God Given Morality Revisited

Introduction


There are many monotheists who believe that morality, the division of what is absolutely good and what is absolutely evil, is decided by God. The reason that we can know murder is wrong, it is suggested, is because God says so. In a previous hub I dealt with the absurd notion that morality is something God-given but here I want to dig even deeper into why God given morality simply makes NO sense whatsoever.

Consider this an addendum to the Giving Credit to God hub series.

The Ark, a radio for talking to God, carries the ten commandments, and also a convenient melter of Nazis.
The Ark, a radio for talking to God, carries the ten commandments, and also a convenient melter of Nazis.

The God Out of Time

One of the more perplexing characteristics often granted to the Christian God by believers is that of timelessness. This means that God exists outside of our temporal understanding. This characteristic is often given as an explanation for how God manages to have no beginning and no end and thus be entirely immortal. The problem with this is that other characteristics granted to God do not make sense from this timeless perspective as they could only be part of God given certain conditions that did not always exist for God.

Of course the most important of these characteristics for this hub is that of omnibenevolence. Many Christians claim that God is perfectly good, as in perfectly moral, and that God always was this way and always will be this way. The problem is that in order for morality itself to exist God must have something or someone to interact with. Morality, by necessity, deals with the interaction of living things with other living things. God has existed in perpetuity, forever in BOTH directions of time (past and future) but other living things, according to the Bible, have not always existed.

There are no other Gods for the monotheistic God to interact with and thus he spent eons on his own before ever creating the first living things. Because of this God simply has NO BASIS on which to create a moral system, let alone a PERFECT moral system, because he has no past experience.

Omniscience to the Rescue?

Theists will perhaps respond with, “But God KNOWS all things, so he automatically KNEW the best way for living things to interact”. But God cannot know something that has no precedent can he? Can God know that which never existed? Sure we can agree, hypothetically, that he is all powerful enough to create ex-nihilo but how can he summon knowledge which has never existed? Up until this point in time living things did not exist for Yahweh to interact with and thus he cannot be omnibenevolent in any way other than selfish way.

God can, in this case, love himself perfectly and treat himself with a perfect morality, though the point is moot. Of course God's omniscience might allow him to see into the future but then that idea in and of itself opens a can of worms for Christians that literally hinders more than it helps. After all if God can see the future than he can predict Lucifer's sin and thus can, if he chooses, prevent sin from ever coming into existence altogether. Thus if omniscience extends into the future God could prevent himself from ever needing to create Hell in the first place. But I'm getting ahead of myself, God doesn't even have a basis for morality yet, and thus the idea of sin doesn't even make sense yet.

Some Christians will limit God's ability to see into the future and claim that he cannot see past the free will of sentient creatures. This defense is used to keep our souls from being pre-determined to go to Heaven or Hell but it also prevents omniscience from being used to help God invent morality since morality directly deals with the free will of sentient creatures.

The Euthyphro dilemma is a commonly raised criticism of Divine Command Theory
The Euthyphro dilemma is a commonly raised criticism of Divine Command Theory | Source

Arrested Development

So God is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He can create creatures but he can't be sure what morals to give them. There's another issue here though and that's whether the morals a perfect God comes up with are applicable to lesser – imperfect – beings that God creates. Is it fair to hold creatures which you KNOW to be imperfect to a perfect moral standard? Christians would be quick to point out the answer is no, and that's why they believe Christ came in the first place, to replace the old covenant. The problem with that excuse is that Jesus 1) Never claims to abolish the Law and 2) That such an idea necessitates that God made a mistake with his first covenant.

Summary:

Where does this leave us?

  • God's morality cannot have been inborn (as God was never born)

  • It cannot have always existed (because living things OTHER than God did not always exist)

  • If somehow it did exist it cannot be applicable to imperfect beings

All Loving?

Another character trait often associated with the Christian God is the trait of being “all loving” or loving everyone. This is another attribute that gives away the glaringly anthropocentric nature of the Christian God and is a not-so-subtle hint that Yahweh is entirely fictional. After all God cannot love everyone before everyone exists can he? Oh sure you can argue that he PLANNED to create humans and loved the idea in his head, loved the blueprints before he built the house, but that's not the same kind of love is it? Are we going to argue that God's love for human beings was once the same as my childhood love for poke'mon?

Trial and Error

God's only option, it would seem, is to create morality by trial and error alone. This option may seem like admitting defeat for the theists but in actuality it makes most sense in the context of the scriptures. The Bible, after all, is filled with God's failed attempts at “parenting” the human species and after a while God gets tired of one system and sends Jesus to introduce a new system. This also might even make sense of some of the Old testament's more silly rules, such as shellfish being an “abomination”.

As far as I'm concerned this is the only choice a theist can make that makes a lick of sense. That is unless a believer wants to become a polytheist and give God some other Gods to interact with or give God an evolutionary lineage of similar beings which passed on their morality to him.

In the end God's morality could not even begin to compete with human morality even if it existed. The very concept of God given morality misses the point of morality altogether. The point of morality is to tell what actions are right and what actions are wrong amongst EACH OTHER, amongst live on THIS PLANET. Those who support Divine Command Theory are putting the cart before the horse - they are asserting that things like murder and theft are wrong because God says so and the commandments say it than it must be true...

In fact it goes the other way around. Murder and stealing aren't wrong because of the commandments say so, the commandments say so BECAUSE they are WRONG. God given morality ignores the legitimate reasons WHY some things are wrong. Theft is wrong because it deprives someone else of something they might need or desire, we do not need arbitrary reasons, like “God said so” BEYOND those that already make it wrong.

Because it's about commands and not about reasons God given morality will be inferior to whatever morality we human beings arrive. It was the God of the Bible who condoned slavery and it was brave men and women of conscience who protested and fought in a bloody Civil War who progressed our morality beyond that of Christianity's barbaric bronze age deity.

Conclusion


No matter how you look at it the concept of God given morality just doesn't make any sense. In the end morals are just one more thing that God is given credit for that he obviously had nothing to do with. In the end it is far better to reason out morality with rational thought and natural empathy than it would be to accept blindly the commands of a non-human entity.

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Comments 14 comments

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Another common sense hub regarding the morals of God.

"Murder and stealing aren't wrong because of the commandments say so, the commandments say so BECAUSE they are WRONG."

I mean, what did they do BEFORE the commandments came along?

The 10 commandments of Moses simply reiterated what was already the moral code of the day.

Seriously? People actually believe they came from a bush that was on fire?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

@Austinstar

Thanks Austinstar. Yeah the Ten Commandments really aren't that great, most of them refer to how jealous God is and what days of the week you should be killed for working on. One chapter after the commandments God lays out his endorsement of slavery yet I don't see many Christians wanting that chapter outside of court-houses.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

They do not realize that they are the ones being enslaved to their religion. (sigh)


emmaspeaks profile image

emmaspeaks 4 years ago from Kansas City

Wow! You really made some good points I had not even thought about. I liked the point about god not having had anyone to interact with. And I love your Jolteon pic. I'm a Pokenerd, so I spotted that real quick. I have a pokeball, a Pikachu, and the first set of starters tattooed on my hand extending up wrist. I plan on getting all the starters at some point. This is highly off topic, but great hub!!!


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

I have to say that you are a good writer--very logical, etc. I am a Christian, so I do not agree that humans are capable of reasoning out morality with "rational thought and natural empathy," unless they have a higher standard from which to reason. Your suggestions sounds like moral relativity, which, according to History, usually ends in moral disaster.

Nevertheless, you refrained from coming at this thing from a place of anger as many other atheists do on Hubpages, and what you say is well-thought out.

My thought is that since humans cannot even comprehend a fourth dimension, which does exist, I doubt that we could also create morality all on our own.

But when all is said and done, who really knows. Our inteligence is just too limited to comprehend everything there is to know.

In any event, I do know that those countries that do espouse Judeo-Christian concepts are freer than those which do not. Take Syria, Somalia, and China, whose atrocities are well documented, though not always known by the average American.

Anyway, you're obviously an intelligent guy. You'd probably make a good lawyer, and this article is interesting and easy to read. In other words, not at all boring. Best wishes to you. -Savvy.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

"unless they have a higher standard from which to reason"

Without relying on our own reasoning and empathy there is no way to determine what is actually a higher standard. I am not suggesting moral relativism, in fact quite the opposite, I am suggesting something more akin to what Sam Harris has suggested. If we think of our actions in terms of what harm it causes or what benefits it might have we can get a fairly clear and consistent idea of what behaviors are morally wrong. Morality isn't any easy cut and dry issue, even among people in the same religion, even in the same denomination, gray areas and moral dilemmas will occur.

"I doubt that we could also create morality all on our own."

I do not think we did it all on our own. The basic framework evolved. Social species such as ours thrive better when we live in cohesive groups or societies, such social order is observable in other animals besides humans. By no means are we the only species with a form of morality, we are simply the only ones intelligent enough to write it down and reason it out in-depth. We combine reason with the basic moral framework that developed over countless generations of evolution favoring the apes that lived and worked together while the loners and violent or severely anti-social typically died out.

"Our inteligence is just too limited to comprehend everything there is to know."

I agree, but this may not always be the case. I try not to think of humanity in snap-shot "here and now" form but rather look at things across all of our history. We've been on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years and we've made amazing advances. From the advent of written language, to the moon landing, and all that just in the last 15 thousand years or so. Imagine what we might accomplish in the future! No reason not to think that our descendants might expand beyond our current level of intelligence.

" I do know that those countries that do espouse Judeo-Christian concepts are freer than those which do not"

There is a difference between correlation and causation that should be noted. Christian societies were not always more civilized. I shouldn't need to bring up the Crusades, the madness and torture of the Inquisitions, and the conquest and religious persecution of the Native Americans to make the point that where there have always been good Christians trying to follow Christ's example there has also been a great deal of blood-shed, prejudice and persecution created or supported by Christianity. In many cases ignorant Christians had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the moral realities that society was awakening to.

Slavery is a great example of how the morality I'm advocating, and indeed the only morality I believe actually exists, is SUPERIOR to a God given command morality. Slavery is openly condoned by the Biblical God who goes into great detail about it in Exodus 21 immediately after passing Moses the 10 Commandments. While many Christians began to turn toward the abolitionist movement and join the side of justice others clung to the literal scriptures as proof that man was meant to own his fellow man, that it was morally acceptable. Society changed its morals, it came to a realization and it became BETTER for it. A God given morality would be unchanging, it wouldn't improve, and it would expect you to accept it as perfect. Well I don't know about you but I don't think we can accept as perfect a morality that says slavery is permitted but bacon isn't.

thanks for the comment :)


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

Titen-Skull. You are an excellent debater. I will address your comments another day. Thanks for reading and responding. -Savvy


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

It is important to note that Exodus refers to the liberation of slaves. That being said, slavery was the culture of the day, but it is disingenuous to say that God espoused slavery as he sent Moses to free slaves. Nevertheless, the Bible is also a historical account of the culture of the day.

As for the Crusades, that was a horrible and evil time in the history of Christianity. Once again, it is important to note that Christianity has not produced another war since that time, though people often like to say they have.

As for advances in thinking, Africa continued to espouse slavery long after slavery ended in the United States and Europe. It was Dr. Livingston who, though not a saint, alerted Europe and the U.S. to the horrors of slavery, whereupon slavery was then abolished. Livingston espoused Judeo-Christian ethics and began his work as a missionary.

For example, little has changed in Muslim countries, who continue to instigate human abuse, wars and the denigration of women, to this very day.

"If we think of our actions in terms of what harm it causes or what benefits it might have we can get a fairly clear and consistent idea of what behaviors are morally wrong." This statement is partially true, but once again the only countries who have managed to do this are those who finally choose to honor Judeo-Christian ethics.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

"but it is disingenuous to say that God espoused slavery as he sent Moses to free slaves"

No it isn't. Exodus 21, if scripture is to be believed, comes right from God's mouth, and is God laying down the rules about slavery. God, speaking directly to Moses in this passage, tells Moses that slaves can be bought, sold, even beaten to within an inch of their life (it specifies: as long as they don't die and recover from their injuries in a few days).

"For example, little has changed in Muslim countries, who continue to instigate human abuse, wars and the denigration of women, to this very day."

That is because Muslims have remained true to the heart of their religion, where Christianity has moved farther away from what the Bible actually teaches. Oh sure Jesus' ethics are fairly sound, more or less, but Jesus also says that the law of Moses shall not pass away and the laws in the Old Testament are barbaric and disturbing.

"This statement is partially true, but once again the only countries who have managed to do this are those who finally choose to honor Judeo-Christian ethics."

Correlation does not mean causation. Christianity has been, for lack of a better term, domesticated. It has gone from an ideology spread by the sword to what believers saw as barbaric savages to be saved, to being a wishy-washy "relationship with Jesus Christ". It has adapted to improvements in morals that Western society on the whole has made, so you can't see the fact that Western Society is majority Christian and claim that as any moral victory for Christian teachings. On the contrary its proof of exactly what I'm arguing for, morality as a societal consensus that evolves and hopefully improves as time goes on. Where we see society's morals improving tends to be IN SPITE of religious teachings like those in the Bible, not BECAUSE of.

For every Golden Rule in the Bible there are two "thou shalt take them to the edge of the city and stone them" commandments. Now you can say that's all just "historical record" and isn't actually reflecting God's real morals but then where are you getting the idea that God's moral standards are really better than our own? If you're not getting God's moral standards from God's word than where are you getting them from?


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

In Biblical times, slavery was not unlike a labour contract. Many individuals chose to enter into the contract because they were extremely poor. The Bible offered specific rules which owners were required to honour, such as giving the slaves rest periods and holidays. If a slave owner treated a slave cruelly, the slave was to be released immediately. Also, one could not be a slave for more than seven years and slaves were to be respected as part of the society.

In short, the relationship was different from the slavery we associate with modern times. Again, slavery was part of the culture of the day. However, less ethical owners did not adhere to the rules and principals I mentioned above, such as the Romans, for example, who did not share Jewish/Hebrew ethics.

One of the things to keep in mind in reading the Bible is that it is a Middle Eastern book, set in 1st century Judea. The Bible is a book of metaphors as well as a book of historical facts, not to mention, a book of guidelines for righteous living. Thus, in reading the Bible, one must take everything into historical context. It is improper scholarship to equate the history of Biblical times with modern day America, which obviously did not exist yet. So yes, you will find references to stoning, etc because that was the accepted punishment of the day. As you will recall, Jesus refused to stone the woman caught in adultery... but that's another story.

Anyway, this is why you find references to stoning and such... things that still occur in Muslim counties to date, unfortunately.

I maintain that if many leaders in some foreign countries, which I mentioned in another comment, had been influenced by Judeo-Christian principles, their counties would not have the problems of atrocious human right abuses they practice today. That being said, some changes are now occurring in African countries due to the influence of missionaries and humanitarian organizations, though, they have a long way to go.

I apologize for having used the word disingenuous. I could have found a better word, such as: partially true. When all is said and done, please know that I respect your intelligence as well as your desire to see society evolve and become better. We simply disagree on how that is done.

My Best, Savvy


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

"In Biblical times, slavery was not unlike a labour contract."

Wrong. The Bible specifies that slaves are property, there's even a verse about bequeathing them to your heir after your death. It's a nice excuse to call Biblical slavery indentured servitude or a "labor contract" but such a claim simply isn't scripturally defensible.

"Also, one could not be a slave for more than seven years and slaves were to be respected as part of the society."

Hebrew slaves could be kept only 7 years, others (non-Hebrews) were slaves for life. Hebrew slaves could become property for life if given a wife (women were automatically slaves for life) who he didn't want to leave at the end of his seven years. Also women could be taken as plunder of war.

"The Bible is a book of metaphors as well as a book of historical facts, not to mention, a book of guidelines for righteous living"

Right. It's a series of ancient documents compiled into one religious text. It's full of immoral barbaric laws and regulations, it contradicts itself constantly due to being written by different authors decades or centuries apart from one another, and it depicts an inconsistent flawed God who is a reflection of the ancient folks that invented and believed in him.

"Anyway, this is why you find references to stoning and such... things that still occur in Muslim counties to date, unfortunately."

Indeed, just another reason why we need secular morality to evolve and move forward, rather than stagnate beneath the pages of a religious text that believers think already has all the moral answers they need. Reliance on the Bible for moral guidance, without using your own moral compass to pick and choose what's actually moral out of the book's many laws, would get you arrested in America.

"That being said, some changes are now occurring in African countries due to the influence of missionaries and humanitarian organizations, though, they have a long way to go."

And then you have anti-gay laws in some African countries, making homosexuality illegal and pushing for it to be punishable by death, which are also religiously motivated. Christianity is, at best, a double-edged sword, the same book that tells you to love your neighbor creates the West Boro Baptist Church.

"We simply disagree on how that is done."

I don't think we disagree all that much on how it is done. We both agree that regressive laws found in ancient religious texts should not be the basis or source of our morality. The main difference seems to be that you find some value in the morals of the Bible, while I believe we, as a society, have moved and need to continue pushing, past the morals in that book to improve our society even more.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

As I mentioned, it is improper to take the culture of Greeks, Romans and Hebrews of ancient times, and compare them with modern day American morality. I believe that the United States and all of North America have evolved precisely because we have been influenced by the precepts of Judaism and Christianity; furthermore, we used these precepts to create more advanced moral societies. The truth is that we (Americans) take our morality for granted in assuming that we created morality. I do not believe this is necessarily true. Left to our own devises, we seem to do no better than to create dictatorships based upon what is meant for the "common good."

Thus, many other countries have not evolved morally, despite their intelligence or their moral reasoning. And to my point, the Greeks and Romans who worshiped themselves and other gods, had no qualms about enslaving people, though the Hebrews, who did espouse godly doctrine, did have laws for protection of slaves, which was an accepted part of the culture of the day. Unfortunately many middle eastern countries (and other counties) have not evolved morally. With the exception of Israel, middle eastern laws are much the same as they were 2000 years ago, particularly with regard to the status of women.

Speaking of Africa, I had previously mentioned that Africa is not where it needs to be, and although they are referred to as a Christian nation, in reality they are mere fledglings in this regard; they are still rooted in superstition and witchcraft, much more so than true Christianity.

That being said, I am very disappointed that many Christians in modern day America apparently maintain a strong prejudices against homosexuals. This is unacceptable. Frankly, I believe they may be taking the Bible either: 1) out of context or 2) too literally. For example, in the Sodom story, the Bible states that the major sin of that city was their selfishness and immorality. Ezekiel 16:49-50, “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” Consequently, if a visitor stepped inside of their borders, the Sodomites went so far as to rape them and do all manner of disgusting things, no matter what sex they were. What most people today fail to realize is that the people of Sodom were not all homosexual. No city is--not even San Francisco. Also, the mostly heterosexual citizens of Sodom pretty much had sex with anything or anyone. This was what was meant by "unnatural relations" at least, as far as I am concerned. I personally believe it is not unnatural to have same sex attraction. Scientists have determined that same sex attraction is determined by the forming brain while the fetus is in the womb. Short of having a lobotomy, we can't change our brains or what sex we attracted to. But, you know all of that. My point is that it is unnatural is for someone with same sex attraction to have sex with the opposite sex and I cringe everytime I hear a "Christian" say otherwise.

Well, I've gone off on a tangent. I continue to say the same thing to Christians who disagree with me, and I don't back down. After all, Jesus did not have prejudice against anyone--not as far as I can tell... and he was God's representative on earth.

You and I do seem to have common ground and this makes me happy. However, rather than pushing past the morals in the Bible, I believe that we have pushed past the culture of ancient times because of the guidelines we have been given by God. And this is how things are meant to be and why Jesus was such a superb example of how one may do this. ;)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

“The truth is that we (Americans) take our morality for granted in assuming that we created morality”

I don't know of any American who claims that we created morality, so not sure what you are getting at there.

“Left to our own devises, we seem to do no better than to create dictatorships based upon what is meant for the "common good." “

The formation of the American government is not really an issue of morality and was influenced primarily by enlightenment ideals, not Christianity. Democracies of various forms have existed without being theocratic. In fact it is dictatorships which are typically theocracies, either with Kings claiming a divine right to rule or dictators like the one in North Korea who declare themselves as a sort of God. Christianity does not favor one type of government or another.

“though the Hebrews, who did espouse godly doctrine, did have laws for protection of slaves, which was an accepted part of the culture of the day.”

You don't think the Romans or Greeks had laws about the way they could treat their slaves? I'm fairly certain they did. And also, I don't find any of the old testament laws to be “godly” if by godly you mean “morally sound”. We've already discussed how barbaric the old testament laws are, if they reflect God's morality than God's morality is not one we should pay any attention to.

“After all, Jesus did not have prejudice against anyone--not as far as I can tell... and he was God's representative on earth.”

One of the more laudable aspects of Jesus is that he helped and became friends with people from all walks of life, from prostitutes, to tax collectors. He seems to have had it in for the religious establishment of his day however, often taking the Pharisees and Sadducees to task.

Morality is something that will likely always have gray areas and dilemmas to present us with and it doesn't help when those who take their Holy Texts too literally, be they Muslim or Christians or whatever else, try to push us back centuries morally speaking. As you said we've moved passed all that. It's hard not to see that religion holds us back as a global society, in making progress, especially in countries like Iran, Pakistan, but even here in America we have the hardcore evangelical fundamentalists fighting against everything from contraception to gay marriage to abortion to trying to put creationism in schools.

All of us, even the religious, need to be willing to use reason and empathy to figure morality out. That is why I appreciate deism and more moderate forms of theism, because many believe that moral truths were left here by God for us to discover using our own faculties, not left as absolutist commands written down in books.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

"I don't know of any American who claims that we created morality, so not sure what you are getting at there."

What I am saying is that many of the intellectual elites are not shy about sharing their ideas with those in high places. The problem with this is that many elitists do not necessarily have mundane knowledge nor the benefit of godly doctrine to steer their ideas in the proper direction. Their knowledge is specialized, in that it inhabits the world of ideas, which does not always translate to creating moral laws and societies. Take Karl Marx, whose ideas have never built a moral society and never will, despite many who believe otherwise. Our forefathers were very intelligent and enlightened, but make no mistake, they came here with the goal of creating a nation that would enjoy religious freedom and freedom of speech, among many other freedoms... including the right to pursue happiness.

"... it doesn't help when those who take their Holy Texts too literally, be they Muslim or Christians or whatever else, try to push us back centuries morally speaking."

Regarding taking things too literally, I have said the same, which is why I referred to Jesus, who despised the Pharisees and who most certainly understood God's desire for humanity. As for Muslims, they are theists, but they are not Judeo-Christians, which is why I used them as an example of how non-Judeo Christian nations continue to be perfectly OK with abusing their people, as in Syria, to name only one nation.

"Even the religious, need to be willing to use reason and empathy to figure morality out. "

Yes, of course. We were given brains to use them. Any good Christian will tell you that you are wise to question everything, but one also has to utilize a criteria for authenticity in deciphering ancient texts, and even many modern scientific documents.

"...in America we have the hardcore evangelical fundamentalists fighting against everything from contraception to gay marriage to abortion to trying to put creationism in school."

This is true. I disagree on the homosexuality thing because I do not feel this objection has not been proven, biblically speaking. But the contraception debate is a little different. Take Hobby Lobby--they do not have a problem with regular contraception. Their problem is with the type of contraceptive that aborts a live fetus, of which there are several. If Hobby Lobby did not have to provide abortifacient drugs previously, I see no reason why they should be forced to do so now. Frankly, any woman can find many clinics who will take care of this need at a small cost, if not for free, depending upon one's income. Keep in mind that a fetus is a living entity, so I personally don't buy the argument that "It's my body" when in fact, we are dealing with two live beings, not just one. That being said, I do not judge or condemn this action, but I do know that most abortions occur because it's "not a convenient time" to have a baby, whereas only a small percentage of abortions occur because the woman or child's life is in danger. As for creationism, I don't see why children can't hear both sides of the argument.

Once again, as far as "absolutists commands" are concerned, it is imperative that you understand the culture of the day and not transplant certain customs smack dab in the middle of modern day America. This does not meet with the "criteria for authenticity" which I mentioned before.

Here is a short clip which refers to what I'm talking about when I say "criteria for authenticity" which is a term that is well known by all historians and professors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJCcsX4g9LI

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