New Exodus Movie: Moses as Schizophrenic and Barbaric? Uh oh, not again, please?

Look at that crazy schizophrenic barbarian!

Okay, so I’m thinking, Steve Zaillian writing and Ridley Scott directing the new movie Exodus: Gods and Kings means that, though they are both agnostics or atheists, they are at least great storytellers who make movies that people actually see. You know, as in good stories. Maybe, just maybe, they won’t screw it up like Aronofsky did with Noah. The trailer already looks very cool showing some of the Ten Plagues.

But then again there was that “trick the Christians” Noah trailer…

Look, I’m not talking about ridiculous fundamentalist demands to reproduce the story as the Gospel according to the Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston. That movie had tons of flaws to it and departed from the Bible at key points, yet religious movie watchers still loved it because it didn’t depart from the Biblical themes.

I am talking about the subversion of Judeo-Christian heroes and their stories with a secular agenda. I hope it’s not happening again.

Here is the Christian Bale quote about Moses from Christianity Today online:

“I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life,” the forty-year-old star said. “He’s a very troubled and tumultuous man who fought greatly against God, against his calling.”

Look, Bible heroes are NOT perfect sinless creatures. Only Jesus fits that bill. Yes, Moses murdered a man, and he had a character arc that went from being adopted and raised as a pagan Egyptian to a conversion to his troubled and tumultuous faith. He had difficulty trusting Yahweh. He didn’t want to be God’s spokesman because he stuttered. And he even had arguments with God.

But Schizophrenic? Barbaric? Really?

I don't know. Look at him. Do you think he might also have Sociopathic and Christophobic tendencies? Or maybe self-loathing Anti-Semitism?

I don’t know. Look at him. Do you think he might also have sociopathic or pathological tendencies? A Moses with self-loathing Anti-Semitism?

First a Noah who is an environmentalist whacko vegan animal rights madman with delusions.

Now, a Moses who is a schizophrenic barbarian?

What next? A  Jesus with Christophobia and bipolar delusions, who hates God, and wants to sin?

Oh wait, Scorsese already did that in the 80s and it flopped big time too. Whew.

I only hope that the comment is more a reflection of the actor’s own ignorant bigotry than of the actual movie.

But I’ll tell you on release week.

I pray it isn’t happening all over again.

UPDATE: Darrick reminded me: Then again, Ridley Scott did give us Jesus as an alien.
Not a good track record, there, either, brilliant studio execs.

Christian-Bale-Voice

Now, there’s a guy with multiple personality disorder. Remember that barbaric reaction on set?

 

P.S. I wrote a novel, Joshua Valiant, that tells the story of the conquest of Canaan after the Red Sea event, and I have a very human, very flawed Moses and Joshua in a very brutal world — with plenty of Biblical sex and violence — and gritty real faith. Check it out here.

 

 

106 comments on “New Exodus Movie: Moses as Schizophrenic and Barbaric? Uh oh, not again, please?

  • Scott is a gifted visual director. However, I’m surprised he’s made this movie, or at least wondering what his angle is. His Kingdom of Heaven presented some one-sided (and not always accurate) history and his prequel to Alien presented a decidedly condescending (even anti view) of God. Maybe he’s sticking to the source material better this time…but I am reminded of a scene cut from Kingdom of Heaven (in the extended edition) which the “hero” explains away Moses’ burning bush…

    Reply
  • I don’t think the “barbaric” comment was in reference to Moses killing the Egyptian who was beating a slave.

    Have you conveniently forgotten Moses’ slaughter of his own people after his descent from Sinai? He ordered the murder of 3,000 Israelites and believed that god himself had ordered it. That is inexcusable barbarism and a clear sign of extreme mental disorder.

    Here are a few more examples of people who have killed “at god’s command”.

    http://www.9news.com/news/article/205850/188/Dad-God-told-me-to-kill-my-son

    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/29/children.slain/index.html?_s=PM

    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2001-08-17/news/0108170166_1_baby-s-death-baby-s-father-documents

    Reply
    • Brian_Godawa says:

      J, Nope, I have not forgotten that event. I even write about it in my book Joshua Valiant. Your claims assume that Yahweh, the God of the Bible, does not exist and that he did not talk to Moses. I don’t share your faith.

      But if you think of it consistently, if God does exist and he did talk to Moses, then you are the barbarian and have an extreme moral and rational disorder in placing yourself above God who has the authority, right, and power to give and take lives as the Creator.

      Just because some modern nuts say God told them something doesn’t mean he did. But of course the reason you cannot see the difference is because you do not allow for a difference in your prejudicial faith commitment. You cannot see what you refuse to allow as a possibility.

      Reply
      • carofrombelgium says:

        You say Moses is not barbaric when he just obeyed to God when he ordered to kill 3,000 hebrews for ex or Moses is not schizophrenic because what he hears or looks is God?
        do you know that you excuse all terrorist acts by devotee religious for ex ?

        Reply
  • “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. …..Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

    There is nothing barbaric about that, I mean as long as it is Moses being quoted and not some random ISIS commander.

    Reply
  • Brian_Godawa says:

    Correct. The God of Moses is the Creator, does exist and did sanction it. And God is the source of justice as Creator of all things. The god of ISIS is a false god or idol and does not exist and so his followers are barbaric liars.

    All acts of killing are not morally equal. In law, it is called justifiable homicide. Equating the Living God with non-existent idols is ludicrous. That’s like saying, well if God can kill people then so can anyone who claims to be God or hear from a god. Uh, no. Claiming to be God is not the same as being God. Imposters are not equivalent with the real thing. You may not like God and what he does, but unless you created the universe, I fail to see the authority in your moral judgment.

    Reply
    • Moses appears in both the Bible and the Quran, so…. he’s ok in the bible, but in the Quran he’s evil. lol

      Condemning a STORY ATTRIBUTED to “God” is not the same as “judging God”.
      I judge acts, not gods. ( I was not there to witness the event, if it ever happened)

      I’m betting if I had paraphrased the story of Moses’ genocide so that you didn’t recognize the biblical source, then you would condemn it as much as I, the fact that you modify your morality specifically for your belief system is what is questionable here.

      Reply
  • Brian_Godawa says:

    The question is about authority. You already did paraphrase the Moses story by likening it to ISIS. But the issue is not actions, but moral authority. All acts of killing are not equal. Some are moral, some are not. It depends on the situation and the beings involved. Every situation is not equivalent.

    The god of the Quran is not the true Creator, and so the Moses story in the Quran is not of the same authority as that from the Bible. Look, would you trust what a KKK pamphlet says about Martin Luther King Jr. with the same trustworthiness as that of a Civil Rights advocate? Of course not. All sources are not equal.

    P.S. judging the acts of God IS judging God. An ancient proverb: “The fool says in his heart, there is no God.”

    Reply
    • I read an interview that was done with an ISIS recruiter yesterday. It’s amazing how he used pretty much the EXACT same logic and reasoning you used above.
      Paraphrased: “Its in MY holy book, so that makes it ok”

      There is an important distinction I see though between your assertions and his:

      He says it because he truly has FAITH that his god commands such acts, you do the mental partitioning and twisted logic to defend barbaric acts in the Bible, but YOU would never do any such things yourself or encourage others to do such things. for all your bluster about “moral authority” , it’s all about defending your faith and keeping it shored up, not about any real moral acceptance of such acts in real life.

      (and for that, I am truly greatful)

      Reply
      • The Bible and the Koran are not evidentially symmetrical. For one thing, Muhammad told those who doubted his claims to consult with Jews and Christians. Likewise, he said his message was a confirmation of former Biblical revelations. So he made the Bible the standard of comparison. By his own admission, the claims of the Koran are subordinate to the Bible. By his own yardstick, Muhammad doesn’t measure up.

        Reply
  • Brian_Godawa says:

    Cris, Everybody says that they are right based on an appeal to their moral authority. All differing moral judgments are not equal just because someone says, “it’s right because my moral authority says so.” Let me show you. On what basis do YOU say Moses acts are barbaric or that ISIS’s acts are barbaric or wrong? You are repeatedly assuming these acts as being morally wrong, but you have not once made a single argument proving that they are. So by what standard do you call these things wrong?

    Reply
  • By pure chance, I was born into and was raised in a Christian family, in a Christian culture,

    I learned by observation and experience that Christians practice a morality that is informed by their beliefs, but generally fit a standard common morality that has developed across cultures, societies, religions.
    When confronted with a story in the Bible of a young woman being stoned to death for adultery, it never occurs to them that this is a moral act here and now in this time and place.

    Regardless for their reasoning behind this cognitive dissonance of holding two competing moralities in their heads, luckily their ACTIONS tend to fall to the side that matches that of the morality of humanity in general, the morality that has been forged over thousands of years across cultures and societies of the world.

    To me it seems you are arguing for moral relativism, to me though causing harm to another person or their property,etc. is wrong and is always wrong unless in self defense.

    To me, a Muslim, a Christian, a college professor and and a retarded person all are equally valuable as human beings and deserve equal rights as human beings.

    I have no “moral authority”, only moral beliefs and opinions. My Christian parents did not teach me “don’t steal from or hurt other Christians” they taught me “Don’t steal. Don’t hurt other people”

    Reply
  • Brian_Godawa says:

    The problem is that there is no such thing as “a standard common morality that has developed across cultures, societies, religions.” There are similarities, but there are too many massive discrepancies that differentiate them.

    A perfect example is your description of Moses’ act as barbaric. If you want to be consistent with your “common morality,” you would have to say that because more than half of the world believes what Moses did was moral, then YOU are the one who is outside the “common morality.” Why should everyone bow to Cris and do what he says, when God says differently?

    But right and wrong are not determined by consensus. Saying “To me” means simply that YOU feel one way. But who are you to impose your morality upon the world? You are not God. You do not determine right and wrong. TO ME, says the ISIS member, those beings are not equally valuable.

    So you must have an objective standard that you can appeal to others to follow, that adjudicates between right and wrong. Your “to me” view is the one that leads to moral relativism, and that is the point I am making.

    Without a standard (like the Bible, hint hint), your view degenerates into the will to power. Why should I accept Cris’ personal subjective moral ejaculations over what God says? You say it’s always wrong to hurt people and steal. Who says? Most people on earth disagree with you. Why should they follow Cris over their moral authority?

    It sounds like you are simply getting your morality from a mixture of your Christian upbringing and the society around you that is ever shifting and quite barbaric actually. But then you are suffering the cognitive dissonance of using Christian morality (based on the Bible you are attacking) when it suits you and rejecting it when it doesn’t. That is irrational and self-serving.

    I am not saying that the Bible does not have difficulties. And things difficult to understand. I am willing to wrestle with those. And admit difficulties. But you are in a far worse situation by basing your moral convictions on your ultimate authority or arbiter (or god), you. Because without God, there is no moral right and wrong.

    I don’t think you want to be in that position when you stand before your Maker to account for what you’ve done.

