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Author Topic: To encourage the PHILOSOPHY part of this board...  (Read 11729 times)
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Zsu-Zsu
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« Reply #80 on: July 14, 2008, 15:19:54 »

Zsu, if you don't mind taking over from here, I'd appreciate it.

laugh I'll let you know when I've waded through all of this...
Will read it in a bit. Promise.
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« Reply #81 on: July 14, 2008, 15:21:36 »

I don't mean about the whole Nz thing - you've been doing all my work for me up to this point anyway. I was talking more about original sin, which Matt and I have already done to death on various other threads. But if you wouldn't mind keeping up your work on Nz as well ... Though I'd occassionally give you a hand.
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« Reply #82 on: July 14, 2008, 15:28:34 »

Well as I said, I'm going to have to call the Nz discussion to a halt shortly because I'm running out of knowledge.. confused
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« Reply #83 on: July 14, 2008, 17:01:10 »

As the entirety of my knowledge of Nz has come from what's been said on this thread and that site that Matt linked to, once you run out of knowledge, so do I. I suppose that I COULD get some stuff off Wikipedia, but once that fountain of knowledge has dried up, so will my 'ideas'.
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« Reply #84 on: July 14, 2008, 22:03:58 »

 Zsu-Zsu

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I'm going to have to admit that we're going to need to move on to something different to discuss lsoon, as I'm running out of knowledge on Nz.


Don't think in terms of this now being a Nz debate because I perceive that although it may have begun around his "philosophy" what we are now discussing is not in fact Nz. The options in philosophy obviously do not depend on "Christian" (if there could ever be one called that) and Nz.  What you are really discussing inasmuch as you say you don't accept ALL of his, means that you really don't accept ANY of his, but a good deal of someone else's.   (Although whose I have no idea,).  It seems to me you are embracing some form of (atheistic) existentialism, but I haven't studied the variety of points there except a tiny entry in my Dictionary of  Bible and Religion that names one of the chief "characteristics" as being the stress on finitude and "freedom". 
I read this:

Another common characteristic of the existentialists is their stress on finitude.  Human existence is free, but freedom is always limited by factual conditions of existence.  Thus there is a tragic element in existence.  Some existentialists go so far as to suggest there is a fundamental absurdity in the existence of a being who is both free and finite.  It is at this point that we can see why some existentialists are atheists, others religious.  The former see no sense in human existence and in any case believe that the existence of God would be incompatible with the he full exercise of human freedom.  The latter believe that only God (or transcendence in some form) can bring sense into the human situation, and they would see God as encouraging human freedom.".



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Having rejected religion fully at about the age of 10, I started to think about what it is that makes it (primarily I'm talking about Christianity here, because that's the religion I was brought up with) so disagreeable to me. And I concluded that I don't like being told what is right and wrong.
For the sake of "discussion" I want to zero in on this statement, and I would like you to forgive me, or understand that I am going to use it, not as an attack on your personal belief, so much as if you are speaking as "Everyman", and I am using your statement as an example of the "crux" of what the whole of the Bible is addressing when it talks about "sin".
From a "preacher's point of view" your statement just jumped out at me. 
Perhaps you are too close to it to see it for what I saw in it.
First of all.  "At about the age of 10".  But in my mind someone at the age of 10 is a "child" and to make the decision that "I don't like being told what is right and wrong" is exactly the kind of response we would expect from a child.  But for that child then to make a decision that therefore no one has the right to tell me what is right and wrong is justification for that child to run away from home; does that not tell us something significant about the child?  AND what would it tell us about the parent if they said: "Suit yourself"?

(You do intend as a parent of course to follow this revelation of yours and not try to impose your ideas of right and wrong on your children?)

Personally, I don't like being told what is right or wrong either, but I do not have the freedom then to arbitrarily say "And because I don't like it, therefore there is no right or wrong and no one has the authority to tell me what I may and may not do."

 
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Even as an early teenager, I started to accept that people have very different attitudes to what is right; and that morality and situations are often far more complicated than a clear cut "this is right and this is wrong". In fact, I vividly remember retorting to someone, at the age of about 13, when faced with the statement "that's just wrong/that person is evil" (somewhere along those lines) - "There's no such thing as good and evil - just different ways of doing things" of course, back then, I was little more than a child who'd got a vague grasp on an idea and was spouting it just to sound clever. But it's a view that, more or less (and hopefully by now, it's a bit more developed), I still hold today.


The significant shift in logic in this above statement I think is from the issue of "right and wrong" to "good and evil."  I will propose that they are two different concepts.  But I will see if occasion comes up to clarify this.

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I don't like the idea of a universal concept of "right" and "wrong", and that is what initially drew me to Nietzschean philosophy,

Again, being picky, but whether we LIKE the idea of a universal concept of right and wrong or not, Nz not wanting to live by it, does not negate its existence.  The CONCEPT of some kind of Right and some kind of Wrong, is universal even if the details may vary.

