753 reputation
39
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location New York City
age 41
visits member for 2 years, 10 months
seen Oct 23 at 0:38

A Christian would probably say I'm an atheist, and an atheist would say I am religious. I read the new testament, and much of the old-testament. I also translated a few old-testament books from Hebrew to English.

I find Bible literalism repugnant. God doesn't ask you to lie about physics, biology, or history, nor about the textual history of the Biblical texts.

I like Christian theology because I think it is the most progressive of all the old-world religious systems. I am very impressed with the way that Christians can denounce bad past practices, while keeping the core message alive.


Mar
31
revised What's the point of the second commandment?
clarify
Mar
31
answered What's the point of the second commandment?
Mar
21
comment Why is the word “Ark” used for Noah's boat and the Ark of the Covenant?
I prefer transating "Aron ha-edut" as "crate of the testimony", reserving the word "Ark" for Noah's boat. I think it is somewhat wrong to translate Hebrew words with different connotations into the same English word.
Mar
17
answered Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
Mar
17
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
Ok, not murder: here's a form of genocide--- suppose you knew of a tribe whose child-rearing, if it were your children, you would consider to be child abuse. Would you take all the children away, to raise in good Christian homes? This is not a hypothetical question in Australia. Genocide can be cultural, and missionary work can annihilate local customs. We need to preserve Cultures, languages, traditions, even if Christian philosophy starts to spread within them. Many people can come to believe that God tells them to wipe out a culture. But it is better for the culture to evolve organically.
Mar
17
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
-1 for advocating genocide. Genocide is wrong, even if God comes down from heaven and commands you to do it, and tells you He will send you to hell on the spot if you don't. I wish I could give you -100. The Bible agrees with you, by the way, and that is a shameful stain on that book.
Mar
17
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
The 10 commandments are not illuminating here. They don't say "don't lie", they say "don't bear false witness", which is an admonition not to lie in court. Further, don't murder/steal/commit-adultery are common to all ancient ethical systems--- they are not controversial. The only reason they are there are to make the nontrivial things seem natural. It's the same construction as "life,liberty,property": nobody disputes life and liberty. The nontrivial content of the 10 commandments is "do not make figurative art", "do not work on saturday", "do not put other gods first".
Mar
16
comment Can I believe in evolution and still be a Christian?
@Grapth: You are excluding in your options the most common mainstream idea: God exists, God is active in the world, but the Bible is just wrong in its primitive creation story, because the Bible is only a pale shadow of the word of God. By the way, life started like this: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/4200/… ). but this is irrelevant--- you should question your own unjustified belief in Biblical inerrancy. Just because God exists, that doesn't mean the Bible is always, or even mostly, right.
Mar
16
revised Per Ecclesiastes 7:16, Does the Bible want me to sin?
forgot to copy a verse
Mar
16
comment Per Ecclesiastes 7:16, Does the Bible want me to sin?
@Affable Geek: I thought it was obvious in context--- Ecclesiastes is telling you to not be too much of a goody goody, but to do something (a little) bad once in a while, just to experience life. I agree that both Job and Ecc are Jewish/Christian, I mean, obviously, look at where they are. But the theology they espouse is somewhat outside the mainsteam of thought in Christian religion, and also of Jewish religion (or any religion I know, really, it's unique). I believe that they were both disputed during the canonization debates. The moderation philosophy echoes Aristotles Nichomachean ethics.
Mar
15
comment Per Ecclesiastes 7:16, Does the Bible want me to sin?
This philosophy is that of the Gospels, but it is not supported by the text of Ecclesiastes, which has a different, more pagan, philosophy (although it is strictly monotheistic in its religious references, of course). Ecclesiastes is not warning against over-legalism, the philosophy is that if you try too hard not to sin, you won't enjoy yourself, and you won't experience all of life, and this is no good. But if you sin, you wear yourself out, and invite God's wrath. So Ecc says be mostly good, but sin a little. Whether this is consistent with the rest of the Bible is up to you to decide.
Mar
15
revised Per Ecclesiastes 7:16, Does the Bible want me to sin?
dup
Mar
15
answered Per Ecclesiastes 7:16, Does the Bible want me to sin?
Feb
29
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
The fact that Jewish law does not apply to Christians does not mean that morals aren't absolute. It just means that the absolute morals are contingent on circumstances. If you happen to be tall, then you might be compelled to help a short guy to get a box off the shelf, while if you are short (or if the guy is tall) then you might not be ethically compelled. Contingency on circumstance is not the same as relative ethics. There is still a right answer. Paul's absolute position is that if you were a Jew in this and such a time, it is imperative for you to follow Mosaic law, but no longer.
Feb
29
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
The Bible doesn't just mention slavery--- it tells you how to beat your slaves, when to set them free, and when to pawn them for money. This is not a neutral statement.
Feb
29
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
@Affable Geek: The Bible is not being descriptive. It is simply wrong. The morality is absolute, the Bible is just wrong about it. It's as simple as that.
Feb
27
awarded  Quorum
Feb
26
comment Is there a Christian perspective on the matter of “delusion”?
Some of the anti-atomists were delusional. In particular, Ernst Mach's constant repudiation of atoms throughout the first decade of the 20th century, even after being shown individual alpha-particle scintillations, borders on pathological skepticism. Those that denied the Bohr model were similarly delusional. Thankfully, young people took over who were not bound to follow the elders dogma to be accepted in the field.
Feb
17
comment Is “the ends justify the means” compatible with Christianity?
@Narnian: Yes, religious people offended me--- two of my answers on this site, one relating to Mormonism, the other on Abraham and Sarah's incestuous brother/sister business, which I put some thought into, and which said things that are difficult to find anywhere else, were deleted! I don't mind downvotes, but deletion is offensive to me. I am sorry if I seem uncivil. I have no faith in supernatural things. I believe in God, not magic.
Feb
17
comment Is “the ends justify the means” compatible with Christianity?
@Narnian: I believe they are already manifest to you. I don't think for a second you believe that any of the miracles of the Bible happened as written. But you feel ethically obligated to claim that they did, because you believe in God, and you believe that God tells you to tell lies to other people, for their own good. So you believe that the end justifies the means. Perhaps this was so in the past, but no longer. There is no reason to spread God's word with lies, when the truth works just as well.