Monday, July 16, 2018

On The Nature of Crudity


There are some who take offense at the word, "Fuck,"

...but who don't flinch at the Bible where it seems to suggest God orders the forced marriage (i.e., rape) of the virgin girls of the enemy. "Well, of course, God commanded it, there it is in black and white!" they'll say. "So, of course, we can't really say that slavery or forced marriage or killing off children is ALWAYS wrong, because there are circumstances where it may be, indeed, good."

And they are offended by the word, "Fuck."


There are some who will say that "You are demonstrating a depth of depravity and vulgarity that is not to be tolerated and can't even be imagined!"

And they will continue whining,

"I'm telling you that God tells us that God is a Father, Jesus WANTS us to use that term and so, God must WANT us to use Father... and those who'd say otherwise are not even Christians. Why don't they start their own religion rather than interfering with OUR Christianity...?"

...and if someone responds,

"So, you think God's got a big God-dick and wants to be known as the Holy Dude?"

...they sputter and nearly faint at the great depravity in using the word "dick" in a sentence that mentions God.

...but who won't flinch at the depravity in presuming to speak for God something that God hasn't told them, or the arrogance in presuming that Christianity belongs to them.



There are some who think that the US is a Christian nation and that the "liberals" and "socialists/democrats" are evil and godless and who want to destroy the country because they want to let "the Muslims" come in and cut off the heads of infidels and others from shithole countries come in and rape our people and sell drugs and leech off the welfare system...

...but who don't speak out against a pussy-grabbing, daily-lying, disabled-folk-mocking, racists-encouraging, immigrant-demonizing, criminal greedy idiot who can only be called an awful, awful man, surrounded by criminals and liars...

but they won't speak out against this awful, awful man and his attacks on those seeking safety and those investigating truth and, to the degree they DO speak out against him, it's so milquetoast and watered-down and missing the actual points as to be irrelevant.

No, I think I recognize the true nature of Crudity very well and I know on which side I stand, as is demonstrated by demonstrable data.

"Fuck" is a rude word. "Dick" is a rude word. But they're nothing else. Just rude words. Fuck them.

Lying on a daily basis, attacking the free press, attacking those investigating crimes, throwing support to dictators and oppressors who are actually killing people, turning away those escaping danger, assaulting women... THIS is crudity, THIS is vulgar, THIS is evil.

There are good reasons to be upset and angry, these days. But be sure to be angry at the Real Things to be Angry about.

Hint: It's not rude words.

=====

NOTE: Those words ARE rude words, to be sure. I don't use them, generally speaking. I have used them in the blogging world by way of object lessons, for just what I'm doing here, today. Yes! These are very rude words... but let's keep things in context.

Rude words are rude.

Saying "Sometimes God is okay with forced marriage, slavery, killing the children of our enemies..." is grotesque and horrifying and evil.

168 comments:

Feodor said...

In Brooklyn they’re not rude... they’re prepositions.

Bubba said...

Dan, what do you mean by "evil"? Do you mean that those statements and actions do not conform to a transcendent moral law, or do you MERELY mean that you personally don't like them? (Or do you mean something else?)

If you mean to express only your own personal preferences, then I think you should use some word other than "evil." For quite a few people, that word connotes something objective and transcendent, not something subjective and personal, and I believe most dictionaries would justify that connotation.

But if you mean that these things objectively violate the transcendent moral law, I would urge you to produce your proof, your hard data, your demonstrable data.

Otherwise, it seems you're presuming to speak for the moral law and, by extension, the moral Lawgiver.

The thing is, humility.

We all have our opinions when we judge situations in our daily lives (or read the newspaper, or watch TV news, etc) and reach conclusions on good and evil. But they are human opinions, God has not told you or me what is good or evil. Except for things that are demonstrable (so-and-so ended a human life is provable; his doing so is evil is not provable), we can't prove our opinions. They are human opinions and thus, it is not rational or fair for some to say that they are the ones who speak authoritatively for what is good or evil.

In all things, humility, this is a reasonable opinion on unprovable matters and, I'd say, consistent with biblical teachings.

Bubba said...

Thanks, Craig!

You shouldn't hold your breath for an answer, which is one reason I haven't been around: the list of tasks more important than arguing here is effectively infinite. Art has my contact info if you don't.

Assuming that the reference is to an objective and transcendent moral law, I'd wholeheartedly agree with Dan that evil is an actual category of real behaviors, and I'm sure I'd agree with at least part of his conception of that category, even if I think he's applying that categorization inconsistently and with transparently partisan motives.

(Or if "attacking the free press" is evil, wouldn't that categorization extend to the prior administration's spying on journalists, the movement to censor groups like Citizens United from exercising THEIR First-Amendment rights to distribute a political film prior to an election, or the broad contempt for the Fox News Network? If "attacking those investigating crimes" is evil, doesn't that mean that we must withhold all criticism of, say, Senator McCarthy and the Feds who wiretapped MLK?)

But even our agreement isn't proof that we're right: millions of Muslims believe Mohammed is God's ultimate prophet, and that's not proof they're right.

The Bible is a physical text, available to the public for literal millennia.

The moral law is, by contrast, transcendent and not subject to sensory perception.

Dan's position has been that it is arrogant to claim that the former's content is clear beyond any reasonable, good-faith disagreement, *EVEN* on subjects as basic as the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus -- that the Bible communicates these claims, regardless of whether the claims correspond to reality.

But now he acts as if the moral law is trivially obvious, *EVEN* on subjects as complex as immigration and other matters of public policy.

"The Bible teaches that God exists" is a merely human opinion.

But "opposition to some particular policy is evil" is an obvious truth that justifies crude language and rude behavior.

Dan's opponents see through a glass but darkly, but he arrogates to himself the moral clarity of the Almighty.

And he does this in the face of his Lord's clear and repeated condemnation of hypocrisy.

Dan Trabue said...

What do I mean by saying the slavery is f****** evil? Are you f****** kidding me? I mean that it is monstrous, it is diabolical, it destroys, it tears down, it disrupts, it denies basic human f****** Liberties.

Do you disagree with that reality?

If not then don't f****** waste my time.

If so, then you are part part of the evil, you f****** dickhead.

Answer that question or move on. You will not engage an evil on my blog.

Dan Trabue said...

As to the point that you're trying to pathetically make, Bubba, the point that's already been dealt with multiple times (which explains my patience with such f****** stupid questions...)

None of us can prove moral opinions. Clearly - abundantly clearly - slavery is wrong, always. Enslaving a person against their will is wrong. No one is confused about this.

I cannot prove it. You cannot prove it. Nonetheless it is abundantly f****** clear.

Do you understand that reality?

Or do you think there are times when slavery could be moral?

Do you understand that you cannot prove it?

The correct answer is yes but please answer if you're going to engage here.

The problem you all have had on this front in the past is that you wish, you want, you imagine... that you can somehow prove your opinions are facts but that others can't. But that is not reality. You cannot prove your opinions about this moral Behavior or that moral Behavior are facts.

And so the question remains, do you understand that reality?

I think a case can be made that, if we accept the notion of some moral behaviors being self-evidently bad or good, then we can say we can prove it. And if you want to talk about that line of thinking please let's do so. But I don't think you want to go that direction. I think you want to pretend that you all speak for God and therefore no as points of fact which behaviorism are bad as a matter of fact. You don't.

Two more questions I need you to answer to help demonstrate you understand reality Bubba... Do you agree that slavery is always wrong? That it was wrong long ago when it happened and that it is always wrong now?

Do you agree that forced marriages are always wrong?

Bubba said...

"None of us can prove moral opinions. Clearly - abundantly clearly - slavery is wrong, always. Enslaving a person against their will is wrong. No one is confused about this.

"I cannot prove it. You cannot prove it. Nonetheless it is abundantly f****** clear.
"

Why can you say this regarding an aspect of the transcendent moral law, which none of us can perceive with our senses, but I cannot say something similar about even the SIMPLEST aspect of a written text, which all of us can examine with our own eyes?

"Enslaving a person against their will is wrong. No one is confused about this."

"The Bible teaches that God exists. No one is confused about this" -- and here I'm not even saying the Bible is correct in this claim, only that the claim itself is indisputably contained in the Bible.

Why is the latter statement arrogant, but the former is fine? THAT is what you haven't explained.

---

Again, you say, "Enslaving a person against their will is wrong. No one is confused about this." and you add, "it is abundantly f****** clear."

But then you say:

"I think you want to pretend that you all speak for God and therefore no [sic] as points of fact which behaviorism are bad as a matter of fact. You don't."

Isn't your own position that you know that slavery is bad "as a matter of fact"? How is that not pretending to speak for God, if indeed God is the Author of the moral law?

You seem to oscillate between fanatical certainty and fanatical skepticism with no consistency beyond what suits your rhetorical purposes.

Feodor said...

"The moral law is, by contrast, transcendent and not subject to sensory perception."

The first part is, at its most abstract representations, true. The second part isn't. Shame, guilt, these are signal emotions that we physically and mentally (senses) experience. They are called signal emotions because they signal when we are transgressing our inner conceptions of morality (even for those of us who've not spent time in rational thought on our moral conceptions).

For Christians, that God exists is not a moral absolute. It is not even transcendent. We cannot experience the existence of God. We cannot even really think it. But that God is love, that we can feel, intuit, conceptualize and conceptualize ad infinitum. From the beauty of nature to the beauty of physical love, to the transcendent qualities of poetry, music, mountains, seas, stars and coffee. The sensual world around us and the imaginative world both within and intersubjective between us all, all this platforms and guides our moral thinking and is summed up by the truest moral absolute we have: God is love.

Therefore, because of this truest moral reality which we can perceive sensorily, and follow sensorially, and deliberate upon with the abstract sensory gifts of reason:

- slavery is wrong
- caging children is wrong
- using Fuck in everyday speech is wrong in Lexington but OK in Brooklyn
- etc. etc.

Love. Our signal emotions use that polestar as a transcendent critique on our behavior.

Feodor said...

Pretty easy.

Bubba said...

Feodor, our emotional responses to how we conform to or deviate from our own "inner conceptions of morality" isn't proof of a transcendent morality to which we are actually obligated.

Feodor said...

1) When you use the term, transcendent, you evremoved the possibility of “proof” if, by that, you mean any rationally cognated concept. 2) sure they are: our emotions participate in moral obligation. Murder is emotionally experienced as a taboo throughout the world (requiring pitched or extreme rationale to transgress the taboo, and, emotions are the principal motivations ensuring adults care for their infants (studies have long shown that infants behave in ways intended to ensure that parents “attach”’ emotionally to their young.

Bubba said...

Emotions may explain, in whole or in part, why people do behave in certain ways, but they cannot explain why people are morally obligated to do so: no "is" statement about the world can ever lead to a single "ought" statement.

But perhaps you and I should just agree to disagree. Unless Dan endorses your argument in detail, your argument has absolutely no bearing on my criticism of him, namely that I believe it's hypocritical for him to exhibit such certainty about the meaning of the invisible moral law while denying ANY certainty about even the most basic meaning of a physical text.

Bubba said...

Dan:

There's a pretty great book called Victory in Christ, by a man named Charles Trumbull. He's quite explicit in his belief in our salvation through Christ's shed blood, His death "as our Substitute and Sin-Bearer," so I'm not sure it's up your alley.

Nevertheless, I think he has something important to say about the danger of being unteachable; his warning about "this subtle danger of unwillingness to learn from those who may indeed not be as far along in the Christian life as we are."

He writes, "a completely victorious Christian can learn from the criticisms of unsaved, unregenerate people! And often he ought to."

I thoroughly dislike the hoops that you require others to jump through, to prove our worthiness to dare question and even criticize your greatness. I think it's both a stalling tactic and an attempt at an ad hominem attack: "He doesn't agree with me on reality, so [somehow] his criticism of my argument is worthless."

(Funny how frequently your position is a mere restatement of reality, and how often others' positiions are nothing more than hunches.)

As I wrote today prior to anything you wrote in response to me, I'd wholeheartedly agree with you that evil is an actual category of real behaviors, and I'm sure I'd agree with at least part of your conception of that category, but even our agreement isn't proof that we're right.

About slavery, you ask, "Do you agree that slavery is always wrong?"

I'm not convinced that *YOU* believe slavery is always wrong, in part because I'm not sure what falls under your conception of the idea. Since you mention enslaving a person "against their will" and treat it as synonymous with slavery, evidently you would exclude SOME historical institutions that went by that name -- such as a truly voluntary and temporary indentured servitude -- and some contemporary institutions that some would now denounce as slavery, such as work contracts that require certain behaviors for certain periods of time.

Does your definition include prisons (where liberty is constrained; a person can't leave) and prison labor (where productive behavior is compelled), or even milder versions such as house arrest and compulsory community service?

(Or can liberty be denied if there's due process?)

Would it include so-called positive rights of food, shelter, and a living wage, where a person is legally entitled to the fruits of other people's labor? (How is that NOT slavery?) Would it include regulatory compulsion in entering business agreements -- even though, supposedly, a contract is void if it's compelled -- so that the state can dictate the terms of a contract on the two parties, on areas such as as wages or whether a photographer or other artist must use his talents for events to which he objects? Would it include paying taxes, where you're compelled to give the government some of the fruit of your own labor?

(Or can liberty be denied as long as it's being denied by the state and not other private individuals?)

I doubt you believe parents are morally prohibited from compelling their young children to go to bed at a certain time, to go to school, and to do their chores, even though such compulsion sure looks like child slavery.

And I know you don't denounce abortion, even though permanently ending a child's life is even more serious than any subsequent constraint on her liberty. Like the slaveowner, the infanticidal mother treats her victim like her property, denying that the victim has any rights of her own.

If you would define your terms, I would be in a much better position to answer your question, irrelevant as it is to the point that you say I'm "pathetically" making and to the "f****** stupid questions" I'm asking.

Feodor said...

Murder IS repulsive. It has never been necessary for a law prohibiting murder to be written on the wall for humans, even primates, to know murder is wrong. We know in our heart, by our emotions. Attachment to one’s child IS normal. It has never been necessary for a law prohibiting abandonment to be written on the wall for humans to be repulsed by abandonment.

Laws have been necessary as ancillary to normative emotional morality due to maladaptive individuals, times of duress, protections against abusive powers.

You are wrong to suggest to Dan that transcendent moral absolutes cannot be intuited by human persons and human personhood given how we are constituted by conscious awareness of our sensations and cognitions. We are. Christians principally intuit and deliberate on the transcendent moral truth that the nature of God is love.

From that truth we reasonably assert the universal and absolute truths that slavery is wrong, caging children is wrong, colliding with liars in power is wrong, etc.

Bubba said...

Feodor, Christianity is not primarily about human intuition, it's about divine revelation. The common Old Testament refrain isn't "thus man sees," but "thus says the Lord," a refrain that finds its fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth, the divine Word made flesh.

I'll certainly agree that our natural emotional reactions often align with the moral law, but not always, and so divine revelation corrects where our limited (AND fallen) intellect and emotions fall short. The moral law in all its fullness isn't wholly alien to us, but it's also not something we could wholly discern on our own -- or at least, that's the Christian position on the necessity of special revelation.

But, again, since my argument is with Dan and not you, I think we should probably agree to disagree.

Feodor said...

Bubba, Christianity is about the relationship between God and God's creation. As our part in that creation Christian faith is about being fully created as God intended. The only use for revelation is to tell us how committed God is in seeing us, in fact, be fully created. And God created us full of marvelous capacities, all of which vibrate in chorus with God's nature when we are at our best. Those capacities of human nature include our intuiting and reflecting reason; our imaginative grasp of what's beyond reason; our sensuous absorption of, union with, and playback to the material and physical manifold of createdness, ours and the whole of the cosmos.

As 2 Peter 1:4 says, we are co-participants in the divine nature.

Therefore, we can arrive at absolute moral truths together. To the extent we open our heart to God's nature: love.

As I have read Dan all these years, this is where I agree with him.

So it makes sense that you would not want to try to contend with this narrative. It's quite a formidable Christian account of being good.

Bubba said...

In that passage in II Peter, the apostle isn't describing all mankind, which he later partitions into the godly and the unrighteous (2:9), but only those who God has called (1:3), who have escaped the world's corruption (1:4) and have obtained a faith of equal standing with the apostles (1:1).

God's precious and very great promises are given, not to all of created humanity, but to His redeemed and recreated family.

Your supposedly formidable position is based on a misreading that doesn't hold up to even the most cursory understanding of the passage's context.

Peter ends the letter warning his readers about people like you -- and people like Dan -- but since I'm not convinced your errors and misreadings and false teachings are identical, I'd rather not treat your positions as interchangeable.

Feodor said...

2 Peter isn't talking at all about humankind. The writer is engaged in trying to keep his flock safe from corruption by false teachers from within, the same false teachers met with in Jude: "..certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness..." Jude and 2nd Peter share much the same content. Evidently, as Jude, 2nd Peter, and parts of Romans before them and elsewhere, there were some teachers that believed they could no longer sin.

So... you tried to hard to stack the deck, Bubba. But, nope.

I'll grant that you aren't one of the false teachers of licentiousness. You're the other kind. The kind Paul says, "fuck you" to in Galatians: "cut it all off, bitch" he nearly says.

You're just another of these modern Judaizers, like Marshall. You make the gospel serve the law.

Observe: you quote the Hebrew Bible. Before Christians were. And balk at 2nd Peter, unable to acknowledge that becoming co-participants in the diving nature with God is available to all - because we are all made to be.

You swallow the OT and choke on the very message of Christ.

