems that no generation has ever seen before and, personally, I don’t see how this will change in the near future. We’ve made great strides in gender and racial equality but these changes aren’t even global. The gap between rich and poor continues to increase, America continues to wage war overseas, governments are still corrupt, children are still being exploited, the family unit is in shambles, pharmaceutical companies are still ignoring Africa, we’re polluting our world on an never-before-seen scale, the food crisis is deepening, personal debt continues to climb, and the list goes on and on. It’s not about allowing for moral progress, it’s simply calling a spade a spade. Perhaps we should just agree to disagree.

The old law was a reminder of sin because of the continual need for animal sacrifices. Hebrews 3 explains this in detail. As for the cross, it's not a reminder of sin, at least not Scripturally, since people continue to sin regardless. Consider that it’s Christ’s shed blood and broken body we’re asked to remember, not the cross, through the bread and the wine (Luke 22:19).

Steve Wells said...

Jason,

Yes, there are concerns about the pain that might be caused by lethal injections. I wonder how those that have those concerns would feel about burning people to death.

Do you think lethal injection is more cruel than burning people to death? Oh wait, that's right, you don't think anything is cruel. So why bother asking?

sconnor said...

Dickhead Jason, DJ for short,

It is universally accepted, throughout the ages, that torturing the innocent, by inflicting a punishment, to induce suffering, is morally repugnant. This is why your sick, psycho-fuck, dictator god is so repulsive; only equaled by your fucked-in-the-head, delusional, complacency, to condone his actions and to, even, worship him.

--S.

McGuire said...

Jason, what you're essentially arguing is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with the punishments dished out in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan... who are, after all, following what been done for centuries & / or is stated in the Koran.

& that any of us who believes we can judge other cultures (current / historical) is wrong.

Jason said...

Steve,

My point is that while you consider lethal injection to be moral because it's not cruel, there are many others who disagree. My question therefore remains: Are you morally superior to the people who don't share your opinion?

Yes I think burning to death is more painful then lethal injection but I don't believe this is grounds to label this punishment as "immoral". Lethal injection has only been around for the past 30 or 40 years. Does this mean that every justice system before this, or currently, that condones some other, more painful punishment is somehow inherently immoral?

Jason said...

Mcguire,

Who dictates moral absolutism?

Anon said...

Jason said: "Deuteronomy 22:23-24 is talking about consensual sex."

And how does one determine whether or not the woman "cried out"/"cried for help"/etc.? I (and Steve as well in the SAB from what I can gather from his comments there) assume this to mean that if there are no witnesses that say she cried out, then she would be stoned. If the next-door neighbors were sound sleepers, for example, then she'd be stoned to death whether she cried out or not.

Whereas a man (married or not, betrothed or not) who rapes an unspoken-for girl is not stoned to death; instead he just has to pay 50 shekels of silver and, what's worse, the girl has to marry her attacker! You can claim cultural relativism if you like, but I say this is just plain wrong. Are you saying God was okay with this?

Jason said: Moral progress? Humanity improving? I'm sorry but I couldn’t disagree more.[...]We’ve made great strides in gender and racial equality but these changes aren’t even global.

It didn't exist before, now it is starting to spread. This is progress, in my opinion.

[But] The gap between rich and poor continues to increase,

This is true. Do most people think this change is moral, though? I would wage that most people think this is immoral, but don't know what to do about it. Morality is not the issue in this case.

America continues to wage war overseas,

And now, most Americans are against the Iraq war. This is at least temporary progress...but I will admit that tis is an ongoing moral problem. The next administration will likely convince Americans that we direly need to kill people in some other country.
But the Israelites seemed to be at least as bellicose as we are, weren't they?

governments are still corrupt
Still is a good word here, I don't think they're any more corrupt than they were before

children are still being exploited,
I think in many countries, a lot of progress has been made in both laws against this and punishment for the offenders. I think more people think it is wrong to have sex with minors, for example, so I think moral progress has been made even if the problem is not anywhere near eradicated

the family unit is in shambles,
I think our views on the morality of this would differ. I think morality on family issues has increased (women and kids have more rights in the household than they used to, which I think is more moral than the man handing down edicts that must be obeyed under threat of physical harm), while the family unit itself is in danger due to frequent divorces and break-ups. So again the morality is good here, even though the execution leaves a lot to be desired and, I would argue, is getting worse from a cohesion standpoint.

