Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 119
  1. #41
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Wrong. So let's do this formerly...

    Challenge to support a claim.

    1. What is the context of this passage Allo?
    2. Who is Jesus speaking to and why is He giving this rule to them of all people?
    3. Does it apply to all people or a specific group of people, and why?
    4. What is it concluding?
    5. What specific teaching or doctrine is it summarizing?
    6. How specifically does this relate to the relationship between man and God?
    7. Why specifically is the focus on the perspective of the doer in the relationship as opposed to the receiver?
    8. How is this rule to be achieved (Hint: What is required or expected of the doer?)?
    9. What is the result of the application of the rule?


    You cannot claim what you just have, without knowing these issues. You claim you do have the knowledge and your claim is correct (of course...it always must be), therefore you do understand these issues. So, address them.
    Apok, you can't do this formally in this fashion. How in the world are you proposing to use the challenge function to test my knowledge? This can't be for real. We are having a debate.

    If you want to claim that there's something special about the "context" that makes "do to others as you would have them done to you" a better way of saying "love other people because everyone wants to be loved" than it would be if he said "love other people becuase everyone wants to be loved" then it's for you to demonstrate. Why do you continually insist on reversing the burden?

    We both know (well, in the least, I do) what the Sermon on the Mount was about. There are many issues covered in the Sermon, including Jesus claiming (just as Hillel did before Christ's alleged birth) that the entire Old Law can be summarised in the single one command. I quote from Matthew 7:12

    "12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (NIV for plain English but it's in line with other translations; I've checked).

    Of course, the above is absolute bollocks. The Golden Rule in no way summarises the Old Law (on either interpretation of the Golden Rule). But that might be an issue for another thread. All that matters to us is that Christ says that GR summarises the Old Law. Now, this means that "do to others as you'd want them to do to you" is a restatement of the actual law. It's not merely (as you attempt to claim in post 171) a convenient method of assessing what the wishes of another person may be in order to obey some other rule (such as "love everybody because everybody wants to be loved"). The Golden Rule is the summation of the Law. It is law. It is the principle. And it is taken as the principle. That's why we call it the Golden Rule. That's why people claim it's such a huge deal.

    If Jesus wanted to say what you're suggesting in post 171, he could have done so. After all, the Sermon on the Mount was no short event. He went on and on and on. There was nothing to stop him from saying "The Old law can be summarised in saying that you should love everyone because everyone wants to be loved. Now, if in doubt about what it is they want, you can always look to yourself. What would you want if you were in their situation?". Christ had (presumably) the intelligence and the language skills to formulate it in this way. He didn't. All he left us with is an imprecise statement that (as empirical evidence confirms; see my links to the differing Christian interpretations) fails to formulate any useful moral principle.

    ---------- Post added at 04:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:52 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Your approach strikes me as incredibly self-centered and unreasonable. Apparently, God should have expressed the Golden Rule in language that is understandable without context to 21st century Americans.
    Are you suggesting that inequivocal statement of propositions is something that was invented by 21st century Americans? Don't you think you're giving way too much credit to Americans here? Don't you think you're giving way too much credit to the modern humans here?

    Why would you even think that 1st century Jews were better equipped to understand a proposition if you don't state the proposition than they would be if you do? Why would you think that they couldn't comprehend "do to others as they want you to do to them"? As far as I'm aware there's no reason in the world to make such a claim. On the face of it, the proposition appears to have no merit whatsoever.


    Nowhere do you argue that there is not appropriate/sufficient context; the Bible, like the Constitution, doesn't address specifics. That's not what it's trying to do. It's giving general principles. But that's not good enough for you, apparently; the only reasonable thing God could have done was used the language that you, Allocutus, would have used.
    Actually, the Sermon on the Mount addresses a lot of specifics. But that to the side. Do you disagree that a "general rule" should be stated for what it is and not for what it's not? How is a person to apply a general rule if it doesn't even say what it means? I've already pointed out to empirical evidence that shows that this very rule is subject to a number of diverse interpretations amongst believers. And the question isn't one of language. The question is one of meaning. Jesus could certainly used many different words, put together in many different ways, to state the same proposition. But the proposition he states is not the proposition that Apok and you claim he states. It's really as simple as that.

    Remember, Jesus wasn't giving the law. Jesus was summarizing the law. Jesus was giving a meta-principle that characterized the law.
    As I've said in my response to Apok above, that's not the case. Firstly, nothing in the GR is in fact a summary of the Old Law (if you've read the Old Law then you know exactly what I mean). Again, that's not what we're here to debate, it's a side-point. More importantly, if you want to summarise a law, you summarise it in a way that actually reflects what it is you want to say. If the law is to be summarised as "love other people because everyone wants to be loved" (as has been proposed by Apok and some others) then that's the meaning to be attached to it. That's a different meaning to "do to others as you would have them do to you". Thus, either Jesus failed to summarise the law for what the law (according to him) means or the law is actually summarised by "do to others as you would have them do to you" and not by "love others because everyone wants to be loved". The two propositions are not equivalent. One way or another, Jesus did a terrible job.

    But I guess Jesus was just dumb. He should have said, "If someone wants a hot dog, give them a hot dog."
    Funny, hey? But here's the thing: Jesus did say that. Only 3 verses above the Golden Rule. I quote from Matthew 7:

    9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? "

    He actually gives examples of treating others the way they want to be treated only to (one verse later) summarise it with "treat others the way you want to be treated".

    Now, it may well be that (given the "hotdog" examples) Jesus intended to say "give people what they want, treat them the way they want to be treated". But that's precisely what he failed to formulate in the conclusion of all this; in the Golden Rule. And it's his failure to formulate it that is the very subject of my complaint in the OP.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  2. #42
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,394
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    Apok, you can't do this formally in this fashion. How in the world are you proposing to use the challenge function to test my knowledge? This can't be for real. We are having a debate.

    If you want to claim that there's something special about the "context" that makes "do to others as you would have them done to you" a better way of saying "love other people because everyone wants to be loved" than it would be if he said "love other people becuase everyone wants to be loved" then it's for you to demonstrate. Why do you continually insist on reversing the burden?

    We both know (well, in the least, I do) what the Sermon on the Mount was about. There are many issues covered in the Sermon, including Jesus claiming (just as Hillel did before Christ's alleged birth) that the entire Old Law can be summarised in the single one command. I quote from Matthew 7:12

    "12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (NIV for plain English but it's in line with other translations; I've checked).

    Of course, the above is absolute bollocks. The Golden Rule in no way summarises the Old Law (on either interpretation of the Golden Rule). But that might be an issue for another thread. All that matters to us is that Christ says that GR summarises the Old Law. Now, this means that "do to others as you'd want them to do to you" is a restatement of the actual law. It's not merely (as you attempt to claim in post 171) a convenient method of assessing what the wishes of another person may be in order to obey some other rule (such as "love everybody because everybody wants to be loved"). The Golden Rule is the summation of the Law. It is law. It is the principle. And it is taken as the principle. That's why we call it the Golden Rule. That's why people claim it's such a huge deal.

    If Jesus wanted to say what you're suggesting in post 171, he could have done so. After all, the Sermon on the Mount was no short event. He went on and on and on. There was nothing to stop him from saying "The Old law can be summarised in saying that you should love everyone because everyone wants to be loved. Now, if in doubt about what it is they want, you can always look to yourself. What would you want if you were in their situation?". Christ had (presumably) the intelligence and the language skills to formulate it in this way. He didn't. All he left us with is an imprecise statement that (as empirical evidence confirms; see my links to the differing Christian interpretations) fails to formulate any useful moral principle.
    You are right, it was not fair for me to make the formal challenge in the way it was made, I retract the challenge.

