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Author Topic: Countering anti-Muslim xenophobia: pre-9/11/11 Edition
Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Talking over definitions nearly always serves to distract from the actual point of the issue.

Even if that were true, it's kind of silly when the exact same SOLE source that claims killing by agent X also claims that agent X also raises every alleged victim from death.

Your witness, dude. Make up your mind whether he's a friendly or hostile witness. [Big Grin]

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
Even if that were true, it's kind of silly when the exact same SOLE source that claims killing by agent X also claims that agent X also raises every alleged victim from death.
Not remotely true or correct.

Completely different source.

The one thing that's really Yahwehitic about Christianity is that God is gonna get some blood for each and every single sin...

[Frown]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
quote:
Even if that were true, it's kind of silly when the exact same SOLE source that claims killing by agent X also claims that agent X also raises every alleged victim from death.
Not remotely true or correct.

Completely different source.

Tenach is tenach, dude. Ezekiel 37. Read the damned book before you tout yourself as its expert.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
If I make it clear that I morally disapprove of God killing the firstborn children of the Egyptians, that on a moral level I find said God despicable -- it doesn't really matter whether I name the act a "murder", a "crime of war" or an "act of God".
Do you remember how little regard the Egyptians had shown for the children of their Hebrew slaves? Did it even reach an eye for an eye? Pharoh didn't restrict himself to the firstborn males, but had all the boy children killed.

[ September 27, 2011, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
is not the concept of GOD basically incomprehensible?
Finally, a voice of humble piety!

[Wink]

Human experiences are human in nature, and should always be understood in such terms. The words of men are always the words of men.
quote:
GOD communicates through prophets
An omnipotent entity does all things that are done. (Because there is no "potence" left over above, beyond or outside of "all power.") So while I would definitely agree that GOD communicates through prophets, I would say it is logically a denigration of GOD's power to imply limitations on which specific expressions of creation are the communications of GOD.

What reason could there possibly be for assuming that a prophet speaks for GOD in a way more special than the whisper of the wind through trees?

It is human arrogance that seems to think such things. And that too, is undoubtedly an expression of GOD, but rather than presume to judge that which is beyond the limits of human judgment, shouldn't humans simply judge human things in human terms?

Yahweh is a mythical character whose actions are expressed in human terms. Such an entity is subject to human judgments. And the character is a repugnant, violent monster. A nightmare sprung from the minds of primitive, barbarically uncivilized human beings.

What is sad, is that the very fact that humans cannot conceive of GOD as far beyond these brutish myths is a comment on how uncivilized we humans still remain.

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seekingprometheus
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Pete:

At least you're getting one part right--it is a damned book.

[Wink]

But aside from the fact that you're still failing critical reading class if you can't tell that Ezekiel is a completely different source than whoever it was that wrote the myths of Yahweh that the scribes patched into the current iteration of the Pentateuch, you're also insisting on a very particular interpretation, and even giving you the widest possible interpretive latitude, your claim that all the people that died at Yahweh's monstrous hand will live again is not warranted by a symbolic vision of a promise that the life will be restored to the bones of Israel.

Or are you suggesting that Yahweh only killed Israelites? Because even if one does accept that this vision is a literal reference to the decidedly unJudaic concept of resurrection (big stretch), it certainly doesn't make any promise to resurrect any of the direct victims of Yahweh's mythical, bloodsoaked hand...

By the way, this text is also a clear demonstration of my point that the Hebrew conception of the soul was the primitive animistic concept of "breath," which is very different from the sophisticated Platonic soul that Paul (and the BoM) talk about...

[ September 27, 2011, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
The actual issue is "Do we morally approve the actions of this God?"
Excellent point, AK.

Even more apt, however, is this question: "Is it morally justifiable for humans to posit the Yahweh of Hebrew myth as the source and foundation of morality?"

Isn't the problem that humans are positing this monster as the definitive paragon from which moral concepts are derived?

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
If I make it clear that I morally disapprove of God killing the firstborn children of the Egyptians, that on a moral level I find said God despicable -- it doesn't really matter whether I name the act a "murder", a "crime of war" or an "act of God".
Do you remember how little regard the Egyptians had shown for the children of their Hebrew slaves? Did it even reach an eye for an eye? Pharoh didn't restrict himself to the firstborn males, but had all the boy children killed.
Eye for an eye isn't remotely appropriate in such a situation.
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Grant
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"Do we morally approve the actions of this God?"


I don't think that the majority of Christians or Jews actually take their concept of God, or their personification of him/her/it, from the Torah. Most Christians and Jews don't believe that the world was created in 7 days, I don't see it as strange that most of them are probably not sure if God is responsible for killing Egyptian children.

But in the end it does not really matter. The Christians and Jews believe that their monster knows all and sees all, and that his morality is outside of ours. Since both of them see God as the creator of the universe, hence the creator of every human being, the belief has been that the monster can do whatever it wants with the human race and the universe.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
Isn't the problem that humans are positing this monster as the definitive paragon from which moral concepts are derived?

?

I am so puzzled. Why is your concept of the Yahweh monster so different from everything that every Jew or Christian has ever told me their monster is all about. Why is it that everything I have ever read about modern Christian values seem to be centered on love?

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by threads:
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
If I make it clear that I morally disapprove of God killing the firstborn children of the Egyptians, that on a moral level I find said God despicable -- it doesn't really matter whether I name the act a "murder", a "crime of war" or an "act of God".
Do you remember how little regard the Egyptians had shown for the children of their Hebrew slaves? Did it even reach an eye for an eye? Pharoh didn't restrict himself to the firstborn males, but had all the boy children killed.
Eye for an eye isn't remotely appropriate in such a situation.
What is the appropriate response to a people who had killed all the male children of a people they were holding in bondage?

My point is that before one becomes too morally indignant one should look at the situation the Hebrews were in.

[ September 27, 2011, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Pete at Home
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"If I make it clear that I morally disapprove of God killing the firstborn children of the Egyptians, that on a moral level I find said God despicable -- it doesn't really matter whether I name the act a "murder", a "crime of war" or an "act of God"."

Forget "Critical Reading" -- if you don't understand that the phrase "act of God" means a natural disaster, then you don't speak English.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
My point is that before one becomes too morally indignant one should look at the situation the Hebrews were in.
Specifically, the situation God put them into.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
My point is that before one becomes too morally indignant one should look at the situation the Hebrews were in.
Specifically, the situation God put them into.
How so?
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Viking_Longship
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Tom there's a lot of human actions leading up to that situation all the way back to Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery.

quote:
Exodus 1: 6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.

8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”

11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”

20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”

The horror of the plauge should be taken in the context of what the Egyptians were doing to the Hebrews. Sorry but I think if one looked at it karmically the Egyptians got off pretty easily.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
?

I am so puzzled. Why is your concept of the Yahweh monster so different from everything that every Jew or Christian has ever told me their monster is all about. Why is it that everything I have ever read about modern Christian values seem to be centered on love?

It's not my concept.

It's the concept described by the Hebrew Bible.

And in spite of the sad, but completely comprehensible way that the historically illiterate cling to the barbaric, anachronistic constructs of the ancients, humans are more civilized than they were back when these myths were written.

Christianity is actually based more on the metaphysical qualities of the Platonic version of God than on the primitive, anthropomorphic Yahweh of Moses, because Christianity is based on Paul's teachings more than anything else, and Paul was classically trained in the Greek academies to which a Roman citizen in Tarsus would have had access--specifically, in the branch of Stoicism, which explains his emphasis on the ascetic distinctions of the body/spirit dichotomy.

Paul initially sought to quash the cults which had arisen after the death of the charismatic Jesus, whose moral teachings are a sharp rebuke of the Yahweh-based morality. The New Testament has Paul (named Saul at the time) organizing/effectuating the murder of the disciples of Jesus who were preaching versions of Jesus' message after Jesus' apparent death. He then claimed to have a vision, and assumed the authority to preach Jesus' "true" message. The New Testament shows that the disciples who actually knew Jesus, and heard his message--such as Peter, James and John--were strongly opposed to Paul's teachings, but nothing in the current version of the NT seems to have been written in current form until at least 150 AD, and the "canonical" version--which was chosen by disciples of Paul (as reflected in the fact that the majority of text and doctrine comes from Paul--who never knew Jesus), and the current version bizarrely omits an explanation of the conflict except to make it seem it was limited to the question of circumcision--whether Jesus' message was intended only for Jews.

But Christians (like everyone else) are relatively illiterate, and have very little idea what the sources say, much less where they come from or what they actually mean.

So they make up what it means to them, personally--and insist that's what the Bible means.

The problem is that Paul's version still retains the bloodthirsty Father God of the Jews. This God demands a blood sacrifice to "atone" for all "sin." So Christians must accept the sacrifice of an apotheosized "Jesus," or else God will punish them personally for each and every sin.

But Christians absurdly focus on the love of God, who "lovingly" accepted the torture and death of Jesus as satisfying His bloodlust for all imperfect humans.

The problem, of course, is that "accepting" the sacrifice of Jesus still involves submission of the moral will, out of terror of the vengeful bloodlust of the Yahweh monster. And since the Hebrew Yahweh is strangely plugged in as the Heavenly Father of Christians in the Bible, the terrified sheep can easily be cowed by anyone who reads out of the Old Testament to sharpen an axe--because Yahweh unquestionably loves to hurt him some people who don't obey religious commands.

But the answer to your question is just that Christians don't really understand or believe in the Bible. They just allow their will to be subsumed by people who tell them what to think it means.

[ September 27, 2011, 11:06 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
"Is it morally justifiable for humans to posit the Yahweh of Hebrew myth as the source and foundation of morality?"
The Yahweh of Tenach has specific guidance for human morals - and that guidance does not include emulating all of Yahweh's actions. And there's some pretty good guidance in those specifics - things that were pretty revolutionary at the time, such as consideration for the poor, orphaned and widowed, the admonishment to favor neither rich nor poor in determination of justice, etc. Of course, there's also not mixing wool and cotton.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Since both of them see God as the creator of the universe, hence the creator of every human being, the belief has been that the monster can do whatever it wants with the human race and the universe.
The "whatever it wants" may be something of an over-statement, perhaps not with respect to power, but with respect to morality. Israel literally means "wrestles with G-d", and while it is a reference to a physical wrestling by Jacob, there's also this very important passage from Genesis when G-d was about to wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah:

quote:
The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.[b] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The LORD said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

And I would like to quote a favorite part of the Talmud, in the middle of a discussion of an obscure point about what renders ovens fit or unfit to use. From an obscure start comes a startling conclusion, and it's important to note that Talmud is taken very seriously, including this passage:

quote:
It is taught that on that day Rabbi Eliezer brought forward every possible argument, but the Sages did not accept any of them. Finally he said to them: "If the Law is in agreement with me, let this carob tree prove it!" And the carob tree immediately uprooted itself and moved one hundred cubits—some say 400 cubits—from its place. "No proof can be brought from a carob tree," [the Sages] replied.

Again [Rabbi Eliezer] said to them "If the Law agrees with me, let this river show it!" And the river flowed backward. "No proof can be brought from a channel of water," [the Sages] replied.

Again [Rabbi Eliezer] said, "If the Law agrees with me, let the walls of this house of study show it!" And the walls tilted and began to fall. But Rabbi Joshua rebuked the walls, saying, "When disciples of the wise are engaged in a dispute of Law, what right have you to interfere?" In deference to Rabbi Joshua [the walls] did not fall and in deference to Rabbi Eliezer they did not resume their upright position. They still stand at an incline Rabbi Eliezer then said to the Sages, "If the Law agrees with me, let heaven show it." And a Divine voice said, "Why do you dispute with Rabbi Eliezer, with whom the Law always agrees?" Rabbi Joshua arose and protested, "'The Torah is
not in heaven!' (Deut. 30:12). We pay no attention to the Divine voice because long ago at Mount Sinai You wrote in your Torah, 'After the majority must one incline.' (Ex. 23:2)"

Rabbi Nathan met Elijahu [the prophet] and asked him, "What did the Holy One do at that moment?" Elijahu said, "He laughed and said, 'My children have defeated Me. My children have defeated Me.'"

—Babylonian Talmud, Bava Metzia 59b


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seekingprometheus
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quote:
The Yahweh of Tenach has specific guidance for human morals - and that guidance does not include emulating all of Yahweh's actions.
Oh, absolutely.

I sometimes forget that when I'm illustrating a specific set of variables, and focusing the light on what they mean, it may seem that I don't acknowledge, or even that I reject other variables that are valid, but just happen to be irrelevant to my point.

The Jewish narrative has a lot of good in it, especially for the time and place in which it was written.

So does Christianity, and so does Islam.

[Smile]

Still. The bad is inextricably woven into the narratives. One can't just knowledgeably pick and choose what to believe, because the structural foundation relies heavily on really bad things, and once you start to try pick them out, the stability of the whole thing collapses.

And the proof of Yahweh's relevance and power is in his mythical violent acts. When the power is used for good, it's frequently oddly related to mythological elements which seem opposed to Yahweh's central commands. Take Moses healing the people poisoned in the wilderness (poisoned by an act of Yahweh, btw)--he constructs a bronze idol of a serpent, and all who look upon it are healed.

A bronze idol? Of a serpent? Those are the symbols which effectuate the "good" miracle?

Funny, huh?

But whether the narrative compels adherents to emulate the acts of Yahweh or not, the problem is that the monster is structurally posited as the source and foundation of morality.

Or, more importantly--people accept that the monster is this source and foundation from which they should derive their personal morality...

[ September 28, 2011, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
Of course, there's also not mixing wool and cotton.
[LOL]
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Greg Davidson
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But there is also the dynamic between scripture and human interpretation (that's what the second example I identified was pointing to). In Jewish scripture, there are some pretty stringent penalties, but in Jewish practice (and I mean this over thousands of years dating back to subsidiary scripture such as Talmud) there have been gentler and more careful interpretations codified into practice that blunt the literal impact of the problematic passages in scripture.

And so when you are judging scripture, do you want to judge based on your literal interpretation of core documents, or on the aggregate effect that the scripture has had on the behavior of its adherents over time?

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
And so when you are judging scripture, do you want to judge based on your literal interpretation of core documents, or on the aggregate effect that the scripture has had on the behavior of its adherents over time?
Why not both?

Or are you suggesting that the documents can only have value if people illiterally (sic) believe the monster god is literally real?

Isn't it a lucky thing that so many people patently reject bad parts of sacred narratives because they are bad, even if we have this strange cultural idea that it's not polite to call "sacred" bad things bad in public?

Do we really want to insist that nobody should go around saying such things?

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
Originally posted by threads:
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
If I make it clear that I morally disapprove of God killing the firstborn children of the Egyptians, that on a moral level I find said God despicable -- it doesn't really matter whether I name the act a "murder", a "crime of war" or an "act of God".
Do you remember how little regard the Egyptians had shown for the children of their Hebrew slaves? Did it even reach an eye for an eye? Pharoh didn't restrict himself to the firstborn males, but had all the boy children killed.
Eye for an eye isn't remotely appropriate in such a situation.
What is the appropriate response to a people who had killed all the male children of a people they were holding in bondage?

My point is that before one becomes too morally indignant one should look at the situation the Hebrews were in.

We can be morally indignant at both sides. I don't buy the idea that the plagues were necessary to get the Pharaoh to free the Israelites. An omniscient, omnipotent being should have no problem convincing a person of anything after a one-on-one talk. God could have appeared to the Pharaoh and done basically anything: talk to him, lift him off his feet, torture him, predict the future, manipulate his emotions, control his mind, etc. (anything). There is no plausible way that the Pharaoh could have resisted that.
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Pete at Home
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"I don't buy the idea that the plagues were necessary to get the Pharaoh to free the Israelites."

Was the point to get the Pharaoh to free them, or to get him to *consent* to free them?

It's curious that the narrator even insists that God is responsible for "hardening Pharaoh's heart," i.e. for Pharaoh's resistance to letting Israel go. I happen to think that the narrator's wrong about that. But it makes one wonder just how many of the events of Exodus that God actually caused, versus simply knew about and used for his purposes.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
We can be morally indignant at both sides.
And, in fact, we should, because it is only through several direct interventions by God that the Jews were supposedly brought to Egypt in the first place.
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vegimo
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quote:
Still. The bad is inextricably woven into the narratives. One can't just knowledgeably pick and choose what to believe, because the structural foundation relies heavily on really bad things, and once you start to try pick them out, the stability of the whole thing collapses.

But that is exactly the position that I choose - that you can pick out what you believe. Well, not necessarily believe, but follow. I agree with the teachings of religion, but not necessarily with the teachings of a Religion. I think that there is good in every Religion, especially in the concepts that they teach. It is the beliefs - the stories - where they fall apart. If you tell people that one set of stories is TRUTH and another set of stories is absolute and utter nosense, they become groups of bickering hooligans trying to prove how right they are and how wrong everyone else is. They become Dodgers fans beating up a Giants fan just because the color of the uniform is wrong.
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Greg Davidson
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What I found most stunning about the Exodus narrative is that it is Joseph himself, hundreds of years earlier, who originally enslaves all of the Egyptians when they cannot afford to pay for the government-stored food required to survive the seven years of famine. My own reading of the lesson is that your actions in a time of power can come back to haunt you in a time of adversity.

In my reading of the larger Torah narrative, there are a series of mistakes that are pretty clearly shown to be errors, and the lessons are in the corrections made in response to those errors.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
I don't buy the idea that the plagues were necessary to get the Pharaoh to free the Israelites.
It took a war which devastated the country and left 1 person in 15 dead to get southerners to give up slaves.

If the Egyptians were economically dependent on the Hebrew slaves, and/or worried about reprisals, a Pharaoh with any sense of responsibility for his people would put their welfare ahead of his life.

If you'll recall he changed his mind and tried to recapture the Hebrews despite all the plagues.

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
It took a war which devastated the country and left 1 person in 15 dead to get southerners to give up slaves.

If the Egyptians were economically dependent on the Hebrew slaves, and/or worried about reprisals, a Pharaoh with any sense of responsibility for his people would put their welfare ahead of his life.

Not in the face of omnipotent opposition. Again, an omniscient, omnipotent being would have no problem convincing a person of anything.

quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
If you'll recall he changed his mind and tried to recapture the Hebrews despite all the plagues.

I don't believe the story is true and I consider the Pharaoh's unbelievable behavior to be one of many pieces of evidence supporting my belief.

The evidence for the Exodus is so bad that even the Wikipedia article essentially says that it didn't happen.

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"I don't buy the idea that the plagues were necessary to get the Pharaoh to free the Israelites."

Was the point to get the Pharaoh to free them, or to get him to *consent* to free them?

I don't know. However, if the point was to get him to consent to free them then I think that would deserve some explanation since it resulted in the slaughter of tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people. If part of the Bible's purpose is to provide a foundation for our morals then it needs to explain God's behavior.

[ September 28, 2011, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: threads ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Not in the face of omnipotent opposition. Again, an omniscient, omnipotent being would have no problem convincing a person of anything.


The Pharoh was from a polytheistic society and may have been convinced he was a god in his own right. He might have presumed that his own gods would prevail in the long run.

I am not sure the Bible really shows God as completely omnipotent. Usually he is shown working through a human or natural intermediary.

I don't take the story literally either, but Pharoh's hard-headedness is one of the more plausible aspects of the story IMHO.

[ September 28, 2011, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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AI Wessex
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"Again, an omniscient, omnipotent being would have no problem convincing a person of anything."

Such a being wouldn't need to convince, but could simply make us that way.

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seekingprometheus
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Yeah, Yahweh definitely isn't omniscient or omnipotent. Those ideas get developed later, and adherents act as if they map onto the old stories in spite of the fact that they clearly don't fit.

It makes me sad (and slightly disgusted with our species) that people are acting as if all the first-born babies (and their parents) of an empire kind-of-sort-of got what was coming to them, because their ruler was an *sshole--regardless of whether or not Yahweh was really screwing with the leader's head...

[Frown]

It's this kind of nonsense that kind-of-sort-of makes me think that society has a responsibility to authoritatively teach children that nonsense is nonsense, regardless of what their parents say...

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Pete at Home
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"It makes me sad (and slightly disgusted with our species) that people are acting as if all the first-born babies (and their parents) of an empire kind-of-sort-of got what was coming to them"

You realize that's not my position, right?


"I don't believe the story is true and I consider the Pharaoh's unbelievable behavior to be one of many pieces of evidence supporting my belief."

There you'd be clearly wrong, since it seems unlikely to be pure coincidence that 8/10 of the ten listed plagues would have a clear serial causal connection.

Water to blood = red tide, which deoxygenates the water, which in turn forces amphibious frogs to emerge from the river in order to survive, etc.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
Yeah, Yahweh definitely isn't omniscient or omnipotent. Those ideas get developed later, and adherents act as if they map onto the old stories in spite of the fact that they clearly don't fit.

I agree that omniscience and omnipotence don't fit with all of the earlier stories. But your argument assumes that the stories themselves have an omniscient narrator, which is something that the stories don't even claim for themselves.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
It makes me sad (and slightly disgusted with our species) that people are acting as if all the first-born babies (and their parents) of an empire kind-of-sort-of got what was coming to them, because their ruler was an *sshole--
Is that worse than people acting like the Hebrews deserved to live lives in slavery and have ALL their baby boys thrown in the Nile because that person has a problem with the God of the Hebrews?
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Aris Katsaris
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Who in this forum are you claiming is acting like that, Viking?
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Viking_Longship
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Aris I am finding the moral indignation here rather one-sided.

Looked at coldly, an Egyptian family loses one son in a family, perhaps peacefully. The others grow up as free men.

The Hebrew lose all their sons, thrown into a river full of crocodiles. If they were lucky enough not to be thrown into the river they get to grow up to be slaves building monuments to their slavemasters.

I'd much rather have been one of the Egyptians.

[ September 28, 2011, 10:22 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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TomDavidson
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Are you suggesting that we should find the Egyptians at least as guilty as God for doing bad things?
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Are you suggesting that we should find the Egyptians at least as guilty as God for doing bad things?

I'm saying the Egyptians were doing something worse with no more justifcation than that too many Hebrews might revolt.

It's like comparing Hiroshima to the rape of Nanking.

[ September 28, 2011, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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