Do you know of ANY society that says it is alright to "murder"? (Unless of course it is your enemy and they are either taking your land or possessing land you want, in which case they give additional excuses?  Likewise, any that says it is alright to take someone else's property? (Exceptions as above). Apply this to all "basic" rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" or whatever it is.  Is there any society that puts a premium on dishonesty? (Unless of course we count politics and advertising) but externally they all give lip service to integrity, and name the breach as "sin" or "wrong". 

What other areas of "right" or "wrong" is there?

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However, where my moral compass (would that be the right word?) diverges, is that, rather than throwing all morality out of the window, and saying "there is no such thing as 'right' and 'wrong', no matter what" I believe simply that it is relative, and entirely subjective.


Here, I would have to question the declaration of "relative" and "subjective", because I hear the argument all the time, and somehow, because it is Relative, and subjective" are we supposed to therefore conclude that they then are less binding or valid.  Relative to whom or what? Subjective to what?  If they are the same basic principles in all societies then they can be "perceived" as "universal" and "objective".

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I try to live my life on the principle of fairness, and don't believe that victimless crimes should be crimes at all (but that's going into my political beliefs, and we'll probably touch on that some other time).


This became one of the more interesting points when I read it the first time through.  Here are my thoughts.  A "crime" must by definition have a "victim" or it would not be considered a "crime".  So, if I ask you to name a "victimless crime" the only two areas that I can imagine you answering might be "doing drugs in the privacy of your own home," or "sexual practices between consenting adults."
This then leads me to ask "who said they are crimes?" and/or who said they are "victimless"?  But with this question we also move out of "right and wrong" and into legal and illegal. And in turn this may be why you mention "political beliefs." 
I would go so far as to say that if a society has declared particular sexual habits (or lifestyles) as "illegal" it is because the society has bought into a "biblical" concept of what
"harms" someone, and who becomes a "victim".  (The 'bible" does not have to be the Old and New Testament.  It can be any body of "scripture".)  And if the laws are built on these foundations then the explanation is that when the source says there is a "victim" even when it is the solo act of one individual, or even "consenting" participants, it is because they have defined the "person" as being more than a physical being.  This of course becomes the point of conflict in a pluralistic society where one segment rejects the idea of a "spirit" or "soul" or even a psyche. But to those who accept such, we are of the conviction, (perception) that these things are "crimes" against the spirit and that the individual suffers. 
Personally, I would argue that they are "wrong" but emphasise that they are "wrong" for the one who professes to please a god, or more specifically, they are "wrong" because they disregard the expressed wisdom of the "inventor" and "maker" of the human machine, and he knows that following these habits affect the whole person negatively.  But I would also argue that one should not expect the "pagans" to act like anything other than pagans; (by which term I mean only those who do not profess or acknowledge a spirituality) but at the same time it doesn't mean that they are not suffering personal harm, just because they don't recognise it. 

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Needless to say, I don't agree with Zn's theory of exploitation as an agreeable and necessary, or "great" (I'm trying to steer clear of these words now because they're likely to just confuse matters) thing, because to me, it's not fair to exploit people for one's own gain.
If I understand correctly, Nz's idea of "exploitation" was the only way to go, because by rejecting "religion" and therefore God, the only thing he has left is "nature". And nature, (in his case evolution) must continue "evolving" and so the "humanity itself is only a transitional phase between animality and the superman (Uebermensch) of the future.  The superman will create new values and, taking over control from the defunct God, will build a new world."

Again, I don't see how one could accept a "partial" Nz philosophy.  Exploitation MUST follow, and in the Survival of the fittest it is only as the "slaves" are done away with, and every "Master" must become a "slave" of the "Fittest" (Or most fit) until the Masters have produced this new "superman." at which point the Master as a human has ceased to be. 

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In a lot of ways I agree with Nz's principles on religion; but perhaps not to such an extreme. I do often believe that religion can cause more harm than good, and used in the hands of certain people it can become the greatest form of propaganda ever invented. However, from a day-to-day point, it is everyone's human right to follow and express their religion as they choose; and as J.S. Mill says, diversity + toleration = debate = progress Smiley


Now here I come full circle and agree IN PART, about religion, because I make a great differentiation between "religion" and "biblical faith".  Of course I am splitting hairs and making up my own definitions to suit my own purposes but.... Take the principles that Jesus declared, and the testimony of the New Testament (at face value) and If Jesus was the Son of God, or God in the flesh, in human form, and if his teaching was to illuminate the truths already declared in the Old Testament, that God's whole desire was to call out for himself a people who would be in a personal relationship with him, and in that relationship have untold freedom to be all that he intended them to be, IF that could be proven to be the FAITH, or "kingdom" or relationship that Jesus taught, what is there of "religion" in that, that "causes more harm than good?"  Jesus spoke of Trust, and he gave the summary of the Law: Love God, Love your neighbour.  AND he said this commitment or lifestyle was not for everyone.  But to those who would embrace it then the various expressions of "goodness" were not optional. 
(It is thus that morality cannot be legislated, but on the other hand, no amount of "laws" legitimatizing "sin" can make a true believer abandon morality, or "living in the liberty of the Spirit to both do what he ought to do, and to Not do, what he ought not to do.
As a believer "I don't HAVE to if I WANT to".  Which is a lot different than "I can't do what I want." 
The irony.  "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free."