pharmaceutical companies are still ignoring Africa,

But many people think this is wrong. Not enough is being done to stop it, but people know it's morally wrong that Africans are dying because of corporate greed.

we’re polluting our world on an never-before-seen scale,

Up until a few years ago, I would have agreed with you. But the country and the world are finally waking up to this, and people are working on concrete steps. It may be too late unfortunately, but both Christians and non-Christians alike are realizing increasingly that we should be the stewards of this planet and not destroy it with out waste. The idea of conservation didn't even exist centuries ago, so it's taken a while to realize what we're doing to the planet, but now I think a majority of people in the world know it's wrong to needless pollute and are looking to our leaders to find solutions to this.

the food crisis is deepening

Again, we're arguing morality. How many people can you find who think it is moral for people to be starving because of corporate greed? I think most people think it is wrong, but don't know what to do about it or are uncomfortable with what they think should be done about it because it would be seen to be against our economic system to give to each according to their needs.

personal debt continues to climb

Yes, I would agree this is partly due to a lack of morality in those who borrow massively. But I would blame banks and credit card companies for excessive usury at least as much as I blame individuals' immoral choices. In many cases, borrowing money on your credit card to pay for food or a loan to help Johnny go to college might be considered moral even if debt in general is immoral.

Jason said: [the cross is] not a reminder of sin, at least not Scripturally, since people continue to sin regardless.

I don't doubt that it's not taught to be a constant reminder of sin, but I doubt I was the only Christian who thought of this when looking on the cross. You mentioned a need for animal sacrifices. I would argue it's immoral to sacrifice animals, but I'm sure you would disagree with this because God ordered it. I think with this, we can agree to disagree.

Jason said, in response to McGuire: Who dictates moral absolutism?

I think morality, as an abstract concept, is something that can't be dictated. It is something that our understanding of is gradually developing and, in my opinion, improving.

I agree to a large extent with what Dan Barker, a former preacher who is now with the Freedom from Religion Foundation, argues: that morality is related to a large extent with harm. The more harm you do to a person, animal, planet, etc., the less moral it is. There may be exceptions where a momentary harm leads to less harm overall (like a doctor injecting a patient with medicine that will save his life: the shot will hurt, but in the long run it will save the patient's life and cause good). But in general, the more harm you do to someone, the less moral it is. So, hanging someone is less moral than guillotining them. The most moral thing in my opinion would be to do either, but in a choice between two things that accomplish the same thing, I believe the less harmful is better.

Anon said...

Sorry for the typos in my post, I didn't proofread it as closely as I usually do. The most important one was at the end:

So, hanging someone is less moral than guillotining them. The most moral thing in my opinion would be to do either,

I meant to so: the most moral would be to do NEITHER. Guillotining is less painful and therefore (slightly) more moral.

Jason said...

Anon,

The law in Deut 22:23-24 is talking about consensual sex, not rape, because the woman didn’t cry out irrespective of who would have heard her. You’re trying to read into something to make your point. Compare this with the situation in verse 27. Here, the man is said to “force her” (not “meet her" as in verse 22”) and even though she cried out there was no one to save her. Here, the law presumes the woman is innocent.

Regarding the situation in verse 28 and 29, we’ve already established that a man who rapes a woman is to be put to death. However, in this instance, he isn’t put to death and is instead instructed to marry the woman. Consider also the term “force” isn’t used here as it is previously while the term “take hold” is never used in the KJV to describe rape. Logic therefore dictates that rape isn’t what’s being described in these verses.

I would wage that most people think this is immoral, but don't know what to do about it. Morality is not the issue in this case.

If people think the widening gap between rich and poor is immoral, then it is the issue. The fact it's increasing, to me anyhow, means no progress has been made.

And now, most Americans are against the Iraq war. This is at least temporary progress...but I will admit that tis is an ongoing moral problem. The next administration will likely convince Americans that we direly need to kill people in some other country.



But the Israelites seemed to be at least as bellicose as we are, weren't they?

Absolutely, but what nation wasn’t at the time? And unlike the U.S., the OT Israelites weren't interested in expanding their borders beyond what had been decreed nor did they ever venture into enemy lands with intent to control resources or promote their version of government ☺

…governments are still corrupt - Still is a good word here, I don't think they're any more corrupt than they were before

Which implies a lack of moral progress.

I think in many countries, a lot of progress has been made in both laws against this and punishment for the offenders. I think more people think it is wrong to have sex with minors, for example, so I think moral progress has been made even if the problem is not anywhere near eradicated

It’s not simply sex with minors or child soldiers, now it’s also child pornography. This implies, to me at least, moral degradation.

So again the morality is good here, even though the execution leaves a lot to be desired and, I would argue, is getting worse from a cohesion standpoint.

I don’t see the correlation. If the morality is so good, or better then before, one should expect to see a stronger, more cohesive family unit. Yet adultery has risen, divorce rates continue to climb and children, arguably, are suffering from a lack of parental attention.

But many people think this is wrong. Not enough is being done to stop it, but people know it's morally wrong that Africans are dying because of corporate greed.

I agree. As with this and my remaining examples, all I’m pointing out is that moral progress is purely subjective. We’ve advanced in some areas, done nothing in other areas, and fallen behind in yet other areas. The same can be said for any civilization in history, including the Israelites (except in their case, I don’t see any instance in their law where they fell behind in terms of moral progress when considering the morals and ethics of surrounding nations)

The rest of your comments have been read and respected ☺

McGuire said...

Who dictates moral absolutism?

I do.

But as asked, aren't you suggesting it's never right to question /judge the actions carried out by others? Do you see any reason why the Holocaust was wrong for example?

McGuire said...

It’s not simply sex with minors or child soldiers, now it’s also child pornography. This implies, to me at least, moral degradation.

No, it doesn't. People take utilize technology regardless of how distasteful the uses may be to others. Ancient Rome, Egypt, hell, even Stone Age Germany is rife with pornography;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/apr/04/arts.germany

Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the 7,200-year-old remnants of a man having intercourse with a woman... Until now, the oldest representations of sexual scenes were frescos from about 2,000 years ago.

Besides, if you follow your logic through then what you're saying is people must love family members a lot more nowadays as they have pictures of them.

Jason said...

McGuire said: "But as asked, aren't you suggesting it's never right to question /judge the actions carried out by others? Do you see any reason why the Holocaust was wrong for example?"

No, I'm not suggesting that at all and I've already explained as such.

Anon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anon said...

anon said...
Jason,

Thank you for your reply. I think we are maybe getting mixed up with two different definitions of morality.

I am discussing morality as a belief system, whereas you seem to be discuss morality as the conduct one has. For me, if murder is wrong and 99% of people in a society believe murder is wrong, then they are correct morally. Now, whether or not they follow their morals and refrain from murdering others is a different issue, in my eyes. The US has a high murder rate, but it's not because people think murder is okay/moral.

Even though we have not made sufficient progress in preventing the gap between rich and poor from growing, most people now know it's wrong. That was my point. I think this clears up most if not all of our disagreement about modern morality concerning rich/poor, government corruption, etc.

About the Deuteronomy raping and killing issues, there seem to be differences in the wording which vary slightly depending on the translation you read. Specifically for 28-29 says in the NIV (a version which you sometimes quote),

If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

It is true the KJV doesn't come out and say rape, here, so either the NIV has it wrong, the original text indicates rape, or it is open to interpretation.

In any case, the only good thing I find in these verses is that when a woman gets raped / is taken hold of in the country, she isn't killed. Everything else from verse 13 and on in this chapter, by our modern standards, seems cruel or unfair to women. Women should not be killed for having sex, and should not be bought for 50 shackles either. If God doesn't think women should be killed or bought now because of who they did or didn't sleep with, I don't see why he was okay with the Israelites doing this back then.

Anon said...

mcguire said to jason...

aren't you suggesting it's never right to question /judge the actions carried out by others? Do you see any reason why the Holocaust was wrong for example?

I refrained from bringing up this example, but I thought of the same thing. The majority of people in Germany elected and supported a man who openly preached racial purity, and thought conquering and exterminating millions of people was the proper means to that end.

Jason, if the Nazis thought what they were doing was moral, then why was it not moral? I know you don't think the Holocaust was moral, but I don't see where you've explained why it wouldn't be moral.

You said:

Slavery [...] is not acceptable today because society deems this kind of behaviour improper and inappropriate. However, thousands of years ago, slavery wasn't frowned on by anyone. It was accepted and woven into the social and economic fabric of the time.