    However, there is nothing unfair about me asking those questions (or anyone else asking questions in a similar fashion and circumstance). In fact, they are key. For me to engage someone in a particular topic, I need to make sure that they have a rudimentary understanding of what it is they are talking about so my time and energy is not wasted. It's the same as someone saying "Hey, I know all about how the Bible was created and put together, and I can tell you with absolute confidence that it's all bullocks!" And me responding with "Ok...well, what languages was the Bible originally written in?"

    Or like me saying Australian law is a joke as it is easily corruptible and the code is so arbitrary. Then you asking me certain questions that would qualify a basic understanding OF Australian law itself to ensure that your time was not going to be wasted on sheer, willful ignorance, an obvious display of hubris, and on someone who was not truly interested in learning nor teaching, just stroking my own misplaced ego.

    Any person who is claiming authority or has at least authoritative knowledge on a topic, and is obviously not coming from a position of humility, open-mindedness, and genuine interest in learning something (or properly teaching others), should meet a minimum requirement of knowledge to lay claim to that authority and knowledge. Obviously, if they cannot answer the simplest of questions about what they claim they know all about, then they do not possess even the most essential and foundational knowledge required of the subject...and they've exposed themselves as someone incapable of actual critical thought...and that is someone I have recently chosen to not address on the topic for my time is far too valuable. In fact, no objective, rational being ought to endure the "fool's folly," regardless of their position, affiliation, political leaning, or worldview.

    So, what are the answers to those questions? If you want a response from me on the topic, you need to demonstrate that you actually do possess the knowledge you so confidently claim you do. Else, it's just not worth my time Allo.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; October 27th, 2012 at 11:30 PM.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  3. #43
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    So to be clear...you actually do not know the answers these elementary questions...is that correct?
    To be clear, I do know the answers to these elementary questions. In fact, I've told you this in my answer above, so I don't see any basis for asking the above question.

    Again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Me in post 41
    If you want to claim that there's something special about the "context" that makes "do to others as you would have them done to you" a better way of saying "love other people because everyone wants to be loved" than it would be if he said "love other people becuase everyone wants to be loved" then it's for you to demonstrate.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  4. #44
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,394
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    1) I edited my post while you were creating yours.

    2) You have not answered those questions.

    3) Even with those questions answered, you still haven't addressed the challenges your revision poses (as explained in my posts #171 and #173 in the other thread).

    Until my above questions are answered and the problems with your revision are responded to, there is nothing I can respond to in this thread (or the other).
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  5. #45
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Apok,

    I'm qualified on Australian Law. I'm a Legal Practitioner of the Australian High Court. I have a Practicign Certificate. I can actually claim authority on Australian Law. You can't. This is why your example is bad because you're no more qualified in interpreting the Bible than I am! In fact, I'm probably better qualified. Not only am I familiar with the text but I also was a practising Christian for many years (and in a number of denominations at that!), read many works on the Bible and have had the benefit of looking at it without personal investment as an atheist. But that's beside the point. I don't need to claim better qualification than yours on this subject. The thing that matters is that you can't claim any authority over me on the Bible. And even if you could, it would be for you to demonstrate just what it is that is wrong with my claim. Appealing to qualified authority may not be a fallacy but appealing to your own authority is. It's also in bad taste.

    If you were to argue that a particular principle of Australian Law is silly, I would address your complaint. I would not patronise you or quiz you about what you know of Australian Law. I actually expect the same standard from you. If you believe that the question of "who Jesus was speaking to" (to name one) makes any difference to the claim that I'm making, you must illustrate that. I personally don't believe that it makes any difference at all. If you're proposing that it does, the burden rests on you.

    Otherwise, you have failed to make an objection.

    In addition, I have addressed your posts 171 and 173 (twice now). I've explained to you (in a previous post) that even if you were correct in what you say in those posts, that wouldn't help Jesus. I don't want to have to repeat myself. It's in this thread.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  6. #46
    Registered User

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Manteca, CA
    Posts
    1,443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    From reading the OP, I'm not so sure what the terms of the debate are, Allo. What are your goalposts? What is the UOD? Is the goalpost that we are arguing against, if we're against it, whether or not Christ completely missed the target with His Golden Rule? You already seem to have admitted that there is some basic use to it, some measure of truth behind it, so I'm not so confident that this is actually your goalpost.

    ---------- Post added at 06:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:41 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I think the idea of respect is fairly universal, but what is not universal is who you pay it to. In some cultures it is considered immoral to show respect to someone beneath your station as it would demean you. An example would be the outrage many people feel when a US president shows another leader a gesture of respect. So while the idea of respect is constant, how and when and to whom it should be offered is not. Whether you should or should not do a thing is what moral questions address, and the answer to that question simply varies from culture to culture.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality
    Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong).

    If your feeling down on poor wikipedia, here is one from the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/
    1. descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or ( group, or individual)
    2 normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

    These definitions entail something more specific than just being respectful or honest etc... What you describe I think are better called principles or virtues.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue
    Virtue (Latin: virtus, Ancient Greek: ἀρετή "arete") is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. The opposite of virtue is vice.

    So respect is a virtue. So might be love, charity, courage, discipline, honesty and so on.

    There needs to be a distinction between these ideas because in life there certainly is a distinction. We may always want to treat people with respect, but sometimes we find moral justification for not treating someone with respect. And the difference is part of what determines if we aught or aught not to do that action. And that is what I and most definitions call morality. The underlying principle needs its own term and I think virtue or moral principle is appropriate there.



    And I find you far more rude, dismissive, and arrogant on topics of religion. Either the topic brings out the worst in us or it colors our view of those we argue with.
    Actually, many moral positions in Christianity go beyond culture. Christ often conflicted with the cultural norms around Him. Really, it wouldn't be Christian not to show another person respect, regardless of culture. Christians are to pay respect to everyone, because humility is supposed to be the default position. Christians aren't to assume any status above other people, only responsibility above other people, if necessary. So, in this case I think the Golden Rule still prevails. Christians aren't supposed to just seem the same. We are supposed to be striking. Our behavior should naturally be provocative because we wish to live in accordance with God's wishes for us, not man's wishes for us, as represented by culture. We are commissioned to demonstrate His ways, not man's ways. That is one way that Christian's generally understand as a way of sharing the Holy Spirit, how we don't resemble the rest of the world. But of course we don't always live up to that.

    ---------- Post added at 07:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:59 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    Apok,

    It's you who hasn't addressed the issue. I have absolutely no problems with you saying that the Rule, in order to make sense, must be interpreted in a particular way or with the particular interpretation that you're proposing.

    And that's precisely my complaint. The Rule fails to say it in such a way. Jesus could have said it very precisely and unequivocally. But he didn't. He said it in words that didn't represent what you suspect suspect the Rule means. There are also many interpretations (by committed and considered Christians) of what the Rule exactly means.

    I have read the context, I'm familiar with the entire chapter and the entire book. As I've explained to Michael, the context doesn't help at all, apart from providing us with much more ridiculous principles from Jesus (which are in fact inconsistent with the way Jesus framed the Rule).

    NB, I haven't seen your challenge. Where is it?
    An issue: The Rule wasn't addressed to you, and it wasn't stated in order for you as a modern western thinker to understand unequivocally. It was stated as a reference to other source material from Leviticus, and it didn't need to say it in such a way as you describe because it wasn't necessary to do so. The other understandings that are necessary for us to establish here, were already presumably shared by the audience. They were also used to sayings of such a nature and how not to apply them without violating the spirit of them, which is evident enough from their oral tradition. Really, you seem to be assuming that He was setting out to do something there that He wasn't. That His Golden Rule doesn't suffice to be what you want from it in your OP, doesn't mean that it didn't suffice for the intent of it's composition. It did actually function as a Golden Rule for those people.

    Another way I would put this is that for Him to have said it in as much words as you think He should of, is an anachronism. It was stated the way it was, as something short and dependent upon some shared understandings, because it was a type of oral formulation. It is made as and called a rule, instead of an elaboration, because the value of it to them was it's conciseness, how easy it was to memorize as oral material. It applied well enough when understood, and it's main function was as something short and formulaic. It was the "Golden Rule", for them, because it expressed the spirit of the law without elaborating upon it in so much words.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

  7. #47
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,394
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    Apok,

    I'm qualified on Australian Law. I'm a Legal Practitioner of the Australian High Court. I have a Practicign Certificate. I can actually claim authority on Australian Law. You can't. This is why your example is bad because you're no more qualified in interpreting the Bible than I am! In fact, I'm probably better qualified. Not only am I familiar with the text but I also was a practising Christian for many years (and in a number of denominations at that!), read many works on the Bible and have had the benefit of looking at it without personal investment as an atheist. But that's beside the point. I don't need to claim better qualification than yours on this subject. The thing that matters is that you can't claim any authority over me on the Bible. And even if you could, it would be for you to demonstrate just what it is that is wrong with my claim. Appealing to qualified authority may not be a fallacy but appealing to your own authority is. It's also in bad taste.

    If you were to argue that a particular principle of Australian Law is silly, I would address your complaint. I would not patronise you or quiz you about what you know of Australian Law. I actually expect the same standard from you. If you believe that the question of "who Jesus was speaking to" (to name one) makes any difference to the claim that I'm making, you must illustrate that. I personally don't believe that it makes any difference at all. If you're proposing that it does, the burden rests on you.

    Otherwise, you have failed to make an objection.

    In addition, I have addressed your posts 171 and 173 (twice now). I've explained to you (in a previous post) that even if you were correct in what you say in those posts, that wouldn't help Jesus. I don't want to have to repeat myself. It's in this thread.
    But this is just more of the same. It's an irrational exhibition of hubris and you have demonstrated that you have no clear understanding of what it is you are talking about because you cannot address the very simple, elementary questions I gave you. You have demonstrated that you are not here to actually learn or even teach a new truth to replace a false one, but merely engage in meaningless, ego-stroking sophistry. That sort of dialog is beneath me...as it should be for all objective, rational thinkers.

    And I do not need to show that I'm am an authority and you are not, Allo. I merely need to show that you do not understand the passage you are claiming to speak as an authority about by challenging your self-proclaimed expertise and authority. And I've done that by providing you with questions that apparently, you absolutely have no knowledge of their answers. These are questions that anyone who actually does understand the issue, would be able to address, and with little effort. I'm not interested in sophistry (which is what seems to be your preference here), I'm interested in genuine, objective dialog where there is progress made on a particular position one way or another. We are diametrically opposed in our objectives, so I'm just not interested; there is nothing you have to offer me as a sophist (using the term in its classical sense).

    I'm not suggesting that you have to unconditionally answer the questions. I am however, saying that you conditionally have to if you want me to respond to your claims. I'm sure there are plenty of other respondents who don't mind taking up the issue with you, but for me, I'm going to start qualifying who I exchange dialog with as I find that most people (when it comes to religion anyway), just are incapable of approaching the topic rationally. If simple questions bother the claim maker, then their ego, sophistry, closed-mindedness, stubbornness, and ignorance will bother me. I do not get agitated at any claim, I get agitated by ego-stroking irrationality.

    In addition, I have addressed your posts 171 and 173 (twice now).
    No, you have not. Nowhere did you address the challenges presented to the revision of the rule. You can continue to repeat this false claim as much as you want to, it will not magically make it come true. Only addressing those challenges to the revised rule will make it a true statement, nothing more.

    Since I've proven my point here, and as the Sharks on Shark Tank say..."I'm out." There is no "investment opportunity" here.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; October 28th, 2012 at 08:31 PM.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  8. #48
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    9,174
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    @Allo, Apoks challenge is not simply to prove that you know what you are talking about. The basic problem you have is that everyone else who reads the "golden rule" and considers the factors apok put in question form , come to such a vastly different conclusion as you so as to make your reading a minority position. As such, you really need to explain how the factors Apok highlights leads you to the conclusion you have made.

    As far as we can see, you are simply throwing all those things(context,culture,audience,historical backdrop etc) out the window and forcing a very modern, arbitrary application to understanding the principle without really justifying your reading over the traditional understanding and application of it.

    I honestly don't see how you can read the verses I quoted, and conclude as you have. You really need to address the questions Apok pointed out if you want your position to be taken seriously. If not, it simply sounds like an angry, unseasoned rant against Christianity motivated by bias.
    To serve man.

  9. Likes Apokalupsis, Michael liked this post
  10. #49
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    With my Angel in Aurora
    Posts
    5,722
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    We both know (well, in the least, I do) what the Sermon on the Mount was about. There are many issues covered in the Sermon, including Jesus claiming (just as Hillel did before Christ's alleged birth) that the entire Old Law can be summarised in the single one command. I quote from Matthew 7:12

    "12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (NIV for plain English but it's in line with other translations; I've checked).

    Of course, the above is absolute bollocks. The Golden Rule in no way summarises the Old Law (on either interpretation of the Golden Rule). But that might be an issue for another thread. All that matters to us is that Christ says that GR summarises the Old Law. Now, this means that "do to others as you'd want them to do to you" is a restatement of the actual law. It's not merely (as you attempt to claim in post 171) a convenient method of assessing what the wishes of another person may be in order to obey some other rule (such as "love everybody because everybody wants to be loved"). The Golden Rule is the summation of the Law. It is law. It is the principle. And it is taken as the principle. That's why we call it the Golden Rule. That's why people claim it's such a huge deal.
    Well...let's think about it for a moment. Leviticus 19 gives us the bulk of Mosaic Law. It speaks to not stealing, cheating, deceiving each other, killing each other, etc. It actually even states in verse 18 quite explicitly to "not bear grudge or seek revenge against anyone among your people. But love your neighbor as yourself."

    Now, examine the situation in the NT in a larger context. Hebrews 5 makes the connection between CHrist and mankind as a parallel for the Levites and the Israelites. WHere the Levites were consecrated and became the priests of the Israelites, offering sacrifices to the Lord for the sins of the Israelites, and at times even redeeming the Israelites communities via their own private sacrifices (aaron could redeem the Israelites once a year as a whole), CHrist therefore comes as a priest for mankind, offering himself as a once and for all sin offering to the Lord. In that view, when Christ says "love your neighbor as yourself" this isn't a rehashed command for the Israelites to be loving towards other Israelites, but rather it's a command for mankind. Much the same way, it's not only an explicit part of the original Law, it functions well as a summary of it since much of the Law DOES concern dealing with others. The Law commanded the Israelites to keep fair prices in business deals (charging less for land and service the closer one gets to the Year of Jubilee, not being harsh with slaves, paying restitution for damages, not lying, not being deceptive in any way, not stealing or killing, etc). Christ, in that respect, is taking the command to mankind as a whole and marks that specific remark as a summation of the Law. The Sadducees agree, point of fact, that the command to "love your neighbor as yourself" is the second greatest command given to mankind, surpassed ONLY by the command to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul." It works as a summary because, as CHrist finishes the answer with in Matthew 22, "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

    And really, "Love your neighbor as yourself" is pretty much just a different wording of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Because if you loved your neighbor, you'd show them the respect, care, and compassion that you'd want them to show you. Same statement, different words.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  11. #50
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    But this is just more of the same. It's an irrational exhibition of hubris and you have demonstrated that you have no clear understanding of what it is you are talking about because you cannot address the very simple, elementary questions I gave you. You have demonstrated that you are not here to actually learn or even teach a new truth to replace a false one, but merely engage in meaningless, ego-stroking sophistry. That sort of dialog is beneath me...as it should be for all objective, rational thinkers.

