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Is a Jealous God a good God?


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#41 Evangelion

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:39 PM

I guess secular law sets us up to fail as well, seeing that most people break at least one piece of legislation at least once in their lives. It's not impossible to keep, but you'd hardly know that from our prison populations and the amount of money raked in by speeding fines.

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'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.

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#42 The Budster

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:55 PM

I guess secular law sets us up to fail as well, seeing that most people break at least one piece of legislation at least once in their lives. It's not impossible to keep, but you'd hardly know that from our prison populations and the amount of money raked in by speeding fines.

:book:


Not the best example, since traffic law is tweaked to maximize fines. People actually are set up to fail: the law intentionally sets onerous limits not needed for safety, knowing people of good sense will break them. In some cases the law creates unsafe situations, in fact, where only a dangerous fool would comply.

#43 Radey

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:02 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.


Thanks for replying Julia! Do you think thought can be controlled? What would you see as a fair solution?

#44 Radey

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:07 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.


What do you think about ultimate death for sin? (i.e. ultimately we all die, let's hope its not by stoning!) Rom 6.23 says 'the wages of sin is death' indicating that death is the result of the sum of our lives here.
What would you see as a more fitting punishment?

#45 Radey

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:09 PM

There seems to be a conflict between the punishment for adultery (stoning) and the execution of the Law. i.e. neither David nor Bathsheba were stoned. How many others weren't either? What does this mean about how the Law was actually applied and carried out?

#46 Fortigurn

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:26 PM

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


Because they're incompatible with the moral system I regard as valid. Do you believe adultery is morally wrong, and if so on what basis?

I agree that such behaviour should have consequences.

But a punishment of death does not fit the crime.

In your opinion.

#47 Ken Gilmore

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:31 PM

There seems to be a conflict between the punishment for adultery (stoning) and the execution of the Law. i.e. neither David nor Bathsheba were stoned. How many others weren't either? What does this mean about how the Law was actually applied and carried out?

This raises the interesting question of whether some punishments in the Law were never intended to be carried out as written, but were written to indicate that the actions condemned in them were regarded as so damaging to the social structure of the tribes that they warranted an extreme penalty. If so, one wonders whether that punishment in reality was never carried out, but replaced by a less severe (non-capital) penalty.

Edited by Ken Gilmore, 26 December 2011 - 10:32 PM.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei

#48 Juliashmoolia

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:22 AM

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


Because they're incompatible with the moral system I regard as valid.


Why?

Do you believe adultery is morally wrong, and if so on what basis?


It does depend on the circumstances, but generally yes, I think it's wrong to break a promise and betray the trust of someone you love.

I agree that such behaviour should have consequences.

But a punishment of death does not fit the crime.

In your opinion.


In the opinion of most of the civilised world as well. Do you think death is a just punishment for adultery?
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#49 Fortigurn

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 05:39 AM

Why?


Why are they incompatible? Is that your question?

It does depend on the circumstances, but generally yes, I think it's wrong to break a promise and betray the trust of someone you love.


Why?

In the opinion of most of the civilised world as well.


So what? Most of the civilized world sees little or nothing wrong with adultery, certainly not seeing it as an offense which actually merits punishment.

Do you think death is a just punishment for adultery?


Within the context of a social contract in which adult members are well informed of the punishment, yes. It's not something you can do by accident, it's not difficult to avoid, it's not an act of altruism, it isn't required to sustain life and under the Law of Moses two eye witnesses were required to bring a case to court, making conviction very difficult. The death penalty has a deterrent effect against petty crimes committed for the sake of short term or minimal payoff by citizens who are otherwise generally obedient; it is less effective against crimes committed by repeat offenders, crimes committed for the sake of long term or significantly large benefit (the fear of risks involved is mitigated as the perceived payoff increases), and crimes committed under a state which has no consistent enforcement of the death penalty.

Is three years imprisonment a just punishment for murder? Is five years? Ten years, twenty years, life imprisonment? What makes these terms of imprisonment just punishments for murder?

Edited by Fortigurn, 27 December 2011 - 05:39 AM.


#50 The Budster

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:21 AM

"Social contract" morality--ugh. If the social contract authorizes gay sex and requires that Jews be handed over to the heimatsicherheitsdienst, would that make it moral?

Also, is it necessary to personally sign onto this "contract" in order to be bound by it? Or is it like a shrink-wrap license you "agree to" by being born and not expatriating?

#51 Fortigurn

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:29 AM

"Social contract" morality--ugh. If the social contract authorizes gay sex and requires that Jews be handed over to the heimatsicherheitsdienst, would that make it moral?