You claim that if the Israelites, ancient Egyptians, Romans, etc. did something that was moral to their society at the time (slavery, cutting off limbs, etc.) , then it was moral regardless of what we in our society think of it. This argument doesn't seem to involve God, since the ancient Egyptians did not believe in the Judeo-Christian God.

Is it just because thousands of years have passed that we can say that what the Egyptians did was moral but what the Nazis did 50 years ago was immoral? I'm really not trying to be difficult, I'm just having trouble understanding the distinction you're making. It seems to me that some things are just wrong, whether or not a majority of people think they are or not. A majority of people thought we should go to war in Iraq; they were wrong then, and they're still wrong now, in my opinion.

Jason said...

Anon,

The OT law says a rapist is to be put to death. The man in verse 28-29 isn’t put to death. Logic therefore dictates that rape isn’t what’s being described in these verses.

Regarding the Holocaust, whatever the ultimate reason(s) for the condemnation, the fact is humanity collectively rejected and condemned the Nazi treatment and destruction of Jews (and others). Interestingly “The idea to annihilate whole groups of people matured in the twentieth century.” (reference)

You claim that if the Israelites, ancient Egyptians, Romans, etc. did something that was moral to their society at the time (slavery, cutting off limbs, etc.) , then it was moral regardless of what we in our society think of it. This argument doesn't seem to involve God, since the ancient Egyptians did not believe in the Judeo-Christian God.

Correct. Likewise, when we carry out moral actions today, whether they’re considered immoral in two thousand years from now doesn’t make what we’re doing now wrong since the wrong doesn't yet exist. If you think we're still responsible regardless, then we have no way of knowing, ever, what is truly right or wrong which I find far more alarming.

Is it just because thousands of years have passed that we can say that what the Egyptians did was moral but what the Nazis did 50 years ago was immoral?

What did the Egyptians do that’s comparable to what the Nazis did?

Anon said...

Jason said: The OT law says a rapist is to be put to death. The man in verse 28-29 isn’t put to death. Logic therefore dictates that rape isn’t what’s being described in these verses.

That is one logical explanation. Another is that there is a contradiction or a loophole for men who rape in the countryside. Another is that the NIV (and some other translations) have it wrong, but the KJV has it right. There is no one logical explanation, just several possibilities, as I already mentioned. If you choose to believe your reading of it, that's fine.

What did the Egyptians do that’s comparable to what the Nazis did?

I was referring to your reference to the Egyptians, where you said "The ancient Egyptians cut off limbs as punishment for crimes and in other cases, drowned or burned people at the stake." They both inhumanely killed people.

But since you bring it up, the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites. Slavery wasn't yet considered immoral at the time, and thus it should have been perfectly moral for the Egyptians to do so.

However, in Exodus, God found it fit to kill all their firstborn sons and send the Egyptians all sorts of other plagues. So the message seems to be that slavery's okay, as long as it's God's people who are doing the enslaving. Why is it moral for the Israelites to enslave people, but not for the Egyptians?

And if what the Nazis did was immoral (and directed against Jews, no less), why didn't God send plagues upon the Germans?

Jason said...

Anon,

Cutting the limbs off criminals is hardly comparable to the killing of six million Jews...

God didn't send plagues on the Assyrians or Babylonians, why would He send plagues on the Germans?

God didn't send the plagues on the Egyptians as a message against enslaving the Jews. He did it to show the Israelites He was the Lord (Exodus 10:2, etc.).

sconnor said...

Cuckoo for christ, Jason, said, God didn't send the plagues on the Egyptians as a message against enslaving the Jews. He did it to show the Israelites He was the Lord (Exodus 10:2, etc.).

You are such a fucking idiot, Jason. Yeah, he told them he was the lord and he was going to punish the Egyptians because they held his chosen people in bondage.
You still got nothing.

Ex 6:6 "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

--S.

Anon said...

Jason said: Cutting the limbs off criminals is hardly comparable to the killing of six million Jews...

I didn't say the crimes were the Egyptians did were as bad as the crimes the Nazis did. You know I didn't say this. I was talking about morality. It is immoral to steal candy from a child and also immoral to kill millions of people. This doesn't mean the crimes were equal.

You were the one who tried to put words into my mouth by using the word "comparable". Even apples and oranges are comparable; if I talk about apples and oranges, it doesn't mean I think they're the exact same thing. I can point out similarities and differences. Apples and oranges are both fruits. Cutting off limbs and exterminating races are both immoral.

