Author Topic: A Basic Question  (Read 3219 times)

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #290 on: July 01, 2014, 04:51:51 PM »
You know, you could just answer the questions. I no longer associate closely with "my former brothers" so I can't easily ask them these questions.[1]

And you are right here with the info I need, being sarcastic instead of helpful. I wonder why.

I'm not being helpful?  No, I am not going to help you condemn, ridicule, or badmouth Witnesses just like I would not help someone condemn, ridicule, or badmouth homosexuals.  I've already explained why homosexuality exists.  And the scriptures have not changed.  Christians are instructed to keep sexual relations between a married man and woman.

Other than that your questions are totally unrelated and all over the place.  The topic is not Jehovah's Witnesses.

Just pointing out that for Jst to explain the differences between what the JW's taught back when I was a member and what he now believes would be, in his own words, helping me "to condemn, ridicule, or badmouth Witnesses".  Why would that be, if the JW's got everything right the first time, back in 1878 or 1914 or 1974?

Furthermore, if Jst is telling us what he believes, and he is a JW, how could he say "the topic is not Jehovah's Witnesses"? It most certainly is, if he is here representing himself, not just as a private person chatting on the internet with no particular religious viewpoint, but instead as a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Gotta represent, Jst. [imagine me awkwardly throwing gang signs ;)]

You are correct in that I am not representing my personal interpretation of things.  I have nothing that I did not receive.  I represent Jehovah and his witnesses best by representing the scriptures and imitating Christ the best that I can.  I cannot do that while gossiping about others.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #291 on: July 01, 2014, 05:58:13 PM »
You are drunk, aren't you, Mr.B?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #292 on: July 01, 2014, 07:53:16 PM »
You just misrepresented my position. Absolutely NOWHERE have I stated that my definition of morality (i.e. - what morality is about) is "the perfect word of God". So you just presented a Straw-man argument (another logical fallacy).

It was hyperbole.  You assume your morality is superior to the ancient Jews and if I disagree it's only because I "rationalize" it or there is something wrong with me.  So I ask, who made you God?

And once AGAIN you just misrepresented my position. Where did I ever say that my morality is "superior"? You are just making things up. I said your morality (the one that is based in the bible) is irrational, for one because it violates the law of non-contradiction (as I have noted elsewhere regarding a double standard), secondly because it is based upon a "because the bible says so" assertion (ad hoc and question begging), third because it sets up (and has setup) a system which is not the most beneficial for human well being and the lessening of unnecessary harm (such as owning people as property, killing homosexuals/unruly children, ripping babies from the wombs of enemy tribe woman, and taking virgins for marriage and slavery - all which can easily be avoided with the alleged powers of an "all-powerful" deity), and fourthly (and perhaps most importantly), it presents a morality in which an alleged "God" can violate it's own rules (or sanction others to violate the alleged "moral" rules) while still claiming that both are "moral" (such as infanticide).

Btw, I don't believe in your "God" thing, remember? Just like I don't believe in Santa Claus, unicorns, or Horus.

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Now, if you think that morals are subjective then please say so and perhaps others here can have their go from there. If not, and you think morals are objective (i.e. - unchanging and applying to all people at all times) then please state that so that your position will be clear as to how you think such things as slavery (and beating slaves, etc) is actually moral.

This is what you are claiming, that morals are unchanging and applying to all people at all times.  That's why you insist the Jewish system was evil without any actual knowedge of it.  Again it's the fallacy of Presentism.  You are trying to impose your morals on them with the assumption that your morals are the standard from which all other morals should be judged.

