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Old 06-16-2001, 10:00 AM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by emur:
While the god they worship is often seen as excessively prudish</font>
It is disappointing that many Christians fail to question God's "prudishness" and what it would imply about God's character; though I'm an atheist, I think it debases the idea of divinity to imagine that God attaches any moral significance to superficialities like anatomy. Because, surely, the only necessary difference between straight sexual relations and gay sexual relations is in the details of the plumbing, notwithstanding the Vatican's blather about "complementary affections" (which translates to "See, women be different than men...").

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Now, you Christians who have a problem with homosexuals, you had better have a problem with the deceitful, whisperers, backbiters, etc.</font>
The boilerplate response here, of course, is: "But you don't see anyone pushing Whisperer Rights legislation or marching in Backbiter Pride parades!!!!1!"
 
Old 06-16-2001, 03:16 PM   #12
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Tercel,

Tisk tisk. I thought you were slightly more open-minded and "moral" than I see from your comments here. I guess I was mistaken (as I am from time to time).

You seem to set a lot of double standards for the sake of making sure that the world sees "homosexuality" as being immoral, wrong, and not in line with God (as if you know what being in line with God actually is). First, you say homosexuality is wrong. Then, you say, in response to Lev. 18:22, that there is "forgiveness". Where is the forgiveness for the homosexual? Did God make it so that one who is homosexual is just inherently wrong, when we all know full well that God created homosexuals as well as heterosexuals?

Also, how is it that you can discredit everything that Lev. says about various crimes (and call for this "forgiveness"), and still leave homosexuality (which was part of that list) as being wrong? What did they ever do to you to deserve to be thought of that way? What ever happened to "treat others as you want to be treated"? You probably think people choose to be homosexual (like people 'choose' to jump off a building). But that has, in my opinion, no merit because 1. people don't choose to be heterosexual 2. people are born with many diseases, deformities, and (yes) sexual orientation, and 3. God (according to the Biblical account) created everything (going back to our other argument), including BOTH GOOD AND EVIL. God even admits it, so don't try to get out of it.

Tercel-
"There is a BIG difference between slavery in the first century and slavery in the 19th. Almost everything which we claim is bad about slavery when we think of it was not applicable. In most people's minds the number one problem with slavery is the racism that goes with it "Blacks are inferior" etc, yet in the 1st century slavery was not by race and so this did not come into it. The second major problem with slavery is bad treatment of the slaves - this normally is a result of racism and as soon as slaves are given reasonable justice this problem also disappears.
Slaves in the first century were as a whole well treated and could often be influential people and have respectable professions (eg a doctor). It is far closer to the truth to equate a 1st century slave with a 20th century employee that a 19th century slave.

Personally I find the words "Word of God" problematic. What exactly does one mean by this? The teaching seems perfectly sound and logical to me. The passage neither supports nor complains about the concept of slavery it is merely sound advice to Christian slaves about their behaviour.

I wonder what the watchers would have said if she hadn't talked back? Perhaps this would have given her a chance to spread the Gospel as Paul wanted? After all what are her alturnatives? -She can complain, which doesn't change her situation and removes the chance of spreading the Gospel. Personally I'd take Paul's advice any day - what do you think?"

hubj-
You have got to be kidding. How the hell is slavery in the 1st century different from slavery in the 19th century? IT'S IMMORAL EITHER WAY. I don't give a damn what the circumstances were, the fact that people did it and God (on far too many occasion, according to the Biblical account) supported it does not make it right or justifiable. This is why we say God isn't Just or Omnibenevolent. The only way you can say that is to admit that Evil is Good. And since you won't do it, then you know that God was wrong and unjust.

But Tercel, I am amazed at the lengths you are going to defend the Bible. Don't you realize that what you are saying is irrational? What happened to your "realism"? Taking a break from it perhaps? And, also, I am in doubt that you even know what "morals" are. If this is what makes your life happy, then I really feel sorry for you. Maybe you should repent of your views kind of like God, when he "repented" of the evils he caused.

hubj.

PS- The Bible continues to sucessfully step on its own toes, and the followers are still following suit.

[This message has been edited by hubjones (edited June 16, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by hubjones (edited June 16, 2001).]
 
Old 06-16-2001, 05:44 PM   #13
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There is a BIG difference between slavery in the first century and slavery in the 19th. Almost everything which we claim is bad about slavery when we think of it was not applicable. In most people's minds the number one problem with slavery is the racism that goes with it "Blacks are inferior" etc, yet in the 1st century slavery was not by race and so this did not come into it. The second major problem with slavery is bad treatment of the slaves - this normally is a result of
racism and as soon as slaves are given reasonable justice this problem also disappears. Slaves in the first century were as a whole well treated and could often be influential people and have respectable professions (eg a doctor). It is far closer to the truth to equate a 1st century slave with a 20th century employee that a 19th century slave.


Tercel, I am going to still the sarcasm that leaps to my lips, and simply point out that slavery was a very complex thing in both Rome and the South.

Consider this article on Roman slavery:

http://vassun.vassar.edu/~jolott/rep...slavelife.html

"Secondly, rural slaves were forced to do work that was both physically and emotionally straining. Field hands were given a life expectancy of about ten years due to the physical exhaustion they encountered on a daily basis. Among the jobs they were expected to perform were as ploughmen, hunters, ditchers and forester. Slaves were expected to work all day on very little food and water, and were whipped or beaten when they did not. The extreme nature of the environment in which rural slaves lived is best exemplified by the number of slave revolts which resulted from rural area as opposed to urban areas. Urban slaves had
very little to complain about, as will be discussed later, and revolt only would have led to their execution, whereas for rural slaves death was the outcome no matter which route they chose to exercise."


Clearly, as in both the South and Rome, life depended on what kind of slave you were. The frequency of revolts in Rome indicates the barbarism and savagery of slave life. Meanwhile, even though it was illegal, slaves did own property and run businesses in the antebellum south. In both cultures laws protecting and restricting slaves were ignored at the margins or when needed. In fact, in the old french south, there were a few black plantation owners, who owned slaves.

I'll just echo the other posters. There is no justification for slavery, and the Bible's (and Christianity's) general support of it eliminates the Bible as the word of a loving deity.

Michael

[This message has been edited by turtonm (edited June 16, 2001).]
 
Old 06-16-2001, 06:48 PM   #14
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Tercel: There is a BIG difference between slavery in the first century and slavery in the 19th. Almost everything which we claim is bad about slavery when we think of it was not applicable. In most people's minds the number one problem with slavery is the racism that goes with it "Blacks are inferior" etc, yet in the 1st century slavery was not by race and so this did not come into it. The second major problem with slavery is bad treatment of the slaves - this normally is a result of racism and as soon as slaves are given reasonable justice this problem also disappears.
Slaves in the first century were as a whole well treated and could often be influential people and have respectable professions (eg a doctor). It is far closer to the truth to equate a 1st century slave with a 20th century employee that a 19th century slave.


It sounds to me like Tercel wouldn't mind being owned by another person. Or, he wouldn't mind if others are owned.

rodahi



[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited June 16, 2001).]
 
Old 06-16-2001, 07:09 PM   #15
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All of you have made some excellent points. I will add one more thing. Tercel used one of the most common Christian excuses I hear for the death sentence of homosexuals in Leviticus. "Well, Paul came along and said that we aren't bound by that law anymore." Does that somehow justify these laws in the first place? Was the law somehow OK in Old Testament times, just not OK now? That makes no sense at all. Many of the laws in the OT are flat out barbaric and immoral, and it is the Christian God that ordered these laws. These laws were NEVER OK, whether back then or now.
 
Old 06-16-2001, 09:22 PM   #16
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Sheeesh, I hit a raw nerve there somewhere. I would like to respond to all the posts here but unfortunately I am going to be extremely busy for the remainder of the week (convenient I know ), so I'll respond to what I have time for now.

First a little thought exercise. What would have happened if Paul had written large complaints against slavery?
Would the Roman society have:
a) Not cared?
b) Told Paul he was doing a good job?
c) Got annoyed and removed Christianity from the face of the earth?
The Roman treatment of the slave rebellions merely demonstrates that danger Paul would have faced in writing against slavery.
To remove slavery from the Roman empire would have been nigh impossible, as the system was part of the very basis of society throughout the empire.
So instead of wasting dangerous words against the concept of slavery, Paul did the only logical thing possible: He told slaves to be obedient and love their masters and the masters to treat the slaves well. Is this ILLOGICAL or IMMORAL or unworthy of being in the Bible? Anyone who thinks so is living in a different universe to me.
 
Old 06-16-2001, 09:59 PM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by fred pratt:
Geez, Tercel, you can be kinda snotty for a Christian who claims that "The law imposed on Christians is to Love the Lord... and love your neighbor as yourself."</font>
Actually, no. You are reading what is not there into my words.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">First you accuse me of playing "word games." Next, my intellegence is treated with sarcasm -- "...I am sure you are perfectly intelligent."</font>
There was no sarcasm intended.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And finally, you question my honesty by implying I may be guilty of plagiarism, "Feel guilty now if you copied the question from elsewhere."</font>
I wasn't questioning your honesty. Clearly you are an intelligent person as you are able to clearly formulate this problem you are asking about. However you may have just copied it from elsewhere - as is done fairly regularly. But my point is: the solution to the problem requires only a small amount of thought for a reasonably intelligent person. Clearly you are a reasonably intelligent person and so I think you could figure it out yourself. Nethertheless you did ask for an answer so out of the goodness of my heart (yes, really!) I gave you one.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And that's all by the end of your second paragraph. What's wrong, aren't I your neighbor in theological terms? With love like that, I hope I don't meet up with too many more nieghbor-loving Christians. It's scary. Shame on you. Jesus ain't gonna like that.</font>
You really don't understand. If I didn't care I would have read your post probably laughed at you and certainly not replied. I do care: so I pass no judgement whatsoever on you personally and I spend a lot of time trying to carefully answer your question. (not that I'm perfect)

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You can't diconnect the two testaments, else Christianity instantly topples.</font>
We I think it's possible in theory: Marcion had a good go at it. I personally wouldn't like to try it though.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">After pointing out that Christians aren't bound by Leviticus -- which, therefore, dismisses its relevence -- you agree that Lev. 18:22 validates that "homosexuality is a BAD thing in God's eyes."
Hold it. If you and big Paul insist that Christians aren't bound by the stuff in Leviticus, what kind of sense does it make to claim that a verse in that book reveals a valid opinion of your God's about anything?</font>
Have a good read of Galations: Christians are set free from the Law. It doesn't change or stop existing, they just don't have to obey it. Leviticus still condemns homosexuality whether you obey the Law or not.
Even if you wish to drop the Leviticus passage, there is still Paul's condemnation of homosexuality to contend with.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">YOUR God teaches "love and forgiveness". You said so yourself. But it ain't over yet. You then go on to agree that Lev. 20:10 affirms that "It's clear: adultery is also a BAD thing in God's eyes." Talk about wanting it both ways! You claim you're not bound by Leviticus, then you cite it to prove God's opinions. Is there anything wrong with that picture? Besides being nonsenical, I mean.</font>
It isn't nonsensical at all. I do not have to obey the Jewish Law in Leviticus, yet it is still a perfectly good guide to God's opinions.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Oh REALLY? Well, just a couple of observations here: First, where the hell is the evidence to support that foolishness? The obvious "number one problem" with slavery is the unspeakable EVIL involved in the ownership of one human being by another.</font>
I really do fail to see that this is inherently evil. How does one person "own" another? All they do is: provide accomodation, pay them wages, and get them to perform tasks. Apart from providing accomodation, how exactly does "owning someone" differ from today's employment? What about a farm worker where the farmer also provides accomodation? Is modern employment also EVIL?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Next, your assertion implies that "most people" would feel a lot better about salvery if slave and owner were of the same race. Oh? Would YOU feel better about it? Yeah, right.</font>
Racism was probably the single most major injustice that went with slavery. Of course I'd feel happier without racism. You wouldn't?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"The second major problem with slavery is bad treatment of the slaves -- this normally is a result of racism, and as soon as slaves are given reasonable justice this problem also disappears."

LOOK, THE ONLY GODDAMN 'REASONABLE JUSTICE' YOU CAN GIVE A SLAVE FOR CHRIST'S SAKE IS HIS OR HER FREEDOM.</font>
Slaves in the 1st century could buy their own freedom if they wished. I don't think you understand... it was almost nothing like we think of slavery today. Slavery as we think of it the slaves have no legal rights whatsoever and can be treated however their masters like. This is completely different to a situation where the slaves have the usual legal rights. People in the 1st century volutarily sold themselves as slaves. -A comparison to an employee in the 20th century is much more reasonable.

-Tercel
 
Old 06-16-2001, 11:10 PM   #18
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tercel:

It isn't nonsensical at all. I do not have to obey the Jewish Law in Leviticus, yet it is still a perfectly good guide to God's opinions.
</font>

Leviticus is a good guide to God's opinions?


Lev 19:19 "...Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material."

So I guess it's immoral to wear a polyester/cotton blend?


Lev 19:27 "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard."

So God has a bad opinion of a haircut or shave?


Lev 11:7 "And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you."

So God doesn't like it when I eat pork?


Lev 11:41 "Every creature that moves about on the ground is detestable; it is not to be eaten."

That's funny. I thought it was OK with God to eat a creature that moves on the ground as long as it has a split hoof completely divided and chews the cud (Lev 11:2)


Lev 19:3 "Each of you must respect his mother and father..." even if they are sexually and/or physically abusing the children?


Lev 19:18 "...love your neighbor as yourself" but in Lev 20:9 "If anyone curses his father or mother, he ust be put to death"......sounds like a contradiction in teachings to me


Ex 20:5 "...for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me"

So God doesn't think too highly of me if my great, great grandfather was an atheist.


Ex 22:2-3 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed."

So it's OK with God if I kill a thief entering my house at night, but not during the day?


Ex 21:21 "...but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."

If this is a guide to God's opinions, then obviously God condones slavery and people owning other people.


Sounds like the OT is a great guide to God's opinions.


[This message has been edited by JamesKrieger (edited June 17, 2001).]
 
Old 06-16-2001, 11:37 PM   #19
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Tercel,

You continue to amze me with the length you are going to justify things in the Bible that were and are clearly immoral.

"Slaves in the 1st century could buy their own freedom if they wished. I don't think you understand... it was almost nothing like we think of slavery today. Slavery as we think of it the slaves have no legal rights whatsoever and can be treated however their masters like. This is completely different to a situation where the slaves have the usual legal rights. People in the 1st century volutarily sold themselves as slaves. -A comparison to an employee in the 20th century is much more reasonable."

slav·er·y (slv-r, slvr)
n. pl. slav·er·ies
1. The state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household.
2. a. The practice of owning slaves.
b. A mode of production in which slaves constitute the principal work force.
3. The condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence.
4. A condition of hard work and subjection: wage slavery.

Ok, now that we have a definition, how do you really justify owning other people? All the apologetics in the world won't make slavery moral. It simply won't work. And after reading all of what you said about Paul, I would say that if he was against slavery, then he had no balls. But you are not being truthful about what Paul was saying. Paul was in support of slavery, just like your fantasy God was in support of it (oh, your God was also in support of Genocide, are you going to defend that as well?).

Between you and my OT teacher, I see why people stray away from Christianity. It has far too many contradiction with its own teachings as well as it being immoral.

hubj-

PS- "Truth is God (not the other way around)" (adapted from M. Gandhi)
 
Old 06-16-2001, 11:51 PM   #20
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tercel:
It isn't nonsensical at all. I do not have to obey the Jewish Law in Leviticus, yet it is still a perfectly good guide to God's opinions.
</font>

So anything that was legal in the OT was favorable to God, and anything that was illegal insinuates that was something God didn't like. Since slavery was legal, that means God had no problem with it. So, by your own logic, your God condones slavery...plain and simple.
 
 

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