Cultural Relativism

LegionnairedLegionnaired Join Date: 2002-04-30 Member: 552Members, Constellation Posts: 3,260
Explain how this idea is OK.
First I have a series of articles and facts.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/news/0...1FCB_news.shtml

QUOTE
April 24, 2004) — A Turkish immigrant who is charged with killing his wife and critically injuring his two daughters in their Scottsville townhouse allegedly claimed he acted as a matter of honor.

Ismail Peltek, who was indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the April 15 slaying of his wife, Hatice Peltek, claimed he attacked his wife and daughters after learning that his brother had molested his wife and his 22-year-old daughter, according to court documents.

Peltek, 41, said he attacked his 4-year-old daughter because she had been “sullied” by a gynecological exam.

”I was concerned that my family’s honor was taken,” he allegedly told investigators.
QUOTE
July 8, 2002

A Pakistani tribal council recently ordered the gang rape of an 18-year-old girl as a punishment to her family after her younger brother was seen walking with a girl from a higher class. The rape occurred June 22 in the southern Punjab province, the Associated Press reported.

Two men suspected of committing the rape were arrested July 7; the remaining two are still at large. The Mastoi tribe claimed their honor was violated when the victim's 11-year-old brother was seen walking unescorted with a Mastoi girl in a deserted part of the village. The victim and her brother are members of the lower-class Gujar tribe.

The Mastoi tribe called a council meeting and ordered that the boy's sister be gang-raped to avenge the tribe's honor. She was taken to a hut and brutalized while hundreds of Mastois stood outside laughing and cheering, according to the victim.



Fact: Over 200 million men, women and children suffer from a combination of chronic malnutrition and severe undernutrition, and more than 2.5 million children in India die every year before reaching the age of five.

Fact: The ammount of rice eaten by rats in India could fill a train running from NY to LA.

Fact: Hindu teaching prohibits the killing of said rats, because of the belief that they are reincarnated ancestors.

Fact: 700,000 'Untouchables' are forced to bathe in and drink the same water thier animals bathe in and drink.

___________________________________________________________

Challenge: Explain how culturally-sanctioned Rape, murder, and starvation are OK and should not be stopped.

It seems to be the attitude in modern culture today that it's OK for a culture to do whatever it wishes, as long as it 'works' for the culture. It also seems to be the attitude around here.

I'm willing to say that rape, murder, and starvation are never OK, and should be stopped through the obliteration of cultures that teach and protect said actions. I'm also willing to be called a bigot for this belief, but that's fine. All I ask is for someone to show logically and morally how rape, murder, and starvation are OK, even in the context of a culture that approves them.
In the end, science does not provide us the answers most of us require.[...]To the question, "How did it all begin?", science answers, "Probably by accident." To the question "How will it end?" science answers, "Probably by accident." To many people, the accidental life is not worth living.
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Comments

  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    edited July 2004
    I'll agree with you that rape muder and starvation should not be tolerated, but to "obliterate" the culture because there are instances where minor segments of that culture attemt to defend actions perpertating these things is drasicly over extreme. Gandhi has primarily Hindu, but he would have never supported many of these actions. As for the starvation thing, you can grow more rice too, you don't nessicarily need to kill rats.
    O_O image
  • the_johnjacobthe_johnjacob Join Date: 2003-04-01 Member: 15109Members, Constellation Posts: 89
    Cultural Relativism is a touchy thing. where do you draw the line between something that's morally wrong for just your culture(hiding women's faces, muslim, and some extreme muslim beliefs about how women should be treated), and what's just totally wrong, because, in most cases, these things have the same...wrongness i guess, about them. where do you draw the line? in especially the rape case, this was a totally alien concept to the western world, legally punishing someone because of who they took a walk with, the severity of the punishment not-with-standing. for the longest time, punishments like murder have also been used, still are used, all over the world. however, who is allowed to confer these punishments, and the crimes they are used for is what changes.

    who are we to say that murder, as a form of punishment, is wrong, when we do exactly that in our own country(TEXAS! *glare*). again, how a society upholds different values determines who gets sentenced to what. granted, this man who killed his wife etc. needs to also realize where he is, and how he's supposed to act in these situations. cultural relativism goes both ways.

    hmm that's a bit rambly, let me try to get to the point. the whole reason the term cultural relativism exists is because someone decided(and i think rightly so) that a person's morals are very much determined by their environment, and therefore what seems wrong to you, may not be wrong to them. as soon as you start saying, "yes yes i agree that cultural relativism and cultural awareness is good, but these certain things that were taught to me as 'bad' are bad world wide, so i'm going to teach the people the truth." it's so easy to get carried away, and just slide down the slope to "all my beliefs are better, here take them." granted that won't happen in every case, but seriously, is there a way to prove that certain beliefs people hold ARE correct? i mean, let's look at the hindu example. a whole country a billion or so people(more than are in the US, obviously) think that rats are sacred and should not be et. so tehy starve for it. they are merely acting in the way they were taught to act.

    think of it from another perspective, a samurai, trained in all things samurai are trained in, sees a European *waves arms* do some horribly dishonorable act, i dunno, pick something, doesn't matter, lose a battle, let's say. the European general is captured, and the samurai attempts to get the general to commit ritual suicide. the Europpean is appalled at the idea, and the samurai sees no other course for the general. who is right? can you tell me, honestly, that one person's moral standard is higher, is better, than the other's?
    "The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself."
    -Sir Winston Churchill

    "Religion is the Opiat of the Masses"
    -Karl Marx

    in game name(obviously):johnjacobjingleheimerschmidt
  • LegionnairedLegionnaired Join Date: 2002-04-30 Member: 552Members, Constellation Posts: 3,260
    edited July 2004
    QUOTE (Swiftspear @ Jul 1 2004, 12:23 AM)
    I'll agree with you that rape muder and starvation should not be tolerated, but to "obliterate" the culture because there are instances where minor segments of that culture attemt to defend actions perpertating these things is drasicly over extreme.  Gandhi has primarily Hindu, but he would have never supported many of these actions.  As for the starvation thing, you can grow more rice too, you don't nessicarily need to kill rats.

