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nogodsforme



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I would argue that we are far more moral in this regard than in bible times.
Per your argument, wouldn't we be precisely as moral as they were?

Well, I suppose, if you want to slice my words that thin. (Damn nitpicking philosophers grumble grumble...)

I do not have a problem with the concept that people in ancient times did things that we consider horrible, like capture and sell people as slaves, or kill a woman for not being a virgin at her wedding, or cut off people's hands for stealing. They were behaving just as morally by their standards as we are by ours. If I had lived in those times I would have accepted all that as normal and moral. Why wouldn't I? Making slavery illegal, ignoring a non-virgin bride or giving a shoplifter community service would have been immoral back then.

My main point is that what is considered to be moral and correct changes depending on the time and place.  And most people are pretty happy with that, it seems, because when conservative religious elements try to turn the clock back, they themselves don't even want to live that way. We don't see modern Christians flocking to live like the Amish. [1]Moreover, modern Christians are quick to condemn places in the world that permit slavery, polygamy, stoning people for adultery, amputation for stealing, etc. The Taliban in Afghanistan is far better at practicing OT bible morality than Christians anywhere I know of.

If you try to argue that there is an unchanging morality handed out by god to the entire universe at the beginning of time, and that morality is encoded in the bible, you have to deal with the fact that we are apparently behaving very immorally by expressly NOT following biblical slave, marriage or food rules.

What is galling is how so many Christians today try to fancy dance around this obvious problem. Slavery was not that bad (although we Christians should take credit for abolition). The food taboos only apply to Jews (so it's okay for us Christians to eat yummy bacon). We Christians don't have to follow most of the (unchanging godly moral) Old Testament rules today because Jesus cancelled them, somehow. Although we still want the (unchanging godly moral) 10 commandments posted in public places.  And the catchall--that thing about no mixed fibers in Leviticus was just a metaphor for something or other. Of course it is still fine to mistreat gay people--we are absolutely positive that was no metaphor. Convenient, that, since we don't like gay people. &)
 1. Look at what happened in southern states that passed biblical "covenant marriage" laws that made it much harder to get divorced. Hardly anyone really wanted it although they paid lip service to the evils of liberal divorce. Most people preferred the regular secular marriage that permitted divorce. And kept on getting divorced at higher rates than atheists. You would think that religious people shouldn't need a special hard to break marriage law anyway because god, but no....
Changed Change Reason Date
median This is a super awesome post. January 29, 2014, 12:59:37 PM
Andy S. good stance on the fancy dance January 08, 2014, 02:27:28 PM
Wasserbuffel The whole last paragraph. January 06, 2014, 05:52:37 PM