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Having said that, I got a bit annoyed the other day when I found out (I was too young to understand at the time) that my grandfather on my mother's side had "jumped ship" (so to speak) from the Church of England to become a Roman Catholic because he disagreed with the CofE allowing women bishops and ministers. It's when issues like this arise that I tend to get frustrated with religions, because it seems to be rejecting progress for the sake of extremely outdated traditions.


Rather than being annoyed, you should see rather that your grandfather had "integrity". As a professing "christian", one who has said I accept the Bible as my authority, he is saying that as long as the church is defined as the body of Christ and orders itself by his Word, then the Word MUST be the standard. IF the C of E wants to ordain women when the Scripture (according to their interpretation of it for 1500 years) forbids such, then they should either stop calling itself the "church" of England and call itself something else, or they should say authoritatively We accept the Bible and will stick with the teaching regardless of the "culture".  Until the C of E changes their 39 articles of religion, or the declaration concerning the authority of Scripture, they should be obligated by honesty to stick with their "constitution."  Your grandfather is right. 
There are other churches who by definition or constitution find justification for women preachers.  Let all women who want to be priests, or bishops join them. 
Why would a person who is a flaming red head think they should join a club for blonds? Why should a person who is not a policeman wear a policeman's uniform. We would call them an impostor and arrest them. So why do we allow people who have no intention of following the Bible (or a particular denomination) join itself to that group if they are "impostors"?

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Anyway, this turned into a bit of a ramble about myself (any opportunity to talk about myself, *basks in vanity*), but I just felt the need to set the record straight so you didn't think I was a Nietzsche-crazed, religion-hating crazy person.  wacko

What? Are you declaring an absolute truth here?  Or is this a relative statement? Compared to who or by what objective criteria?
Actually, I didn't think you were, but it is good to have you express these ideas, and I trust you don't mind my "pressing the points".  I find my stimulation and an understanding of my own position much more clearly when I have to "compare" and "contrast" my understanding of Biblical Truth with perceptions that others have.
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« Reply #85 on: July 15, 2008, 08:45:08 »

Don't think in terms of this now being a Nz debate because I perceive that although it may have begun around his "philosophy" what we are now discussing is not in fact Nz. The options in philosophy obviously do not depend on "Christian" (if there could ever be one called that) and Nz.  What you are really discussing inasmuch as you say you don't accept ALL of his, means that you really don't accept ANY of his, but a good deal of someone else's.   (Although whose I have no idea,).  It seems to me you are embracing some form of (atheistic) existentialism, but I haven't studied the variety of points there except a tiny entry in my Dictionary of  Bible and Religion that names one of the chief "characteristics" as being the stress on finitude and "freedom". 

Good point, and in fact, you're dead right. I do try to avoid generalising my views and putting them under a set "title", as there's always going to be something on which my opinions will vary. But yes, when pushed, I think of myself as an existentialist. Usually following Sartre's existentialism, because atheism comes hand-in-hand with that.
And just to address the aspect of "freedom", I usually describe my political beliefs as "Extremely Liberal", the emphasis of Liberalism of course being freedom.
Which brings me onto my next point,

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Having rejected religion fully at about the age of 10, I started to think about what it is that makes it (primarily I'm talking about Christianity here, because that's the religion I was brought up with) so disagreeable to me. And I concluded that I don't like being told what is right and wrong.
For the sake of "discussion" I want to zero in on this statement, and I would like you to forgive me, or understand that I am going to use it, not as an attack on your personal belief, so much as if you are speaking as "Everyman", and I am using your statement as an example of the "crux" of what the whole of the Bible is addressing when it talks about "sin".
From a "preacher's point of view" your statement just jumped out at me. 
Perhaps you are too close to it to see it for what I saw in it.
First of all.  "At about the age of 10".  But in my mind someone at the age of 10 is a "child" and to make the decision that "I don't like being told what is right and wrong" is exactly the kind of response we would expect from a child.  But for that child then to make a decision that therefore no one has the right to tell me what is right and wrong is justification for that child to run away from home; does that not tell us something significant about the child?  AND what would it tell us about the parent if they said: "Suit yourself"?

(You do intend as a parent of course to follow this revelation of yours and not try to impose your ideas of right and wrong on your children?)

Personally, I don't like being told what is right or wrong either, but I do not have the freedom then to arbitrarily say "And because I don't like it, therefore there is no right or wrong and no one has the authority to tell me what I may and may not do."