    Reply
    • Brian_Godawa says:

      BTW, to clarify, I am not saying everything Moses did was right. He was a sinner. He disobeyed God at times too. For instance, he got out of control with rage when hitting the rock for water, and God responded by keeping him from ever entering the Promised Land. So, I am not defending Moses as being always right. Moses was a sinner, but I am defending whatever God may have commanded Moses to do.

      Reply
    • *Standard morality: IS the “similarities”, thats what “standard” means.

      * “To me” is a common way of expressing an OPINION, exactly the opposite of saying “my statement is “the truth”. It’s simple debate courtesy.

      * “You say it’s always wrong to hurt people and steal. Who says? Most people on earth disagree with you.”
      That statement is contrary to observable objective reality, not to mention you seem to have no awareness of the widespread concept of the “Golden Rule”
      http://www.teachingvalues.com/goldenrule.html

      * “without God, there is no right and wrong” so, going by this logic, we could determine that the countries with the lowest crime rates are “following God” the best.
      So, given the extremely low amount of crime in Bangladesh or Singapore compared to the USA- they are following the “correct god”.

      * “I am not saying that the Bible does not have difficulties. And things difficult to understand. I am willing to wrestle with those. And admit difficulties.”

      I realize that as a Christian you believe you MUST avoid doing anything that appears to criticize God or question his “word” , as this would be certainly blasphemy and possibly put your salvation in danger. This is a very strong motivation to push forward through doubts, competing logic, consideration of other’s subjective experiences,etc.

      Our discussion is ultimately purposeless from your point of view- any consideration you may take of my opinions could present a mortal and eternal danger to you.
      Given the implied threat at the end of your last response, that is pretty clear.

      Reply
  • Brian_Godawa says:

    Thank you for the courtesy. But it seems to me that the point still stands that how you define standard morality is not at all in line with the majority of the world.

    What you would say is harming people and stealing, most Muslims would say is taking what’s rightfully theirs. So the Golden Rule is indeed relative to the moral standard that people use. You define “hurt” and “steal” very differently than Muslims.

    Empirical observations of lowest crime rates is not relevant to the rational justification for a moral standard. The issue is that regardless of how you may behave, if you do not believe in God, you have no rational or moral authority to condemn anything as morally right or wrong. Muslim beheading is no more right or wrong within your assumption than letting them live. It’s all just social construction and averages of statistics. And you are imposing your social values on someone else. Will to Power. (By the way, by that standard of averages that you appeal to, slavery and genocide WOULD be acceptable in the ancient world because it was, as you said, “a standard common morality that has developed across cultures, societies, religions.” In fact, genocide is still statistically a very widespread belief of many societies.)

    Cris, do you really want to psychologize? When you do that, the claims are reversible. Okay, how’s this: I realize that as an atheist, you will not want to admit you have no basis for right and wrong because that would be too humbling of your pride. You have probably been hurt by some religious people in your past, or you are engaged in some kind of moral behavior in your life that you simply do not want to stop. I realize you want to be the master of your own life and do not want to submit to your Creator because that would mean humbling yourself before God. And since you prefer the illusion that you are in control, you could never admit you were wrong. As you said, “This is a very strong motivation to push forward through doubts, competing logic, consideration of other’s subjective experiences,etc.”

    Reply
    • First of all, I’ve been meaning to thank you for spending your time in discussion with me, a random infidel that found your blog on the net. I know you are an important person with better things to do, so just ignore me when you get tired of me.

      “….But it seems to me that the point still stands that how you define standard morality is not at all in line with the majority of the world. ”

      Well, yeah obviously, being non-religious, I don’t define standard morality as coming from some supernatural source, but rather a natural progression or gasp! it EVOLVED with mankind.
      I’m not sure how your statement above supports YOUR assertion that it came from the specific god you believe in, in the culture you were lucky enough to be born into.

      *”The issue is that regardless of how you may behave, if you do not believe in God, you have no rational or moral authority to condemn anything as morally right or wrong.”

      You need to understand that is your SUBJECTIVE belief, what exists in YOUR head is not evidence for ME.

      *”Okay, how’s this: I realize that as an atheist, you will not want to admit you have no basis for right and wrong because that would be too humbling of your pride. ”

      We just discussed my basis for right and wrong- the golden rule that is known around the world. (See earlier comment)

      ” You have probably been hurt by some religious people in your past, or you are engaged in some kind of moral behavior in your life that you simply do not want to stop.”

      Curses! Yes, some baptists barbecued my dog and I have a huge collection of stolen parking meters! You got me! lol

      Seriously- I have never been hurt by any religious person, the matter of the fact is 90% of my friends, family, coworkers, etc. are Christians and some of my favorite people on Earth are Christians. As for “moral behavior” get the log out of your own eye (Matt7:5)

      ” I realize you want to be the master of your own life and do not want to submit to your Creator because that would mean humbling yourself before God”

      You called me an atheist earlier- implying you know the definition of the word, so I won’t bore you with that.
      However, I do understand WHY you call me “atheist” and simultaneously think that I secretly am not an atheist-
      If I truly do not perceive your god nor detect him in any way with my senses, this would imply to you that God hides from some people, that he purposely deceives some people.

      God couldn’t do that or the whole concept of salvation by faith is pointless if God toys with people like that. IE- It is necessary for you to believe I am a liar to support YOUR faith.

      Of, course, maybe the “devil” is blinding me to “the truth” and is powerful enough to hide God from me, so in that case, I’m screwed by no fault of my own!

      Reply
      • Brian_Godawa says:

        Cris, I don’t mean to be trying to say you’re wrong about everything, but I have to say you’re wrong about me being an important person. 🙂 I wish I was. But it’s probably good that I’m not, cause I can be a pretty proud SOB. That’s why I can relate to you. It takes one to know one. 🙂

        It’s true that cultures change what they believe is right and wrong, but when we speak of morality or right and wrong, we are not referring to those changing beliefs, but are making truth claims about reality. Beliefs can be true or false when compared with reality.

        So, again, if you think there is no objective or transcendent source of right and wrong, then I just can’t see how you can condemn Moses actions as wrong. What’s wrong for you is not wrong for Moses — unless there is a standard that transcends YOUR individual or social constructs. But you do not have that. You just have your own cultural bias.

        If my claim that you have no rational or moral authority to condemn anything is not true of you, then please prove it. How do you know anything is morally right or wrong?

        Is it the Golden Rule as you claim? Not everyone believes in the Golden Rule. So why should anyone follow it? And everyone’s definition of the Rule differs. So should I follow ISIS’s version of the Golden Rule or should I bow before Cris and submit to his definition? The Golden Rule appears in all cultures. But so does sex trafficking. Should we accept sex trafficking because it is universally believed?

        May I humbly suggest Jesus as the version of the Golden Rule that we should follow. And Jesus of course is the Messiah from the Jews, who followed Moses, who Jesus also affirms. He also provided a little bit of proof that his version was superior to all others by that thing he did that no one else like Buddha or Mohammed has, you know, resurrect from the grave.

        No log in this eye, my friend. I have broken every one of the Ten Commandments in my heart if not in deed. Apparently I hit a nerve. But please be assured, I deserve God’s judgment just as much if not more than you.

        If I am wrong that your claims are atheist, then please enlighten me and tell me what you actually believe. No need to hide.

        God is not hiding from you, Cris. He has made himself known to you through Creation and in your conscience. The fact that you think Moses did wrong means you are applying a non-evolving transcendent moral claim while denying there is such a thing. And that shows God’s effect on your conscience, distorted as it may be.

        Atheists make moral claims. They just can’t rationally support them. They believe in right and wrong, but they can’t justify it. Some atheists even act morally — all in contradiction with their worldview which cannot account for moral behaviors. This is the evidence of God’s presence upon their conscience.

        Reply
        • The basis for the golden rule and my whole morality is EMPATHY.

          Why do I have to have an objective source of right or wrong? What is empathy shaped like?

          I have a dog on my front porch right now that does not belong to me- He lives a mile down the road where I believe the owners neglect him. He has repeatedly came that mile to get to my house every 2-3 days, and I keep bringing him home. (after feeding him)
          And I’ve gotten to the point that I feel I can’t take him back. His ribs are poking out, his hipbones are bare.
          It makes me …..angry to the point of tears.

          What is the biblical answer to my moral and ethical problem?
          If I stop feeding him, maybe he will stop coming back. Maybe he will die in the coming Winter cold?
          My empathy for this simple creature’s comfort and safety doesn’t require that I believe in talking snakes, it just IS , like gravity or inertia .

          I like Jesus, it’s his daddy that I think is a jerk.
          Jesus and his character as portrayed in the Bible is a good basis for discovering one’s own empathy and moral path.
          I think Christianity would be a 100% better religion if every believer followed Jesus’ example and ignored the crazy old man in the OT.

          You say my morality has to be based on God working on my conscious. But God in the Bible does things that I find immoral through my empathy.
          I’m willing to bet you don’t have any slaves or have ever stoned anyone, so maybe you are not so different than I.

          If finding barbaric killing and genocide as evil for Muslim fundies, then it seems perfectly natural to apply that same moral certitude consistently.

          Reply
          • You need an objective moral norm if you’re going to claim that people *ought* to be empathetic.

            You say empathy is like gravity or inertia: it just *is*.

            But, of course, some people lack empathy. Their sociopathology just *is*. A sociopath just *is* sociopathic.

            Is there a way people are *supposed* to behave? If so, how do you justify that claim?

            I haven’t discussed Biblical ethics at this point. I’m discussing your alternative on its own terms. Thus far you fail to explain on what objective basis you deem OT theism to be immoral.

            Even if the Golden Rule were a cultural universal (which is not the case), that’s an example of descriptive ethics, not normative ethics.

            All you’re offering is your emotional reaction. But what distinguishes good emotions from bad emotions?

          • “You need an objective moral norm if you’re going to claim that people *ought* to be empathetic.”

            A man that lives in a cave deep in the mountains has no need for empathy for fellow humans , its when they want to live in a society with others. Empathy and consideration of others is the glue that holds it together.

            “But, of course, some people lack empathy. Their sociopathology just *is*. A sociopath just *is* sociopathic.”

            You are right, and they are in the minority, they are “ill”, they have a pathology.

            “Is there a way people are *supposed* to behave? If so, how do you justify that claim?”

            It is relative to time, culture,etc. People are “supposed” to behave like those around them, if they dont, they dont get to live in their society. It becomes an intrinsic quality.
            The a-holes eventually get weeded out by the society at large.

            “I haven’t discussed Biblical ethics at this point. I’m discussing your alternative on its own terms. Thus far you fail to explain on what objective basis you deem OT theism to be immoral.”

            Biblical ethics say “don’t do it cause there is some invisible guy spying on you 24-7”,
            Biblical ethics have some good points “dont kill” “dont steal” , “Dont boil a kid in it’s mother’s milk”, but most everyone knows that stuff (golden rule) ,
            The Bible NEVER says slavery is a sin, nor is it wrong. I know its wrong, you know its wrong, so we dont have slaves.
            OT theistic moralism is tribal, “be moral to your people, screw everyone else”
            But obviously it says that, because it was written by members of a tribe for the members of that tribe.