Now we know who you are.

Feodor said...

Funny how 2nd Peter ends up where I end up, huh?

For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.

Love, Bubba.

For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins.

Bubba said...

I don't balk at II Peter, I balk at your abuse of the text.

"Observe: you quote the Hebrew Bible."

How dreadful of me, and how completely contrary to the example set by Jesus and His apostles. Next thing you know, I'll be treating the Deluge and the destruction of Sodom as historical events relevant to our own time.

Just like Peter did.

In his second canonical letter.

Feodor said...

You did balk. You tried a diversion by talking about the object of 2nd Peter's complaint. Then you mischaracterized that while you were diverting attention. Then you tried to defame me by identifying me with the false teachers - all while unknowing you were demonstrating you are just a modern Judaizer like Marshall (in a long lineage from those St. Paul hated in Galatians).

What you couldn't pay attention to is the what the text says directly to Christians then, and now: you "may become participants of the divine nature."

This is scriptural witness to Dan's point as I've explained it so as to correct your wrong claim that "the moral law is, by contrast, transcendent and not subject to sensory perception." While transcendent (co-participants of divine nature! Almost nothing in scripture claims so high a capacity of ours for transcendence) the moral nature of human personhood is certainly apt to sensory perception: self-control, endurance, mutual affection... supporting it all... as I mentioned at the very first: love.

This, the discussion from the top, you avoided. You diverted from. You balked at.

Either because you fall short of understanding what Dan, I, and the writer of 2nd Peter know... or, you haven't yet received enough great and precious promises. Your preference for OT over NT suggests you may not yet have fully "received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ."

Take some time to meditate on that.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Why can you say this regarding an aspect of the transcendent moral law, which none of us can perceive with our senses, but I cannot say something similar about even the SIMPLEST aspect of a written text,

I can say that you can't prove your moral opinions with confidence for the same reason that I can say you can't produce a living rainbow unicorn with gummy pegasus wings... Because I see absolutely no evidence that you can do so. If you could do so, you would have by now. Instead, you waste time asking inane questions that have been dealt with already and where you have already demonstrated an inability to do this.

Bubba continues...

[DAN]: "Enslaving a person against their will is wrong. No one is confused about this."

[BUBBA:] "The Bible teaches that God exists. No one is confused about this" -- and here I'm not even saying the Bible is correct in this claim, only that the claim itself is indisputably contained in the Bible.

Why is the latter statement arrogant, but the former is fine? THAT is what you haven't explained.


1. I have not said that the literally human authors in the Bible have not claimed/taught that God exists.

2. The former is self-evident or abundantly and no one is seriously disputing it.

Do you understand now that I HAVE explained exactly what it is you claim I haven't? If not before (and I certainly have before, in some form or another), then right now.

Now:

Do you understand the reality that you can't prove that your opinions about moral rights and wrongs are demonstrably factually correct, even on points where the behaviors are abundantly clear? Or at least, you can't using your toy bible approach, do you understand that reality?

Bubba continues...

Isn't your own position that you know that slavery is bad "as a matter of fact"? How is that not pretending to speak for God, if indeed God is the Author of the moral law?

No, it is my position that slavery is wrong and that this is abundantly clear. I CAN NOT PROVE that God thinks it's bad, but I think it's clear enough. YOU CAN NOT PROVE that God thinks it's bad.

Do you understand that reality?

Indeed, if I'm not mistaken, you and yours believe that GOD COMMANDED ENSLAVING PEOPLE, or at least has in the past.

Is that correct?

I know that it is.

Given that reality (that you believe God has commanded slavery), then presumably either...

A. You don't believe slavery is always evil; or
B. You think God sometimes commands something that would at least normally be considered evil.

Neither of which says much good about your reasoning. But I would be interested in your clarification of which of those is the answer (I believe you opt for B..., but maybe both...)

Bubba continues...

Isn't your own position that you know that slavery is bad "as a matter of fact"? How is that not pretending to speak for God, if indeed God is the Author of the moral law?

Because you've misunderstood my position.

Do you understand that, now?

Marshal Art said...

I'm waiting for the explanation as to how any of this, or the post itself, rationalizes the use of profanity/obscenity, particularly at the blogs of others (being as crude as you see fit at your own).

Feodor said...

Marshall! You are so dependable!! Ever swallowing the camel and choking on the flea.

Dan Trabue said...

Object lesson.

The lesson being taught (but not being learned is just what I said it is:

Fuck is a sound. A syllable. it is, at worst, rude/crude. Fuck.

Look at that. Not a single person died.

Fuck.

Look at that. Not a single child taken from their parents.

Fuck.

Look at that. Not a single person enslaved.

Fuck. It causes no harm, except for those who've been conditioned to find it "offensive" and even, "extremely offensive." But ultimately, it's just a damned sound.

On the other hand:

Those who defend a man who abuses women are defending oppression. Evil.

And yes. I fucking consider abusing women evil.

Those who say that God sometimes commands people to enslave people are advocating a god who sometimes commands evil.

And yes. I fucking consider slavery evil.

These things cause harm. Defending them defends oppression, harm, murder, inflicted pain. Especially/often on innocent bystanders.

This is wrong.

The point is: IF You want to be angry about something, be angry about a president who brags about sexually assaulting women, who laughs about ogling naked teenaged girls. If you want to be angry, be angry about taking children from parents for the "crime" of seeking safety. Be angry about those who minimize this kidnapping by saying they sought safety in the "wrong" way, and thus, we "had" to take their children from them.

THAT is something to be fucking angry about.

Did you understand the lesson being taught THIS time?

Really, Marshall, this is something that people of good will SHOULD be able to agree upon, across the lines of liberal/conservative/Dem/GOP... compared to slavery, taking children away, turning refuge seekers away, causing actual harm... saying "fuck" ain't a damned thing.

Marshal Art said...

Now you're comparing apples to that which is not even plant life. You would suggest that one form of bad behavior is insignificant and unworthy of concern. Unworthy of rejection and rebuke by actual Christians when other more gracious means of expressing one's self...even of expressing one's outrage, anger or disagreement...are readily available.

You rationalize your graceless use of such language by comparing it's use to examples that are as heinous as you can muster, thereby exploiting those examples for the purpose.

What's more, you pretend there exist anyone who supports or defends those heinous actions, even assuming you're NOT misrepresenting them...perverting the reality to do so...and thus lying on top of it.

Dan Trabue said...

You would suggest that one form of bad behavior is insignificant and unworthy of concern.

I would suggest that making sounds in a way that does not please Marshall or Stan's sweet old mother is not bad behavior. It is, at worst, rude behavior. Or, as Feodor noted, culturally unacceptable in Lexington, but just adjectives elsewhere.

Do you understand the point?

Jesus and the disciples used rude words. Big deal.

Jesus and his followers did NOT cause harm or defend those who did. Indeed, he stood against those who'd cause harm (like the religious zealots who were prepared to follow "the law" and kill a woman in the name of God.) and on the side of the oppressed.

So, last time: Do you understand the lesson being taught to you, now?

you pretend there exist anyone who supports or defends those heinous actions

So, you're prepared to condemn interpretations of the Bible where God commands people to enslave "the enemy" or to destroy "the enemy..." even down to their children and babies...?? You'll take a stand against that sort of oppressive harm as "godly..."?

Please answer the questions asked of you.

IF you believe that God sometimes might command you or people in the past to kill babies and thus, killing babies (and the rest of "the enemy") is good and Godly, then stand up and say so. If you think it is wrong, always, to kill the babies of the enemy, stand up and say that. If you think it's not clear cut... MAYBE sometimes it's appropriate to kill the babies of the enemy, say that. Make clear your position.

ARE there people out there who defend such atrocities? I hope you're correct and that there aren't any who "support or defend" those heinous actions... but I suspect that you're one who does.

Tell us, please.

Bubba said...

Dan,

It seems to me that I actually do understand your position.

You believe that the moral law is perfectly clear on certain matters -- "self-evident" or "abundantly clear," clear enough to justify certainty about the issue.

But you also believe that no one can provide proof supporting that clarity -- you write "I CAN NOT PROVE" it and "YOU CAN NOT PROVE" it, evidently no one can.

Certainty is fine even without proof: that's your apparent position.

My problem is NOT with that position by itself, it's with how it so obviously contradicts what you wrote previously, in a post to which I linked at the very beginning.

There, you railed against certainty when it comes to the meaning of a written text. You urged humility, and on what basis did you do so? Because -- quoting -- "we can't prove our opinions."

So certainty without proof is fine, but only FOR YOU, even on very nuanced details of the invisible moral law as it pertains to immigration law and criticizing members of the press and individual criminal investigations.

But for us? The absence of proof requires humility, even on the most basic claims regarding a physical written text, such as whether the Christian Bible teaches the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus.

*YOU* can claim that some particular act is evil, and if anyone disagrees, he doesn't just disagree with Dan Trabue, he disagrees with reality itself, AND YOU DON'T NEED PROOF.

But *I* cannot claim that the Bible teaches theism beyond any reasonable, good-faith disagreement, because I *DO* NEED PROOF.

Certainty for thee, humility for me. I MUST have proof to support my claims, but you can lecture the world without ever having to worry about proof. You don't bother trying to live up to the same burdens you attempt to impose on others.

That blatant inconsistency is what I'm criticizing, and you refuse to acknowledge that criticism much less address it in a meaningful way.

It was a mistake to engage you in pointing this out.

Marshal Art said...

"I would suggest that making sounds in a way that does not please Marshall or Stan's sweet old mother is not bad behavior. It is, at worst, rude behavior."

A couple of things here:

-I would have a hard time recalling every time you've said to me, "Do you realize how that sounds?" Now, apparently you have no regard for how the use of profanity sounds to others, how it impacts them or to what degree...no regard at all.

-Rude behavior IS bad behavior. We can argue where on the scale it is most appropriately placed, but it is bad behavior nonetheless.

-I recall a time when you railed against Mark Maness for his frustrated use of a graphic description of lesbian sex. You were aghast on behalf of lesbian friends of yours you likely don't even read your blog, or certainly not every comment of every post. In YOUR case, you were denied because Stan's "sweet old mother" actually reads his blog and his concern for her is genuine.

-The use of profane/obscene language against whatever it is you think if far more outrage worthy is a clear case of returning evil for evil, and thus another example of your hypocrisy.

"Or, as Feodor noted, culturally unacceptable in Lexington, but just adjectives elsewhere."

Two things here:

-Noting anything feo says as if it helps your case, will never help your case.

-This assumes that feo has a true understanding of the people of Brooklyn. But if we go with that assumption, there are places in this world where raping women is just a way to pass the time. Does that make it OK in your world...to rationalize bad behavior because an entire city might find it acceptable or tolerable? Pretty sad stuff.

Thus, to this question:

"Do you understand the point?"

My answer is "clearly".

"Jesus and the disciples used rude words."

Now you're rationalizing the foul words you use with what you ignorantly regard as "rude" words by Christ and his disciples. Please give me an example of any they might have used that are on the same level as an f-bomb. In addition, you don't have the authority Christ has in chastising sinners. He IS the Judge. You're to love your enemies...both real and imagined.

"So, last time: Do you understand the lesson being taught to you, now?"

I didn't need a lesson in how to rationalize bad behavior. But thanks anyway.

"So, you're prepared to condemn interpretations of the Bible where God commands people to enslave "the enemy" or to destroy "the enemy..." even down to their children and babies...?? You'll take a stand against that sort of oppressive harm as "godly..."?"

This is a topic we've covered many times over the years, so I'll try it this way: If you're bad understanding of the text ever turns out to be true, I'll cop to my mistake. The problem is that you totally distort the stories you now reference, doing still what you chide us for what you perceive us doing...judging the text of ancient times with contemporary sensibilities. What's more, you do it after distorting it in the first place.

more...

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feodor said...


Repressed Sharia-like fundamentalists like Marshall, Dan, will never be able to to use the scales of justice, mercy, or morality. You know this: we both spring from within a supremacist defending protestantism... culturally speaking if not specifically our family’s identity.

Marshal Art said...

"IF you believe that God sometimes might command you or people in the past to kill babies and thus, killing babies (and the rest of "the enemy") is good and Godly, then stand up and say so."

I have said so, unequivocally, many times. But first, there are two distinct points that must be separated:

-I do not believe that God might ever command me or anyone to kill babies.

-I believe that when God commanded His people to totally annihilate another people, including even infants, His reasons were just, and thus good and Godly. If you believe you have authority to dictate to God how He must act in order for you to follow Him, stand up and say so.

"If you think it is wrong, always, to kill the babies of the enemy, stand up and say that. If you think it's not clear cut... MAYBE sometimes it's appropriate to kill the babies of the enemy, say that. Make clear your position."

If I'm in the position to make decisions about how to deal with an enemy, I put the lives of my people above any concerns for the enemy. To that end, nothing is off the table if the lives of my people are at stake. The likelihood of having to go so far as to seek out and destroy all infants of the enemy is extremely low in any case. But yeah, to protect my own people, I'd go that far if all other options failed. I've got the infants under my protection to worry about.

You, in your hatred and desperation to defend your unholy positions, imagine that I would do so willingly, eagerly or joyfully and without regret or remorse. You would allow the death of countless numbers of your own people just so you could posture yourself as "holy" as if that's more important than your responsibility to the people who counted on you to defend them. You assume that the enemy who would put either of us in such a situation hadn't already proven themselves to be the type of people you need to believe I am. Way to embrace grace.

As to this,

"I hope you're correct and that there aren't any who "support or defend" those heinous actions... but I suspect that you're one who does."

I'm out of time at present, but my response must follow pointing out what I was referencing. In short, it was your perversion of reality. I explain later.

Feodor said...

Trump-like: "I do not believe that God might ever..." Could, though. Leave the door open for slaughter.

Sharia law: "I believe that when God commanded His people to totally annihilate another people, including even infants, His reasons were just, and thus good and Godly."

Video game warrior: "If I'm in the position to make decisions about how to deal with an enemy, I put the lives of my people above any concerns for the enemy. To that end, nothing is off the table if the lives of my people are at stake. The likelihood of having to go so far as to seek out and destroy all infants of the enemy is extremely low in any case."

Perversion of morality on display.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

you also believe that no one can provide proof supporting that clarity -- you write "I CAN NOT PROVE" it and "YOU CAN NOT PROVE" it, evidently no one can.

No, I'm saying NO ONE HAS done so. And given the lack of any ever providing any proof, I have no reason to believe it can be done, especially from the Bible-as-Magic-8-ball school of determining "facts..."

IF you can prove that your hunches about what God thinks is or isn't moral or your hunches about morality in general are objectively factual, not a matter of unproven and unprovable opinion, by all means, prove it.

But given that you never have done so, in spite of being offered the opportunity to do so, I have no data which would cause me to think that you can.

For instance: PROVE, right here, right now, that your hunches about marriage between two gay gals being morally "bad," or that God disapproves of such, then do so.

But you can't begin with "well, here's a passage in the Bible" or "here's a passage in the Koran" that you take to mean that God objectively exists and God objectively wants to stone to death lesbians (or whatever you think) as if your opinions about your interpretations of ancient texts are some how "objective proof..."

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

certainty without proof is fine, but only FOR YOU, even on very nuanced details of the invisible moral law as it pertains to immigration law and criticizing members of the press and individual criminal investigations.

Not certainty, but extreme confidence. And not without proof, but with the noted reality that 99% of the world recognizes that killing the infant children of your enemy is an atrocity. We, as humanity, are pretty confident that such actions are morally wrong and we simply aren't unclear on the idea, and it's not without good reason, given the acceptance of the notion of basic human rights.

There's a world of difference between that and your "confidence" that you and people like you are rightly understanding a text in the Bible or that your understanding of that text represents anything like "proof" that your opinions about certain moral behaviors are factually correct.

Bubba said...

The thing is, humility.

We all have our opinions when we judge situations in our daily lives (or read the newspaper, or watch TV news, etc) and reach conclusions on good and evil. But they are human opinions, God has not told you or me what is good or evil. Except for things that are demonstrable (so-and-so ended a human life is provable; his doing so is evil is not provable), we can't prove our opinions. They are human opinions and thus, it is not rational or fair for some to say that they are the ones who speak authoritatively for what is good or evil.

In all things, humility, this is a reasonable opinion on unprovable matters and, I'd say, consistent with biblical teachings.

---

Those are your words, adjusted from the original topic of a physical text's meaning to what I would argue is an even more contentious topic of the invisible moral law.

And yet, you don't attempt what you suggest for others: WE should practice humility, but you feel free to exhibit "extreme confidence."

You feel free to make statistical claims without referencing the actual evidence, you feel free to speak for humanity itself -- "We, as humanity" -- and at least in your original post, you have felt free to extend your extreme confidence to issues as contentious as criticizing the NY Times.

"...attacking the free press, attacking those investigating crimes... THIS is crudity, THIS is vulgar, THIS is evil."

But it's still somehow the height of arrogance to claim that the Bible teaches theism beyond any reasonable, good-faith disagreement.

---

And about this "the noted reality that 99% of the world recognizes that killing the infant children of your enemy is an atrocity."

You support the legal protection for infanticide in the womb, your entire political movement is almost unanimous in its support of murdering children for unlimited and even subsidized access to the tools of murder.

Your support for this modern version of Moloch-worship gives you exactly zero room to stand in judgment on Christians who accept the Biblical authors' claim that God long ago commanded wars of annihilation in very limited circumstances and for particularly wicked enemies.

Feodor said...

“God has not told you or me what is good or evil.”

