It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

God's law; Your neighbour's goods

page: 3
6
<< 1  2    4  5 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 11:17 AM
link   

Prezbo369
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)

The small portion of humanity were only supposed to be the starting point. Acts of the Apostles represents the moment when the message began spreading outwards.
(As for the Chinese, etc. Paul would argue that what is good in the laws of all nations was inspired by God, albeit unconsciously. That is what he means by "the Gentiles are a Law unto themselves")


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?

Perhaps for the same reason that infant teachers don't try to feed their classes with the equations of Einstein.
The pace of teaching is controlled by the learning capacity of the pupils.


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




posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:05 PM
link   

DISRAELI
The small portion of humanity were only supposed to be the starting point. Acts of the Apostles represents the moment when the message began spreading outwards.


And in the meantime everyone not lucky enough to be born close to ancient Palestine has to just suck it up?


(As for the Chinese, etc. Paul would argue that what is good in the laws of all nations was inspired by God, albeit unconsciously. That is what he means by "the Gentiles are a Law unto themselves")


That's just an incredibly weak cop-out. Why not just start off with such a premise in regards to everything we've ever done and will ever do and be done with discussion?

It's lazy thinking at it's worst.



Perhaps for the same reason that infant teachers don't try to feed their classes with the equations of Einstein.
The pace of teaching is controlled by the learning capacity of the pupils.


You're comparing grown people with children and scientific equations with a law on burglary??

And what makes you think such a simple law/premise couldn't be adapted instantly? Why couldn't an all knowing god accomplish such a task? I'm pretty sure you or I could sufficiently explain it....



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:00 PM
link   

It shows us a God who deals with people as he finds them, starting with the customs they’ve got already and allowing time to improve them.


I am the son of two schoolteachers and the grandson of a third.
I may have mentioned this before.
This provides me with a very accessible analogy for the way God approaches the question of giving laws to the people of Israel.
He behaves like a teacher.

A good teacher is always conscious of the capabilities and limitations of his pupils, and he tries to give them teaching at the appropriate level.
He talks to them in terms which they will be able to understand, and sets out to improve their understanding in gradual ways.
If their reading abilities have taken them to the end of the first of the “Janet and John” books, then he offers them the second book.
If their mathematical skills have taken them as far as adding up and “taking away”, then he might begin showing them how to multiply and divide.
What he’s not going to do is start scribbling Einstein’s equations on the blackboard.
Teaching is not about “zapping” people with instantaneous advanced knowledge (except in science fiction stories).
It is the slow and patient work of gradual training.

We find a similar patience in the way the God of Israel deals with his people.
He finds them naturally loving their brothers and other kinsmen and encourages them to treat the rest of the nation in the same way.
However, they are not yet ready to extend the concept of “brothers” to the world at large, so that part of the training is postponed for a later stage.
So what we see in the laws of the Old Testament, and in the overall history of the Old Testament, is the slow and patient work of gradual training.
God does not “zap”. He teaches.

This has a bearing on the question of whether these laws can be changed.
We find in the classroom that lessons vary according to the age and circumstances of the pupils.
The books used in the infants’ class are not the books used in the university lecture hall.
In the same way, the guidance which God gives to his people might be expected to change according to the level of their understanding and the condition of their society.
The details of the laws might be variable, as long as the principles which lay behind them, such as the protection of lives and property, were respected.
In other words, as Paul might put it, the letter of the Law would be less binding than the spirit of the Law.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 11:56 PM
link   
The Habiru (Hebrew) people needed someone to give them some guidance. They didn't start out as a cohesive civilized band of brothers. According to Wiki: Habiru or Apiru or ˁpr.w (Egyptian) was the name given by various Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Mitanni, and Ugaritic sources (dated, roughly, between 1800 BC and 1100 BC) to a group of people living as nomadic invaders in areas of the Fertile Crescent from Northeastern Mesopotamia and Iran to the borders of Egypt in Canaan.[1] Depending on the source and epoch, these Habiru are variously described as nomadic or semi-nomadic, rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, and bowmen, servants, slaves, migrant laborers, etc.....As more texts were uncovered throughout the Near East, it became clear that the Habiru were mentioned in contexts ranging from unemployed agricultural workers and vagrants, to mounted mercenary bowmen.