            “All you’re offering is your emotional reaction. But what distinguishes good emotions from bad emotions?”
            You tell me. Your guess is as good as mine, emotions being the ethereal things that they are. I would rather be moral to my fellow beings because of my emotions than because I was afraid of punishment.
            When you do something good for a stranger, I doubt you think, “darn, I better help this old lady with her groceries or God might get mad” , you just do it, right?

      • What do you mean by “morality evolved”? Do you mean opinions about right and wrong have changed over time? Do you mean we have moral instincts?

        At best, you’re discussing moral psychology. But how does that correspond to objective moral norms?

        Likewise, what makes you think there’s a right and wrong way to treat a clump of matter?

        Reply
        • I mean that history shows that societies in general have gotten less violent, slavery has been almost completely eradicated, women are only treated like property in parts of the world (instead of everywhere).
          Cavemen no longer club mates and drag them into their caves, now they call the cave girl up and take her to a nice restaurant.

          Morality evolved out of necessity because hunter gatherers stopped roaming and moved into societies where they had to get along.

          In more backwards parts of the world, such as fundamentalist Islamic societies, this “evolution”has been held back by the religion.

          Clumps of matter have no feelings, therefore it is fine to treat them like dirt.

          Reply
          • You seem to be using “moral evolution” as a synonym for moral progress. But what’s the source of the moral standard by which you judge some historical changes to be morally progressive? If change itself is the source of your criterion, then you can’t evaluate change by change. You need a standard independent of change to assess whether some changes are progressive or regressive, better or worse. A historical process, by itself, doesn’t yield that, on pain of vicious circularity. What are you using, apart from the historical process, to judge the historical process?

          • Most atheists are physicalists. That makes humans clumps of matter. So what are you denying? That humans are reducible to interacting particles, or that interacting particles have feelings?

            BTW, what makes it morally wrong to treat something with feelings like dirt?

          • BTW, what makes it morally wrong to treat something with feelings like dirt?
            I dont know, empathy does it for me.
            I dont see anything moral about doing good to others because one thinks someone is watching, that is just covering their own butt.

          • Empathy does what for you? Empathy doesn’t create a moral obligation. It’s just a feeling. Many people have no empathy for members of the out-group. The question at issue is whether you have a *duty* to other people. You keep ducking the real issue.

          • What makes you say sociopaths are mental ill? What’s your standard of comparison? Because they are in the minority?

            Homosexuals are in the minority. Do you think they are mentally ill?

            “Supposed” to behave refers to a moral obligation, not just how to fit in. Do you not understand the real issue, or are you evading the question because your atheism can’t supply a good answer?

            There are various ways of fitting into a society. You behave one way to fit into Aztec society, another way to fit into Muslim society. How does that make it *right*?

            In fact, you seem to be espousing moral and cultural relativism. If so, you’re in no position to condemn the Bible.

            “Biblical ethics say “don’t do it cause there is some invisible guy spying on you 24-7’″

            Is your understanding of Biblical ethics really that intellectual superficial? Take Paul’s natural law argument in Rom 1. Is that reducible to “some invisible guy spying on your 24/7”?

            “The Bible NEVER says slavery is a sin.”

            It condemns the Roman slave trade in Rev 18. You need to stop getting your information from village atheist websites and acquire a scholarly understanding of Scripture.

            “I know its wrong, you know its wrong, so we dont have slaves.”

            No, you don’t know it’s wrong. You have no foundation for your value-judgment.

            BTW, there are different kinds of “slavery.” For instance, indentured service isn’t even prima facie wrong.

            “I would rather be moral to my fellow beings because of my emotions…”

            You’re not being moral to your fellow “beings.” You keep playing this bait-n-switch where you substitute your feelings for morality, as if that’s equivalent. Do you not even grasp the nature of the issue? Or do you duck the issue because you don’t have a good answer?

  • TheHappyAntichrist says:

    To the best that I can remember, there are fifteen chapters in the Moses narrative, count them, fifteen entire chapters that basically says “Kill some animal. Hack it into pieces. Fling the blood around the tabernacle. Dab some blood on your big toe (yes, it says that). Wave the guts around. And finally set the animal on fire so God can “savor” the stench of burnt beast.”

    This is pure lunacy. This is barbarism incarnate.

    Moses commanded his zealots to stone a guy for picking up sticks. You CANNOT get anymore barbaric and crazy than throwing rocks at a person until they finally, finally stop breathing for the crime of… picking… up… sticks.

    If you can think of something more barbaric and loony than the above examples, then please, tell me, because I can’t think of a single thing that would be MORE barbaric and loony.

    It’s not “ignorant bigotry” when stating the freak’n obvious.

    Reply
      • TheHappyAntichrist says:

        Really! Ok then. Why don’t you explain it to me. Give me a rational explanation as to why the “perfect” and “all wise” Creator of the Cosmos couldn’t come up with a better solution than to tell people to wave animal guts around and throw rocks at each other. Hmmm…? Show me how this isn’t pure lunacy. Educate me. Convince me that this is more than barbaric, primitive, superstitions on par with ignorant, primitive islanders “ook’n and aak’n” some virgin to the top of a volcano in order to appease the Valcano Juju. Hmmm…?

        Reply
        • First of all, it’s not my job to convince an irrational interlocutor.

          i) The sacrificial system did not exist to “appease” God.

          ii) An animal is not sacrificial virgin. Unless you think women are equivalent to goats. Maybe you do.

          iii) The sacrificial system involves symbolic vicarious atonement.

          iv) As to “throwing rocks,” what is your objection, precisely? Is your objection to capital punishment, per se, or to a particular method of execution?

          Is it possible for you to choke back your emotionalism long enough to engage in rational analysis?

          Reply
    • You keep playing this bait-n-switch where you substitute your feelings for morality, as if that’s equivalent. Do you not even grasp the nature of the issue? Or do you duck the issue because you don’t have a good answer?

      Bait n switch- in my opinion, bible apologetics is more or less a game of bait n switch. I’ve consistently stated my “feelings” (IE empathy) are the BASIS of my morality. Empathy evolved with human societies and got passed down to me, just like the majority of people on the planet.

      “The Bible NEVER says slavery is a sin.”

      >>>It condemns the Roman slave trade in Rev 18.
      Rules about who and how to do slavery is not a condemnation of the same. It is a manual HOW to do it. Try again.

      >>>>In fact, you seem to be espousing moral and cultural relativism. If so, you’re in no position to condemn the Bible.

      Oh the Irony- That is what apologists are doing with the Bible. “It’s ok if God does it/orders it, but you can’t!”

      Reply
      • “Feelings” aren’t duties. You can’t use feelings as a criterion to distinguish good feelings from bad feelings if it’s feelings all the way through. The Khmer Rouge had feelings. So did their victims. Both sides had feelings. What makes one set of feelings better than another?

        Reply
  • TheHappyAntichrist says:

    Let’s not try derailing the claim that theres a “rational explanation for animal sacrifices” with your stinky capital punishment herring.
    This has nothing to do with modern day capital punishment. Do I object to capital punishment? Yes, because it has been proven to be NO deterrent to crime. Nations and states without death sentences have less or the same rate of violent crimes as states that have capital punishment. An all-knowing deity would’ve know this. Your God would have known that capital punishment doesn’t work as has bee demonstrated over and over again.

    I find capital punishment for murder to be barbaric, but not barbaric and loony. The intention of those who support it are good and not due to zealous hysteria. They wish to remove a threat to society in the most humane way possible or they do so out of a sense of justice where the punishment meets the crime. Which is far from burying someone up to the waist and then throwing stones, no larger than your fist, for hours until they finally pass. And what was the threat to society that had to be removed? Picking up some sticks.

    If you cannot see how one instance is a civilized nation struggling to curtail a problem that causes immense suffering and the other the whims of a self-aggrandizing, maniacal and murderous tyrant commanding “Me God! Me Angry! Me no like you smash with rock!” then you are obviously incapable of ever “engaging in a rational analysis” because your religious indoctrination has damaged your mind.

    “An animal is not sacrificial virgin. Unless you think women are equivalent to goats. Maybe you do.”

    You’re literacy isn’t “on par” with mine. What IS equivalent is the same degree of superstitious lunacy between the islanders and Israelites.

    “The sacrificial system did not exist to “appease” God.”

    Really? Then why did he command the rituals?

    And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. – Genesis 8:21

    I don’t know. God sounds pretty flip’n appeased with Noah’s sacrifice? He’d miss the “sweet savor” of burring animals if he decides to destroy all living things again.

    And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering. Genesis 4:4

    Again, pretty flip’n appeased?

    and turn the whole ram into smoke on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the Lord; IT IS A PLEASING ODOR, an offering by fire to the Lord. Exodus 29

    Yup. I’d say your God is basically telling them he loves the smell of burnt animals and it pleases Him.

    So? Still waiting for you to rationalize God telling people to wave animal guts around and throw rocks at each other.

    Reply
    • You were the one who derailed the thread by bringing up stoning. I’m just responding to you.

      Where does the OT prescribe burying them up to their waist?

      The fact that you “find” capital punishment “barbaric” is morally weightless given your atheistic worldview.

      Your appeal to “civilized” nations begs the question.

      I wasn’t raised in a fundamentalist church. So you can’t chalk my views of up “religious indoctrination.” Try reading from a different script.

      Hurling epithets of “lunacy” and “superstition” is not an argument. I appreciate the fact that you’re impotent to make a reasoned case for your attack on Scripture.

      You also need to master the concept of anthropomorphic language.

      Reply
      • TheHappyAntichrist says:

        “You were the one who derailed the thread by bringing up stoning. I’m just responding to you.”

        Didn’t derail a single thing. Demonstrating that Moses AND his God are barbaric loons.

        “Where does the OT prescribe burying them up to their waist?”
        It doesn’t, but it is the tradition method of stoning in most cultures.

        “The fact that you “find” capital punishment “barbaric” is morally weightless given your atheistic worldview.”

        Weightless? Morality is the differentiation of acts with consideration of intent as either being good or bad. Not so hard to comprehend. We in modern nations have learned from past mistakes and have begun to have shared goals and values that are based on human flourishing. It has evolved over thousands of years. It’s not perfect and may never be so but it is what it is and there is NO evidence of any ontological moral code. We have objective morals based on building societies on the foundation of human achievements that have surpassed anything that hour ancestors would have comprehended. This has allowed us a deeper understanding of ourselves. This is what humanity is based on. The long struggle and failure and in hindsight wickedness that has been allowed to flourish. This gives it value that can be measured and compared to our past failing. Far more valuable than hoping there’s some “entity onto itself”, a metaphysical perfect moral law being dictated by some magic Juju. The great human endeavor of courageously facing seemingly insurmountable odds makes the real objective morality all the more precious and those who claim it worthless if there is no God insults humankind’s greatest achievements. Sad such is the view amongst the deficient common denominator.

        “I wasn’t raised in a fundamentalist church. So you can’t chalk my views of up “religious indoctrination.” Try reading from a different script.

        You are demonstrating that you have been indoctrinated in someway. A vast void of dissonance is what I”m staring into that believes it’s perfectly rational for a “perfect” Creator of the cosmos to tell people to wave animal guts around and throw rocks at each other.

        “Hurling epithets of “lunacy” and “superstition” is not an argument. I appreciate the fact that you’re impotent to make a reasoned case for your attack on Scripture.”

        Yes it is. It lays bare the follow of ANY explanation you may give to defend what is obviously loony. If we cannot agree that throwing rocks at a person for picking up sticks is barbaric and loony, then we’ve hit philosophical bedrock with a stupid shovel. There has to be a rational point to start from and this is an obvious one. The fact that I’m so blatantly descriptive and emphasize what is obviously loony and wicked is what really bothers you. That’s where your mind has been damaged. You cannot start at a rational point in the discussion, you cannot admit what is objectionable and obviously loony as being so.

        Reply
        • Your assertion that morality has evolved presumes a standard of comparison. You can’t very well measure evolving morality by an evolving standard. That’s viciously circular. You need a standard independent of what you measure. A rubber ruler won’t do the trick.

          Because you can’t mount an argument for your position, you pad your intellectual void with abusive adjectives. A thesaurus is no substitute for reason. But thanks for once again illustrating the rational vacuity of atheism.

          BTW, you’re not the Antichrist. That’s quite a few notches above your paygrade. Sorry to disappoint you.

          Reply
          • TheHappyAntichrist says:

            “Your assertion that morality has evolved presumes a standard of comparison. You can’t very well measure evolving morality by an evolving standard.”

            Yes you can and we have no choice but to because it is all we have.

            You claim you have an absolute “Standard” to compare our evolving morality to. Ok then, what is it? Where is it? Can you demonstrate that it even exists? Look at our ten thousand or so years of civilized history? Where’s the reliability of this “standard”. Hmmm…? When you look, you see exactly what I claim. An evolving morality. Nothing more.

            Your idea of morality is a fantasy and I can demonstrate it as so in these comments.

            You look at a group of muslim radicals who stone a thirteen year old girl to death in front of a stadium full of cheering zealots and say that is wrong despite that they believe they are doing good and that the action is revealed as good by God. I agree with you. What they did is barbaric and bad.
            But you follow no “standard” you only claim to do so because if we go back 3000 years to Moses and his zealots who are doing the same as revealed by a God you believe in, then it’s good.

            Out of the two of us. Who is falling into moral relativism? Hmmm…? Where’s your universal, Godly morality now? Looks like what is evil or good is at the whims of your God. If you believe God commands it then ANYTHING is permissible including stoning thirteen year old girls accused of adultery.

            If this standard does exist, you obviously are not aware of or cannot comprehend what it actually says. If you actually believed God told you to murder a young girl you would believe it to be of the good.

            Is owning another person as property bad by your “standard”? Again if we go back to your God’s law it’s ok and permissible. Again, out of the two of us who seems to have a more objective morality? I can say that owning another person as property has always been wrong and should have always been avoided. You can’t. Under certain conditions and cultural context you have to say that it is at least amoral and permissible.

            Now here’s an important fact. One that completely destroys your notion of morality.

            Morality is a process of humans evaluating whether certain actions are good or bad or amoral.

            Let’s say this “standard” does exist and was revealed to all. A .pdf magically appeared on all devices listing this absolute moral code and volumes of books magically appeared in all the libraries.

            We as moral agents would still evaluate each law for ourselves individually and from the point of view of our cultural differences. We would view them and evaluate them by the standards of our societies and by the knowledge and understanding we’ve gained.

            We might agree with all of them or we might disagree with many of them.

            This is morality. If we do not exercise it and evaluate actions then we’re not doing morality.

            Morality does not exist if we as a species, society, or individuals refuse to evaluate this absolute standard.

            If all we do is blindly follow it, then we’re only following orders. Not actually doing morality.

            How’s that Steve. I just completely demonstrated how bankrupt your notion of morality is.

            Don’t ever claim to have this “standard” unless you can demonstrate that it has been a reliable guide to humanity. Good luck. lol.

            Funny how all you zealots claim theres an absolute moral code but when things like Biblical stoning and slavery come up then you all become moral relativists. Sad. Really sad. Shameless.

          • “Yes you can and we have no choice but to because it is all we have.”

            You’re attempting to offer a pragmatic solution to a logical dilemma. That’s a category mistake. Your appeal is viciously circular. So say “that’s all we have” is not a logical solution to a logical conundrum.

            I appreciate your resort to logical fallacies. Demonstrates, once more, the irrationality of atheism.

            “Look at our ten thousand or so years of civilized history? Where’s the reliability of this ‘standard’. Hmmm…? ”

            Your claim is viciously circular. You can’t judge the last 10K years of civilization unless you already have an objective moral standard.

            “When you look, you see exactly what I claim. An evolving morality. Nothing more.”

            No, I don’t see what you see. Modern civilizations aren’t more virtuous than ancient civilizations–except for modern civilizations influenced by Christian values.

            “I agree with you. What they did is barbaric and bad.”

            You’re not entitled to agree with me. Your value judgment is groundless.

            “Where’s your universal, Godly morality now?”

            “Universal” in what respect? Moral ontology or moral epistemology? If you presume to opine on metaethics, you need to bone up on these elementary distinctions.

            “Looks like what is evil or good is at the whims of your God. If you believe God commands it then ANYTHING is permissible including stoning thirteen year old girls accused of adultery.”

            i) To begin with, the OT penalty for capital punishment was for males and females alike. Are you just ignorant?

            ii) You also demonstrate no knowledge of Divine Command Theory. DCT doesn’t imply that God can command anything at all. Instead of presenting your uninformed opinions, you need to acquaint yourself with the relevant literature. Have you read Robert Adams or Matt Flannagan on the subject? Did you think you could just wing it without having to study the position you presume to critique?

            iii) Likewise, DCT is not the only theistic value system. There’s also natural law theory.

            “Is owning another person as property bad by your ‘standard’?”

            You haven’t begun to exegete that interpretation from Scripture.

            “I can say that owning another person as property has always been wrong and should have always been avoided.”

            You can say that if you like to make willfully irrational, tendentious claims that have no basis in atheism or physicalism.

            “Under certain conditions and cultural context you have to say that it is at least amoral and permissible.”

            That’s another one of your confusions. To say some things are intrinsically right or wrong is not to say that everything is intrinsically right or wrong. In some cases, results or circumstances are morally relevant considerations.

            “Now here’s an important fact. One that completely destroys your notion of morality.”

            Wait until I reach for a grab bar to brace myself.

            “Morality is a process of humans evaluating whether certain actions are good or bad or amoral.”

            Only if you have a legitimate criterion.

            “If all we do is blindly follow it, then we’re only following orders. Not actually doing morality.”

            There are lots worse things than blindly following good orders. A child, who has no sense of danger, does well to blindly follow the warnings of his mother or father.

            “How’s that Steve. I just completely demonstrated how bankrupt your notion of morality is.”

            You vastly overestimate your abilities.

            “Don’t ever claim to have this ‘standard’ unless you can demonstrate that it has been a reliable guide to humanity.”

            Reliable in what respect?

            “Funny how all you zealots claim theres an absolute moral code but when things like Biblical stoning and slavery come up then you all become moral relativists.”

            I don’t think the mode of execution is a big deal. I don’t think indentured service is wrong. If it’s a choice between enslaving enemy combatants, killing them, or releasing them (to fight you another day), I don’t think enslavement is wrong.

            “Shameless.”

            You have no right to say what’s right or wrong. Your comments are a string of question-begging assertions which run counter to atheism and physicalism.

        • Life is on loan from God. What he lends, he can take. Not to mention that, as sinners, our lives are forfeit. You should be thankful that he permits you to live another day.

          Reply
          • TheHappyAntichrist says:

            “I don’t think the mode of execution is a big deal.”

            Of course you don’t. Your moral compass has been skewed by your religious indoctrination. Along with your compassion and empathy. You cannot see the difference between a hanging, which is a few minutes of suffering compared to being struck with rocks for over and hour. Watch “The Stoning of Soraya m”. Good Biblical stoning in the scene. The custom carried on by the Muslims. You do know they have over two hundred verses about Moses in the Qu’ran?

            “I don’t think indentured service is wrong. If it’s a choice between enslaving enemy combatants, killing them, or releasing them (to fight you another day), I don’t think enslavement is wrong.”!

            Shame on you! You know it wasn’t indentured service!!! Uh-oh, someone hasn’t been reading their Bible. LOLOLOL!

            However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, 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 your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

            When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

            If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21 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 please the man who bought her, he may 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. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

            Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

          • “Shame on you!”

            You resort to guilt-tripping rhetoric because you can’t appeal to objective moral norms.

            i) To begin with, you don’t even grasp the nature of a law code. You act as if laws automatically condone whatever they regulate.

            However, laws sometimes, or oftentimes, regulate behavior the lawmaker may frown on. However, it’s futile to outlaw some kinds of conduct, because the ban would be unenforcible. Indeed, some prohibitions backfire by creating a new criminal underclass to supply the banned goods and services.

            By contrast, regulating certain kinds of conduct may be more enforceable, and it mitigates the worst abuses.

            Likewise, outlawing every evil creates a new evil–the evil of a totalitarian state. So some laws settle for the lesser evil principle.

            Laws are often compromises in that respect. Is that a novel notion to you?

            ii) Regarding Lev 24:44-46: Israel was in no position to prohibit surrounding nations from selling slaves. They’d be sold to someone or another regardless. It’s a question of whether they will be sold to pagans or Jews.

            They are better off with Jewish masters, inasmuch as slaves enjoyed some legal protections under the Mosaic law code.

            ii) Exod 21:20-21 is the opposite of chattel slavery. The master is liable to punishment if he abuses the slave. In context, he may well be subject to the death penalty. The passage you quote is a deterrent to abusive behavior. It puts the master in legal jeopardy.

            iii)The ear-piercing ceremony has reference to voluntary enslavement. That’s the opposite of chattel slavery. Are you oblivious to the context? Are you copy/pasting quote-minded verses from some village atheist website? Is that your problem?

            iv) Exod 21:7-11 is the opposite of chattel slavery. She has civil rights.

            Moreover, the background for that passage presumes a situation in which a father has too many children to support. He lacks the financial wherewithal to feed them all.

            The alternative to “slavery” is starvation. Are you oblivious to subsistence conditions in the ancient Near East? Selling minors into conditional slavery was better than death by malnutrition.

            Furthermore, she’s not sold to foreigners. The master must be very careful how he cares for her, because her father and brothers are in a position to monitor her treatment and exact revenge if their family member is dishonored. Are you unaware of that honor code?

            v) As for Eph 6:5, what do you expect Paul to say? Should he incite Christian slaves to disobey their Roman masters? What do you think happened to insubordinate slaves under Roman law? Did you even bother to think that far?

          • “Life is on loan from God. What he lends, he can take”

            never asked for a loan in the first place, its not a loan if i cannot reject it

            “Not to mention that, as sinners, our lives are forfeit. ”

            which he caused in the first place

            “Should he incite Christian slaves to disobey their Roman masters?”

            so then are you saying if something is wrong you shouldnt stop it if it makes alot of people unhappy?

          • “never asked for a loan in the first place, its not a loan if i cannot reject it.”

            You can reject it by committing suicide. But that doesn’t seem to be your preference.

            “which he caused in the first place”

            What did he cause in the first place?

            “so then are you saying if something is wrong you shouldnt stop it if it makes alot of people unhappy?”

            i) Are you suggesting that St. Paul could single-handedly end Roman slavery? How do you propose that he would go about doing that? Write an open letter to the emperor demanding the abolition of slavery? Somehow I doubt that would be effective.

            ii) This is how runaway slaves could be punished under Roman law: “He could be scourged branded, mutilated, or fitted with a metal collar, perhaps even be crucified, thrown to beasts, or killed. J. Fitzmyer, The Letter to Philemon (Doubleday 2000), 28.

            How would it be in the slave’s best interest for Paul to encourage him to buck the system, given the dire jeopardy that would place the slave in? Did you bother to think that far ahead?

          • “You can reject it by committing suicide. But that doesn’t seem to be your preference. ”

            no i cant because your god is going to only get more mad at me for killing myself and then again i never constened to any loans from YWHW, i can only meaningfuly reject his “loan” the before i was born!

          • if you mean i think people being born cause all of the world’s problems like disease or famine and that life should be seen as a curse rather then a gift then no. Unless of course christianity is true then i would rather not exist then be born.

          • Are you suggesting that according to Christian theology, people being born is the cause of natural evils like disease and famine? If so, what you do based that on?

            Why would you rather not exist if Christianity is true?

          • “Are you suggesting that according to Christian theology, people being born is the cause of natural evils like disease and famine? ”

            sorry i dont know were you got that idea i was just giving you what i know about what means anti-natalist, nothing to you with Christian dogmas.

            “Why would you rather not exist if Christianity is true?”

            because YWHW is asking me to pay a debt i never agreed to because of some naked man in a garden ate a pomegrate in a garden 6000 years

          • If Christianity is true, then Yahweh isn’t asking you to pay Adam’s debt. Rather, Christ pays Adam’s debt. You don’t seem to know basic Christian theology.

            Why would you rather not exist than have a Redeemer pay Adam’s debt so that you can live forever in bliss?

          • “Rather, Christ pays Adam’s debt. You don’t seem to know basic Christian theology. ”

            you are the one that says life is on loan from god and since i never took one from the 1st national bank of YWHW out its irrational for YWHW to ask for anything in return.

            “Why would you rather not exist than have a Redeemer pay Adam’s debt so that you can live forever in bliss?”

            its not my debt in the first place, so God paying Adam’s debt is logically irrelevant to my well-being no matter what federal headship stuff you try to pull. besides if you truly loved your neighbour you would tell them to NOT have children so there would be no chance of them getting tortured in hell and less people in hell. I never have to worry about what bliss or suffering is if i didnt exist

          • “I never have to worry about what bliss or suffering is if i didnt exist”

            What’s more, in Christian theology:
            1. There will be no sin in heaven
            2. Sin results from free will
            = No freewill in heaven.

            so, yeah, An eternity as a mindless worship-bot sounds like hell to me.

          • It sounds that way to you because you’re philosophically illiterate. You should bone up on compatibilism.

          • “It sounds that way to you because you’re philosophically illiterate. You should bone up on compatibilism.”

            It sounds that way because that is what it says, you should look up “pedantic”.
            PS- Is slavery immoral? It’s been a week or so since I asked you the first time, still waiting. lol

          • “you are the one that says life is on loan from god and since i never took one from the 1st national bank of YWHW out its irrational for YWHW to ask for anything in return.”

            i) To begin with, that doesn’t change the fact that your original objection was predicated on a false premise. So I take it that your original objection was disingenuous, inasmuch as when I point out to you that it was based on ignorance of Christian theology, your error makes no difference to you.

            ii) Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, you didn’t ask your parents’ for permission to conceive you. If you think informed consent is a prerequisite for existence, then you’re an antinatalist.

            Even if there were no God, it would still be the case that you were in no position to consent to the inception of your existence.

            By the same token, it’s not as if you were in a position to earn the right to exist. You’re the beneficiary of something you did nothing to merit. But perhaps you think your life was a mistake.

            “its not my debt in the first place, so God paying Adam’s debt is logically irrelevant to my well-being no matter what federal headship stuff you try to pull.”

            i) It’s possible for someone to acquire an obligation they didn’t agree to in the first place. If a desperate mother abandons her newborn baby on my doorstep, it would be evil for me to let it die, even though I didn’t father it.

            ii) Moreover, you’re dismissive attitude towards federal theology doesn’t make it false. The combox of a movie blog is not the place to delve into the metaphysics of original sin, but if you’re sincerely interested, there’s a new interdisciplinary study on the subject: Hans Madueme and Michael Reeves, eds. Adam, the Fall and Original Sin: Theological, Biblical, and Scientific Perspectives. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014.

            That’s a good place to start. And if you’re not sincerely interested, don’t bring it up.

            iii) Finally, Adam’s sin is not the only basis for divine judgment. For anyone above the age of reason, there’s actual sin. So, once again, your objection is theologically uninformed.

            “besides if you truly loved your neighbour you would tell them to NOT have children so there would be no chance of them getting tortured in hell and less people in hell.”

            Why should some people be denied the opportunity to enjoy a blissful existence just because some other people blow the opportunity? Should no one ever be happy because some people make themselves miserable?

            “I never have to worry about what bliss or suffering is if i didnt exist.”

            If you sincerely feel that way, why are you still here? If you think life is worthless, then it’s worthless to debate the point. Where’s the value in convincing others that life is valueless?

          • “If you sincerely feel that way, why are you still here? If you think life is worthless, then it’s worthless to debate the point. Where’s the value in convincing others that life is valueless?”

            no acutally i sincerely feel this way if i discovered Christianity was true. But since Christianity is not true i still can make the best of the situation, there is a difference in believing that life is worthless and that not existing is BETTER then existing

            ” It’s possible for someone to acquire an obligation they didn’t agree to in the first place. If a desperate mother abandons her newborn baby on my doorstep, it would be evil for me to let it die, even though I didn’t father it”

            maybe so but there is a difference between aquring an obligation and punishment that you had no control over

          • “Why should some people be denied the opportunity to enjoy a blissful existence just because some other people blow the opportunity?”

            because they have no choice but to blow it, some people only got to enjoy paradise because “God had mercy on who he desires”. They have to take the fall

            “Finally, Adam’s sin is not the only basis for divine judgment. For anyone above the age of reason, there’s actual sin. So, once again, your objection is theologically uninformed”

            i know that,its quite obvious that Christian believe god throws you to hell for sinning but Adam’s sin is the foundation for actual sinning by people, christians believe people sin because of what Adam did dont you?, i mean isnt that why christians reject evolution so much?

          • “because they have no choice but to blow it, some people only got to enjoy paradise because “God had mercy on who he desires”. They have to take the fall.”

            i) So you’re saying that unless everyone is happy, no one should be allowed to exist? Deprive everyone of happiness if anyone is miserable?

            Sounds like a sociopath who goes on a random shooting spree. Because he’s feeling miserable, he can’t stand the fact that anyone else is happy.

            ii) Since the elect would be worse off by not existing, why should they miss out just because the reprobate would be better off by not existing?

            iii) You seem to be suggesting that the fortune of the elect is contingent on the misfortune of the reprobate. If so, what’s the general connection, if any?

            For instance, how does Pol Pot take the fall for Abraham’s salvation? How is Abraham’s salvation causally dependent on Pol Pot’s damnation?

            If that’s not what you mean, if they are not linked, then why should some people be denied bliss because God has mercy on them–but not on others?

            iv) For that matter, what’s wrong with Pol Pot taking the fall?

            “i know that,its quite obvious that Christian believe god throws you to hell for sinning but Adam’s sin is the foundation for actual sinning by people, christians believe people sin because of what Adam did dont you?”

            Sinning doesn’t mean you go to hell. Christians sin, but because Christ made atonement for their sin (both actual sin and original sin), they go to heaven. So your objection is confused.

          • “You seem to be suggesting that the fortune of the elect is contingent on the misfortune of the reprobate. If so, what’s the general connection, if any? ”

            So the elect can realise how fortunate they are that God chose then knowing that they “deserve” to be cast into hell for sinning, and that they can realise god’s “Justice” which would magnify god’s glory somehow

            “Christians sin, but because Christ made atonement for their sin (both actual sin and original sin)”

            meaningless and irrational atonement for something they cannot be logically held accountable for

            “Since the elect would be worse off by not existing, why should they miss out just because the reprobate would be better off by not existing? ‘

            i do not think you would be better or worse off as you how can you know what “better” is if you dont exist? As there is no “worse” you can compare it to

          • “So the elect can realise how fortunate they are that God chose then knowing that they ‘deserve’ to be cast into hell for sinning, and that they can realise god’s ‘Justice’ which would magnify god’s glory somehow.”

            i) It’s not about magnifying God’s glory, but manifesting his mercy and justice. It’s not for God’s benefit, but the elect. God has nothing to lose or gain.

            ii) Moreover, you ducked the question of why the reprobate shouldn’t “take the fall.” As I said before, what’s wrong with Pol Pot taking the fall? Is your objection that “they had no choice but to blow it?” If so, that objection begs the question at multiple points:

            a) You apparently assume that choosing presumes having alternate possibilities at one’s disposal. But here’s how a leading libertarian philosopher defines his terms:

            “A choice is the formation of an intuition or purpose to do something” (Robert Kane).

            Notice that definition doesn’t require alternatives.

            b) Your objection takes one side the perennial determinist/indeterminist debate. Philosophers are divided on that issue. Your position carries no presumption in its favor.

            c) Moreover, many atheists subscribe to physical determinism. Isn’t that what you are stuck with?

            d) Finally, the traditional dilemma between freedom and determinism may be a false dilemma. Take the position of Christian physicist Don Page:

            “And what’s more, many worlds may even take care of freewill. Page doesn’t actually believe we have freewill, because he feels we live in a reality in which God determines everything, so it is impossible for humans to act independently. But in the many-worlds interpretation every possible action is actually taken. ‘It doesn’t mean that it’s fixed that I do one particular course of action. In the multiverse, I’m doing all of them,’ says Page.”

            http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=7219

            “meaningless and irrational atonement for something they cannot be logically held accountable for.”

            You’ve given your opinion. An assertion in search of an argument.

            It’s not incumbent on me to convince you. Indeed, I doubt we have enough common ground for a productive discussion.

            “i do not think you would be better or worse off as you how can you know what ‘better’ is if you dont exist? As there is no ‘worse’ you can compare it to”

            i) You confuse *knowing* what is better with *being* better off. Those are hardly equivalent.

            An abused child who was locked in the basement for the first 10 years of his life doesn’t know any better. Does that mean he wouldn’t be better off had he been raised by loving parents who gave him a normal happy, carefree childhood?

            ii) Those who never exist suffer the deprivation of what they’d otherwise enjoy. That doesn’t make it wrong. But there’s a clear contrast between better and worse in that context.

            iii) Finally, the logic of your objection not only applies to those who never began exist, but to those who cease to exist. Since you deny the afterlife, once you’re dead, you can’t compare death with life. At that point you’re in no position to know that your situation is worse off than when you were still alive.

            So why not commit suicide or homicide? By your logic, if you murder someone, you’re not harming them, since they don’t know what they lost. Their awareness dies right along with them.

          • “An abused child who was locked in the basement for the first 10 years of his life doesn’t know any better. Does that mean he wouldn’t be better off had he been raised by loving parents who gave him a normal happy, carefree childhood?”

            what a terriable comperiasion except the child at least some idea of what being better off would be he can realise the opposite of the treatment he is experiancing.

            ” As I said before, what’s wrong with Pol Pot taking the fall? ”

            you are forcing people to commit mass killings nuff said

            “By your logic, if you murder someone, you’re not harming them, since they don’t know what they lost. Their awareness dies right along with them.”

            if i didnt harm them then why do they suffer? I am pretty sure a person knows what they would lose if they got killed. The best of a situation that they landed in, their awarness might be lost but they can make a comparison of what would happpen if their awarness would be wiped out

          • “what a terriable comperiasion except the child at least some idea of what being better off would be he can realise the opposite of the treatment he is experiancing.”

            To the contrary, he has no other frame of reference.

            “you are forcing people to commit mass killings nuff said”

            No, that’s not “nuff said.” I gave you a multi-point rebuttal to your assertion about having no choice. At this point your’e just talking for the sake of talking, to keep up appearances, after you ran out of meaningful responses.

            “if i didnt harm them then why do they suffer?”

            I didn’t say they suffer. To the contrary, if death extinguishes consciousness, they are beyond suffering.

            “I am pretty sure a person knows what they would lose if they got killed. The best of a situation that they landed in, their awarness might be lost but they can make a comparison of what would happpen if their awarness would be wiped out”

            i) Irrelevant. To begin with, that’s only temporarily applicable if they see it coming. But what if they didn’t know what hit them?

            ii) And you’re evading the issue. The real issue isn’t what they anticipate before they die, but the fact that once they are dead, then (according to you) they have no recollection of their life. They pass into oblivion.

            How can your Epicurean philosophy condemn murder?

          • Because, if Christianity is false, then existence isn’t better than nonexistence?

            Why do you cling to such a worthless philosophy? Why do you waste time defending it? Why do you make it your cause?

          • “To the contrary, he has no other frame of reference.”

            yes he does, to feel suffering you would need to know what bliss is as well (namely the opposite of what he is experiancing)

            “At this point your’e just talking for the sake of talking, to keep up appearances, after you ran out of meaningful responses. ”

            if this makes the great Steve Hays, feel good ok then sure

          • “A baby can suffer without having the concept of the opposite experience”

            then by this logic a baby cant feel bliss either. Just because you didnt think a concept out very well doesnt mean you dont have the concept

          • You don’t have to have a concept of happiness or misery to be happy or miserable. For instance, some people are in too much physical pain to think about much of anything. Take a severe burn victim.

  • TheHappyAntichrist says:

    It’s not a logical fallacy. It’s not circular reasoning. We have a standard: the here and now and how current developed nations are flourishing and how they value such things as charity, justice, equality, freedom and can compare that to the worse conditions that humanity suffered through in our most ancient of histories. As we become more understanding of how these shared values allow civilization to continue to flourish for EVERYONE we, hopefully will become better moral agents.

    We value thing like justice and freedom and such because we can look at history and see the many who have courageously struggled against tyranny and oppression, the sacrifices they made and be inspired by that and realize that if we don’t value such for every individual then our children or grandchildren may be the next to be oppressed or suffer tyranny. This gives it far more value than saying “It’s good because we have this metaphysical, magical, Juju absolute morality floating around in fairy land.”

    The only difference is that I keep the standard grounded one step closer in a reality that can be demonstrated to exist and can point at REAL things and the consequences of our actions as nations. You want to ground this standard in a magical realm that we don’t have access to but somehow “discover” absolute morality when we stumble around and figure it out. If this absolute standard says “Love is good” then why should we follow that? Why should we obey this magical moral code? I can do the same thing to your standard. Just because something authored a moral code doesn’t mean we should value it.

    Both methods for how humanity becomes moral is the same. I don’t rely on wishful thinking.

    And if it is ever discovered that there is no absolute, ontological morality, jagoffs like you want to then say “Well then the re’s no reason to value human flourishing, justice, equality and such because no one has a right or absolute authority to say so.” That is why I call your ideals an “insult to everything humankind has achieved.” Because without your magical wishful thinking you don’t value what humans have achieved.

    It’s sad. It really is.

    This IS morality. It’s not perfect and may never be so. We will stumble as we have, but we see things like the current state in Islamic nations and how things were slighty better for them a few decades ago and how fast everything they struggled to achieve can disappear in an instant. We watch this and realized just how precious the struggle is.

    There is a standard. I’ve explained it you.

    Reply
    • It’s viciously circular for you to invoke an evolving standard of morality to evaluate evolving morality.

      The fact that you “value” justice and freedom doesn’t make those moral facts. That’s just you projecting imaginary value onto intrinsically valueless incidents.

      You then resort to inspirational fairy tales about the courageous struggle against tyranny and oppression. But you have no foundation to justify your value-laden rhetoric. You keep making the same mistake ad nauseum.

      I realize it makes you feel good to cast yourself in a heroic role. That’s very flattering. Very convenient to be your own casting director. Make yourself the hero in your own screenplay. A nice exercise in make-believe.

      But “reality” is whatever there is. “Flourishing” is reality and “suffering” is reality. Realty doesn’t flag one as good and the other as bad. You’re not getting your criterion from reality. Reality is utterly indiscriminate.

      It wasn’t “something” that authored the moral code. Calling it “magical” is not an argument. Claiming it’s inaccessible is not an argument.

      “And if it is ever discovered that there is no absolute, ontological morality, jagoffs like you want to then say ‘Well then the re’s no reason to value human flourishing, justice, equality and such because no one has a right or absolute authority to say so.’”
      So you admit that consistent atheists pose a threat to the common good. It’s dangerous to take atheism to its logical conclusion. Atheism only works if you don’t think too hard about what it entails. I appreciate your damning concession.
      “That is why I call your ideals an ‘insult to everything humankind has achieved.'”
      You resort to hortatory, emotionally manipulative rhetoric because your position is rationally indefensible. Thanks for making my point.

      Yes, you have an ad hoc “standard.” I get that.

      Reply
      • TheHappyAntichrist says:

        One more thing. You keep claiming that I can’t have a standard on something that is evolving.

        Yes we can. Engineering has been constantly evolving and getting better. I can look at my automobile and say it’s a thousand times better than one built a hundred years ago because it gets me to my destination faster, safer, and more efficiently. I can set objective standards like it is absolutely bad to put solid rubber tires on a car because it shortens the life due to vibrations.

        Your argument is this. “You can’t say todays cars are superior because you don’t believe in an ontological perfect car the exists in the metaphysical fantasy land. You cannot say inflated tires are better. Why should we value a smooth ride? Why should we value reaching our destination quicker? We’re just Atoms and energy. Why should an atom care about such. You have no standard unless you believe in an idea of a perfect automobile that exist as an entity of it’s own.”

        That’s your argument. It’s silly. It’s ridiculous.

        And yes I use rhetoric because it brings to light how bankrupt your worldview is.

        What’s worse is that your perfect engineer keeps changing what are good materials and such because of some silly revelation that has this perfect engineer, at one time, designing wheels out of toothpicks. “Must be good engineering, because some guy a thousand years ago had a revelation about it, just don’t do it today because back then toothpicks were stronger than steel(ad hoc).”

        Reply
        • As usual, you don’t understand your own argument or mine. You are appealing to an alleged progression in moral insight to ratify moral progress. So you’re not beginning with an “objective standard.”

          Your “standard” is the process itself. You can’t measure the process by the process. You need something independent of the process to evaluate the process.

          Reply
    • Happy, I think it’s interesting that the apologetics for slavery and it’s unquestioned support in the Bible are all appeals to SECULAR history, rules, laws, etc.
      (But it’s God’s Word, directly from his pen, except when it isn’t, because God wouldn’t have written a slavery manual, right?)

      Reply
      • TheHappyAntichrist says:

        They also try to claim that it was indentured servitude. Like that’s a good thing!?!?!? Last I looked indentured servitude is also something a scumbag would command?

        Reply
        • So you’ve expressed your opinion about indentured service. You’ve given no morally normative reason why anyone should agree with you.

          Reply
          • TheHappyAntichrist says:

            But many do agree with me don’t they. Why is that? Perhaps because they’ve come to understand human nature. That we’re flawed and there’s no guarantee that my children or my grandchildren won’t become indentured servants because things didn’t pan out or they hit a hardship and failed to repay a debt. We value freedom more than paying debt. We have gained knowledge about the human condition and model ourselves as possibly being a servant.

            Of course you’ll do what you always do. Why should we value freedom, why should we value knowledge, why should we care what happens to our children and grandchildren, why should we value anything if we’re only atoms and molecules and on and on ad nauseam.

            Because we are humans and because those atoms and molecules react to form a conscience mind that has desires and wants and has evolved after millions of years to nurture a yearning for cooperating as a social species. We’ve become intelligent enough to put ourselves in others situations. We formed civilizations where the literature and rhetoric influence the views of millions to feel the slave suffer, to feel the injustices committed from the word of the oppressed and the slave.

            We do this. Not a god. Not some ontological magical moral code. US. And it is so precious. Millions of years and here we are. Thousands of years forming and failing at civilizations and here we are. Once this is realized. Never again.

            But none of that has any value. Does it. Your narrow indoctrinated mind will start ranting “So morals are based on evolution! Ha! Then only fittest should flourish!” or “Morality is only the opinion of Civilization! Ha! What of Hitlers Civilization! Ha!” and on and on.

            You can’t see the big picture. It’s a combination of all these things and WE are the moral agents discovering what works and doesn’t and forming shared values.

            This isn’t ad nauseam. This is repeating myself over and over again to someone so thickheaded you can’t see past your magical Juju’s nose hoping you’ll eventually comprehend the words i’m typing.

          • If the “big picture” is that humans are reducible to interacting atoms, then what reason is there to attribute “injustice” to interacting atoms?

            In addition, your appeal to evolutionary ethics commits the naturalistic fallacy.

            Furthermore, you don’t understand the implications of the physicalism you espouse. As eliminative materialists like Michael Graziano explain, interacting atoms can’t generate consciousness.

            You’re an ignorant atheist. You don’t understand physicalism or metaethics. You don’t understand the difference between descriptive and normative ethics.

        • TheHappyAntichrist says:

          You did it with your first response about slavery. You lied about it not being slavery but indentured servitude in order to make it seem more acceptable to our modern sense of right and wrong.

          Explain to me why you tried to do that. Why did you say “I don’t believe indentured servitude is wrong.”

          Hmmm…? What absolute standard are you using to determine that indentured servitude is a lesser wrong than slavery?

          But you can’t answer this without appealing to the way society’s morals have evolved. You know this to be true. If you didn’t value the evolved secular morals then you wouldn’t have typed so many paragraphs trying justify God endorsing slavery. Just say “Slavery is just fine because God said so and that’s that.”

          You demonstrate the truth to my claims with every post you make and you don’t even realize it.

          Reply
          • The Mosaic law contains provisions for indentured service. You simplemindedly reduce everything to “slavery.”

            The OT doesn’t have chattel slavery. Slaves were never mere property of the master, to dispose of as he sees fit. He wields absolute power over his property.

            By contrast, OT “slavery” was never chattel slavery. “Slaves,” “indentured servants,” &c. had certain rights and protections.

            In the case of indentured service, it was contractual. LIke enlisting in the army. If you enlist in the army, you forfeit certain freedoms you had as a civilian in exchange for the compensatory benefits. You trade freedom for security.

          • “I am laughing so hard right now I can barely type…”

            Because you can’t rebut my arguments, you gesticulate and make funny faces. I appreciate your dilemma.

            “I stop at a foundation that can be demonstrated to exist. That’s not ad nauseam. People exist…Until we get to you what you demand there to be. (ad hoc).”

            Since you don’t understand the nature of explanation or the onus of your own claim, I’ll have to walk you through it.

            You are making a claim about objective moral standards. That requires your explanation to terminate with something that is, indeed, an objective moral standard. Unless and until you can do that, you’re left with an infinite regress. Posting an arbitrary stopping point like “your emotions” isn’t an objective moral norm.

            Appealing to something that exists is not the same thing as demonstrating that objective moral norms exist. Rocks exist. That’s not a moral norm.

            Unlike you, there are secular philosophers who at least understand that distinction. There are secular philosophers who candidly admit that atheism leads to moral fictionalism, relativism, and/or nihilism. You’re not even a sophisticated atheist.

            “They have emotions like empathy and compassion”

            And they have emotions like envy, hatred, and revenge. Take the Hutu/Tutsi massacres.

            “Really? God says it’s ok to beat them and they can even die if they linger and suffer for a few days.”

            i) I began by explaining the nature of a law code to you. You blow right past that explanation. Yet you offer no rebuttal.

            ii) The fact that laws permit some things doesn’t mean it’s “okay.” It just means penal codes don’t attempt to outlaw all wrongdoing.

            iii) Do you just lack reading comprehension? If the slave dies, the master will be punished. In context, that may well be a capital offense.

            iv) Laws must also make allowance for what’s provable. It has to be the kind of injury that an ancient Jewish judge would be in a position to attribute to the master. There have to be witnesses. Who threw the first punch?

            Penal codes don’t address some forms of wrongdoing because they are unprovable. Is that a novel concept to you?

            “Source please?”

            The fact that you ask for the source either shows that you lack elementary reading comprehension, or else you didn’t read the full text. Instead, you’re just copy/pasting digests spoonfed to you from some village atheist website.

            Go back to the beginning of the chapter. V2. It deals with the case of an indentured servant. He has a 6-year contract. He’s free after six years of service.

            And the end of his 6-year contract, he can indenture himself for life of his own accord. That’s up to him.

            In context, it’s unmistakably voluntary. How did you miss that? Are you unable to understand what the text says? Or did you not read the full text because you rely on quote-mined excerpts from a secondhand source?

            “Again, Source please?”

            You can start with John Currid analysis.

            “and on and on. That’s ‘ad hoc’. Yup.”

            Calling my explanations “ad hoc” doesn’t make them ad hoc. If you think they’re ad hoc, you need to present a supporting argument to substantiate your classification. Otherwise, your dismissal is unintelligent.

            “I can say that owning another person as property is away a bad idea and wrong.”

            You can assert that, but you can’t defend that–given atheism.

            “We didn’t need to do it when we defeated Germany. Did we?”

            i)That’s a dubious comparison. Germany is a continent away. Ancient Israel was surrounded by hostile states.

            ii) Moreover, so many able-bodied German males were killed or maimed in WWII that in the immediate aftermath of the war, Germany didn’t pose a threat to the US. In fact, Germany never posed an existential threat to our survival. The situation of ancient Israel in relation to neighboring states was very different.

            “When we invaded Iraq, how would the populace respond if they just started handing out Iraqi as pets?”

            The Iraqi war is very controversial. Libertarians opposed it from the start. Some conservatives supported regime-change, but opposed the nation-building component.

            “We have developed other solution for this. We come together and help them rebuild and such.”

            As if ancient Israel should rebuild a hostile state, thereby enabling the hostile state to counterattack. You’re not a serious thinker.

            “You can’t say it’s always wrong because under certain situations it good.”

            Once again, do you just lack elementary reading comprehension? Is that the source of your problem? Here’s what I actually said:

            “That’s another one of your confusions. To say some things are intrinsically right or wrong is not to say that everything is intrinsically right or wrong. In some cases, results or circumstances are morally relevant considerations.”

            Do you lack the intellectual ability to register the difference between what I actually said, and what you misattribute to me? Do you need me to explain that to you?

            “He has the Israelites invade all the surrounding kingdoms…”

            Are you simply ignorant of OT history? Israel was not an empire. Israel did not invade all the surrounding kingdoms.

            “But slavery? NO! Can’t touch that golden calf. Will upset the whole social order. GIVE ME A FLIPP’N BREAK DUDE! God convinced them to throw rocks at a guy until he stops breathing because he was picking up some sticks. But your God can’t handle getting them to solve the slavery problem. Holy Jesus on a pogo-stick you have got to be kidding me.”

            Since you evidently lack the aptitude to grasp the alternative, permit me to explain it to you. Yes, God could create a different kind of world. And a different kind of world wouldn’t not contain you and me.

            So you’re blaming God for creating a world that contains you, your mother and father, &c.? Are you sorry that you exist?

            “Upsetting the whole social order” of the ancient Near East changes the future. Changes my future and your future. You and I wouldn’t be here in the first place if the past was significantly different. Have you never bothered to think it through that far?

            “I can say that committing genocide including the mass slaughtering of children and infants is always a bad idea. I can claim that is objectively immoral.”

            Do you not know the difference between assertions and arguments? Do you need me to explain that to you?

            “If you believe God tells you to raise an army and commit genocide, then that’s good.”

            You keep making uniformed statements. What divine command theorists have you read? What natural law theorists have you read? What Christian ethicists have you read?

            Like so many internet atheists, you’re long on attitude and short on reason.

          • I gave you a reason. God’s judgment on the Roman slave trade in Rev 18. You offered no rebuttal.

            Moreover, you’ve failed to show that slavery is immoral if atheism and/or physicalism is true.

          • LOL, this proves MY point, not yours.

            >>>>>>Rev 18, 11-13

            11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

            12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

            13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

            >>>>>>>>

            Those poor merchants! They can’t sell cinnamon, brass, some other stuff, oh, yeah, slaves there at the end.
            This is not a condemnation of slavery, this is a description of how the poor merchants were prevented from selling them along with all their other trinkets and baubles.
            They are no more than goods or property, just like everything else in that list.

            Empathy for other human beings as basis for opposition to slavery wins again.

          • So you’re telling me you lack basic reading comprehension. That explains a lot.

            Yes, the merchants lament their fate. Their reaction isn’t the normative interpretation of the significance of their fate. Rather, the narrative viewpoint supplies the normative interpretation. In context, this represents divine judgment on their activities.

            The fact that the merchants regard humans as equivalent to other commodities is a statement of their perspective, not the narrator’s perspective.

            You also don’t grasp the rhetorical significance of the emphatic position, where what is listed first or last is most important.

            Is that the source of your problem? You don’t even know how to interpret a text? You can’t distinguish between characters within the narrative and the contextual viewpoint of the narrator? You don’t know basic literary conventions? The laugh is on you.

            And, no, feelings are not a basis for opposing slavery. Both abolitionists and slave-traders have feelings about slaves. You can’t appeal to feelings to adjudicate feelings.

          • You are right, derp! derp! I need help, because my “reading comprehension” is much very badly and I “don’t grasp the rhetorical significance of the emphatic position” to see where in the Bible where it say own human is bad , make God sad!

            I know it’s real simple minded of me to simply not want to be a slave and imagine that no one else wants to be one.

            Please splain with itty bitty words so it dont hurt my brain:

            where say in the Bible why slavery make god sad?, no “don’t take slaves from neighbors” or “don’t beat them too hard” but slavery is sin! always was, always will be!

          • Whether or not someone wants to be a slave isn’t sufficient to make it wrong. Do you think what people want or don’t what morally sufficient? Earlier you complained about an emaciated dog. Well, if the owner doesn’t want to feed him, what’s wrong with that? After all, you just made not wanting your criterion. Conversely, if the owner wants to beat his dog, what’s wrong with that? If morality is reducible to what we want or don’t want?

            You don’t make the slightest effort to have a consistent position. You just emote and react, as if that’s adequate to the challenge.

          • You didn’t answer the question,
            Again, Where in the Bible does it say slavery is a sin, always has been, always will be?

            By the way, I adopted that dog, now he is being fed and cared for. I did that without any help from the Bible.

          • You changed the question. And it’s a trick question. You act as if the Bible has to use a particular verbal formula to express disapproval.

            Whether you adopted the dog with no help from the Bible doesn’t begin to prove that you did a good thing apart from the Bible.

            Moreover, you’re very naive if you imagine that you haven’t been conditioned by Christian ethics. You’re not starting from scratch. Like apostates generally, you have a residual idealism from Christianity that you wouldn’t get by starting from the opposite direction (consistent atheism).

          • >>>You changed the question. And it’s a trick question. You act as if the Bible has to use a particular verbal formula to express disapproval.

            Is slavery immoral or not per the Bible? The Bible is a non-relativist moral guide, never changing, it is internally consistent on the moral basis for slavery: Yes or No?

            >>>>Whether you adopted the dog with no help from the Bible doesn’t begin to prove that you did a good thing apart from the Bible.

            Yes it does. See? I can make assertions too. lol

            So, going by your logic then everyone In the Bible itself or that existed before the Bible, or before the Bible was printed in vernacular languages, the hundreds of billions of people that have lived under other religions have no basis for doing anything moral.

            Per your logic- The parable of the Samaritan told by Jesus himself was about a guy with an invalid sense of morality.
            Per your logic- every single person that existed before the Council of Nicea were a bunch of animals just accidentally doing good from time to time.

            >>>>Moreover, you’re very naive if you imagine that you haven’t been conditioned by Christian ethics. You’re not starting from scratch. Like apostates generally, you have a residual idealism from Christianity that you wouldn’t get by starting from the opposite direction (consistent atheism).

            I never claimed I wasn’t. Sure, I grew up in a Christian culture, so the good bits in Christianity filtered through into my morals- As I said in an earlier comment- I like the example of Jesus, you know, the guy that told the parable of the Samaritan- Even the character of Jesus himself asserts a Jewish pagan can be “good”, and the priest and the Levite can be “bad”.
            I can take the good in the Bible and ignore the barbaric bits, just like everyone else.

          • i) You don’t know the difference between moral ontology and moral epistemology. The question at issue is not whether some people can sometimes do the right thing apart from knowing Scripture, but whether they have any objective moral grounds for their action apart from Biblical theism. People like you who presume to attack the Bible need to learn the rudiments of metaethics.

            ii) Another case in point is your simplistic grasp of moral relativism. As I already explained to another, equally clueless commenter, objective morality doesn’t entail that every action must be intrinsically right or wrong.

            iii) Take the OT purity codes. That isn’t based on moral absolutes. Their function was typological.

            iv) Furthermore, you have a simplistic understanding of OT “slavery.” There are different kinds of servitude in the Mosaic code. I’ve explained that as well.

            iv) You also need to learn the moral difference between what’s prescribed and what’s permitted. I’ve explained that too.

            You’re raising anti-intellectual objections by your persistent failure to address what’s already been said.

          • i) You don’t know the difference between moral ontology and moral epistemology. The question at issue is not whether some people can sometimes do the right thing apart from knowing Scripture, but whether they have any objective moral grounds for their action apart from Biblical theism. People like you who presume to attack the Bible need to learn the rudiments of metaethics.

            >>>>>I can’t believe your argument is “there is an objective moral ground for actions (scripture)” BUT “people can do the right thing apart from scripture”. The second assertion cancels out the first.

            >>>>> If the average Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, Presbyterian,etc. must know ontology, epistemology, meta-ethics,etc to understand and comment on the Bible, then I will accept your assertion that “People like me” do also, otherwise, you are just making a good example for the “raising the goalposts” fallacy.

            ii) Another case in point is your simplistic grasp of moral relativism. As I already explained to another, equally clueless commenter, objective morality doesn’t entail that every action must be intrinsically right or wrong.

            >>>>>Yes, you’ve already pointed out repeatedly you see no problem in insulting me and changing the subject, changing the goalposts, strawmen of my position. etc.
            Doesn’t seem very Christian to me, but that’s my opinion.

            >>>>>I will ask very clearly ONE LAST TIME: Slavery- moral or immoral? Yes. No.

          • You refuse to approach the issues with any degree of philosophical sophistication. You refuse to draw elementary metaethical distinctions which even astute atheists acknowledge. You just want to repudiate Christianity, and intelligent analysis gets in the way of your willful defiance. You keep demonstrating that you can’t defend your position rationally.

          • You refuse to approach the issues with any degree of philosophical sophistication.
            You refuse to draw elementary metaethical distinctions which even astute atheists acknowledge.

            >>>>>http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/130-moving-the-goal-posts

            You are deliberately obfuscating the issues to derail the conversation and distract me from the fact that you cannot answer a simple yes/no question directly related to your assertion of Biblical objectivity.

            You have essentially argued that the Bible cannot be understood at face value, that it doesn’t mean what it says- it has to be massaged and squeezed through your philosophical filters to be understood.
            So, I and every other “clueless” and “simplistic” person like me are purposely being led down the garden path by the Bible, and presumably, it’s author.

          • I didn’t put the goalpost there. You did. I don’t grant your arbitrary, anti-intellectual stance.

          • Slavery- Moral or immoral? :

            ME: Immoral. Why? Because I understand through empathy that being a slave sucks.

            YOU: Well… blah blah blah… elementary metaethical distinctions … blah blah…. ontology and moral epistemology….. blah blah blah… You need an objective moral norm for me to tell you if slavery is immoral…blah blah blah… anti-intellectual….blah blah blah… clueless…blah blah…

            Days later….. blah blah blah….

            ….blah…
            …blah…?

            ….. and I STILL don’t know what your “Objective biblical moral basis” is on slavery.

            Your dishonest intellectual sophistry is evidence to me that you cannot defend your original claim for a biblical objective moral basis.

          • Just going to leave something positive here:

            If I believe my opposition to owning another human being is based on empathy, and a Christian believes their religion is their basis for the same- regardless, the end effect is the same: We ALL reject slavery as immoral.

            This is a wonderful thing. All this arguing over who has the moral high ground is just intellectual wanking, in the end none of us are going to change our minds and say “hmmm… maybe I should have some slaves!”

          • Another problem with your empathy criterion is that empathy cuts both ways. It can’t settle competing needs. Suppose a rich man has a sick child who needs an organ transplant. He has empathy for his child. So he bribes a technician to bump her up to the top of the organ donor waiting list. His empathy for his own child comes at the expense of empathy for another desperate patient who was bumped down the list.

            You don’t have a serious alternative. You dealt yourself a losing hand with atheism. Since that’s all you’ve got, you keep replaying that dog-eared losing hand. That’s what you’re stuck with, so all you can do is to repeat the same oft-refuted claim.

  • TheHappyAntichrist says:

    I am laughing so hard right now I can barely type because you obviously cannot comprehend the meaning of the words “ad nauseam” (because it’s what your argument is based on) “ad hoc” (all the stuff you made up to explain away God’s law on slavery) or objective morality (Your a moral relativist. You have demonstrated this over and over again.)

    I stop at a foundation that can be demonstrated to exist. That’s not ad nauseam. People exist. They have emotions like empathy and compassion. Civilizations, cultures, and societies exist.
    Let me give you and example of “ad nauseam”.

    “Why should morals matter without an ontological standard?”

    “Because we have civilization that follow such and people can flourish.”
    “Why should we value human flourishing?”
    “Because we don’t like suffering?”
    “Why should we care if people suffer?”
    “Because we have a sense of empathy and compassion.”
    “why should we value empa…

    and on and on and on and on and on ad nauseam.

    Until we get to you what you demand there to be. (ad hoc)

    You have to start with the conclusion that there is an ontological moral code. Then you have to assume God created it. Then you assume God has to be good. Then, and here’s kicker, this metaphysical moral code is accessed through one of the countless spiritual/religious revelations and you just happen to know which one is right.

    And when asked “But your God doesn’t seem very moral, he likes slavery”

    then the real ad hoc explanations start:

    “They are better off with Jewish masters, inasmuch as slaves enjoyed some legal protections under the Mosaic law code.”

    Really? God says it’s ok to beat them and they can even die if they linger and suffer for a few days.

    “The ear-piercing ceremony has reference to voluntary enslavement. ”

    Source please?

    “Moreover, the background for that passage presumes a situation in which a father has too many children to support. He lacks the financial wherewithal to feed them all.”

    Again, Source please?

    and on and on. That’s “ad hoc”. Yup.

    I can say that owning another person as property is away a bad idea and wrong. We didn’t need to do it when we defeated Germany. Did we? When we invaded Iraq, how would the populace respond if they just started handing out Iraqi as pets? Hmmm…

    We have developed other solution for this. We come together and help them rebuild and such. We thought of that. Nowhere in your Bible is such wisdom. Nope. Conquer and enslave. That’s the advice your perfect God prescribes.

    You can’t say it’s always wrong because under certain situations it good. That’s moral relativism. That’s completely absent of any objective morality. That’s you. As long as God says it’s ok, then fine. Own all the slaves you want.

    As far as your ad hoc explanation about God having to create laws that matched the current slave trade and culture….

    BLAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He’s God!!!! Right? All He has to do is command it. Geezh, He has the Israelites invade all the surrounding kingdoms and commit mass murder over and over again including slaughtering children and infants and they obey. He sends plagues after plagues and fiery serpents to bite them the minute they step out of line. But slavery? NO! Can’t touch that golden calf. Will upset the whole social order. GIVE ME A FLIPP’N BREAK DUDE! God convinced them to throw rocks at a guy until he stops breathing because he was picking up some sticks. But your God can’t handle getting them to solve the slavery problem. Holy Jesus on a pogo-stick you have got to be kidding me.

    Weak dude. Just weak.

    I can say that committing genocide including the mass slaughtering of children and infants is always a bad idea. I can claim that is objectively immoral. You can’t. You worship and love a leader, your Lord, who has commanded such many times in the Bible. You have to say that those many instances it was the good. Please don’t start filling pages up with fabricated explanations for God genocides. I’ve heard them all. I really have. They’re weak.

    You have no objective morality. Your morality is subject to the whims of your God.

    If you believe God tells you to raise an army and commit genocide, then that’s good. If God says to murder people for working on the sabbath. That’s good. If God says “You know what, go ahead and buy slaves and sell your children as slaves.” That’s good. If God says “You may beat your slaves.” That’s good.

    I have a standard that starts with thing that we know to exist. That’ not ad hoc and it has far more value because of my emotions and feeling and admiration and love for my fellow humans.

    Your standard is based on something that probably doesn’t even exist.

    That’s weak. Like your relativistic morality and your ad hoc explanation to justify the atrocities your God commits and commands.

    Reply
  • “Thanks to the awesome work of Dr. James Harris of Bringham Young University…”

    Because Mormon scholarship is so reliable.

    “He talks to a burning bush.”

    I notice that that’s a popular atheist meme. And it’s illiterate. The text doesn’t say Moses talks to a burning bush. Rather, he talks to the Angel of the Lord.

    This is an example of village atheists who can’t think for themselves. They blindly repeat what other village atheists tell them, instead of double-checking the claim.

    “YHWH is the snäke of the Tree of Life or snäke-pole or caduceus…The tree branches are Asherah’s hot “bush,” tongued by Yah.”

    The Asherah cult is explicitly and repeatedly condemned in the OT.

    “This is the rod of Moses…”

    The rod of Moses isn’t Yahweh. It doesn’t represent Yahweh.

    It became a snake to challenge Egyptian ophiolatry and ophiomancy when Moses challenged Pharaoh and his court sorcerers.

    “and the brass idol he asked Hebrews to worship.”

    The Hebrews were not commanded to “worship” the bronze serpent.

    “Their symbol is the yin-yang Menorah.”

    “Yin/yang” is a Chinese concept.

    “The base of the menorah is a snäke head and forked tongue.”

    For which you offer no documentation.

    “The fellatio symbol or menorah is YHWH through proto-Canaanite or Old Negev script.”

    For which you offer no documentation.

    Yahweh is not the menorah.

    “Yah is also a barbäric snäke since he has sëx with his mother, half-sister, daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter.”

    You offer no documentation from the OT.

    “Moses also saved 32,000 virg|n girls as plunder for the Hebrews after ki||ing thousands of their men.”

    Are you disappointed that the females weren’t killed along with the males?

    Where does the text say they were “girls”?

    Reply
  • “YHWH is the snäke of the Tree of Life or snäke-pole or caduceus.”

    i) A snake-pole is a dead stick of wood. The tree of life was a fruit-tree. You can’t eat fruit from a wooden pole.

    ii) It’s dubious to assume the Temper was a snake. For one thing the Hebrew word means three different things: “snake,” “diviner,” “shining one.” The Hebrew designation is probably a pun that plays on the varied connotations of the word.

    Reply

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