Not very good at scripture, Bubba?

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Craig said...

Whoops, you didn’t read that carefully. Bubba was quoting Dan.

FYI, Dan doesn’t believe in the whole rules in the Bible thing, or that a line in the Bible makes something right or wrong.

Carry on.

Feodor said...

And Bubba is reiterating them in agreement:

“And yet, you don't attempt what you suggest for others: WE should practice humility, but you feel free to exhibit "extreme confidence."

Bubba couldn’t come up with right answer.

In this post, Dan does.

Craig said...

If you say so.

Craig said...

Except reality suggests otherwise.

Feodor said...

There are Bubba’s words, which you, surprise, surprise, dodge and deny re the contradictions.

Feodor said...

But I forget, you don’t think words are real. You’re a man of action. And yet, somehow, always present on blogs.

Feodor said...

“But it's still somehow the height of arrogance to claim that the Bible teaches theism beyond any reasonable, good-faith disagreement.”

Bubba hopes we won’t notice that he didn’t use the word, prove. To say the Bible teaches theism is a solipsistic truth.
__________

And to try to push in the notion of a fetus under the guise of “infant children” in an attempt to make Dan say what he didn’t say is just a corrupt liar’s move.

Bubba said...

Feodor, I was paraphrasing Dan -- taking an earlier passage of his verbatim, and adjusting it to apply to the moral law rather than a written text -- not because I myself take Dan's position: I most certainly do not. I did so to point out that Dan doesn't Dan's position -- or, more precisely, that he doesn't CONSISTENTLY take his own position.

He's inconsistent and I believe he's hypocritical, allowing confidence when it suits him (for his own positions, when he presumes to speak for reality and humanity) but insists on humility when it suits him (for our positions, which he dismisses as hunches in the absence of some sort of ironclad proof the standard of which he never ever spells out).

---

I personally believe that one can be -- and a Christian should be -- dogmatic where Scripture is clear. The kind of humility that Dan recommended, which I quoted ONLY because he refuses to attempt to live up to the standards he tries to impose on others, is a false humility that echoes the lie of the Serpent and the self-serving question raising of Pilate: Did God really say that, and what is truth, anyway?

"Bubba hopes we won’t notice that he didn’t use the word, prove. To say the Bible teaches theism is a solipsistic truth."

I hope no such thing. I do not use the word "prove" because I haven't attempted to prove that the Bible teaches theism. I don't need to, I can merely assert it because anyone who reads the text, if he knows the letters and the language, can see it plain as day.

What exactly do you mean, that saying so is a solipsistic truth? I'd appreciate it if you would explain your specific criticism here, but if you read the linked thread and the conversations around it, you will find that, despite being unable to point to ANY conceivable and plausible alternative interpretation or to ANY person who actually claims otherwise, Dan insists that it's somehow arrogantly speaking for God and/or the Bible's human authors (here, he calls them "literally human") to state the obvious, that the Bible claims that God exists and no one can reasonably dispute that.

----

The distinction between a fetus and an infant is minor -- negligible, even, in the case of, say, a infant born three weeks premature and a fetus at about 37 weeks; the only difference is where the child resides.

But the difference means **ABSOLUTELY NOTHING** in terms of our moral duties, or in Dan's own words, "given the acceptance of the notion of basic human rights."

Those basic human rights extend to all humans.

But Dan rails against the plain meaning of the Old Testament text, in the words and deeds ascribed to the God of Israel, and does supposedly because of a rigorous defense of human rights, all while supporting the murder of children at least while they are in what ought to be the safety of their own mothers' wombs.

Bubba said...

About those texts, I do NOT believe that New-Testament Christians are bound to follow commands recorded in the Old Testament and directed to the nation of ancient Israel.

I'll go further than that and state unequivocally my conviction that obedience even to NT commands is not a precondition for salvation. We are saved by God's grace alone, through Christ's death alone, received by faith alone.

Many know verses 8-9 but without noticing the next verse, but Ephesians 2:8-10 explains the precise place of works in the Christian's life. Salvation is "not a result of works" (2:9), but we are (re-)created in Christ Jesus "for good works." Works of obedience are to be the result of salvation -- our response to being saved by God, a response which is empowered by God (see Php 2:13).

I believe what Paul taught in Galatians 2:21.

"I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose."

(Those like Dan who deny the causal relationship between Christ's death and our salvation should note that a works-based salvation nullifies both God's grace AND Christ's death, a claim that only makes sense if that death purchased our salvation.)

That "righteousness [] through the law" isn't just circumcision and observing the Passover: someone could ALSO try -- and fail -- to achieve such righteousness through baptism and communion. It's not just the OT's Ten Commandments, it's Christ's two commandments summarizing the law (Love God, love others) and His new commandment for His followers to love one another: salvation doesn't come through ANY of these laws.

Indeed, NT Christians are expected to obey Christ's commands as a consequence of saving faith -- Luther puts it well, that faith alone saves but saving faith is never alone -- but the focus is on the commands given by Christ and His hand-picked Apostles, all recorded in the New Testament. The focus is NOT on the Old Testament.

But, CLEARLY, the Old Testament is still edifying for the Christian.

After all, Christ and the Apostles quoted it as authoritative, affirming its authority to the smallest penstroke (per Christ; or "all Scripture" per Paul) and affirming its divine authorship. Christ fulfilled the OT law, but He needed to ONLY because it came from the Father -- He drew a hard line between God's word and mere human tradition; see Mark 7 -- and it's useful for us to read it to understand God, in the same way that it's useful for a man to read his dead father's love notes to his mother to understand him, despite the fact that the son wasn't the intended reader.

More than that, Jesus endorses Scripture as a witness to Himself.

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. - John 5:39-40, emphasis mine

(Even the Exodus hints at the relationship Paul describes between salvation and works, that works is only the consequence and not the cause: the Passover preceded Sinai, and the Israelites were not expected to obey the law before God would deign to rescue them.)

We certainly shouldn't idolize Scripture as a substitute for Christ, but He Himself treats the text as a reliable witness to Christ. And, so, I am wary of any self-described Christian who rejects the text's plain meaning in what it ascribes to God in His character, His actions in history, and His revelation to man.

Marshal Art said...

Well said.

Feodor said...

1. I wish you were dogmatic about loving your neighbor and justice and kindness. I assume, though, that your cheerleader gives us a clear indication that you are, in fact, not able to proudly grasp the central message of the scriptures. Also your silence in just how scripture asks you to be good. Would that you’d take more pride in reading well the central emphasis of Jesus: be confident that loving kindness and justice for all is the right path above everything else. (This is why Dan’s post here is solidly on point, btw. Politesse is just a white man’s wish from all who aren’t.)

2. The humility comes because we know that we, just like those before us, still fall far short in loving as well as we know how and fall short in knowing love better than we do.

What you call humility is doubtless subservience to archaic social norms of several thousand years ago no different than the prohibition to wearing a garment of more than one kind of cloth or a woman wearing pants and about which you do whirlybird mental gymnastics that always give the lie one’s claim of dogmatism.

3. Solipsistic: saying a comic book presents comics, or you saying that Hebrew and Christian (not to mention Muslim, Hindu, some Buddhist, Yazdânist, etc) scriptures present theism. There is no rational declaration in the statement. Meaningless. Should God exist, there is zero chance that we could comprehend God’s being. All I know is love. For the Bible tells me so. In ways that are receivable by human beings.

I myself wouldn’t say it’s arrogant to believe God exists. It’s just arrogance to ascribe any language to how, why, or whennor who the god is I believe exists. Love is the only answer.

4. Question: when the life of the mother is at risk with pregnancy and she is unconscious, what do you recommend? And if she is conscious and wants a termination?

(I must say it is terribly sweet how you refer to a woman’s womb as a mere location: we should probably have another round whereby I try to impress upon you the God desired values of human emotions and attachments to how we are wonderously made.)

Bubba said...

For what it's worth, I do see the obvious tension -- and I understand the initial outrage and lingering confusion -- between the moral prohibition of murder and the divine command to ancient Israel to wage wars of annihilation, recorded in the Bible.

But the tension CAN be resolved for those who are willing to move past the sputtering-outrage phase.

Murder is wrong -- but why is murder forbidden? I ask, not to suggest that I dispute its immorality, but because I believe the rationale behind the prohibition is important. It's important if we're going to be more than mindless rule-followers, if we are to be wise in discerning the overarching and underlying principles and applying them judiciously.

The rationale for the prohibition might also explain when the prohibition doesn't apply.

"It just is; it's self-evidently wrong" is thoughtless and glib, evidence of an intellectual laziness (or cowardice) where one doesn't want to expend the energy to examine things more closely, lest he find something he doesn't like.

"Humans have the right to live" still doesn't get us very far: if we do have rights, do these rights come from God? And if they come from God, does God have the authority to limit or even rescind those rights?

(Let's suppose God gave us the right to worship as we choose; if He still has the authority to command that we worship only Him, and only as He directs, than He just limited that right which He gave us.)

For me, the most interesting and important question is, what does the Bible itself say about the rationale and reasons behind the moral law?

---

It's a sort of question Dan rarely seems interested in asking. He'll claim (correctly) that God blesses the institution of marriage, but he ignores Christ's teaching, citing Genesis, that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female), a rationale behind the institution that rules out Dan's preference for androgynous coupling.

But marriage isn't the only area where the rationale is important AND provided.

Murder is wrong, but exactly WHY is murder wrong, at least according to the Bible?

We find the answer in Genesis 9:6, with the first prohibition of murder and the institution of capital punishment.

"Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image." [emphasis mine]

And we find that rationale repeated by Christ Himself, in a discussion on taxes of all places. We know the story: that coin bears Caesar's likeness, so render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.

But also, render unto God what is God's.

And what belongs to God? Well, what bears is image?

WE DO.

We are made in God's image. We belong to God.

That claim explains VERY simply why humans are forbidden from taking human life on their own, but why God is permitted to take human life, whenever and however He pleases (EVEN, note, through human agency, as with capital punishment). That life belongs to Him.

It's similar to why humans are required to forgive while God is free to judge and to punish. Romans 12:19 doesn't say, "Vengeance is WRONG, says the Lord." It says, "vengeance is MINE, says the Lord."

Biblically, justice is God's prerogative, and in the following chapter (Romans 13), we see that God has instituted human governments to be an instrument of HIS justice, at least in limited ways.

Feodor said...

All Dan is saying, btw, as I see it, is that you guys are terribly offended when Jesus heals on the Sabbath. Or, in other words, you want the people you’re directed to love to just be English speakers with American documents and who never say fuck or a dozen other obscenities.

And given the whole camel/gnat story, it’s lretty easy to be fully confident that you are deadly wrong and are Judaizers.

Loving others in kindness and justice is simply the easiest thing to get in the scriptures.

Bubba said...

Romans is a great indicator of the continuity of revelation between the Old and New Testament, that revelation is progressive but NOT corrective.

If Paul can write that even the pagan and sometimes persecuting Roman government is an instrument of God's justice against individual criminals -- thefts and murderers and the like -- one which "does not bear the sword in vain," there's no principled objection to the idea that the same God who thus commissioned Rome would have previously given the explicit theocracy of ancient Israel specific instructions to bring about justice against a particular wicked nation, especially when Israel enjoyed the manifest glory of God in the tabernacle and His righteous rule through the mostly obedient prophet Moses and his successor Joshua.

Those commands were no more destructive than the judgment God brought about through nature, against Sodom, a judgment that Jesus Himself cites as historical, righteous, and only a foretaste of judgment to come.

If God can take human life through natural disease and even supernatural disaster, then there's no principled reason why He is morally forbidden from using human agents.

One alternative, which Dan evidently believes, is that God doesn't even take human life through disaster and disease -- that death is merely natural and perhaps even a good thing, but definitely outside of God's control -- but that position is such a strong rejection of God's sovereignty that it cannot be said to be Christian.

Bubba said...

Feodor:

1. With God's help, I do try to love everyone, but I don't think the individual's duty to love translates to a national obligation to have open borders.

Much more importantly, I reject the implicit claim here:

"I wish you were dogmatic about loving your neighbor and justice and kindness. I assume, though, that your cheerleader gives us a clear indication that you are, in fact, not able to proudly grasp the central message of the scriptures."

Loving your neighbor isn't the central message of the Scriptures, and I would have thought that you would know as much, in light of your lecturing us about works-based religion and accusing us of being Judaizers.

The central message isn't about our duty to show love to others, it's about God's gift of love toward us.

"Would that you’d take more pride in reading well the central emphasis of Jesus: be confident that loving kindness and justice for all is the right path above everything else."

That's not His emphasis either, Jesus' emphasis was on Himself, as the Savior who came to seek and save the lost, to give His life as a ransom for many, as the Light of the world and the Resurrection and the Life, the Son apart from whom NO ONE has access to the Father.

Law-works isn't the right path for anyone: Jesus Himself taught that there is no one good but God.

2. About this:

"What you call humility is doubtless subservience to archaic social norms of several thousand years ago no different than the prohibition to wearing a garment of more than one kind of cloth or a woman wearing pants and about which you do whirlybird mental gymnastics that always give the lie one’s claim of dogmatism."

You know me even less than you know the Bible.

3. I would agree that it's not a very profound statement, that the Bible teaches theism. That's the point, that it's not some controversial claim, but I disagree that "There is no rational declaration in the statement. Meaningless."

You want to keep God vague and fuzzy -- "Should God exist, there is zero chance that we could comprehend God’s being." (How do you know?) -- even when He has revealed Himself clearly in Scripture and supremely in Christ.

4. In cases of risk to the life of mother, I support medical interventions where the purpose is to save that life, even if the only options have the predictable but regrettable and unintended consequence of risking the life of the child.

But abortion isn't about saving the mother, it's quite explicitly about killing the child: if the child survives the procedure, it's considered a botched abortion. It's more than what could be called a fetalectomy (removing the fetus), it's fetalcide.

And, OF COURSE, the womb isn't MERELY a location, but those "God desired values of human emotions and attachments to how we are wonderously made" reinforces the bond between mother and child and makes abortion more monstrous, not more justifiable.

We ought to be repulsed by any mother or father who thinks upon the child as a parasite that can be and should be exterminated.

If you disagree, perhaps you need more remedial thinking about "loving your neighbor and justice and kindness."

Bubba said...

With that, I think I've said all that I need to say, both in explaining my own position and in response to others' comments.

The only thing I would add is that, if I had ANY doubt that Feodor's accusation of being a Judaizer was a crock, I don't anymore. His understanding of the Bible is far more focused on works-righteousness than mine.

Feodor said...

"the focus is on the commands given by Christ and His hand-picked Apostles, all recorded in the New Testament. The focus is NOT on the Old Testament."

Nope. The focus is on the other. And loving the stranger, immigrant, foreigner, neighbor, minority, each other. As Christ shows. You never get to the focus.
_______

You say, "He Himself treats the text as a reliable witness to Christ."

But what does Christ say?

“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you..."

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you..."

"“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you..."

Holes in your argument of scriptural trust.
________

"what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart”
________

You like Genesis 9 but you don't like Deuteronomy 22 (A woman shall not wear a man’s apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the Lord your God) or Leviticus 19 (you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials.)? Mental gymnastics that destroy your argument of trusting scripture.
________

Regarding murder I'll refer to 1) Jesus' words in Mat 5, and 2) a psychiatrist if you or anyone else ever hears God command to kill. We are fearfully and wondrously made in the image and likeness of God. Capital punishment is wrong because everyone is made thus and no one is beyond God's love. The lines of argument for serving country in war are in general abstract terms analogous to the argument for abortion. The rights of the living should not be trampled on by others. The choice of the group as to how to live as a group is as fundamental as the choice of the individual.
_______

St. Paul reinterprets the Mosaic code and Isaiah and other prophetic material in very subtle ways. Continuity is not the end result.
_______

Why do you give preference to the mother? On what grounds?

(And saving her life very much involves the intentional killing of the fetus in most cases fitting our general hypothetical.)

Feodor said...

"We ought to be repulsed by any mother or father who thinks upon the child as a parasite that can be and should be exterminated.

Putting these words in the heads of those who face and choose such a thing is monstrous. It's a monstrous ignorant prejudice of yours.

Dan Trabue said...

So much to address... probably won't address most of it. But there's this from Bubba, just as a side rabbit to smack down...

That's not His emphasis either, Jesus' emphasis was on Himself, as the Savior who came to seek and save the lost, to give His life as a ransom for many,

Jesus EMPHASIS was on giving his life as a ransom... a point he made ONE time, in a passage that where the point is on servanthood, not "ransom" in the medieval era theory of atonement?

I don't think you're understanding "emphasis."

Dan Trabue said...

On the other hand, if you take that one verse in context, where Jesus is encouraging us to live servant-like lives, being giving and helpful, etc, that DOES fit into the actual emphasis of Jesus in the Gospels... that God is a God of love and we ought to love one another.

Another way of describing grace, you see (and NOT to be misinterpreted as an emphasis on salvation by works... just the opposite!)

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

He's inconsistent and I believe he's hypocritical, allowing confidence when it suits him

This comes from an inability to understand my position aright and understand where I draw lines. NOT in there being anything inconsistent or hypocritical about where I draw lines.

I think that some actions are obviously harmful and cruel and deadly/corrupt and, therefore, an affront to human liberty. For that reason, I think that we can be assured that we have reason to think that murder, rape, killing the infants of the enemy, slavery and some other actions are clearly wrong, even if we can't "prove" they are wrong.

I apply that pretty consistently with a reasonable criteria.

Most people everywhere generally DO accept that to rape my neighbor, to kill my neighbor, to kill babies belonging to the enemy, enslaving people and other actions that are so egregious and harmful are clearly wrong. There's not really any dispute about it. We hold these truths to be self-evident... life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are clearly good. Harms against these are clearly bad.

On the other hand, I DON'T say that about every action. I happen to think that a case can be made that the personal auto is generally not a moral good option, or that insurance for profit is probably a bad thing, or that watching too much right wing media is probably harmful to your health and to society... BUT, I don't think there's anything like a worldwide historic consensus on all these things.

My reasoning is clear and my application is consistent. No hypocrisy there.

Do you understand?

Now, at the same time, I think there is a great deal of the Bible and especially of Jesus' teachings that are abundantly clear. BUT, at the same time, I recognize that not everyone agrees, that there's nothing like common consensus on these things. While it seems like it SHOULD be clear that Jesus was against war, against poverty, warned against wealth or storing up money, other people disagree, no matter how clear I think it is. Similarly, Jesus nor the Bible are ever speaking out against gay folk marrying as if it were a universal wrong. Here again, I think it's clear. BUT, people disagree.

Therefore, I do NOT make the claim that I know that these things are factually clear (clearly, they're not) or that they're even clear enough for a general consensus. I do not insist that I have the demonstrably factually correct understanding of God's position on these topics and I recognize that YOU do not have the demonstrably factually correct understanding of God's position on these topics.

Again, where something is pretty universally clear and an affront to what have been called "self-evident truths," I think there is PLENTY of room for insisting that violating those truths is reasonably morally bad, clearly so.

Where there is NOT pretty universally clear understandings of biblical teachings, I do NOT say that there is no room for me to be wrong on them... clearly, people disagree on these.

There is not a single thing inconsistent or hypocritical on this front.

Now, if I were to say (as you do, I believe - although it's hard to tell because you just refuse to make it clear) that I CAN NOT be mistaken on certain biblical interpretations... but that YOU CAN, then that would be inconsistent and perhaps hypocritical. But I don't do that.

I think you probably do. Am i correct?

So, there is that mistake, cleared up again for you. No hypocrisy on my part.

And again, the question remains (I think... it's getting hard to wade through the words): IF you think you can demonstrate that your toy bible approach to moral truths is objectively provable, then prove it.

Until you do so, then I have no reason to believe this made up and unsupported and frankly, unbelievable claim is anything but a false claim.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

We certainly shouldn't idolize Scripture as a substitute for Christ, but He Himself treats the text as a reliable witness to Christ. And, so, I am wary of any self-described Christian who rejects the text's plain meaning

Of course, as a point of fact, I NEVER ONCE HAVE DONE THIS. I reject YOUR SILLY-ASS HUMAN HUNCHES about what God might do (for instance, command people to kill babies. God damn it, how evil can you get?!). But disagreeing with YOUR HUMAN HUNCHES is not the same as "rejecting a text's plain meaning."

Genesis 1 and 2 is plainly told in a mythic style. The text's plain meaning, then, is that there is a creator God who cares for and is involved in humanity. The text's plain meaning is NOT that this is a scientific description of the beginning of the universe.

That is your hunch, NOT the text's plain meaning.

Do you understand now, why it is a false claim to suggest that I "reject the text's plain meaning..."?

Do you understand now, why YOU are the one who would claim that your hunches are God's Right hunches but not those who agree with you? That you are claiming, blasphemously, that you and your type alone are the ones who speak for God? Especially about things God has never told you and that aren't clear to anyone but you?

Nothing hypocritical in my approach to the biblical text, but we see there is for you. You are inconsistent and hypocritical and arrogant in your approach to the text, as demonstrated in your inconsistent approach to the text.

But by all means, PROVE that you can prove your hunches about gay folk marrying or Genesis 1 by providing hard data that supports your claim.

You can't, and there is nothing like the "killing people is clearly wrong because of the affront on basic self-evident human rights" to fall back upon. Just "...but I REALLY think this is the One True interpretation... and other people have agreed with me..."

Which ain't nothing but an empty claim.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Dan rails against the plain meaning of the Old Testament text

Again, a stupidly false claim. Disagreeing with Bubba's hunches about OT passages is not "railing against the plain meaning..." You can't support this. ALL you can do is point to our respective interpretations and say, "Dan disagrees with my interpretation, which I think is the 'plain meaning' but Dan disagrees..."

That's all.

Feodor said...

Yep!

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Certainty for thee, humility for me. I MUST have proof to support my claims, but you can lecture the world without ever having to worry about proof.

IF you want to make a ridiculous-ass claim that YOU PERFECTLY UNDERSTAND God's rules about gay folk marrying or the correct interpretation of Genesis Creation story or whatever, and that your opinions are as facts, THEN YOU MUST PROVE them as facts or admit you're wrong, or at least that you can't prove them and it's only your opinion.

On the other hand, I'm making claims about things that you don't disagree with and saying that it is abundantly clear. You don't disagree with me on what I'm saying is abundantly clear (that murder, rape, etc, are clearly wrong/evil). IF someone wants to make the case that I can't prove that these are "objectively wrong," I will say, NO, but they are clearly wrong and if you want to argue that rape, murder and slavery are NOT wrong, then that opinion is in such the minority that the onus is on you to support it. And people will write that person off as a lunatic, by and large.

Regardless, the point remains: IF you want to make fact claims about moral opinions, the onus is on you to support it. ESPECIALLY if they are very debatable hunches, nothing like nearly universally agreed upon.

Not sure what you're not understanding.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Your support for this modern version of Moloch-worship gives you exactly zero room to stand in judgment on Christians who accept the Biblical authors' claim that God long ago commanded wars of annihilation in very limited circumstances and for particularly wicked enemies.

Just step down, you baby-killing defender. What you fail to understand is that YOU have no moral high ground here. YOU SAY THAT GOD SOMETIMES COMMANDS KILLING EVIL BABIES. Or the babies of "wicked enemies" if you prefer.

That is pretty fucking wicked. Both the advocacy that sometimes it's okay to do it AND the attack on the notion of a "good God" would command such an atrocity.

People who defend the mother's/family's right to decide for themselves about their pregnancies and health are NOT and never HAVE defended killing babies like YOU have. Nor have we suggested that God approves of such perversity.

That is again, some pretty fucking wicked shit you're supporting, fella. So, just step down. You have no moral high ground.

The fetus is not demonstrably a human baby. It is literally a fetus. For a while, it's just a clump of cells that WILL develop one day into a human baby. But at two minutes, that clump of cells is nothing like a baby. Or at least people of good will can disagree on that point. You can't prove that this clump of fetal cells is equivalent to a human baby.

I, on the other hand, CAN prove that the infants of the enemies that you support as worthy of slaughter, at least in the Bible, ARE babies, at least according to the text.

So just step back man and recognize that you have nothing to stand upon.

Condemn those who'd interpret the notion of a terrorist god who commands slavery, selling one's own children, rape of the virgin girls of the enemy or the slaughter of the enemy's children and babies and then we could begin to say you have some room to begin talking about your hunches about abortion.

But until such time as that, you're just an irrelevant defender of moral atrocities.

Feodor said...
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Feodor said...


Exactly, Dan. It is the thrill to brutality that is part of our make up as American Christian white men. By slaughter, slavery, dispossession, and violent force we made this country and counted those means as the will of God for us as masters and for the heathen/mongrel races to be mastered. We needn’t go so far back for theologies justifying brutality in the name of God. Our agrarian protestantism will do in our immediate circumstances. It is our cultural white agrarian protestantism that shies at foul language but elects it to lead us, that professes faith in the family and separates infants, toddlers, and children from their parents and wharehouses them all.

Bubba and Marshall and Craig and Glenn et al will not confront who they are and who we all were made to be religiously by our shared social make-up of white greedy, vigilante faith.

This is far from your post but pertains: this isn’t a discussion of biblical faith; it is a discussion of how we have from the beginning justified brutality in the name of faith but in the service of fear and aggression.

It’s no accident that right wing evangelicals detest the same places the 9/11 terrorists dive bombed.

Bubba said...

Feodor, briefly:

- To clarify, I support ONLY the legality of medical procedures that would save the mother's life, but I'm not certain about the morality of hard cases, either what is the right choice or who should make that choice if the mother cannot. I was brief in my answer because the situation has no bearing on the vast majority of abortions -- elective abortions, where the mother's life is NOT at significant risk -- and, at least for late-term complications, it *IS* often the case that the solution is delivering the infant by C-section rather than destroying him.

- About Matthew 5, there's a very strong argument about why those antitheses do not undermine the belief that Christ affirmed the Old Testament, but I don't think you're genuinely interested in hearing it. Let me know if I'm wrong.

For now, it suffices to point out just one aspect of that argument.

“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you..."

What DOES He say? Does He say, "Never mind, murder's okay"? No, He affirms the prohibition of murder AND STRENGTHENS IT to include murderous thoughts IN ADDITION TO murderous actions.

It's a glib mind that thinks this sort of partial quote shoots "Holes in your argument of scriptural trust," just as it's flimsy thinking that leads a person to say that merely quoting the Old Testament implies subjection to the old covenant.

- If you genuinely think it's "monstrous" to attribute harsh motives to those who choose abortion, presumably because they wouldn't personally use explicit language about exterminating a parasite as they rid themselves of the human life they often already dehumanize as a mere blob of tissue or (per Dan) "clump of cells," you should moderate your own language about us.

But we both know that ain't gonna happen.

Bubba said...

Dan:

- That wasn't the only passage I mentioned in arguing that Christ's emphasis was on Himself, nor is it the only one I could have mentioned: among many other things Jesus instituted precisely one ceremony to be regularly observed by His followers, and it was to commemorate His death for the forgiveness of sin. We both agree Jesus was no slouch as a teacher, and His closest followers emphasized His saving death both in their letters to the churches and in their accounts of His ministry, in the sheer amount of detail on Easter week in all four gospels.

But then you write, "the actual emphasis of Jesus in the Gospels... that God is a God of love and we ought to love one another."

I thought you didn't insist on a particular interpretation.

You say you merely disagree with my interpretation of those passages where hard words or deeds are attributed to God, but you have never offered an alternative interpretation, much less a plausible one.

"The passage is mythic" doesn't tell us anything, you just evidently think it gets you off the hook for saying anything more. (For that matter, claims about Genesis 1 and 2 don't necessarily imply anything about Deuteronomy 20.)

Should we treat the books of Moses as ahistorical, since they have men talking to angels, old women giving birth, the parting of the sea, the feeding of multitudes, and man being created from dirt?

And yet, should we treat Luke's books (his Gospel and Acts) as historical, because of their explicit claim of being closely researched books and their eventual inclusion of the third-person plural, when the author joins Paul's missionary journeys? And should we do so despite the record of men talking to angels, old women (AND A VIRGIN) giving birth, the calming of the sea, the feeding of multitudes, and a man being raised from the dead?

Along with the other synoptics, in chapter 9 Luke records the Transfiguration, where Jesus talks to Moses. Are we supposed to treat this as a miraculous but historical event, involving the historical figure of Moses, but deny as a trustworthy historical account the Old Testament record of Moses' life?

---

About the charge of hypocrisy, you say that, on the one hand, you believe that some actions "are clearly wrong, even if we can't 'prove' they are wrong," but you don't do this for all actions.

That's a fine position to take, but where I take exception is that you don't actually draw a similar line when it comes to the meaning of a text, even though the text is a physical object and the moral law isn't.

You start off saying you do, but you undermine the claim immediately.

"Now, at the same time, I think there is a great deal of the Bible and especially of Jesus' teachings that are abundantly clear. BUT, at the same time, I recognize that not everyone agrees, that there's nothing like common consensus on these things."

But "these things" that you mention -- about how ethics touches on subjects like war and poverty and sexuality -- are NOT the things I mentioned, which are even clearer.

The Bible teaches God exists: for this claim there absolutely *IS* something like "common consensus on these things." Do you not agree with that reality?

You think some aspects of the moral law are so clear that you can denounce those who disagree with you, you can call them evil and even subject them to crude language without the least qualm.

But you seem to oppose my similar position that there are some aspects of the Biblical text that are so clear that I could draw negative conclusions about those who disagree, either about their honesty or their intelligence.

For SOME parts of the moral law, your position needs no proof.

But for ALL parts of the biblical text, my position evidently needs proof.

That strikes me as inconsistent, demanding from others a much higher burden of proof than you ever try to bear yourself.

Bubba said...

Dan:

As clearly as I can, this is where I think the inconsistency lies.

YOU hold the following position regarding SOME (but not all) aspects of the transcendent and invisible moral law, which is not subject to direct examination by the senses; the particular aspect is beside the point.

Your position is that some particular aspect of the moral law is "abundantly clear," meaning that it's sufficiently clear that:

1. You can denounce the contrary position and/or those who hold them.
2. You can do so without the onus of proving your position.

Is that an accurate description?

If so, my position is very similar regarding SOME (but not all) aspects of the physical and visible biblical text, which *IS* subject to direct examination by the senses; the particular aspect is beside the point.

My position is that some particular aspect of the biblical text is sufficiently clear -- and here, I AM NOT STARTING with aspects regarding six-day creation or pacifism, nor am I even starting with trinitarian monotheism or the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

I'm starting with what I think is the CLEAREST POSSIBLE teachings, that God exists and that Jesus is historical.

1. Can I denounce the contrary position (eg, "the Bible doesn't clearly teach theism") and/or those who hold them?
2. Can I do so without the onus of proving my position?

If not, why not?

--

Or put as succinctly as I can:

Can I be as dogmatic about SOME parts of the biblical text as you are about SOME parts of the moral law, even in the absence of proof?

Bubba said...

Dan, the moral question of whether God can command the taking of human life is entirely separate from what I see as hypocrisy, and I'm happy to take the subjects in turn, but let me go ahead and note that, as I said you wouldn't, you have NOT moved on from sputtering moral outrage to address the rationale behind my position.

I'd like to ask you a question or two to get us to that rationale.

Here's what you say about what I would describe as the divine command to wage wars of annihilation, wars that would include (but are not limited to) taking the lives of the enemy's children.

"That is pretty fucking wicked. Both the advocacy that sometimes it's okay to do it AND the attack on the notion of a 'good God' would command such an atrocity."

Take out the human agency; take out those particular means by which God took those lives and consider other methods.

Q: Do you think it is morally permissible for God to take the lives of human babies -- singly or in great numbers -- through non-human means, such as natural disasters, plagues, and diseases?

I don't ask whether you think He does this, even though there's not a huge difference between doing it and merely allowing it, at least for an omnipotent and sovereign Creator.

(And babies DO die, daily. Some 130 million babies are born each year, or 350,000 per day. Globally, the infant mortality rate is about 30 deaths per 1000 live births, so it's a fair rough estimate to say that 350*30 = 10,500 babies die every day. At a minimum, God allows it to happen.)

What I'm asking is, does a good Creator have the moral leeway to end the life He creates?

No rush. It's a question we can get to after we straighten out this issue of dogmatism in the absence of proof -- on this, you say I just misunderstand you, so I hope we can get things cleared up very quickly indeed.

Bubba said...

Will check this thread later, maybe no sooner than this weekend, but one more thing before then, on abortion.

For those who support a legal regime of abortion for any reason, AT ANY TIME, up to and including going into labor, there is very little difference indeed between a newborn baby and at least SOME of the victims of the act they support: an abortion at 38 weeks destroys a life that is even more developed than the youngest viable preemies.

But these differences between an infant and a fetus are unimportant if you recognize -- AS I DO -- the sanctity of every human life.

Murder is the unjust taking of ANY innocent human life, and the fetus and even the zygote qualifies JUST AS MUCH as the newborn, the toddler, the teenager, and the geriatric.

The biggest difference between killing a two-week fetus and killing a two-week newborn is only visceral. More people are repulsed by the latter because the baby more recognizably shares in our common humanity.

But there's nothing all that moral in dismissing or downplaying destroying human lives when they don't look like you.

--

One big difference between my position and Dan's is that, in affirming that God can (and that, going by the biblical record, did) command wars of annihilation, I DO NOT deny the humanity of those who were destroyed.

They were our fellow human beings, made by God in His own image, and it is for that reason that it's His prerogative when (and how) those lives can be brought to an end.

I don't deny the humanity of the Amalekite infants killed by the Israelites.

Dan DOES deny the humanity of those "clumps of cells" killed by their own mothers.

To justify the destruction of the Amalekites, I point to the sovereignty of God.

To justify abortion, Dan dehumanizes the victims.

I believe the difference does give me the moral high ground.

Dan Trabue said...

No, I do not believe that you can. I can't prove it but suspect that well over 90% of the world can agree with notion that it is wrong to kill someone or to rape someone or to beat a child.

You cannot prove and it's almost certainly the case but nowhere near 90% of the world agrees with your hunches about how to interpret the biblical texts on moral issues.

Now on plain mechanical readings of a text... (Does the Bible reference God? do the biblical authors appear to believe in a monotheistic God? Etc)... straight mechanical readings of what the text literally says and not their meanings, yes, that's not really in dispute.

But what We're talking about interpretations of moral questions. You Don't have any grounds for saying that you cannot be mistaken on those questions.

Bubba said...

(Glad I refreshed one more time...)

Dan,

It's not just whether the text contains a certain word or whether its authors "appear to believe" in a certain doctrine, but whether those authors use those words to COMMUNICATE that doctrine, moral ("love God") or otherwise ("God exists").

Some parts of the text's meaning isn't really in dispute, either. Of those who have access to the Bible (who know the language of the translation, etc.) and who have read the text, I suspect that the vast majority agree that its meaning includes the teaching that God exists, even if some of the readers themselves aren't believers.

The percentage is AT LEAST as high as what you guess about ethics.

(About that -- "well over 90% of the world can agree with notion that it is wrong to kill someone or to rape someone or to beat a child" -- I'd be willing to bet money that you're wrong about the first and third actions, that AT LEAST 10% of the world's population believes that taking life and corporal punishment are *SOMETIMES* morally permissible.)

But you said I don't "understand [your] position aright."

CLEARLY, I DO. I don't agree with it -- and it's an arrogant man who presumes that everyone who understands his position would automatically agree with it -- but your answer confirms that I've understood it.

You believe that you can be dogmatic without proof, EVEN when it comes to the meaning of the invisible and transcendent moral law.

But you confirm that you believe that I CANNOT be similarly dogmatic without proof, on even the most undeniable meaning of a visible and written text.

You impose a higher burden of proof on others than you require for yourself.

You say I support an immoral position, but you're behaving in an immoral manner.

Or is that not one of those "abundantly clear" moral principles, that you should treat others as you would like to be treated?

Dan Trabue said...

I think your question about whether it is morally permissible for a god/God to kill babies using natural events is a good one that may help sort out our differences. May I suggest a change...

1. Do I think a good and perfectly loving God choose to deliberately harm a baby for no reason?

No, of course not. You?

2. If a god deliberately harmed a child and made the claim that the action/harm WAS good because that god did it and that god declared that action good - that torture or harm good - would we call that a good god or an immoral/bad god?

I would declare that god an immoral god, or perhaps an amoral god. You?

3. If a god declared that there were no good or bad actions innately, only what that god declared was good was good. And sometimes that god might declare a normally "bad" action to be good, thereby emphasizing that god's capricious and whimsical approach to morality.

Is that a good God? A rational and moral God?

I say, No. What do you think?

Dan Trabue said...

I've been quite clear, Bubba, that I think biblical text is quite clear in the intent of the author's teaching. I think, clearly, Jesus taught some form of pacifism, for instance, and a belief in a loving God.

Unmistakably so, in some instances.

And yet, I acknowledge the reality that there is significant human disagreement on some of those points, even where I (or you) think it is abundantly clear.

Do you understand that this is a has been my position?

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feodor said...


Bubba

- you weren’t brief. You were avoidant. On what grounds do you prefer to save the mothers life over the fetus if the mothers life is in jeopardy due to carrying the fetus? You haven’t given any argument why mother trumps fetus.

(Your canard about abortion up to delivery is a gross diversion. An empty scare tactic. No one here holds such a position.)

- didn’t say undermine. Again, overeach due to anxiety of defending a faulty absolute. Jesus reinterpreted scriptures and customs. He intensified the inner commitment to the discipline of love. You have heard that it was said... but I call for a deeper ethic... That’s not Jesus undermining anything. But neither is it affirmation. It’s reinterpretation and a call for a radically deeper ethical system.

Thus, murder is against the nature of God. You got it right the second time. The first time you gave God all kinds of outs - from God’s own nature. And you projected the outs you earlier allowed to my inner thinking. Wrong. Your new words, opposing your first ones are exactly right. Murder is outside of God’s nature. Zero outs. It only remains to be said that love is the sole course to persuade the world that capital punishment and war are wrong. Coercion is simply brutal fundamentalism, Christian, Jewish or Muslim extremism.

- Monsters are people who put crushing burdens on the oppressed, the afflicted, the desperate. And project monstrous vocabulary and motivations of their own fantasies on to the lives of people they know zero of. As a Judaizer and an apologist for white American Protestant brutality, you are prone to be a monster. Which you enacted in your nasty assumption of the role of judge and prosecutor of the inner lives of people you have no knowledge of and no capacity of compassion for.

Thankfully, Christ has compassion. And those of us following Christ.

Bubba said...

Dan:

You write, "I acknowledge the reality that there is significant human disagreement on some of those points, even where I (or you) think it is abundantly clear."

Some, BUT NOT ALL. I acknowledge the reality that there is NO significant human disagreement on, for instance, whether the Bible teaches that God exists.

--

On whether God has the moral leeway to take human life, your proposed changes to my question shed less light than the original. I don't assume that God would take life "without reason" (as if there couldn't possibly be a greater good) nor do we need to assume that the Euthyphro dilemma remains unresolved despite solutions from Aquinas and others.

One doesn't need to conjecture about a capricious deity to ask about taking life, because that life came from Him in the first place and belongs to Him.

Or did God not give you life? If He didn't give you life, in what sense does your conception of this deity align with small-o Christian orthodoxy?

Or, if God did give you life, what gives you the right to demand that that life be permanent? Why does God have a moral obligation, not only to give life, but to grant immortality?

Feodor said...

Thinking that Dan is dehumanizing a blastocyst doesn’t give you the moral high ground. It puts you in the sewage runoff of reason’s compost.

Feodor said...

Bubba: “He [Jesus] affirms the prohibition of murder AND STRENGTHENS IT to include murderous thoughts IN ADDITION TO murderous actions.”

Bubba: “I don’t assume God would take life “without reason.”

Oops.

Bubba said...

Feodor,

Not every instance of taking human life is murder -- at least, biblically -- and the same Jesus who forbade murder also repeatedly warned of God's terrifying judgment.

Indeed I wouldn't say those antitheses are proof that Jesus affirmed the authority and authorship of Scripture, but the fact that He strengthened rather than denied its teachings is consistent with such proof, found in other passages, such as immediately prior in Matthew 5.

I must have missed where you and Dan so rigorously opposed abortion after some presumably early stage in fetal development, but the extreme act of partial-birth abortion is just as relevant to the discussion as the rare circumstance where the mother's life is at serious risk and killing the child is the only solution.

About that circumstance, I genuinely did answer your question more quickly and less precisely than I should have.

"On what grounds do you prefer to save the mothers life over the fetus if the mothers life is in jeopardy due to carrying the fetus?"

I'm not sure I do prefer one over the other, and I'm not sure the moral law requires preferring one over the other. The reason I've given no argument why mother trumps fetus is because I'm not convinced one trumps the other.

Seems you do, and perhaps it's your compassion for the most vulnerable that motivates you to deny the humanity of your fellow human beings in their earliest stages of their development.

Bubba said...

Dan:

Again my summary of my question is, "does a good Creator have the moral leeway to end the life He creates?"

Maybe I shouldn't assume we agree on the premise at the end, so let's clear it up first:

DOES GOD CREATE HUMAN LIFE?

Did God create you? Did God give you life?

If the answer is yes, I don't see why we would object to the idea that He has claims on the life He gives us, not only directing how we should spend that life but limiting how much there is to spend.

I say this especially in light of the idea that this life isn't all there is.

If ending this life means ushering us into the hereafter, then the problem with murder really is that we take into our own hands what's really God's prerogative, His timetable for when, for each of us, this earthly experience ends and the next experience begins.

Do you believe in life after death? in the immortality of the human soul? (and in the existence of the human soul?)

Perhaps our wildly divergent views on God's sovereignty over ending life is related to wildly divergent views on life's origin and ultimate destination.

I mean, if I thought God didn't give me life, I'd sure object to His taking it away, and if I thought that this earthly life is all that there is, I'd sure see the end of that life as the worst possible thing that could happen to me -- I'd lose literally all that I have, taken from a being who has no claim to it.

Dan Trabue said...

You're not serious, are You? A person's creator has the right to cause harm, terror, oppression and death in their creation??! We can kill our children because we made them? Hell no. That's evil as hell.

Please back up and clarify.

Dan Trabue said...

"If the answer is yes I don't see why we would object to the idea he has claims on our life..."??

Because Creations are not the same as slaves. Not the same as Autumn Anton. Not the same as a lump of clay. I mean, hell, I know the Bible metaphorically refers to us as a lump of clay but that IS a metaphor, after all.

Please to clarify.

I mean... maybe that's the gist of our differences.

You view humanity is not much more than slaves and objects to be disposed of willy-nilly. I view humanity is having certain inalienable rights. I view Humanity as free and independent not an object to be oppressed or tormented or tortured.

Is that what it comes down to?

Dan Trabue said...

Autumn Anton = Automaton.

Dan Trabue said...

To answer your questions directly...

"does a good Creator have the moral leeway to end the life He creates?"

No.

In the same way that a perfectly honest person doesn't have the moral leeway to lie. It's an inherently impossible thing to do. It's like asking if an omnipotent, all powerful God who can do anything can create a rock too heavy to lift? It's a flawed question. Which is why I changed it.

A perfectly Good Good would not engage in evil, as it is counter to that Good nature.

Also, it ignores the problem of just because you create something sentient doesn't mean you own it or have the moral leeway to do whatever you wish with it.

DOES GOD CREATE HUMAN LIFE?

Not directly. DIRECTLY, a mother's egg is fertilized by a father's sperm, creating that individual human life.

I'm sorta surprised you hadn't heard that yet...

Did God create you? Did God give you life?

Not directly, no. I think metaphorically, God is the great creator of all things. Inspirationally, God "gives" me life, makes life worthwhile and beautiful, but I don't think the science supports the notion that God literally gives each of us "life," but rather, (for those of us who believe thusly), God started the creation process, but is not actively involved in fertilizing eggs.

Do you recognize that this is the only scientifically correct answer to those questions?

Do you believe in life after death? in the immortality of the human soul? (and in the existence of the human soul?)

I do, but certainly can't prove it, in any meaningful way.

Nor can you.

Do you recognize that reality? Or do you believe you can somehow "prove" it objectively?

Dan Trabue said...


Bubba...

"If the answer is yes I don't see why we would object to the idea he has claims on our life..."??

In that regards, I agree with Thomas Jefferson's (et al) assessment...

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident,
that ALL [humans] are created equal,
that they are
endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights
,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…"


It's not as if God created us to be slaves, by all evidences (for those of us who believe in a Creator God) or mere lumps of clay to be toyed with, destroyed, cast aside, tortured or otherwise abused. We believe that a Good God CREATED US WITH THESE RIGHTS... our basic humanity and human rights are part and parcel of who we are.

You can't rationally create a free, sentient, independent creation and then say "But I reserve the right to torture it, rape it, beat it to death if I see fit..." Not if you're a Good Creator and not if Good has any meaning.

Which appears to be part of the problem for the reasoning you're employing: Good is not anything beyond the whim of a god that's making shit up as that god goes. It's not wrong to murder (this thinking goes) because humans are inherently possessing of certain human rights... It's wrong because a god says "usually, you shouldn't kill this creation because it's my creation. I CAN CHOOSE TO DO IT, but not you. THIS CREATED TOY is mine to torment or please as I see fit."

Do you see how you seem to be advocating a world with NO moral grounds, just the whims of a capricious god?

Feodor said...

"Not every instance of taking human life is murder -- at least, biblically -- and the same Jesus who forbade murder also repeatedly warned of God's terrifying judgment."

So weird. First, diversionary avoidance. Second, just totally weird. What does judgment have to do with killing? Nothing. This is concise evidence, Bubba, to how your mind - still in thrall to brutalizing white agrarian protestant will to domination - finds all the niches of nasty when you really don't know what else to say.
_______

If you want to discuss abortion, Bubba, you're going to have come correct - not with lies. Partial-birth is not a medical term. It's a political one, and a highly confusing one at that, with both sides disagreeing even on how many procedures take place, at what point in pregnancy, and exactly which procedures the law actually bans. The term was first coined by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in 1995 to describe a recently introduced medical procedure to remove fetuses from the womb, a procedure used in only 0.2% of abortions. And contrary to the claims of some abortion opponents, most such abortions do not take place in the third trimester of pregnancy, or after fetal "viability." Indeed, when some members of Congress tried to amend the bill to ban only those procedures that take place after viability, abortion opponents complained that would leave most of the procedures legal.

You're bad faith in using lies and false flags discredits you.
_______

I see. So admitting you don't have an answer, you make one up for me? You're the one who said "In cases of risk to the life of mother, I support medical interventions where the purpose is to save that life..."

But you don't know why.

Seems to me that's par for the course for you.

Feodor said...

It looks like you're losing your grip on the conversation.

Marshal Art said...

You're erecting a straw man here, Dan. Nothing in Bubba's comments suggest a capricious God at all. That He has absolute authority over our existence doesn't in any way suggest that except that you need it to in order to dance around and avoid the point.

Worse, you attribute to Him caprice simply because YOU can't imagine how what seems evil to YOU might actually have Godly justification behind it. Worst of all, if God fails to provide to YOUR satisfaction what those justifications might be...as if He owes YOU an explanation for every move He makes...then the only possibility to YOU is that He is evil and unworthy of your devotion. That's a rather capricious perspective.

So, it isn't a matter of whether or not God would abuse His absolute sovereignty and authority, but whether or not He has them. If He does, and Scripture teaches that He does, then we are indeed His to do with as He pleases regardless of YOUR ability to understand. Keep in mind, Scripture also teaches we are not capable of knowing His mind...perhaps you least of all. Or at least I would think it behooves us all to be so humble in relation to Him. I choose to believe that if a Biblical story actually spoke of God sending His Chosen People to annihilate ONLY infants, that His reasons would be just, loving and merciful. You choose to believe it makes Him evil, as if you have the authority to judge Him. Thus, if He has reasons, He is not capricious, and if He is just and loving, then despite how it seems to me, His commands are as well.

Dan Trabue said...

MA: what seems evil to YOU might actually have

No, I happen to think that slavery IS evil. Not that it "SEEMS evil to ME..."

I happen to think that forced marriage IS evil. Not that it "SEEMS evil to ME..."

Are you suggesting that you don't think that slavery or rape/forced marriage are innately evil?

Please answer directly or don't comment further.

You choose to believe it makes Him evil,

No, I choose to recognize that YOU thinking God commands slavery and rape sometimes... that your god commands the slaughter of babies sometimes... that this makes YOU a defender of evil, not God. It makes you an abuser of God, not God an abuser of humanity.

See the difference?

Never once have I said I believe God is evil or have I attributed evil actions to God. You have, not me. I believe God is good.

See the difference?

Marshal Art said...

"Are you suggesting that you don't think that slavery or rape/forced marriage are innately evil?"

What I'm suggesting...stating boldly, in fact...is that just because YOU can't understand Scripture doesn't mean that God is mandating, encouraging or endorsing evil. Is that direct enough for you, or is there still something about which you're unclear? I'll be happy to explain it again, because I'm here for you, dude, but my position on slavery and rape is not at issue. What is at issue is your poor understanding of the text and your rejection of Scripture's clear and accurate description of the character and nature of God, which clearly you do not understand. That's OK, as no one fully does.

"No, I choose to recognize that YOU thinking God commands slavery and rape sometimes... that your god commands the slaughter of babies sometimes... that this makes YOU a defender of evil, not God."

But that would make you a liar, because as we've gone over these stories so many times, you'd have to be a liar to insist that I think God commands slavery or rape, or that He just willy-nilly commands the slaughter of babies. I don't. It might help if you wanted to focus on one thing at a time, rather than to lump every story that offends your delicate sensibilities as if they are identical. For example, God didn't command the slaughter of babies as you put it, but that entire peoples should be punished. True, babies were a part of that, but you again choose to frame God's actions as an example of God committing evil. This is absurd and a true believer can't come to such a conclusion.

"It makes you an abuser of God, not God an abuser of humanity."

No. It makes me one who actually studies the Bible as opposed to merely saying so, and knowing that there are legitimate explanations for that which, on the surface, seems to be atrocious. You're of the Richard Dawkins school. I'm from a Christian school. It is YOU who abuses God by choosing to view God as evil if the stories of his commands that you don't like are true...and there's no reason to presume they are not, unless you think the Biblical authors are liars.

"Never once have I said I believe God is evil or have I attributed evil actions to God."

You absolutely have and continue to do so. Scripture states that God commanded Israel to annihilate various peoples, including women, children and infants. You claim that God is evil for doing so, if indeed He did...which He did because it is recorded as such in Scripture. One would think that of all the various authors of the many books of the Bible, that SOMEONE would have set the record straight if these things did not occur or were somehow only metaphorical.

"I believe God is good."

God being good does not preclude Him choosing to end anyone's life by any means of His choosing. God being good does not require Him to be good in a manner that satisfies you or Richard Dawkins personally.



Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I will personally delete each and every comment you ever make again unless you come clean. You DO think that God commanded the killing specifically of babies. Isn't that correct?

You keep saying "but but but but God was commanding the slaughter of an entire people not just babies..." as if that makes a damned bit of difference. That isn't the loophole for you that you appear to think it is.

You think God commanded the specific killing of babies. Right?

When Hitler ordered the gassing of families including babies he was specifically and literally commanding the killing of babies. It doesn't matter if it was part of a larger Slaughter it was still a command to kill babies.

If that's what you believe God sometimes has ordered then f****** say it, don't pussyfoot around.

And don't act like it makes some sort of difference. Maybe for an evil or sociopathic person it doesn't make a difference. Normal people recognize when someone says "kill everybody in that town including specifically the babies..." They recognize that specific slaughter of babies as evil.

Dan Trabue said...

"God being good does not preclude him from choosing to end anyone's life by any means...

I find it hard for you to believe that you actually believe this. Do you think that a good God would rape a person to death?

Do you think a good God would magically increase the pain someone feels 1000-fold and decrease their ability to die and would slowly torture someone to death over a thousand years? Or what about slowly torturing their family to death in front of them raping and painfully torturing them for 1000 years until that person dies of grief?

Is there no level of depravity that you would not say, "woah maybe that's crossing a line?"

I say that there are some things that a good Being does not do.

Dan Trabue said...

It seems the difference here is that people like me actually believe in notions of good and evil and that they are not whimsical, but clear and evident, whereas people like you don't really believe in the notion of independent "bad" or "good," but instead, only what you THINK is bad or good is bad or good (and not because they are innately bad or good, but because you think there's a line in a toy bible somewhere that lets you "know" it is bad or good) and that those "bad" things can be turned "good" if a whimsical god says, "Do this normally evil thing... it'll be cool, I'm saying it's okay..."

Feodor said...

Marshall: God does things that make no sense to us.

Hmmm. So:

1) The Bible, I guess, does not reveal God truly and the whole relationship of trust in it to communicate revelation falters, and
2)Jesus, the true revelation of God’s nature - being God - lied when he speaks of God’s nature as one of love and sacrifice - of self-limitation because God’s nature is steadfast loving kindness.

It is God’s nature to take the position of the suffering slave not the brutal master. That you, Marshall, think that God would violate God’s own nature is more evidence that you, too are in thrall to agrarian Protestant white patriarchal American culture of divinizing violence toward others.

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Feodor said...

And if God does things we cannot understand but are Godly to God, then God may well have given us a Bible that is not entirely trustworthy. The clarity of scripture may be, in fact, a test. Like dinosaur bones in the earth, manufactured in God’s factory and buried... to test our modern faith.

Feodor said...

Revelation is worthless if it doesn’t reveal.

Bubba said...

Dan:

I sincerely appreciate the answers, as they do highlight the vast differences between our views.

I wouldn't say that, if God did take a human life, He would do so "willy nilly," and so I'm not the one insisting that a Creator who gives AND takes life is necessarily a capricious deity.

If God does/did take a human life, He would have His reasons, and they would be consistent with His goodness. I believe they would even be an expression of His goodness, as the Bible does seem to connect humanity's sinful rebellion, humanity's mortality, and God's judgment.

[brief aside]

And I'm not just talking about the Torah and the letters of Paul. In the Old Testament, the same prophets who urged Israel *AND* other nations to renounce their wickedness -- including their oppression of the vulnerable -- also warned of literally deadly consequences, consequences that DID come to pass in the destruction of Assyria and the northern kingdom of Israel and in the conquest and exile of the southern kingdom of Judah.

*MOST IMPORTANTLY,* Jesus' own teachings make these sorts of connections, even if YOUR focus on the ethical commands involving pacifism and poverty leads you to overlook them. It's not clear where Jesus' words to Nicodemus end and John's commentary begins, but in the verses following John 3:16, we see references to judgment for the condemned. If the believers mentioned in 3:16 should not perish, what may we infer about the non-believers who stand condemned?

There's the miracle of the withered fig tree, and then there's the parable of the wicked tenants in Mark 12: in verse 9, Jesus Himself teaches that the mistreated landowner "will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others."

[end aside]

I also believe that God is LITERALLY my Creator even though I *CERTAINLY* recognize that, for at least most humans who have ever lived, the direct cause of a person's coming into being is his parents' act of procreative union.

(It's a common enough belief, that God gives the individual life. When someone from your oh-so-conservative youth expresses that belief -- an old friend or a family member -- do you mockingly ask that person whether she knows where babies come from?)

(You state, correctly, "DIRECTLY, a mother's egg is fertilized by a father's sperm, creating that individual human life." If that's when the individual human life is created, isn't it immoral for another human being to end that life? If not, why not?)

It's one thing to recognize that God usually gives a human being life through natural, human means -- that He gives life "indirectly" -- and it's another thing entirely to say that He gives life only "metaphorically" or "inspirationally." That undermines both His sovereignty AND the rationale for thanking Him for all good gifts.

It's blasphemy to attribute to God words and actions that are not His. Isn't it ridiculous to thank Him for our food when He didn't cook it? (And, contra the Lord's Prayer, isn't it ridiculous to ask Him for our daily bread if He is, barring a literal miracle, unrelated to its provision?)

--

I also didn't suggest I could prove life after death or the immortality of the soul, but I hardly need to SINCE WE'RE ON THE SAME PAGE.

You say you DO believe in these same things, but it doesn't seem to have ANY effect on your view of death.

As I said, if there is life after death, "ending this life means ushering us into the hereafter." Death is only a transition to the NEXT phase of existence, not an end to all existence.

You say (QUITE CORRECTLY) that God didn't create us to be "mere lumps of clay to be toyed with, destroyed, cast aside," but we're *NOT* cast aside by death if death is not the end of our existence.

Bubba said...

Dan, I do have a significant follow-up question to your clear and prompt responses, which I do very much appreciate.

You say you think it would be a monstrous atrocity if God were to end a human life, but yet, it seems you believe that God is all-powerful, and it is undeniable -- as undeniable as the birds and the bees -- that hundreds of millions of humans have died.

If it's immoral for God to cause human death, why is it okay for an omnipotent and good God to ALLOW human death?

Here, I'm not just talking about the direct and indirect results of human wickedness and folly -- being murdered, or dying from starvation because of some warlord's hoarding all the grain -- I'm talking about death that cannot possibly be traced back to human causes: death by lightning strikes, catastrophic tsunami, and extreme old age.

We arrest bad parents for neglect just as we do for abuse. If it's inconceivable that God would cause our deaths, why is it okay for Him to abandon us to our deaths?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

If God does/did take a human life, He would have His reasons, and they would be consistent with His goodness.

So, if a god DID torture and rape a girl then slowly smashed her to death over days, but kept her alive until the end, so she'd feel all that pain... that god would have its reasons and they would be good? OR, do you think there are lines that can't be crossed and still be called a good god?

Dan Trabue said...

If it's immoral for God to cause human death, why is it okay for an omnipotent and good God to ALLOW human death?

Because death, itself, is not a crime. It's a natural part of life and lovely, in its own way. I have no problems with dying naturally. But if someone kills me, then that's different, they've committed a crime, they've abused a basic human right and that is bad.

Do you disagree?

Or is it only "bad" if a god says it's bad... that murder, rape, slavery, etc are not innately bad, just insofar as whether or not it aligns with a specific god's okey-dokey?

Feodor said...

I’ll prophesy that America will come to its end because of its brutal, unrepentant white supremacy. I’ll further add that brutal white supremacy such as we see supported and vaunted in almost all of the GOP and a significant portion of the DEMS angers God immensely. And so America will fall.

Assyria lasted 2,000 years. The Achaemenid Empire - whose founder Cyrus the Great (called a “Messiah” in Isaiah!) returned the Hebrews to Israel - lasted only 220 years. Your valuation of God’s anger and pleasure and historical realities seems off, bizarrely off.

What do you the think the odds are that the United States will last 2,000 years?

Such biblical interpretation is vapidly sophomoric.

Bubba said...

Dan, I do believe that there are things that a truly good and holy deity would not do. I do think He would allow or even cause suffering FOR SOME GREATER GOOD -- just as a good father would consent to amputating his young child's gangrenous arm without the child's consent (or even in the face of his objection; he's too young to understand), and to do so EVEN in the absence of the relatively recent invention of anesthetic. But I do not think He would allow suffering if there were no greater good.

(As in the case of the small child's amputation, it may not always be the case that the suffering individual perceives what that greater good is.)

We *BOTH* agree that there are limits to what a righteous Creator my do, we just draw the line at different places, so quit insinuating that I don't believe there's a line.

My line just includes the act of ending the physical life God Himself created (directly or indirectly), taking that physical life from an immortal soul whose existence DOES endure beyond that.

But, honestly, I don't see how -- after railing against the monstrous atrocity of ending human life -- you now say that death by natural causes is "lovely in its own way."

That DOES seem like you're saying that it's wrong for God to take human life but just fine to abandon human beings to death.

Parental abuse is awful; parental neglect is just fine.

It's wrong to drown a toddler, but if a toddler falls into the shallow end of the pool -- say, three feet of water, where even a non-swimmer adult could just WALK RIGHT IN and pull the kid out -- we have no moral obligation to save the child, and it's no immoral act to decide not to. We leave him alone, and his drowning is lovely in its own way.

I've assumed you believe God is omnipotent; I wonder if I should ask you outright whether you do, or whether you think God is powerless to intervene in the "natural" working out of life and death.

Your position is that it's monstrous for God to cause a human death but lovely for Him to allow it, for Him to refuse to intervene -- EVEN THOUGH HE COULD -- to prevent that death from taking place.

God cannot abuse a basic human right, because "that is bad," but God can certainly turn His back on that right (or at least its meaningful exercise) being lost through natural causes, and somehow that loss is good.

I simply don't understand that, and I hope you can explain it.

...and, while you're at it, I'd love to know your thoughts on suicide. Is it an abuse of a person's right to life -- a crime, a bad thing, a monstrosity, an atrocity -- if he were to end that life himself? No matter how miserable he is and how much he suffers, the only moral thing -- and indeed, the only beautiful thing -- is for him to wait until the bitter end when nature eventually takes its course?

Or is it a similarly lovely thing for a suffering individual to take matters into his own hands?

Feodor said...

That’s your choice, Bubba. Either God is loving and suffers with suffering (somebody named Jesus represents exactly that) or God is capricious like an abusive parent - loving/brutal switches - (nothing like what Jesus represents [Jesus always is angry and represents God’s anger as entirely understandable by us]).

This is your choice: Dan’s vision or whimsical brutality. You’ve gotten yourself to the bottom line.

Any attempt to blend the two fails common sense.

Marshal Art said...

"Marshall, I will personally delete each and every comment you ever make again unless you come clean. You DO think that God commanded the killing specifically of babies. Isn't that correct?"

My first thought was to cite your boy feo:

"It is the coward who hast to delete. It’s the two-faced coward that asks, whiningly, for more information but will not allow it to remain."

Which would mean that...

"You’re not only a coward. You’re a two-faced coward."

But I won't. Instead, I'll answer this question yet again:

You want to say "specifically" and pretend I'm trying to work a loophole. That's YOUR thing, not mine. When I object to the use of that word, it is because it seeks to isolate the killing of babies and ignore the context in which we find such actions by God, so as to focus on that one aspect of His plan as if it stands alone without explanation or justification. It does not.

So, did God command the killing of babies? Yes, quite clearly He did, along with everyone else who stayed in those cities when God sent His People to enact His justice. He also killed the infants of Sodom and Gomorrah, the first born of Egypt and all those not on board the Ark with Noah.

But rather than deal in hypothetical and self-serving "what ifs?", I prefer to focus on what Scripture actually says and not pretend those true stories are in any way comparable to your "what ifs?". They are not. Rather than pretend there is any justification for suggesting such perverse hypotheticals such as, "
Do you think a good God would magically increase the pain someone feels 1000-fold and decrease their ability to die and would slowly torture someone to death over a thousand years? Or what about slowly torturing their family to death in front of them raping and painfully torturing them for 1000 years until that person dies of grief?"
THAT is depravity, to invent such a hypothetical and expect me to pretend as you do that there is no difference between such nonsense and what Scripture truthfully relates had happened. It's insulting that you would think it necessary to ask such question, as well as insulting to the God you pretend to worship.

Instead, consider this:

The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Isaiah 57:1

That, along with the justifications found in the stories themselves, provides all you need to know regarding whether or not God acts in a capricious manner with regard to His own creation.

"Normal people recognize when someone says "kill everybody in that town including specifically the babies..." They recognize that specific slaughter of babies as evil."

Normal people know the difference between God and everyone else, and normal people don't pretend that what goes for us goes for God as well. There is no Biblical support for such a thing. There is only you dictating to God what for Him is evil and what is not, as if you have any authority to do so, or any righteous expectations of Him. I say that whatever God decides to do is well within His authority and without any doubt is righteous and good, or to serve His righteousness and goodness. You can invent any nasty hypothetical you like to question my devotion to this truth, but it won't work because I reject your devious and God-hating premise.

more...

Feodor said...

How hypocritical of Marshall - not a shock: he's got a long record - to quote words directed to his love of deleting in a punk ass move to whine about getting deleted himself... and then, to deepen his punk ass character, duplicitously act as if he is not, in fact, whining.

Marshall doesn't know maturity or integrity much less anything approaching divinity.

Marshal Art said...

"And don't act like it makes some sort of difference."

You history compels me to reiterate once again...

It DOES make a difference to speculate on motives by considering the entire context rather than isolating one aspect of a story as if the context from which it is ripped is irrelevant. It's like focusing on one man killing another without the context of the circumstances that led to it, such as self-defense or the defense of another, and then pretending I support killing. It's worse than merely disingenuous.

"I find it hard for you to believe that you actually believe this. Do you think that a good God would rape a person to death?"

And here you go again. What's wrong with you that you would suppose my previous statement justifies such a question. I refer only to what Scripture truthfully reports. I don't speculate beyond that at all, and I wouldn't just to make some otherwise unsupportable premise. There is something seriously wrong with you to suppose that my statement...

"God being good does not preclude Him choosing to end anyone's life by any means of His choosing."

...allows for the most depraved possibilities that your sordid mind can imagine. Honesty and integrity demand that you only deal with what Scripture truthfully states were His means of ending lives...not your twisted extreme hypotheticals.
Is there no level of depravity that you would not say, "woah maybe that's crossing a line?" Evidently not.

"It seems the difference here is that people like me actually believe in notions of good and evil...etc..."

No. The difference is that you think you can look at what Scripture truthfully reports about God and insist YOU can judge His decisions based on YOUR ideas of what constitutes a good and just God...even in light of HIS justifications being reported as well. God does indeed dictate what is good and what is evil. Not you. Murder isn't evil because you don't want to be murdered. It is evil because God forbids it. We as humans can decide that we don't want people going about murdering others, because we don't want to see people suffer. But there are many in this world, as there always has been, who don't see the suffering of others as a problem. The fact that they might be in the minority does not mean they are wrong, but only that they are at odds with the majority on that subject. But the immorality of murder is because God prohibits it due to HIS opinions of what constitutes good and evil...not yours or mine or what a majority of human beings think. Until very recently in human history, slavery was judged by mankind as morally acceptable, and for a variety of reasons. But you don't consider the consensus on that. I don't consider the consensus on any behavior, but only on what God expects of us. Normal people don't confuse what God expects of us to mean we can have expectations of Him.

Thus, calling God's choice of enacting judgement or punishment an "evil thing" just because it offends your delicate sensibilities, is itself evil for daring to suggest God acts "whimsically" or "capriciously" when you feel sad about what He chose to do.

Marshal Art said...

At some point I'd like to go back to addressing the topic of the post. Would that be OK?

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feodor said...


Marshall likes Isaiah 57.

"But whoever takes refuge in me
will inherit the land
and possess my holy mountain.”

Sadly, after Ezra and Nehemiah restored the Temple and Jewish religious observance complete with the men jettonisoning their foreign wives, God apparently could not foresee the Seleucid Empire, to be followed by the Romans

Marshal Art said...

One more thing before I get back to the post's topic:

Where I said,

"what seems evil to YOU might actually have"

You responded:

"No, I happen to think that slavery IS evil. Not that it "SEEMS evil to ME...""

I clearly wasn't referring to whether or not slavery, or anything in particular, is evil, in truth or simply in your opinion. I was distinctly referring to what God does. More specifically, His commands to us or His Chosen People on any subject whatsoever. You judge God's commands as evil or good based on YOUR perception of the command without regard to the context in which it was given, as well as without regard for God having authority to do absolutely anything He wants regardless of your imperfect and, frankly, childish perception of it. I assume, like all good Christians do, that God's commands are based on HIS sense of justice, mercy, goodness, etc., regardless of whether or not a command seems counter to what He demands of US, which good Christians never confuse with what He has the authority to do. He is not us. We are not Him. We can't know every facet of His thinking, nor is He obliged to make sure we can. You demand that He must or, by golly, you won't follow Him or believe what Scripture says about Him. Hardly the attitude of a true believer in or follower of God. That is, unless you can find that verse or passage that insists we can ignore commands of God we don't understand. I don't recall Abraham doing that. He trusted God to know what He's doing. I will do no less. You'll do only what pleases you.

Feodor said...

Marshall goes on and on as if he did not just put himself in a jackpot with a Isaiah: either scripture as he understands it is eternal truth and God lied, or God does not literally mess around with history and Isaiah cannot be taken literally.

Dan Trabue said...

You're begging the question, Marshall.

The question is, "What is the best interpretation for passages like where God commands the slaughter of entire cities, including babies?" You respond to that with, "Well, it's written write there that this is what happened, therefore, THAT is the way it happened and God really DID literally command Israel to kill babies..."

But that's begging the question: IS that the best way to approach such a passage?

You can't assume that your way is the best and then offer your interpretation as "evidence" that this is the right way to interpret it.

It'd be like the question being raised "Does God want us to reject science and hold to the notion of a flat earth?" and someone responding with, "Well, there's that verse in the OT that speaks of the four corners of the earth so clearly, the earth IS flat (and squarish/rectangular, to boot!)"

The question is: IS taking that verse woodenly literally rational and appropriate? Clearly no, in both cases.

Dan Trabue said...

We *BOTH* agree that there are limits to what a righteous Creator my do, we just draw the line at different places, so quit insinuating that I don't believe there's a line.

Not "insinuating" anything. I DID NOT KNOW if and where you drew a line. You are fine, apparently, with the notion that, in the case of a foreign enemy, that God is okay with commanding the slaughter of everyone, including women and children.

That's pretty damned bad.

I don't know that I would find THAT action any particular worse than commanding a person to rape a child. The mass slaughter of a people, women and children and babies include, is pretty damned bad. Wicked.

But okay, you agree with me that God won't command someone to rape a child, but you disagree in thinking that God will/did command someone to kill a city's worth of people, including the infants.

Is that right?

Then the question I'm asking is: IS it the case, then, that mass slaughter of a people, including infants, not innately wicked (in your opinion)?

Or do you think that God might command something that would otherwise be wicked, but the fact that God commanded it makes it "not wicked..."?

=======

Bubba...

Your position is that it's monstrous for God to cause a human death but lovely for Him to allow it, for Him to refuse to intervene -- EVEN THOUGH HE COULD -- to prevent that death from taking place.

Again, death is part of the natural order of things. A tree grows, it produces leaves, the leaves fall off and die and feed the forest so that the tree can continue to live and produce offspring and leaves (providing oxygen and health to the world) and those leaves falling off and dying and, eventually, the tree itself dying and becoming One with the forest into which it died.

My GOD! What a beautiful order and circle of life God has ordained! What is monstrous about allowing a natural death to happen?


cont'd...

Dan Trabue said...

God cannot abuse a basic human right, because "that is bad," but God can certainly turn His back on that right (or at least its meaningful exercise) being lost through natural causes, and somehow that loss is good.

This is, I believe, one of the strongest arguments against the existence of God, at least for some. But, again, if you think God done good in creating the circle of life creation that is our universe, then death itself is not a bad thing. Indeed, unending life would be hellish, at least in this world as it exists. That would be Cancer, not Life. Horror, not Beauty.

In a finite world, death can be a beautiful part of God's great circle.

Now, as to actively intervening, it just appears to be a reality, from all that we see, that God, as a rule just doesn't intervene in this world. God doesn't stop the school bus from sliding off a cliff or stop a disease that has attacked our bodies. As to why God doesn't intervene, you'll have to take that up with God. I'm not judging God, I'm just noting the reality that God is not an intervener God's own Self. Instead, it appears that God's system - as lived and taught by Jesus and the prophets in the Bible, anyway - is that we are God's hands and feet. God DOES intervene, via God's Beloved Community.

We vote for laws that create safe buses and safe roads to protect school children. Or we don't, and that is on us, not God. We choose to drink and drive or not, and that is on us, not God. We choose to support medical research or we don't, or how much to invest in research for peace and health vs how much to invest in research for war and death. All on us. God teaches us the way of Grace and Love and Community and Help/not Harm in a million ways, including in holy texts (the Bible included). What we do with that teaching is on us.

If a person has the opportunity to save life, or at least try to, then they should and if they fail to do so, that's on them.

But yes, in this line of thinking, a good God would not deliberately cause or command what would normally be an atrocity, because that is contrary to the notion of Good. If you want to ask God why God doesn't intervene to stop bad stuff, let me know how that goes.

Dan Trabue said...

No matter how miserable he is and how much he suffers, the only moral thing -- and indeed, the only beautiful thing -- is for him to wait until the bitter end when nature eventually takes its course?

Or is it a similarly lovely thing for a suffering individual to take matters into his own hands?


I don't think it is innately wrong for a rational person to embrace their self determination and decide to end their life. Again, the problem with someone wiping out a city, including the children, is the assault on human rights. Those people did not have a say in how they were assaulted and slaughtered. It was an assault on human rights.

On the other hand, a reasonable person who is in excruciating pain due to illness, for instance, who has no hope of things getting better who would like to choose to enter the Great Circle of Life today of his own free will, rather than six torturous, painful months later, that's up to them and it's certainly not an assault on human rights.

Now, having said that, I would clarify that circumstances matter. Is the person mentally ill? Making good, rational choices for themselves, or are they confused? I am worried about, for instance, the mentally ill making such choices... but even there, there's a range of possibilities. Not every mentally ill person is necessarily making "bad" choices on every front. So, it's not clear cut, it seems to me.

But I don't see anything inherently wrong or "bad" with suicide. There certainly is no biblical teaching or teaching from Jesus saying suicide is wrong.

If you think that suicide is bad or wrong, why do you do so, when the Bible hasn't told you so?

Feodor said...

They’re monstrous, Dan. American religion has made them.

Marshal Art said...

"The question is, "What is the best interpretation for passages like where God commands the slaughter of entire cities, including babies?" You respond to that with, "Well, it's written write there that this is what happened, therefore, THAT is the way it happened and God really DID literally command Israel to kill babies...""

On what basis do you suppose it does not mean what the plain language implies? With what evidence can you pretend it means something different than what the plain language implies? What possible other explanation for the passage can you provide that isn't just your own subjective desire that it not mean what the text clearly says simply because you can't accept that God might have a good reason for doing things as He did that you don't understand and can't accept? Clearly you have no actual answer that is evidence based or supported by other aspects of Scripture.

"You can't assume that your way is the best and then offer your interpretation as "evidence" that this is the right way to interpret it."

Good, because this statement has absolutely no relation to how I interpret anything in Scripture. What's more, there is absolutely no similarity between a plain description of a historic event and the use of metaphor such as "four corners of the earth" for which you'd be hard pressed to find any evidence of widespread belief in a flat earth at any time in history.

"The question is: IS taking that verse woodenly literally rational and appropriate? Clearly no, in both cases."

Again, based on what other than your personal desire that it not say what you don't like? There are various explanations for what it being referenced by these stories, but the least likely are like yours.

Marshal Art said...

"Again, the problem with someone wiping out a city, including the children, is the assault on human rights."

The problem is your misrepresentation of the story. It's far more than merely wiping out a city and all within it. So you're doing far worse than any "wooden, literal interpretation". You're lying by omission.

Feodor said...

The plain language of scripture - especially when the OT tells history - is shot through with contradictions and inconsistencies.

Ignoring the existence of such things in millennia old writing is what makes you stupid and an irrational fantasist about faith. And a Sharia-like, brutalizing fundamentalist.

As evidenced by your willful denial of your inability to be honest about Isaiah 57 just above.

Dan Trabue said...

I look at the text (where it appears that God commands infanticide or forced marriages or other wicked behavior - because I believe that slavery, rape and infanticide are wicked... You? Not so much, it would appear) and say...

I. Hm, that passage does not fit in with the notion of God talked about by Jesus
II. or the vast preponderance of the Bible.
III. Further, that passage, taken literally, does not fit in with the notion of a good God...
IV. so, it would appear, given the immorality and irrationality of a literal interpretation,
V. that this is not a passage that should be taken literally.
VI. And, since none of us take all the Bible literally, there's no problem in recognizing that some parts ought not be taken literally,
VII. if a literal interpretation doesn't make sense biblically, rationally or morally.

You look at the passage, it appears, and say,

"Hm, this passage appears to command atrocities, great moral wickedness
on the other hand, it is written as if it is an historic story
and I tend to take historic stories in the Bible (no where else, but in the Bible) literally
because my faith tradition has done so
and so, even a literal interpretation describes God commanding great evils and this is contradictory to the rest of the Bible and just plain reason/common sense about what a good God would do,
I'll set aside those problems in favor of taking it literally because
that's what my faith tradition has done.
Instead, I'll try explain it away by re-defining wicked, saying that SLAVERY and INFANTICIDE and RAPE are not necessarily evil, in and of themselves... instead, it just depends upon God saying to do it or not.

Or perhaps I'll explain it by saying that, yes, those ARE legitimately wicked acts, but god sometimes commands wicked actions.

I dunno."

I think my way is more rational and more biblical. Feel free to demand literal histories for yourself, if you wish, but the text literally does not demand it, and reason and the rest of the Bible argue against it, so just be aware of that.

Dan Trabue said...

Setting aside all disagreements and bitterness we may have had as individuals in conversations in the past, Bubba, and any others, I wonder if you all can just think this through a second with fresh eyes and consider...

WHAT IF
a person was wholly unfamiliar with the bible and Christianity
BUT they heard about the story and teachings of Jesus
this teachings of grace, forgiveness, love of enemies, of NOT doing evil or embracing evil, but overcoming evil with good
in general, of the Better Way of Grace
and they LOVED this notion and embraced it immediately...

and as they read the rest of the Bible
the beautiful creation story
the interesting stories of an ancient people who were oppressed and how God was watching out for them,
the impressive prophets and their concern for justice for all, especially the oppressed
which all fits in perfectly with Jesus' teachings

and they loved it all and accepted this great Way of Grace found in Jesus' teachings

Given that person
who THEN came across stories where a perfectly Good God, a God who is defined by love and forgiveness and justice
appears to command what is clearly, to normal people, atrocities, the most vile and evil of actions like
wiping out a people, including specifically children and babies
or accepting slavery as normative and okay
or commanding the forced marriages of the virgin girls of the enemies (after having killed their parents)

...given ALL that...

Do you see how reasonable people of good faith MIGHT say to themselves

"Well, clearly, the Bible is not a history book in any modern sense of the term
Clearly, the Bible doesn't tell me that all these stories literally happened
Clearly, some texts in the Bible are metaphorical
Clearly, these older texts come from a time before modern history telling
and
Clearly, some of these actions, taken literally, are a great evil and inconsistent with the rest of the Bible's main thrusts
of Grace, love, justice, forgiveness

so, why WOULD I take these passages literally?
They can't be taken literally, as they are self contradicted by
the rest of the Bible and
by morality and
by reason and common sense."

Can you at least understand how a person of good faith and great love for the Bible might reach that conclusion?

Marshal Art said...

"I believe that slavery, rape and infanticide are wicked... You? Not so much, it would appear"

It does not appear that way at all if you've ever truly paid attention to my comments. I've never suggested those behaviors were not wicked, evil or sinful. Not so much as hinted. What I have said is that you misrepresent where you attribute those behaviors to God, as it requires ignoring the context of, not only the stories themselves, but the entirety of Scripture, to suggest that God is engaging in wicked acts or mandating that others do.

You look at the text and say...

I. "Hm, that passage does not fit in with the notion of God talked about by Jesus "

Hm...someone's not paying attention to the preaching and teaching of Jesus.

"II. or the vast preponderance of the Bible."

Hm...someone's not paying attention to what the Bible records and teaches.

"III. Further, that passage, taken literally, does not fit in with the notion of a good God.."

Further, someone's not considering context.

"IV. so, it would appear, given the immorality and irrationality of a literal interpretation,
V. that this is not a passage that should be taken literally."


So it would appear that someone needlessly divided one point into two, and that this same someone is attributing to a just God acting out His notions of justice immorality and irrationality....because they ignore context and the full teaching of God's nature, because this someone finds it personally offensive.

"VII. if a literal interpretation doesn't make sense biblically, rationally or morally."

It makes perfect sense in all those ways if read properly, without bias formed by contemporary sensibilities which ironically, by the way, are the result the influence of a culture based on the teachings of Christ. Let's see if you understand what this means.

more coming now...

Marshal Art said...

Now let's look at your misrepresentation of my understanding and position:

You say I look at Scripture and say:

"Hm, this passage appears to command atrocities, great moral wickedness"

No. Those passages actually and in truth (not "appears") to command the Hebrews to enact God's justice and a people who engage in atrocities and great moral wickedness. It's blatantly obvious, in fact.

"on the other hand, it is written as if it is an historic story
and I tend to take historic stories in the Bible (no where else, but in the Bible) literally"


Not "as if", but in actual fact these stories are written as a record of actual events and there is no reason a rational person wouldn't approach those stories as such. There is nothing anywhere in Scripture that suggests these stories shouldn't be taken as such...no hint that they are metaphoric in any way...no hint that they are attempts to justify evil by lying about God commanding "evil" acts.

"because my faith tradition has done so"

This is especially galling, that you can't believe that I can't think for myself in my study of Scripture, while expecting me to assume you do. It's not because of any faith tradition. It's because it's what it says. That's where any rational, honest student begins. You should try it some time.

"and so, even a literal interpretation describes God commanding great evils and this is contradictory to the rest of the Bible and just plain reason/common sense about what a good God would do,"

A "literal" interpretation describes a just God acting through human agency to enact HIS sense of justice, none of which is contrary to what a good God would do.

"I'll set aside those problems in favor of taking it literally because
that's what my faith tradition has done."


There are no problems for honest and honorable students of Scripture that need to be set aside. Everything is according to the actual teachings of Scripture about the nature of God...even that which might strike me as harsh or troublesome.

"Instead, I'll try explain it away by re-defining wicked, saying that SLAVERY and INFANTICIDE and RAPE are not necessarily evil, in and of themselves... instead, it just depends upon God saying to do it or not."

I haven't, and don't, re-define wicked (that's what YOU do when you pretend there's ever an acceptable form of homosexual behavior). I simply acknowledge the reality of what the text teaches about God and how He dealt with various issues in a time of great wickedness. YOU look at specific acts or commands out of context and judge God evil, or the stories untrue. Rational, honest students of integrity assume there is some way to resolve what superficially appears problematic because God is good, and lo and behold, Scripture provides that resolution for those who care to put their socialist, hippy god sensibilities aside to see the truth.

Gotta go. More later.

Feodor said...

Marshall would have to believe that God whispered into the 8th century BCE Isaiah’s ear the name of the sixth century Persian King, Cyrus.

And the that God broke his own promise in Isaiah 57 with the Seleucids and then the Romans.

Absolute faith in the plain sense of scripture turns a Christian into a fool and the Bible into a graven idol.

Feodor said...

Dan: https://nyti.ms/2JIaXB2?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Dan Trabue said...

Rational, honest students of integrity assume there is some way to resolve what superficially appears problematic because God is good

There IS a way: Don't take passages like the ones in question as woodenly literal, just like you don't take other passages woodenly literally.

Another way is to say that "rape, slavery and genocide or killing children is not always evil or wrong."

This is what you're doing, isn't it?

Not "as if", but in actual fact these stories are written as a record of actual events

Again, you're begging the question. In case you don't know what I mean, it's a logical fallacy. Look it up. Logical fallacies undermine your point/position so you have to start somewhere else besides the assumption that your assumption is right.

Feodor said...

Exactly!

Marshal Art said...

I know what a logical fallacy is and have no need to look it up.

YOU are doing the assuming, such as assuming it is OK to ignore context, to reject teachings you don't like and that there is no way to resolve that which troubles you through ACTUAL serious, prayerful study rather than to adopt the Richard Dawkins attitude. You assume the Bible MUST say it means what it says by the way it says it in order for you to believe it or you will assume it can be rejected while you assume others are unreasonable or irrational for not agreeing with you. You assume the way to resolve the problems you perceive is by rejecting Scripture rather than by finding the resolution it contains. Worst of all, you assume you are correct in judging the actions of God by the standards of behavior established by Him FOR US.

Dan Trabue said...

assuming it is OK to ignore context

Haven't done it. You can't prove it. You're simply factually mistaken.

That I disagree with your assumptions and interpretations of context are not proof that I've ignored it.

No more comments here, Marshall until you admit this mistake or, conversely, prove that I've done what you claimed I've done. You can't, of course, since I have not ignored any context.

At any rate: Put up or shut up. Prove it or admit the error (and don't point to a simple disagreement with your interpretations...)

And, of course, the reality is that having a different interpretation than you do is NOT "rejecting" Scripture. It's disagreement.

You can admit to that mistake, too, before further comments are allowed.

Feodor said...

Denials, dodges, diversions, dependence on white myths, prevarications and blatant lies.

These are the tools of even the most closeted white supremacists, and what they have in common with the man they sell out their values to prop up.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, if you want to comment here, you've just got to support your claim (and you can't) or admit that you misspoke. Don't bother commenting saying, "I can do it... one day..." Just wait until you can do it (but you can't) and then comment. Or just man up and admit that you misspoke, you made a mistake. It's okay, no one will judge you harshly for making a mistake.

Marshal Art said...

Why do you feel the need to even lie about something so minor? I never said I can do it "one day", as if in some distant, undefined point in the future. If you can't understand plain English spoken by a contemporary using contemporary word usage, how can you dare say you have a better handle on Scripture? It's already easy enough to see that you're basing your position without regard to the times in question. I, on the other hand, am totally cognizant of the realities that those times were extraordinarily different to the extent, for example, that "an eye for an eye" was a vast improvement over their routine savagery. When the Bible speaks of a people being corrupt, it isn't speaking of tax cheats and "inhospitality". You're clearly reading about these ancient cultures as if they hold any relation to ours, thousands of years later and heavily influenced by 2000 years of Christian teaching, none of which gives justification for presuming these OT stories did not occur as described...unless you reject enough context to make it so.

Feodor said...

In three thousand years, Marshall would find Stephen King to be an historian.

Dan Trabue said...

"It's pretty clear that woman (Gloria Copeland - conman Kenneth Copeland's scamming wife) can not hear the actual word of God because if she did, I'm pretty sure he would be shouting...

'FUCK YOU, GLORIA!'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1xJAVZxXg

Marshal Art said...

What point are you trying to support with this video and its blasphemous suggestion that God would spout profanity?

Feodor said...

Marshall believes that God has the authority to command the slaughter of children and call it good but cannot form his lips to say, “shit!”

Seems like someone was just writing about such vile and deominized moral evaluation.

Who was it that just posted about this corruption?

Dan Trabue said...

From the book of Marshall, chapter 12, verses 22-25...

The Lord, thy God shall never utter a profane word or naughty syllables. Neither shall the Lord utter, "fuck," nor "shit," nor "horse monkey!" nor "boner." The Lord, thy God, is holy and holy is the Lord thy God and never shall even a "rat fart!" or a "doody head!!" depart from those Divine Lips. At worst, the Almighty Creator of mountains and streams and, yes, horse manure, might sayeth, "Dingleberry Butt!," but only if his righteous anger has risen against sinful man. The Lord DOES reserve the right of our Holy Clean Mouthed Father to say, "please, bitch!" but only when addressing liberals, sloths and wombats...

Anyone who sayeth otherwise, doth speak with the mind of a most depraved douchebag!


According to the book of Marshall.

But saying, "Kill them babies, too, when you're done killing their mammas and poppas and big brothers and sisters..." THAT is not profane. Oh no.

According to the book of Marshall.

But not the bible.

This shit's all in your head, M-dawg.

Marshal Art said...

Is called "logic and reason" whence you two hail? I admit, I had a great laugh thinking for a moment that you couldn't possibly be serious. But then I realized that you are and I was overcome with great sadness at how given over to corruption you two truly are. Another day and I'll be breaking things down for you, knowing how pointless it will be given how tightly you cling to your false gods.

Feodor said...

Marshall thinks God can be righteous in murderous anger but not righteous in everyday kick the can anger.

Such is his logic and reason: medieval hermeticism.

Bubba said...

FYI, Dan, I've given your replies a good bit of thought. I appreciate how quickly you've replied, and I apologize for not being equally prompt: my life in the real world has prevented me.

I will reply at length when I can, probably tomorrow at the earliest, but even that might be an optimistic estimate.

Bubba

Dan Trabue said...

No hurries.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It's already easy enough to see that you're basing your position without regard to the times in question. I, on the other hand, am totally cognizant of the realities that those times were extraordinarily different to the extent, for example, that "an eye for an eye" was a vast improvement over their routine savagery.

I am quite aware of that bit of history, of that bit of context.

Doesn't make genocide or slaughter of a town including women, children and babies "moral" or reasonable.

So, Marshall, the onus remains on you to simply support your claim (which you can't, since it doesn't match reality) or admit your error.

Marshal Art said...

Bubba,

" Don't bother commenting saying, "I can do it... one day..." Just wait until you can do it (but you can't) and then comment."

Dan Trabue said...

The difference in why I responded politely to Bubba and deleted yours was 1. I had asked you to not bother commenting until you could support the claim and 2. You came responding, but not answering the claim, and did so in a rude and non-humble manner.

Bubba, on the other hand, responded with an apology for not being able to respond and said he would do so, and did so in a polite manner.

See the difference? A bit of humility will take you a long way in life, sir.

Feodor said...

Is the king of deletion whining about being deleted again?!

Marshal Art said...

You want humility? Do you even know what the word means, as you spout expletives at the blogs of others, while I simply comment with a bit of snark, while still getting the job done? Jeez! Get a hold of yourself. You threw politeness out the window when decided to drop f-bombs all over the place. "Humility" your fake Christian backside!

As to your demand, here it is:

My claim is that in order for you to hold your whacked opinion regarding God's destruction of entire peoples being "genocide" or "slaughter", you must reject, dismiss or ignore explanations for why He did it, as well as passages that describe Him in a manner that makes those commands consistent with His nature...a nature you choose to reject in favor of your invented hippy god. So, in no particular order, I submit the following:


"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand." Deut 32:39 NIV

"The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up." 1 Samuel 2:6 NIV

"In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10 ESV

"Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?" Romans 9:21 ESV

"You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men."" Psalm 90:3 NIV

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16 NIV

"A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." Job 14:5

These are some of the verses you reject, and need to reject in order to pretend that God hasn't the right to decide who gets to live on and who doesn't. Regardless of how one dies, God determines when and how, and had it determined before we were born. This is part of a basic understanding of the nature of God as revealed to us in Scripture. Just keep this in mind for now before you attempt to claim that this is somehow just a matter of interpretation and that these verses don't mean what the words assembled to form those sentences convey. Because even with that attitude, the fact remains that throughout Scripture we see a clear teaching of God's sovereignty over all, including our lives...when they began and when & how they will end.

Due to a variety of unforeseen time constraints in my personal life, I must respond in pieces. This is also compelled by the general objection to a rather general critique. That is, the many and varied teachings you must reject in order to hold your opinion. This comment addresses merely one of them...that God has total sovereignty over our lives, including the authority of determining how they end. The above verses bear that out and stand as evidence in support of this premise. As such, they provide some of the justification for God's command to the Israelites to destroy various peoples.

I have more proof of my criticism coming, but this will get it started. Certainly you will either delete this or try to counter it, but it is only part of the complete response you demanded.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feodor said...

Let’s just take your first one and see the adolescent, silly God it reveals:

“Jacob ate his fill;
Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked.
You grew fat, bloated, and gorged!
He abandoned God who made him,
and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
They made him jealous with strange gods,
with abhorrent things they provoked him....

The Lord saw it, and was jealous;
he spurned his sons and daughters...
He They made me jealous with what is no god,
provoked me with their idols...

I will take vengeance on my adversaries,
and will repay those who hate me.
I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the long-haired enemy.”

Does this sound like a God? Or a worshiper trying to justify the impersonal fate of history and urge his/her people to adhere to primitive social-formative religious laws?

And why in the hell would God use rap to speak to us?

“Moses came and recited all the words of this song...”

It’s just a song, Marshall. A three thousand year old hip hop political tune.

Feodor said...

If you lodge your case on one verse only, Marshall, you’re liable for the message of the whole passage. The very reason proof texting lost credibility over a century ago.

Feodor said...

And your second case: “for the Lord is a God of knowledge..”

But, sadly, not so much. “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world“

Interestingly this is also a song, a prayer sung by Hannah. Maybe she’s got some of her facts mixed up.

However, your chapter gets to the really gritty truths you ignore, but surely must equally hold valid: “When anyone offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.” And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force.” Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for they treated the offerings of the Lord with contempt.”

Feodor said...

As for your third case, Job is talking. And, correct me if I’m wrong, Marshall, but I do believe God bitch slaps him (illustrating your post’s point, Dan) for being presumptuously arrogant about what he knows of God.

And before you try to say that this must mean none of us know what God will do, let me appeal to you to become a Christian and accept the NT witness of God’s nature that Dan has been raising up: “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Feodor said...

I think I’ve established enough of the pattern that Marshall, with the application of diligent and love guided reading, can correct his further uses of Romans and the Psalms.

Feodor said...

BTW, I’d love for all of us to take the whole chapter of 1 John 4 to heart. God isn’t in a book. God is in those that love others.

“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.”

Feodor said...

When we read scripture, both what it says about ourselves as part of the intentional creation of God and what it does not say, cannot say, about our time with God now, leaves us the only choice to read scripture as, 1)the deeply contemplative witness of ancient peoples in their faithfulness, 2) the ways in which the faiths of these ancient peoples varied from each other and transformed over time, and 3) as a model of living with God now, together, and in full confidence that we have the same capacities to discern the joyful and sorrowful, time-shaped path of love for ourselves as guided by the mysterious life of God within us.

Sticking to the paper and the ink is idolatry and a betrayal of the inspiring and disciplined witness those communities bequeathed to us in God's wisdom.

True christian faith isn't easy or perfect. It is work now, not surrender to then, because it is not about obeying the past. It is about loving first, and letting love teach us what we must do.

Marshal Art said...

Moving on...

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:8-11 ESV

This passage is especially relevant given your presumptions about the motivations of God, and what it means when Scripture records Him doing that which gives you the vapors. This clearly indicates that God "works in mysterious ways"...ways we may not only not understand, but find personally objectionable.

As to that last bit, I reiterate that what we find objectionable today is largely the result of a culture steeped in Christian influence. You like to say that my position is the result of my "faith tradition". The reality is that our cultural concepts of good and evil, atrocity and justified action, is also based on the Christian faith tradition. When we look back at OT stories like these, we are looking at them from the perspective of all that came from that point in history to this, including the 2000+ years from Christ's ministry, on which our general perspectives are formed. But that influence shouldn't taint our study of the OT, as it does in your case. You forget or ignore or reject the teaching of God's superiority and demand that He act on YOUR understanding of good/evil, rather than His, which we may not always understand or perceive. I prefer to give Him the benefit of the doubt given that I am nothing like Him...some here clearly are less so.

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." [Is 57.1-2]

I added the above due to the fact that it speaks to the same concept this comment addresses, that we don't know why God does what He does in all cases, and that He has a reason in mind for why He takes any of us from this earth. It also provides a very likely reason why God would also takes the lives of any innocent while destroying the totally corrupt people to whom they were born. We often speak of people who suffer, then upon their death, presume they are better off. Indeed, many on the left, "progressive Christians" included, use this to rationalize euthanasia and worse, the aborting of disabled unborn. Yet somehow, God isn't allowed to do the same.

As these possibilities are likely as ignored as never considered in the first place, they stand with all the rest that you've rejected. Much more coming as time allows...

Feodor said...

Marshall copies and pastes verses - skating past the work of actually reading and wrestling with historical anachronism, contradictions, ancient cultic needs - and absolutely cannot construct a modern argument platformed in Christian faith.

His practice is nothing more than a rejection of God’s gift to humanity of a reasoning, constructive mind.

This way lies nihilism. This way paved the whimsical, unthinking way in which white men dive headlong into slavery, slaughtering Indians, abusing wives, coercing children.

It’s evil, both root and branch.

Feodor said...

From Augustine to Anselm to Karl Barth, the church worships God in reflection when faith seeks understanding: fides quaerens intellectum.

These boys don’t have it in them, Dan. They don’t want an intelligible faith. They want a weaponized faith.

Thus the silence when pressed to find reason. Or, stripped of his bad logic, Marshall glues only what he wants from scripture.

Marshal Art said...
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Marshal Art said...

Before moving onward, I wish to refer once again to the concept of "faith traditions" and how such influences opinions on this subject. It is absolutely necessary to understand and accept that we, to one extent or another, are influenced by the same faith tradition, not differing ones. That is, our opposition to slavery, rape and the killing of innocents is drawn from the same Judeo-Christian tradition. The difference is that I acknowledge and accept I'm a creature of that influence, while you prefer to pretend it is human nature to oppose those behaviors. This is clearly not the case for two reasons:

1. We still see all three of these behaviors practiced as a matter of course and culture in today's world. One need only look at the various examples readily and easily accessed if one chooses to look. These include...

a) Examples of sexual abuse of females by muslims, both in their own countries, as well as their behaviors in countries that have welcomed them, including Germany, Sweden and Britain (Tommy Robinson was arrested for questioning about a pedophile).

(Some of the above is disputed by authorities in those countries, but those same authorities are proponents of the policies that brought the increased criminal behavior...and unintended consequence to be sure, but not one that should be swept under the rug.)

And of course, muslim countries under sharia treat their women in absolutely horrid ways. It is prevalent throughout Latin countries, no matter how many people hate Ann Coulter (for supplying so many case studies to support her contention). These and other cultures also are involved in slavery/human trafficking at high rates, and their savagery also includes children of all ages. And don't forget the support for abortion "rights", which rarely is accessed for truly justifiable reasons. I know some progressive Christians who defend the practice.

The point here is that what we regard as unquestionably immoral is not an attitude that is as universal as you need to believe it is to hold your opinion with regard to God's use of the Israelites to enact His punishment on peoples that make those mentioned above look like pikers. Along with various passages and verses from Scripture, these realities too must be ignored and rejected in order to hold your position. Evil exists in the world and it existed to degrees one doesn't routinely consider...especially when weighing the realities of what Scripture says about God exacting His justice upon the Canaanites and Amelekites. Thus, in considering what Scripture says, as well as the context of what the times were like, I offer the following rather lengthy link(s) that further bolsters my position:

http://christianthinktank.com/rbutcher1.html

http://christianthinktank.com/qamorite.html

Marshal Art said...

The two links above give a rather comprehensive look at the issue of the killing of the innocent during God's wars of punishment against extremely evil people whose land was to be given to His Chosen People. They discuss the very objections that led to your demand of me. The same can be done for the charges against God for supporting rape, which is untrue in the first place. Rape was forbidden by God. But you look at various verses and choose to believe they are examples of rape. The following link looks at those verses and argues they are instead examples of God's regard for the people you want to believe were abused by the Israelites:

http://christianthinktank.com/remarkable.html

While the above also touches a bit on "slavery", I'm more concerned with its reference to the treatment of women, particularly women/girls captured in battle. It does, as I've mentioned more than once in the past, actually demonstrate compassion for such women. More to the point is this 6-part article that shows the term "rape" doesn't even apply to the verses often held up as examples of God condoning rape. While it is in six parts, the whole thing is not very long, and actually made longer by repeating in later parts that which was originally stated in previous parts. I believe it's part 2 that reads as if the author is responding directly to you.

That's all I've time for now, but already it's pretty clear to see just how much you have to ignore and reject in order to hold your opinion on the God's nature with regard to slavery, rape and killing babies. I've posted quite a bit, and could post a lot more...and I haven't really covered the slavery issue except peripherally. None of what the OT says about wars against those like the Amelekites/Canaanites is in any way in conflict with a just and merciful God if one truly keeps context in mind.

Feodor said...

Well, Dan, you sent Marshall off for a long think and to research his own dark web. Sadly they don’t teach syntax and composition there.

Odd that you refer, Marshall, to Muslim countries but cannot do the same for Christian ones, choosing instead to call the Latin.

Latin countries, which by the way, up until very recently, none of them allowed abortion and most still don’t.

Which leads to this thought that explains your data regarding contemporary global politics in a different - more comprehensive- light:

Socities where religion (particularly Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist) dictates that abortion is illegal.... are also those socities most deeply embedded in sex and child slavery trafficking.

Huh.

Feodor said...

They are also the countries that severely limit full female citizenship, freedom, and equal economic opportunities... and kill LGBTQ people.

Huh.

This may partly explain, uh oh, the violence of ancient Israel and most other Levantine cultures.

Marshal Art said...

As I have a bit of time at present, I continue with verses that support the proposition that stories of God destroying peoples (Canaanites, Amelekites, etc.) are consistent with God's character and nature...



Behold the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. (Jeremiah 30:23)

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. (Nahum 1:2)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. (Revelation 19:15) (All from ESV)

These verses do not indicate a lack of love on God's part. They refer to His sense of justice, which is not capricious. How He dispenses His justice...His wrath...is entirely up to Him and as described in Scripture, includes sending His Chosen People to be His sword.

Yet, He did this only after allowing the wicked opportunity galore to repent of their ways. Nineveh took advantage of such opportunity and was spared. Others did not, even when that opportunity stretched over hundreds of years, as was the case with the Amelekites and Canaanites. Indeed, it can be said that God is too lenient and long-suffering.

So now the problem is whether or not using the Israelites for this purpose is commanding them to sin. This is absurd. It would mean enacting His justice is sin. How can that be? Was the waters of the Great Flood sinning when He sent them to wipe out all but Noah and his family? Was the Angel of Death sinning when He sent him to take out the first born of Egypt? Was the burning sulfur sinning when He made it rain down on Sodom? Like all these, the Tribes were a tool of God's to exact His just punishment on extremely sinful peoples. What's more, there is no verse or passage that describes the people involved with exacting that justice as sinners for doing so. Nothing whatsoever. So, in order to suppose that God would NOT use His Chosen in this manner, or to judge their obedience as sin is to ignore and/or reject verses that describe God's character and nature with regard to justice, wrath and punishment.

More later...

Dan Trabue said...

Stop, Marshall. Stop promoting genocide, child rape, infanticide as moral. You're just embarrassing yourself.

Feodor said...

Also because he must take it literally - since everything else he takes literally - that God has a sword for a tongue. Or a tongue at all.

Marshal Art said...

So, you want me to stop something I'm not doing? It is YOU calling God's commands to the tribes of Israel genocide, child rape and infanticide. Scripture isn't doing that. It is YOU who is ignoring what Scripture says in order to hold the positions that those crimes occurred in the OT stories of the tribes being given the Promised Land. This is what you wanted me to prove, and while there's so much more I'd intended to add, I've pretty much proven the point...you reject what Scripture says. You offer nothing but your own opinion, based on nothing but your personal discomfort with the reality of that ancient history...no Scripture, no archaeology, no expert interpretation of the original languages that in any way suggests an alternative explanation for what the text clearly says. You just don't like it. If you have any data, hard or otherwise, that supports your position and refutes the conclusion that you must ignore/reject so much of Scripture to hold your position(s), I'm all ears...virtually speaking.

And seriously, telling the truth about what Scripture says and means is no cause for embarrassment for me, and thus it doesn't embarrass me at all. Thanks anyway for your concern.

Feodor said...

Ancient Israel has God warning against wearing cloth woven from two kids nds of materials. Ancient Israel has God warning against women wearing man styled clothes. Ancient Israel has God warning a man sleeping with another man’s slave. Ancient Israel has God warning against eating - and touching - animals with cloven hoods and crustaceans. Ancient Israel has God warning against touching a women during her period.

None of these issues are of God.

Doing justice, loving mercy, being human in faith, these are of God. Kindergartners know this stuff. All it takes is a loving heart.

Conquering other peoples with violence? Not of God. Not then, and not Manifest Destiny.

We tried to make of the slaughter of natives and the slavery of Africans a divine purpose. We learned on part how to couch our brutality in godliness from ancient Israel. It is an abomination. Any kindergartner knows this.

All it takes is a loving heart.

Then you can read Holy Scripture without making it just a belief in yourself, Marshall.



Marshal Art said...
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