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God's law; Your neighbour's goods

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posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by Prezbo369
 

I have to break up my material into chunks of 7500 characters.
There is quite a lot of law to quote on the subject of slavery, a lot of things that I would want to say in commentary, and a lot of things that people will want to say in discussion.
It is an important issue in its own right, and therefore one that deserves separate treatment.
Only a few weeks, won't be long. But family law comes first.




posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to [url= by DISRAELI[/url]
 


Regardless of the time or the world, slavery or indentured servitude is a disgusting and abhorant practice.

Will you be attempting to justify biblical slavery and the ownership of human beings? I sincerely hope not...



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by Prezbo369
 

I shall be looking at the laws, hopefully comparing them with other laws of the time, and reflecting on what they say about the God who endorses them.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 11:17 AM
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It's easy to see that Biblical laws come from men, not God. The OP is cherry picking certain scripture, and ignoring others.

Property rights are not rights granted by God, they are laws granted by men to protect and justify what they have already stolen!

Jesus referred to "Code of Hammurabi" when he stated "You have heard, 'An eye for an eye." This is not God's law. It's man's law. It's impossible to break God's law.



Someone built a wall around an apple tree, and declared that partaking of the bounty of the apples, even the ones that fall outside of the wall, is a sin.



BULLOCKS! Manipulative greed and control at it's finest. But NOT of God or a Godly virtue, by any means!



edit on 25-1-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 11:59 AM
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reply to post by windword
 

A third option is God and man working together- men looking for ways to run their society fairly, God influencing their minds to improve them.
I acknowledged the largely human element in these laws by the phrasing that they were "published in God's name" and that he endorsed them.

Cherry-picking? As I observed to another poster, I am limited to 7500 characters at a time. There is simply not space to quote and comment on every law in the Pentateuch. That is why i broke it down into topics.
I think you will find I have quoted every law that is available on the chosen topic.

And you object to property laws, do you?
I take it that you would be quite content, then, if someone powerful marched into the house which you built, threw you out and took it over? You would not want to have any laws trying to prevent that sort of thing?
Little people have property too, you know. I think it's a good thing to have laws trying to protect the weak from the powerful, even if you don't.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Just because morality exists, doesn't mean that it came from the biblical God. The God of the Old Testament's morality would land many in jail in today's lawful world.



And you object to property laws, do you?


I object to the claims that "God" gave property to some, and took it from others. Who owns the earth? Who owns the air? Who owns the water, the trees and the birds that nest in the trees?


I take it that you would be quite content, then, if someone powerful marched into the house which you built, threw you out and took it over? You would not want to have any laws trying to prevent that sort of thing?


It happens everyday. What does that have to do with "God's law".


Little people have property too, you know. I think it's a good thing to have laws trying to protect the weak from the powerful, even if you don't.


Sliced bread is a good thing too, but it wasn't designed by some "God" who determined who should have sliced bread, and how much, and who shouldn't.

Assuming that "God" devised property laws, such as the ones in the Bible, that justified their theft and granted land to the Israelites, by ordering the killing the land's previous inhabitants, is arrogance.

It's hard to imagine how the Native American Indians could have lived for so long without the Godly laws of property rights that Christians brought to the Americas!


CHIEF SEATTLE'S LETTER

"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.

One thing we know - there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all."



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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windword
I object to the claims that "God" gave property to some, and took it from others.

Nowhere at any point do I make this claim.
Instead of just giving knee-jerk reactions to words like "God" and "property", why not try reading and grasping the ideas which I am actually putting forward?
I have suggested to you that men were trying to work out ways of running their society fairly (which would include attempting to stop people stealing things from each other)
I have suggested that God's part in the business was to support them in this- more consciously, in the case of Israel


"I take it that you would be quite content, then, if someone powerful marched into the house which you built, threw you out and took it over? You would not want to have any laws trying to prevent that sort of thing?"
It happens everyday. What does that have to do with "God's law".

I made that point in the first place because you seemed to think there was something evil about "property laws" as such.
I was trying to point out that there is a good side to property laws, which you would recognise yourself if only you took the time to think it through.
Anything that you owned yourself, you would want to be protected by law, yes?
The connection with "God's law" is that the laws which I am describing are trying to discourage that kind of behaviour.


Sliced bread is a good thing too, but it wasn't designed by some "God" who determined who should have sliced bread, and how much, and who shouldn't.

As already observed, I don't at any point suggest that God laid down who should have which property.
These laws are about trying to build a peaceful society.


edit on 25-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


The letter attributed to Chief Seattle has been shown to have been written by a playwright, not by Chief Seattle. source
Good bit of enduring propaganda, though.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by whitewave
 


Perhaps a playwright co opted Chief Seattle's letter, but it is a real piece of Native American history.


CHIEF SEATTLE: 1855
Important roots can be found in the
original cultures of North America

One of the articles in Rediscovering The North American Vision (IC#3)
Originally published in Summer 1983 on page 6
Copyright (c)1983, 1996 by Context Institute

Some of our most influential roots are the original cultures of this land. The following letter, sent by Chief Seattle of the Dwamish Tribe in Washington to President Pierce in 1855, illustrates the dignity, wisdom, and continuing relevance of this native continental vision.



SOURCE

The fact is, God didn't create property rights, man did.



edit on 25-1-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


The native americans fought over property resources too. There's a lake (I'd have to look up the nearly unpronounceable name) that literally translates to "you fish on that side, we fish on this side, no one fishes in the middle".

lake webster

Of course God didn't grant property rights to man. It's all His.
King James Bible
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

Isaiah 66 King James Version (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord.


edit on 25-1-2014 by whitewave because: found name of lake (short version)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by whitewave
 


Whitewave,

I reject the concept that laws of the Pentateuch were designed by a "god". I also reject the concept that the (fictional) character of the Old Testament of the Bible is the "GOD", or even a god.




Isaiah 66 King James Version (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord.


Thus Saith Isaiah! This is biblical poetry, not fact. Similar poetry has been written in the name of many others', so called, gods.





edit on 25-1-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


Well, there ya go! We're obviously coming from two different starting points which would undoubtedly affect the outcome of the conversation. No need to argue about it.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by whitewave
 


It seems to me that the OP is claiming that the laws of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, are good because 1) they make sense, and 2) they make sense because they came from God.

I'm challenging this logic. God doesn't write laws, God is law, and God's law is impossible to break. IMHO

Property rights are man's law. They arose due to the evolution of mankind from hunter gatherer to a cultivated and stable agricultural society. Animal urinate to mark their territory, men build walls and fences.

Lawful societies were developing all around the globe. Egypt, China, India, the Americas, Brittainia, Europe and Persia all had societal laws. The claim that the Pentateuch laws are somehow special and were dictated by "GOD", and it's authors and their society were divinely instituted by God to be an authority, is patently absurd.








edit on 25-1-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by windword
 

Let me repeat what I've already remarked earlier;

I acknowledged the largely human element in these laws by the phrasing that they were "published in God's name" and that he endorsed them.

I do not deny the mainly human origin of laws.
Nor do I deny that other societies have laws.
(However, Paul would argue that what is good in the laws of all the other nations was also inspired by God, albeit unconsciously. That is what he means when he says "The gentiles are a Law unto themselves").

I do suggest that the Pentateuch laws show some improvements over the laws of contemporary societies.
That is why I quoted the extracts from the Code of Hammurabi in the second post, so that the two collections could be compared. I think the differences are instructive.
I do suggest that God's part in this was to help inspire the improvements.
I'll be making similar claims in other topics in this series.

However, I don't claim that these laws are perfect and not capable of further improvement.
That is why I stated right in the opening paragraph of the OP that they were designed for a particular kind of society and not for the modern world.
That is why I suggested in the closing paragraphs of the OP that God's approach to improving the law is a gradualist one, that he deals with his people as he finds them and tries to educate them over a period of time.
I must re-post the "God is a teacher" note that i added to the last thread.

I am not trying to prove that God provided these laws.
I am starting from the premise that he endorsed them, at least (based on the statements made in his name), and then asking- "If this is the case, what do they say about him?"



edit on 25-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 03:21 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 





I do suggest that the Pentateuch laws show some improvements over the laws of contemporary societies.


Maybe some, but some, maybe not.

For example, in 594 BCE, around the same time that Isaiah was writing poetry about Yahweh, Solon, an Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet was repealing the Laws of DRACO, and replacing them with something more "philosophical" and democratic........


........making him the first person in history to formalize democratic principles in government, is that after doing so he went into self-imposed exile for ten years to ensure that he would not become a tyrant.



The Ten Commandments of Solon (founder of Athenian democracy)
1. Trust good character more than promises.
2. Do not speak falsely.
3. Do good things.
4. Do not be hasty in making friends, but do not abandon them once made.
5. Learn to obey before you command.
6. When giving advice, do not recommend what is most pleasing, but what is most useful.
7. Make reason your supreme commander.
8. Do not associate with people who do bad things.
9. Honor the gods.
10. Have regard for your parents.


SOURCE
SOURCE



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 09:48 AM
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DISRAELI

The interesting thing about these laws is that they respect the right of property, but they modify that by respecting human life.
E.g, no death penalty for ordinary theft, even burglars killed only under conditions.
They hold things in balance.
In some societies, respect for property has been much more ruthless.


Sorry I missed this, could you give an example of a burglary that the biblical god (your god?) would deem punishable by death?

And why would that be moral or right in any time or place?



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by Prezbo369
 

I will happily re-quote this paragraph from the OP;

"A man who breaks into another man’s house, in the middle of the night, will not be protected from the consequences.
If he is killed in the course of events, “there shall be no blood-guilt for him”.
This law recognises the fact that a man whose house is attacked in the hours of darkness has no practical option but to strike out blindly.
This is an emergency, and his life may be at stake.
The case is different in the hours of daylight, when the householder can see what he’s doing.
In those circumstances, when he can restrain the intruder without killing him, the intruder’s death will not be free from “bloodguilt”. Exodus ch22 vv2-3"

I think the point is that when you're apparently fighting for your life in conditions of complete darkness, the death of the adversary might not be easy to avoid.
And even then the permission in the text looks rather grudging.

For purposes of comparison, I also quoted in my second post the laws of Rome and Babylon, which prescribe the death penalty for thieves without attempting any kind of restraint.


For comparison, these laws are to be found in the Code of Hammurabi.
21. If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried. [/
Similarly the “12 Tables” of ancient Rome include the following law;
“– If one is slain while committing theft by night, he is rightly slain.”

On this point, then, the Pentateuch has a greater care for human life than the laws of surrounding nations.



edit on 26-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 10:39 AM
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DISRAELI
reply to [url= by Prezbo369[/url]
 

I will happily re-quote this paragraph from the OP;

"A man who breaks into another man’s house, in the middle of the night, will not be protected from the consequences.
If he is killed in the course of events, “there shall be no blood-guilt for him”.
This law recognises the fact that a man whose house is attacked in the hours of darkness has no practical option but to strike out blindly.
This is an emergency, and his life may be at stake.
The case is different in the hours of daylight, when the householder can see what he’s doing.
In those circumstances, when he can restrain the intruder without killing him, the intruder’s death will not be free from “bloodguilt”. Exodus ch22 vv2-3"


I was thinking more of the theft of goods and animals, less so aggravated robbery. But I understand the two are not mutually exclusive.


For purposes of comparison, I also quoted in my second post the laws of Rome and Babylon, which prescribe the death penalty for thieves without attempting any kind of restraint.

For comparison, these laws are to be found in the Code of Hammurabi.
21. If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried. [/
Similarly the “12 Tables” of ancient Rome include the following law;
“– If one is slain while committing theft by night, he is rightly slain.
On this point, then, the Pentateuch has a greater care for human life than the laws of surrounding nations.


Yet the addition of a the daylight hours caveat doesn't indicate the influence of a 'God', especially when compared to perhaps older and even more primitive sets of laws. I'd expect a much more profound message or law from such an entity (one that claims to be perfect no less).

Having 'property' or 'goods' has been a factor in human development ever since we picked up the first bone club and we've worked on how to govern such an issue ever since then making improvements with each step. The above addition is merely a step you'd expect to see from a more recent civilization.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 10:51 AM
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Prezbo369
Yet the addition of a the daylight hours caveat doesn't indicate the influence of a 'God', especially when compared to perhaps older and even more primitive sets of laws. I'd expect a much more profound message or law from such an entity (one that claims to be perfect no less).

It's a start.
One of the contentions of this series is going to be that God is a gradualist, as I said to Windword, educating his people by increments.
These laws begin a process of improving their understanding which continues through Old Testament history and is further refined in the New Testament, just as the understanding of a child progresses as he moves from the infants' class to the university lecture hall.
I really must re-post the "God is a teacher" note which i added to the first thread in the series.



edit on 26-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to [url= by DISRAELI[/url]
 


But don't you think such increments would be made anyway?

Or do you think we need to be spoon-fed our laws and morality?

And if these were God given laws fed to us in increments, why did only a small portion of the world/humanity receive them while other civilizations didn't but still developed and implemented them all on their own? (Chinese etc)

And I'm confused as to why your god didn't implement such laws and apply them from day 1? (or day 8 as the tale goes)

Why leave it thousands of years?




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