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The ways of sacrifice; Abraham and Isaac

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posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:06 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
I wrote a supplementary post on Jephtah's daughter, which hasn't been added in because the thread got too busy. I must go and seek it out.


Any chance you can comment on Jephtah? It does very much pertain to the topic of this thread imo. It negates the lesson you believe to be conveyed via the Abraham and Isaac story. I am very curious what you have to say about it.


edit on 21-9-2014 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:10 PM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer
It had been copied, but not pasted. As you see, I got distracted again;

In the Old Testament, the God of Israel sets his face against human sacrifice.
The story of Jephthah’s daughter (Judges ch11 vv29-40) is not an exception to this, because he did not ask for the sacrifice of Jepthah’s daughter, and I do not believe he would have wanted it to happen.

In the middle of a campaign, Jephthah swore an oath.
If he were victorious, he would sacrifice “whatever” met him first when he came home.
The RSV, alone among the translations that I’ve looked at, says “whoever”, but I think this is a mistake.
“From the doors of the house” does not preclude the possibility that he was expecting to see an animal, especially if he meant “the yard gates”.
We don’t have to assume that he was blithely ignoring the Lord’s distaste for human sacrifice.

In the event, he was welcomed home by his daughter, his only child.
When Jephthah told her about the oath, they both took the view that “the promise has been made, and therefore it must be kept”.
But was this the right way of understanding what their God would have wanted?

Many stories deal with the same kind of moral dilemma, the promise to do something which should not be done.
One of the more frivolous examples is “The Pirates of Penzance”.
Frederick believes that he’s under a legal contract to serve as a pirate until his twenty-first birthday.
Did Frederick but know it, his case is covered by one of the established principles of English law; “ a contract to do something which is illegal cannot be legally enforced”.
I would have thought that the same principle was applicable in the moral sphere.
There could be no genuine moral obligation to carry out a promise to do something which was immoral.

Surely that would also supply the answer to Jephthah’s case.
If Jephthah had promised to give his God something which that God emphatically did not want, then God would not have held him to the promise.
The vow should have been worded as “I will sacrifice the first sacrifice-able thing that meets me”, and it should certainly have been interpreted that way.

Jephthah’s daughter was the victim of a tragic misjudgement about what their God would have wanted them to do.







edit on 21-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:15 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

So, we can only just look at one passage? Not the whole message? Why can I not question it, and the motivation behind it? More importantly, if you have truth, why can't you answer my questions?

I will take your silence on all the points I raised, as simply unanswerable. The event itself, is lacking knowledge, compassion, and wisdom. It demonstrably lacks any qualities I would consider divinely inspired.

We can all safely discard your ‘lesson‘. It is not believable when evaluated under a lens of basic morality.
edit on 21-9-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:18 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

You're choosing to ignore the fact that God, at any point in time, could have stepped in and stopped it. His acceptance of the sacrifice is evidence enough it didn't bother him! A tragic misjudgement about their God or a God that is inconsistent and morally bankrupt?



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:20 PM
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originally posted by: Not Authorized
So, we can only just look at one passage?

Because the passage is the topic of the thread.
You're not a newbie, for heaven's sake. You've been around since 2008. You should know about "on-topic" as an ATS standard.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:26 PM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer
Taking the Bible stories as a whole, direct intervention in a situation is not the norm but a rarity.
So I don't feel it necessary to account for the fact that such-and-such a situation was not one of the rarities.

The more usual norm is that the God supplies the laws and sends prophets from time to time to point out that they are being disobeyed. He does not normally in individual cases give direct advice or immediate punishment.
The treatment that Abraham gets is exceptional.

Exactly as happens now. People are normally supposed to work out the right thing to do from the information they've already got, and they do make mistakes. Jephthah comes into that category.



edit on 21-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer

More toward the later. Inconsistent and morally bankrupt. YHWH can't get his own scripture right. That is proof enough, he is not a true God. Harry Potter is more consistent.

Not much of a lesson here, other than YHWH was the creation of desert nomads trying to make sense of the reality of the time. Some of the writers clearly had a touch of desert madness as they wrote. Remember, air conditioning didn't exist then, and the desert can get really hot in tents.

He won't answer. He can't. It would shatter his whole belief system. It did mine when I looked at the Bible as a whole objectively.

Sometimes you just have to look at things that make you uncomfortable, in order to see through the lie.
edit on 21-9-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

God commands the murder of Hebrew children in the Old Testament. For example, a sassy, lazy teenager, or a young girl who doesn't bleed on her wedding night, a brother in law, who went to a night out on the town in a heathen city and is non-repentant, are all those who can be sacrificed to the Hebrew God, for disobeying the Hebrew God, by being stoned to death by the whole town. It's a great means of public terrorism and fear pressure, eh?

Sacrificing their own children and kin, killing the sinners, as God commanded, was a no brainer for achieving good graces of a God who would send famine and disease on the cities and towns of those who didn't obey HIM.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: windword
Those are not examples of "sacrifice" as normally understood, as you well know.
The various "social" laws of the Pentateuch are covered in other threads, being a separate topic.
God's view on the sacrifice of children is covered by such statements as "You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Molech" (Leviticus ch 18 v21).


edit on 21-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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originally posted by: Not Authorized
He won't answer. He can't. It would shatter his whole belief system.


That's the point in asking those challenging questions! I very much disagree with DISRAELI's viewpoints on this subject, and think many of them are unfounded and stupid. However I don't believe that he himself is stupid or incapable of critical thinking. I don't think he comes to ATS to have everyone agree with him either. It's good to have your viewpoints challenged.



Sometimes you just have to look at things that make you uncomfortable, in order to see through the lie.


Indeed. One thing that holds many people back is fear too. Fear of damnation for questioning. The Bible says to ask questions! I did, and here I am now.
edit on 21-9-2014 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:12 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
If Jephthah had promised to give his God something which that God emphatically did not want, then God would not have held him to the promise.


I agree. And now you do as well?

So how was this a misjudgement about their God?


originally posted by: DISRAELI
Jephthah’s daughter was the victim of a tragic misjudgement about what their God would have wanted them to do.

edit on 21-9-2014 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer

I agree. It is why I ask them too. Challenging each other with questions, is how we learn things. :-) I'll admit, I'm wrong to. But when others cannot answer simple questions, it dismantles the entire claim by default. Truth doesn't fear investigation.

Do not discount fear. He would have a lot to lose at first. Most of it though, would be his ego. Namely self evaluation after all the indoctrination of religious and racial superiority wears off. Then, you are left with reconciling part actions towards others, based on such hateful words.

Evaluating yourself, thought the lens of Human Rights after this stage, is brutal. At least, it was for me.

But, I am a much better person now because of it. :-)

And ironically, much more spiritual and level minded. I only look at a God of love for answers.


edit on 21-9-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-9-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:16 PM
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a reply to: WakeUpBeer
The misjudgement was believing that God would hold them to the promise, because it was a promise.
"I have opened my mouth to the Lord and I cannot take back my vow"
"My father, if you have opened your mouth to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone forth from your mouth". Judges ch11 vv35-36
The belief that they were bound by the letter of the oath was the misjudgement.
Since God had declared a hostility to human sacrifice, that, not the oath, should have been the decisive factor.




edit on 21-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




Those are not examples of "sacrifice" as normally understood, as you well know.


Of course it is. Do you think stoning your own daughter on her wedding night is NOT a sacrifice?

Your premise that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, so that God could end human sacrifice just doesn't pan out.

Now, the original story, the one similar to the story of Job, is more appropriate, as the "Accuser of Mankind" character has a rightful accusation against Abraham. It seems a more fitting lesson for Abraham, seeing how he had just sentenced his older son, Ishmael, to death, by disowning and abandoning him in the dessert, to be asked to sacrifice his younger son, Isaac. And, Abraham is able to redeem himself.

When you look at the story from the perspective of the evolution of the Jewish-Arab relationship in the middle east, and not some superstitious foreshadowing a futuristic pagan god ending human sacrifice, the story makes more sense, and the Hebrew God doesn't come across quite so unlikable.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:34 PM
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originally posted by: windword
Of course it is. Do you think stoning your own daughter on her wedding night is NOT a sacrifice?

They are different subjects. You are redefining the word "sacrifice" as an ingenious way of trying to take the discussion off-topic.

Your premise that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, so that God could end human sacrifice just doesn't pan out.

I think it does pan out. In any case, this thread being written around the book of Genesis, I'm not interested in solutions which people have invented and put into other books.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:49 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

God did hold him to his promise. So how is the misjudgment that he would?

God only declared hostility to sacrificing children to other Gods. Your interpretation of Abraham and Isaac's story is just that, an interpretation based on lack of knowledge about the character of Yahweh.



If Jephthah had promised to give his God something which that God emphatically did not want, then God would not have held him to the promise.


Exactly the point I've been trying to make. You know this is true!
edit on 21-9-2014 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 02:54 PM
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originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
God did hold him to his promise. So how is the misjudgment that he would?

Not so. Jephthah held himself to the promise. Where, in the story, do you find any statement by God insisting that Jephthah should keep the oath?
God's view was not consulted, and my premise is that he would have given his judgement against the sacrifice if he had been consulted.


edit on 21-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 03:29 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

And your God, with his alledged sovereignty, could have rejected said oath and saved a life. A humanitarian God would have. He would have called Jephthah crazy, and overruled him. Perhaps. Sending the Angel of the Lord, just like with Abraham and Isaac.

Silence is consent.

The fact he didn't, is a testimony to his character. Or shall i say, lack thereof. Just another proof of YHWH's inconsistencies.


edit on 21-9-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 03:32 PM
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a reply to: Not Authorized
I've dealt with this suggestion already. I'll just copy across what I wrote last time;


Taking the Bible stories as a whole, direct intervention in a situation is not the norm but a rarity.
So I don't feel it necessary to account for the fact that such-and-such a situation was not one of the rarities.

The more usual norm is that the God supplies the laws and sends prophets from time to time to point out that they are being disobeyed. He does not normally in individual cases give direct advice or immediate punishment.
The treatment that Abraham gets is exceptional.

Exactly as happens now. People are normally supposed to work out the right thing to do from the information they've already got, and they do make mistakes. Jephthah comes into that category.



posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Do you really want to shift the blame from an omniscient God to Jephtah, for not consulting him?



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