This rag-tag bunch of ne'er do wells couldn't just have the Almighty drop in on them and expound enlightened truth to them. They needed to learn how to bathe first, to cover up their poo when they relieved themselves, to wash their hands before eating and so on. At least that's what they needed if the Almighty wanted them to stay alive and disease free long enough to have deeper lessons taught to them.
No matter how far removed from our glorious beginnings we stray, God meets us where we are and nurtures and teaches us there.

Everyone was given a conscience so it's not surprising that civilized people from all cultures would recognize universal truths like "killing your annoying neighbor does not make you popular in town". But the Habiru/Hebrews were not a civilized people and needed some basic information.

As an aside, having read Peter D'Adamo's works on diet and blood types, the biblical (Levitical) diet advised for the Jews is a beneficial one for blood type B ( of which many Semitic people share). I'm sure they didn't know about blood types or the need for avoiding certain types of food for their blood group but the biblical diet does coincide nicely with their blood type needs.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 03:02 AM
link   
reply to post by whitewave
 

Thank you for that contribution.
i would pick out one point as particularly important- that if the intention was to worl with one particular people (as the starting point) they needed to be brought into existence first, as a people.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 06:15 AM
link   

Prezbo369
And what makes you think such a simple law/premise couldn't be adapted instantly? Why couldn't an all knowing god accomplish such a task? I'm pretty sure you or I could sufficiently explain it....

Yes, I'm sure you could explain them verbally, as intellectual concepts, but could you persuade people to adopt them and incorporate them into their customs, if they went against the grain of generations of cultural behaviour?
That's always been the tricky part.
Take "Love your enemy". "Love" is not a difficult concept, intellectually, and neither is "enemy", so explaining what they mean in combination ought to be a piece of cake.
But getting people to put it into practice is another matter altogether, as experience has shown. There is mental resistance, especially when people are not used to the idea.

That mental resistance is what I am metaphorically describing as "slowness of understanding", and one of the ways of overcoming it is by patient teaching.
Take the idea of "brotherhood".
The early Israeiltes, like most of the peoples of the world, were used to the idea that they should at least be helpful and supportive to their brothers.
So one of the methods of these laws is to extend the concept of "brother" to other members of the community.
One of the laws I quoted here deals with the animals of another member of the community, one that you have never met before in your life, and that person is desrcibed as a "brother".
In principle, the concept can be extended to the entire nation.
Then the New Testament wants to extend it beyond the nation to the world at large, and that's where it meets the mental resistance of the Jews.
"Love your enemies" is really post-graduate stuff (though one of the laws I quoted here himts at it).

I stand by my "infants to university students" metaphor, beacuse it does a number of useful things.
It expresses the fact that there is a spiritual gap between the Babylonians whose law will take a man looting a burning house and throw him into the same fire, and the men who can love their enemies.
It expresses the way this gap is not necessarily the result of the people at one end of the scale being more intrinsically evil than the people at the other end of the scale.
It expresses the way the gap may be at leastly partly bridged by the allowance of time and patience.

Holding people back from killing burglars automatically may be a small step, but it is a start.
Little by little, bit by bit.
That's how teaching works.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 08:59 AM
link   

DISRAELI
Yes, I'm sure you could explain them verbally, as intellectual concepts, but could you persuade people to adopt them and incorporate them into their customs, if they went against the grain of generations of cultural behaviour?
That's always been the tricky part.


If a teacher can take an infant and over the span of 10 years teach that child to read, write, work out mathematic problems, understand scientific inquiry and a number of other lessons, why would premise as simple as 'when it's ok to kill a burglar' need hundreds if not thousands of years to be adopted?

It seems to me that this whole "slowness of understanding" is just a convenience created inorder to excuse the fact that it has taken far far longer than anyone would expect from a 'perfect' and all knowing being.


Take "Love your enemy". "Love" is not a difficult concept, intellectually, and neither is "enemy", so explaining what they mean in combination ought to be a piece of cake.
But getting people to put it into practice is another matter altogether, as experience has shown. There is mental resistance, especially when people are not used to the idea.


While it might sound like good advice, loving your enemies is a very bad idea......and we all know this. Do you love Hitler or kim jong il? Some people might but not many, and there is no reason to think that it's a good idea. Jesus/God certainly doesn't love his enemies, otherwise there'd be no need for hell/banishment/oblivion for those that do not do what he wants.

The world certainly could use more compassion and tolerance, but that passage doesn't help. Add to this the fact that it's impossible to achieve, how does someone love another person if the impulse to love is not there to begin with? Jesus/god commands people to do something they cannot achieve. It's certainly undermined by the understanding that the speaker on the mount is planning on punishing his enemies........forever...

edit on 27-1-2014 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 05:53 PM
link   

Prezbo369
If a teacher can take an infant and over the span of 10 years teach that child to read, write, work out mathematic problems, understand scientific inquiry and a number of other lessons, why would premise as simple as 'when it's ok to kill a burglar' need hundreds if not thousands of years to be adopted?

A number of difficulties can slow down the teaching process.
One is that it isn't easy to teach a pupil much faster than he's willing to be taught (especially since they abolished the use of the cane).
Another is that you can't teach a group as quickly as you can teach a single person, a difficulty which only increases as the group gets larger.
As I've said elsewhere, the pace of teaching is controlled by the learning capacity of the pupils.
Trying to change the moral choices of an entire culture involves both sets of difficulties at the same time.
I think you seriously underestimate the size of the task, partly because you've never undertaken a comparable task yourself.

Another factor in the pace of teaching is the ability to communicate.
For whatever reason, a Creator God has not chosen to give total knowledge instantly into the minds of every human individual ("zapping"), which is what the armchair world-creators of ATS would have done in his place.
The chosen method as described in the pages of the Bible is more indirect- to communicate with some, and let them then communicate with others.
So the first stage in the process is to set up the people of Israel as a first point of contact.
Once the relationship with Israel is up and running, the whole process moves much faster- though the history of the Old Testament shows how much patience is still required.

It seems that Israel were intended to play the role of pupil-teacher so common in nineteenth-century schools- that is, they were to learn the lesson themselves and then pass it on to others.The New Testament is the story of the way this second stage gets going, though without the full co-operation of the intended agents.

Your own moral stance is the long-term end-result of this process.
At the beginning of this conversation, you were very absolute that the killing of burglars was NEVER justifiable.
Yet without that long previous history of educational process, that thought would never have occurred to you.
The law in the Pentateuch was the first step along the path that led to you making that judgement.


edit on 27-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 07:39 AM
link   

DISRAELI
A number of difficulties can slow down the teaching process.
One is that it isn't easy to teach a pupil much faster than he's willing to be taught (especially since they abolished the use of the cane).


Is that what you've learnt from 2 generations of teachers? That teaching is easier with the threat of violence??
A good teacher doesn't need to resort to to such primitive methods to get his pupils involved.


Another is that you can't teach a group as quickly as you can teach a single person, a difficulty which only increases as the group gets larger.


I thought the god of the bible was a personal god, that listened to your prayers and walked with you throughout your life? Yet here you're saying he/it can only 'teach' people,in large groups? hmm


I think you seriously underestimate the size of the task, partly because you've never undertaken a comparable task yourself.


Neither of us have.....so how do you know you're not overestimating the task?


The chosen method as described in the pages of the Bible is more indirect- to communicate with some, and let them then communicate with others.


Weird, the exact same method as used by every single nut job claiming to have been abducted/contacted/touched by gods/aliens/angels/daemons etc etc.....

It seems that Israel were intended to play the role of pupil-teacher so common in nineteenth-century schools


I see, were they threatened with lashings from the cane?....


Your own moral stance is the long-term end-result of this process.
At the beginning of this conversation, you were very absolute that the killing of burglars was NEVER justifiable.
Yet without that long previous history of educational process, that thought would never have occurred to you.
The law in the Pentateuch was the first step along the path that led to you making that judgement.


Right....I needed a 'god' to tell me that the killing of anyone for any reason is ultimately a bad thing?....

Did you?



posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 05:35 PM
link   

Prezbo369
I thought the god of the bible was a personal god, that listened to your prayers and walked with you throughout your life? Yet here you're saying he/it can only 'teach' people,in large groups? hmm

Where did I say "only"?
It was more a case of "as long as..."
You needed to read a little further down the page to where I began talking about communication.

"The chosen method as described in the pages of the Bible is more indirect- to communicate with some, and let them then communicate with others.
So the first stage in the process is to set up the people of Israel as a first point of contact.
Once the relationship with Israel is up and running, the whole process moves much faster- "
Thus, for example, if he tells Moses (or Isaiah) and Moses or Isaiah then tell everybody else, that combines direct, personal communication (the prophet) with indirect communication (the prophet's message).
In the New Testament period, the "outpouring of the Holy Spirit" opens up a third stage.

Prayer is a different issue, because prayer is communication in the other direction.
God's ability to hear us is not limited by our ability to hear him.
(This comes up in my Song of Solomon threads where I talk about the "asymettrical relationship").



Right....I needed a 'god' to tell me that the killing of anyone for any reason is ultimately a bad thing?....

You picked up that idea from somewhere, certainly.
I doubt that you worked it out all by yourself, in your internal ratiocinations.
The people you picked it up from picked it up from other people, and so on further back, and somewhere in that chain of transmission there was someone who took a Christian teaching and tried to detach it from Christian associations.
Rationalism on its own doesn't get you to that point.
The evidence that "You must not kill" doesn't have a rationalistic origin can be found inthe fact that a religious believer has an answer to the question "Why shouldn't I, if it suits my purposes?"
You don't.
edit on 28-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 08:36 AM
link   

DISRAELIWhere did I say "only"?
It was more a case of "as long as..."


As long as what?......you can use the cane?


You needed to read a little further down the page to where I began talking about communication.


Well that's rich, I replied to your 'communication' paragraph in my last post here


Weird, the exact same method as used by every single nut job claiming to have been abducted/contacted/touched by gods/aliens/angels/daemons etc etc.....


So not the most effective way to spread an apparently essential message to the worlds population. Proven by the fact that most people, some 2,000 years later, are still not Christians....


You picked up that idea from somewhere, certainly.
I doubt that you worked it out all by yourself, in your internal ratiocinations.
The people you picked it up from picked it up from other people, and so on further back, and somewhere in that chain of transmission there was someone who took a Christian teaching and tried to detach it from Christian associations.


Hah a Christian teaching? thou shalt not murder, unless you break one of the plethora of capital crimes in the bible....


Rationalism on its own doesn't get you to that point.
The evidence that "You must not kill" doesn't have a rationalistic origin can be found inthe fact that a religious believer has an answer to the question "Why shouldn't I, if it suits my purposes?"


Right, you needed a god to tell you to not murder people.....whereas...


You don't.


I don't?

Ignoring the personal grief, shame and guilt I would feel for the rest of my life, I would also have to deal with the legal and social repercussions for murdering someone. This would affect the victims life (obviously), the victims family and friends, my family and friends and the local neighborhood as a whole.

Add to this the fact I would be locked in a room for the rest of my life, the one life I have on this rock. Is that rationalistic enough for you?

We're social animals and have been for a very long time, even before the OT was written......and the repercussions for murdering another member of the pack or group was usually always detrimental to the group. It's not rocket science, it's not so hard to comprehend that we needed a master and commander of the universe to tell us.

I don't think you've really thought about any of this...



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 04:36 PM
link   
Murder is the ultimate form of violence but there are many "degrees" of violence; from ranting at someone on the internet to punching them in the nose. It makes little sense to outlaw one form and leave intact all other forms since violence, by it's very nature, escalates.
The O.T. gave the commandment of "thou shalt not do murder" (correct translation) but by the time of the N.T., Christ was advancing the knowledge that violence is a matter of degree when he said, ""You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. "

The law was to show us something deeper. It was basic. We are a young(ish) race and need simple instructions.

When God had Adam in the garden of Eden in front of the 2 trees and said, don't pick that one, He greatly narrowed down the choices to just the one tree and they still couldn't get it right. When He started out the commandments with "thou shall have no other gods before me", He wasn't being an egotist, He was again pointing man(kind) to the one correct choice.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 05:16 PM
link   

Prezbo369
Ignoring the personal grief, shame and guilt I would feel for the rest of my life...

This reaction would ultimately spring from what somebody once taught you.
I've already commented on the historic background of the teaching.


I would also have to deal with the legal and social repercussions for murdering someone...
Add to this the fact I would be locked in a room for the rest of my life, the one life I have on this rock.

These are not moral reasons why the action is wrong.
They are practical reasons why the action might be inconvenient. They would not convince anyone who thought they might get away with it, as the murder statistics show.
Nor would the argument on the effect on community etc. convince anyone who simply did not care. You do not give any convincing reason why he ought to care, in the moral sense of "ought".


We're social animals and have been for a very long time..and the repercussions for murdering another member of the pack or group was usually always detrimental to the group.

You cannot claim this as the origin of your own absolute ban on the killing of burglars. Societies of the ancient world, examples already quoted, were satisfied that the killing of burglars was positively desirable for the needs of society. Many people today remain to be convinced that it isn't. The Babylonians did not think it detrimental to their society that a man looting a burning house, while helping to put the fire out, should be thrown into the same fire.
The absoluteness of your ban on killing goes way beyond anything that can be explained by social dynamics alone. I have told you where i think it comes from.

You have still not succeeded in offering a rationalistic basis for a moral imperative.


edit on 29-1-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 08:13 AM
link   

DISRAELI
This reaction would ultimately spring from what somebody once taught you.
I've already commented on the historic background of the teaching.


These 'reactions' stem from my empathy for my fellow human beings. It has a natural and neurological origin, no 'Gods' required, regardless of what you've commented on...


These are not moral reasons why the action is wrong.
They are practical reasons why the action might be inconvenient.


The reasons listed above are the basis for my morality.


They would not convince anyone who thought they might get away with it, as the murder statistics show.


Maybe in American Irish, but in the rest of the developed world homicide and murder rates continue to drop. Not that my reasons are responsible for this you understand



Nor would the argument on the effect on community etc. convince anyone who simply did not care. You do not give any convincing reason why he ought to care, in the moral sense of "ought".


Of course it wouldn't convince someone that doesn't care.......do you think i'm supposed to make someone care?


You cannot claim this as the origin of your own absolute ban on the killing of burglars.


As I have previously explained I was talking about the theft of goods and animals, not aggravated robbery.


Societies of the ancient world, examples already quoted, were satisfied that the killing of burglars was positively desirable for the needs of society. Many people today remain to be convinced that it isn't. The Babylonians did not think it detrimental to their society that a man looting a burning house, while helping to put the fire out, should be thrown into the same fire.


Yeah we've come a long way over the past 4,000 years, long enough to further develop and update laws and morals. That's how things work, we work to improve and update everything we can. Something that cannot be updated or revised, especially something thousands of years old that endorses things such as slavery (which you have refused to condemn), should be discarded.


The absoluteness of your ban on killing goes way beyond anything that can be explained by social dynamics alone. I have told you where i think it comes from.


You think it was unconsciously placed upon me (without asking for permission) by the master of the universe. Whereas I think the evidence points towards a societal product. I'd ask you which you honestly thought was more likely, but it's clear you consider supernatural claims to be as credible as claims made in reality.


You have still not succeeded in offering a rationalistic basis for a moral imperative.


I'm sure you think that.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 08:15 AM
link   

whitewave
Murder is the ultimate form of violence but there are many "degrees" of violence; from ranting at someone on the internet to punching them in the nose. It makes little sense to outlaw one form and leave intact all other forms since violence, by it's very nature, escalates.


.....you think ranting on the internet is violent and should be outlawed???
because it might lead to murder........?????



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 11:18 AM
link   
reply to post by Prezbo369
 


Those words you put in my mouth left a bad taste.


I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you. Was just wanting to have a enlightening discussion about Levitical law but it's getting increasingly difficult to have such discussions on ATS.

Carry on.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 11:33 AM
link   
reply to whitewave


No you wanted someone to agree with and validate your beliefs.

Just like the OP.


edit on 30-1-2014 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 12:16 PM
link   
reply to post by Prezbo369
 


Neither need nor want validation from strangers. Frankly, I don't value your opinion on this matter enough to care what you think. I usually avoid the religious topics due to most posters inability to discuss things rationally (from either side of the argument) but levitical law looked like a good topic. You obviously feel strongly about the subject and, as I have no desire to try changing your opinion on the matter, I'll excuse myself from the discussion.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 12:46 PM
link   
reply to post by whitewave
 

Please don't be put off discussing levitcal law.
There will be other threads on the subject which might have different participants.



posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 12:59 PM
link   

whitewave
reply to [url= by Prezbo369[/url]
 


Neither need nor want validation from strangers. Frankly, I don't value your opinion on this matter enough to care what you think. I usually avoid the religious topics due to most posters inability to discuss things rationally (from either side of the argument) but levitical law looked like a good topic. You obviously feel strongly about the subject and, as I have no desire to try changing your opinion on the matter, I'll excuse myself from the discussion.


You don't have to value my opinion or care about what I think, you could just reply to the questions/points made. I don't take such discussions personally and neither should you.




top topics



 
6
<< 1  2    4  5 >>

log in

join