A few points here. First, if you read that whole article on Wiki regarding Presentism you will find that there is no such thing as a "fallacy of presentism" (at least not there). So that is something you just made up out of thin air. Historians do not agree (i.e. - it is opinion) as to what moral judgments should be made regarding the actions of past people toward one another. Yet, if you think God is unchanging (i.e. - that its alleged moral code and "holiness" always apply) then you cannot simultaneously claim that they didn't apply at sometime in the past. What your argument would amount to is a case of Special Pleading. "Oh, X is immoral but it wasn't immoral for these special people back then." This is why I asked you to answer whether or not you are a moral relativist. Elsewhere though, you have indicated that you believe morals do not change but that their applications change. However, that is just a linguistic difference without any real distinction (like saying, "I am always honest but I lie sometimes."). The ten "commandments" might as well have said, "Don't lie but you can lie sometimes." If you have a system that amounts to nothing more than following orders then how on earth can you determine if your actions are actually moral or not? What is deemed morally wrong today could be flip flopped tomorrow and you should still follow it, right? Is your position that murder (for example) can be wrong today but not yesterday?

What you are calling "morally perfect", it seems, is a big circular argument. How do you know the bible is morally perfect? Because your interpretation says so?

-The bible is morally perfect
-But it endorses infanticide, slavery, and genocide (which are not moral even by it's own standards)
-That was then, this is now. Those rules don't apply to us.
-So you think morality (which is supposed to represent God's alleged "nature") changes with the times then?
-No, morality doesn't change. How it is applied changes.
-How do you know that?
-Because the bible say so.
-So then, you're saying that whatever the bible says is morally perfect b/c what is morally perfect is what the bible says?

« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 08:06:36 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #293 on: July 02, 2014, 10:28:41 AM »
Jst is not allowed to analyze his positions, because they are based on the bible. He is only going to quote scripture. From the same text that he is not allowed to analyze. Why does he think that is a reasonable way to decide if something is true or right?

Again, you know he would never accept that ("It says so right here in my holy book!") as a reasonable way to decide whether something is morally right or wrong from a devout Muslim or a devout Hindu. Or would he assume that, because it is in a book, and people believe it came from a god, so it must be true.

Would he immediately accept Scientology or Rasta just because someone quoted from their book at him? Wouldn't he try to figure out if what they quoted made logical sense or was actually true first?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #294 on: July 02, 2014, 02:28:35 PM »
And once AGAIN you just misrepresented my position. Where did I ever say that my morality is "superior"? You are just making things up. I said your morality (the one that is based in the bible) is irrational, for one because it violates the law of non-contradiction (as I have noted elsewhere regarding a double standard), secondly because it is based upon a "because the bible says so" assertion (ad hoc and question begging), third because it sets up (and has setup) a system which is not the most beneficial for human well being and the lessening of unnecessary harm (such as owning people as property, killing homosexuals/unruly children, ripping babies from the wombs of enemy tribe woman, and taking virgins for marriage and slavery - all which can easily be avoided with the alleged powers of an "all-powerful" deity), and fourthly (and perhaps most importantly), it presents a morality in which an alleged "God" can violate it's own rules (or sanction others to violate the alleged "moral" rules) while still claiming that both are "moral" (such as infanticide).

Btw, I don't believe in your "God" thing, remember? Just like I don't believe in Santa Claus, unicorns, or Horus.

No.  All you have done is project your morality on ancient people and used your magic ring to distort scriptures.  There is no contradiction except according to your magic ring.  And you want to focus on this ancient culture because you do not want to confront what I said about Christian principles.

My opinion of the Jewish culture is irrelevant.  I've not made claims about it.  Try to prove their culture wrong all you want.  That is not my argument.  I said the moral principles given to Christians are perfect.  You know you cannnot defeat that so you want to revert to a very ancient culture where you have no actual data or evidence for the amount of suffering that existed or even what was neccessary for survival.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #295 on: July 02, 2014, 02:41:57 PM »
You are drunk, aren't you, Mr.B?

Yes I was. Passed out at about 4 p.m. EST and didn't wake up till this morning for work. I am not proud of this fact.


Edit:

Apparently I blacked out. Which means that I don't remember writing the posts I made after 4:20 p.m. est yesterday. So please accept my apologies.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 03:07:34 PM by Mr. Blackwell »
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"People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care. People need certain things" - Senator Leland Yee (D) California

Offline YRM_DM

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #296 on: July 02, 2014, 02:47:57 PM »
Quote
No.  All you have done is project your morality on ancient people.

Are you saying that there was a time in history where a person liked being raped or enslaved or stoned to death against their will?

