The to-and-fro of argument, agreement, disagreement has got me wondering: If each of us has a belief, a set of values to suit our self, in keeping with the religious concepts we are attached to and embrace, can we come to some kind of consensus about what is fundamental, central, to living a civilized life in an integrated society?
If each of us, whether Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or Jehovah's Witness or Pagan or Atheist --- whichever religion you like to think of --- were willing to separate the values which are specific to the particular belief structure from the core, fundamental factors for a civilized society, let's find out from all who are reading this, what YOU regard as the core, fundamental factors.
Please, think carefully about this. See if what you accept as "true" for your life is specific to your faith/belief, or whether it is something general which can apply to us all, regardless of belief.
The problem is created not necessarily because of the diverging opinions presented, but more by the arrogance of the presenters.
All things is True
There is nothing true except the Truth.
Truth works for one and works for all.
All are aware of Truth except those who do not believe that they are.
You begin to believe that you are unaware of the Truth when you desire the lie more than Truth.
The Lie gives birth to arrogance and arrogance causes you to cling to the lie.
Humility alone restore the Truth.
The many various conflicting ideas usually strengthens the lie rather than show the Truth.
The arrogant do not desire the Truth
Those who desire Truth are humble.
Arurukshor muner yoga,
That sounds beautiful. Can you translate for us please?
Great honest question ;0) here is my take or $10 worth !!!
Where in the world is God today?
In this fast paced modern Hi Tech internet age has He fallen behind like the rest of the people who refused to conform to the latest craze or fad? Did He pack His bags and head off to a distant planet to start all over again? Only this time no forbidden fruit on a tree and Satan has been left behind to terrorize those that did not make the grade.
If you look at the growth of religious orders and gospels and mega churches He should be able to find a welcome spot. Or have they all just a knowledge of Him or more to the point taken some of His Son's many words and published their version of the Gospel of Jesus and would not know him if he showed up in person? Or maybe he would not meet the educational "No Saint left behind requirements"!
Many of these well meaning organizations have myriads of information on Him and His creation, and followers can quote many of His sacred scriptures, but then again volumes have been written on Shakespeare by people who claim to be authorities on good old Will, but they have never even talked or shared a beer with the guy! Yet for some reason known only to themselves, know how he lived, felt, and thought. Sounds kind of crazy, and yet if Will came back to life and walked among them would they accept him into their fold? Or would they have painted such an unrealistic picture of him that they would call him an impostor and politely ask him to leave? Book him into a mental hotel or Find him a place on Jerry Springer...." See Willy slap the Dickens out of Prince Charles live on Springer!!!!
I think its time someone yelled stop the bus! And let's see who is actually on it..... and why we let them on in the first place? Many of us from birth because of the environment we were raised in have been yoked with burdens that were never a predestined load to bear and all this has accomplished so far (For some of us!) is the slowing down and hindering of our growth and wellbeing.
For example if you grew up in a religious organization you were at an early age introduced to their doctrinal lenses on the world around you.
After a while you could become a clone, marry a clone and produce more clones.
Sounds exciting!!! Amen!
On the other hand you could have had non religious parents who were independent free thinkers and encouraged you to explore and discover the ends of the earth and live a vibrant life. With encouragement like that the world would be your Oyster and you would be a cool person to hang out with and your of spring would be fruitful and multiply? (Sounds real attractive to me)
Then of course you could have grown up in a drug, alcohol, dysfunctional family environment. Learned how to yell, fight, self sabotage and in general live a very depressing and unhealthy life, you know! Marry, Divorce, Re Marry produce more unhappy Fagan's (Oliver twist), who unless they received some serious intervention would carry on the family tradition and be the butt end of comedians jokes. The chances of an early checkout in that sinario are pretty good!
Another case that could find a home in the first and third paragraph above is race and color and that has been the catalyst for some pretty distraous consequences on account of mans false illusions about his superiority.
Now if our mental heath is dependent upon the environment we have grown up in! Then Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest would most definitely come into play and the world would be a very unfair place, would it not. Just ask your local Rabbi! But that's not happening is it?
Ok! Now ask yourself if there is a God...Where in the world is he in all of this, I mean why would he create man and then let him of the leash only to mess up the backyard and scare of the neighbors. Is this the loving thing to-do?
If you look at the last 2000 years we have had one religious war after another. The middle east, northern Ireland, The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, WW2( Yes Hitler believed he was doing gods work by eradicating the Jewish population), Bosnia . So if God is a religious God I sure don't want to meet him and most defiantly not on a bad day.
Maybe he is in corporate America? Then again they don't really have a head just a breathing mass of hungry share holders and some for some reason known only to themselves are always hungry for more and will never be satisfied.
Yes maybe there are some corporations that do genuinely care, can't think of any at the moment lol. But they do care about their public image and the good old bottom line and if you have ever had a pink slip then you know all about corporate unconditional love, no security there!
Now I don't think he lives in statues or religious artifacts because if that was the case you could buy him take home and pop him up on the mantel piece or nail him to the wall. Better still stick your old bath tub out in the front lawn end up and depending on which God is in vogue proudly display it, kneel before it, and ask it lots of questions even pray to it.
I have news for you whether its made of wood, alabaster or a precious metal it wont answer you back and if it did your property would be declared a scared spot and there goes your peace and quiet as you struggle home through the candle awed multitudes.
I have lived in this country (North America) since June 25th 1988 and while I love the vastness and beauty of this contentment I'm not in love with American Christianity. My journey through the American churches has been sadly disappointing. I came here with a passion for God and all that he has to offer us. I expected (naively) that the church here would be just as passionate, but I was greatly disappointed. You see I had and still have a wonderful love for god and the glorious wonders and life he has to offer through an intimate relationship with him.
Over the past 20 years I have only met a hand full of people who were thoroughly passionate about God, the vast majority had a knowledge about him or were more concerned about their status before others or telling other Christians how they should live their lives or building their own kingdoms and bringing converts into the same bondage as themselves
. In short I believe God brought me to this country to teach me how to love the lost sheep of his flock and it has been very hard class to take! Many times I have wanted to quit. But as I slowly progress and gain his understanding of unconditional love I gain understanding of how he feels by the churches rejection of his love
. All God wanted in the very beginning was a relationship with Adam and eve. It was so simple! God having healthy fellowship with his creation. They talked about everything and laughed at each others humor , there were no big list of rules to follow except one don't eat the fruit of just one tree....that was it!
Yes we all know the rest of the story and the resulting fall out. The world has not lived in peace since and will not until it surrenders its false illusions of grandeur and superiority at the foot of his throne and accepts the free gift of his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There is no other way, the struggle has been going on for centuries and will continue until Jesus returns to claim those that love and follow him and those that have rejected him will tragically not enter into his eternal peace and life everlasting.
So where is God? He is here right now ready and willing to enter your life and the best way to ask him in is to ask him or his son Jesus to give you the faith to believe that they exist and leave the rest up to him and not to religion......
Michael, thank you for your "take" on things. It was a long read but worth it.
However, in the context of this discussion, you have presented your point of view which is founded in your religion. What do you see as the fundamentals of life without the embellishments of christianity?