    If more rice is grown, the population of rats will further increased.

    I'd take the lives of human children over the lives of rodents any day of the week.

    Gandhi himself was more or less, a minor element of his culture. The reason that so many people followed him was because so many of his points about forgiveness and love simply made more sense than those of the Hindu and Muslim traditions and teachings, that were and are violent to varying degrees.

    And the Turkish concepts of re-gaining honor through abuse of family members are only a minor part of the culture now because traditional Turkish culture has been assimilated.

    QUOTE
    hmm that's a bit rambly, let me try to get to the point. the whole reason the term cultural relativism exists is because someone decided(and i think rightly so) that a person's morals are very much determined by their environment, and therefore what seems wrong to you, may not be wrong to them. as soon as you start saying, "yes yes i agree that cultural relativism and cultural awareness is good, but these certain things that were taught to me as 'bad' are bad world wide, so i'm going to teach the people the truth." it's so easy to get carried away, and just slide down the slope to "all my beliefs are better, here take them." granted that won't happen in every case, but seriously, is there a way to prove that certain beliefs people hold ARE correct? i mean, let's look at the hindu example. a whole country a billion or so people(more than are in the US, obviously) think that rats are sacred and should not be et. so tehy starve for it. they are merely acting in the way they were taught to act.


    People are starving because of ancient traditions that grew out of myths, legends, and cave-tales. Compare that to the Western Religions, started by a single person who made a case for the Truth using the most cutting arguments ever devised. Rather than have one myth snowball until millions of people starved because of it, these religions, belief systems, and morals were stared by someone who was either crazy, or sent by almighty God Himself. And, while no case can be made for Hinduism's credibility, Christ's credibility seems pretty good. Enough to show that he was either completly off his rocker(When Abraham was, I AM), or he was who he said he was. And, the ideas He taught had enough credibility for thousands upon thousands of people to accept them and believe them not months after his death.

    I have every reason to believe that my belief system is correct, yet there is not sufficient evidence to believe Hinduism is correct, therefore, why should I not attempt to spread my belief system?
    In the end, science does not provide us the answers most of us require.[...]To the question, "How did it all begin?", science answers, "Probably by accident." To the question "How will it end?" science answers, "Probably by accident." To many people, the accidental life is not worth living.
  • TommyVercettiTommyVercetti Join Date: 2003-02-10 Member: 13390Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,510
    edited July 2004
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 09:56 AM)
    I'd take the lives of human children over the lives of rodents any day of the week.

    That sounded wrong. tounge.gif

    Anyways, I think that physical harm is bad in almost any case, and it should probably be outlawed as a punishment for violating religious beliefs. I know for a fact that the examples you gave are completely alien to westerners, and I happen to agree with them (the west!).
    The above post is the result of sleep deprivation and something known as "teh awesumsawce."
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  • Asal_The_UnforgivingAsal_The_Unforgiving Join Date: 2003-03-26 Member: 14903Members Posts: 623
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 09:56 AM)
    I have every reason to believe that my belief system is correct, yet there is not sufficient evidence to believe Hinduism is correct, therefore, why should I not attempt to spread my belief system?

    Apologies, sir, but have you actually researched any religion but your own? I have done my fair share, and from my view (As an agnostic) They all have their points of credibility, and their failings. In my eyes, all are equally believable. If you wish to prove to me that yours is correct, by all means do so, but I do not believe that you have room to say that you are right and all others are wrong if they do not agree with your views.
    Asal 'The Unforgiving' Skulltaker
  • the_johnjacobthe_johnjacob Join Date: 2003-04-01 Member: 15109Members, Constellation Posts: 89
    QUOTE
    Christ's credibility seems pretty good. Enough to show that he was either completly off his rocker(When Abraham was, I AM), or he was who he said he was. And, the ideas He taught had enough credibility for thousands upon thousands of people to accept them and believe them not months after his death.


    i don't see what the difference is, between one guy starting a religion or tales starting a belief system. either way, the base in truth and fact that either system has remains to be seen, and, although jesus had followers after his death, he certainly had a huge number of dissenters, even to this day. you said in that quote that jesus could have been either "off his rocker" or he was who he said he was. errr, the way i see it, how can you possibly claim your ideals are correct if it is even remotely possible that you are worshipping a madman?(no offense intended). i'm sorry, but with that possibility in mind, i don't see how you can say that you have "every reason to believe your system is correct."

    both religions(christianity and hinduism), as a mtter of fact all religions, have to be taken with a certain ammount of faith, from my perspective, that faith that is required throws in enough doubt for me to say, and rightfully i think, that it is entirely possible, that your beliefs MAY not be correct. whether they are or not, remains to be seen, that, however, is not the point. the point is that there is doubt related to your beliefs, and in order for me to be willing to push my beliefs on another, i have to be absolutely sure, beyond any doubt, that what i believe is absolutely correct.

    even admitting that hinduism has some major flaws in it, what about the other major world religions, islam, in particular, which is based off of one man claiming to be yet another prophet, just like christianity. who's to say he's any less correct than jesus was...he's still a prophet who told many stories about how to act, and had a huge following after his death, what's the difference?
    "The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself."
    -Sir Winston Churchill

    "Religion is the Opiat of the Masses"
    -Karl Marx

    in game name(obviously):johnjacobjingleheimerschmidt
  • The_FinchThe_Finch Join Date: 2002-11-13 Member: 8498Members Posts: 661
    Cultural relativism isn't the idea that all cultures are equal, but rather the idea that a society should be judged based on its own standards and history, rather than by the standards of an alien culture. Your problem seems to be more with the questions that cultural relativity raises, which is where ethnocentrism, or judging other cultures by your own culture's standards, kicks in.

    Horace Miner is usually the sociologist who is referenced when an example of cultural relativity is needed. Here's his most famous work.

    Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

    QUOTE
    People are starving because of ancient traditions that grew out of myths, legends, and cave-tales. Compare that to the Western Religions, started by a single person who made a case for the Truth using the most cutting arguments ever devised. Rather than have one myth snowball until millions of people starved because of it, these religions, belief systems, and morals were stared by someone who was either crazy, or sent by almighty God Himself. And, while no case can be made for Hinduism's credibility, Christ's credibility seems pretty good. Enough to show that he was either completly off his rocker(When Abraham was, I AM), or he was who he said he was. And, the ideas He taught had enough credibility for thousands upon thousands of people to accept them and believe them not months after his death.

    I have every reason to believe that my belief system is correct, yet there is not sufficient evidence to believe Hinduism is correct, therefore, why should I not attempt to spread my belief system?


    Likewise, I could say that Christianity is nothing more than an amalgam of various pre-Christian beliefs. There are stories of virgin births in ancient Egypt, the word "Easter" is believed to have either Scandanavian or Teutonic origins in the words Ostra, Ostern or Eastre, in which the goddesses of spring and fertility were celebrated on the vernal equinox. Many of the key components in Christianity and Judaism can be found earlier in Zoroastrianism, including virgin births, the end of the world, monotheism and a three day period before ascending to heaven (or descending to hell).

    For the same reason you discount other belief systems, I discount yours. Both of us are rather ethnocentric, which isn't a bad thing in itself, in thinking that our culture is superior to others and judging other cultures by our own standards. I'm too ethnocentric to justify rape, so you won't be able to condemn me with your system of absolutism that way. Cultural relativity is a useful tool to sociologists, anthropologists and archaeologists. Cultural values are based on the history, and Marx would no doubt say economics, of a culture. How much do you know about the history of India and the origins of Hinduism? Enough to make accurate judgements about why the culture is how it is?

    Turkey is a particularly interesting place, given it's history and geographic location. Recently, it seems to favor a more Western approach to life, with the West's economic, military and technological advantages over Middle Eastern culture. I want to do some more reading on Turkey before I go too indepth, so there may or may not be more based on the way the thread goes.
    QUOTE (X Stickman)
    America's Army taught me that I'm more likely to be shot in the back by my own teammates, then have my sexuality insulted as well as accusations made towards my mother's sex life. If it's a recruitment tool, it's a damn poor one.
  • LegionnairedLegionnaired Join Date: 2002-04-30 Member: 552Members, Constellation Posts: 3,260
    [/quote]Apologies, sir, but have you actually researched any religion but your own? I have done my fair share, and from my view (As an agnostic) They all have their points of credibility, and their failings. In my eyes, all are equally believable. If you wish to prove to me that yours is correct, by all means do so, but I do not believe that you have room to say that you are right and all others are wrong if they do not agree with your views.[/quote]

    If there is a creator god, then he is perfect no matter what any of his creations say of him. He has created everything, he has set the rules to everything, and he has made himself the measuring device for everything.

    Logic would assume, then, that his earmark or signature would be absolute perfection. Both in his works, and also in his communication to his creation about who he was.

    The Bible is, despite many allogations to the contrary, the most historically accurate and grounded, and all-in-all perfect and noncontradictory document that exists. The Sihks contradict themselves between Gurus, Hindus have created over 330 million gods over the years, Muhammed was dead wrong about what he thought Christians were teaching, and as soon as I can find a source, I can bring up allogations that he stole from people along his trip to Mecca.

    Contrast that with the Bible, which contains predictive prophecy, speaking of particular events and actions hundreds of years in advance, and getting them right with pinpoint accuracy. (Daniel 9, Psalms 22 etc, PM me for a longer list)

    Not to mention the fact, that Jesus, claiming to be the God who set up the Jewish commandments, was the only one ever capable of keeping them all. To the point, that at his Crucifixion, no charge could be brought up against him that would warrent any penalty at all. People had to mock him to forget the fact that he was innocent.

    QUOTE
    For the same reason you discount other belief systems, I discount yours. Both of us are rather ethnocentric, which isn't a bad thing in itself, in thinking that our culture is superior to others and judging other cultures by our own standards. I'm too ethnocentric to justify rape, so you won't be able to condemn me with your system of absolutism that way. Cultural relativity is a useful tool to sociologists, anthropologists and archaeologists. Cultural values are based on the history, and Marx would no doubt say economics, of a culture. How much do you know about the history of India and the origins of Hinduism? Enough to make accurate judgements about why the culture is how it is?


    This brings up an interesting point. If there is no absolute truth, then there is no absolute law to judge anything against. Genocide could be rationalized in one culture, or even in one person, and nobody would be able to condemn it or discount it because that person's own outlook and philosophy would have developed differently than everyone elses. If that's the case, then there is absolutely no room for justice in any sort of society. Is this what you're saying?
    In the end, science does not provide us the answers most of us require.[...]To the question, "How did it all begin?", science answers, "Probably by accident." To the question "How will it end?" science answers, "Probably by accident." To many people, the accidental life is not worth living.
  • The_FinchThe_Finch Join Date: 2002-11-13 Member: 8498Members Posts: 661
    QUOTE
    This brings up an interesting point. If there is no absolute truth, then there is no absolute law to judge anything against. Genocide could be rationalized in one culture, or even in one person, and nobody would be able to condemn it or discount it because that person's own outlook and philosophy would have developed differently than everyone elses. If that's the case, then there is absolutely no room for justice in any sort of society. Is this what you're saying?


    Of course I can condemn it. I already stated that I'm quite ethnocentric and I could surely dig up a bunch of evidence that things like genocide are counter-productive to society. Of course, you've managed to lump an intracultural concept like justice in with extracultural actions like genocide. Justice is necessary within a society to maintain order.

    Of course, the logical progression of this conversation would no doubt look something like this:

    Me: "Well, what are you basing your system of absolutism on?"
    You: "God."

    And we're rehashing the moral relativity thread.

    Me: "Well, prove your God exists."

    And we're into every other thread we've ever done on the existance of God. Both of us will feel like we're beating our head against a wall for the exact same reason. You don't see what I think is blatantly obvious and I don't see what you think is blatantly obvious.

    The difference being, I'm obviously right and you're wrong.

    I love ethnocentrism.
    QUOTE (X Stickman)
    America's Army taught me that I'm more likely to be shot in the back by my own teammates, then have my sexuality insulted as well as accusations made towards my mother's sex life. If it's a recruitment tool, it's a damn poor one.
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    QUOTE (The Finch @ Jul 2 2004, 12:12 AM)
    Of course, the logical progression of this conversation would no doubt look something like this:

    Me: "Well, what are you basing your system of absolutism on?"
    You: "God."

    And we're rehashing the moral relativity thread.

    Me: "Well, prove your God exists."

    I'll further defend this line of thought from a Christian prespective. Even assuming that God exists, how can you prove that the message you belive you are getting from him has any more authority than that of any other man in any other religion? the vast majority of them belive that they are working under the plans of God too.


    Now to stray onto a different area of this discussion all together. Hindu's, Muslims and Seihks all live in America as well as India, yet we never hear about instances of publicly sanctioned rape, or religiously defended murder (exept from the extreamist christians tounge.gif ). If it is the fault of the culture the atrocities that go on in areas that practice that culture, why is it that these atrocities are not present in other places where the same culture is practiced? Within any religion and any culture there will be areas that will be understood differently to different segments of the population, thus we really can't blame 'hindu culture' for things that we belive to be atrocities in India, expecially if we really don't understand hindu culture, those atrocities are probably the result of an understanding of the religion that we can only assume are drasicly flawed.
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  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 11:26 PM)
    The Bible is, despite many allogations to the contrary, the most historically accurate and grounded, and all-in-all perfect and noncontradictory document that exists.

    The verdict is hardly unanimous on that.
  • TommyVercettiTommyVercetti Join Date: 2003-02-10 Member: 13390Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,510
    Nice link, moultano.
    The above post is the result of sleep deprivation and something known as "teh awesumsawce."
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  • CMEastCMEast Join Date: 2002-05-19 Member: 632Members Posts: 1,655
    I wish we'd had the link in some of the earlier discussions. Bookmarked biggrin.gif

    Anyway, as moral's aren't set in stone then that means a culture could technically justify anything including genocide (which of course our culture has tried to do repeatedly).

    Things that the western society condones yet is wrong from many peoples points of view (not mine usually). Abortion, euthanasia, circumcision, materialism, tanning salons etc
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  • Pepe_MuffassaPepe_Muffassa Join Date: 2003-01-17 Member: 12401Members Posts: 537
    It was stated that we Christians should prove that our God exists.

    I say, we don't have to. Just look around a bit - creation screams that God is there. As for proving it - well, that is His job, not mine.

    I argue that your agnostic, evolutionary, enlightenedness is as much of a god to you as Jesus is a God to me. However, I find my God much more careing, loving, and in control than the god that says "lets do what is good for society". After all, the good for society so far has included the government sanctioned mass slaying of millions of unborn people. If that is what being "enlightened" or agnostic is all about, well, I don't want any of it. I'm glad my parents weren't "enlightened".

    As for proving that his message is true - well, that is God's job too. It is my job to believe what he says. After all "I am the way, the truth, and the life" goes a long way in it's claims. I have no control over your mind, or what you believe. Unfortunatly, you will have to give an account for those beliefs on the last day, and telling God that his word just isn't good enough for you is hardly going to cut it.

    As for cultural relitivity, we are all judged by our own actions. Our culture is just as flawed as the next. It is for God alone to judge, and it is when we stand behind His system of values that we are given the right to discern right from wrong.
    In Soviet Russia, walls strafe you ...

    SoS 8:6-7 "...for Love is as strong as Death, it's Jealousy unyealding as the Grave!"

    BY THE PADDLES OF PONG WHAT DO MIDICLORIANS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?!
  • TommyVercettiTommyVercetti Join Date: 2003-02-10 Member: 13390Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,510
    Wow, that was high and mighty. And I'm still an atheist!
    The above post is the result of sleep deprivation and something known as "teh awesumsawce."
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  • the_johnjacobthe_johnjacob Join Date: 2003-04-01 Member: 15109Members, Constellation Posts: 89
    QUOTE
    Unfortunatly, you will have to give an account for those beliefs on the last day, and telling God that his word just isn't good enough for you is hardly going to cut it.


    well, i guess my response to this would be that, werei foreced to account for my beliefs on the "last day", then i'd say, "hey god dude, how 'bout next time you not allow your followers to change your word, or just give us your word yourself, instead of just giving it to one guy, and letting it be changed to whatever whoever's in control of said bible's writing wants it to say. it can not be denied that the bible has been changed many times through out its existance. so how's 'bout some truth next time...i'll be on my way to hell, now, nice talking to you though!"

    gg.

    anyway, back to cultural relativism.

    QUOTE
    QUOTE 
    This brings up an interesting point. If there is no absolute truth, then there is no absolute law to judge anything against. Genocide could be rationalized in one culture, or even in one person, and nobody would be able to condemn it or discount it because that person's own outlook and philosophy would have developed differently than everyone elses. If that's the case, then there is absolutely no room for justice in any sort of society. Is this what you're saying?



    Of course I can condemn it. I already stated that I'm quite ethnocentric and I could surely dig up a bunch of evidence that things like genocide are counter-productive to society. Of course, you've managed to lump an intracultural concept like justice in with extracultural actions like genocide. Justice is necessary within a society to maintain order.


    you can condemn such actions for more reasons than your own ethnocentricity. genocide is bad. not because it is against your current moral code, or the moral code of where ever you decide to take up residence. it is also wrong because it is doing exactly what cultural relativism tells us NOT to do. cultural relativism is all about understand another culture and allowing it to go about it's own business, without trying to push your own views upon the peoples of that society. it can hardly be argued that a genociding people is respecting the genocidee's culture and moral values.
    "The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself."
    -Sir Winston Churchill

    "Religion is the Opiat of the Masses"
    -Karl Marx

    in game name(obviously):johnjacobjingleheimerschmidt
  • AllUrHiveRblong2usAllUrHiveRblong2us By Your Powers Combined... Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11244Members Posts: 4,646
    Throughout all of this you assume that all this genocide and rape and generally (to us) abhorrent stuff is unique to Middle Eastern culture. It is not. The same type of actions motivated for the same reasons (religion in most cases) can be seen in nearly all cultures at some point in their history, including ours. What one sees if one looks at the history of Western society is that even as recent as 400 or so years ago, we were at the same point as they were, but over time social liberalism spread and advanced until we get to the so called "advanced" society we are at today. To say ours is superior is a falsehood, it is simply more "advanced" in that is has moved further towards liberalism, in a few hundred years Western society will look back on us with as much contempt as we look back on the Spanish Inquisitors or the Americans who slaughtered natives and pushed them onto reservations.

    The problem with the Middle East's culture being so stagnant for so long as I can see it is that they are in a constant state of rebuilding themselves, usually due to invasion from the West (and sometimes themselves). At first it was the Crusades, at this point we were nearly equal as cultures, with perhaps a small edge in intellectualism being held by the Middle East (what with their math and all). This absolutely devastated them to the point where once they took back their lands, they were forced to rebuild simply to advance back to their previous state. Then European imperialism succeeded in suppressing their culture enough so that new ideas could not be infused into the culture, it was merely being replaced. Once the Europeans left, taking their culture with them, the Middle East had nothing to fall back on but its old ways. More recently it has been meddling in the area for oil, supporting and deposing whoever we like and setting up our own governments, instead of letting the people choose their leaders on their own. In short, the Middle East is (compared to the West) in a rather child-like stage of cultural development, but only because they have not been given the chance to grow up. They cannot be blamed for this, just as we cannot be blamed by our descendants for not being as advanced as them. All that we can do is help them along their way towards cultural advancement, instead of simply trying to control them (or kill them).

    And let's try to keep religion out of this. Religion is NOT the cause of this; religion is just another affect of cultural advancement or non-advancement. You will not see ANY religion helping the advancement of a society, all major religions tend towards cultural conservative-ism, and they will only be dragged along with society begrudgingly as society moves on. This can be seen very easily with Christianity. Christianity has had an extremely bad record dealing with things we today take for granted. Freedom of religion? Opposed by the Catholic Church in its heyday, likewise with the advancement of science. Although the Protestant church (a direct affect of the change of Europe from Feudalism to Capitalism) was for many years a source of reformation, they have also recently been known to hold back certain movements in society that looking back seem like common sense. The civil rights movement was opposed by many protestant churches, and even recently the church has come out against homosexual rights, abortion, and nearly all "liberal" movements. At this point Western society can be seen to be moving faster than the church, and if history is any indication, the church may have to be dragged along with the rest of us by force.

    That last paragraph was kind of rambly, but no matter, I've said what I needed to.
    user posted image

    YOU GO NOW!
    ^deader than a doornail^


    Your mouth=pwned
  • LegionnairedLegionnaired Join Date: 2002-04-30 Member: 552Members, Constellation Posts: 3,260
    QUOTE (moultano @ Jul 2 2004, 07:44 AM)
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 11:26 PM)
    The Bible is, despite many allogations to the contrary, the most historically accurate and grounded, and all-in-all perfect and noncontradictory document that exists.
    QUOTE
    Now to stray onto a different area of this discussion all together. Hindu's, Muslims and Seihks all live in America as well as India, yet we never hear about instances of publicly sanctioned rape, or religiously defended murder (exept from the extreamist christians ). If it is the fault of the culture the atrocities that go on in areas that practice that culture, why is it that these atrocities are not present in other places where the same culture is practiced?


    Because, as soon as a small group of people joins into a large group, their own culture fades away, leaving only the bare-bones rituals that they cling to. Their practice of the culture is a far cry from fundamentalist, and insead becomes watered down and mingled with western ideologies.

    QUOTE
    Within any religion and any culture there will be areas that will be understood differently to different segments of the population, thus we really can't blame 'hindu culture' for things that we belive to be atrocities in India, expecially if we really don't understand hindu culture, those atrocities are probably the result of an understanding of the religion that we can only assume are drasicly flawed.


    So, because you don't understand my reasons for letting my children starve and beating my wife, or because I draw reasoning for those crimes from a misunderstood philosophy, you have no right to condemn me for it?

    QUOTE
    The difference being, I'm obviously right and you're wrong.

    I love ethnocentrism.


    ar·bi·trar·y adj.

    1. Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle: stopped at the first motel we passed, an arbitrary choice.
    2. Based on or subject to individual judgment or preference: The diet imposes overall calorie limits, but daily menus are arbitrary.
    3. Established by a court or judge rather than by a specific law or statute: an arbitrary penalty.
    4. Not limited by law; despotic: the arbitrary rule of a dictator.
    In the end, science does not provide us the answers most of us require.[...]To the question, "How did it all begin?", science answers, "Probably by accident." To the question "How will it end?" science answers, "Probably by accident." To many people, the accidental life is not worth living.
  • HBNayrHBNayr Join Date: 2002-07-13 Member: 930Members Posts: 572
    edited July 2004
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 11:26 PM)
    The Bible is, despite many allogations to the contrary, the most historically accurate and grounded, and all-in-all perfect and noncontradictory document that exists.

    The Bible is subject to much criticism and claims of errancy. I took a look at the web page you gave to refute claims of errancy, but I found them to be using one of six explanations oft-given.

    QUOTE
    1. "That is to be taken metaphorically"

    2. "There was more there than..."

    3. "It has to be understood in context"

    4. "There was just a transcription error"

    5. "That is a miracle"

    6. "God works in mysterious ways"


    I could continue with literal contradictions in the Bible, I especially love the Easter quiz, and I find the defense sometimes lacking imagination, but I think I've linked you enough for now.

    QUOTE
    Unfortunatly, you will have to give an account for those beliefs on the last day, and telling God that his word just isn't good enough for you is hardly going to cut it.


    "Well, I tell you, if I have been wrong in my agnosticism, when I die I'll walk up to God in a manly way and say, Sir, I made an honest mistake."
    -- H. L. Mencken

    For those who really love links.

    -Ryan!


    “The most preposterous notion that Homo sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest and least productive industry in all history.”
    -- Robert Anson Heinlein

    In Joshua and in the second half of Numbers is celebrated the mass murder of
    men, women, children, down to domestic animals in city after city across the
    whole land of Canaan. Jericho is obliterated in a kherem, a "holy war." The
    only justification offered for this slaughter is the mass murderers' claim
    that, in exchange for circumcising their sons and adopting a particular set
    of ritualsm their ancestors were long before promised that this land was their
    land. Not a hint of self-reproach, not a muttering of patriarchal or divine
    disquiet at these campaigns of extermination can be dug out of holy scripture.
    Instead, Joshua "destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel
    commanded" (Joshua 10:40). And these events are not incidental, but central
    to the main narrative thrust of the Old Testament. Similar stories of mass
    murder (and in the case of the Amalekites, genocide) can be found in the books
    of Saul, Esther, and elsewhere in the Bible, with hardly a pang of moral doubt.
    It was all, of course, troubling to liberal theologians of a later age.

    It is properly said that the Devil can "quote Scripture to his purpose."
    The Bible is full of so many stories of contradictory moral purpose that every
    generation can find scriptural justification for nearly any action it propses -
    from incest, slavery, and mass murder to the most reined love, courage, and
    self-sacrifice. And this moral multiple personality disorder is hardly
    restricted to Judaism and Christianity. You can find it deep within Islam, the
    Hindu tradition, indeed nearly all the world's religions. Perhaps then it is
    not so much scientists as people who are morally ambiguous.
    -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World
    IPB Image
    Viva le Bob!
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    Easter Quiz
    Holy crap, its a miracle, information based on eye witness accounts tricled down to authors that in some cases were more than two generation apart, differs on minor details! Considering the simple fact that the bible has more authors than pretty much any other history book in existance, I inclined to belive that the continuity throughout is more or less remarkable, and the majority of the contradictions are inconsequential. (the whole part about how many angels were in the tomb, accoring to hebrew culture the testamony of a woman was of no value, since no man saw the angels, I'm inclined to belive that the author more or less made stuff up based on hearsay, certainly the stature of the angels in this case is compleatly irrelevent)
    O_O image
  • WheeeeWheeee Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    edited July 2004
    holy off-topicness.

    So, I have heard very little from people as to why you can condemn a culture's actions, or why cultural relativism is valid/invalid.

    Stop talking about the merits of Christianity, make a new topic for it >B(.

    *edit* btw, that 'infidels' site is interesting. Although I must say that a lot of their arguments suffer from methodology that they themselves accuse Christians of using to defend their faith.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    QUOTE (EEK)
    Don't assume that because I said something it means I actually was thinking that the core of the sun was going to be replaced with hot dogs.
  • LegionnairedLegionnaired Join Date: 2002-04-30 Member: 552Members, Constellation Posts: 3,260
    edited July 2004
    In the end, science does not provide us the answers most of us require.[...]To the question, "How did it all begin?", science answers, "Probably by accident." To the question "How will it end?" science answers, "Probably by accident." To many people, the accidental life is not worth living.
  • panda_de_malheureuxpanda_de_malheureux Join Date: 2003-12-26 Member: 24775Members Posts: 1,633
    I'm sorry to say but most of those rebuttles have one thing in common, they say that the authors used literal (parts of speech?) techniques to make the bible more interesting. When I last checked, the authors were taking down the word of the creator, the shaper of the universe etc, why in the world would they want to make it more interesting? This is the word of god people, it doesn't come much more interesting than that. If your best friend had one last request on his death bed, you would not scribble metaphors or alliterations, you would write it word for word. This all leads me to believe that these disciples in todays society would be more interested in getting on the top-10 list at a leading bookstore than spreading truth and the word of the creator.
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    QUOTE (version91x @ Jul 8 2004, 12:57 AM)
    I'm sorry to say but most of those rebuttles have one thing in common, they say that the authors used literal (parts of speech?) techniques to make the bible more interesting. When I last checked, the authors were taking down the word of the creator, the shaper of the universe etc, why in the world would they want to make it more interesting? This is the word of god people, it doesn't come much more interesting than that. If your best friend had one last request on his death bed, you would not scribble metaphors or alliterations, you would write it word for word. This all leads me to believe that these disciples in todays society would be more interested in getting on the top-10 list at a leading bookstore than spreading truth and the word of the creator.

    The new testamate wasn't written by any disciples, with the possible expetion of the book of John, which may have been written by the guy known as the 'disciple that jesus loved', and his book wasn't meant to be a historical recounting of fact, but rather a look at the emotional and method of Jesus' teachings. All the other books are secondary sourse and were most likely based on sourses such as word of mouth and interviews, possibly on a rough text that is today lost. Keep in mind that for the most part, none of these guys were trying to write for continuity with eachother, rather for the best representation of whatever read they were trying to produce.

    As for the rest of the bible, the only conclusive parts you can argue as the word of God are the ten commandments and the parables and teachings of Jesus, which are remarkably continuitous in thier presentation. Keep in mind, the writers of the bible didn't ussually know they were writing the bible, they were just creating history documents.

    Your third argument is ludicrous, there were no top-10's in the bible era, the writers were simply writing in whatever genre they were writing in with little or no thought as to who thier intended audience is. Much of the bible is unarguably poetry, much of it is story/myth, and a fair bit of it is historical document, it wasn't compiled until long after the writers were dead. There is no historical document in history predating the bible that comes close to matching the accuracy of claims, as far as historians are concerned, the jewish people may have been the first civilization on earth to acctually develop a sence of value for reasonably accurate historical records.
    O_O image
  • WheeeeWheeee Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    edited July 2004
    QUOTE (version91x @ Jul 8 2004, 12:57 AM)
    I'm sorry to say but most of those rebuttles have one thing in common, they say that the authors used literal (parts of speech?) techniques to make the bible more interesting. When I last checked, the authors were taking down the word of the creator, the shaper of the universe etc, why in the world would they want to make it more interesting? This is the word of god people, it doesn't come much more interesting than that. If your best friend had one last request on his death bed, you would not scribble metaphors or alliterations, you would write it word for word. This all leads me to believe that these disciples in todays society would be more interested in getting on the top-10 list at a leading bookstore than spreading truth and the word of the creator.

    i'm gonna have to say that swiftspear is right. your objection to these rebuttals is ludicrous. A good portion of the OT is in the form of poetry. confused.gif A good portion of the literature of this period is written...gasp...with poetry (most likely to aid with memorization and oral recitation; these guys were extremely adept at memorization and were able to memorize entire books).

    "This is the word of God people, it doesn't come much more interesting than that" - when's the last time you opened a Bible? Daily devotions are hard enough for me as a Christian (well, except when i read the gospels and some of the apostolic letters), so I have a hard time believing that people who don't believe are actually interested in reading the Bible.
    QUOTE (EEK)
    Don't assume that because I said something it means I actually was thinking that the core of the sun was going to be replaced with hot dogs.
  • ekentekent Join Date: 2002-11-08 Member: 7801Members Posts: 781
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 08:26 PM)
    The Bible is, despite many allogations to the contrary, the most historically accurate and grounded, and all-in-all perfect and noncontradictory document that exists. The Sihks contradict themselves between Gurus, Hindus have created over 330 million gods over the years, Muhammed was dead wrong about what he thought Christians were teaching, and as soon as I can find a source, I can bring up allogations that he stole from people along his trip to Mecca.

    Are you aware of the history of the bible? Here's another example of controversy in the early church. You might want to study the origin of the eastern church. Or possibly any history about the apostles post-crucifixion (especially Paul). Or research theologians attempts to provide a concrete timeline for the resurrection. I don't believe it's necessary to bring to light Calvin, Luther, the Anglican church or any other parts of the Protestant reformation.

    None of these points would I ever use as a basis for rejecting religion, but ignoring them and saying "the Bible is perfect and without contradiction" is doing a disservice to yourself and your religion.

    Say I'm a pilgrim and I'm in search of the religion that reveals the clearest message about love for your fellow brother. I have the Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, and for the sake of completeness, the writings of Buddha and Confucious in front of me. I look for one hour each and count how many instructions are in each that correspond to my mission. Which religion would I choose? By a large margin: Islam.

    The problem I have with your argument is that it's obvious you're cloaking an attack on cultures other than your own by saying that they practice genocide or rape without bothering to ground those statements by relating them to your own cultures historical failings. Am I saying genocide is "ok for them"? No. It was never "ok" for western cultures either. But elimination of their culture because it possesses a flaw that our culture is not innocent of? How is that ok?

    Something that should be obvious to a modern person: the level of infrastructure corresponds inversely to the amount of criminal behavior (couldn't think of a better term =/). The level of infrastructure is most dramatically affected by the level of education. The turkish immigrant was obviously ignorant of what goes on in a gynocological exam. They have gynocologists in Turkey; it's not a purely cultural thing. A little education could have saved lives.

    Would you sanction murders if they were based in your own culture? "Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife." The biggest reason for murder in America has long been sexual jeleousy. When will you be obliterating our culture?
    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
    - Thomas Jefferson
  • WheeeeWheeee Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    edited July 2004
    QUOTE ((e)kent @ Jul 8 2004, 02:40 PM)
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 08:26 PM)
    The Bible is, despite many allogations to the contrary, the most historically accurate and grounded, and all-in-all perfect and noncontradictory document that exists. The Sihks contradict themselves between Gurus, Hindus have created over 330 million gods over the years, Muhammed was dead wrong about what he thought Christians were teaching, and as soon as I can find a source, I can bring up allogations that he stole from people along his trip to Mecca.

    Are you aware of the history of the bible? Here's another example of controversy in the early church. You might want to study the origin of the eastern church. Or possibly any history about the apostles post-crucifixion (especially Paul). Or research theologians attempts to provide a concrete timeline for the resurrection. I don't believe it's necessary to bring to light Calvin, Luther, the Anglican church or any other parts of the Protestant reformation.

    None of these points would I ever use as a basis for rejecting religion, but ignoring them and saying "the Bible is perfect and without contradiction" is doing a disservice to yourself and your religion.

    Say I'm a pilgrim and I'm in search of the religion that reveals the clearest message about love for your fellow brother. I have the Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, and for the sake of completeness, the writings of Buddha and Confucious in front of me. I look for one hour each and count how many instructions are in each that correspond to my mission. Which religion would I choose? By a large margin: Islam.

    The problem I have with your argument is that it's obvious you're cloaking an attack on cultures other than your own by saying that they practice genocide or rape without bothering to ground those statements by relating them to your own cultures historical failings. Am I saying genocide is "ok for them"? No. It was never "ok" for western cultures either. But elimination of their culture because it possesses a flaw that our culture is not innocent of? How is that ok?

    Something that should be obvious to a modern person: the level of infrastructure corresponds inversely to the amount of criminal behavior (couldn't think of a better term =/). The level of infrastructure is most dramatically affected by the level of education. The turkish immigrant was obviously ignorant of what goes on in a gynocological exam. They have gynocologists in Turkey; it's not a purely cultural thing. A little education could have saved lives.

    Would you sanction murders if they were based in your own culture? "Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife." The biggest reason for murder in America has long been sexual jeleousy. When will you be obliterating our culture?

    excuse me, but how does controversy in church theology affect the amount of truth that is written in the Scripture?

    As for blaming/accusing other cultures, it is reasonable to expect that cultures that promote these immoral things (murder, genocide, revenge, etc) should stop promoting them, and work towards that goal. Just because our own culture de facto suffers from some of the same problems does not absolve them of guilt.
    QUOTE (EEK)
    Don't assume that because I said something it means I actually was thinking that the core of the sun was going to be replaced with hot dogs.
  • ekentekent Join Date: 2002-11-08 Member: 7801Members Posts: 781
    QUOTE (Wheeee @ Jul 8 2004, 12:12 PM)
    QUOTE ((e)kent @ Jul 8 2004, 02:40 PM)
    QUOTE (Legionnaired @ Jul 1 2004, 08:26 PM)
    The Bible is, despite many allogations to the contrary, the most historically accurate and grounded, and all-in-all perfect and noncontradictory document that exists. The Sihks contradict themselves between Gurus, Hindus have created over 330 million gods over the years, Muhammed was dead wrong about what he thought Christians were teaching, and as soon as I can find a source, I can bring up allogations that he stole from people along his trip to Mecca.

    Are you aware of the history of the bible? Here's another example of controversy in the early church. You might want to study the origin of the eastern church. Or possibly any history about the apostles post-crucifixion (especially Paul). Or research theologians attempts to provide a concrete timeline for the resurrection. I don't believe it's necessary to bring to light Calvin, Luther, the Anglican church or any other parts of the Protestant reformation.

    excuse me, but how does controversy in church theology affect the amount of truth that is written in the Scripture?

    As for blaming/accusing other cultures, it is reasonable to expect that cultures that promote these immoral things (murder, genocide, revenge, etc) should stop promoting them, and work towards that goal. Just because our own culture de facto suffers from some of the same problems does not absolve them of guilt.

    I was extending Legionaired's examples of controversy to his own religion. But to directly answer your question, it doesn't relate to the amount of Biblical truth, it relates to the value of said truth. The fact that the Bible can be reasonably used to support predestination, free will, the Trinity, the Papacy and snake-charming might suggest that its contents were not perfect and noncontradictory. On top of this is historical evidence: the council of Nicea, a group of men with no divine revelation, decided many of the truths of the Christian religion, such as the Trinity and the dates of the birth and resurrection of Christ.

    Again, none of these facts actually disputes the truth in the Bible, but I do think that it suggests this statement: Religion is a creation of man whether or not it was divinely inspired. It should be treated as such. If you try to argue otherwise (i.e. the Bible is perfect and without contradiction) you either open yourself to uncounterable attacks or you are forced to use fallacious reasoning. Both of which do a disservice to the actual value of religion.

    As for blaming/accusing other cultures, it is reasonable to expect that cultures that exhibit these immoral things treat them in a efficient and humane manner, which obviously does not include "obliteration." I tried to suggest education as a rational alternative.
    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
    - Thomas Jefferson
  • WheeeeWheeee Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    QUOTE
    I was extending Legionaired's examples of controversy to his own religion.  But to directly answer your question, it doesn't relate to the amount of Biblical truth, it relates to the value of said truth.  The fact that the Bible can be reasonably used to support predestination, free will, the Trinity, the Papacy and snake-charming might suggest that its contents were not perfect and noncontradictory.  On top of this is historical evidence: the council of Nicea, a group of men with no divine revelation, decided many of the truths of the Christian religion, such as the Trinity and the dates of the birth and resurrection of Christ.


    o_O First of all, what is the problem with predestination, free will, the Trinity, the Papacy, or snake charming?

    Secondly,

    QUOTE ("the Nicene Creed" @ 325 AD)
    We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."


    Unless you can tell me how Arius managed to make Jesus' claims to deity less than they are, I see no problems with it?

    QUOTE
    Again, none of these facts actually disputes the truth in the Bible, but I do think that it suggests this statement: Religion is a creation of man whether or not it was divinely inspired.  It should be treated as such.  If you try to argue otherwise (i.e. the Bible is perfect and without contradiction) you either open yourself to uncounterable attacks or you are forced to use fallacious reasoning.  Both of which do a disservice to the actual value of religion.


    That is debatable. And I'd really like to see some uncounterable attacks, because if it were so, I'd imagine that no sane person would take Christianity seriously (and before you tell me that i'm insane, yes, there are perfectly sane people besides myself who do so).
    I would argue that atheism is a creation of man, and that theism is the product of some inherent truth.
    QUOTE (EEK)
    Don't assume that because I said something it means I actually was thinking that the core of the sun was going to be replaced with hot dogs.
  • ekentekent Join Date: 2002-11-08 Member: 7801Members Posts: 781
    QUOTE
    o_O First of all, what is the problem with predestination, free will, the Trinity, the Papacy, or snake charming?  etc Nicene creed


    I have no problem. The OP referenced controversy in other religions (Sikh, Hindi, Moslem) so I referenced examples in his own.

    QUOTE
    That is debatable. And I'd really like to see some uncounterable attacks, because if it were so, I'd imagine that no sane person would take Christianity seriously (and before you tell me that i'm insane, yes, there are perfectly sane people besides myself who do so).  I would argue that atheism is a creation of man, and that theism is the product of some inherent truth.


    Attacks on the basis of premises admitted by the defendant that are uncounterable unless through fallacious reasoning or the rejection of reason confused.gif. I'm no Bible scholar and I don't think it would be worthwhile to research specifics. As for your last sentence, correct -- theism is the product of revealed truth (semantics) but I was talking about religion, which is a man made structure resting on a belief.

    My intent was never to dispute any particular Christian belief or the truth in the Bible (whether or not you believe it) and I think my language was probably unclear about that.

    Saying something is "revealed truth" is different than saying something is "perfect." The latter truth is forced to explain everything without exception and once done, cannot be disputed. You may consider that more semantics and I would agree it rests on a fine point but the results are more important. The Bible very clearly does not claim to contain all knowledge (at least I hope) nor does it claim to be historically accurate and grounded for all I know. Thus if you don't bother to claim it's perfect you can go ahead and realize that it may be revealed truth but it doesn't have to be the only truth.

    This might be an inflammatory argument I have no idea so I'd rather not continue to debate it in context of Christianity (although if you would like to dispute my semantics or the structure of my argument feel free), anyway I hope that clears it up a little.
    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
    - Thomas Jefferson
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