    And I do not need to show that I'm am an authority and you are not, Allo. I merely need to show that you do not understand the passage you are claiming to speak as an authority about by challenging your self-proclaimed expertise and authority. And I've done that by providing you with questions that apparently, you absolutely have no knowledge of their answers. These are questions that anyone who actually does understand the issue, would be able to address, and with little effort. I'm not interested in sophistry (which is what seems to be your preference here), I'm interested in genuine, objective dialog where there is progress made on a particular position one way or another. We are diametrically opposed in our objectives, so I'm just not interested; there is nothing you have to offer me as a sophist (using the term in its classical sense).

    I'm not suggesting that you have to unconditionally answer the questions. I am however, saying that you conditionally have to if you want me to respond to your claims. I'm sure there are plenty of other respondents who don't mind taking up the issue with you, but for me, I'm going to start qualifying who I exchange dialog with as I find that most people (when it comes to religion anyway), just are incapable of approaching the topic rationally. If simple questions bother the claim maker, then their ego, sophistry, closed-mindedness, stubbornness, and ignorance will bother me. I do not get agitated at any claim, I get agitated by ego-stroking irrationality.


    No, you have not. Nowhere did you address the challenges presented to the revision of the rule. You can continue to repeat this false claim as much as you want to, it will not magically make it come true. Only addressing those challenges to the revised rule will make it a true statement, nothing more.

    Since I've proven my point here, and as the Sharks on Shark Tank say..."I'm out." There is no "investment opportunity" here.
    Apok,

    I've demonstrated to you that the rule that Christ formulated is not the rule that makes sense and possibly not the rule that Christ intended. Indeed, your own interpretation of the rule differs to what Christ stated in the rule.

    I've then said that, unless you can demonstrate that the rule works better if it's stated differently to what it actually is, my argument wins. I stand by that. Christ could have formulated the rule to convely precisely the meaning that you have been attributing to it. And he didn't. Thus, either he failed to formulate the rule or you fail in understanding the rule.

    You, for your part, have failed, to rebut my argument. Your attempt to quiz me is noted and I'm very critical of it. I don't consider it to be a meaningful attempt at debating the issue. If you think there's something special about the circumstances of the Sermon on the Mount that somehow excuses Christ's failure to frame the rule in a meaningful way then it's for you to demonstrate. You've done none of that. All you've managed is an attempt at patronising me (and failed at that). You (of all people) know very well that you must address the argument on its merits. The argument is simple:

    1. "Do to others as you'd have them done to you" is not the same as "do to others as they would want you to do to them" or "do to others that which would minimise harm to them" or "do to others that which would minimise harm generally".

    2. If by "do to others as you'd have them do to you" Christ meant any of the other things, Christ could have said so.

    3. Christ didn't say so and therefore has failed to meaningfully formulate the rule.

    You are in a position where you either have to equivocate (see 1 above) or demonstrate that saying "B" is a better way of saying "A" than saying "A" would be.

    The former is a fallacy. The latter is something you have not done..

    For your convenience, I quote ODN's definition of an argument:


    What constitutes an argument?
    At ODN, we define an argument as it is defined in most philosophy or critical thinking courses. Specifically, an argument (or a reasoning) is the use of one or more ideas to support another idea. Thus, when an argument lacks reasons, it is neither an argument nor an example of reasoning. Arguments contain both a conclusion and the reasons to accept the conclusion. All debates in the debate forum (with exception of 1 forum) require the opening post to have an actual argument clearly stated.


    Your attempt to "assess my understanding of the Sermon on the Mount" is not an argument by any definition. More specifically, it's not an argument by ODN's definition. It's also not a request for clarification, as you're not asking me to explain any part of my position. All it is is an attempt to patronise.

    If had an answer as to why saying "B" is a better way to say "A" than saying "A" would be, you would no doubt present it. You didn't.




    ---------- Post added at 10:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    @Allo, Apoks challenge is not simply to prove that you know what you are talking about. The basic problem you have is that everyone else who reads the "golden rule" and considers the factors apok put in question form , come to such a vastly different conclusion as you so as to make your reading a minority position. As such, you really need to explain how the factors Apok highlights leads you to the conclusion you have made.

    As far as we can see, you are simply throwing all those things(context,culture,audience,historical backdrop etc) out the window and forcing a very modern, arbitrary application to understanding the principle without really justifying your reading over the traditional understanding and application of it.

    I honestly don't see how you can read the verses I quoted, and conclude as you have. You really need to address the questions Apok pointed out if you want your position to be taken seriously. If not, it simply sounds like an angry, unseasoned rant against Christianity motivated by bias.
    MT,

    The questions are not relevant. Christ has stated the rule differently to the way Apok states it. Christ has also stated the rule differently to how he supports it in preceeding verses ("if your son wants bread, you gonna give him a rock?").

    It's in bad form (and against all rules of debate, not just ODN rules) for Apok to attempt to interrogate me on irrelevant matters. If Apok believes the matters are relevant, it's for him to present it. Note that Apok has initially challenged me to answer these questions and later (upon my protestation of abuse of the challenge function) backed down from the challenge only to later suggest that I still have to satisfy him of my "understanding" of the Sermon on the Mount. He isn't really backing down from the challenge; he's just dressing it in pretty colours.

    I could address his questions as I'm very familiar with the Sermon on the Mount. But I consider this to be a red-herring, an irrelevant tangent. I believe Apok should stay within debate rules and address the argument on merit. That's why I refuse to be quizzed by him.

    ---------- Post added at 10:33 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:08 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Well...let's think about it for a moment. Leviticus 19 gives us the bulk of Mosaic Law. It speaks to not stealing, cheating, deceiving each other, killing each other, etc. It actually even states in verse 18 quite explicitly to "not bear grudge or seek revenge against anyone among your people. But love your neighbor as yourself."

    Now, examine the situation in the NT in a larger context. Hebrews 5 makes the connection between CHrist and mankind as a parallel for the Levites and the Israelites. WHere the Levites were consecrated and became the priests of the Israelites, offering sacrifices to the Lord for the sins of the Israelites, and at times even redeeming the Israelites communities via their own private sacrifices (aaron could redeem the Israelites once a year as a whole), CHrist therefore comes as a priest for mankind, offering himself as a once and for all sin offering to the Lord. In that view, when Christ says "love your neighbor as yourself" this isn't a rehashed command for the Israelites to be loving towards other Israelites, but rather it's a command for mankind. Much the same way, it's not only an explicit part of the original Law, it functions well as a summary of it since much of the Law DOES concern dealing with others. The Law commanded the Israelites to keep fair prices in business deals (charging less for land and service the closer one gets to the Year of Jubilee, not being harsh with slaves, paying restitution for damages, not lying, not being deceptive in any way, not stealing or killing, etc). Christ, in that respect, is taking the command to mankind as a whole and marks that specific remark as a summation of the Law. The Sadducees agree, point of fact, that the command to "love your neighbor as yourself" is the second greatest command given to mankind, surpassed ONLY by the command to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul." It works as a summary because, as CHrist finishes the answer with in Matthew 22, "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

    And really, "Love your neighbor as yourself" is pretty much just a different wording of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Because if you loved your neighbor, you'd show them the respect, care, and compassion that you'd want them to show you. Same statement, different words.
    This doesn't address the problems.

    Either the rule is a rule or it isn't. If it is, it must be useful. You should be able to say to yourself "How would I want to be treated?" and treat another person accordingly. But that's the part that is flawed because people differ and not everyone wants to be treated in the same way. I want to treat people the way they want to be treated (subject to some wider exceptions of course, this isn't an absolute rule) and not the way I'd want to be treated. And I want them to treat me the way I want to be treated and not they way they would want to be treated. For instance, I don't want you to pray for me; I want you to give me money

    Not to mention the fact that if I were a kid, I certainly wouldn't want to be stoned to death for cursing at a parent. And yet, The Law prescribes just that punishment. Indeed, the Law focuses on hundreds of punishments, all cruel and unusual and simply barbaric. They have no correlation to the Golden Rule whatsoever.

    ---------- Post added at 10:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:33 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    An issue: The Rule wasn't addressed to you, and it wasn't stated in order for you as a modern western thinker to understand unequivocally. It was stated as a reference to other source material from Leviticus, and it didn't need to say it in such a way as you describe because it wasn't necessary to do so. The other understandings that are necessary for us to establish here, were already presumably shared by the audience. They were also used to sayings of such a nature and how not to apply them without violating the spirit of them, which is evident enough from their oral tradition. Really, you seem to be assuming that He was setting out to do something there that He wasn't. That His Golden Rule doesn't suffice to be what you want from it in your OP, doesn't mean that it didn't suffice for the intent of it's composition. It did actually function as a Golden Rule for those people.

    Another way I would put this is that for Him to have said it in as much words as you think He should of, is an anachronism. It was stated the way it was, as something short and dependent upon some shared understandings, because it was a type of oral formulation. It is made as and called a rule, instead of an elaboration, because the value of it to them was it's conciseness, how easy it was to memorize as oral material. It applied well enough when understood, and it's main function was as something short and formulaic. It was the "Golden Rule", for them, because it expressed the spirit of the law without elaborating upon it in so much words.
    Ok, so your position is that Christ's Golden Rule is antiquated and should not be followed anymore. I'm happy with that. In fact, my position has always been that the Bible is an antiquated work, almost entirely irrelevant to today's standards and to modern science, law and morality. It's had its day as a useful (in some regards) tool to a primitive tribal nation and now it's nothing but a relic. It seems that we may be on similar ground here.

    At the same time, you haven't actually established that it was any more applicable back in "its day". Just how would that be? Just what would be wrong if the ancient Jews were to respect one another's differences and wishes? Just how was oneself a better point of reference back then than it is now?
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  12. #51
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    9,174
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    Christ has stated the rule differently to the way Apok states it.
    I don't think you have substantiated that claim. In order to substantiate the claim you are going
    to have to explain your exegesis of the quote. And in doing that you are going to have to answer Apoks questions on the way (because they are all related to exegesis).

    So far you have stated and repeated your reading and understanding of it, but you have not offered any reason why we should accept it much less agree with your conclusions regarding it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    It's in bad form (and against all rules of debate, not just ODN rules) for Apok to attempt to interrogate me on irrelevant matters. If Apok believes the matters are relevant, it's for him to present it. Note that Apok has initially challenged me to answer these questions and later (upon my protestation of abuse of the challenge function) backed down from the challenge only to later suggest that I still have to satisfy him of my "understanding" of the Sermon on the Mount. He isn't really backing down from the challenge; he's just dressing it in pretty colours.
    I think the questions are directly related as they are exegetical in nature, and thus inherently relevant to reading of any passage. His presentation of the challenge you face in presenting your case may be poor. However you DO have the burden of explaining your exegesis. Without it there is no reason to accept what you say as true.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    I could address his questions as I'm very familiar with the Sermon on the Mount. But I consider this to be a red-herring, an irrelevant tangent. I believe Apok should stay within debate rules and address the argument on merit. That's why I refuse to be quizzed by him.
    Well, for myself your premise is not accepted. The premise is that your reading and understanding is the proper one that most reflects what Christ was communicating.
    I have read it and the surrounding passages and I really do not see how you get your position at all.
    If you do not wish to explain it, that is fine.. but that pretty much ends the debate. If however you do intend to defend it an explanation or justification for your first premise would be nice. Again, it appears that you are coming out of left field with this stuff, hence our calls for an explanation.
    To serve man.

  13. #52
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    MT

    Christ said "do to others what you want them to do to you".

    Either Christ was communicating what he said or he wasn't.

    1. If he was then those he speaks to should do to others what they want done to them. In that case, my criticism stands. Christ's rule fails because people differ and what I'd like you to do to me may not be what you want me to do to you.

    2. If he wasn't then my criticism stands because Christ has failed to communicate what said.

    One way or another Christ fails in his formulation of the Golden Rule.

    Now, who was Christ speaking to? Was he speaking to everyone (including us)? If so, he fails for the above reasons. Sure, I can't exclude that he was addressing the Sermon only to those present (and there were lots of people present at the time) and only in the context of their times. Then we have two problems. Firstly, why would you say that the rule would apply to them more than it does to us? How were they apparently different? Secondly, this means that CHrist's golden rule is only a good philosophy for a specific subset of humans and, insofar as framing a mankind-wide moral principle, Christ has failed.

    Now, either attack the argument or concede the argument. The same goes for Apok.

    nb. Note that the rule is inconsistent with "love one another". If I love you, I'll do what you want based on your desires (with some qualifications for overall harm etc; which Christ failed to address altogether) and not mine. Otherwise, we're redefining "love" to mean something completely different to what it does mean.

    I've done loads of reasearch on the Rule and have actually presented links to inconsistent Christian interpretations. It's in extremely bad form (and contrary to what we mean by "debate" or "argument") to attempt to quiz me on my personal knowledge without addressing those.

    Personally, I think Christ was just trying to look smart and rattled off a summation of the Old Law that he had heard expressed by Hillel's school of thought. He didn't give it any real thought and failed to see that the rule does not reflect the Old Law at all. Also, in his clumsiness, he changed Hillel's negative rule into his own positive rule (thereby inviting invasion of privacy).
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  14. #53
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,394
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    Your attempt to "assess my understanding of the Sermon on the Mount" is not an argument by any definition. More specifically, it's not an argument by ODN's definition. It's also not a request for clarification, as you're not asking me to explain any part of my position. All it is is an attempt to patronise.
    It isn't about getting you to conform to ODN's standards, it's about getting you to conform to mine. I've already explained that you didn't have to answer those questions for you to participate in this thread. However, because I have decided recently to stop responding to people who do not meet my standards, I will use such qualifiers to determine if that person or the discussion they are engaged in, is worth my personal time. I have absolutely no interest in certain types of arguments or with those who I don't personally believe will engage in a productive, meaningful discussion with me. It's a decision with subjective criteria (although, in this case, just about every single Christian understands that criteria - it's one discussed in the private forum), but a set that saves me valuable time and energy. You can certainly continue the discussion with other people. But for me, I will qualify who I participate in a discussion with, and will do so by expecting them to meet a particular standard of knowledge or intent. If those standards are not met, then I know I should just move on. You don't want to feel like you are being taught or are learning something, I and I don't want to feel as if my time and efforts have been wasted. Best for everyone really.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  15. #54
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    It isn't about getting you to conform to ODN's standards, it's about getting you to conform to mine. I've already explained that you didn't have to answer those questions for you to participate in this thread. However, because I have decided recently to stop responding to people who do not meet my standards, I will use such qualifiers to determine if that person or the discussion they are engaged in, is worth my personal time. I have absolutely no interest in certain types of arguments or with those who I don't personally believe will engage in a productive, meaningful discussion with me. It's a decision with subjective criteria (although, in this case, just about every single Christian understands that criteria - it's one discussed in the private forum), but a set that saves me valuable time and energy. You can certainly continue the discussion with other people. But for me, I will qualify who I participate in a discussion with, and will do so by expecting them to meet a particular standard of knowledge or intent. If those standards are not met, then I know I should just move on. You don't want to feel like you are being taught or are learning something, I and I don't want to feel as if my time and efforts have been wasted. Best for everyone really.
    That's outrageous, Apok. You're acting outside of all acceptable debate standards (recognised by ODN, philosophy and law) and imposing your own, unreasonable standards. I've made my position very, very clear. And I've made it with a thorough (probably better than yours) understanding of the text and context of the Sermon on the Mount, very much including Christian takes on it (and a number of Christian takes, of course inconsistent with each other). I have supported it with quotes from a number of Christian sources. You have failed to attack my argument and instead opted to attack me personally, with not a word of support. You have insulted my education (again, without a word of support), patronised me and even abused the challenge function in an attempt to quiz me. All this without a word of meaningful defence against my attack on Christ's formulation of the Golden Rule.

    I personally think it's you who doesn't understand the context of the Sermon on The Mount. I would personally like you to demonstrate that I'm wrong.

    We both (I think) know the Sermon was given to a large number of people, including The Twelve. Christ covered a number of topics, including the (much fraught with their own nonsensical problems) Beatitudes and a number of comments about the Law. It is here that Christ states that he didn't come to abolish the Law; he came to fulfill it. It is also here that he says that the Law will stand (to the letter) until the end of times and those who obey it will be called "first" in heaven (or will be "higher" in heaven on some translations). It is also here that Christ apparently relaxes some of the principles of the Law, while also apparently tightening others. Some argue that these parts are to be taken to mean that Christ is saying that people had misinterpreted the Law initially. Others suggest that they are in fact amendments to the Law. This, of course, isn't what we're concerned with here. What we're concerned with is the context of "do to others what you want them to do to you". As you ought to be aware, Christ has (in line with Hillel before him) suggested that this rule (often referred to as the Golden Rule) summarises all of the law and the prophets. In saying this, he can be taken to simply mean that the achievement of this principle is the purpose of the entire body of the Law (complete nonsense - even if read down to only apply to the "neighbour" part of the dual objective of the law - to anyone who has read the Law). Alternatively, it can be said that he is introducing a rule of moral behaviour (if so, the rule is flawed as per my OP). Yet others may (and do) say that this is meant simply as a guide to be used (when in doubt) about what's right and what's wrong (in that case, it's been formulated in a very incompetent way). My position is that, on any of those views, Christ has made an epic screwup.

    There you go, complete with the surrounding contextual circumstances.

    BTW, I'm pleased to see you quoting Sam Harris. It seems that this particular quote of his ("The less competent a person is in a given domain, the more he will tend to overestimate his abilities. This often produces an ugly marriage of confidence and ignorance that is very difficult to correct for") has caught your eye. I would love for you to demonstrate that I have overestimated my capabilities on this particular topic
    Last edited by Allocutus; November 3rd, 2012 at 01:42 AM.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  16. #55
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    9,174
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    Christ said "do to others what you want them to do to you".
    Either Christ was communicating what he said or he wasn't.
    He also said "cast the first stone".
    To serve man.

  17. #56
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,394
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    That's outrageous, Apok. You're acting outside of all acceptable debate standards (recognised by ODN, philosophy and law) and imposing your own, unreasonable standards.
    This is where you are mistaken.

    1) This is not law. This is not a courtroom. We do not run our community like a courtroom, we have no laws to abide by here. Merely because we have rules in place and a staff to enforce them, it does not mean it is "legal-like" or "court room like." Households, businesses, clubs, athletics, etc... all have rules they create, uphold, and expect of others, all have ways to enforce those specific, personal rules...and these rules and their enforcement are not bound by laws or any legal system. However, the legal system is not without its many instances of asking certain parties qualifying questions. The purpose of these however, is to discredit or disqualify the individual. That, is not my purpose with those questions. That is, I am not discrediting you for participation on the topic, I am determining your level of knowledge (and thus credibility) to determine whether or not it would be meaningful for me to participate in that particular discussion with you. It isn't about keeping you away from the topic (like it would be in the legal system) but rather determining whether or not your position is one worth my time and effort, personally.

    2) Every member on this board is allowed to pick and choose who they debate with. Some decide this by watching the actions of others, some do it by evaluating the quality of posts. Several members have publicly stated that they will no longer continue debating particular members, on several occasions. Most of the time, it's a silent decision, but often, it is not. I've already made it clear to a few members that because of their seemingly lack of understanding of elementary principles required to be understood to further a discussion (such as Sharmak's complete lack of understanding of the principles of logic or rules of reasoning and theories of morality) or their behavior (such as Zhavric's many antics). Sometimes, it is obvious whether or not one should be avoided, sometimes, it is not. Thus...

    3) ...ensuring that the participant(s) have at least a foundational knowledge of that which they speak of is a great way to qualify that person as to whether or not a particular discussion ought to be engaged. This is actually fairly common in the history of philosophy (which is rather odd why you say it is not...and this again, Allo, just exposes your lack of experience or knowledge in philosophy itself). As explained previously, Socrates and Plato would qualify those they had philosophical discussions with before actually spending time and effort in those discussions. Their idea about this was that time and reasoning ought not to be wasted, and it is wasted on those who lack certain qualities, these qualities made up the person's "character." They never felt they were "above" another, it was not an issue of ego, it was a matter of not wanting to feel as if their time and effort would be wasted. I could have just as easily never posted back in the thread. I could have just as easily said "You are wasting my time" or "We agree to disagree" and that be it. Instead, I decided to test your knowledge first, before I left. I didn't think you understood the issue, but wanted to just be certain. I asked you specific questions that you would have been easily able to answer if you actually did understand the issue. You didn't, thus proving to me that this is a non-issue. I refuse to have my time wasted with those who place themselves on their own pedestal (as would several philosophers). There is no reasoning with those sort...so there is no need to bother.

    I'm not going to abandon the topic. I'm going to write an article on the issue and answer those very questions. I'm just not going to do so in a thread that I see going nowhere, pushed by those I don't believe actually do understand the issue, who are also seemingly incapable of learning something new do to enormous egos. Socrates on the other hand...would simply walk away, considering the entire issue a joke.

    I personally think it's you who doesn't understand the context of the Sermon on The Mount.
    That's great! You have every right and privilege to qualify other members as you see fit. Why have your personal time and effort wasted? To do so would be most unreasonable...and you do not believe yourself to be an unreasonable person, right?

    But your personal opinions about certain members of the community (myself include of course) are entirely irrelevant as to whether you actually do understand the issue or whether or not you meet what I believe to be an elementary qualification from which you can legitimately discuss an issue with any particular insight, relevance, or objectivity that I would find valuable.

    This is a personal decision I have made. I will issue qualifying questions to those I am uncertain really are qualified to argue what they are arguing. It saves both of us valuable time and prevents unnecessary frustration.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; November 3rd, 2012 at 11:08 AM.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  18. Thanks Squatch347 thanked for this post
  19. #57
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    This is where you are mistaken.

    1) This is not law. This is not a courtroom. We do not run our community like a courtroom, we have no laws to abide by here. Merely because we have rules in place and a staff to enforce them, it does not mean it is "legal-like" or "court room like." Households, businesses, clubs, athletics, etc... all have rules they create, uphold, and expect of others, all have ways to enforce those specific, personal rules...and these rules and their enforcement are not bound by laws or any legal system. However, the legal system is not without its many instances of asking certain parties qualifying questions. The purpose of these however, is to discredit or disqualify the individual. That, is not my purpose with those questions. That is, I am not discrediting you for participation on the topic, I am determining your level of knowledge (and thus credibility) to determine whether or not it would be meaningful for me to participate in that particular discussion with you. It isn't about keeping you away from the topic (like it would be in the legal system) but rather determining whether or not your position is one worth my time and effort, personally.

    2) Every member on this board is allowed to pick and choose who they debate with. Some decide this by watching the actions of others, some do it by evaluating the quality of posts. Several members have publicly stated that they will no longer continue debating particular members, on several occasions. Most of the time, it's a silent decision, but often, it is not. I've already made it clear to a few members that because of their seemingly lack of understanding of elementary principles required to be understood to further a discussion (such as Sharmak's complete lack of understanding of the principles of logic or rules of reasoning and theories of morality) or their behavior (such as Zhavric's many antics). Sometimes, it is obvious whether or not one should be avoided, sometimes, it is not. Thus...

