aspirin99

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About aspirin99

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
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  1. Thanks for the reply. If you Google "Slavery and hardness of heart" you will see that it is an increasingly popular response to the issue of slavery in the OT.
  2. I'd like some help thinking through this argument: God allowed slavery because of the hardness of their hearts. So, just as the NT says that Jesus claimed Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of their hearts, he also allowed slavery, and apparently, any other atrocity that Christians can't explain. Here are my thoughts, but I'd like to hear yours. First, divorce can be done with the consent of all persons involved. Granted, a women in the those days could have been at a disadvantage economically if she was suddenly without a home, but fairness could have been reached. You could argue that there was a moral path for two people to stop being spouses. With slavery, the person didn't get to choose, and slaves lost the fundamental right to self-governance and sovereignty. There was absolutely no moral path to forcible slavery. Perhaps there could be for indentured servitude, but that's not what we're talking about. Therefore, the two issues of divorce and slavery are not morally comparable. It's like comparing consensual sex to rape and saying they are the same. Second, saying that Moses allowed something that his god deemed immoral is preposterous when we view all of the asinine things that Moses demanded the death penalty for. If picking up sticks on the Sabbath could get you killed, you'd think Moses could control any behavior he wanted. Those are my thoughts. Please help me flesh out this argument. Or, has this argument been written about before? I couldn't find anything.
  3. Here's something I made this morning. I think I'll make a whole series of these.
  4. My Video On Evolving Morality And Creationism

    As humans, we do a lot of evil things. At times, our evolved humanity rises above our base instinct and, through our intellect, we realize the mistakes of our people, and we try to make corrections. We make progress and we backslide in a saw-tooth pattern through history. For example, I was recently watching a video of Indian babies being hurled off of a tower into a crowd of men who held sheets to catch the babies (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8ed_1209300037). It was thought to bring good luck. The crowd beat drums and heartily approved the tossing of the babies from the tower. Then, the interviewer changed locations and interviewed an Indian man who wanted the government to pass a law outlawing the tossing of babies off of towers. It seems, the ignorant crowd often follows the superstitious drum beaters and the minority seek rational actions. If we recognize that we have advanced in our morality by condemning genocide, condemning slavery, and emancipating women, we recognize that these views are primitive. While I oppose the death penalty, those in favor (on a law-making level), at least recognize that reasons for the death penalty should never be for retribution. It should only be to create a deterrence, and they value the idea that it should be without cruel and unusual punishment (unlike the stoning and burning of the OT that encouraged an eye-for-an-eye payback). Our moral Zeitgeist has evolved. I find it difficult to comprehend any religious person who would want to believe that their God ordered genocide, slavery and created laws that amounted to forcing sexual relationships on uncooperative females. I can understand bronze-age men writing about such things. That was par for the course. It would be expected from a bronze-age mind- not from an omniscient, holy supreme being. It's Occam's Razor - What's the simplest explanation for a man who claims a god wants people to commit genocide, enslave people, beat slaves, enslave women, rape women, stone disobedient children? If you ever hear of a man saying that God wants people to do this, you know you wouldn't believe it. You know you would think the person was mad. Why do you want to believe that because an ancient document with no established author, time of writing, or even original documentation heard from a God who commanded things like genocide? This is only the approach from Morality. Then there's the historical approach. Modern archeology says there's no way someone ever led 3 million people out of Egypt into Canaan. The people described as being mighty nations in Cannan were only small tribes. The Amarna Letters, which are some 300 Cunneiform tablets found in 1887, show that Canaan, in the Late-Bronze age was ruled by Egypt, all of the cities were vassal states of Egypt. A common theme was to request help from Egypt if a city was threatened. There was never a mention of of an evading nation of millions (let alone archaeological evidence for it). In fact, Egypt often sent help, but never needed to send more than a small number of troops- because, in the Bronze-age, there were no large invading armies in Canaan. The whole story was written and / or compiled much later than the timeline written about. As I mentioned earlier, probably to establish a political constitution for an emerging nation of Jews coming out of Babylon in the 5th century. Morally, it is incomprehensible that a holy God commanded these things. Historically, it simply didn't happen.
  5. My Video On Evolving Morality And Creationism

    Yes, I'm speculating. I think that's all we can do, right? I'm speculating that the redactor believed he had in his possession a collection of writings about early history that included oral traditions, old religious writings by priests, perhaps even some creative reworking of Sumerian literature, maybe the religious writings for polytheistic El gods, probably a mish mesh of judicial records - and someone or a committee may have sat down to combine them into a historical record. Again, I'm just speculating. I also can only speculate about how much of it the redactors believed had really happened and how much they filled in. What did they do when they had multiple versions of the same story with variations? It looks like the merged them in some places and duplicated them in others. Who knows what they were thinking? Perhaps it was just an exorcise in governmental creativity with no thought for truth. Maybe it was a room of religious zealots high on mushrooms? Whatever it was, I think the breadth of possibilities allow me to speculate fairly widely. Wouldn't you agree?
  6. My Video On Evolving Morality And Creationism

    If we're really going to examine the issue of intent, we would have to discuss the Documentary Hypothesis, and break the discussion down to what each author's intention was, and then discuss the intention of the redactors of the the version most closely resembling what we have today. If the redactor was Ezra, as is popularly believed, one would think that he wanted a document that represented the collective oral histories of his people. He would delivery this after he led the pilgrimage from Babylon back to Jerusalem. For me, this event in the 5th century BCE is a line in the sand in which some of the history actually happened. If it was Ezra, he was very interested in creating and protecting national identity. You may recall his intolerance for foreign brides. If his intent was to compile the documents that he felt gave the people a national identity, he would hope that they believed the contents to true to the extent a rational person would believe ancient oral stories to be true. I think he understood the natural limitations the stories possessed, and he did not demand the reader strain credulity further. It was enough they had a history.
  7. My Video On Evolving Morality And Creationism

    I guess I would agree with that. What I meant was that they never happened historically, but they had were used for political purposes as if they did happen. So, you're right- the authors did hope it would be taken literally.
  8. My Video On Evolving Morality And Creationism

    Thanks, Antlerman. One thing about the video- I believe it creates an indefensible position for the fundamentalists. If they argue any of the main points, they defend acts of immorality, becoming immoral vicariously. The Rogerian approach disarms the opponent, drawing him or her near enough to listen long enough for the points to sink in. I have personally seen this argument change several people. Also, it makes it nearly impossible for the fundamentalist to claim moral high ground. The video repeated placed our morality on an equal plane. The listener knows that if he or she argues the points, not only have they conceded moral equality, but they have conceded moral superiority to the secular opponent.
  9. Re: http://talkingtimeline.com/videos.htm This is posted in the blog, but Antlerman suggested I post this here as well for a current discussion. As mentioned in the site's blog, this video is the result of an assignment in my graduate program's Rhetorical Theory class. The assignment was to apply a principle we studied to something I had already created. I chose to create a documentary-style video using Rogerian argument to examine the debate over creationism. Rogerian argument is used to defuse tension in debates that get very emotional - like politics and religion. The idea is start by telling the person what you like about his or her views. Then you find a common ground and move out from there. The video was created by transforming a debate I was having with someone who believed that Adam and Eve were literally the first people on earth because they believe the book of Genesis to be revealed wisdom from God. My main argument is show that the morality exhibited by Moses (or the authors of the Pentateuch) was so primitive that none of the writings should be viewed as coming from a supreme being. Page after page, the phrase occurs "the LORD spoke to Moses" - Well, if He did, you would expect the morality to be advanced - instead we get genocide, slavery, stonings and ill treatment of women. Antlerman did many of the voiceovers (for the voice of God). It's amazing what God sounds like when plied with tequila. Oh, and FYI - there's artistic nudity in the video. http://talkingtimeline.com/videos.htm
  10. A Video I Just Made

    Stumbleupon, cool. Which video site did it take you to? I put it on MetaCafe, and it was moved to Digg - and the Christians came out of the woodwork trying to explain why I was wrong. So far, none of the responses have been of even a slight challenge. Although, they are killing me by rating the video low stars and thumbs downing the DIgg posts. http://digg.com/videos/people/Is_There_Fre...on_Of_Free_Will
  11. A Video I Just Made

    Bro. Jeff, Thanks, and I'll check out your site. Seems I've been there in the past. Good point, MathGuy
  12. A Video I Just Made

    Thanks all. Do you think this is something the webmaster might post in the main blog? How do you submit things there?
  13. A Video I Just Made

    My wife just watched it and said I probably lost my audience when I used profanity. What do you think about that?
  14. If You Haven't Seen This Yet

    Poor Antlerman. If only he had a nice stereo system to listen to his music... (LOL)
  15. A Video I Just Made

    When I was a fundamentalist Christian, I remember when I stopped believing in hell. I think it opened the door for me to question other ideas I was told had to be true. With that in mind, I made this video. It's my first post on Youtube or this sort. In constructive criticisms or comments are welcome.