If you find it difficult to answer because of your christian background, I will understand that.
Sure would love to and not difficult at all..and thank you for reading such along reply :0)....but just got in and will write early am ...
... I recently came back from a 67 day trip to Maui. I went there to face some Fears..(Oh by the way I don't go to church every thing I believe is from revelation but I will leave that here as we are not discussing beliefs Haha)
My reason for going to Maui was to see if the island and its people would accept me...not for what I believe but as a person ,A hoale, just me Michael Quinlan an Irish man with all my good and bad traits.
Long story in brief :0)
If I was to sum up my 67 days in three words it would be unconditional human love.
Love I know is the most powerful weapon on this earth, it drove out an Empire Thank you Gandhi.....
On Maui I met and lived with people of many cultures on the beaches and finally for my last stretch was invited to stay with a Hawaiian Family 5 weeks and will be returning to Maui shortly with my Wife to live , not sure what part of the island yet it will be an adventure.
The people group I had the hardest time being around during my visit where the religious people and in that group I include religious Christians also...for the most part the vast majority of these groups were in bondage to rules and conformity. They kept trying to fit me into some kind of box or convert me and as I,m truly not a religious man but a free thinker who accepted them unconditionally they had a hard time returning that love.
So What is the recipe for us all to get along....for me it would be genuine agape, unconditional love regardless of race or creed.
This soldier returns home from WW2 and as he opens the gate of his front yard he see`s his German Shepard dog, he runs to the dog and they have a wonderful reunion as they rumble on the lawn. He then goes into the house and is embraced by his parents after emotions settle down abit his parents inform him of some bad news.
They tell him that his dog was killed by a truck while he was a way and the new dog out in the yard attacks and bites everyone that crosses its pat. He looks puzzled , explains that was not the case when he arrived.
So he returns to the yard only this time with some fear , trepidation and yes the dog attacks and bites him. He went in fear and the dog responded in fear...ok I know you get it.
I have a friend who just recently faced a fear by going to live in Iran as an American for 6 months, he had heard how all Iranians were bad and of the devil.
Well he decided to go and live among his so called enemy and he went with unconditional love , had a great time and returned with many friends.
I have lived among many cultures in this world and without any exception( in my experience) I have found that true unconditional love and patientance will open a multitude of doors and Fear spelled... False Evidence Appearing Real...will close many and build great walls.
Thanks enjoyed responding to your Question Johnny :0)
What a wonderful picture you paint.... thanks Michael. +++
And thanks for staying on topic. I would encourage others to do the same, without wishing to cloud their thinking.
I think you're right - most peoples the world over act as mirrors. Face the mirror of a stranger with love and that's what you'll see coming your way.
Not all people, of course, but more than enough to be worth facing the world with love rather than suspicion and fear.
I am not sure if I have an answer. The first learing lesson I learned as a child holds true in life in general and with specifics. It both seems to apply to the physical life I live and the non-physical, e.g virtural universe. That was when children we played follow the leader all day long. The funny part is the teacher always walked a few steps to the side and meandered at times backward and forward maintainining some uniformity to the line.
In essence it begins with "who is first?" Hands go up and by some means - chosen or vote, a first does become. An entity identified with some essence as a life form. Next, is the next in line. The relationship becomes a first and a next. Some may say a leader and a follower. Even if the teacher does not lead from the beginning of the line instructions, guidance, directions, or near to offers the next.
Soon a classroom of children are a single line now formed. They each have a leader and each has a follower in one perspective. There is a last one. The last one hasn't a follower. The first one is offered directions, guidance, instructions from the teacher, who, again, usually becomes first, maybe last, and usually walks alongside. Without oddity those instructions, guiding words, directions are offered to the last in near to the same proportion. The same ritual was practiced with the armies since time began.
Using the classroom analogy we discover of maybe 10 - 20 students the last in line does have a unique advantage. Depending on physical limitations they usually can see everyone. Remembering betwixt and between are those who do follow and do lead. With a humourous giggle I remember the teacher may have moved ahead or off to the side further to meet with other teachers while keeping a watchful and caring eye on the line.
Depending on rigidity and etc. of the teacher the line holds to a form. Eventually they each arrive at the point of destination, which could be the classroom from the playground, the cafeteria from the classroom, the playground from the class room, and etc.
Well, I ask forgiveness for wandering a tad. I do share with the scouting program when I was a lad in West Virginia the philsophy was always to place the slower hikers up front and the better hikers toward the rear with the large group outings. Seems those better would fade back a ways talking and such and then speed up to catch up when the leader on the side offered guidance, instructions, or directions.
Thanks for asking Jonnycomelately,
I will ponder a bit and a byte longer and check back,
This thread is getting very much off-track, and tending to degenerate to where all the other relio-arguments have ended up.
Can we get back to the original question do you think? Keeping it positive and focused on your personal perspectives would help. A lot of people here have given us some sensible, well considered points of view. Let's keep it that way.
The mainstream religions seem to have two roles--1) to demand conformity to a set of rules designed to sustain the religion itself and 2) to provide rules of behavior designed to keep society orderly and productive. Moses's 10 commandments are popularly held up as the core standard for the Christan faith----
The Ten Commandments
You shall have no other Gods but me.
You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
Respect your father and mother.
You must not kill.
You must not commit adultery.
You must not steal.
You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
You must not be envious of your neighbour's goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.
The first 4 address a), the remaining 6 address b). Setting aside the first 4, which are self-serving To Christianity itself, the remaining are pretty fundamental if a society is to sutvive at all.. I can think of no society in the history of the world that said it was ok to kill when you wanted, have sex at will outside your marriage, steal when you felt like it.....etc. A society that DID so condone would be in chaos. So IMO, Jonny, there are your Core Values. Now surely--AS LONG AS WE SET ASIDE the first 4 Commandments, everyone reading this will agree, yes?
Excellent! I had never thought of it in that context before. Thank you.
Isn't it superflous, implied in all the rest?
With a clause, except to protect yourself.
Em!!! What is it? Is it universal?
Can you add something new from you own perspective, Riddle666?
Yup, do not harm oneself nor others. Help oneself and if possible others too.
Perhaps some words against slavery?
Perhaps some words against beating children?
Perhaps some words about respecting children? Would have made it easier for some to respect the parents.
How is it resolved that we are told not to kill, unless directed by God or now country? How do Christians rationalize killing for country given these commandments? Surely most of the secular countries have far exceeded there laws.
Do unto others as you would they do unto you. From around the world:
And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself. (Bahá'í Faith)
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. (buddhism)
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Zi gong (a disciple of Confucius) asked: "Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?"
The Master replied: "How about 'shu' [reciprocity]: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself? (confucianism)
One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires (Hinduism)
Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you (humanism)
As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don't do to them (Hadith of Islam)
That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn it (The Torah of Judaism)
For one would do for others as one would do for oneself. (Mohism)
I command thee thus, O children of the Earth, that that which ye deem harmful unto thyself, the very same shall ye be forbidden from doing unto another (Dea, mother goddess of Wicca)
Almost universally accepted, anything else is superfluous.
I do get the point which you are attempting to make
I wonder if this is not what Constantine was attempting to do when he called many of the religious leaders together in 326AD. I think I read someplace that there were 75 or 76 of them, who’s teaching varied according to the specific “Letters” which they had in their position.
To bring all of these beliefs together and then attempt to get to the bottom of it, finding a “Universal” foundation upon which to build a New and Improved religion.
This seems to me to be similar to finding the perfect cake recipe . In order to please everyone, we must keep it basic. Everyone doesn’t like cinnamon and some people can not eat eggs, etc. So now we have a cake recipe consisting of the basics; Baking powder, flour and sugar and water. When we try to please everyone, no one will be completely satisfied.
Seeing as how there seems to be such contradicting doctrines within Christianity and Islam, a reasonable person should at least attempt to discover when and where these divisions occurred and why?
ok, I'll bite. :-) I suspect what would be "fundamental...to living a civilized life in an integrated society" is appreciation. Maybe that's where we get hung up...why we should appreciate each other. Seems like most educated societies can agree to appreciate our galaxy, our planet, our flora and fauna, but we still struggle to appreciate other people and sometimes even ourselves. I wonder what it is that stalls us...fear of being taken advatage of?...resentment of competition?
Competition is an element that destroys life and happiness. Competition creates animosity, greed, and dysfunction. Cooperation, on the other hand, invites order, acceptance, appreciation, and vulnerability. Competition can be considered an integral part of nature because living things learn to fend for themselves, which results in the creation of ousting others in order to achieve that which one needs. However, in humans with higher order thinking, we should learn how to achieve through collaboration rather than through competition. That is called "sharing".
Very interesting mikeq107
but If god and his son exist why do we have to " ask him or his son Jesus to give you the faith to believe that they exist"? If they exist, Why don't they just show us they exist? Wouldn't that end all of this endless speculation and bickering between people about if God exists and what he thinks, will or won't do and so on and so on AD Nauseum?
Of course, but God forbid our lives be simpler. LoL. Apparently He'd rather give "subtle" hints than make it plain as day for everyone all at once, all the time. But this kind of logic never works with most christians.
Of course that kind of logic dosen't work because, what they believe is based on belief. No amount of logic, reasoning or evidence to the contrary will ever get true believers to question what they passionately believe. Their beliefs shields them from any questions or doubts that may shake up that calm and security their beliefs makes them feel. Like a pacifier, pacifies a baby. Anyone can believe anything that want to believe whether it's true or not.
Now before someone gets all bent out of shape about what I said. Let me say, I don't mean what i said to be insulting or in a insulting way. That's just the way I see it.
Well, people always get bent out of shape. But you're correct in your assessment. (Former Christian here. Getting that pacifier snatched from you is difficult, especially if you hold on to it for dear life).
Haha good one you two...I can honestly say that what i have experienced from about God has not come from man or religious institutions or even might I dare add the bible..... I just began to question everything and asked the man in the sky ...thank you the Late George Carlin :0) to reveal himself to me and he did. and thank you god it was not in some church or by some belief system or man..can I prove to you or anyone else that he exists ? not on your life ,I don't have the answer for you,thats up to you guys to seek and ask for yourselves ...all I can say is that I know personally and its been and still is a wild and wonderful ride....yippy Ki Yayyy...have a great weekend!!!!
The man up in the sky? You're joking right?
When and where did you first learn the word God and who gave your first idea/concept of God and how old were you?
Oh?!!!! Not in 1962 it wasn't. I only got my little TANDY 100 in 1986 and wrote all the programs for my business in BASIC. There was no "Windows" and no "Internet" even then, it was all infant DOS.
Correct me if that is wrong, someone, please.
Michael, please write your own Hub instead sending us Part 2. It's much too long for a discussion thread.
Continue your wild and wondeful ride Mike:) God bless
Wow Michael, you really gave this your attention, thank-you for sharing that with us. He is risen indeed :-)
This is a really interesting question, but I'm not quite sure how to answer.
Ideally, since I am an atheist and I don't believe in an afterlife, I'd like to live in an anarchist-communist paradise on earth, but I doubt that will ever happen. People suck too much for that .
But for the religious, I'm not sure they can completely rid themselves of their beliefs. If you believe in God and an afterlife, this life is temporary; the only thing permanent about it is your decision whether to accept or reject "God's grace." This life becomes much less important.
My core values are pretty bland and expected: honesty, kindness, love of knowledge, helpfulness, etc.
Define love. We don't see a lot of love in the discussion of religion. We don't see a great deal of love in the manner in which those who claim God is Love interact with their fellow man. So, it is difficult to agree to either statement without first understanding how the one who made it defines love.
You can find the definition of love in..1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I agree with the fact that most people tend to forgot that rule, Love God and also love your neighbor. That is the golden rule. Many a time I found myself living contrary to that rule. I am not perfect, but I am always trying to be a better person. But remember if we look at people, we may fall, but look to the perfect God!
I agree that holding perfection in love as a standard is a good thing. But, again, what actions constitute love? What words? Love is a tricky word. Many people say and do things, supposedly in the name of love that are difficult to view as love. I would think the most important step would be first seeing love. How do we give nothing but love and accept anything given as love?
Is it possible for you to find any fundamentals which apply outside of your religious views? I feel that being willing to look what makes us "tick" as a gregarious species could help us to reach consensus more often.
If we can spot the automatic responses we tend to make, sort of instinctive reactions, then we could try to understand them. Once understanding is achieved, then we are free to make some adjustments if, as and when required.
Without the willingness to look outside our narrow perspectives, we will simply carry on along the same railway track and never experience the fulness of life which is our potential.
Yes! Love is a tricky word.
I think the best thing for us to do would be to do our best in making this world a better place by how we care. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
No amount of logic, reasoning or evidence to the contrary will ever get ANYONE to question what they PASSIOBATELY believe. Their (OUR) beliefs shields US from any questions or doubts that may shake up that calm and security OUR beliefs makes US feel. Like a pacifier, pacifies a baby. Anyone can believe anything that want to believe whether it's true or not.
Is there really any difference between "us and a them" in doing all WE can to hold onto passionately held beliefs? It is true that some people have a much stronger grip on their beliefs than others regardless of which side of the fence they happen to be on, concerning all things wether it be vegitaranian vs meat eaters, theists and Atheists, dog lovers vs cat lovers, etc. etc.
Learning slavery was taken as justified in the Bible eventually led me to give up Christianity. It was a long journey, but it happened. I am nothing special, and if it can happen to me, other people can change as well.
Slavery was not justified by God. It was accepted by the ppl of that age. Just like it was accepted pre-civil war in the south. Just because it is discussed, and addressed, doesn't mean it was acceptable by God. Have you read Exodus? It's about freeing the slaves. Why would God raise up a godly man into the White House and give the North victory over the south if He was not about setting the captives free. I do not say this disrespectfully, but I do believe you have misunderstood the Bible's meaning on this matter.
Where does the Bible say slavery is immoral? Even in the New Testament Paul says treat your slaves well...and he always says for slaves to OBEY their masters. Colossians 3:22
If your God can't even claim, unequivocally, that slavery is wrong and is never justified, what kind of God are you worshiping?
You also mention Exodus. Perhaps you can explain Exodus 21:2-6?
This is a perfect example of a love relationship. The servant makes the impossible choice, for love, to be a "willing slave". When Christ saves us from our sin we are completely free. 1 Cor 10:23 "Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. God did not create slavery, mankind did. He turned water into blood and split the sea in order to free the Egyptian slaves. He allowed brother to turn against brother in order that one day a black man and a white man would be seen by the law how God sees them... equal.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.."
10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.12 For all who have sinned [a]without the Law will also perish [b]without the Law, and all who have sinned [c]under the Law will be judged [d]by the Law;
What? You have avoided my question.
Where in the Bible does it unequivocally say that slavery is immoral, the same way it says killing is immoral, and that worshiping other gods is immoral? I produced verses where slavery is actually promoted, or at least taken as a way of life. I could produce countless more, but that wouldn't help any. You already know where I am going with this.
Quoting Romans 2 does not suddenly make the other verses regarding slavery disappear!
I haven't avoided your question, you just didn't like my answer. Mankind had servants. We know it was wrong now. They did not. They thought it was acceptable. The same way they had separate drinking fountains in the 50's and segregated schools. They thought it was acceptable, and they lived in that sin. Now we have an African American president. Your misunderstanding is in thinking God controls the actions of man. In telling them how they should behave in their situations, He was not condoning their choices. How many plagues did He have to send to make His point? He wanted the slaves freed. He stepped into our realm and said, "Enough!" But we didn't learn did we? We did it again, so He had to step in again and say "Enough!" I'm sorry if you do not see the message as clearly as I do, but I believe that has to do with the fact that you might be of the mind that - if God was the kind of god you would be - if you were Him, that you would run the show. He is ultimately in control, but He does not take our free will from us.
Well, the problem isn't as big if you aren't an inerrantist. I was assuming you think every verse in the Bible is true.
I see where we are going here... yes, indeed I do believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God.
Let's see what follows from this.
1. All claims in the Bible are true (understood in the correct context).
2. The Bible contains contradictions that cannot be explained away by context (slavery example).
3. Therefore, it's true that contradictions can be true.
4. If contradictions can be true, then anything goes.
5. Contradictions can be true.
6. Therefore, anything goes.
You see the problem here? If the Bible says slavery is something that is okay, and on the other hand says we are all equal and there is no jew, gentile, free, etc. what conclusion am I supposed to form of slavery? Slavery is and is not moral, both at the same time? That's the first problem.
Second, even if we exclude the entire OT, the NT seems to support slavery as a way of life, or at least take it as a given. If God was really interested in outlawing it, there would be specific proclamations, in multiple places, asserting that slavery is an abomination. Instead, God is more concerned with who I sleep with than who I own. Thus, the only thing to conclude from the biblical texts is that God either condones slavery, or was/is indifferent to the institution. Either conclusion makes me question God's moral character.
I know you don't support slavery, but you claim to base your morality on the Bible. If you can independently claim that slavery is wrong, even when the Bible appears to say otherwise, why use the Bible for your moral beliefs at all? It seems superfluous.
Maybe the answer to this and other questions lies in looking at the socially accepted norms of those days. Hanavee has written much about his studies of those times in another Hub.
In other words, because slaves and wives were regarded as property of the man, they saw no problems with it.
Today, if a man tried to own a woman or a slave he would get short thrift from society at large. Would this point to a fundamental of a civilised society?
This may be a volatile post, but it has to be asked. Slavery was a part of civilization at that time. We, in the modern world, consider slavery abhorrent. Images of the worst masters arise. However, is there a moral way to act, while living and participating in a society where slave ownership is the norm? I would think yes.If you notice in the Old Testament it tells them what to do when a person chooses to remain in bondage. So, we have to accept that this world was ordered in such a way that slavery would be appealing to a percentage of the population. Why?
Imagine a society with no welfare system in place. Where there is no safety net for the poor. Imagine a society where there is no burgeoning bureaucracy, no sales forces, no fast food industry, no manufacturing, no multi level marketing, no research and development industry. So, job opportunities are limited. No college funds which allow the poor access to education. A society where the illiteracy rates are high and there are no laws to protect the worker? A society (by Roman times) where you were not even a citizen. How many people, in such a world, would run the risk of abject poverty? Starvation?
None of us would ever want to be a slave, but if I found myself a slave in that world I could imagine a scenario where slavery would be seen as a position of safety. We see it as an absence of freedom, but thoughts of freedom can easily take a backseat to the needs of survival. And, owning another in such a society does not preclude understanding the dignity of the individual. I think that was the thrust of many of the comments in the New Testament. Understanding that whatever position we find ourselves in, we are still, fundamentally, the same and deserve to be seen that way.
If we can conveniently forget that most slaves were captured to be slaves (not voluntary slaves) away from their family and friends. [Slavs were routinely captured and from them arose the name-slave (more modern)]
Slaves or not the peasantry were always poor. But there was a lot of uncultivated land and people could cultivate, being a slave didn't improve but worsened their condition for the main occupations were agriculture and soldiering.
An all knowing god should know some economics too, he should have ushered in some capitalism and some technology, at least among his chosen people.
And even all these arguments won't negate his argument, that though she follows bible as god's inerrant word, she conveniently overlook some undesirable parts.
Uhhh, tell me where in the New Testament it addresses setting up governments? These were a disenfranchised people. It's very convenient to blame a god for the ills of the world. It is another thing to use belief to better the tiny part of the world you control.
Anyway, your comment is rather ridiculous. Of course there was plenty of land. Who laid claim to ownership of the land? Anyone could certainly say "Oh, let's start a society where there are no slaves." Where would you propose that it be started? Within Roman territory? Shortsightedness is very convenient in presenting an argument. Unfortunately, not everyone will agree to be so shortsighted.
In an attempt to understand, I think she attempts to put history in perspective. Try it. You might find it enlightening.
NT and government?
That exactly is the question, wasn't an all powerful god knew better? If he could find time to warn men not to look at a female with lust, why didn't he find time to say slavery is a sin?
The rest of your argument is "ridiculous" indeed. What you said was slavery was a better option while it was not. It was not 'lack of jobs' that made slaves, but lack of power. Keeping slave was individual option, for the lord it provided cheap labour and whoever could afford, kept slaves so no question of society without slaves. And the choice of slave to be the slave is only fir a minority rest are forced. Where to start? Govs were willing to help peasants because the more the land cultivated, the more the tax.
And it is not 'history or its ills' that is under discussion, but the inconsistency in claiming bible as the moral directive. But to admit the point of discussion takes some honesty.
Yes, there is a lack of honesty here. You expect perfection in religion. What you are advocating is that a deity, if it were real,should be consistently present and moving men about in order to ensure all actions are always up to the highest standards. That every question should be addressed before it comes up. That mankind should not have to think. We should be consistently led because, apparently, we aren't bright enough to view the world and find the ills within our society and correct them. Had your scenario played out, I'm sure slavery would not have been an option because we would already have been enslaved,
Your vision of a deity would be a tyrant and I doubt we would be here in the first place if such a being existed.
Which was more difficult to say, 'don't keep slaves' or don't look (not commit) at women with lust? Which is more sinful looking at a women or treating a fellow human like an animal and property?
It was a question of simply asking his followers not to keep slaves and that is tyranny? May be in your view slavery is nothing compared to looking at a women, especially in a society were polygyny was accepted? Wasn't that " if it were real,should be consistently present and moving men about in order to ensure all actions are always up to the highest standards" the highest standard?
And you haven't yet addressed the comment but simply side stepped, the contradiction in saying that morality is derived from a book that didn't object slavery. It has nothing to do with what the primitive society did but it is about claiming the bible as the moral authority . Is that that difficult to understand?
"there is a lack of honesty"
That I can see in most of your posts. Asking not to keep slave is "highest standard" while not even looking at a woman and cutting ones hands or eyes if it is sinful, is "ordinary" standard.
Hmm. You are attempting to force views on me that I do not hold. As I stated, it is quite possible to function within a society that allows slavery and give a person who is, by law, your property the dignity a human being deserves.
The point of the comment on lust was that what you do is no more important than what you think. You can act within the limits of law, but your thoughts can be outside of it. If your thoughts are outside of it, you don't understand the reasons for the rules.
I don't remember stating that morality can be found in a book. I don't think that it can; in and of itself. I think that you can certainly use this particular book to understand morals. But, not if you continually insist every word written in the book and every action documented holds to the highest moral standards. You have to look at it in context, and understand the progression of thought and the progression of civilization. Neither you, or Beth appears to do that. You want to negate all value because you find some passages offensive. She wants to insist that some passages which are offensive to our sensibilities are not.
Please, do yourself a favor. Stop calling others dishonest until you can honestly evaluate their statements. It's embarrassing you.
With your habit of misunderstanding what others say and talking in vague and ambiguous terms I didn't expect any better.
The argument was this beth said bible is the inerrant word of god. Sooner18 said if that was the case then the Christians would be following slavery now as it is approved in bible. As the present christian's disapprove slavery bible is not the inerrant word of god.
You came along and said something totally irrelevant(including slavery was good). I merely said your argument is from false premises and your argument is not relevant to the comment you addressed). Such talk as you do is called 'dishonest communication' though you want others (if I remember correctly you asked ATM that) too be honest.
Question: which type of slave are you two debating about?
Actually it is not slave but an entirely different argument.
But she came along and in typical Emile fashion said slavery was good as it assured safety and slavery was voluntarily entered, though totally irrelevant to the point she was replying.
I didn't say slavery was good. I realize English isn't your primary language. This may be why you attempt to put words in my mouth.
I could be wrong, but you said it may have been a secure safe relief for some.
position of safety, relief are all bad things?
Being a non egotistical humble expert in english you should at least understand good and bad are relative terms.
If I hide behind a tree when a gunman is in the park. I am in a relative position of safety. I wouldn't consider it a good situation.
What I understood from what you said is this, for a person who is going to die of starvation, slavery is good. I never meant you said slavery is "inherently" good(relatively good than dying), and as that was not our argument I didn't elaborate for two reasons, 1) It doesn't make much of a difference in what I was saying to RadMan, as what I said was not your argument was wrong but beside the point. 2) I knew you would question(though I didn't expect the way you responded), it is a good illustration of what can happen if we let our words vague.
Yea, your lack of comprehension is my problem.
I recognise gibberish as your primary language.
My question is what kind of slavery is being debated here? Biblically, there were different types (or reasons) one became a slave. There is the most commonly understood way (as with the hebrews in Egypt), there was also those who became slaves due to crimes they may have committed (which is seen to this day to some degree with prison details and chain gangs where prisoners are working for almost nothing), there were also those that became slaves in order to repay a debt that is owed (like how in restaurants they make some people wash dishes to pay a bill they couldn't afford long ago). In the first case, it wasn't condoned because the Jews were the chosen people (which is why God sent Moses to get them). In the other two cases, the culture allowed for these two situations but the slaves were to be treated with a certain amount of dignity, which is what the guidelines were supposed to be for.
Edit- This was from an understanding I got from the bible and what I've learned of the culture of that time.
Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT
However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you.You may also purchase the children of temporary residents who live among you, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property,passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat them as slaves, but you must never treat your fellow Israelites this way.
Exodus 21:2-6 NLT
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he may serve for no more than six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave, he shall leave single. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife must be freed with him.
If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave and they had sons or daughters, then only the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.
Exodus 21:7-11 NLT
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not satisfy her owner, he must allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. But if the slave’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave but as a daughter.
If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy. If he fails in any of these three obligations, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
Exodus 21:20-21 NLT
If a man beats his male or female slave with a club and the slave dies as a result, the owner must be punished. But if the slave recovers within a day or two, then the owner shall not be punished, since the slave is his property.
It's very clear what type of slaves they are describing and it's very clear Jews were given different laws by fellow Jews.
I know what the bible was saying in those scriptures regarding slaves. It appeared that Riddle and Emile were discussing two different things. I was trying to see if they were discussing the same thing
But don't you think the culture of the time is irrelevant to Gods message. He according to the bible put a lot of rules in place to rectify immoral behaviour, but did nothing but condone slavery. Don't you think we would still to this day understand those rules as moral and ethical if a perfect God put them into action. Wouldn't they just make sense. Does it make sense to force a rapist to marry his victim? We have far better laws today to deal with said people, why didn't God?
I understand what you are saying. Now of course, most of the laws were for and applicable for the Jews and Levites. There are Christians that seek to apply those same laws today, but those laws were fulfilled with the death of Christ.
Now don't even ask me which ones I get to say don't apply anymore because I have no say in which ones. Slavery is one of those that has changed. I have ZERO answer as to what and why these things applied to Jews and Levites. Ask JM.
All this is very interesting to read, but how does it affect my life here and now, in today's climate of social upheaval and instant communication?
Do we say, "Our world society will work much better without the use of slavery, and we must stop it happening,?" Regardless of any preconceived religious bias?
That's a poor excuse for owning people. It seems to me the free people of the time didn't have a problem with slavery and those are the people who wrote the bible as a way to control society. It also seems God would have included the treatment of slaves and women in his commandments if he were truly what he is said to be, instead he demands our worship
You are wasting your time, she really has some comprehension problem as ATM accuses. She has no idea what she is talking about nor do not know to what argument she is responding to. The argument was simply 'if bible is the inerrant word of god Christian's should be practising slavery now and as they are disapproving slavery bible is not inerrant.
To that argument her reply is slavery has to be judged by the society by which it was practised and says that is most relevant argument that refute sooner's argument.
I would disagree. Daniel was certainly not free, yet he has a book in the Bible. Esther was certainly not free, yet there is a book dedicated to her contribution.
They functioned within the framework of civilization at the time. Or not. The whole tome prior to the NT could easily have been written by some bored Jews during the Babylonian captivity.
My point is that whether you see it as the inspired word of God or you see it as a crock of sh#t you aren't doing the book justice. It was written in ancient times by ancient people. They were striving to find meaning in life. They didn't create the society they lived in. Most were too disenfranchised to contribute to it. Jesus, himself, repeatedly said his kingdom was not of this world. He never commented on the secular laws of the land. Never suggested it was within the power of anyone to change the social order. You guys want to argue apples because you chose not to ponder the oranges. Which is fine. But, the argument doesn't hold water.
I'll make an exception for this post. You don't understand the argument. They lived in a society which involved slavery. They had to function in a society that involved slavery. Many of them were slaves. Many were free. Comments made have to do with functioning harmoniously within the existing social order. Obviously, the social order has changed. Using comments addressed to those in a different order as reasoning why the text is flawed is ridiculous. If the writers had said 'slavery is wrong. No one should own slaves' what might have been the outcome? At that moment in time? Within the social structure of Rome? Within the social structure of ancient Babylon? How do you think that would have played out? How many of those slaves would have survived to pass that tidbit of information on? What would have happened to them?
See, I didn't say what you said is entirely wrong, What I said is "though for some persons it was a safety net, it was not so for all persons. They were made slaves because they lost the war", which I made only as a reply to what you stated.
What I said is your argument is "irrelevant" to the "argument sooner is raising", NOT your argument has no merit.
I understand that. However, sooner's argument doesn't hold water. Simply because the comments made were addressed to those living in that society. All comments served a purpose. Everyone had to function within their place in that society. But, spiritually, all humanity was equal. Which explains the seemingly contradictory statements.
Again I have to side with sooner, for he was replying to a specific comment by Beth"yes, indeed I do believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God". So he was just showing that it was not so(to Beth), as she herself was overlooking some unpleasant things in bible, that is, "bible is not inerrant."
Read sooners comment again, it has nothing to do with what you state.
Sooner wrote: You see the problem here? If the Bible says slavery is something that is okay, and on the other hand says we are all equal and there is no jew, gentile, free, etc. what conclusion am I supposed to form of slavery? Slavery is and is not moral, both at the same time? That's the first problem.
I know you don't support slavery, but you claim to base your morality on the Bible. If you can independently claim that slavery is wrong, even when the Bible appears to say otherwise, why use the Bible for your moral beliefs at all?"
Everyone has failed to comment on Deepe's explanation, which I find intriguing, and which may also change somethings about this entire argument.
I didn't comment for three reasons,
1) I was busy with Emile
2) I do not agree with his conclusion "slaves were to be treated with a certain amount of dignity and bible is giving guidelines"
3) If you search Chera dynasty[or Sangam period], you will get the history(3rd BC to 2nd AD) of my place. There was no slavery here at that time nor any caste system that was a later plague to India. It was an egalitarian society where even women were considered equals(for that time). It was a prosperous society too, with trade even with Romans.
So if a small society(roughly the size and population of present Israel) can be a prosperous one, without any slaves, a "god's chosen" people should have better morals.At least the god's son who changed most things, who was more concerned about adultery, should have said at least a single word against slavery.
So for me(according to history too), the whole bible is a collection of mythologies, interspersed with some history through the eyes of a jew which wanted to teach "that" society some morals and guidelines along with keeping their distinction. It is a book that does not deserve any special status, especially concerning morality.
The God of the OT laid out laws he needed followed. Slavery was not one of them. Either we should still be keeping slaves or an error was made by the writers because of their ignorance of ethics. It's not something that should be glossed over as up until a few hundred years ago the bible was used to as a reference to keep slaves. Good thing good sound ethics was used to abolish it.
I can't follow these blind one sided debates. I suppose, if slavery were limited to religious people you'd both have a point. As it stands, you ignore reality in order to support a desire to somehow pretend that the religious, alone, were responsible for ancient society. Slavery still exists in our world. Are the religious responsible for that also?
No one is saying religion is responsible for slavery, we are however saying that it's done nothing to stop it. How do you rationalize the bible condoning slavery?
I don't see my comments as implying that it condones slavery. The Bible has been used for, and against, pretty much everything. You can't blame a book for how it is used, when one can just as easily use it for good as they can for bad. It clearly states in one part that all humanity is created equal. We all take what we want to see and run with it. I see the comments on slavery as an unfortunate acceptance of the world they had created for themselves. A 'do the best you can with what you have' scenario.
Where does it say all humans are equal? Even Jesus is said to separate the Jews from the Gentiles. The bible has set rules to live by and how to treat slaves is but one of them, how to treat a Jewish slave is another.
You keep bringing up Old Testament. That was another time and another people. If the darn thing worked so well, why Christ?
And, yeh. Jesus did comment on a separation. I haven't figured that one out yet.
But, Galatians 3:28 is where they say everyone is equal.
That is a reference on how Jesus will treat people in heaven, which is direct contrast to what the bible says Jesus and God said and did here on earth. Both had a chosen people. And again, nothing about letting slaves free, just we will eventually be all the same, which is a great way to appease the slaves.
Emile, do you apply that equality to me, a gay man, as well?
In comparison to what the church is doing today; what have "WE" actuallt, personally done to stop slavery such as goes on everywhere in one form or another someplace.?? It still goes on and the Democrats are doing nothing to stop it. And the Republicans and the vegetarians, aren't either. I can imagination what they might be saying two hundred years from now, about the society we live in, I doubt very seriously if they will be blameing religion for all of our woes. They will have a different point of view than we do.
They will place all of the blame on Vegetarians, where it belongs.
I do not believe the Bible contradicts itself. It is you who believes that. I believe you do not understand the heart or mind of God so you try to put Him into terms you understand.
The plagues as they appear in the Book of Exodus are:
Water, which turned to blood and killed all fish and other aquatic life (Exodus 7:14–25)
Frogs (Exodus 8:1–8:15)
Lice (Exodus 8:16–19)
Flies or  wild animals (Exodus 8:20–30)
Disease on livestock (Exodus 9:1–7)
Incurable boils (Exodus 9:8–12)
Hail and thunder (Exodus 9:13–35)
Locusts (Exodus 10:1–20)
Darkness (Exodus 10:21–29)
Death of the first-born of all Egyptian humans and animals. To be saved, the Israelites had to place the blood of a lamb on the front door of their houses.
So these are the plagues God sent. For some reason you needed to see a verse that says: "Slavery is bad. Do not have slaves." Or you can just look and see the lengths God went to to make the Pharaoh submit to His will. Whenever you think God has contradicted Himself, He hasn't, you simply do not yet understand Him.
This only makes sense in terms of how God thought the Israelites should be treated; there is no qualm about how they treated others in the Old Testament.
Furthermore, the NT does nothing to help the situation.
Your point about divine omniscience being above human knowledge is well taken, but I don't see how God can affirm slavery is both moral and immoral all at once.
Don't waste time on somebody who does not even understand the meaning of the word "contradiction"!
Again, mankind instituted slavery, God did not. It was their accepted way of life at that time. He did not say that it was moral. He simply told them how to behave under their circumstances. God is all about the heart. What we do here affects our eternities. This is Satan's realm. God gave it over to him when we showed Him that we preferred sin more than a relationship with Him. However, He knew there were still believers who loved Him. So He gave them instruction on how to live their lives in a way that would be acceptable to Him. If they were slaves, they should serve their masters well. Again, God knows it is the heart that matters. If a man's lot were that of slave and he spent his days filled with hate, God knew the slave would rot from the inside out and eventually separate himself from God. God loves each man, His goal is to rescue us from a fate worse than slavery, worse than death... hell.
He then tells the owner how to behave. To be fair and kind and good. He tells us how to behave in prison, do you think he is condoning murder? He simply recognizes that we live in a fallen world. *This is not Heaven.* He tells husbands and wives how to treat each other. Does that mean He thinks everyone should be married? Of course not. The point is, mankind turned their backs on God and God accepted that, however He also knew we would need some kind of instruction on how to live in a fallen world. Enter the Law. And when Jesus, the new Covenant came, the Bible was brought forth.
So according to you, slavery is not a sin the eyes of God. If it were he would have said it was, but he only gave separate rules for the Jews and Gentiles regarding slavery. So if we use the bible as a source of ethics and laws, slavery should still be legal and an option. Correct?
If God thought it should be illegal he would have included it in one of his commandments. Of course, for those who kept slaves making it illegal would have been a problem. It's funny how that happened. It's almost like people wrote the bible in order benefit themselves.
You didn't answer my question.
1 Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. 3 For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get along well. 4 The authorities are sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for you will be punished. The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish those who do wrong. 5 So you must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid so they can keep on doing the work God intended them to do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due. 8 Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God's law. 9 For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting -- and any other commandment -- are all summed up in this one commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God's requirements. 11 Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light. 13 We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy. 14 But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires.
All governments are put there by God? Even Iran's government? Sharia law was put there by your God?
"9 For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting -- and any other commandment -- are all summed up in this one commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God's requirements. 11 Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light. 13 We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior."
God allows each nation to govern their own land. These are the stipulations He set forth. It does not sound to me that they have obeyed God's law. Enter other countries who come in and topple corrupt governments that are abusing it's ppl. Once again, this is not Heaven. It is not a land governed by God, it is a land governed by man. When man fails to follow God's command to love and treat others as they would want to be treated, He intervenes.
Beth, this is not a post against you as a person. I see you as being very caring and usually very thoughful.
However, when you write, "His goal is to rescue us from a fate worse than slavery, worse than death... hell. " I can see that you have an almost indelible concept in your mind that does not bear analysis in the ordinary sense of understanding.
"Hell" and "Heaven" are constructs of the human mind, You build up a picture for yourself that suits your preconceived ideas and mental needs. Every other person who says they "believe," will paint a picture that suits them. You might assume that their picture they see is the same as the picture you see in your own mind.
There is nothing real about this picture that fits everyone. It's like your own personal metaphor.
Can you see this?
What you might see as the worst Hell imaginable, is not necessarily the worst Hell that I would see. Same with the picture of Heaven.
This is maybe the major problem with the "religious" point of view. Even in agreement there will always be disagreement.
Absolutely. If I say I was tortured, someone who's been through a divorce will imagine something different than someone who's been thru cancer, who will imagine something different than someone who is a burn victim... etc. However, what we imagine is not the issue. There is a reality and we have been warned of it. What we do with the warning is up to us as individuals no matter what our imaginations come up with.
Yes we have been warned. It's called extortion and we have laws against it for good reason.
Extortion (also called shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offence of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion.
Threaten death or bodily harm
Under the Criminal Code, it is an offence to knowingly utter or convey a threat to cause death or bodily harm to any person. It is also an offence to threaten to burn, destroy or damage property or threaten to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that belongs to a person.
I take it extortion is not against your Gods laws, but you should be aware it's not God making there threats, it's you. If they are coming out of your mouth or your fingers you are responsible.
It doesn't sound to YOU that they are following Gods laws, but it sounds to them that they are and your bible tells them to obey their government. They recently stoned to death woman for an alleged adultery when her husband had already passed away. For the stoning of a woman they bury her up to her neck and throw rocks until she is dead. Your bible says to obey your governments laws.
Jesus said whoever was without sin should cast the first stone.
So, from this latest bit of discussion, to-and-fro, can we arrive at another "fundamental" for us to live in harmony?
Is it that when we try to see the other person's point of view, and fail to come up with a complete agreement, then we need to step back, individually, and find consensus?
Do we really need to agree on everything, "religiously" in order to maintain a civil society?
No. And we do not. However we don't live in a civilized society so that makes it difficult to prove the theory... But I do believe something without hesitation. There is one truth. Varying opinions don't change that. I realize many think they are the owners of the truth, I would call them zealots. I don't doubt the God I believe in, but I do not claim to have full knowledge of Him. I would say I am a seeker of truth and I choose to seek truth through God's word, prayer, teaching by godly men and women and experiences that reveal God to me in this world.
So make up your mind. God says to trust your government and Jesus not to throw the first stone. Which is it?
Did God tell me to "trust my government"? Or did he say to obey the laws of the land?
This 3am bit is becoming a habit, lol. We must stop meeting like this, Beth, Rad Man. People will think we are up to no good, lol. Must get back to bed.
Yet, no one has ever observed such interventions, that is, unless you alone are privy to such information.
No, we no longer follow the immoral and unethical values of gods.
So, rather than outlawing slavery, God merely told everyone how to behave with slaves. Perhaps, God should have talked that over with the slaves, first?
Yes, slavery was perfectly acceptable for God, despite anything the slaves themselves had to say about it.
Of course, if God not only allows slavery, but teaches folks how to deal with slaves, the slaves would obviously reject a god who has no more morals and ethics than the master who owns him.
It sure is funny how religious folks defend slavery when it suits their agendas.
Of course, if they were the slaves...
Am I right in thinking that Afro-slaves were not permitted to learn reading, certainly not encouraged, because that would allow them to become too educated?
If I'm not mistaken they didn't think they had the capacity to read or more likely didn't want to admit they did. But that didn't stop them from procreating with them.
This was just to free (according to the Jews) God's chosen people. The rest of slaves God doesn't care about.
Beth, you are completely missing the point. According the bible God set forth rules that he wanted us to follow, starting with the big ten and in those big ten there is no mention of setting slaves free. Apparently slavery was a non issue for the God of the bible, OT and NT both. We are given plenty of rules on how to beat slaves and how to keep them and even rules that separate Jewish slaves from other slaves. The only slaves who were supposedly freed were the Jews (the chosen people) as told by the Jews, yet we have no records of any such Jews being kept and freed by a people who kept perfect records. You can't say God didn't give rules in the OT and then follow his rules that he gave. This is something you should look right in the face instead of ignoring.
the difference is, knowing that what you believe may not be true and being open to finding out if it's true or not...and even actively seeking to find out if what you believe is true or not. It's about being open and vulnerable to the truth rather than being insulated in what you believe. That's the difference that makes a difference.
Ok, fair comment, and I would pretty well agree with that, but if you dispense with the beliefs, and the dogma, and the religious learning, and what the "holy" preachers tell any of us, is there ANYTHING that stands out as being universally accepted as "good for a good life," so to speak?
I'm not saying that one has to "dispense with the beliefs, and the dogma, and the religious learning, and what the "holy" preachers tell any of us". I'm saying know the difference between what you believe is true and what you know is true or if you don't know if what you believe is true and be open to finding out if it's true.
You tell me if this is universally accepted as"good for a good life?," :"knowing what's good for you as opposed to what you believe is good for you"
But, sometimes "knowing" something is only a matter of choice. Believing those things written by one suposed "wise man" who debates one side of an issue instead of the other "wise man" debating the other side.
As much as we know something ?? That "knowing" is sometimes only a strong belief no matter what we choose to call it. I know that some people teach certain things to be TRUTH And I know that other people teach the oposit as being the truth. So, can I say that I know those things that one group is teaching is in fact the truth? Sure ! I can say that I know, and I can feel like I know ,,, but in the end, we only believe that we know. ... with conviction!
You say "sometimes "knowing" something is only a matter of choice" this would be the same a belief. I'm not talking about that.
]You say " I know that some people teach certain things to be TRUTH And I know that other people teach the oposit as being the truth." I'm not talking about that because by definition this wouldn't be true or truth.
You say "but in the end, we only believe that we know. ... with conviction!" This talking in circle you started with what you believe and ended up with what you believe. I'm not talking about doing that.
You should believe what you know to be true and the difference between that and what you "with conviction!" believe to be true.
If we follow logic, reasoning and evidence and question what we passionately believe our beliefs can change, as mine did. But you have to be honest and brave with yourself.
I agree,,, being honest with ourselves is (I think) the hardest thing in the world to do.
Even when we think that we have done it ... truth is ... we have only begun.
The irony is, .. after we have finished our journey we often find ourselves back where we started.
Or is that just me?
Are you saying that you are completely honest with yourself?
I somehow doubt that.
I didn't say I was completely (or perfectly honest) and your previous post doesn't say anything about being completely honest. You said "The irony is, .. after we have finished our journey we often find ourselves back where we started.
Or is that just me?"
I'm responding to that statement. I don't often find myself back where I started and I'm sure many people don't.
That occurs occasionally but not often and the more self-honest one becomes and open to examining the difference between what one believes and what one knows. The less that occurs.
Self-honesty is an on going process of self-discovery that leads to increasing self-honesty as you go along.
If we are not completely or perfectly honest, how honest are we?
Key words, ... finished , OFTEN (not always) , occasionally (sometimes)
If self honesty is an ongoing task ? When you have completed your journey to accomplishing IT, please enlighten us as to how it is not a difficult task,
I find myself backing up and rethinking my analisis of many situations. Please let me know how I can avoid doing that while being honest with my self concerning what I believe to be truth.
Everyone is different one size doesn't fit all. What's difficult to you may not be to somone else. Each person has to find the way that works for them. So because you may find something diffficult doesn't mean it's diffucult for everyone. So the way that you do something may be redundant to them but perfect for you.
There were many forms of slavery in those days.
Yes, the conquering armies took slaves.
When you owed a debt that you could not pay, you were often cast into bondage for a period of time such as to pay that debt. In this instance a friend or family member can redeem you from the auction block by paying that debt before the auction began. Thank God for bankrupsy laws. Ha.
In many ways (today) we are slaves to the landlord/mortgage holder, car/boat payments, etc. in the same way a crack adict is a slave to their drug of choice. The word slave had a broader meaning back then than we think of it today. EVERBODY gotta serve somebody (or something)
We're not slaves to land lords unless you're their property like a chair, a dog, a car etc, .that can be bought and because you're someone's property and have no human rights.
(Slave One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household. The free dictionary.com)
A PLEA FOR CLARITY---we all know that the format for these Hub discusssions was set up by a drunk with severe muscle twitch, so can we PUH-LEESE help each other out! When you begin a post, "Well, yeah, that's true....", it's all clear to YOU, but the poor schmuck coming along 20 hrs. later has to go on a ten-minute search mission trying to figure out WHAT is "true"! And who said it. If we all began our posts "To (name) 20 mins. ago" I guarantee the quality of dialogue will advance to a MUCH more vigorous level.
..............which flows into another plea! We are all thinkers involved ideally in the flux of DIALOGUE. and that means that e pay attention to each other and RESPOND directly to each other. The exercise simply collapses when people simply spout off about THEIR interest with zero attention to the specific topic of discussion at that point
Thanks for listening to my little rant.
Back to "Truth" There have been some thoughtful and provocative recent posts about the nature of Truth, how we define it for ourselves, how we subscribe to a value system while remaining open to the Truths of others, etc. All of which focuses a lot of attention on the abstract noun Truth. I propose a "grammatical shift", so to speak. "Openness" is I think an embracing of the PROCESS of seeking, not an embracing of the "thing" sought. For example, a Zen master does not so much embrace a position or a thought or an understanding called "Truth"; rather, he or she embraces a method, a PATH to inner fusion with the ONE, or Nirvana. Thus the paths of the archer, swordsman, flower arranger, and calligrapher--though dramatically different--are equally respected each by the other of them as honourable ways to seek Truth I am an Atheist, but I have the deepest respect for the seeking of St. Augustine and Karl Marx, though I cannot subscribe to their final Truths. Perhaps studying the efficacy of the journey itself is more fruitful than studying the end of the journey. Your thoughts?
I'm not sure how to break this to you; but, this is an informal discussion forum. Although it might make your read easier, no one is going to reiterate the same thing repeatedly simply to make sure you know what they are discussing, and have been discussing, when you come in 20 hours later. By doing so, it would read like you were coming in off of the commercial break of a documentary. Quality of dialogue would not advance. It would be mired down in repetition.
One does not have to begin their post with 'to (name) 20 minutes ago' simply because they reply to the specific post. The search does get tedious, at times, but that is the nature of the forum.
And, thank you for listening to my little rant.
Thank you, Emil, for defining "informal" discussion for me. Next time you elect to clarify something for a person not at your level of understanding, give some thought to doing so without being patronizing and sarcastic, neither of which was justified, both of which made you look rather silly.
If I offended, I do apologize. The comment was not meant to be sarcastic (with the exception of the last sentence). I was simply pointing out that the forums appear to have been here for quite some time. They appear to be functioning by design and the majority of those who participate appear to enjoy the set up. To state that the staff must have been drunk with a severe muscle twitch when they set up the format was, in my opinion, more rude than my statement to you; and quite unwarranted.
There is a wealth of diversity among the Hubbers who participate. To attempt to force an opinion that all should post in the manner you do, and hope that the rules of participation would be changed to suit your fancy, is unrealistic and would minimize participation.
One more thought. If you go to the trouble and exert the exorbitant time and effort that those who started Hub Pages did (in creating your own site) you can make the rules. I promise, if I visit your forum, I won't accuse you of being drunk with a sever muscle twitch.
If you look on the top right of the box, it says in reply to this, which then links back your comment the person is responding to. It helps figure out the reply chain.
Go to the top right and click Threaded - chronological.
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