    3) ...ensuring that the participant(s) have at least a foundational knowledge of that which they speak of is a great way to qualify that person as to whether or not a particular discussion ought to be engaged. This is actually fairly common in the history of philosophy (which is rather odd why you say it is not...and this again, Allo, just exposes your lack of experience or knowledge in philosophy itself). As explained previously, Socrates and Plato would qualify those they had philosophical discussions with before actually spending time and effort in those discussions. Their idea about this was that time and reasoning ought not to be wasted, and it is wasted on those who lack certain qualities, these qualities made up the person's "character." They never felt they were "above" another, it was not an issue of ego, it was a matter of not wanting to feel as if their time and effort would be wasted. I could have just as easily never posted back in the thread. I could have just as easily said "You are wasting my time" or "We agree to disagree" and that be it. Instead, I decided to test your knowledge first, before I left. I didn't think you understood the issue, but wanted to just be certain. I asked you specific questions that you would have been easily able to answer if you actually did understand the issue. You didn't, thus proving to me that this is a non-issue. I refuse to have my time wasted with those who place themselves on their own pedestal (as would several philosophers). There is no reasoning with those sort...so there is no need to bother.

    I'm not going to abandon the topic. I'm going to write an article on the issue and answer those very questions. I'm just not going to do so in a thread that I see going nowhere, pushed by those I don't believe actually do understand the issue, who are also seemingly incapable of learning something new do to enormous egos. Socrates on the other hand...would simply walk away, considering the entire issue a joke.


    That's great! You have every right and privilege to qualify other members as you see fit. Why have your personal time and effort wasted? To do so would be most unreasonable...and you do not believe yourself to be an unreasonable person, right?

    But your personal opinions about certain members of the community (myself include of course) are entirely irrelevant as to whether you actually do understand the issue or whether or not you meet what I believe to be an elementary qualification from which you can legitimately discuss an issue with any particular insight, relevance, or objectivity that I would find valuable.

    This is a personal decision I have made. I will issue qualifying questions to those I am uncertain really are qualified to argue what they are arguing. It saves both of us valuable time and prevents unnecessary frustration.
    Socrates? Plato? Those guys were masters in their field. If you're a master, you can presumably afford to have the arrogance of "qualifying" people. Of course even then you'll have the reputation of "he who won't speak to us mere mortals". Perhaps their arrogance is justified. Is yours?

    Apok, if you fail to defend against an attack, the attack stands undefended. As long as the attack is coherent on its merits, it matters not whether its author is "qualified" or not. It only makes you look like a patronising and intellectually dishonest interlocutor and it loses the argument for you. It's unfortunate that this copout techinque is so horribly common for Christians; it will be this that, in the age of rational discourse, will most likely lead to Christiandom's ultimate fall (and may well already be responsible for the recent significant growth in world atheism). People are no longer prepared to be satisfied with "mysteries of faith". If their question is unanswered, they are increasingly likely to dump the dogma. And that's a good, good thing for all of us humans.

    In addition, your attitude is evidence of a fallacious ad hominem reasoning as you must be assuming that an "unqualified" person can't formulate a meaningful question that challenges a proposition. Otherwise, you'd be attacking the challenge and not the "qualification". Whether or not I know the answers to your questions, I have formulated that challenge the way I did, and you should be able (if you have merit in your own position) to attack the challenge itself. And if you're not making such an ad hominem assumption, there's no reason to insist on "qualifying" the opposition; the exercise is meaningless and irrelevant. Up to this point, you have failed to meet the challenge on its merits.

    Now, as a matter of acting in utterly good faith (I have nothing to hide, no dogma to protect at all costs; and I don't mind losing the debate!) I will answer your questions.

    1.What is the context of this passage Allo?
    Christ is speaking about the interpretation of the Old Law. The Old Law, according to Christ, can be summarised in the one passage "do to others what you'd want them to do to you".

    2. Who is Jesus speaking to and why is He giving this rule to them of all people?
    This is where Matthew and Luke contradict each other. Luke has Jesus going up the mountain to pray and he calls all his disciples over, chooses The Twelve from them and preaches to them. In Matthew, Christ sees that he's being followed by a large number of folks, he goes up the mountain and his disciples follow him and he's teaching them. Matthew doesn't limit this to the twelve Apostles. Clearly, Christ isn't teaching everyone; he's speaking to his disciples only. He (and anyone else in the New Testament) fails to explain why. Was this "wisdom" only meant for the disciples? Most Christians believe it applies to all Christians. Many, who portray Jesus as a great philospher (and he was not, as I'm demonstrating in this thread) say that the contents of the teaching have meaningful value to everyone at large.


    3.Does it apply to all people or a specific group of people, and why?
    As I've said before, Jesus, just as Hillel before him, is speaking of the rule as a summary of the Old Law (and it is not, of course, read the Old Law for yourself). Thus, he is presumably addressing the rule to those to whom the Old Law applies (note that, if Christ believes that the Old Law is a perfect law - being God-given and all - it would presumably be a good idea for everyone to follow it). Christians vary as to whether the Old Law applies to modern Christians. Some say it does, some that it doesn't. This, of course, doesn't matter at all. Whether Christ gave the rule to everyone or only to the Jews, isn't relevant to the issue of whether the rule is bad. My objections apply to the rule generally, whether or not it was intended to apply to us today.

    4.What is it concluding?
    As I've said before, this is concluding the Sermon on the Mount.

    5. What specific teaching or doctrine is it summarizing?
    As I've explained before, Jesus claims that is summarises the Law and the Prophets.

    6. How specifically does this relate to the relationship between man and God?
    If people know how to treat their own kids (with the use of the Golden Rule), God will also treat them accordingly.

    7. Why specifically is the focus on the perspective of the doer in the relationship as opposed to the receiver?
    Because Jesus claims that it's important for people to know how to treat their own children in order for God to give them whatever gifts they ask for in Heaven. This, of course, doesn't explain the problems that I point to with Christ's formulation of the Golden Rule. Had Christ formulated the Golden rule in a coherent, meaningful and consistent way, it would still be releavant to the doer's knowledge of how to treat "his children".

    8. How is this rule to be achieved (Hint: What is required or expected of the doer?)?
    The rule itself can only be achieved by doing that which the rule says; in other words, by doing to others that which you expect them to do to you. Otherwise, the rule fails to express what is is intended to express. That's my precise objection.

    9.What is the result of the application of the rule?
    Mass confusion, even within Christianity itself.

    ---------- Post added at 07:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    He also said "cast the first stone".
    He sure did. But what's the relevance of that?
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  20. #58
    Owner / Senior Admin

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,394
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    Socrates? Plato? Those guys were masters in their field. If you're a master, you can presumably afford to have the arrogance of "qualifying" people. Of course even then you'll have the reputation of "he who won't speak to us mere mortals". Perhaps their arrogance is justified. Is yours?
    This isn't about being a master in anything. It's about ensuring that the other participant has a reasonable understanding of the topic they are arguing about as well as having reasonable intent. There is no need for anyone (including yourself) to participate in a discussion with someone who is "bull-headedly" putting forth a horrible argument that lacks links to reality especially when their intent is to merely mock or force the argument onto others without considering that their own argument may be flawed. It's a waste of time to engage those people...we do have those people in this community, I will not have my time wasted, and as such, either I will outright refuse to respond or I will qualify that argument and the person's understanding (as should any reasonable being).

    Apok, if you fail to defend against an attack, the attack stands undefended.
    Of course. The problem is, your attack is pretty well defended against by other participants. I'm flattered that you only wish to focus on my response, but it isn't necessary. There are plenty of members of this community who can more than adequately address the argument.

    As long as the attack is coherent on its merits, it matters not whether its author is "qualified" or not. It only makes you look like a patronising and intellectually dishonest interlocutor and it loses the argument for you. It's unfortunate that this copout techinque is so horribly common for Christians; it will be this that, in the age of rational discourse, will most likely lead to Christiandom's ultimate fall (and may well already be responsible for the recent significant growth in world atheism). People are no longer prepared to be satisfied with "mysteries of faith". If their question is unanswered, they are increasingly likely to dump the dogma. And that's a good, good thing for all of us humans.
    It is about qualifying both. The questions asked do just that. If the argument does not take into account the other considerations and the author is shown to be coming from a place of unreasonableness, then the reasonable mind has no need to respond and have his or her time wasted.

    In addition, your attitude is evidence of a fallacious ad hominem reasoning as you must be assuming that an "unqualified" person can't formulate a meaningful question that challenges a proposition. Otherwise, you'd be attacking the challenge and not the "qualification".
    Nope. See above. This isn't about "If you cannot answer the questions your argument must be false." This is the 2nd time you have falsely charged this fallacy. I recommend reviewing my explanation of its application several posts back. Instead, it's about determining whether or not it is of interest and value for me to respond to your argument. Plain and simple. Socrates, for example, didn't hold the position that since certain people lacked "character" they must be wrong or must not have good ideas or arguments...but rather it was not worth his time because they were not open to exercising reason and/or thought far too highly of themselves and their arguments. It is about being efficient. It's about being productive. Some conversations with some people...that just isn't possible. I'm no longer interested in discussing topics with those who have an axe to grind, insist that their lack of knowledge is superior to knowledge of others, refuse to consider their position may be flawed, etc... That type of thinking, is beneath me, as it ought to be beneath all reasonable minds.

    Whether or not I know the answers to your questions, I have formulated that challenge the way I did, and you should be able (if you have merit in your own position) to attack the challenge itself. And if you're not making such an ad hominem assumption, there's no reason to insist on "qualifying" the opposition; the exercise is meaningless and irrelevant. Up to this point, you have failed to meet the challenge on its merits.
    The questions were asked due to your display of arrogance, hubris, attitude, etc... In almost every one of your posts Allo, you come across as trying to be an authority on a topic and/or arguing for the sake of argument (a sophist). It isn't merely me who believes that, it isn't merely some isolated, subjective opinion. It's your attitude that puts people off, not the content of your posts. I'm glad you like the quote in my sig...it's directly speaking to you my friend. Perhaps if you'd approach a topic with less insistence that you are the final authority on all topics and cannot present a flawed argument...you may get more direct responses. I realize that you do not see this at all. It is what it is. Take that feedback for what it is, or just ignore it. It matters not to me. I'd just try to step down a few steps on that pedestal you have created for yourself however, you may find it much more productive.

    Now, as a matter of acting in utterly good faith (I have nothing to hide, no dogma to protect at all costs; and I don't mind losing the debate!) I will answer your questions.
    Thank you! Wasn't all that hard now was it? I now you a direct response in this thread on the topic, it should be my next post (interruptive posts notwithstanding). However, I owe Dio a response in his Leviticus thread first.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  21. #59
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    9,174
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    He sure did. But what's the relevance of that?
    To Illustrate how lifting a portion of text from it's context and setting can be misleading and is inappropriate.
    To serve man.

  22. #60
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    To Illustrate how lifting a portion of text from it's context and setting can be misleading and is inappropriate.
    Please explain. Let's assume that I know nothing about the surrounding circumstances of Christ's formulation of the Rule. Why wouldn't it in these circumstances be sufficient to attack the argument itself by saying "In the circumstances, given factors X, Y & Z, it is clear that Christ meant A, B & C and not D, E & F"? What does my own personal knowledge have to do with it? Either my argument stands up or it doesn't.

    And now that I've answered Apok's questions, it seems a little nasty of you to make the above comment without actually showing that I've done something "misleading" or "inappropriate". Even if you happen to disagree with me on the answer to some (or even all) of those questions, that's only your opinion. I have already demonstrated that Chrsitian interpretations of the rule differ widely and thus it's something that is subject to opinion. This is also evidence of Christ's failure to put the rule together in a matter that would be clear enough; his own people haven't a clue what he's actually saying!

    Showing that my understanding is wrong wouldn't even win you the debate. You'd have to show that my understanding is wrong insofar as it relates to my argument itself. And that means attacking what the argument says and not what I happen to know (or not know). We're back to square one.

    So, is my argument wrong? If so, how?




    ---------- Post added at 02:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:42 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Nope. See above. This isn't about "If you cannot answer the questions your argument must be false." This is the 2nd time you have falsely charged this fallacy. I recommend reviewing my explanation of its application several posts back. Instead, it's about determining whether or not it is of interest and value for me to respond to your argument. Plain and simple. Socrates, for example, didn't hold the position that since certain people lacked "character" they must be wrong or must not have good ideas or arguments...but rather it was not worth his time because they were not open to exercising reason and/or thought far too highly of themselves and their arguments. It is about being efficient. It's about being productive. Some conversations with some people...that just isn't possible. I'm no longer interested in discussing topics with those who have an axe to grind, insist that their lack of knowledge is superior to knowledge of others, refuse to consider their position may be flawed, etc... That type of thinking, is beneath me, as it ought to be beneath all reasonable minds.
    Do you disagree that in order to prove a position wrong it is sufficient to attack the position? Let me give you an example (I'll borrow from Dawkins).

    Creationists routinely quote-mine Darwin's statement about how incredible it is just to think that such a complex organ as the eye can have arisen without a designer. They stop short of quoting the next sentence in which it Darwin says words to the effect "and yet that's exactly what natural selection does".

    If I were replying to a creationist, I would simply say "you're out of context, the next sentence of Darwin is ..." followed by my quotation of the sentence. I would not go and quiz the creationist about how much of the chapter (or the entire book) he's read, what his understanding of Darwin's motives is and so forth. I would simply attack the argument.

    Another great example is a creationist who says just how improbable it would be for the human body to be put together by sheer accident. Again, rather than to quiz him about evolution, I would explain that natural selection is not an accident.

    I'm not intersted in winning the debate, I don't care whether Jesus was a good philosopher or not (though it seems to me he was useless). In fact, as I've said in the OP, I've lived pretty much 39 years without even thinking about questioning the golden rule. Equally, I don't care whether Jesus in fact existed. Until some 2 months ago, I was convinced that he did. And yet, I have now come to have very serious doubts about that. I will start an OP about that and argue that Christ's existence is legendary at best. Again, it's not an "axe to grind" as I have no personal investment in it at all.

    In fact, it seems that you fail to understand the "atheistic mind" here. While to the theist, his faith is a fundamental part of his worldview and (usually) lifestyle, atheists don't care. If there's a god, we're interested in seeing the evidence so that we can arrive at the truth. If there isn't one, so be it. There's no emotional attachment to atheism, there's no reason to suffer from cognitive dissonance. There's no reason to have an "axe to grind".

    "Here's an example of an atheist who fails to apperciate Christ because he's imisinformed about X, Y or Z and here's a theist who patronises him, instead of explaining it to him".
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

 

 
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The golden throne
    By theophilus in forum Jokes and Humor
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: September 3rd, 2010, 10:08 AM
  2. "Homegrown" Player Rule - A ridiculous rule
    By thegreenape in forum General Debate
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: September 2nd, 2010, 11:38 AM
  3. The Golden Compass
    By ladyphoenix in forum Book Club Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: April 5th, 2008, 12:04 PM
  4. The Golden Compass
    By starcreator in forum Entertainment
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 13th, 2007, 06:16 AM
  5. The Wiccan Rede vs. The Golden Rule
    By Trendem in forum Philosophical Debates
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: February 12th, 2007, 01:21 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •