Author Topic: Help debate Xtain. Jews created Judaism to be gods special chosen race only to..  (Read 340 times)

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Offline Quest_4_Absolute_Verity

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I had a recent discussion with a xtain who absolutely can't stand the fact that I lost my faith. He thinks he can beat me over the head with his bible and drag me back into delusion. He is very knowledgeable and what I would consider a lost cause but I feel these people push me towards my goal of being comfortable in a face to face debate without internet reference. I'm studying religion with every free minute although it is very limited.

Since there are lots of people here more knowledgeable than me at this point, I would like to ask a question. In the process of debate he picked out one very small point that really didn't have much to do with the discussion.

 I made the comment that Jews created Judaism to be gods special chosen race and Christianity high jacked it to be gods specially chosen.

Reply by xtain: (1)The Christians certainly don't want a religion involving a special chosen race. (2)If the Jews created the OT for that purpose, then why would they create laws protecting foreigners, allowing them to become a part of them if they so chose? (3) Why would they make up stories about how unfaithful they were? (4) Why would they create stories about foreigners doing good deeds and being blessed by God?

The debate was going very well until he zeroed in on this even though it had little to do with the debate itself. Your thoughts on any or all of these 4 points?

Offline kaziglu bey

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Reply by xtain: (1)The Christians certainly don't want a religion involving a special chosen race.
Maybe not all of them explicitly, but the idea of Christians being " God's chosen people"  is pretty common. People say that they were chosen, for the priesthood, for that new job, to win that lottery, whatever they want it to be really. Perhaps not really a race per se, but there are a lot of white supremacist organizations that have well known Christian ties (ever heard of the Nazis? KKK?) Perhaps they don't represent all of Christianity, but a lot of the most public racist and bigoted people here in the US are religious. 
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(2)If the Jews created the OT for that purpose, then why would they create laws protecting foreigners, allowing them to become a part of them if they so chose? 
Did this "protection" include things like massacring and pillaging and raping the Midianites, Amelekites, Moabites, Aradites, Ammonites, Philistines, Syrians, Ethiopians.....??? I really have to wonder. It seems a little disingenuous to say "Oh why don't you join us?"  when a person has no choice but to do so or be slaughtered. It would be like a car dealer saying "Hey why don't buy this car? Because if you don't, I'll kill you!" I mean, is that really the kind of relationship that religious people want to have with their neighbors? In other words " Let us became your masters and you our slaves, and we will order your lives as we sit fit, and smite you when we want, and reward you if we wish, and you will be happy for this and grovel and praise us all of the time, and if you don't, we'll kill you. So, are you in?"
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(3) Why would they make up stories about how unfaithful they were?
Because God is a dictator who teaches people through punishment for crimes, so their stories naturally have to reflect this. But since it's all made up, that is that it is the result of events blown way out of proportion, and tales of great tragedies like plagues and floods and meteor impacts, and human evils like slavery and genocide, all being falsely attributed to divine causes and as punishment for some sinfulness, while plentiful crops, victorious conquests, and the like are attributed as rewards for faithful behavior.
 
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(4) Why would they create stories about foreigners doing good deeds and being blessed by God?
Why not? They probably wanted to be able to give others some motivation to accept the join us or die proposition, so as to lessen their own losses in battle, and potentially gain allies and tech upgrades, since they were notoriously primitive, even by late bronze Age standards, as well as gain trade partners and new imports.

But all of those questions are fundamentally pointless, and this is why. The person asking them, the Christian you mentioned in this case, are operating under the impression that these questions imply that the stories are somehow more authentic, accurate, genuine, and God inspired. But they could be asked of ANY religion. So asking such questions, though they think that it is some kind of talisman of God's magical brilliance, is really no more than a time wasting tactic. If such questions are supposed to indicate the authenticity of ONE religious text, the argument would be equally applicable to all to the religious texts, or it is simply not valid. I guess it could be called argument by spurious implication.

And, to top it all off, the most important thing to remember is that almost all of the OT is demonstrably false. The creation story is false. The flood story is false. The Exodus is false. The conquest of the Canaan region is false. The wandering in the desert is false.

It's like saying "Well why would "The Lord of the Rings" depict Frodo as giving in to the temptation of the ring and claiming it for himself if it wasn't true? Why would Boromir also fall to this temptation and attempt to take the ring from Frodo, only to redeem himself by defending the young hobbits from the Uruk-hai, if that shit wasn't completely, totally, absolutely, positively, 100 % historically documented truth as scribed by God himself? Why would they include the bit about Saruman, essentially a fallen angel, refusing the opportunity for redemption, hardening himself against great mercy, and thus bringing about his own end, and the refusal of the Valar to allow his spirit to return to Valinor, if it they weren't being HONEST about it?" 

Obviously that would just be an insane argument, and it is just insane when that type of thinking is applied to religious experience.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Noman Peopled

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(1)The Christians certainly don't want a religion involving a special chosen race.
The word typically used in the bible translates as "tribe".
What christians want is all good and well, but god's chosen tribe is all over the bible. If you remember an OT story, chances is it's about the Israelites. Of course, apart from the big ten the OT is well-known to be nothing but filler to pass the time before god made himself Jesus. Certainly christians do not act as if it weren't.
But many christians do think they are special in some way (if not chosen). Personal relationships with omnipotent beings tend to fit that general bill ... The fact that judaism has found a way millenia ago to invite you to the tribe does not change that.
Also, the NT introduces the concept of heaven/hell, which is nothing if not exclusionary.
(Also note that orthodox jews do in fact cling to a racial component.)

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(2)If the Jews created the OT for that purpose, then why would they create laws protecting foreigners, allowing them to become a part of them if they so chose?
It's not about race, it's about tribe. Remember that "taking the enemy's women for their own" shtick. Remember all those rules dealing with the boring nitty-gritty of everyday life. It's about getting through the day, rules fit for a rather small group of people.
How long would such a group survive if it constantly went about abusing foreigners? What would be the benefit of turning away someone willing to join your way of life?
Note that whenever the bible comes to a point where the Israelites do have a sort of upper hand in any conflict, all that wimpy hippy crap about protecting foreigners goes right out the window. It does seem that there's precious little room in the bible between turning the other cheek and massacre.

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(3) Why would they make up stories about how unfaithful they were?
While somewhat dull, this is a difficult question, rhetorically speaking. You have basically volunteered to speculate on the motivations of the original biblical authors, now there's no graceful way of excusing yourself from answering this one.
If you want to continue down that path, well ... cautionary tales? I hear they've been en vogue the last few millenia. Tales of suffering? Check. Redemption? Sex, violence, rule of law retribution, war? You can find counterparts of all of those in the literature of any period.
Plus, the bible wasn't written by one guy (although it's a nigh-certainty that women had no part in this). It's not consistent. What one passage claims, another may ignore or deny.

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(4) Why would they create stories about foreigners doing good deeds and being blessed by God?
Because it was that or remain an insignificant, much-loathed tribe in the podunk ass of nowhere?
Or, less facetiously, they still had to live in the real world. The Israelites would see that people of other religions weren't all vile and disgusting. People would still need to establish relationships (if only business relationships for the purpose of buying honey or selling goats or arranging marriages and what-have-you) with others who may or may not be sympathetic to the whole Yahweh thing. It's one thing to claim you have the truth, and another to alienate yourself entirely from everybody who disagrees.
Claiming to be in possesion of the perfect truth and yet being imperfect enough to not abide by it word for word is an ingenious feat of writing. It makes the Israelites' religion one of people trying to do their best, instead of one that's just better than everybody else.

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The debate was going very well until he zeroed in on this even though it had little to do with the debate itself. Your thoughts on any or all of these 4 points?
Maybe he zeroed in on it at least in part because you have allowed yourself a somewhat speculative statement - and he's delighted that finally, even if it is in an area entirely irrelevant to the actual veracity of the christian myth complex, the burden of proof is on you. Let's face it, the motivation for coming up with a statement is formally unrelated to the merit of said statement.
There is little you can do besides reading the bible to argue your point. And yes, showing how the bible developed in a way indistinguishable from other religious texts is a good point when trying to show that the bible cannot be divinely inspired (or, at least, divinely correct). But on this specific point you are now arguing about historical truth where there is precious little data to go on.

Maybe it would be more productive in terms of the larger discussion to just cede the point and return to the discussion. Hopefully, he'd see just how small a victory that would be.
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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Offline Graybeard

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The subject is huge but this is the broad outline:

I made the comment that Jews created Judaism to be gods special chosen race and Christianity high jacked it to be gods specially chosen.

This is a little more complicated that it appears. The real start of the OT is not Genesis, it is Jeremiah. This is the book in which the Jews define their identity and become followers of Yahweh. Yahweh had earlier been a minor god of the pantheon of the Elohim - legend has it that El (the Great 'I am') divided the known world into 5 areas and gave Yahweh to Israelites as his inheritance.  Prior to Jeremiah the Israelites had been henotheists. In and after Jeremiah, they become monotheists. Then they rewrite Genesis to Isaiah to make it look as if they were mainly monotheists all along, although they have to acknowledge that there were other gods.

The meaning of that last sentence above did in fact subtly alter after Christianity – originally, we have the references in the Bible to The Council of Gods and the mention of other gods (Baal Haddad, Ashura, Chemosh, Moloch etc.) who performed some part of the lives of the Israelites. These were very clear and part of the history and myth of the tribe. After Christianity, and by Christianity, these beings were played down to give the impression of one Creator from Genesis – and to all intents and purposes this is what we have now with Christianity.

So the Jews did not “create” Judaism, it is more that they described the position that they found themselves in as “Judaism”.

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Reply by xtain: (1)The Christians certainly don't want a religion involving a special chosen race.

And thus Christians are in trouble, because Jesus explicitly states that his disciples should not go around bothering Gentiles, as he, Jesus, was sent to save “the lost sheep of the House of Israel”. It was only with Paul (who was the original misinterpreter with the magic decoding ring and who, for his own purposes, told us what to make of the life of Jesus - and His message "You are all one with Christ") that we have the idea that not only are the Jews to be converted, but also all the Gentiles: and it worked!

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(2).. why would they [the Jews] create laws protecting foreigners, allowing them to become a part of them if they so chose?

The OT is comprised of periods of (i) peace and plenty (ii) war and victory (iii) war and defeat. As we see in our society today, when things are going well, we find ourselves able to be kinder to the outsider. To allow the outsider to become part of our group/tribe/nation allows our nation to grow and thus become more powerful. It also has the advantage of neutralising the threat from other nations. When times are bad, it is “Last in = First out” and the foreigner becomes the demon – this happens in our society too.

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(3) Why would they make up stories about how unfaithful they were?

They did this to explain why God had apparently deserted them (or was threatening to)

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(4) Why would they create stories about foreigners doing good deeds and being blessed by God?

Watch the news – sometimes the Russians are not that bad and the Chinese are bastards; other times the Chinese are great people and the Russians are double-dealers. You put out propaganda to (i) get public support for a diplomatic/trade initiative or (ii) diplomatic/trade advantage. And you keep swapping to destabilise both. (The prime example is Nixon and China. The US alternately befriended China and Russia. Both China and Russia wanted the US as a firend, so they both tried to please the US – whoever pleased the US better then had more trade with the US. This was good because the population became happier with the goods it could now obtain and the grow in the economy.

Another reason is “Look – The Canadians are paying 50% income tax and they have a great life!” Follow this with a load of “Good News Stories” about Canada, and then introduce a tax-hike to cover the costs of these perceived advantages.

(Please note that this is a simple and inaccurate example, but I hope you get the point – this is why we are nice to foreigners and sometimes make heroes of them.)
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