Indeed it does. Since there's no such thing as objective morality, everything is just 'make-it-up-as-you-go-alongism'.

Also, is it necessary to personally sign onto this "contract" in order to be bound by it? Or is it like a shrink-wrap license you "agree to" by being born and not expatriating?


Not only are you assumed to be bound to this contract simply by virtue of being born into the society, but ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaching it. Welcome to secular humanism, we hope you enjoy your stay.

#52 Mercia2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:15 PM

Sentience is relative. Although I'm sure our ability to reason and dialogue is important to our relationship to God, nevertheless I suspect that the pleasure we offer God is very like the pleasure my cat gives me. We are much too grotesquely stupid to discourse on anything like equal terms with God.


Budster, when God spoke to Moses they spoke as friends, Adam had a personal relationship with God before his sins seperated him. God would not have created us in His image to be his friends and to do His will (which is our will) and wish us to think of ourselves to Him as a cat, an animal, the fallen are to Him like beasts, but only the fallen. You cannot love an animal like another human being or like we are promised God loves us. Or what would be the point of even bothering?

Edited by Mercia2, 13 March 2012 - 07:59 PM.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#53 Mercia2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:26 PM

We are His bride, not his cat.

Edited by Mercia2, 13 March 2012 - 07:27 PM.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#54 The Budster

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:08 PM

Sentience is relative. Although I'm sure our ability to reason and dialogue is important to our relationship to God, nevertheless I suspect that the pleasure we offer God is very like the pleasure my cat gives me. We are much too grotesquely stupid to discourse on anything like equal terms with God.


Budster, when God spoke to Moses they spoke as friends...

But not peers.

Adam had a personal relationship with God before his sins seperated him. God would not have created us in His image to be his friends and to do His will (which is our will) and wish us to think of ourselves to Him as a cat...

You underestimate cats. They make excellent friends. In any case, I understand your emotional arguments here: it seems demeaning to think of yourself as God's cat. But I was talking about intellect. Do you think you're smart as God? Or even a millionth as smart as God? That's pretty much your answer.

You cannot love an animal like another human being or like we are promised God loves us. Or what would be the point of even bothering?

I don't really understand the question, because I never thought of myself as God's intellectual equal. I'm perfectly comfortable being unimaginably stupider than God.

#55 Mercia2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:28 PM

But not peers.


No, but not cats either.

I don't really understand the question, because I never thought of myself as God's intellectual equal.


A Father is wiser than his son, but does not see him as a cat, that was all I was saying.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#56 The Budster

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:06 PM

A Father is wiser than his son, but does not see him as a cat, that was all I was saying.

A father is of comparable intelligence to his son. He is not infinitely smarter. I have no idea precisely how God views a human, but I can say that we are MUCH dumber compared to Him, than a cat is compared to a human.

#57 Mercia2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:13 PM

yes, but you were not making it clear you had limited the context to intellect alone, but association. Remember, God tells us who the dogs are, if not the cats. The dogs are the unreformed outside the gates! The sons are all those who manifest "the mind of Christ" and the Divine Image.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#58 Mercia2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:18 PM

Intellect is part of association, why would God create those in His image that did not understand or could not be taught to understand?
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#59 Mercia2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:22 PM

One of the most valid things atheists bombard me with is that your God just creates mindless pets to worship Him.
I don't believe it for one moment, not in the way they imagine it.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#60 The Budster

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:36 PM

I'm really not getting why you're so worried about this. Does it really bother you that much to consider the fact that we will never impress God with our cleverness--that by His intellectual standards, we have no intellect worth speaking of? Do you have that great a need to try and convince your self that God would actually find us challenging opponents at chess, say?

Since no data is available on God's IQ, nothing can be said dogmatically, of course. I'm under the impression, from reading my Bible, that God is actually all-knowing, though. If God ever decided to have a conversation with me, or a chess game, he would know what I was going to say next, or what my next move is. There's really no scope here for God to be surprised, and intellectual stimulation depends vitally on surprise. When we already know what the other person is going to say, we're unspeakably bored.

God says He loves us, which suggests He isn't bored with us, but it's not for lack of knowing exactly what we're going to say next. My reading of scripture indicates that He appreciates our love, and our gratitude. Nothing I read suggests that He finds our conversation scintillating--and if He does, given that He knew what we were going to say a million years before we said it, He must have a very different sense of scintillation than we do. Which is of course possible, but in that case we're describing something that's foreign enough to our way of thinking that we can't really imagine what that's like.

On the whole, I think it's a compliment to say that our intellect is to God's intellect as a cat's intellect is to a man's intellect. The cat can at least surprise us, which is something we can never do for God.




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