I realise that this made me sound like an obnoxious small child. Well, I probably was, but this isn't quite relevant.
Philosophy, I believe, has always been in me. Ever since I was very small I would muse on things and start to build opinions which I have later realised, through studying Philosophy properly, have been proclaimed by a number of great philosophers. What I was showing, or at least, like to think I was demonstrating, at the time of being an obnoxious pre-teen was in fact a reasoning which I still adhere to now.
It's difficult to explain this in words, especially in typing, but I believe that, whilst there is no such thing as "right" and "wrong" in the sense that we understand these words (I could very easily move on to the writings of Wittgenstein here, but I won't) it is up to individuals to decide what they believe they will chose to live their lives according to. For you, it's the teachings that you interpret from the Bible, and for me, it's what I decide through my own reasoning, is "right" or correct for me and my life, whilst for someone else it might be something very different.
Now of course I accept that this meets with problems when you get someone who decides that they reason that it is correct for them to kill people if they so wish. But here I need to bring in some politics; and identify that there is a difference between political "right" and "wrong", and moral "right" and "wrong". As clarified, I don't believe that there is a universal moral "right" and "wrong", but I do believe that there is a legal one. And, being a great fan of J.S. Mill and Classical Liberalism (except for the economic principles, but we'll save that for a different discussion), I believe that legal "right" and "wrong" should be based on what is known as 'The Harm Principle'. That is to say, I can do anything I wish, provided that it doesn't harm anyone else, unless they have consented to me harming them.  I cannot kill someone (unless they want me to, but in my perfect utopia [it exists, if only in my head] there would be laws governing what would happen in the cases of assisted suicide) because that impinges on their right to life, and it is clearly harming them, and their family and loved ones.
In the words of Rousseau, you make a gift of your right to act according to nature (philosophers imagine a 'state of nature', in which there are no laws and no society - they use this to demonstrate the typical human nature of people without government, usually in order to justify government) in order that you will no longer need to. (if this point needs clarification then let me know - there's a lot more behind it but I'll skip it for now because it's going into politics)
Children are, of course, a tricky matter. I'm not of the view that parents should project their views onto their children, but I also accept that it is impossible not to. I don't think I'll ever want children, but if I ever did have children, I hope that I would teach them to be independent, free-thinking, and that they can, and should, always challenge what they are told.
As for the example of a child running away from home, I would think that by the time they are old enough to consider this, they would be rational enough to reason whether it be the best thing for them to do so. (I, like most children, "ran away" a couple of times when I was young - it only ever lasted a few hours wandering around the neighbourhood before I got bored and hungry and went back home, apologised to my mother for whatever I'd done to make her mad enough to make me want to run away to begin with, and stayed at home until the next time it happened)


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I don't like the idea of a universal concept of "right" and "wrong", and that is what initially drew me to Nietzschean philosophy,

Again, being picky, but whether we LIKE the idea of a universal concept of right and wrong or not, Nz not wanting to live by it, does not negate its existence.  The CONCEPT of some kind of Right and some kind of Wrong, is universal even if the details may vary.

Do you know of ANY society that says it is alright to "murder"? (Unless of course it is your enemy and they are either taking your land or possessing land you want, in which case they give additional excuses?  Likewise, any that says it is alright to take someone else's property? (Exceptions as above). Apply this to all "basic" rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" or whatever it is.  Is there any society that puts a premium on dishonesty? (Unless of course we count politics and advertising) but externally they all give lip service to integrity, and name the breach as "sin" or "wrong". 

Here I would argue that our (i.e. people like me) lack of faith in a universal concept of "right" and "wrong", does indeed negate its existence.
I don't believe that there is a universal morality, and you do. Just as I don't believe in God, and you do. And your explanation is valid, except that as I have stated, I believe in there being a difference between legal right and wrong, and moral "right" and "wrong". (see above)

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Here, I would have to question the declaration of "relative" and "subjective", because I hear the argument all the time, and somehow, because it is Relative, and subjective" are we supposed to therefore conclude that they then are less binding or valid.  Relative to whom or what? Subjective to what?  If they are the same basic principles in all societies then they can be "perceived" as "universal" and "objective".

Of course these principles are less binding or valid, if they're not universal then how can they be?
Morality is relative to culture and society. In some ways, I would argue that it is wrong for Western countries to attempt to 'liberate' countries where the people are being oppressed, simply because we are then imposing our morality onto other cultures, and in many ways that does not sit right with me. It's telling people that we think we're right, and we're going to make sure that everyone else comes around to our 'right' way of thinking.
(Note though, that I say "in some ways" - again, another discussion for another time, but this example is used to illustrate the point)
How can we prove that we are right? As far as I'm concerned, if something can't be proven beyond reasonable doubt then it cannot be declared as a truth. No-one can prove that one moral point of view is better than another, and so it follows that neither can be declared true.

