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Rant Against Bible Sanctioned Slavery


jfraysse
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Howdy Fellow Sojourners:

 

Since this is the month of February and it is also National Afro-American History Month, I thought it appropriate to synopsize the Bible’s Pro-Slavery commands and instructions. It is amazing to me, that any Black American, especially those with any direct linage to slavery, would choose to be a Christian, Jew or Muslim given what their ‘scared writings’ teach concerning the same.

 

Here are nine repugnant (yet Biblical) answers to Questions Concerning Slavery.

 

Definition: Slavery - One bound in servitude as the property of a person, group or organization.

 

1. How should a slave treat his master? (A slave must obey and fear his master, even if his master is cruel and unjust)

 

1 Peter 2:18 “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward"

Ephesians 6:5 "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ"

 

2. What conduct by slaves does the Bible say that God dislikes? (Insincerity and Rudeness)

 

Colossians 3:22; Ephesians 6:5-6 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God”

Titus 2:9-10 “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things”

 

3. What is God's policy on physical punishment of your slave? (Words Won’t Work!)

 

Proverbs 29:19 “A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understands he will not answer”

 

4. Even though God hated the Slavery of “His People”, what does God say about the slaves of the Israelites? (Slaves are to be made from the people of other tribes living around the Israelites)

 

Lev:25:44-46: Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

 

5. What does God say could happen to the Wife and Children of a Slave? (If the slave is freed, he might lose his wife and children)

 

Exodus 21:2-6 “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever”

 

6. What does God say should happen to a master who beats his slave to death? (He will not be punished if the slave survives for a couple days after the beating)

 

Exodus 21:20-21 “And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money”

 

7. Does God allow you to sell your daughter into slavery? (Yes! But if she does not please her Master, he must set her free)

 

Exodus 21:7- “And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation, he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another wife: her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish”

 

8. Does God allow Sex Slaves? (Yes, as long as they are “Pagan” sex slaves)

 

Numbers 31: 7-18 :

 

“They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

 

Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.”

 

Moses’ army killed all the boys, including infants and let the little young virgin girls live so that they “keep them for yourselves.”

 

Now what would the Army of Moses do with (pagan) virgin girls? Unfortunately, I think I know, but it also begs the question: What is the social status of the resulting Children who are now half Hebrew?

 

9. And finally, who wrote these things concerning Slavery? (Moses! Which is perhaps the Most Unbelievable Part of All)

 

To me, the most Hypocritical Aspect of all of the Biblical Slavery stuff is that it all was allegedly written and commanded by Moses who supposedly murdered an Egyptian Overseer because of Slave Abuse and then eventually lead his (slave) people out of Egypt to freedom!

 

How could Slave-Born and Slave Leader, MOSES write “god-breathed” laws allowing and commanding the same treatment to other human beings? What a Crock!

 

It’s no wonder that throughout History, “Good Christians” had Slaves and supported Slavery! The Bible clearly Condones it!

 

Message to all Arrogant, Fundamentalist, Inerrantist, Torah-Believing Christians/Jews/Muslims – Beware of your “Holy Book”!

 

Grace & Peace, John (Unbeliever in Slavery, especially "god-inspired" Slavery) :)

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9. And finally, who wrote these things concerning Slavery? (Moses! Which is perhaps the Most Unbelievable Part of All)

 

To me, the most Hypocritical Aspect of all of the Biblical Slavery stuff is that it all was allegedly written and commanded by Moses who supposedly murdered an Egyptian Overseer because of Slave Abuse and then eventually lead his (slave) people out of Egypt to freedom!

 

How could Slave-Born and Slave Leader, MOSES write “god-breathed” laws allowing and commanding the same treatment to other human beings? What a Crock!

 

Excellent point!

 

In a debate I had with a Christian at work regarding slavery in the Bible, he argued that the Israelites couldn't have understood the moral shortcomings of slavery. I pointed out that the Israelites themselves were supposedly slaves for hundreds of years, and based on that experience and heritage they would have easily understood how awful slavery was. He said that they were too primitive to really grasp it, but that just makes no sense in light of the fact that they would have had a first-hand experiential knowledge of the effects of slavery. (I later wished I had thought to point out that Adam & Eve supposedly became like God in their knowledge of good and evil after eating the forbidden fruit, thus undermining his attempt to prop up the Bible by claiming that the people could not have understood.)

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Has anyone else heard that line about how Jesus "fulfilled the prophecies" and so non of the old stuff matters anymore, like stoning children to death for a sassy mouth? I'm not a Biblical scholar, so I can't call anyone on that shit.

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(I later wished I had thought to point out that Adam & Eve supposedly became like God in their knowledge of good and evil after eating the forbidden fruit, thus undermining his attempt to prop up the Bible by claiming that the people could not have understood.)

 

Another outstanding argument, Citsonga! If religionists insist that the BIBLE or TORAH is "GOD’s WORD" then they also must try to reconcile the vile, immoral, hypocritical and down right inhumane behavior of Yahweh!

 

People who try so hard to may excuses for “god”, the alleged progenitor of the Universe, really worry me. I often ask these types, “in the Bible, is there ANYTHING that “god” does, commands or allows that offends you”? I hate to report that at least half answer, “NO” implying that EVERYTHING in the Bible, concerning “god’s” actions are OK. The mind cults of Religion are alive and well, I fear! How tragic, sad and dangerous! :ugh:

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Hi Zombeh_Jayzus: Yes, those points are frequently made but fulfilling those highly questionable “Messianic Prophecies” do NOT excuse the vile, immoral, bigoted, hypocritical and inhumane behavior of the desert-war-god of the Hebrews, if we are to believe the stories (and I do not believe most).

 

Orthodox Christians insist that the Bible portrays the nature of a single deity that does NOT CHANGE. This is the biggest crock in all of Christendom! If stoning unruly sons was acceptable to “god” thousands of years ago, then it is acceptable and “god’s will” today! Besides, Jesus said that he did NOT come to destroy the Law given by Moses.

 

Whether the OT stories are true events or just cultural myths is beside the point (to me) as these fables are revered as moral examples from “God”. :eek:

 

My concern, as voiced in the OP, is what they TEACH! Clearly, the Story of Moses (The Law Giver) teaches us that Slavery is of “god”! Yikes! :eek:

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In a debate I had with a Christian at work regarding slavery in the Bible, he argued that the Israelites couldn't have understood the moral shortcomings of slavery. I pointed out that the Israelites themselves were supposedly slaves for hundreds of years, and based on that experience and heritage they would have easily understood how awful slavery was. He said that they were too primitive to really grasp it, but that just makes no sense in light of the fact that they would have had a first-hand experiential knowledge of the effects of slavery.

 

He's halfway right. To use Marxist terminology, slavery was the mode of production for thousands of years of recorded human history. It's like how we can't imagine the early 21st century economy functioning without computers. That might read as absurd but it's the most accurate analogy I can think of. The end of slavery wasn't even thinkable until the collapse of the Roman Empire. (Yeah, I know I'm being overly strict with the historical materialism. But still.)

 

With that said, if the Old Testament God would have gone so far as to abolish slavery, it would have been unequivocal evidence that the Hebrew religion was the preeminent moral authority on the face of the planet at that time. It would have been such a massive paradigm shift that its revolutionariness could not have been overstated. Instead, there were only two differences that set the Hebrews apart: they had one god instead of 50, and that one god was an especially mean sonofabitch.

 

If the Old Testament God were real, he could have told them to release all slaves, he could have told them about the principles of free exchange, and he could have given them plans for a steam engine (some say the ancient Greeks came close!). He's God so he was perfectly capable of doing all that shit, was he not?

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In a debate I had with a Christian at work regarding slavery in the Bible, he argued that the Israelites couldn't have understood the moral shortcomings of slavery. I pointed out that the Israelites themselves were supposedly slaves for hundreds of years, and based on that experience and heritage they would have easily understood how awful slavery was. He said that they were too primitive to really grasp it, but that just makes no sense in light of the fact that they would have had a first-hand experiential knowledge of the effects of slavery.

 

He's halfway right. To use Marxist terminology, slavery was the mode of production for thousands of years of recorded human history. It's like how we can't imagine the early 21st century economy functioning without computers. That might read as absurd but it's the most accurate analogy I can think of. The end of slavery wasn't even thinkable until the collapse of the Roman Empire. (Yeah, I know I'm being overly strict with the historical materialism. But still.)

 

That's completely immaterial to the point. We're talking about a book that's supposed to be presenting the moral high ground, yet it condones such cruelty. If an all-powerful, all-loving God really existed, then there would never have been any perceived necessity for slavery.

 

With that said, if the Old Testament God would have gone so far as to abolish slavery, it would have been unequivocal evidence that the Hebrew religion was the preeminent moral authority on the face of the planet at that time. It would have been such a massive paradigm shift that its revolutionariness could not have been overstated. Instead, there were only two differences that set the Hebrews apart: they had one god instead of 50, and that one god was an especially mean sonofabitch.

 

If the Old Testament God were real, he could have told them to release all slaves, he could have told them about the principles of free exchange, and he could have given them plans for a steam engine (some say the ancient Greeks came close!). He's God so he was perfectly capable of doing all that shit, was he not?

 

Exactly!

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The slave/master mindset is necessary to keep the voluntary slaves in submission. Some illusion of authority is given to the male-folk in that their wives and kids are in subjection to his rule.

 

Are we not all still slaves to the system? It really does not matter how lateral our thinking is. The system is so well entrenched that only a global disaster could change the situation. However, from the survival of the fittest, this beast will reemerge as human nature reasserts its authority on the masses willing to be led.

 

Even if the uber rich aka leaders did not survive the catastrophe, out of the ashes of the "slaves" leaders will emerge and b/c they only know the system they were exposed to, they would likely apply the same principles. One need only look at history to see this has happened. Liberty and freedom is always followed by the reality of enslavement to the new system. We have been conditioned on how to raise our offspring so even if there were a better way, we probably would not discover it nor implement it.

 

The only way IMO to do it differently and succeed (for awhile anyway) would be to totally isolate yourself from society.

 

An interesting statistic someone once shared with me in my woo woo days, is that any formulation of a new church and vision radically different to its predecessor, it only takes two generations of 20 years each (40 years) for that NEW to devolve to what it originally broke away from.

 

Look at churches in the US today. Look at the RCC. The only difference in the hierarchy is titles. When a protestant pastor passes on, the appointment of his successor is by an elder vote/appointment, how does that differ from the RCC? The woo woos always have issues with the RCC edifices/cathedrals but just look at their modern temples. The RCC ones at least have decent architecture.

 

Thus the immorality of slavery in teh buybull gets a free pass like so much of the other BS.

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He said that they were too primitive to really grasp it,

Kind of like how they were too primitive to grasp the idea that sacrificing to gods doesn't make your crops grow better. Yet modern people still base their understanding of the world on ancient stories of primitive desert tribes. It's not even worth debating it's so silly.

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The slave/master mindset is necessary to keep the voluntary slaves in submission. Some illusion of authority is given to the male-folk in that their wives and kids are in subjection to his rule.

 

Are we not all still slaves to the system? It really does not matter how lateral our thinking is. The system is so well entrenched that only a global disaster could change the situation. However, from the survival of the fittest, this beast will reemerge as human nature reasserts its authority on the masses willing to be led.

 

Even if the uber rich aka leaders did not survive the catastrophe, out of the ashes of the "slaves" leaders will emerge and b/c they only know the system they were exposed to, they would likely apply the same principles. One need only look at history to see this has happened. Liberty and freedom is always followed by the reality of enslavement to the new system. We have been conditioned on how to raise our offspring so even if there were a better way, we probably would not discover it nor implement it.

 

The only way IMO to do it differently and succeed (for awhile anyway) would be to totally isolate yourself from society.

 

An interesting statistic someone once shared with me in my woo woo days, is that any formulation of a new church and vision radically different to its predecessor, it only takes two generations of 20 years each (40 years) for that NEW to devolve to what it originally broke away from.

 

Look at churches in the US today. Look at the RCC. The only difference in the hierarchy is titles. When a protestant pastor passes on, the appointment of his successor is by an elder vote/appointment, how does that differ from the RCC? The woo woos always have issues with the RCC edifices/cathedrals but just look at their modern temples. The RCC ones at least have decent architecture.

 

Thus the immorality of slavery in teh buybull gets a free pass like so much of the other BS.

Another Excellent point, Bernie! Your ex-insider's perspective is always illustrative to me! Thanks, bro! BTW, Nice Cat Avatar!

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9. And finally, who wrote these things concerning Slavery? (Moses! Which is perhaps the Most Unbelievable Part of All)

 

To me, the most Hypocritical Aspect of all of the Biblical Slavery stuff is that it all was allegedly written and commanded by Moses who supposedly murdered an Egyptian Overseer because of Slave Abuse and then eventually lead his (slave) people out of Egypt to freedom!

 

How could Slave-Born and Slave Leader, MOSES write “god-breathed” laws allowing and commanding the same treatment to other human beings? What a Crock!

 

Excellent point!

 

In a debate I had with a Christian at work regarding slavery in the Bible, he argued that the Israelites couldn't have understood the moral shortcomings of slavery. I pointed out that the Israelites themselves were supposedly slaves for hundreds of years, and based on that experience and heritage they would have easily understood how awful slavery was. He said that they were too primitive to really grasp it, but that just makes no sense in light of the fact that they would have had a first-hand experiential knowledge of the effects of slavery.

 

Is the argument that they didn't know any other alternative exists? That I can buy, but I can't buy that God wouldn't have taken the opportunity to enlighten them.

 

(I later wished I had thought to point out that Adam & Eve supposedly became like God in their knowledge of good and evil after eating the forbidden fruit, thus undermining his attempt to prop up the Bible by claiming that the people could not have understood.)

 

They also didn't know calculus.

 

I think that argument just means that you can't know good unless you know evil. They had had no bad experience prior, so good was just all there was, the status quo. It didn't have value until the distinction could be made. God knew the difference, but A&E didn't. So, when they became God in the knowledge of good and evil, that speaks to the understanding firsthand of good as good and a new alternative - evil.

 

Of course, that doesn't explain the whole "written on our hearts" thing.

 

Phanta

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Great post. Slavery was my first irreconcilable issue with god's word.

 

The old testament fully reflects the bronzed and iron age views of slavery that all other cultures had. They were no different and should have been if YHWH was real and a loving caring god.

 

Jesus comes along to fix and fulfill, never doing ether.

 

Let's see, he was the son of god and he didn't know slavery was wrong or he just did not condemn it (implied condoning). Jesus not speaking against it, allowed Christian based slavery to be for almost two thousand years. He praises a slave owner for his super faith but says nothing to him about owning another human. In parables he uses slaves and slavery as an example, even including a punishment justification in one. Nowhere does Jesus say slavery is wrong and never discourages it practice.

 

Paul's attitude was the same and even broke a law sending a slave back to his owner.

 

To me in the NT it's just as much what's said and what's not said.

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Has anyone else heard that line about how Jesus "fulfilled the prophecies" and so non of the old stuff matters anymore, like stoning children to death for a sassy mouth? I'm not a Biblical scholar, so I can't call anyone on that shit.

 

I hear this all the time as well.

 

Let's see, the OT does not matter!

 

Christians say this all the time, but still use the OT all the time. They cherry-pick from it, holy hopscotch though it, of course avoiding any of the more unsavory parts. i.e. The ten commandments are around verses and contained in books that talk about having slaves and the treatment of slaves, selling your daughter as a sex slave, killing children for disobedience, etc...

 

They take many of the OT books pretty much wholesale like Job, Psalms, SoS, Proverbs, Isaiah and Daniel to name a few. The OT is used so much to make Jesus the suffering son of god, explain why homosexuality is evil or why they themselves are suffering for some random reason. When confronted with the parts they ignore, they say "that does not pertain to the new covenant now" or "you are taking it all out of context" (but they of course never take it out of context, oh no).

 

Christians in fact use the OT all the time, in ways that are convenient and serves them the best. So don't believe them when they say the OT does not matter anymore. It matters for them when they need it!

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In a debate I had with a Christian at work regarding slavery in the Bible, he argued that the Israelites couldn't have understood the moral shortcomings of slavery. I pointed out that the Israelites themselves were supposedly slaves for hundreds of years, and based on that experience and heritage they would have easily understood how awful slavery was. He said that they were too primitive to really grasp it, but that just makes no sense in light of the fact that they would have had a first-hand experiential knowledge of the effects of slavery.

 

Is the argument that they didn't know any other alternative exists? That I can buy, but I can't buy that God wouldn't have taken the opportunity to enlighten them.

 

He was basically just saying that they couldn't understand how bad it was. Which, of course, is a wad of nonsense when considering that they were supposedly slaves themselves prior to being delivered from Pharaoh.

 

He may also hold the view that they may not have known of any alternative, which I can also buy, but it's actually irrelevant here. From his Christian perspective of God being omnipotent and omnibenevolent, and of course the Bible being the Word of God, the fact that this God expressly sanctions slavery and abuse in the Bible is a whole different ballgame from just a bunch of nomads trying to live by their own understanding. (The latter, of course, is more like what would have happened, but the former is what the Christian claims happened.)

 

(I later wished I had thought to point out that Adam & Eve supposedly became like God in their knowledge of good and evil after eating the forbidden fruit, thus undermining his attempt to prop up the Bible by claiming that the people could not have understood.)

 

They also didn't know calculus.

 

Or that the earth revolves around the sun.... ;)

 

I think that argument just means that you can't know good unless you know evil. They had had no bad experience prior, so good was just all there was, the status quo. It didn't have value until the distinction could be made. God knew the difference, but A&E didn't. So, when they became God in the knowledge of good and evil, that speaks to the understanding firsthand of good as good and a new alternative - evil.

 

But if they had to experience performing an "evil" act in order to distinguish between good and evil, and if the knowledge they gained was like God's knowledge (as Genesis 3 claims), then that would mean that God's knowledge would have had to have been based on performing an "evil" act as well. That, of course, is unacceptable in Christian theology.

 

Considering that the "tree of life" is claimed to have had the ability to impart eternal life to Adam and Eve, it would seem more likely to me that the intent was that the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" itself supposedly imparted the "knowledge of good and evil," not just that they had to experience evil to be able to distinguish between good and evil. It looks to me like the myth was saying that the trees' fruits had magical powers.

 

Either way, though, they obviously couldn't have known that what they were doing was wrong if they didn't yet have any "knowledge of good and evil," so the whole scenario is ridiculous.

 

Anyway, that's my 2¢, for what it's worth. ;)

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Of course, that doesn't explain the whole "written on our hearts" thing.

 

Phanta

This leads off to an interesting tangent. I am guessing that these early chruch leaders that invented xianity were aware that there existed cultures where this jewish gawd was never heard of and there was order and a system in place. Thus the written on our hearts IMO is a lame apologetic to infer this instinct of good and evil and IMO that 99.99% of folk have the inherent quality of goodness is somehow gawd derived.

 

Dunno how long it took for xianity took to make its way to China but pre that time, there was not chaos, in fact history tends to illustrate the Chinese were more advanced than the Greeks having excelled in many areas of science. They invented the first mechanical clock long before the Swiss took us from sundials. IIRC the Chinese were better seafarers long before the folks in the Med were. Had we not had the madness of communism dictatorship in China, one wonders where they would be today had that society been allowed to evolve naturally.

 

I have not studied other cultures extensively so my facts may not all be on the button. However, it is obvious to any sane person, that the jewish gawd followers contributed absolutely bugger-all to bronze/iron age sciences. Pretty ironic that the "chosen" and their god never managed to become leaders in this arena - I wonder why?

 

If you look at the gawd breathed USA version of the 10 of the 17 commandments, these parts

tend to be naturally in all cultures

 

12 “ Honor your father and your mother....

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

 

If gawds entire law is written on our hearts, we should have no qualms of stoning disobedient children, gays, adulterers... whether we believe in gawd or not. Somehow it does seem that only the woo woos would like to do this and not rational secular folk.

 

Of course we hear all the time of mystical jeebus equivalents appearing to the natives of all cultures. Just weird that all the jews have to show for thir gawd's greatness is a ME sandpit with a partially destroyed temple while other cultures are rich in iconic monuments to their imaginary friends.

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Of course, that doesn't explain the whole "written on our hearts" thing.

 

Phanta

This leads off to an interesting tangent. I am guessing that these early chruch leaders that invented xianity were aware that there existed cultures where this jewish gawd was never heard of and there was order and a system in place. Thus the written on our hearts IMO is a lame apologetic to infer this instinct of good and evil and IMO that 99.99% of folk have the inherent quality of goodness is somehow gawd derived.

 

The "written on our hearts" idea didn't originate with Christians, though. Here's an Old Testament passage that mentions it:

 

Jeremiah 31:33

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and
write it in their hearts
; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

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Dunno how long it took for xianity took to make its way to China but pre that time, there was not chaos, in fact history tends to illustrate the Chinese were more advanced than the Greeks having excelled in many areas of science. They invented the first mechanical clock long before the Swiss took us from sundials. IIRC the Chinese were better seafarers long before the folks in the Med were. Had we not had the madness of communism dictatorship in China, one wonders where they would be today had that society been allowed to evolve naturally.

 

It wasn't Mao who made them fall behind the West. That started happening in the 15th century. China was politically unified and the imperial autocracy choked off innovation. For example, the Emperor decreed that there was no reason anyone should sail out into the deep ocean, and thus it became so. From then on, Chinese society stagnated. Whereas in Europe all those squabbling little countries were always fighting and competing with each other. One country would get [technology x] and it would be imperative on the neighbors to adapt if not improve it.

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It wasn't Mao who made them fall behind the West. That started happening in the 15th century. China was politically unified and the imperial autocracy choked off innovation. For example, the Emperor decreed that there was no reason anyone should sail out into the deep ocean, and thus it became so. From then on, Chinese society stagnated. Whereas in Europe all those squabbling little countries were always fighting and competing with each other. One country would get [technology x] and it would be imperative on the neighbors to adapt if not improve it.

 

Yeah I know this. It is not really much different to 15th century Europe and their aristocracy. Problem is that the Imperial crap in China was followed by "communism" and O say that lightly as the old regime crapola was adopted and tweaked by the new regime. Europe's technology developed in the 19th and 20th centuries and this period is where the Chinese fell behind. Not certian of the exact dates but off the top of my head only. If you look how quickly they have caught up, look at some of the other stuff like civil engineering, they are not a bunch of dorks.

 

Likewise, had the church not exerted such influence, where would we be today? WW1 and WW2 took us in leaps and bounds technologically. I was born in 1958 and as a kid witnessed the moon landings. Man achieved a lot pretty quickly in a mere 20 years post WW2.

 

Japan started as a copy cat industry and look where they are today and they had a post war trauma to deal with. China, Korea, Taiwan etc. "followed" the Jap model and look where they are today, didn't take them half as long as the Japs took. They of course have a cheap labour force much like the rest of the west had in its boom days. I suspect they too will go the way of all empires.

 

The point is, it does not matter where you take a sample from, the masses are subservient to the system irrespective of what that system may be.

 

China has not just been technologically competent since the 50's. Our ME bronze age goatherders have contributed exactly what to the world sciences??

 

Their whole history is questionable and for a race claiming to have been the ones that provided the labor for the pyramids as St Heston would have us believe, to escape with that much gold and then get lost in the desert for 40 years sounds a little too far fetched for me.

 

The epic exodus probably never happened and as the Egyptians were the technologically literate of the day, one wonders how none of this rubbed off on the Jews? I remember reading that the Egyptians actually hired foreigners to work as laborers, bear in mind, I no longer have any notes on my research. History is written by the victors and the Jews had their asses handed to them quite a few times, some chosen people and a pretty useless gawd they had.

 

You could probably ask how such a gawd protected/inspired nation were overrun so easily by an occupying force from Rome. The buybull seems awfully quiet on this defeat. Surely with gawd and the hometown advantage, there should be plenty of heroics to report?

 

IMO they were nothing more than a bunch of nomads with no more than primitive guerrilla tactics of hit and run. Pretty easy to subdue that type of resistance, simply take out a village, it is still done today.

 

Even the epic of Masada, they all ended up committing mass suicide, where was their gawd to deliver them miraculously then?

 

Like I said, this is not fact checked and I merely am stating my observations/opinion - it is called paraphrasing

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I would add this verse to #9 supposedly penned by Mr. Moses:

 

"And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have - from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves." - Leviticus 25:44-46

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I would add this verse to #9 supposedly penned by Mr. Moses:

 

"And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have - from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves." - Leviticus 25:44-46

 

I agree Steel. These verses are listed as #4 in the OP. :)

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In a debate I had with a Christian at work regarding slavery in the Bible, he argued that the Israelites couldn't have understood the moral shortcomings of slavery. I pointed out that the Israelites themselves were supposedly slaves for hundreds of years, and based on that experience and heritage they would have easily understood how awful slavery was. He said that they were too primitive to really grasp it, but that just makes no sense in light of the fact that they would have had a first-hand experiential knowledge of the effects of slavery.

 

Is the argument that they didn't know any other alternative exists? That I can buy, but I can't buy that God wouldn't have taken the opportunity to enlighten them.

 

He was basically just saying that they couldn't understand how bad it was. Which, of course, is a wad of nonsense when considering that they were supposedly slaves themselves prior to being delivered from Pharaoh.

 

He may also hold the view that they may not have known of any alternative, which I can also buy, but it's actually irrelevant here. From his Christian perspective of God being omnipotent and omnibenevolent, and of course the Bible being the Word of God, the fact that this God expressly sanctions slavery and abuse in the Bible is a whole different ballgame from just a bunch of nomads trying to live by their own understanding. (The latter, of course, is more like what would have happened, but the former is what the Christian claims happened.)

 

Good point about understanding how bad it was due to their own slavery.

 

I was definitely thinking more of the 2nd option, where they may not have known of any alternative.

 

I suppose one could argue, along these lines, that it takes time to move a group of people into a new way of thinking, so you take the situation they are in and try to steer them in a new direction.

 

Ugh. It's so obvious to me that this was a people trying their best to live by their own understanding. I can't imagine how people see it as more.

 

(I later wished I had thought to point out that Adam & Eve supposedly became like God in their knowledge of good and evil after eating the forbidden fruit, thus undermining his attempt to prop up the Bible by claiming that the people could not have understood.)

 

They also didn't know calculus.

 

Or that the earth revolves around the sun.... ;)

 

Yes, but that is not evil the same way calculus is. :P

 

I think that argument just means that you can't know good unless you know evil. They had had no bad experience prior, so good was just all there was, the status quo. It didn't have value until the distinction could be made. God knew the difference, but A&E didn't. So, when they became God in the knowledge of good and evil, that speaks to the understanding firsthand of good as good and a new alternative - evil.

 

But if they had to experience performing an "evil" act in order to distinguish between good and evil, and if the knowledge they gained was like God's knowledge (as Genesis 3 claims), then that would mean that God's knowledge would have had to have been based on performing an "evil" act as well. That, of course, is unacceptable in Christian theology.

 

Why does their mechanism for knowing good and evil have to be the same as God? It's the awareness itself that is like God's, no? Why would God be locked in to the same process?

 

(I hope this back and forth is enjoyable for you. I'm having fun testing these ideas...not wanting to take the piss out of you or anything.)

 

Considering that the "tree of life" is claimed to have had the ability to impart eternal life to Adam and Eve, it would seem more likely to me that the intent was that the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" itself supposedly imparted the "knowledge of good and evil," not just that they had to experience evil to be able to distinguish between good and evil. It looks to me like the myth was saying that the trees' fruits had magical powers.

 

I always saw it that way, too. In my reading, the bit about the tree of life reads that way in particular, as it has no proper symbolic function in the supposed real-life event. If it weren't magical, why would it need to be guarded and protected?

 

Either way, though, they obviously couldn't have known that what they were doing was wrong if they didn't yet have any "knowledge of good and evil," so the whole scenario is ridiculous.

 

Well, they had information about evil (death), right? They were verbally (or telepathically or whatever) warned that they would die if they broke from God's way. As children do not always learn from parents, history repeats itself, etc., for a human to "know" something deeply, they often must have some kind of personal experience...test it out. God doesn't necessarily have to experience by the same mechanism.

 

Have at.

 

Phanta

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I suppose one could argue, along these lines, that it takes time to move a group of people into a new way of thinking, so you take the situation they are in and try to steer them in a new direction.

 

The problem with this, though, is that it implies that God did not have the capability of clarifying things to them. So much for God being all-powerful, huh?

 

Ugh. It's so obvious to me that this was a people trying their best to live by their own understanding. I can't imagine how people see it as more.

 

I agree. Yet I saw it as more when I was a Christian. It's just something that's seriously ingrained in the minds of the indoctrinated.

 

Why does their mechanism for knowing good and evil have to be the same as God? It's the awareness itself that is like God's, no? Why would God be locked in to the same process?

 

If it was supposedly experiential knowledge, and it was like God's, then why wouldn't that imply that God's knowledge was also experiential?

 

Beyond that, the knowledge they gained wasn't just of evil, but also of good. Thus, if they didn't have the knowledge of good and evil until eating of the tree, then the experiential knowledge argument would have to assume that they had also not experienced good before eating from the tree, wouldn't it?

 

Of course, I personally don't think that the idea of experiential knowledge is what the myth was actually saying. I think the trees were supposedly imparted with magical power, and that power is what supposedly opened the eyes of Adam & Eve to be able to discern between good and evil.

 

(I hope this back and forth is enjoyable for you. I'm having fun testing these ideas...not wanting to take the piss out of you or anything.)

 

I'm fine with it. It is kind of ironic, though, how we who don't believe this stuff can still find it interesting to discuss it. ;)

 

I always saw it that way, too. In my reading, the bit about the tree of life reads that way in particular, as it has no proper symbolic function in the supposed real-life event. If it weren't magical, why would it need to be guarded and protected?

 

Exactly. Which is why I think that the tree of knowledge was also supposedly magical. (We have a magical talking snake in the story too!)

 

Well, they had information about evil (death), right? They were verbally (or telepathically or whatever) warned that they would die if they broke from God's way.

 

But could they have understood? After all, could they have understood that disobeying was "evil" before they had the "knowledge of good and evil"? The whole thing is quite silly when you really get down to the details, isn't it?

 

As children do not always learn from parents, history repeats itself, etc., for a human to "know" something deeply, they often must have some kind of personal experience...test it out. God doesn't necessarily have to experience by the same mechanism.

 

True, but then God's knowledge of evil wouldn't be experiential knowledge, and therefore the experiential knowledge gained by Adam & Eve would not have been like God's knowledge. Yet the text says that the knowledge they gained was like God's.

 

But again, of course, I don't think that experiential knowledge is what the story is really talking about, I'm just responding as if it was.

 

Take care....

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Guest I Love Dog
If you look at the gawd breathed USA version of the 10 of the 17 commandments, these parts

tend to be naturally in all cultures

 

12 “ Honor your father and your mother....

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

 

It's worthwhile looking at Hammurabi's Code/Laws, the first written laws(carved into stone):

 

http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/MESO/CODE.HTM

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