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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?
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")
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think you seriously underestimate the size of the task, partly because you've never undertaken a comparable task yourself.
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.
It seems that Israel were intended to play the role of pupil-teacher so common in nineteenth-century schools
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.
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
Right....I needed a 'god' to tell me that the killing of anyone for any reason is ultimately a bad thing?....
DISRAELIWhere 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.
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.....
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?"
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...
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.
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.
This reaction would ultimately spring from what somebody once taught you.
I've already commented on the historic background of the teaching.
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".
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.
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.
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.