Are you saying that there was a time when those things made moral sense?



You can't spell BELIEVE without LIE...  and a few other letters.  B and E and V and I think E.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #297 on: July 02, 2014, 04:54:12 PM »
Even more to the point, would you like to live like by the rules of the ancient Jews (or any other ancient culture: Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans, Chinese) now? If not, why not?

If it was okay to stone women to death, to torture criminals, to hang thieves up alive for birds to eat, to rape or  enslave your political enemies and to bash their children's brains out then, why is it not okay now? What has changed?

You have brought up "presentism" several times. That just refers to the common historical practice of looking at the past without taking cultural differences and the subsequent changes into consideration. We laugh at the big afros and bell bottoms that people wore in the 1970's just because they look silly to us today. But every time period seems normal and right to the people living in it. Being aware of presentism does not mean you have to uncritically accept everything people did in the past as correct.

BTW, the people today whose beliefs and practices are closest to the earliest Christians are sects like the Armenian Christians, the Nestorians of India and the Egyptian and Ethiopian Coptics. Not the JW's by a long chalk.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online median

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #298 on: July 05, 2014, 01:55:33 AM »
No.  All you have done is project your morality on ancient people and used your magic ring to distort scriptures.  There is no contradiction except according to your magic ring.  And you want to focus on this ancient culture because you do not want to confront what I said about Christian principles.

LOL. You dodged the points I raised. Go read them again. First, I have claimed no magic ring. It is you who is making claims to the magic supernatural stuff, remember?? Perhaps you are projecting an unconscious wish of not believing nonsense magic? Nonetheless, merely claiming there is no contradiction doesn't mean you have addressed the contradiction I raised. This is once again your "Because I say so" fallacy. So your denial will be dismissed as a dodge and I'll wait for you to actually address what I raised in a rational fashion. Secondly (and I have already mentioned this multiple times now) it wouldn't matter one bit if I agreed that your personal interpretation of "Christian morality" was good/perfect or whatever (and I don't), such an assertion would not entail some "divine" thing did anything. That is just your argument from ignorance fallacy again. "I can't see how any set of books could be as perfect as this. So a god must have done it!"

My opinion of the Jewish culture is irrelevant.  I've not made claims about it.  Try to prove their culture wrong all you want.  That is not my argument.  I said the moral principles given to Christians are perfect.  You know you cannnot defeat that so you want to revert to a very ancient culture where you have no actual data or evidence for the amount of suffering that existed or even what was neccessary for survival.

WOW. So you think ripping babies from the womb, smashing little babies against the rock, stoning unruly children, killing homosexuals, and beating slaves within an inch of their life (under some twisted 'context' of yours) was somehow "necessary for survival"?? Is this alleged "Jehovah" of yours inept, not all-powerful, or not all-loving? Why would you even trust that these precepts (OT or NT) are from a god? Secondly, asserting that you have a "perfect moral system" doesn't mean that you do. And since you are the one making the claim, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate it. First you would need to define what "perfect" means in this context. Then define what "moral" means. And then, demonstrate that such a thing is actually presented (objectively) in the bible. That's quite a mountain to climb since the word "perfect" means different things to different people, the word "moral" means different things to different people, and no Christian sect can agree on how to interpret those pages.

But the funniest part about this situation for you is that even if you could demonstrate all three of those pieces of the challenge (i.e. - a sound definition of "perfect", a sound definition of "moral", and a demonstration that such a thing exists in your NT) absolutely NONE of that would demonstrate "evidence of Jehovah" (as you claimed earlier). In order for you to do that you would have to rule out all other more likely possibilities which do not need that assumption (such as that men wrote things down over time and interpreted writings as they went along - as one example). Muslims, for example, claim to have perfect morality as well (and just like you they are using their own personal subjective interpretation). And each time we bring counter-examples to them (just like you) they spin and rationalize the Koran, the Hadith, and the teachings of their early leaders in order to continue asserting "perfection" - which basically, once again, turns in right back into personal opinion (which is of course why I ask you early on if this was just all about personal opinion for you).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 02:05:12 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #299 on: July 05, 2014, 01:57:36 AM »
Dude i thought you split.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #300 on: July 05, 2014, 05:06:27 PM »
median is right-- I have talked to many Muslims about how their Quran contains stuff that they would not consider good behavior today. And they say the same things that Jst is saying here: well, life was so difficult back then, that god had to give the people rules that made sense in the historical context. They were living in a savage time, so they had to make war on pagans to survive, they had to have slavery to survive, they had to hide the women away top survive, they had to allow men to have four wives to survive, they had to let girls as young as 10 be married to survive. And when would these rules no longer be in effect? Not at all clear. Allah did not write the use-by date for the Quran in big flaming red  letters across the sky.

So, Jst, Jehovah God saw no need to actually make things better for people, so he had to give the ancients temporary rules for surviving that had to be followed to the letter upon pain of death, but that would make no sense at all in 2014.  In fact, most of the bible, AKA god's temporary rules for the ancient people would seem criminally insane to many people in 2014.

But since the rules came from god, some people in 2014 would still try to follow them, ignoring the memo written permanently across the sky in big flaming red letters where god explained that the OT and some of the NT was meant to be temporary, in force only until x date, and only for the ancient Jews at any rate. And the other sky memo in big flaming red letters about Jesus changing everything (except, of course, the things he did not change) would get lost, or be hard to interpret, or only be given to a handful of people around 1870.

These people would then have to go door to door telling everyone individually about what Jehovah God wanted, one person at a time. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #301 on: July 06, 2014, 04:15:06 AM »

You are correct in that I am not representing my personal interpretation of things.  I have nothing that I did not receive. 
Now there's a statement that needs deconstructing and analysing, and when we do, we may reach an interesting conclusion.

I don't intend to be personal here as it sounds to me as if "I have nothing that I did not receive." is a phrase common amongst the religious in the boastful, false-humility way that they seem to revel in - So let's get started...


Imagine that you are given a hammer, a pile of nails and a large quantity of good-sized lengths of wood. For years, generations of your family have lived in a cave, have used the hammer for digging for roots; have used the nails for cleaning their ears and as spear tips, and have burned the wood for heat.

You travel to another land and there see that other people have been given hammer, nails and wood, but they build houses that are warm, comfortable and protect families. You return to your land and your draughty, dirty cave and try to explain but everyone calls you an idiot and a heretic "Hammers are for digging!" "Nails are for ears and spear points!" "Wood is for burning!"

You try and explain about the wooden houses and your family start to shout at you, "We live in a cave, we have all lived in a cave for ever and we will continue to live in a cave!"

You realise that your family just hate to admit that they are wrong and their beliefs are so strong that when information reaches them, if it conflicts with what they have been taught for generations, then they become frustrated and angry. The anger becomes so great that you leave, go to the other land and build a house. You still love your family but are sad that they will not listen to reason,

All religion teaches that we must not change. We must have one set of immutable laws. There is only one way of doing things and, to speak or act against this is heresy.

The atheist is here to tell you to use your and other people's knowledge, ideas, and experience to make a better world, a freer world, a world in which progress, not stubbornness and denial, shape our future.

You have probably seen this as a quote:

A: "But last week you said that we should do this! And now you are saying we should NOT do it! What are you? Some sort of idiot?"
B: "But things are different now, we know more, we are wiser. When the circumstances and the evidence change, I change my mind... What do you do?"

So, when you say, "I have nothing that I did not receive." think also, "but that does not mean that I should always do the same thing with those things I was given: the same thing that was done 1,000 years ago. There is always room for progress and development. There is more than one way."

We here are trying to get the believer to "think outside the box." When you do, you will not always be right but, every now and again, there will be a breakthrough and we will all benefit.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 04:18:29 AM by Graybeard »
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #302 on: July 06, 2014, 04:48:21 AM »
^ great post, shame it will wasted on an arrogant closed mind.
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Re: A Basic Question
« Reply #303 on: July 10, 2014, 10:57:01 AM »
Yep, he ran.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan