Author Topic: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?  (Read 15081 times)

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Offline velkyn

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #116 on: September 20, 2010, 10:21:58 AM »
I'll have to say, it seems that Parallel has no idea what the difference between murder and killing is and what natural selection is.  Interesting. 
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Offline AlexBP

Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #117 on: September 20, 2010, 04:01:57 PM »
Surely, the burden of proof is not on us to show that when someone says "cut off your hand" he doesn't mean "cut off your hand", but he means "deal with your inner demons without actually cutting off your hand, sinner!"?
Why is the burden of proof on me?  If someone says "raining cats and dogs", is the burden of proof on me to prove that this deal with water rather than house pets?  If Blake says "tiger, tiger, burning bright", is the burden of proof on me to prove that this deals with ferocious instincts rather than flammable jungle cats?  Why is the burden of proof on the person who says what's sensible and straightforward, while the person who's resting their entire case on a ridiculously obtuse line of reasoning doesn't have to provide any reasoning at all?

Let me ask you this.  What would you classify as proof?  I've already suggested reason, logic, and common sense, but apparently folks on this board don't like that sort of thing.  So then what would classify as proof that Jesus meant this statement to be a metaphor?  If you can't explain what you mean by "proof" in this situation, then your demand that I produce proof isn't meaningful.

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You don't have to take this video seriously. Just like you don't take some/many of the other interpretations/denominations of Christianity seriously. And, unfortunately, much like how you can't explain to us why we should take your interpretation or even Christianity itself seriously. But you just do (take one specific interpretation and just run with it), so why can't the creator of the video take one interpretation and run with it as well?
Well, I've already answered this, but what they hey, I'll do it again.  The video maker wants me to believe that Jesus was crazy.  His proof that Jesus was crazy is that Jesus said "If your hand causes you to sin, cut if off."  (Of course he also listed four other quotes from Jesus, but it seems you all have admitted that the video maker was flat wrong about that one.)  So the entire correctness of the video rests on the assumption that Jesus was demonstrating craziness rather than using a metaphor.  And since every Christian agrees that it was a metaphor, there's nothing to be accomplished by pretending otherwise.  Indeed the video maker's line of reasoning is so utterly bizarre and desperate that some people might question his sanity.

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Are Christians generally taught to preempt every talk with religious aspects with "First things first: I just want to say that I am of x denomination and I don't interpret the bible the same way you do. In fact, I think that some of the things you believe about god and Jesus are at best inaccurate and at worst ridiculous. So whenever I refer to Christians, Christianity, God and Jesus, I usually mean my interpretation of them, not yours, which I don't acknowledge as correct"? If they don't, why do you expect the creator of this video to do so?
I've never expected the creator of the video to do so.  I've expected the video maker to display a little bit of intelligence, and the response from another posted was that this is "an impossibly high standard".  Which really says it all.

Offline AlexBP

Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #118 on: September 20, 2010, 04:09:33 PM »
Lose that ridiculous interpretation of Jesus' words and the whole video falls apart and looks rather pathetic.
My wife doesn't think it is a ridiculous interpretation. She's a strict fundamentalist Christian and believes every word of the bible is the literal truth.
It's looks like you've discovered the nice thing about message boards: one can post whatever annecdotal evidence one wants and there's no way for your opponent to verify it.  Let me ask you this.  If it were true, as you say, that there are Christians out there who believe that "If they hand causes you to sin, cut it off" is a literal command calling for dismemberment, then surely some of them would have said so directly in books, magazines, sermons, websites, etc...  And thus you should be able to link me to an example (in fact many examples) of Christians stating directly that this is not a metaphor.  So why are you not able to do so?  Why do you instead lean on unverifiable, annecdotal evidence?  (As a preemptive strike on this issue, let me mention that quoting someone as saying that the Bible is "literally the word of God" will not suffice as proof of your position, since that would refer to the transcription of the text, and would not in any way contradict the use of metaphor.)

Offline AlexBP

Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #119 on: September 20, 2010, 04:22:14 PM »
@AlexBP

I never got a response to this post:

So tell me. Is this literal or metaphorical and explain why, please.
Bringing up other passages in the Bible and asking me whether they are literal or metaphorical is irrelevant to the topic of this thread.  The topic of this thread was whether anyone could defend the video entitled "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus".  It's plain at this point that the answer is no, no one can defend the video.  You all are desperately trying to change the subject in order to avoid facing the fact that the video is shredded so easily.  The only real response that I've gotten is, paraphrased, "Okay, that video's a load of crap, nonetheless we've got other arguments that do hold water."  If that's the tack you want to take, perhaps you could point me to something on the site that does stand up to five seconds of scrutiny.

As for the question of whether certain biblical passages are intended to be metaphorical, I'd be happy to take that up at length in a different thread, but the basic answer is that we Christians are still permitted to use logic and common sense, and we apply those to the Bible as to everything else.

Offline Gimpy

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #120 on: September 20, 2010, 04:56:31 PM »
No, you have failed in providing any reason why anyone should take your word for it that such phrases as "cutting of your hand" is metaphorical.

I have asked several of my religious friends, all from different denominations, and every single one of them categorically believes it means what it says. That if you sin, and you can't keep your hand from sinning, that you cut it off.

Well, I take that back, one of my brothers thinks it means that you remove yourself from the temptation. But if you can't do that, and still sin, then cut it off.

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Offline radames

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #121 on: September 20, 2010, 05:16:58 PM »
Let me sidetrack a bit. Since there is no God and no after life, I guess it gives us a license to do whatever we want to huh? After all, once you are dead, you are dead. You don't go to hell nor heaven. Since we have no soul or conscience, what's stopping me from committing heinous crimes or doing whatever absurd things I want?

That's exactly why a "good" atheist is better than a "good" believer.  An atheist who does good (even when its hard) does it because its good.  A believer who does good does it - at least in part - knowing there is reward or punishment to come.

But it IS a fair question - with no external morality, why should any person not simply satisfy their own whims?  The answer for me is because this is the one life we all get - not just me, but you, and everyone.  If I agree it is ok to hurt others to please myself, then I have to also admit that it is okay for others to hurt me to please themselves. 

Think this gorilla just got finished reading his or her daily potion of morality in the bible?

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Offline CutePuppy

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #122 on: September 20, 2010, 06:22:04 PM »
Surely, the burden of proof is not on us to show that when someone says "cut off your hand" he doesn't mean "cut off your hand", but he means "deal with your inner demons without actually cutting off your hand, sinner!"?
Why is the burden of proof on me?  If someone says "raining cats and dogs", is the burden of proof on me to prove that this deal with water rather than house pets?  If Blake says "tiger, tiger, burning bright", is the burden of proof on me to prove that this deals with ferocious instincts rather than flammable jungle cats?

I'm sorry, but I don't see even in the slightest how you compare these to "cut off your hand"?

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Why is the burden of proof on the person who says what's sensible and straightforward, while the person who's resting their entire case on a ridiculously obtuse line of reasoning doesn't have to provide any reasoning at all?

This line is completely meaningless. What you claim is sensible and straightforward isn't sensible and straightforward to me at all. So again, provide evidence that your interpretation is correct instead of throwing such unsubstantiated, subjective lines like "this makes sense, and yours doesn't" nonsense. I can throw such meaningless statements right back at you: you're not making sense, it's neither logical nor sensible. Your turn again.

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Let me ask you this.  What would you classify as proof?  I've already suggested reason, logic, and common sense, but apparently folks on this board don't like that sort of thing.  So then what would classify as proof that Jesus meant this statement to be a metaphor?  If you can't explain what you mean by "proof" in this situation, then your demand that I produce proof isn't meaningful.

Nothing you say is meaningful. You claim that passage is supposed to be a metaphor, back it up with something else other than "it's common sense". If you don't accept such statements from me, e.g. that you're not making sense, which is common sense to me, don't expect me to take such baseless assertions from you, either.

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The video maker wants me to believe that Jesus was crazy.  His proof that Jesus was crazy is that Jesus said "If your hand causes you to sin, cut if off."  (Of course he also listed four other quotes from Jesus, but it seems you all have admitted that the video maker was flat wrong about that one.)  So the entire correctness of the video rests on the assumption that Jesus was demonstrating craziness rather than using a metaphor.  And since every Christian agrees that it was a metaphor, there's nothing to be accomplished by pretending otherwise.  Indeed the video maker's line of reasoning is so utterly bizarre and desperate that some people might question his sanity.

Christians agreeing with each other not to cut off their hands when they sin using it seems like an awfully convenient thing to do. Which actually doesn't say anything about how sane they are in believing in what seems to be their own propped up doll they call Jesus/God (hint: it's not sanity). Nor does it provide any kind of evidence that that statement isn't to be taken literally, but Christians just decided to ignore that for convenience sake. I think that's actually the point of the video: you guys are just making things up as you go along, whatever is convenient to you. "What, Jesus said we should cut off our hand if we sin with it? That's too harsh, we'll just say he didn't mean that literally!"

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Are Christians generally taught to preempt every talk with religious aspects with "First things first: I just want to say that I am of x denomination and I don't interpret the bible the same way you do. In fact, I think that some of the things you believe about god and Jesus are at best inaccurate and at worst ridiculous. So whenever I refer to Christians, Christianity, God and Jesus, I usually mean my interpretation of them, not yours, which I don't acknowledge as correct"? If they don't, why do you expect the creator of this video to do so?
I've never expected the creator of the video to do so.  I've expected the video maker to display a little bit of intelligence, and the response from another posted was that this is "an impossibly high standard".  Which really says it all.

Look, you've presented nothing substantial whatsoever to show that that line is to be taken metaphorically rather than literally, so I'd rather you didn't spout about other people's lack of intelligence until you figure out you have absolutely nothing right now. You still have a lot of posts to catch up to in this thread, so there is plenty of time to realize that you have no case here.

Speaking of displaying a little bit of intelligence, are you going to acknowledge you misinterpreting a statement here: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=15728.msg352596#msg352596 ? That would be nice. Show some class, if nothing else.