All I meant was that the Egyptians did something that their society was okay with, and the Nazis did something that their society was okay with. Both would appear to be moral, under the point of view you've expressed here: socially acceptable for that given society (not all of humanity, but just that society). I think they're both reprehensible; the Holocaust was the worst modern evil if not the worst evil of all time. But it doesn't appear to fall under your definition of immoral, even though you claim it does. I'm not saying you think it was moral, I'm just arguing with your definition.

God punished the Egyptians. You say that it was to show them who the real God was. So apparently not knowing who God was is a pretty serious crime, considering God clearly punished the Egyptians but did not clearly punish the Nazis. If God really didn't like what the Nazis did, why didn't he kill Hitler, or all firstborn Germans?

Jason said...

Anon,

I asked you what the Egyptians did that the Nazis did. You said "They both inhumanely killed people". I object to this "both" comparison. People have inhumanely killed people for thousands of years - this doesn't give anyone the liberty to associate them to the Nazis any more then an opponent of the death penalty has a right to associate the American justice system to Nazi Germany.

Nonetheless, as I stated before: Regarding the Holocaust, whatever the ultimate reason(s) for the condemnation, the fact is humanity collectively rejected and condemned the Nazi treatment and destruction of Jews (and others). Interestingly “The idea to annihilate whole groups of people matured in the twentieth century.”

History doesn't record humanity rejecting the actions of the Egyptians, or the Israelites.

You misread my comment reading the plagues. I said: [God] did it to show the Israelites He was the Lord (Exodus 10:2, etc.)

sconnor said...

Jason Numbnuts said, You misread my comment reading the plagues. I said: [God] did it to show the Israelites He was the Lord (Exodus 10:2, etc.)


No, you fuckin' douche-bag, evidently, you can't read:

Ex 6:6 "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments."

He did it to punish the Egyptians to get them out of bondage. Your dick-head, sky-boss killed innocent, people and caused them to suffer, just so he could lead a few of his other children out of bondage. And you -- being the dumb-ass, deer-in-the-headlight, motherfucker, that you are -- condone these vile actions and actually, worship the imaginary, deranged, deity-despot that inflicted such carnage and tragedy. You are a complete delusional, shit-hole.

Tootles to you too, you ragin' purple knob.

--S.

Anon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anon said...

Jason,

I apologize for misreading your statement about God wanting to show the Israelites that he was God.

Apparently, from re-reading the relevant portions of Exodus, God tells Aaron and Moses that he wants to show the Israelites that he's God by tormenting and killing the Egyptians until the Israelites are set free. He sends Moses and Aaron to tell the pharaoh that this will happen. So I apologize for the error.

You said: I asked you what the Egyptians did that the Nazis did. You said "They both inhumanely killed people". I object to this "both" comparison. People have inhumanely killed people for thousands of years - this doesn't give anyone the liberty to associate them to the Nazis any more then an opponent of the death penalty has a right to associate the American justice system to Nazi Germany.

If you explain to me what is inaccurate about my statement, or the spirit in which it was stated, then I will gladly apologize and retract it.

I never said Egyptians were more inhumane or less inhumane, or that they killed more or fewer people than the Nazis. I never even implied it. We were discussing immorality. They both inhumanely killed people. You said so yourself: People have inhumanely killed people for thousands of years. In that sentence, you are lumping all the people who have inhumanely killed together: including Nazis, ancient Egyptians, the current US legal system, and anyone else in history who has done so.

You're not implying all people who inhumanely kill are exactly the same, are you? Of course not. If we're not allowed to compare and contrast things, then how are we supposed to have an intelligent discussion? As far as I know, the Nazis were cruel to far more people and killed far more people than the Egyptians did, and I've never said or implied otherwise.

Interestingly “The idea to annihilate whole groups of people matured in the twentieth century.”

This is simply untrue. One needs to only read the Bible to realize that the idea of annihilating entire peoples existed long ago among the Israelites According to the Bible, it was God's idea. (1 Samuel 15:2).

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/1sam/15.html#2

Marjani said...

It's pretty obvious that you have confused "abominations" with things that we are not supposed to eat in order to achieve maximum health. You can eat that stuff all you want, you can even pray over it -- it's still going to give you HBP, high cholesterol, a lifetime of animal-ingested illnesses, cancer, heart attacks and strokes because you really don't have any business eating it. That said: http://bible.cc/proverbs/6-16.htm. It's not an either/or proposition, it's a this AND THAT, too. If homosexuality, as well as bad food, and all of these other things are an abomination to God then that explains why the world is in the condition it is in. He apparently doesn't like christians who tell lies any more than he likes homosexuality.

why kiss the feet of the people that kick you, when you can be anything you want to said...

If all the Bible bashers would actually do some research about these laws, they would have their lips a little tighter. Shrimp, crab and shellfish are bad for you, If you eat them God is not going to send you to hell. Everything that God has told us is for our own good..

And 9 out of 10 of those abominations are taken so far out of context. Such as the one about craftsmen, Jesus was a carpenter!! Go and please read a few verses before and after the verses in question, and maybe even the whole chapter, you might learn something.

rv guy said...

The bible should be a timeless guide to how to live in anytime and any culture and be written clearly. Is that to much to ask of an all knowing god?

why kiss the feet of the people that kick you, when you can be anything you want to said...

It is not at all to much to ask of God, it is to much to ask of us humans to understand what God means, if God had had the Bible written simple enough for all generations of history to understand it then it would be no more complex then a childrens book. how could you explain doctrine and prophecy to people living right after the flood so that it would be understood and be logical to both them and now.. honestly.. use your heads..

6bdc2836-9df1-11e1-9175-000bcdca4d7a said...

I watched a documentary that explained that during the time the bible was written, the word "abomination" meant "non-customary," which completely changes the meaning of these passages.

Hope For All said...

Thank you! Why should God have to attend to our laziness? He gave us all brains.. Investigate! Instead of just taking verses out of context without really knowing their meaning and shaping them to mean what you want them to say, why not search for the truth. Why should an all-powerful God do any of the things that he does for us? It is not his obligation, but his choice! He is an all-knowing God and his rules are for our benefit. Actually read the Bible. You'll actually discover the character of God.. He is the definition of LOVE.

Inigo_Montoya_youkilledmyfather_preparetodie said...

Jason and everyone else...

"If you were Babylonian, you would agree this punishment was 'right' and acceptable. Do you disagree?"

I kind of disagree with this to be honest because nobody really knew what people were thinking...just that this was a time when yes it was accepted according to the law, but there may have been people that started to really think that the law and punishments may have been wrong...every civilisation had its skeptics...however they did not speak their mind BECAUSE of the punishments involved for doing so...these were societies that were NOT founded on freedom...but rather by unquestioning obedience, and there were no democracies or dissent...you simply did and said and "thought" and "felt" what you were told to and failure to do so was punished in a horrible manner...possibly in order to instill fear of the pain involved. All absolutist governments and theocracies embrace this as a means to control the people they so "love." The problem with this today is that we now have an understanding of history and a sense of reason and so we NOW know it is cruel to subjugate society the way it has been for eons.

As for my opinion...I believe it was WRONG then and it is WRONG now...and as far as someone from that time period finding it acceptable...absolutely most if not all did...however...the seed of reason did eventually get planted somewhere...so who knows if any one person in Babylon or any other ancient society actually dared to be different and believe in their hearts that the law codes and punishments were NOT acceptable. Like I said...the seed for the Age of Reason had to have come from somewhere...

Inigo_Montoya_youkilledmyfather_preparetodie said...

As for the difference between burning people to death and giving a lethal injection...the difference is that while it is still an execution and the taking of life...the difference is that one is more humane than the other...torturing people to death by making them experience the most horrible pain imaginable is not, nor was it ever a humane method of execution...it was cruel no matter when these were employed...anyone who has ever suffered a severe burn at ANY point in history and lived to tell the tale WOULD attest to the fact. If you really need to execute someone, always behead them...it's quick and it's painless and still carries out the death penalty. But no...we had to have sadistic people ruling over their societies with an iron scepter and fear was the only way to keep people in line so not only was the punishment for ANY offence death, which is a grim enough fate for the victim, it had to be done in a way that instills absolute fear in the rest of the populace by witnessing a person's flesh bubbling and melting and blackening and falling off the bones and hearing the pain and agony in the voice as he or she screams to be untied or even just screaming and wailing in agony until the merciful moment of death when the pain finally stops.