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Having said that, I got a bit annoyed the other day when I found out (I was too young to understand at the time) that my grandfather on my mother's side had "jumped ship" (so to speak) from the Church of England to become a Roman Catholic because he disagreed with the CofE allowing women bishops and ministers. It's when issues like this arise that I tend to get frustrated with religions, because it seems to be rejecting progress for the sake of extremely outdated traditions.


Rather than being annoyed, you should see rather that your grandfather had "integrity". As a professing "christian", one who has said I accept the Bible as my authority, he is saying that as long as the church is defined as the body of Christ and orders itself by his Word, then the Word MUST be the standard. IF the C of E wants to ordain women when the Scripture (according to their interpretation of it for 1500 years) forbids such, then they should either stop calling itself the "church" of England and call itself something else, or they should say authoritatively We accept the Bible and will stick with the teaching regardless of the "culture".  Until the C of E changes their 39 articles of religion, or the declaration concerning the authority of Scripture, they should be obligated by honesty to stick with their "constitution."  Your grandfather is right. 
There are other churches who by definition or constitution find justification for women preachers.  Let all women who want to be priests, or bishops join them. 
Why would a person who is a flaming red head think they should join a club for blonds? Why should a person who is not a policeman wear a policeman's uniform. We would call them an impostor and arrest them. So why do we allow people who have no intention of following the Bible (or a particular denomination) join itself to that group if they are "impostors"?

I accept your point of integrity here, and in this sense, yes - my grandfather does have integrity for sticking by what he has chosen to believe. But what troubles me is that with religion, we are breeding people who become so stoic in thier attitudes and beliefs that they cannot accept progress or change. Supposing that everyone had had the same reaction as my grandfather - there would be no-one left within the CofE, and surely they would have had to reverse their decision to allow women bishops. What message is this sending to people outside of the church? That because a few people have said that they think this shouldn't happen, it's been reversed and they're sticking with their same old attitude of suppressing women and disallowing them from doing what they want to do, and can do just as well as men?
I realise that in saying this the hypocrite in me is coming out a little, as whiffs a little bit of imposing one morality on another group, but the Feminist in me just won't let it go. There's a difference between different moralities and just plain sexism, and the latter should not be allowed.

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I find my stimulation and an understanding of my own position much more clearly when I have to "compare" and "contrast" my understanding of Biblical Truth with perceptions that others have.

I'm the same - debate = progress. (loveblush J.S Mill) discussion brings progress - either one party realises that the other makes more sense, or neither changes their mind, but they can both move on, accepting that they think differently, and at least they'll have a better understanding of the other and their views Smiley
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« Reply #86 on: July 15, 2008, 14:10:38 »

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What I was showing, or at least, like to think I was demonstrating, at the time of being an obnoxious pre-teen was in fact a reasoning which I still adhere to now.


And I think what I was trying to show is that in that we share the "human" trait that none of likes to be told what to do, and that from a "theological" or philosophical point of view, we pegged that as being the "human nature" or "Pride" or, if you will, Sin.  Whereas your 'rebellion' is against the "universal morality" or idea of right and wrong, theists have said it was (or is) against God.  Yours I suppose is impersonal, ours is personal.  Yours has no course but to deny it exists and we have no course but to admit it is "natural" but to seek a way to be reconciled... and to find an acceptable will AND way to submit and for us therefore to find "liberty and freedom".  But this then brings us full circle to where the path diverged. 
Sounds to me I may be closer to agreeing with you on the legal/illegal point that it would first appear that a "Christian" might be.

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Children are, of course, a tricky matter. I'm not of the view that parents should project their views onto their children, but I also accept that it is impossible not to. I don't think I'll ever want children, but if I ever did have children, I hope that I would teach them to be independent, free-thinking, and that they can, and should, always challenge what they are told.


Again, philosophically, perhaps I set you up on this, and you may have tried to cover yourself.  We (the religious ones) often hear the statement that "'we don't believe in indoctrinating our children or telling them what to believe" and this is usually delivered with a somewhat sanctimonious tone meant to imply "not like you religious bunch who are brainwashing the innocent child to believe like you do."
The fallacy of course is that they are in fact indoctrinating them to unbelief by virtue of NOT giving them foundational tools or discipline.  If one is "free thinking" to reject everything, then they are also unable to "accept anything" because they don't have a standard by which to judge the merits of one way of thinking over another.  (Or stated in the opposite way, if they don't know what to accept they don't know what to reject.)  IF you were a parent you would expect the child to receive your instructions or "laws" as though you were the absolute authority, and while you may give more liberty as they mature, you would never accept their complete anarchy as long as they were "under your roof".  The same principle must apply to us throughout our lifetime.  Unfortunately too many adults continue in the childish habit of rejecting all law, and likewise too many "adults" or institutions fail to understand that the more the "child" matures the more "laws" can be lifted. BUT now we come to the difference not only between moral law and legal law, but also between "laws" and "principles". 
Religions, when they dwell on the "laws" could become "legalistic".  When they focus on "principles", they can have great liberty.  However, the more liberty they have, the greater the burden to think things through to understand the much farther reaching implications of the principles.  A law can say do this or don't do this and if one stays within the letter, they can get away with a great deal.  As a follower of Jesus and his "demands" (as per the Sermon on the Mount for instance) I am much more "bound" as to how I can treat my "neighbour" or enemy, than if I followed only some legalistic handbook. (Jesus said "your righteousness must EXCEED that of the Pharisees [which was all external] if you were to enter the kingdom of heaven".)  But that binding, is also my freedom, because I am embracing the discipline willingly as my "philosophy".
It is the difference between saying "You cannot eat meat on Friday" and You saying, "I am a vegetarian and I wouldn't eat meat if you paid me to."

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Morality is relative to culture and society. In some ways, I would argue that it is wrong for Western countries to attempt to 'liberate' countries where the people are being oppressed, simply because we are then imposing our morality onto other cultures, and in many ways that does not sit right with me. It's telling people that we think we're right, and we're going to make sure that everyone else comes around to our 'right' way of thinking.


This may be a different twist to what we actually understand about "morality".  When the west attempts to "liberate" the oppressed that may depend on what you mean.  Do you mean "introduce western culture and capitalism" so we can exploit your resources and still enjoy our standard of living while occupying our mansions in your newly developed cities? or do you mean, "Assisting you in your struggle against cruel dictators or tribal chiefs?  In the one case we are obviously manipulating for our own gain.  In the other, perhaps evenin'g the odds and rather than introducing our morals on them, we are simply assisting them to enforce the moral standard that even among themselves they give lip service to. I THINK these people hold the same ideals, but what we would call "sin" and you "tyranny" or whatever, has allowed the dictator to disregard all acceptable standards for his own sake. 

 
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No-one can prove that one moral point of view is better than another, and so it follows that neither can be declared true.

Are you sure?  When it comes to the moral point "You shall do no murder", what kind of "proof" would you need, or the better question would be, do you have any instance where someone holds the opposite moral view that says "You MUST murder"?  When I address the question to atheist the answer is "of course you must not be free to murder" and rather than answering to some universal moral code, the reasoning is, "just for the sake of the preservation of the human species" we need to make these kinds of "laws".  But where is the proof and should we therefore declare this to be not true?

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But what troubles me is that with religion, we are breeding people who become so stoic in thier attitudes and beliefs that they cannot accept progress or change.

Think of the nature of "religion" and authority.  Or any other club or institution.  The first thing one has to look at is the "mission statement" or its raison d'etre (?) and its constituted authority.  If the authority is unchanging then the constitution or mission statement must remain the same, or changes must fit within the boundaries of the authority.  For instance when the church changes from organ music to electric guitars, and from Gregorian Chant to metal, apart from individual sensitivities or personal taste, there is no issue, no contradiction of the "authority" or Bible.  But to suggest that "murder" should now be acceptable would be impossible. 


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Supposing that everyone had had the same reaction as my grandfather - there would be no-one left within the CofE, and surely they would have had to reverse their decision to allow women bishops.


[I had the following typed and then realized I may have missed who "they"are and what the reversal meant. Maybe I said what you did.]
This is precisely what should have happened but with this difference.  Everyone should have left the church and/or the church should have recognised the error of its "liberalising" and anti biblical ways and "reformed" itself in the same way that Martin Luther originally begged the Catholic Church to give up its "extra-biblical" teachings on indulgences and other doctrines and practices.  As long as the C of E says the Bible has a place in its practice then it should stick to what they said the Bible teaches.  AS soon as they say otherwise, they are no longer the C of E... by definition. And therefore should no longer exist as an identifiable body.  This is why the current issue before Lambeth Conference is so clear cut, or divisive.  The "traditional" Anglican Communion says that as long as we accept the book of Common Prayer, and the 39 Articles of religion then we must not accept active homosexual priests or ordain women priests and bishops. The other Liberal ones, "calling" themselves Anglican, but wanting to ignore the 39 articles and the authority of the Bible should have the common decency or honesty to simply say, We are going to leave the Anglican Communion and become members of the "Universalist Church" or "Unitarian Church"
or form a new, "Assembly of religious Free thinkers" or whatever title they want.  But Anglican, (by traditional definition) they definitely are not. 

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What is this saying to people outside the church?
Well it depends what they do, and who you ask.
If they change those who know anything about the Bible or Church History should say: "What a bunch of Hypocrites. They profess to be followers of the Bible but they totally disregard its teaching."
And if they don't change they should say: "Now there is someone with strength of conviction who is not going to be "swayed with every wind of doctrine" or the latest "theological fad" that comes along.

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That because a few people have said that they think this shouldn't happen, it's been reversed and they're sticking with their same old attitude of suppressing women and disallowing them from doing what they want to do, and can do just as well as men?


I will assume it is because you are speaking from outside the church and therefore do not understand the Biblical truth that the church is upholding.  The church has never said that women cannot do certain things "just as well as men".  It is simply saying that according to the plain words of scripture (and/or their interpretation of it) and of scriptural example there is no place in the Old or New Testament where women can be a priest, or be given the headship over a congregation.  They are not even saying they can't be priests. Just "not in our church" or "in our  organization with its present constitution.  The obvious question is "So why would a woman WANT to be, let alone INSIST on being a priest within the Anglican Communion?  If her heart has been given to Jesus, to serve him then she will already understand the place of "submission" or role that the Anglican church has open for her, as a deaconess,  or she will understand that she can follow his call into another setting (denomination) altogether.  Jesus as her Lord and Saviour is not likely to be behind her rebellion or revolt.  He is the one that told his followers that if a Roman soldier demanded that you go one mile to carry his gear, (as the law required) you were to go two.  If your enemy struck one side of your face, offer the other.

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There's a difference between different moralities and just plain sexism, and the latter should not be allowed.
This does not have to have anything to do with sexism.  Should "masculinists" demand to nurse their babies and to do so in public?  (It is the only area I could think of that some male isn't already doing what once was only done by women.)  If some of the C of E people that refused to allow women to be ordained also forbid their wives from doing a job that is available to women, and he had no other reason  for her to not take it, other than "because she is a women" then that would be "sexist".  But when it is within the church and based on the Bible which they accept as the Word of God, then it is not an option to them if they are going to remain true to their "authority"

(Understand, that I am at a Bible College that since it was founded in 1922, has accepted women as teachers, including teachers of doctrine classes, that meant women teaching "men".  But the issue was that the woman was "under the authority" of the man. ie. the President delegated her that position and she was not "usurping" a role, which was the chief concern where this issue was raised in the scripture.  And also I am part of the "evangelical" and non main line church circles where we allow women "missionaries" and speakers and teachers. Furthermore, I believe the scriptures do make allowances for "prophetesses", and active roles within the church, but the churches I attend include that within their constitution.  BUT we do NOT allow "priests" neither male nor female, simply because we believe in the "priesthood" of all believers and we do not need any other Priest than Jesus.  (We have pastors and elders and deacons, but no priests (or priestesses.)
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« Reply #87 on: July 15, 2008, 16:07:37 »

On the subject of women (which, as Matt knows, is one of my favourite subjects):

I agree that churches should be allowed to let people in and give them roles based on their terms – IF they are completely privately funded. The ones that get tax breaks or money from the government in any other form should not be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of gender, race or sexual orientation because no non-religious organisation which receives government money is allowed to (or at least I don’t think they are. If they are, then they SHOULDN’T be allowed to), so why should they be?

Rather than women crying “Why won’t they let women be bishops?”, they should do what I’ve done, read a few certain verses of the Bible, see Christianity for the sexist religion that it is, realise that most, if not all religions are sexist, and leave religion altogether. Religion might take a long, hard look at itself when it loses half of its congregation.

Uebermensch
Matt: Sein Deutsch ist schlechter als mein! Mann screibt das „Übermensch“. Der ,u’ hat einen Umlaut, und „Über“ hat keinen ‚e’. Aber es ist schwerig zu Umlaute benützen, wenn mann eines Englisches Keyboard benützt, und der ‚e’ ist vielleicht einen Tippfehler, also ich denke dass Sie Deutsch sprechen, weil das werdet erklären, warum sie so vielen Großbuchstaben benützen!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 12:10:29 by steka » Logged
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« Reply #88 on: July 15, 2008, 21:25:43 »

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I agree that churches should be allowed to let people in and give them roles based on their terms – IF they are completely privately funded. The ones that get tax breaks or money from the government in any other form should not be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of gender, race or sexual orientation because no non-religious organisation which receives government money is allowed to (or at least I don’t think they are. If they are, then they SHOULDN’T be allowed to), so why should they be?
It seems to me some governments recognise "community standards" as a factor in what is acceptable and what is not acceptable withing organizations, and of course a "community standard" has to be based on some kind of "authority" or measure.  In the cases of churches, that standard hasn ought to be the Bible.  As long as the organization is sticking to its stated mission, and has legitimate grounds for holding to its "community standard" then it can recieve the government considerations.  It is when it goes beyond that that they are subject to investigation or loss of "privileges". ie. tax except status when they start telling people how to vote.  (They could preach what course of action is preferred, but to say therefore vote for Horace, would cross the line.)

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Rather than women crying “Why won’t they let women be bishops?”, they should do what I’ve done, read a few certain verses of the Bible, see Christianity for the sexist religion that it is, realise that most, if not all religions are sexist, and leave religion altogether. Religion might take a long, hard look at itself when it loses half of its congregation.


Actually it would be the best thing that could happen.  For the church, and for society.  Non church people would recognise that the church was never intended to be just another social club where the members make up the rules to suit themselves.  Rather, one becomes a member by a choice of free will, and in becoming a member, they do so on the terms of the constitution and authority that is the foundation of the church.  They join it freely and they are free to leave it any time they can no longer uphold its principles.  Or contariwise, when they refuse to uphold its principles they are invited to leave, or conform to the principles which they declared they would abide by. This really is a no brainer.  From the beginning the church (or in the Old Testament, ecclsesia, has been a body to which one came on God's terms and by invitation. The road is narrow and the gate small, and there are few that find it.  But to those who do find it, it leads to Life everlasting.


Uebermensch
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Matt: Sein Deutsch ist schlechter als mein! Mann screibt das „Übermensch“. Der ,u’ hat einen Umlaut, und ‚ „Über“ hat keinen ‚e’. Aber es ist schwerig zu Umlaute benützen, wenn mann eines Englisches Keyboard benützt, une der ‚e’ ist vielleicht einen Tippfehler, also ich denke dass Sie Deutsch sprechen, weil das werdet erklären, warum sie so vielen Großbuchstaben benützen!

Now the wisdom of the New Testament says that those who speak in tongues ought to remain silent unless they know there is an interpreter, or they themselves interpret.  In my case, (apart from having on hand the facility of using the German keyboard, I did quote exactly what was in the book, and included the "interpretation" as "supermen".  So tell me what is bugging you about my not using the umlaut or being able to speak German as you do.  Condescension here we come!
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« Reply #89 on: July 16, 2008, 12:54:55 »

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As long as the organization is sticking to its stated mission, and has legitimate grounds for holding to its "community standard" then it can recieve the government considerations.
But, if the government refuses to grant tax exempt status to any non-religious organisation which discriminates against people on the grounds of sex, race or sexual orientation, ESPECIALLY if such discrimination is part of said organisation's mission statement, then why should religious organisations be treated any differently?

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It is when it goes beyond that that they are subject to investigation or loss of "privileges". ie. tax except status when they start telling people how to vote.
I'd draw the line for religious organisations in the same place that the line is drawn for all non-religious organisations. I don't mind them telling people how to vote. It's a secret ballot, so they couldn't enforce any 'vote for candidate x or else' rules, though I suppose that they could prevent their members from campaigning for candidate y, and doing this SHOULD mean that they lose their tax exempt-status.

In the past, the Bible was used to justify slavery (though I'll admit that the verses used weren't explicitly condoning slavery whilst the verses demanding sexism ARE explicit in their demands). Would you advocate the government funding a religious organisation which wouldn't let people of certain races into positions of power because this would be against their "community standard" and "mission statement"?

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Actually it would be the best thing that could happen.  For the church, and for society.
Agreed! If only everyone else saw religion for the crock of shite that it really is. *sighs*

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Non church people would recognise that the church was never intended to be just another social club where the members make up the rules to suit themselves.
But instead a social hierarchy where the clergy make up the rules by interpreting the scriptures to suit themselves.

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Rather, one becomes a member by a choice of free will,
or the wish to avoid the slight inconvenience of having the Spanish Inquisition (who NOBODY ever expects!) turning the rack a few times.

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They join it freely and they are free to leave it any time they can no longer uphold its principles.
And at any time they didn't mind being fined large amounts of money at best, or being burnt at the stake at worst.

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Or contariwise, when they refuse to uphold its principles they are invited to leave, or conform to the principles which they declared they would abide by.
After which they will set up a rival church, causing yet another schism. Strange, is it not, how there could be so many disagreements over what a book as clear as the Bible says?

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This really is a no brainer.
I know. Unfortunately, there are still far too many people out there who actually BELIEVE the tripe which they're spoon-fed by religion.

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From the beginning the church (or in the Old Testament, ecclsesia, has been a body to which one came on God's terms and by invitation.
Or by the Church's terms and under duress.

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The road is narrow and the gate small, and there are few that find it.
Which is why all babies should be aborted or killed shortly after birth, as this will greatly increase their chances of salvation.

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But to those who do find it, it leads to Life everlasting.
That, and sexism, homophobia, holy wars, burning of 'witches', etc etc.

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Now the wisdom of the New Testament says that those who speak in tongues ought to remain silent unless they know there is an interpreter, or they themselves interpret.
Well, it's a good thing that I wasn't speaking in tongues, then, innit? I assumed that there WAS an interpreter, as I was under the impression that you spoke German, due to your use of a (misspelled) German word. Obviously you don't. I'll translate it later.

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In my case, (apart from having on hand the facility of using the German keyboard, I did quote exactly what was in the book, and included the "interpretation" as "supermen".
Book? What book? Oh yeah! I've just realised that all the text in maroon is quoted from you Dictionary of the Bible and Religion. Since the previous quote was near the beginning of your post, and the one I quoted near the end, by the time I'd got to the quote I quoted, I'd forgotten that the text in maroon was from that book. doh

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So tell me what is bugging you about my not using the umlaut or being able to speak German as you do.  Condescension here we come!
Aaaaayyy!!! (pronounced like a long 'eh', not sure what the correct spelling is. