Scriptural Literalism or Scriptural Liberalism?

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Kraichgauer
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10 Feb 2013, 12:18 am

ModusPonens wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
ModusPonens wrote:
Tequila wrote:
I suppose there are worse people to venerate than some harmless tubby bloke.


You're thinking of Hotei, not the Buddha. Hotei is a chinese icon which, for some reason, got to be known as the Buddha in the western world.


Really? I've been calling the wrong guy Buddha for my whole life, then!

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You'll be reborn as an insect for that. :P :lol:


(Sigh) I know... I deserve worse! :lol:

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



ruveyn
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10 Feb 2013, 7:50 am

Vigilans wrote:
Scriptural literalism is stupid, scriptural liberalism is pointless. I say pointless because it often takes serious mental gymnastics to reconcile modern morality with these antiquated documents. Better to just acknowledge their limits and move on with one's personal philosophy instead of getting lost in nebulous metaphor and inference to support an idea clearly wrong


Scriptural literalism + political power spells lots of trouble for science.

ruveyn



ruveyn
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10 Feb 2013, 7:52 am

Tequila wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
Is anyone seriously going to except the OT dietary laws, endorsement of slavery and polygamy, the subjugation of women, or the call for genocide?
With the exception of the most extreme fundamentalists, the sane people who make up the rest of Christianity - even evangelicals - aren't going to accept most of those countless rules.


It comes across as anti-human to try to live up to a 2,000 year old book anyway.


Some of the things in Scripture we use as a moral guide. For example the (big) Ten Commandments. What is wrong with not stealing, not murdering and not commiting perjury?

ruveyn



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10 Feb 2013, 8:09 am

ruveyn wrote:
Tequila wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
Is anyone seriously going to except the OT dietary laws, endorsement of slavery and polygamy, the subjugation of women, or the call for genocide?
With the exception of the most extreme fundamentalists, the sane people who make up the rest of Christianity - even evangelicals - aren't going to accept most of those countless rules.


It comes across as anti-human to try to live up to a 2,000 year old book anyway.


Some of the things in Scripture we use as a moral guide. For example the (big) Ten Commandments. What is wrong with not stealing, not murdering and not commiting perjury?

ruveyn


What, you mean that I should not make or myself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.



MCalavera
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10 Feb 2013, 8:25 am

ruveyn wrote:
Tequila wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
Is anyone seriously going to except the OT dietary laws, endorsement of slavery and polygamy, the subjugation of women, or the call for genocide?
With the exception of the most extreme fundamentalists, the sane people who make up the rest of Christianity - even evangelicals - aren't going to accept most of those countless rules.


It comes across as anti-human to try to live up to a 2,000 year old book anyway.


Some of the things in Scripture we use as a moral guide. For example the (big) Ten Commandments. What is wrong with not stealing, not murdering and not commiting perjury?

ruveyn


What's wrong is that they are commandments and they didn't originate in the Scriptures anyway.

I believe murder and stealing is wrong because it's not in my best interest to suffer consequences resulting from murdering others or stealing from them. I don't need a commandment to believe that.



Tequila
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10 Feb 2013, 8:38 am

MCalavera wrote:
I believe murder and stealing is wrong because it's not in my best interest to suffer consequences resulting from murdering others or stealing from them. I don't need a commandment to believe that.

And also because it would - if you're not a psychopath and have some remorse - hurt your conscience.



MCalavera
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10 Feb 2013, 9:26 am

Tequila wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
I believe murder and stealing is wrong because it's not in my best interest to suffer consequences resulting from murdering others or stealing from them. I don't need a commandment to believe that.

And also because it would - if you're not a psychopath and have some remorse - hurt your conscience.


Well, I'm a psychopath, so that doesn't apply in my case. ;)



ruveyn
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10 Feb 2013, 10:04 am

MCalavera wrote:

What's wrong is that they are commandments and they didn't originate in the Scriptures anyway.

I believe murder and stealing is wrong because it's not in my best interest to suffer consequences resulting from murdering others .


That is true. Just about every society has evolved rules along those lines. The fact that these rules show up in scripture does not disparage them.

It is a handy way of teaching morals and ethics to mostly illiterate bronze age savages.

ruveyn



Kraichgauer
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10 Feb 2013, 11:10 am

ruveyn wrote:
MCalavera wrote:

What's wrong is that they are commandments and they didn't originate in the Scriptures anyway.

I believe murder and stealing is wrong because it's not in my best interest to suffer consequences resulting from murdering others .


That is true. Just about every society has evolved rules along those lines. The fact that these rules show up in scripture does not disparage them.

It is a handy way of teaching morals and ethics to mostly illiterate bronze age savages.

ruveyn


Probably illiterate ones, too, if it's passed down orally.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



TornadoEvil
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10 Feb 2013, 5:29 pm

I have grown too rational to accept all of the bible as an unassailable truth. Of course, I haven't read it cover to cover. Might do that someday. I think that it is mostly cultural, and significantly outdated. And to me Christianity has a bit more to do with who Christ was as a person. I did loose my faith years ago, though I am rekindling a little of it. I might study a few different religions, and let whatever I believe in be a more personal thing.

I had to read Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour for a correspondence English course. Really nice guy. Palestinian Christian who grew up around the end of World War II. Big fan of reconciliation between Israel and Palestine. Rather humble, yet kept on getting promoted.



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10 Feb 2013, 11:12 pm

MCalavera wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
Tequila wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
Is anyone seriously going to except the OT dietary laws, endorsement of slavery and polygamy, the subjugation of women, or the call for genocide?
With the exception of the most extreme fundamentalists, the sane people who make up the rest of Christianity - even evangelicals - aren't going to accept most of those countless rules.


It comes across as anti-human to try to live up to a 2,000 year old book anyway.


Some of the things in Scripture we use as a moral guide. For example the (big) Ten Commandments. What is wrong with not stealing, not murdering and not commiting perjury?

ruveyn


What's wrong is that they are commandments and they didn't originate in the Scriptures anyway.

I believe murder and stealing is wrong because it's not in my best interest to suffer consequences resulting from murdering others or stealing from them. I don't need a commandment to believe that.


But in the absence of a higher moral authority, your opinion is no more valid than that of a murderer or thief.

If you are an aspiritual atheist, you can't say murder is "wrong" because if all that exists is the physical world, then "right" and "wrong" do not exist.

I see the opposite of what you described in your OP: Atheists claiming not to believe in God or higher powers and yet still acting as though morality and free will can exist in a world where there is nothing above physics.



MCalavera
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10 Feb 2013, 11:47 pm

Tensu wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
Tequila wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
Is anyone seriously going to except the OT dietary laws, endorsement of slavery and polygamy, the subjugation of women, or the call for genocide?
With the exception of the most extreme fundamentalists, the sane people who make up the rest of Christianity - even evangelicals - aren't going to accept most of those countless rules.


It comes across as anti-human to try to live up to a 2,000 year old book anyway.


Some of the things in Scripture we use as a moral guide. For example the (big) Ten Commandments. What is wrong with not stealing, not murdering and not commiting perjury?

ruveyn


What's wrong is that they are commandments and they didn't originate in the Scriptures anyway.

I believe murder and stealing is wrong because it's not in my best interest to suffer consequences resulting from murdering others or stealing from them. I don't need a commandment to believe that.


But in the absence of a higher moral authority, your opinion is no more valid than that of a murderer or thief.

If you are an aspiritual atheist, you can't say murder is "wrong" because if all that exists is the physical world, then "right" and "wrong" do not exist.

I see the opposite of what you described in your OP: Atheists claiming not to believe in God or higher powers and yet still acting as though morality and free will can exist in a world where there is nothing above physics.


Just because beauty is subjective doesn't mean it doesn't exist as a concept and that you can't have an opinion of what is beautiful to you and what is not.

The same with morality and what's right and wrong.

The irony is that, even you don't have access to absolute morality, so you have to rely on what you personally see is right or wrong.

I believe I expounded on this in another thread.



Tensu
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13 Feb 2013, 11:58 pm

MCalavera wrote:
Just because beauty is subjective doesn't mean it doesn't exist as a concept and that you can't have an opinion of what is beautiful to you and what is not.

The same with morality and what's right and wrong.

The irony is that, even you don't have access to absolute morality, so you have to rely on what you personally see is right or wrong.

I believe I expounded on this in another thread.


Firstly, that is not what "irony" means.

Secondly, comparing good/evil to beautiful/ugly is a flawed analogy. However, as I always took for granted never needing to explain this to anyone, I never thought of the words to do it, hence why it took me so long to respond. What's worse is the concepts are so abstract and rely so heavily on simply being understood I'm not sure that the language exists to explain why the concepts are different. It's like describing thought. While my first attempt will probably not express my views perfectly, I'm sure your responses will help me better understand what I need to express. I've already had a lot of fun pondering the nature of good and evil over this thread, so I do hope it continues.

Say you arrest a murderer. Now to you, of course, what he did was evil and thus punishing him for it is good. But to him the murder was justified and thus punishing him for it is evil. So who is right? I suppose you could say it's like how some people find a statue beautiful and others ugly, but the difference is as much as I hate minimalist art I have no problem saying it is beautiful to others. If morality is subjective that means that murder IS truly a moral action to those that commit it, since their opinion is just as valid as yours.

Are you willing to say that?

Furthermore, When the bad webcomics wiki pointed out to me all the anatomical errors anime artists make, the effect was strictly detirmental. There is no benefit to seeing something you once thought of as beautiful as ugly. However, coming to see something you once thought of as justified as unethical is beneficial in that you can quit doing that thing and become a better person. But this only works if morality is objective. If morality is subjective then nobody is under any pressure to improve their own behavior. In fact, a thief admitting stealing is wrong is less ethical that him continuing to insist it is ok because if morality is realitive then stealing is ethical so long as he insists it is. But this is the total opposite of everything morality is understood to mean.

Thirdly, I do not need to know the objective answers to morality to seek to understand them, I just need to know that objective morality exists. Like a scientist making a hypothosis doesn't need to know if it is right or wrong, only that it could be.

Pressed for time. No time to correct spelling errors. sorry.



MCalavera
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14 Feb 2013, 12:42 am

Tensu wrote:
Say you arrest a murderer. Now to you, of course, what he did was evil and thus punishing him for it is good. But to him the murder was justified and thus punishing him for it is evil. So who is right? I suppose you could say it's like how some people find a statue beautiful and others ugly, but the difference is as much as I hate minimalist art I have no problem saying it is beautiful to others. If morality is subjective that means that murder IS truly a moral action to those that commit it, since their opinion is just as valid as yours.


It depends on the reason for murder. I don't actually believe murder in every single case is necessarily evil. For example, someone who murders another person who was continually sexually abusing her and using the manipulative art of blackmail against her every now and then to keep things going his way. I would not consider murder in such a case as evil.

And I don't really believe in actively punishing anyone for anything they do, although I do believe in locking certain people away if they pose a great danger to others and if locking them away is the only/best way to keep society safe from them. And even then, I believe they should be treated well while in incarceration.

As for beauty and what not, if you can accept that people may (and will) find beauty in things that you don't, then by the same token, you should accept that people may (and will) find moral good in things that you don't. Both beauty and morality are abstract constructs with varying definitions relative to each individual with a mind that's capable of evaluating the beauty/moral goodness of things.

Quote:
Are you willing to say that?


Absolutely. Just because it isn't an ideal thing to say doesn't mean the veracity of moral subjectivity is any less true.

Quote:
Furthermore, When the bad webcomics wiki pointed out to me all the anatomical errors anime artists make, the effect was strictly detirmental. There is no benefit to seeing something you once thought of as beautiful as ugly. However, coming to see something you once thought of as justified as unethical is beneficial in that you can quit doing that thing and become a better person. But this only works if morality is objective. If morality is subjective then nobody is under any pressure to improve their own behavior. In fact, a thief admitting stealing is wrong is less ethical that him continuing to insist it is ok because if morality is realitive then stealing is ethical so long as he insists it is. But this is the total opposite of everything morality is understood to mean.


You're confusing a belief in moral relativity with an absolute desire to act contrary to what you, Tensu, personally believe. That's a wrong way of looking at it. There are certainly believers in moral relativity who have very similar moral values to yours and are of the opinion that theft is wrong like you do. So for such people, they certainly would like to make sure harmony and peace and love continue to go on between them and their friends and loved ones and others. They just don't necessarily need a faith in some God to think that.

Besides, we're generally wired via zillions of years of evolution to look out for each other and for others we may benefit from, so it wouldn't do us any good to just go around killing random people and stealing from them for the sake of it. Sure, some people may do these things, Christians or not, but they are often either psychopathic or they may have very noble reasons to kill and steal (for example, stealing excessive wealth from the extremely rich to provide for the unfortunate poor or killing a tyrant to end his oppressive reign over the constantly tortured people). There is no black or white when it comes to debates like this.

Quote:
Thirdly, I do not need to know the objective answers to morality to seek to understand them, I just need to know that objective morality exists. Like a scientist making a hypothosis doesn't need to know if it is right or wrong, only that it could be.


Ok, sure. But all I'm saying is that, even if objective morality exists, you don't have full access to it anyway. So you're really still in the same boat as a moral relativist is when it comes to these matters and you still end up expressing a subjective opinion relative to you as an individual with his own set of experiences and leanings if you wish to demonstrate why murder is wrong rather than right.

So it's the same thing really. And that's exactly what I was referring to as ironic. That you imply that we don't have an absolute authority to rely on to explain why murder/theft/dishonesty/cheating is/can be wrong, while you're not reall in a better position than your fellow human beings who happens to be moral relativists, is indeed irony.



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16 Feb 2013, 11:59 pm

I've only had a very short time on the 'net these past few days and since I'm a hunt and peck typist responding to long posts takes a while, which is why I haven't been responding.

Hopefully more time tomorrow.