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  1. #61
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Except quizzing a Creationist about evolution is a false analogy. I am not quizzing you about Christianity. I am quizzing you about the very topic, the very issue you are making an argument about. You argued that Jesus' formulation of the rule is not only insufficient, but extremely bad. Instead of quizzing you about the doctrines of salvation, how the Bible was written, or the issue of the Resurrection...I quizzed you on the very instance of Jesus making that statement and what the relevancy and relationship of it was.
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  2. #62
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    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.
    If, for sake of argument, you know nothing about the surrounding circumstances.. Then there is no reason for me to accept that the factors x,y,z are true.
    or that your conclusion that christ meant A,B,C and and not D,E,F is a reasonable application of those facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    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".
    First, while I do disagree with your reading and application I am not saying that you are doing something "misleading" or "inappropriate". I am pointing out that
    it is a danger that exists when passages are lifted out of context, or focused in on too specifically.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    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!
    So, if I disagree with you then it is only my opinion..
    And why should I accept what you are saying then? Isn't it just YOUR opinion? Haven't you just discredited yourself?

    As to what "Christians" interpret it as... well, they all have the same problem you do. Their improper reading does not justify your own. Nor does their poor focus mean that they did not understand what the rule was communicating themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    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?
    No my friend, you have the burden of proof. You must support that it IS the case. Now that you have answered Apoks' "quiz" you can explain how you got from there to where you are in the OP.


    My simple exchange in post #11 and post #13 is enough to discredit your application. You simply can not read the "rule" so as to mean what I said in post #11 into the context of the actual verse.
    Because of that fact, you have a tough row to hoe if you want to make it mean that.
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  3. #63
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Except quizzing a Creationist about evolution is a false analogy. I am not quizzing you about Christianity. I am quizzing you about the very topic, the very issue you are making an argument about. You argued that Jesus' formulation of the rule is not only insufficient, but extremely bad. Instead of quizzing you about the doctrines of salvation, how the Bible was written, or the issue of the Resurrection...I quizzed you on the very instance of Jesus making that statement and what the relevancy and relationship of it was.
    How is the creationist example different? The creationist takes Darwin out of context and criticises evolution based on the Strawman version of Darwin's claims. I take (so you say) Jesus out of context and criticise his claims based on a Starwman version of his teachings. Where's the difference?

    And I maintain you must attack the argument on its merits. That said, I've answered your questions with a Bible (and Christian links) in my virtual hand. Let's see where it takes us.

    ---------- Post added at 04:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If, for sake of argument, you know nothing about the surrounding circumstances.. Then there is no reason for me to accept that the factors x,y,z are true.
    or that your conclusion that christ meant A,B,C and and not D,E,F is a reasonable application of those facts.
    If you don't accept these factors, you don't accept them based on the argument and the evidence presented in it. My knowledge isn't relevant. Attack the argument, not the person.

    First, while I do disagree with your reading and application I am not saying that you are doing something "misleading" or "inappropriate". I am pointing out that
    it is a danger that exists when passages are lifted out of context, or focused in on too specifically.
    Right. And if you think my focus was wrong, all you have to do is argue it. Quizzing me about things I did not say is out of place.


    So, if I disagree with you then it is only my opinion..
    And why should I accept what you are saying then? Isn't it just YOUR opinion? Haven't you just discredited yourself?
    You don't have to accept it. If you don't accept it, you can debate it. I've quoted from the Bible and given Christian sources of how the passage is interpreted by the believers.

    As to what "Christians" interpret it as... well, they all have the same problem you do. Their improper reading does not justify your own. Nor does their poor focus mean that they did not understand what the rule was communicating themselves.
    How so? If millions of Christians (who analayze these things cover-to-cover and religiously - pun intended - pray for the Holy Spirit to assist them in their intepretation) can't come to agreement about what Jesus really meant, isn't there some merit in saying that Jesus failed to make the rule clear enough? I'd say that there is, even without the benefit of omniscience. What good is a philosopher whose very followers don't know what the heck he's talking about?

    No my friend, you have the burden of proof. You must support that it IS the case. Now that you have answered Apoks' "quiz" you can explain how you got from there to where you are in the OP.
    I did. I've showed biblical passages and Christian interpretations. I've also showed (in my discussion with Apok) that the rule can't mean what it says. All my opponents seem to agree with me (including Apok) because they're all rewording the rule to say something different (eg Apok's "love everybody because people want to be loved" or something to that effect).

    The position is that we seem to all agree that Jesus didn't state the rule literally for what it meant. And yet, some people are claiming (they seem to be) that saying it differently to its literal meaning is better than saying it literally, because of some mysterious context. Generally speaking, when you want to state a proposition, the best way to state it is by saying exactly what you mean. If someone wants to propose the opposite, they have to support it.

    My simple exchange in post #11 and post #13 is enough to discredit your application. You simply can not read the "rule" so as to mean what I said in post #11 into the context of the actual verse.
    Because of that fact, you have a tough row to hoe if you want to make it mean that.
    Actually, in post 11, you have showed the precise problem with the wording of Christ's rule. You have supported my argument.

    And in post 13, you have claimed that the context of the rule is of "love and doing good". Well, sure, the surrounding circumstances suggest that this is what Jesus wanted to achieve. But he didn't word the rule in that way. He worded it wrongly. The rule doesn't say to do good; it says to impose your own preferences when dealing with others; that's not doing good. If you have showed anything at all in post 13, it is Christ's failure to summarise his own teachings with effectiveness and precision.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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  4. #64
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    Indeed, a negative version of it ("don't do to others what you don't want done to yourself") was uttered by Hillel the Elder. When challenged by a Gentile to explain the Torah while the Gentile is standing on one foot, Hillel said the following: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn" (see Wiki). And this was before Christ's birth.
    There is a very significant ethical distinction between a positive and negative formulation of one's responsibility towards others. "Do no harm" is a much less demanding mandate than "Help."

    Whilst we don't know whether Christ's version (if he existed and uttered it at all)
    This reveals an embarrassing lack of historical education. Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth did indeed live and die in Judaea c. 5 BC - 33 AD, and virtually all credible historians recognize this fact.

    Insofar as this particular rule goes, Christ completely missed the target.
    Well, maybe you'll be able to convince the world that Christ was an amateur philosopher and overrated, and inspire billions of people over thousands of years with your more insightful and sophisticated ethical teachings.

    Or maybe you'll continue to criticize Christ on an Internet message board to whomever might listen, but most people in the world will continue to see Christ as either one of the greatest ethical teachers of all time or indeed, the Son of God and Savior, while you are utterly forgotten a few decades after your death, if not sooner.
    Last edited by KevinBrowning; November 6th, 2012 at 11:24 PM.

  5. #65
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    If you don't accept these factors, you don't accept them based on the argument and the evidence presented in it. My knowledge isn't relevant. Attack the argument, not the person.
    I actually do accept some of the factors, I was speaking very generically,hence the X,Y,Z, in order to talk to you about where you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    Right. And if you think my focus was wrong, all you have to do is argue it. Quizzing me about things I did not say is out of place.
    I am more waiting for you to justify or offer reason for how you get from point A (the scripture) to point B (your conclusion).
    It isn't very well connected right now IMO. You have simply asserted that it is a proper reading and understanding.
    But I demonstrated, simply by reinserting your concept back into the context it was given, that your reading doesn't make any sense. Thus, it begs the question why we should accept your reading at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    You don't have to accept it. If you don't accept it, you can debate it. I've quoted from the Bible and given Christian sources of how the passage is interpreted by the believers.
    o.. So your not attacking what Jesus actually said, simply the belief of the followers and popular Christian culture?

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    How so? If millions of Christians (who analayze these things cover-to-cover and religiously - pun intended - pray for the Holy Spirit to assist them in their intepretation) can't come to agreement about what Jesus really meant, isn't there some merit in saying that Jesus failed to make the rule clear enough? I'd say that there is, even without the benefit of omniscience. What good is a philosopher whose very followers don't know what the heck he's talking about?
    So.. Jesus was wrong, because so many of his followers are?
    sounds like an appeal to popularity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    I did. I've showed biblical passages and Christian interpretations. I've also showed (in my discussion with Apok) that the rule can't mean what it says. All my opponents seem to agree with me (including Apok) because they're all rewording the rule to say something different (eg Apok's "love everybody because people want to be loved" or something to that effect).
    My issue is that you have not established what it "says" yet. Not Biblical anyway.
    You still have to connect the answers you gave Apok to the conclusion that what you said is a valid reading of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    The position is that we seem to all agree that Jesus didn't state the rule literally for what it meant. And yet, some people are claiming (they seem to be) that saying it differently to its literal meaning is better than saying it literally, because of some mysterious context. Generally speaking, when you want to state a proposition, the best way to state it is by saying exactly what you mean. If someone wants to propose the opposite, they have to support it.
    Yea... that does not address or make a biblical argument at all.
    That YOU like to speak literally, or want YOUR words to be taken independently, doesn't mean that is how we should take the words of Christ.

    You need to explain Biblical why we should take Christs words that way, or why we should even separate the sentence out of the paragraph in which it is found.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    Actually, in post 11, you have showed the precise problem with the wording of Christ's rule. You have supported my argument.

    And in post 13, you have claimed that the context of the rule is of "love and doing good". Well, sure, the surrounding circumstances suggest that this is what Jesus wanted to achieve. But he didn't word the rule in that way. He worded it wrongly. The rule doesn't say to do good; it says to impose your own preferences when dealing with others; that's not doing good. If you have showed anything at all in post 13, it is Christ's failure to summarise his own teachings with effectiveness and precision.
    Well, in the verse I quoted.. it was never intended that way.

    Luke 6:27-31 there is an entire list of sentences similar to the "golden rule"... why choose the last one instead of "Bless those who curse you, and pray for those that abuse you"?

    You are basically hoisting your own arbitrary rule and measure onto scripture, and for some reason don't feel the need to explain it. All I'm asking is that you explain it, because I don't see it.

    In my two posts I showed that your approach is apparently fallacious, because it allows for an extrapolation and interpretation that doesn't fit when reinserted into the context from which it was lifted. In short, what you say it means, and how it is being used doesn't line up. That you think it does, means you need to explain it. You are simply not doing that.

    That is why I used the "cast the first stone" example. It too could easily be lifted out of context and have a negative meaning projected on it. But once we put it back in it's context, it wouldn't fit. That is because your process of interpreting scripture is invalid. While you see it as some failing on the part of Jesus/God/The writers of the bible.

    In short, you are simply mistaking your own failure for theirs. Your apparent failure to read the bible in a way that would produce an accurate understanding of ANY text, has led you to believe that it is the text itself that is flawed.
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  6. #66
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    And I maintain you must attack the argument on its merits.
    I did attack the argument by asking the questions that would qualify the soundness of that argument. To repeat: "I am not quizzing you about Christianity. I am quizzing you about the very topic, the very issue you are making an argument about. You argued that Jesus' formulation of the rule is not only insufficient, but extremely bad. Instead of quizzing you about the doctrines of salvation, how the Bible was written, or the issue of the Resurrection...I quizzed you on the very instance of Jesus making that statement and what the relevancy and relationship of it was."

    Therefore, it is relevant.

    Furthermore, and as explained for what...at least the third time now (and honestly, I do not know why this is such a difficult concept to understand Allo), I did not argue that you were wrong because you could not answer the simple questions which are directly relevant to your claim, but rather your refusal or inability to do so indicated to me that you do not understand the issue about which you are making a claim of AND you are not of the right character for me to spend my efforts on. That is, it is a way for me to personally qualify and determine if an argument or even a member is worth my time and energy. Some people look at a post and say "No...not even worth it." Some people ask questions. Some people respond with sarcasm. Some people spend their time trying to educate the claim maker where they went wrong. The fact that you cannot appreciate the diversity of this community is rather disturbing, almost as much as the fact that for some reason you are unable to make a distinction between personal evaluation of an argument and determining that argument to be unsound (of which, I have never made that claim).

    I do not care that you do not like that I will qualify who I choose to, before I engage them in a particular discussion. It is of ZERO interest to me what you personally think about it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone making a personal decision on which topic to engage in and who they will address. It has never been a requirement here at ODN nor will it ever be.

    That said, I've answered your questions with a Bible (and Christian links) in my virtual hand. Let's see where it takes us.
    Already addressed.

    Apok, Nov 4, 2012: Thank you! Wasn't all that hard now was it? I now owe 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.

    So, you can keep quibbling about not getting your way of forcing people to respond to you the way you personally think everyone must, as if somehow, all are subject to the arbitrary whims of Allo...or you can spend time focusing on those who are actually addressing the issue right now. Regardless, I'm not responding to the topic of this thread until I've addressed other threads, of which I also owe responses to.
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  7. #67
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    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?
    I am saying that what you, a 21st century American, consider an "inequivocal" statement may differ from what 1st century Greek and Jewish people consider an "inequivocal" statement. Heck, it probably differs from what other 21st century Americans think is an "inequivocal" statement--differences in education, culture, worldview...the questions you even think to ask of a proposition/claim/argument are conditioned by your particular subjective experience. You have different background beliefs, background values, philosophical commitments...

    ...and yet you don't even address these issues. It seems like you think that almost everyone thinks the same way you do. I probably think very similarly to you; most people reading your posts probably think similarly to you. But that's because they are very similar to you.

    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.
    1) This is language 101. A message for 1st century Jews is going to include things that aren't necessarily as accessible to 21st century Americans. An obvious interpretation to a 1st century Jew might seem (upon first inspection) highly counter-intuitive to a 21st century American.

    2) I'm not saying that they didn't understand what Jesus meant. I'm saying that they (the 1st century Jews) did understand. I'm saying that you fail to understand.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  9. #68
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Why ought we take advice from Jesus on how to treat one another when his own father (or an aspect of himself; whichever) doesn't himself follow the advice being given? Job certainly wasn't treated in the way he wanted to be treated, nor was he treated in the way he treated others. Is this a case of "Do as I say, not as I do"?

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  11. #69
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    Why ought we take advice from Jesus on how to treat one another when his own father (or an aspect of himself; whichever) doesn't himself follow the advice being given? Job certainly wasn't treated in the way he wanted to be treated, nor was he treated in the way he treated others. Is this a case of "Do as I say, not as I do"?
    Guilt by association fallacy.

    Suppose mother Terisa was the daughter of Hitler. Would it be reasonable to say "Why should we follow her example Her dad killed a whole lot of people?". As though who her father was or what he did had anything to do with the merit of her example.
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  12. #70
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Dio
    Why ought we take advice from Jesus on how to treat one another when his own father (or an aspect of himself; whichever) doesn't himself follow the advice being given? Job certainly wasn't treated in the way he wanted to be treated, nor was he treated in the way he treated others. Is this a case of "Do as I say, not as I do"?
    Good observation, but misapplied because it's a general rule to be applied to men (mankind). That is, it's a general principle that helps men know how to relate to other men in general circumstances.

    The relationship between God and man is entirely different. Mankind cannot know the inner workings of another nor know future events. Mankind does not have the bigger picture, struggles with understanding that what occurs in the physical realm occurs in such a minuscule window of time and perspective compared to eternity, where men, after passing, will naturally reside. In other words, what you, and Allo have done, are to completely ignore the context in which the general principle is to apply. If we are to take such reasoning to an extreme, such as Allo has done and admitted to, then we can say of the rule "If Marry wants to be raped, then we ought to commit rape." Well, to be consistent, then we ought to make other general rules into absolutes as well. The rule "You should not hurt someone else" is no longer a general rule or principle, but an extreme, absolute statement. We should, according to this rule, do away with any contact sport, do away with a lot of our medical science and practice, do away with punishment of any kind, etc...

    The problem seems to be Dio, that the rule is not being understood within the context it is intended and instead, being made out to be that which is isn't and never was. It's like saying "God can't be real because space bunnies cannot create anything without their holy carrots, and obviously, there was no holy carrot around in the beginning of time." It's a nonsensical argument, it's a strawman. It changes what actually is into something it isn't for the sole purposes of objecting to it. Well...I too object to that statement. God isn't a space bunny, so God...as defined as a space bunny, doesn't exist. The problem is, that isn't what position of the theist. Likewise, it isn't the position of the Christian that the GR is an absolute principle to be applied in all circumstances without regard to context. So to OBJECT to the GR on those grounds, is to object to something that simply does not exist in the first place. It's a strawman.
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  13. #71
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Guilt by association fallacy.
    lol what? I'm not saying anyone is "guilty" of anything, MT. I'm asking why we ought to do "X" when "X" doesn't appear to be a consistent moral principle since the author of morality himself doesn't appear to follow the rule. It doesn't mean he's "guilty" of anything; it just means that because the doesn't seem to be followed consistently we don't know how much a "rule" is actually is, hence the questions. Strawman fallacy (since we're tossing around accusations of fallacies, apparently).

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Suppose mother Terisa was the daughter of Hitler. Would it be reasonable to say "Why should we follow her example Her dad killed a whole lot of people?". As though who her father was or what he did had anything to do with the merit of her example.
    I think you don't understand my questions. If you did, you wouldn't be equating God to Hitler here, nor Mother Theresa to Jesus.

    If Mother Theresa's mother was the author of morality, and if Mother Theresa was tasked with delivering her father's message and exhibiting her father's character, then we would expect the things she said and did to be consistent with that message and that character.

    So again, why ought we take advice from Jesus on how to treat one another when his own father (or an aspect of himself; whichever) doesn't himself follow the advice being given? Job certainly wasn't treated in the way he wanted to be treated, nor was he treated in the way he treated others. Is this a case of "Do as I say, not as I do"?

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

    Dio is right MT. I think you misread Diio's post. He is not saying we should not do what God says because God does something different. He's challenging the idea of it being an objective moral which all beings are subject to. If it were the case that it was an absolute principle (such as do not murder, do not rape, etc...), he'd be right. But it isn't such a explicit, absolute principle. It's a general principle applied with context (relationships within mankind w/o external influences or other competing objective moral values - eg sin, punishment, inapplicable to animals, etc...). The issue then is one of context. Since context is required to identify the rule properly...anytime an objection is raised against the false identity of the rule, a strawman would exist because the actual rule isn't being addressed (something that is falsely identified with the actual rule is being addressed instead).
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  15. #73
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Good observation, but misapplied because it's a general rule to be applied to men (mankind). That is, it's a general principle that helps men know how to relate to other men in general circumstances.
    Ok, so "treat others as you would like to be treated" a relatively moral principle. But when it comes to how God treats people, he doesn't have to treat us as we'd want to be treated, nor do we treat him as we'd like to be treated (I'm not into people worshiping me, praying to me, deferring to me in all things, etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    The relationship between God and man is entirely different. Mankind cannot know the inner workings of another nor know future events. Mankind does not have the bigger picture, struggles with understanding that what occurs in the physical realm occurs in such a minuscule window of time and perspective compared to eternity, where men, after passing, will naturally reside. In other words, what you, and Allo have done, are to completely ignore the context in which the general principle is to apply. If we are to take such reasoning to an extreme, such as Allo has done and admitted to, then we can say of the rule "If Marry wants to be raped, then we ought to commit rape." Well, to be consistent, then we ought to make other general rules into absolutes as well. The rule "You should not hurt someone else" is no longer a general rule or principle, but an extreme, absolute statement. We should, according to this rule, do away with any contact sport, do away with a lot of our medical science and practice, do away with punishment of any kind, etc...

    The problem seems to be Dio, that the rule is not being understood within the context it is intended and instead, being made out to be that which is isn't and never was. It's like saying "God can't be real because space bunnies cannot create anything without their holy carrots, and obviously, there was no holy carrot around in the beginning of time." It's a nonsensical argument, it's a strawman. It changes what actually is into something it isn't for the sole purposes of objecting to it. Well...I too object to that statement. God isn't a space bunny, so God...as defined as a space bunny, doesn't exist. The problem is, that isn't what position of the theist. Likewise, it isn't the position of the Christian that the GR is an absolute principle to be applied in all circumstances without regard to context. So to OBJECT to the GR on those grounds, is to object to something that simply does not exist in the first place. It's a strawman.
    I think you don't understand my objection. It's not like Job was working on the Sabbath, worshiping other Gods, or having buttsex with another fella. He was an upright and righteous man. It's not like I'm ignoring cases where someone was doing wrong, or threatening someone, or trying to do harm etc. I'm talking about a case where a man was not only doing nothing wrong, but was in fact doing everything RIGHT. I could almost see your context argument if the context involved God interfering with some evil state of affairs where justice was being served, but that's not the case with Job. In the case of Job, it was fine for God to obliterate the GR for no other reason than that he wanted to.

    So given that moral rules and principles are absolute except for God's whim, how then do we know that the GR is in itself a moral principle that ought to be followed when there exists conditions where it can be ignored/overturned entirely?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Ok, so "treat others as you would like to be treated" a relatively moral principle. But when it comes to how God treats people, he doesn't have to treat us as we'd want to be treated, nor do we treat him as we'd like to be treated (I'm not into people worshiping me, praying to me, deferring to me in all things, etc).
    No, it's an objective, general, moral principle that requires context. Another such principle would be "Do not cause pain to children." That's a great, objective, general, moral principle. However, it too requires context. It has with it certain conditions (assumptions). We can still follow this principle and at the same time, discipline our children (with corporal punishment). How so? Because the general principle is just that...a general principle. It does not nor never was intended to apply to all circumstances. The circumstances in which it does not apply would be when you are responsible for disciplining a child and corporal punishment is the best punishment to mete.

    I think you don't understand my objection. It's not like Job was working on the Sabbath, worshiping other God, or having buttsex with another fella. He was an upright and righteous man. It's not like I'm ignoring cases where someone was doing wrong, or threatening someone, or trying to do harm etc. I'm talking about a case where a man was not only doing nothing wrong, but was in fact doing everything RIGHT. I could almost see your context argument if the context involved God interfering with some evil state of affairs where justice was being served, but that's not the case with Job. In the case of Job, it was fine for God to obliterate the GR for no other reason than that he wanted to.
    That isn't true. This example served a purpose. Among the several lessons taught, among them are that:
    • divine wisdom is superior to human wisdom (personified by Job's friends)
    • adversity builds character
    • those who hold strong to their faith will be rewarded
    • suffering isn't always understood by human beings
    • it's human nature to be angry with God when bad things happen
    • it's possible to remain faithful even when confused and/or angry with God
    • Good (God) always triumphs over Evil (Satan) even though we may not see it manifested on this earth
    • even though we may be walking right with God or doing good, we will still suffer in this life (we do not "earn" our way or get a free pass, out of a sinful state of nature)
    • etc...


    But that's outside the scope of this thread and should be discussed elsewhere.

    Regardless, even if it did not serve a purpose, you still aren't able to escape context of the rule (which is explained in my previous post). All you are doing here is saying "It isn't fair the way Job is treated and God seems like a ebil bastid." That's not an attack on the rule in the least (because again, you aren't escaping the context), it's just an erroneous attack on the event and on God.

    So given that moral rules and principles are absolute except for God's whim
    This is a false statement. They don't. See previous post re: context of application of the general principle. You are ignoring it. Ignoring it won't change it Dio.
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    No, it's an objective, general, moral principle that requires context. Another such principle would be "Do not cause pain to children." That's a great, objective, general, moral principle. However, it too requires context. It has with it certain conditions (assumptions). We can still follow this principle and at the same time, discipline our children (with corporal punishment). How so? Because the general principle is just that...a general principle. It does not nor never was intended to apply to all circumstances. The circumstances in which it does not apply would be when you are responsible for disciplining a child and corporal punishment is the best punishment to mete.
    I understand that there's context involved, but what context is there beside "The GR rule applies from person to person. It does not apply from person to god, or vice versa"? That doesn't seem like a useful context by which to understand the intrinsic moral value of treating other moral agents well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    That isn't true. This example served a purpose. Among the several lessons taught, among them are that:
    • divine wisdom is superior to human wisdom (personified by Job's friends)
    • adversity builds character
    • those who hold strong to their faith will be rewarded
    • suffering isn't always understood by human beings
    • it's human nature to be angry with God when bad things happen
    • it's possible to remain faithful even when confused and/or angry with God
    • Good (God) always triumphs over Evil (Satan) even though we may not see it manifested on this earth
    • even though we may be walking right with God or doing good, we will still suffer in this life (we do not "earn" our way or get a free pass, out of a sinful state of nature)
    • etc...


    But that's outside the scope of this thread and should be discussed elsewhere.
    I'm willing to explore it if you are. What about the moral value of fairness? Is it the case that treating people in a fair way is a moral principle? If so, does it only apply person to person, or do issues of fairness apply to God as well? Can we expect God to treat people fairly? If so, what was fair about God using an innocent person in the way he used Job?

    (BTW, I don't regard Job as getting a replacement family as "fair". I know people who've lost children, and not one of them has ever said they wanted replacement children.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Regardless, even if it did not serve a purpose, you still aren't able to escape context of the rule (which is explained in my previous post). All you are doing here is saying "It isn't fair the way Job is treated and God seems like a ebil bastid." That's not an attack on the rule in the least (because again, you aren't escaping the context), it's just an erroneous attack on the event and on God.
    Well, if the contextual rule holds (and pending your explanation of context, I'm guessing that the rule is something like "Moral values and principles do not apply when God is acting towards anyone else"), then we have to assume that God committing rape (or anything else) must be a moral thing, even if it's immoral for anyone else to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    This is a false statement. They don't. See previous post re: context of application of the general principle. You are ignoring it. Ignoring it won't change it Dio.
    Well, I appreciate your frustration, but I think I'll need a better explanation of the context before I can accept God's act as anything but his whim, his fancy, his desire, etc. Recall that God didn't formulate some plan to use Job to illustrate all these things then take action to bring the plan to fruition. The devil strolled up and asked for permission to mess with Job, then his stuff, then his family, then Job himself, which God gave the devil permission to do. So unless God had planned all along to treat Job in this way --which would only further beg the questions I've asked-- God's permission to the devil to actualize a certain state of affairs was a reaction, not some orchestrated thing that served some pre-intended purpose.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by APOK
    Dio is right MT. I think you misread Diio's post. He is not saying we should not do what God says because God does something different. He's challenging the idea of it being an objective moral which all beings are subject to.
    Well, considering this is a thread about the "usefulness" of the golden rule.. I was responding based on that reading.
    That dio was saying it wasn't very "useful" because so and so didn't follow it and did something we don't like to be associated with.

    If Satan said "people should respect each other".. does the fact that it was Satan who said it mean it is thus not true?
    I'm trying to challenge the line of reasoning he uses as invalid.

    Now the idea that God creates/dictates morality may be tempting as an issue, but if one concedes that and uses it as basis for objection, then there really is no reason that God can not set a specific set of "ought" for us that do not apply to him. So, in short there is no problem with two standards as long as both are consistent with God's nature

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    lol what? I'm not saying anyone is "guilty" of anything, MT. I'm asking why we ought to do "X" when "X" doesn't appear to be a consistent moral principle since the author of morality himself doesn't appear to follow the rule. It doesn't mean he's "guilty" of anything; it just means that because the doesn't seem to be followed consistently we don't know how much a "rule" is actually is, hence the questions. Strawman fallacy (since we're tossing around accusations of fallacies, apparently).
    It isn't about "guilt". It is about associating an idea with something or someone that is unlinked, and then claiming it must be false because of that.


    EXAMPLE : Will and Kiteena are arguing over socialism. Kiteena is a pacifist and hates violence and violent people.

    Kiteena: "I think that the United States should continue to adopt socialist programs. For example, I think that the government should take control of vital industries."
    Will: "So, you are for state ownership of industry."
    Kiteena: "Certainly. It is a great idea and will help make the world a less violent place."
    Will: "Well, you know Stalin also endorsed state ownership on industry. At last count he wiped out millions of his own people. Pol Pot of Cambodia was also for state ownership of industry. He also killed millions of his own people. The leadership of China is for state owned industry. They killed their own people in that square. So, are you still for state ownership of industry?"
    Kiteena: "Oh, no! I don't want to be associated with those butchers!"
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...sociation.html



    So in a thread about the usefulness of the golden rule and Jesus' failure to formulate one.
    You brought up an instance that would prove Jesus to be a hypocrite, or his father to be one who doesn't follow it.

    Both are irrelevant to the "usefulness" of the golden rule.

    If it is an objection to the "golden rule" as a rule at all. Then the objection that it doesn't apply to God doesn't imply that it doesn't apply to all people. Again, this thread is about it's usefulness, so challenging that it applies at all seems a bit distracting from that point.


    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    I think you don't understand my questions. If you did, you wouldn't be equating God to Hitler here, nor Mother Theresa to Jesus.
    That is highly likely. Please read the above as an explanation of how I read it and understood your objection.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    If Mother Theresa's mother was the author of morality, and if Mother Theresa was tasked with delivering her father's message and exhibiting her father's character, then we would expect the things she said and did to be consistent with that message and that character.
    Well, are we going to look at it in regards to what Jesus claimed and did or try to get into the inter-workings of the Trinity?

    I would challenge you to find something Jesus did that makes him a hypocrite specifically, as he is the one making the claim.
    Then I would ask that you substantiate why someone being a hypocrite discredits any proposition they make.


    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    So again, why ought we take advice from Jesus on how to treat one another when his own father (or an aspect of himself; whichever) doesn't himself follow the advice being given? Job certainly wasn't treated in the way he wanted to be treated, nor was he treated in the way he treated others. Is this a case of "Do as I say, not as I do"?
    If I concede that Jesus and God were hypocrites, would the "golden rule" become useless for mankind?

    am I guilty of a Straw-man... if after reading this you and apok maintain that I am.. then I will gladly withdraw the point.
    To serve man.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If I concede that Jesus and God were hypocrites, would the "golden rule" become useless for mankind?
    Nope, because I'm not making an argument for guilt or hypocrisy or anything of the sort. I'm asking why we should regard the GR as a useful moral rule if the author of morality itself doesn't himself follow it. If it's not a moral rule, then it's either immoral, or there's no moral value to it at all (it's morally neutral or "amoral"). If it's immoral, then obviously it's not a rule we ought to follow. If it's amoral, then what is its use? If it's a moral rule to follow, shouldn't we expect the author of morality to follow it? Why or why not?

    These aren't accusations of anything or anyone. They're questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    am I guilty of a Straw-man... if after reading this you and apok maintain that I am.. then I will gladly withdraw the point.
    I maintain that you are.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I understand that there's context involved, but what context is there beside "The GR rule applies from person to person. It does not apply from person to god, or vice versa"? That doesn't seem like a useful context by which to understand the intrinsic moral value of treating other moral agents well.
    Well, the details of the context will be saved for an upcoming article/post (as I explained to Allo). But for the purposes of your objection, the context would be "As a general rule when applied by men towards men1 when it is not violated by moral absolutes2 or circumstances which call for specific actions (vs general)3."

    1. I don't think it is a general rule to be applied between animals, between man and animal, between God and man, between God and animals, etc... It's a "general relational rule" that is to be used between imperfect moral agents to help guide them through their imperfections.

    2. An example of a moral conflict would be where one would want an act of sin to be done to them. The context is one in which we ought to consider the worth and value of fellow human beings. It isn't to carry the superiority of another's desires or wishes, even if they are sinful (which is what Allo appears to be arguing). That's a complete misapplication and misunderstanding of the principle.

    3. An example of a circumstantial conflict would be one in which a child (or anyone really) would not want to be punished. While related to #2, it is different in that circumstances are specific, yet the principle is merely general.

    We do not apply general rules in 100% of all circumstances or 100% of the time Diio. And for some reason, both you and Allo here are arguing as if this is not a general principle, but some absolute command that is to be carried out without exception or consideration. Now, if either of you sincerely believe it is the latter (and that it is not a general principle), you have yet to make the case for it. All you are doing is objecting to it being practical or moral as the latter...and no one is arguing from the other side, that it actually is the latter. Thus, it's a strawman argument. So either you are fallaciously objecting...or you have some argument that has yet to be stated that defends your position of it being an absolute, universal moral command that is to be followed in all circumstances, 100% of the time without consideration.

    I'm willing to explore it if you are. What about the moral value of fairness? Is it the case that treating people in a fair way is a moral principle? If so, does it only apply person to person, or do issues of fairness apply to God as well? Can we expect God to treat people fairly? If so, what was fair about God using an innocent person in the way he used Job?

    (BTW, I don't regard Job as getting a replacement family as "fair". I know people who've lost children, and not one of them has ever said they wanted replacement children.)
    It's an interesting topic to be sure. But dude...I'm wayyy behind in my responses to existing threads (see my reminder thread in the OT forum). I dare not attempt to take on a brand new issue at this time. I'm seriously lagging as it is (and probably should not even be posting responses to your recent posts in this thread). I need to keep focused. If you want, I'll add that topic to the "to do" list if you like however.

    Well, if the contextual rule holds (and pending your explanation of context, I'm guessing that the rule is something like "Moral values and principles do not apply when God is acting towards anyone else"),
    Not at all. It's still operating under the mistake of thinking that the general principle = moral absolute command. It isn't.

    Do you acknowledge the difference between these 2 statements?

    1) Do not cause pain to children.

    2) Do not cause pain to children with exception of being the person responsible for discipline and the disciplinary response to be meted out is corporal.

    The first is a general principle. The 2nd is a specific principle. You are still thinking in terms of everything being specific I think, and it appears to be tripping up the understanding of the GR here.

    then we have to assume that God committing rape (or anything else) must be a moral thing, even if it's immoral for anyone else to do it.
    Not at all. See above re: contextual consideration and general vs specific principles distinction.

    Well, I appreciate your frustration, but I think I'll need a better explanation of the context before I can accept God's act as anything but his whim, his fancy, his desire, etc. Recall that God didn't formulate some plan to use Job to illustrate all these things then take action to bring the plan to fruition. The devil strolled up and asked for permission to mess with Job, then his stuff, then his family, then Job himself, which God gave the devil permission to do. So unless God had planned all along to treat Job in this way --which would only further beg the questions I've asked-- God's permission to the devil to actualize a certain state of affairs was a reaction, not some orchestrated thing that served some pre-intended purpose.
    But this is again, merely an objection about the act and story...it in no way addresses the application of the general principle (GR).
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    Re: Jesus and his failure to formulate a useful Golden Rule

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    I maintain that you are.
    Then I withdraw the objection.
    I apologize for misunderstanding your point and thus creating and responding to a straw-man.
    I will try again.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    I'm asking why we should regard the GR as a useful moral rule if the author of morality itself doesn't himself follow it.
    The rule is given to us of how we ought to act. It does not claim or is never claimed that it is a rule that God is subject to.
    If the rule is the standard by which we will be judged, then we should follow it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIO
    If it's a moral rule to follow, shouldn't we expect the author of morality to follow it? Why or why not?
    Not necessarily, because our authorities are different.

    The best example I can think of is God telling us not to judge each other. Should we then expect God, who is the judge of the whole earth, to not judge us?
    I don't think so.
    To serve man.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Well, the details of the context will be saved for an upcoming article/post (as I explained to Allo). But for the purposes of your objection, the context would be "As a general rule when applied by men towards men1 when it is not violated by moral absolutes2 or circumstances which call for specific actions (vs general)3."

    1. I don't think it is a general rule to be applied between animals, between man and animal, between God and man, between God and animals, etc... It's a "general relational rule" that is to be used between imperfect moral agents to help guide them through their imperfections.
    Ok, so "imperfect moral agents" would be "people" and not "God", right? Given that the general principle only applies to "imperfect moral agents" and given that "imperfect moral agents" MUST mean "people", the context is exactly what I've said, as far as I can tell. Surely you can see what I'm grappling with here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    2. An example of a moral conflict would be where one would want an act of sin to be done to them. The context is one in which we ought to consider the worth and value of fellow human beings. It isn't to carry the superiority of another's desires or wishes, even if they are sinful (which is what Allo appears to be arguing). That's a complete misapplication and misunderstanding of the principle.

    3. An example of a circumstantial conflict would be one in which a child (or anyone really) would not want to be punished. While related to #2, it is different in that circumstances are specific, yet the principle is merely general.
    I'm with you, and I accept these contextual factors. But you still haven't told me what the contextual factor here is beyond "the general rules only apply person to person (or "imperfect moral agent to imperfect moral agent"), not God to person or vice-versa".

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    We do not apply general rules in 100% of all circumstances or 100% of the time Diio. And for some reason, both you and Allo here are arguing as if this is not a general principle, but some absolute command that is to be carried out without exception or consideration. Now, if either of you sincerely believe it is the latter (and that it is not a general principle), you have yet to make the case for it. All you are doing is objecting to it being practical or moral as the latter...and no one is arguing from the other side, that it actually is the latter. Thus, it's a strawman argument. So either you are fallaciously objecting...or you have some argument that has yet to be stated that defends your position of it being an absolute, universal moral command that is to be followed in all circumstances, 100% of the time without consideration.
    I'm not arguing that it's not a general principle. I'm asking why we ought to follow the general principle when the author of morality doesn't appear to follow it himself. I accept that contextually man-to-man is different than God-to-man. But I don't see how that context itself makes it so that God can morally do or allow what was done to Job.

    For example, if God told me not to be a vigilante and to not kill rapists because it's not my place to kill evil persons; that there's a justice system in place for that, then I could accept the system managing that issue or even him killing rapists himself because he would at least be meting out some form of justice in such a case. And if he said "treat each other well" I can accept that it means "treat each other well -- so long as the other person isn't trying to kill you or your family or to do harm etc"; I GET that there's a context involved here. But in the case of Job God allowed a terrible injustice to befall Job who was a upright and righteous man. There was no justice being served. Job did not deserve to suffer such loss. Likewise his family (presumably) wasn't being punished for some heresy (as far as I know). So given that, it seems like the only reason God didn't have to treat Job well was because he's God and he doesn't have to treat anyone well.

    Also, the purpose it served may or may not be relevant, but so far I don't think enough has been presented to say there's no question of fairness in the question of Job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    It's an interesting topic to be sure. But dude...I'm wayyy behind in my responses to existing threads (see my reminder thread in the OT forum). I dare not attempt to take on a brand new issue at this time. I'm seriously lagging as it is (and probably should not even be posting responses to your recent posts in this thread). I need to keep focused. If you want, I'll add that topic to the "to do" list if you like however.
    Nah, don't worry about it. If you've got time, great. If you don't, I won't interpret non-responses as anything other than a lack of time.

    BTW, I feel I've spoken to your questions about contextual relevance and so on, so don't take my abbreviation of your post here as anything but brevity.

    ---------- Post added at 01:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:55 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Then I withdraw the objection.
    I apologize for misunderstanding your point and thus creating and responding to a straw-man.
    I will try again.
    No problemo.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The rule is given to us of how we ought to act. It does not claim or is never claimed that it is a rule that God is subject to.
    If the rule is the standard by which we will be judged, then we should follow it.
    Well, that's a problem. Because if God says "Don't rape children" and that it is a standard by which we'll be judged, but he does not claim that he himself is subject to that rule, then (if we apply your reasoning here) God can rape children and it would be moral for him to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Not necessarily, because our authorities are different.

    The best example I can think of is God telling us not to judge each other. Should we then expect God, who is the judge of the whole earth, to not judge us?
    I don't think so.
    I don't accept God's authority as a get-out-of-immoralty-free card. If I grant that God is the supreme judge of everything, and that God is not subject to the moral rules he imposes on us, then I have to accept that God could do anything we regard as immoral, and it wouldn't be immoral. Thus the only way we can tell what is moral or not is whether or not God specifically told us to do or not do something at any given time, because nothing would be moral or immoral in and of itself. We literally could not know if anything we do it right or wrong, because we're waiting for God to tell us whether or not it is.

    As a general rule, killing men, women and children is something we ought not do. But God told the Israelites to kill men, women and children, so in those instances we have to assume that killing men, women and children was a morally good and righteous thing. In fact, we have to assume that killing men, woman and children was the MOST righteous thing that could be done in those instances; that there were absolutely no alternatives that were morally superior to killing men, women and children in those instances.

 

 
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