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Is a Jealous God a good God?


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#21 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:03 PM

I half expected you to say that you thought there was nothing wrong with it at all!


That's not rational.

Ultimately though, regardless of what anyone then (or now) thought about it, it would ultimately have to be just, because it was given by God, right?


No. That's not rational either.

Does it trouble you that God commanded such abhorrent laws and that they were once considered just and right?


Not as much as if would if these laws prohibited actions which were necessary for the preservation of life, altruistic, virtually unavoidable, or accidental. In Western countries it is typical for people to be imprisoned for years (even decades), simply for moving items from one room to another, even if these actions are altruistic. This seems grossly unjust to me, but the vast majority of people have no problem with it at all.

#22 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:22 PM

Does it trouble you that God commanded such abhorrent laws and that they were once considered just and right?


Not as much as if would if these laws prohibited actions which were necessary for the preservation of life, altruistic, virtually unavoidable, or accidental. In Western countries it is typical for people to be imprisoned for years (even decades), simply for moving items from one room to another, even if these actions are altruistic. This seems grossly unjust to me, but the vast majority of people have no problem with it at all.


My dad once told me off for moving his wallet from his pocket to mine! How unfair is that! :shades:
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#23 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:31 PM

My dad once told me off for moving his wallet from his pocket to mine! How unfair is that! :shades:


You see? The injustice is rampant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOOTKA0aGI0#t=2m54s

#24 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:00 AM

Ultimately though, regardless of what anyone then (or now) thought about it, it would ultimately have to be just, because it was given by God, right?


That's certainly one view. Speaking personally, I'm not satisfied by the 'if God commanded it, it's OK by definition' argument. I don't believe the moral value of a command is derived entirely from its source. It must have reference to other factors.


What is it that makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do?
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#25 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:08 AM

Does it trouble you that God commanded such abhorrent laws and that they were once considered just and right?


Not as much as if would if these laws prohibited actions which were necessary for the preservation of life, altruistic, virtually unavoidable, or accidental. In Western countries it is typical for people to be imprisoned for years (even decades), simply for moving items from one room to another, even if these actions are altruistic. This seems grossly unjust to me, but the vast majority of people have no problem with it at all.



I’m glad you are troubled by them.

Personally, I think stoning someone to death falls within the parameters of ‘a prohibition on an action necessary for the preservation of life’.
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#26 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:09 AM

Personally, I think stoning someone to death falls within the parameters of ‘a prohibition on an action necessary for the preservation of life’.


How do you define stoning as a prohibition of an action necessary for the preservation of life? Stoning isn't a prohibition of anything, it's a means of execution. You seem to have confused what I wrote, with something else.

#27 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:11 AM

What is it that makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do?


Whatever we decide. Since morality is completely subjective, there's no baseline for objective comparison. Morals are what we say they are, actions are moral or immoral according to what we decide at any point in time.

#28 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:25 PM

What is it that makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do?


Whatever we decide. Since morality is completely subjective, there's no baseline for objective comparison. Morals are what we say they are, actions are moral or immoral according to what we decide at any point in time.


What makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do back in OT times? Why did God command it?

In your view is homosexuality morally right or wrong? How do you arrive at your conclusion?
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#29 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 07:14 PM

What makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do back in OT times?


Just the fact that people decided it was morally right. What makes actions morally right today? We decide they are morally right. Tomorrow we may decide they are morally wrong, an then they will be morally wrong.

Why did God command it?


To preserve social relations within the community.

In your view is homosexuality morally right or wrong?


It's neither morally right nor wrong, any more than being autistic is morally right or wrong.

How do you arrive at your conclusion?


By definition, morality judges actions, not psychological states.

#30 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:47 PM

What makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do back in OT times?


Just the fact that people decided it was morally right. What makes actions morally right today? We decide they are morally right. Tomorrow we may decide they are morally wrong, an then they will be morally wrong.

Why did God command it?


To preserve social relations within the community.

In your view is homosexuality morally right or wrong?


It's neither morally right nor wrong, any more than being autistic is morally right or wrong.

How do you arrive at your conclusion?


By definition, morality judges actions, not psychological states.


I see. What about homosexual acts? Are they morally right or wrong?
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#31 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:29 AM

What about homosexual acts? Are they morally right or wrong?


As far as I am concerned, they are morally wrong. However, I believe secular governments are morally obligated to provide homosexuals with the same rights and privileges as all other citizens, and treat them equally under the law. In my view, secular governments have no right to outlaw homosexual acts.

#32 The Budster

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:26 AM

Agreed, Fort. Nor other "victimless crimes," either.

It's a different situation, but still apropos, to note that Solomon's first judicial act was to give justice to a prostitute. It doesn't say he seized and executed her; it says he awarded her custody of her child. Would a modern court do the same? These days "undesirables" are often denied justice, have their children seized, etc. And we personally are likely to deny others just treatment because of our prejudice against the victim. TV cop shows illustrate this with the trope of cops expressing indifference when "low lifes" murder each other.

#33 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 03:17 PM

What about homosexual acts? Are they morally right or wrong?


As far as I am concerned, they are morally wrong. However, I believe secular governments are morally obligated to provide homosexuals with the same rights and privileges as all other citizens, and treat them equally under the law. In my view, secular governments have no right to outlaw homosexual acts.


So what is it that makes you believe they are morally wrong?
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#34 Radey

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 03:27 PM

This is how I understand it:

Jealousy is an emotion.
It is a by-product of love. (If you love someone, you will feel a certain amount of jealousy over them - in fact a test of love could be whether you feel jealous over someone).
Emotions happen.
It's what you do with them that matters.

So God feels jealous, but always acts rightly. He feels jealous not because of ownership rights, but because of love.

Jealousy has come to be seen as a negative thing because the emotion is used incorrectly to control, prohibit or to monitor another's behaviour. I guess you could say the same about anger, even though God is angry, too.

However, shall not the God of the earth do right? I think the marital relationship is a fine analogy, because God entered into a covenant relationship with Israel, although that given God is God, unequivocal obedience is unqualified, whereas in a marital relationship, it would have to be qualified and quantified. The relationship between two sinners is different between a relationship with an omnipotent being.

Hudders, I don't know how to do that fancy schmancy quote thing, but where you said about the 'chap' (giving away your pommy heritage here) who touched the ark and the 'chap' who picked up sticks, I don't see these as aspects of God showing his jealousy, more as a question of God dealing with disobedience.

Where God shows jealousy would be in that great post which showed the quotes about what God is jealous for.

#35 Fortigurn

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:11 PM

So what is it that makes you believe they are morally wrong?


That's a stupid question. Given I'm a Christadelphian, what do you think?

#36 Evangelion

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:35 PM

What is it that makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do?


You mean 'stoning of adulterers.' Both parties were put to death, not just one.

What makes it the right thing to do?

Firstly the need for social cohesion, essential to the stability of ANE nomadic tribal communities (theft was outlawed for similar reasons, and still is today). Secondly the fact that marriage was intended to reflect the relationship between God and His people. Adultery (whether literal or figurative) violates this relationship and must therefore be punished.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#37 Radey

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 09:39 PM


How do you guys feel about the fact that it was once just to stone [MEN AND WOMEN] to death for adultery?


How do you think we feel? I personally find the Law of Moses utterly abhorrent in many respects, including this one.


I honestly don’t know, hence my question. I half expected you to say that you thought there was nothing wrong with it at all!

But I agree with you.

I can’t help but wonder why he even bothered with it, seeing as he did away with it in the end anyway.

If it were your wife that had been found guilty of adultery, would you have had any objections to her being stoned? Would you have seen it as just punishment?


I honestly don't know. It's easy to say 'No' with several thousand years of socio-cultural development and cultural conditioning on my side, but if I was a Bronze Age nomad who'd known nothing better it's more likely I would have considered this entirely fair.

Anyone who claims unequivocally that even if they'd been born and raised in pre-modern times they would still have upheld postmodern values is fooling themselves.


Ultimately though, regardless of what anyone then (or now) thought about it, it would ultimately have to be just, because it was given by God, right?

Does it trouble you that God commanded such abhorrent laws and that they were once considered just and right?


Julia, does it trouble you that the Law of Moses called the action of adultery to account, yet the law of Christ is more stringent (prohibits the thought?)

Edited by Radey, 23 December 2011 - 09:52 PM.


#38 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:31 PM

So what is it that makes you believe they are morally wrong?


That's a stupid question. Given I'm a Christadelphian, what do you think?


I don't want to assume or guess, which is why I'm asking. What makes you believe homosexual acts are morally wrong?
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#39 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:34 PM



How do you guys feel about the fact that it was once just to stone [MEN AND WOMEN] to death for adultery?


How do you think we feel? I personally find the Law of Moses utterly abhorrent in many respects, including this one.


I honestly don’t know, hence my question. I half expected you to say that you thought there was nothing wrong with it at all!

But I agree with you.

I can’t help but wonder why he even bothered with it, seeing as he did away with it in the end anyway.

If it were your wife that had been found guilty of adultery, would you have had any objections to her being stoned? Would you have seen it as just punishment?


I honestly don't know. It's easy to say 'No' with several thousand years of socio-cultural development and cultural conditioning on my side, but if I was a Bronze Age nomad who'd known nothing better it's more likely I would have considered this entirely fair.

Anyone who claims unequivocally that even if they'd been born and raised in pre-modern times they would still have upheld postmodern values is fooling themselves.


Ultimately though, regardless of what anyone then (or now) thought about it, it would ultimately have to be just, because it was given by God, right?

Does it trouble you that God commanded such abhorrent laws and that they were once considered just and right?


Julia, does it trouble you that the Law of Moses called the action of adultery to account, yet the law of Christ is more stringent (prohibits the thought?)


Yes. I think it's unfair because it's impossible. It sets people up to fail.
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#40 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:38 PM

What is it that makes the stoning of an adulterer the morally right thing to do?


You mean 'stoning of adulterers.' Both parties were put to death, not just one.

What makes it the right thing to do?

Firstly the need for social cohesion, essential to the stability of ANE nomadic tribal communities (theft was outlawed for similar reasons, and still is today). Secondly the fact that marriage was intended to reflect the relationship between God and His people. Adultery (whether literal or figurative) violates this relationship and must therefore be punished.


I agree that such behaviour should have consequences.

But a punishment of death does not fit the crime.
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