Offline screwtape

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #123 on: September 20, 2010, 10:00:12 PM »
Why is the burden of proof on me?  If someone says "raining cats and dogs", is the burden of proof on me to prove that this deal with water rather than house pets?  If Blake says "tiger, tiger, burning bright", is the burden of proof on me to prove that this deals with ferocious instincts rather than flammable jungle cats?  Why is the burden of proof on the person who says what's sensible and straightforward, while the person who's resting their entire case on a ridiculously obtuse line of reasoning doesn't have to provide any reasoning at all?

Because there are obvious differences between poetry, euphemisms and the bible.  Writing about big cats on fire makes no sense. House pets falling from the sky makes no sense.  But the bible says a lot of crazy shit that also makes no sense, but people actually take literally.  Babel.  Noah.  Jonah.  Moses vs Pharaoh.  Jesus.  So the whole literal/figurative thing in the bible is really unclear.

You claim this is a metaphor.  Maybe you have explained the metaphor already.  If so, I missed it.  What is it a metaphor of?  Why would that not be meant literally?  I took it as underscoring the importance of the afterlife relative to the importance of things in the "material world".  What does your hand or eye matter compared to eternity in heaven or hell?  Could that be figurative?  maybe.  But that would be the way someone who is not serious about salvation might think.  That would be the difference between the xian who was willing to be devoured by lions in the coliseum and the xian who would renounce jesus H to the Romans.



By the way, you have not answered my last post to you at the top of page 3 of this thread.  It was a good point about agape.  The conversation has moved on while you were gone, so I get it if you don't want to answer.
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Offline parallel

Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #124 on: September 20, 2010, 10:46:00 PM »
Before I reply, I would like to clarify something. When I say murdering, I am talking about killing in all aspects, be it intentional or what.

Of course you wouldn't want a lion or a murderer in the streets. I wouldn't want that too. Why? Because we don't want to die. Deers would prefer their land to be free of lions and other predators too. It's all basic instinct, survival of the fittest stuff.

Really?  You think murder is natural selection at work?

Of course it is. Why is it I can't kill a person even if there were no laws and you were to offer me 1 million whereas serial killers kill without hesitating? Nature made me who I am and nature also made the murderers who they are.
Quote from: screwtape
I would like to reiterate my main point, which is, who are we to say that murdering is wrong?

Well, since murder is defined as wrongful or unjustified killing, and since we make up the meaning of words, then I would say we are the authorities on the matter.

Where do you get the definition that murder is wrongful?

Dictionary.com states -
Murder: the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law.

We are the authorities simply because we invented the meaning of words? What kind of logic is that? It doesn't even make sense.

It's like saying that a claw is defined as a sharp, usually curved, nail on the foot of an animal, as on a cat, dog, or bird, and since we make up the meaning of words, then I would say we are the authorities on the matter.

Quote from: screwtape
Yes it is cruel and you don't want it to happen to you but so what?

So, we have come up with rules of behavior that we more or less all agree are practical allow us to function in groups.  Without these rules we could not trust each other enough to have society.  We find that there are much greater benefits to all of us by having societies, so we have found a way to do it.  Individuals who do not follow these rules are not to be trusted and are punished or excluded from the group.

What kind of rules of behavior? Without these rules we could not trust each other enough to have society? How did Hitler gather so many followers with violence as his methodology? Same for Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, etc.

Quote from: screwtape
It is still within the 'rules' of nature.

And?  Nobody is saying the universe cares whether one talking monkey kills another.  It only matters to the talking monkeys.


And what? What are you trying to ask me?

Quote from: screwtape
Do you see deers complaining to their fellow deers that the lions are wrong to murder them?

The plural of "deer" is "deer".  If deer could talk and comprehend morality, then yes, they would absolutely agree that deer being devoured by lions is a horrible injustice, just like we do when some kid jumps the fence at a zoo and is eaten by a polar bear.  My father thinks it would be a good idea to kill every alligator in the world just make sure no humans are ever killed by them. 

If you go to dictionary.com, 'deers' is used as plural too. Absolutely agree? Wow. How do you know for sure? It can never be proven.

Quote from: screwtape
Granted they can't talk but you get the idea. Say a basketball team is winning by a large margin, yet they continue to run up the score during the last few minutes. You may not like it but it is not wrong since the rules of the game did not say that it's not allowed.

And?  What point are you trying to make? 

I wrote that in the same paragraph as the 'rules' of the nature thingy. Isn't that clear enough? For your sake, I will repeat. That murder is neither wrong nor right, just like how a basketball team running up the score isn't wrong nor right.

Quote from: screwtape
Oh, so it's okay for us humans to kill chickens, cows, etc for food but it is wrong to kill each other?

Some people argue that.  Some argue it is not okay to do that.  I say we are omnivores.  As such, we eat other animals and that is okay with me.  But I think it is important to recognize how special life is and not take it for granted.  Just because it is food does not mean it is worthless.


So eating animals is okay with you right? But killing humans is wrong? What's the difference? You are still taking a life.

Quote from: screwtape
That's a fact. Aren't you killing the germs and bacteria when you wash your hands? Aren't you killing the grass by stepping on them? Don't give me that excuse that no species kill their own. The lions are doing it to baby cubs from rival prides(Youtube has clips of it), etc.

I think there might be something wrong with you.

I am illustrating the fact that the act of killing is everywhere around us.

Offline parallel

Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #125 on: September 20, 2010, 10:56:35 PM »
If a person murders me with a gun to take my wallet, that's wrong.
Why? Because we say so.


Because we say so? Who are you to say so? Aren't you trying to play god by doing so?

Quote from: plethora
As a society we have evolved morals and values. To allow people to murder other people without negative consequences would be detrimental to society as whole.

Hence, we classify it as 'bad'.

Yes, it might be detrimental but that doesn't mean it is wrong. I am not saying it is right either.

Offline parallel

Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #126 on: September 20, 2010, 11:05:52 PM »
Aren't you killing the germs and bacteria when you wash your hands? Aren't you killing the grass by stepping on them?

Yes.. and we have determined that these are not bad things. In fact, killing germs is something we've determined to be good (for us). So what?



So how about thinking from the murderers' point of view? For example Hitler. He determined that killing Jews was good for the Nazis as a whole.  

Offline Gimpy

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #127 on: September 20, 2010, 11:12:13 PM »
Because we say so? Who are you to say so? Aren't you trying to play god by doing so?

Not necessarily.

I may be trying to play Gandalf.

But for me, the reason WHY we "say so" basically all goes back to the social nature of the human animal, much like the social nature of, say, gorillas (at the top of my mind because I just saw a neat video clip on them).

As social animals, we depend on each other for a wide variety of things. One of those things is the ability to live somewhat in a state of low anxiety.

If I have to be concerned that my safety or the safety of my clan (or children, whatever) is at risk every time I leave my home, then, as a society, as a culture, as a civilization, we are not going to get very far.

So we impose certain parameters that make us less anxious about such things.

We make certain things "illegal" and impose punishments on people who break those parameters.

Stealing; assault; rape; murder.

But in many of those we also have certain "qualifications" that allow for such infractions, albeit under certain other sets of conditions that we, as a society, agree upon.



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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #128 on: September 21, 2010, 04:39:18 AM »
It's plain at this point that the answer is no, no one can defend the video.  You all are desperately trying to change the subject in order to avoid facing the fact that the video is shredded so easily.  The only real response that I've gotten is, paraphrased, "Okay, that video's a load of crap, nonetheless we've got other arguments that do hold water." 

I note you didn't respond to this question of mine.  I wonder why not?  Could it be that it makes far too plain that "cut off thy hand" was meant quite, quite literally?

Sure.  The metaphorical interpretation must be correct because the literal interpretation makes no sense.  "If your right hand causes you to sin..." can't mean anything literally because rights hands never cause anyone to sin.  Sin can only be a conscious decision made in the mind, not in the right hand.  Further, that line doubles as a joke about a certain activity that some people do with their right hand, and jokes are not meant to be taken literally.
You've been given an example that shows how a hand could indeed cause one to sin.  But looking at the "joke"....what of someone who does indeed spill his seed and feels they can't help themselves.  Would not literally cutting off their hand make perfect sense, in light of the "better to enter heaven incomplete"?

I'll quote it again, since you have conveniently ignored the quote in order for the passage to fit your preconceptions:

""it is profitable for the that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell" (repeated twice).  If nothing is physically being cut off, what is the point of this line - specifically?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline plethora

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #129 on: September 21, 2010, 05:33:35 AM »
As for the question of whether certain biblical passages are intended to be metaphorical, I'd be happy to take that up at length in a different thread, but the basic answer is that we Christians are still permitted to use logic and common sense, and we apply those to the Bible as to everything else.

Right. Logic and common sense tells me that the bible is entirely false and mythical.

So much for 'faith'.
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Offline Grimm

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #130 on: September 21, 2010, 09:24:02 AM »
3) Why would a loving, benevolent god write a book that required interpretation?  That two equally devout believers are capable of interpreting differently?
First of all, God did not write the gospels.  They were written by apostles Matthew and John and by Luke and Mark, companions of apostles.  As to why the Bible requires interpretation, all books require interpretation. 

I am just now following along with the entirety of this conversation, and so am joining a bit late.  If this has been addressed, I do apologize.

Alex - welcome.  I look forward to talking with you.  However, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not apostles nor companions of apostles, and no gospel was written within a generation of the events they purport to record.  Biblically, the oldest gospel is Mark, written somewhere around 65-70 CE - assuming Jesus was crucified somewhere around 30 CE, that's quite a bit of time later.  John is the youngest gospel, written c. 100 CE, about sixty years after the events in question.  The earliest church documents are the letters of Paul, but even he is a secondhand witness, and he never mentions certain items that are central points in later dogma.

Anyway, the point of saying this is to correct the misapprehension that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses to events.  It's simply not true.
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Offline Grimm

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #131 on: September 21, 2010, 09:29:29 AM »
But that was not what we were talking about, was it?  We were talking about whether killing people you love was consistent with what love is.  This has nothing to do with that.
Actually, that is exactly what we're talking about.  The video specifically discusses the military and warfare as its sole "evidence" on this point.  I started the thread as a discussion about the video.  If you haven't seen the video, which is the topic of the thread, then on what grounds do you go around telling me what the topic of the thread is?  The topic of the thread is the claims of the video, and your constant attempts to change the subject are as good as an admission that the video cannot be rationally defended.

Nevertheless, I'll answer your question.  There are many types of love.  In the original Greek of the New Testament, the "love your enemies" lines all use agape.  This indicates not a good, happy feeling towards people, but rather a recognition that those people are a part of creation with free will and motivations like my own. 

Again, apologies if this has been addressed:

Agape is the highest form of love in the Greek trio, not the lowest.  It is the all-consuming love, with most scholars translating it as "thoughtful, volitional, unconditional, and self-sacrificing'.  It is what Paul waxes philosophical about in the admittedly beautiful prose of 1 Corinthians 13 (though I am an unbeliever, I still think this is remarkably right).  Philia is 'brotherly love', that sort of friendship that includes non-sexual affection.  Then there's eros.  Hubba.  But agape is sort of the quintessential love.

It isn't at all what you define it to be, and not a single scholar, much less a biblical scholar, would agree with you. 

Regardless, it also goes to proving the point:  your interpretation of something differs markedly from most people's.  Should this not be raising a bit of a red flag for you?
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Offline plethora

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #132 on: September 21, 2010, 09:35:08 AM »
As to why the Bible requires interpretation, all books require interpretation.  
bold mine.

With this, you've said that the bible is no different than any other book. So what makes it extraordinary and yet no different than any other book? Isn't that a contradiction right there? So much for the word of an infallible god.

Why doesn't god just tap into us and give us his messages directly instead of using an ordinary book written by indirect accounts starting several decades after the alleged events?
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline Grimm

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #133 on: September 21, 2010, 09:36:05 AM »
hmmm, really?  I seem to recall, Matthew 25 which seems to indicate that one has to be nice to one's fellow humans to get Jesus' approval.  You haven't been that, with your breezing in here making baseless claims, becoming abusive when shown you are wrong, etc.  The video may not be perfect, it may assume that Christians believe in certain ways, but any way a theist believes is open for question since you cannot demonstrate that your version is any better.
Oddly enough, I seem to recall that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said: "People will hate you and tell all kinds of horrible lies about you because you have chosen to follow Me.  When they do so, you should rejoice and be glad."  So by making these videos, the maker has helped the words of Jesus to come true once again, and the same might be said for certain posts on this forum.


This is not true.  There is a passage in the Sermon on the Mount that discusses turning the other cheek, yes.  There is also this passage:

Quote
But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous....Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

But there is no passage about people hating you because you've chosen to follow Christ.  That does exist, but it's not  in the very famous Sermon.
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline plethora

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #134 on: September 21, 2010, 09:37:19 AM »
^^^ You must not be "interpreting" the bible correctly.

That's AlexBP's response to everything &)
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Offline Grimm

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #135 on: September 21, 2010, 10:30:44 AM »
Aren't you killing the germs and bacteria when you wash your hands? Aren't you killing the grass by stepping on them?

Yes.. and we have determined that these are not bad things. In fact, killing germs is something we've determined to be good (for us). So what?



So how about thinking from the murderers' point of view? For example Hitler. He determined that killing Jews was good for the Nazis as a whole.  

While this is a terrible Godwin, let's address all of this murder conversation in two statements:

First - Do you honestly believe that if the Third Reich had succeeded in taking over the world it would not now be considered morally correct to persecute Jews?  For reference, one might want to look closely at the 'separate-but-equal' period in American history, when it was in fact considered morally correct to separate people by skin color, and to ignore the 'but equal' part of 'separate-but-equal' in a blatant persecution of a group of people.  This was only addressed in the 60's.

Additionally, remember that Jews fleeing Hitler's Germany were largely turned away from other countries, including the US.  Persecution of a people was and in many ways is still commonplace.  That we in the States no longer consider it morally acceptable in no way implies that societies as a whole do not.

Morality is relative, but it is safe to say that those moral structures that embrace freedom and equality have thus far excelled and grown, and it seems to be the state to which the human animal trends in preference to any sort of preferentialism.  It does not change the fact that in this world, today, there are those who believe it perfectly moral to enslave Phillipine immigrants in menial duties (Dubai!) or to ransom ships taken in piracy (Somalia!), or to tell people they don't have the right to build a place to worship (the outcry in Murfeesboro, TN over the mosque.. where the locals finally stood up and told the Christian agitators to shut it - go them!). 

As for the entire question of Murder - I think Heinlein wrote the best thing I've ever read on the subject:

"While a judge should be benevolent in purpose; his awards should cause the criminal to suffer, else there is no punishment - and pain is the basic mechanism built into us by millions of years of evolution which safeguards us by warning when something threatens our survival. Why should society refuse to use such a highly perfected survival mechanism?"

In this quote, a man named Dillenger has just been hung for killing a little girl, and the main character - Rico - is trying to sort out justice:

Quote
If Dillinger had understood what he was doing (which seemed
incredible) then he got what was coming to him . . . except that it seemed a shame
that he hadn't suffered as much as had little Barbara Anne -- he
practically hadn't suffered at all.

But suppose, as seemed more likely, that he was so crazy that
he had never been aware that he was doing anything wrong? What then?

Well, we shoot mad dogs, don't we?

Yes, but being crazy that way is a sickness --

I couldn't see but two possibilities. Either he couldn't be made
well-- in which case he was better dead for his own sake and for the
safety of others -- or he could be treated and made sane. In which case (it
seemed to me) if he ever became sane enough for civilized society . . . and
thought over what he had done while he was "sick" -- what could be left for
him but suicide? How could he live with himself? And suppose he escaped before he was cured and did the same
thing again? And maybe again? How do you explain that to bereaved parents? In
view of his record?

I couldn't see but one answer.

"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline Grimm

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #136 on: September 21, 2010, 12:08:26 PM »
.... I'm still reading Heinlein, as I find it difficult to stop.  For added fun, this passage comes immediately following the above, as the hero reminisces on his school days and his class on Moral History and Philosophy:

Quote
"I agree. Young lady, the tragic wrongness of what those wellmeaning people did, contrasted with what they thought they were doing, goes very deep. They had no scientific theory of morals. They did have a theory of morals and they tried to live by it (I should not have sneered at their motives) but their theory was wrong -- half of it fuzzy-headed wishful thinking, half of it rationalized charlatanry. The more earnest they were, the farther it led them astray. You see, they assumed that Man has a moral instinct."

"Sir? But I thought -- But he does! I have."

"No, my dear, you have a cultivated conscience, a most carefully trained one. Man has no moral instinct. He is not born with moral sense. You were not born with it, I was not -- and a puppy has none. We acquire moral sense, when we do, through training, experience, and hard sweat of the mind.  These unfortunate juvenile criminals were born with none, even as you and I, and they had no chance to acquire any; their experiences did not permit it.

What is `moral sense'? It is an elaboration of the instinct to survive. The instinct to survive is human nature itself, and every aspect of our personalities derives from it. Anything that conflicts with the survival instinct acts sooner or later to eliminate the individual and thereby fails to show up in future generations. This truth is mathematically demonstrable, everywhere verifiable; it is the single eternal imperative controlling everything we do."

"But the instinct to survive," he had gone on, "can be cultivated into motivations more subtle and much more complex than the blind, brute urge of the individual to stay alive. Young lady, what you miscalled your `moral instinct' was the instilling in you by your elders of the truth that survival can have stronger imperatives than that of your own personal survival. Survival of your family, for example. Of your children, when you have them. Of your nation, if you struggle that high up the scale. And so on up. A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual's instinct to survive -- and nowhere else! -- and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and
resolve all conflicts."

"We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race -- we are even developing an exact ethic for extrahuman relations. But all moral problems can be illustrated by one misquotation:

`Greater love hath no man than a mother cat dying to defend her kittens.'"
"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

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Offline velkyn

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #137 on: September 22, 2010, 12:00:27 PM »
Bringing up other passages in the Bible and asking me whether they are literal or metaphorical is irrelevant to the topic of this thread.  The topic of this thread was whether anyone could defend the video entitled "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus".  It's plain at this point that the answer is no, no one can defend the video.  You all are desperately trying to change the subject in order to avoid facing the fact that the video is shredded so easily.  The only real response that I've gotten is, paraphrased, "Okay, that video's a load of crap, nonetheless we've got other arguments that do hold water."  If that's the tack you want to take, perhaps you could point me to something on the site that does stand up to five seconds of scrutiny.
As for the question of whether certain biblical passages are intended to be metaphorical, I'd be happy to take that up at length in a different thread, but the basic answer is that we Christians are still permitted to use logic and common sense, and we apply those to the Bible as to everything else.

unfortunately, this is untrue. Many Christians compartmentalize their thinking.  They use logic, evidence, etc, in all aspects of their lives *except* their faith/religion. Claims that they find unbelievable in other religions, they blithely accept in their own, because they have invested so much of their selves in it, it would be an uncomfortable break if they actually thougth about what they professed to believe.

Christians do not apply logic to the bible for if they did, they would wonder why there were so many claims that had no evidence to back them up.  And as for common sense, for a long time "common sense" said that it was impossible to visit the moon, that the sun revolved around the earth, and that "god's wrath" caused disease.  

and I find the video easily enough defended, in that I can point to Christian after Christian ignoring what Jesus says to do and this seems a very important thing: to give up all of one's possessions and depend on God to provide.  I think the closests Christians who do this are the cult like Family.

and you yourself have made the literalness or metaphoricallity of the bible part of the discussion since you claimed this in your OP:

Quote
First of all the video attempts to prove that Christians disobey Jesus.  In this it fails because it misinterprets what Jesus said.  To see why we must understand the concept of a metaphor, which is a type of figurative language wherein someone says one thing that's not literally true because it illustrates a point in a vivid way.

YOu have not presented any method on how you determine which is literal and which is metaphor other than saying, in effect, "it's common sense, and thus *everyone* should agree with me".  We have shown you where other Christians who claim to be as pious as you disagree and you ignore those examples.  You claim logic but have not produced any logical arguments on why parts you don't like are metaphor and parts you do like, e.g. Jesus saving your soul by dying and raising, are literal. 

« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 12:04:34 PM by velkyn »
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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #138 on: September 22, 2010, 11:58:13 PM »
and I find the video easily enough defended, in that I can point to Christian after Christian ignoring what Jesus says to do and this seems a very important thing: to give up all of one's possessions and depend on God to provide.  I think the closests Christians who do this are the cult like Family.

If you read the the scriptures before the statement of the selling of all of ones possessions it is easily
understood what Jesus was trying to convey. The young man asked what he must do to attain eternal
life, Jesus gives him commandments, and in his pomp the man replies "I have done all these from my childhood up" , And so Jesus perceived the young mans pride, or self righteousness, and told him something that would cut him to the heart, and provoke him to think of his actual imperfection. The scripture that follows states that the young man left with sorrow because he had a lot of material possession. My feelings concerning this scripture are that if we put too much value in material things, we can start to become
like them, corruptible. If we value ourselves by what we own, which is corruptible, what happens when
all our things are taken away, we are nothing without them.

[modbreak]Fixed quoting[/modbreak]
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 01:15:49 AM by Moderator_019 »

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #139 on: September 23, 2010, 12:03:15 AM »
I hope my punctuation was correct. I wish not to provoke the wrath of GIMPY  :shrug

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #140 on: September 23, 2010, 01:12:56 AM »
and I find the video easily enough defended, in that I can point to Christian after Christian ignoring what Jesus says to do and this seems a very important thing: to give up all of one's possessions and depend on God to provide.  I think the closests Christians who do this are the cult like Family.

If you read the the scriptures before the statement of the selling of all of ones possessions it is easily
understood what Jesus was trying to convey. The young man asked what he must do to attain eternal
life, Jesus gives him commandments, and in his pomp the man replies "I have done all these from my childhood up" , And so Jesus perceived the young mans pride, or self righteousness, and told him something that would cut him to the heart, and provoke him to think of his actual imperfection. The scripture that follows states that the young man left with sorrow because he had a lot of material possession. My feelings concerning this scripture are that if we put too much value in material things, we can start to become
like them, corruptible. If we value ourselves by what we own, which is corruptible, what happens when
all our things are taken away, we are nothing without them.

Let's be clear: You are saying that "give away your posessions" was not meant literally.

So what DOES it mean?

I note also that you ignored the bulk of Velkyn's post about how you deduce what is literal and what is metaphor.  Do you have an answer to that or is it just your interpretation?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline plethora

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #141 on: September 23, 2010, 05:13:51 AM »
My feelings concerning this scripture are that if we put too much value in material things, we can start to become like them, corruptible. If we value ourselves by what we own, which is corruptible, what happens when all our things are taken away, we are nothing without them.

If that's what jesus really meant... why didn't he just say so?

Something like this would be clear for all to understand:

"If you want to be perfect, don't value yourself for the riches you have. If you put to much value in material posessions, you are more likely to become corruptible."

Instead he said this:

Quote from: Matthew 19:21
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

... and you come to us, 2000 years after the alleged facts, to tell us you have the OneTrueInterpretationTM of what jesus really meant instead of what the bible says he actually said?

You would think the son of god, almighty creator of the universe, would say what he means and mean what he says instead of relying on interpreters such as yourself.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 05:24:10 AM by plethora »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #142 on: September 23, 2010, 08:27:15 AM »
Before I reply, I would like to clarify something. When I say murdering, I am talking about killing in all aspects, be it intentional or what.

Then you are misusing the word.  "Killing" is the word you want. Murder is a very specific subset of killing.


Of course it is. Why is it I can't kill a person even if there were no laws and you were to offer me 1 million whereas serial killers kill without hesitating? Nature made me who I am and nature also made the murderers who they are.

I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

Where do you get the definition that murder is wrongful?

American Heritage dictionary of the English language
Quote
The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.

Mirriam Webster online
Quote
the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought

Webster's New World College dictionary
Quote
the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another; also, any killing done while committing some other felony, as rape or robbery


We are the authorities simply because we invented the meaning of words? What kind of logic is that? It doesn't even make sense.

Yes.  It makes sense.  Murder is wrong because that is how we have defined murder.  That is like saying apples taste like apples.  Of course they do.  What else could they taste like?

It's like saying that a claw is defined as a sharp, usually curved, nail on the foot of an animal, as on a cat, dog, or bird, and since we make up the meaning of words, then I would say we are the authorities on the matter.

Exactly. 


What kind of rules of behavior? Without these rules we could not trust each other enough to have society? How did Hitler gather so many followers with violence as his methodology? Same for Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, etc.

What kinds of rules would you think would be useful for a group to survive?  Think about how people are and what rules would be necessary.

You are fundamentally not understanding. Morality exists to bind people together in groups.  Nazi morality bound Nazis together.  Violence was not Hitler's methodology.  He did not personally beat every German into following him.  Random violence on all Germans was not part of the Nazi way.  He picked out a few select groups on whom to focus anger and derision.  The groups he singled out were somehow "different" than the germans of the homogeneous culture he envisioned - Jews, gays, gypsies, etc.  This has always been a part of human morality.  Forming and defining in groups and out groups.  In Hitler's case, "Arians" were the in group.  Everyone else was the out group. 

Humans generally do not regard the out group as human.  They do not give the out group the same degree of empathy or respect.  The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" should have said "Thou shalt not kill jews".  It was originally a rule for jews that only applied to other jews.  As their provincial god, yhwh, became more mainstream and more universal, that rule expanded in scope from "do not kill jews" to "do not kill other people," of course, with a whole boatload of exceptions. 

Think about who your in and out groups are.  Think about how you view them. 

And what? What are you trying to ask me?

I was not asking you anything.   I was making the point that "wrong" only exists in our heads.

Absolutely agree? Wow. How do you know for sure? It can never be proven.

You think deer do not mind being eaten?  You think prey cheerfully surrender to predators? 

Look, you were the one that said "you don't see deer complaining about the immorality of being eaten, do you?"  I could have said something as stupid as, "Wow. How do you know for sure?  It can never be proven."  Instead I tried to make a point that right and wrong are dependent on your perspective.  Your answer to that was disputing that hypothetical, morally cognisant, talking deer would find it problematic that they were being eaten by lions.  What the hell kind of answer is that? 

I thought we were going to have an intelligent conversation.  At least, that was my goal.  If you are going to act like a dipshit, then I won't waste my time.  Just let me know how this is going to go.


I wrote that in the same paragraph as the 'rules' of the nature thingy. Isn't that clear enough? For your sake, I will repeat. That murder is neither wrong nor right, just like how a basketball team running up the score isn't wrong nor right.

Don't act condescending, especially after that last paragraph.  It is not as if you are some kind of genius or I am an idiot.  This is a medium that is inherently poor for communicating complex ideas and it compounds your already poor writing skills. So do us both a favor and try to not act like a twat. 

So eating animals is okay with you right? But killing humans is wrong? What's the difference? You are still taking a life.

Obviously, my perspective as a human is the difference.  As I tried to point out before, I think if animals could be aware, they would have the same species bias that we have.

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #143 on: September 23, 2010, 08:40:20 AM »
I hope my punctuation was correct. I wish not to provoke the wrath of GIMPY  :shrug


No, it was fine. And it wasn't that hard, was it? Something tells me by your continual pouting over it that my comments struck a truth nerve?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: A response to the video "Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus"?
« Reply #144 on: September 23, 2010, 09:12:07 AM »
and I find the video easily enough defended, in that I can point to Christian after Christian ignoring what Jesus says to do and this seems a very important thing: to give up all of one's possessions and depend on God to provide.  I think the closests Christians who do this are the cult like Family.

If you read the the scriptures before the statement of the selling of all of ones possessions it is easily
understood what Jesus was trying to convey. The young man asked what he must do to attain eternal
life, Jesus gives him commandments, and in his pomp the man replies "I have done all these from my childhood up" , And so Jesus perceived the young mans pride, or self righteousness, and told him something that would cut him to the heart, and provoke him to think of his actual imperfection. The scripture that follows states that the young man left with sorrow because he had a lot of material possession. My feelings concerning this scripture are that if we put too much value in material things, we can start to become like them, corruptible. If we value ourselves by what we own, which is corruptible, what happens when all our things are taken away, we are nothing without them.

No suprises here, the usual excuse by a Christian why he doesn't have to follow Jesus's words. The young man's sorrow is certainly reflected in those excuses. You make assumptions here, PS.  You wish to assume the young man is not sincere, so you do not have to follow what Jesus says to do to be "perfect" and to have "treasure in heaven". Jesus then continues to say that posessions are again holding people back by saying the "rich" will have trouble entering heaven.  We see this explained again and again, with how Jesus says that people should look to the lilies of the field and the birds, that if they truly believe, they should trust in God to provide. 

I'm always amused with Christians who will shout "context" when they find it convenient but when actual context is provided, they often tend to ignore it if it is inconvenient. Rather than simply give up your possessions you want to claim that it is okay to have "some" as long as you don't get *too* attached to them. What a lovely bunch of qualifications added to a simple command. 

I'm curious what you think of such things as following:   

Quote
Acts 2:44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

Quote
Acts 4:32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

Assuming that the bible has any truth to it, it would seem to follow that the early believers did thing that Jesus, existential being or not, intended on relinquishing of possessions totally. 

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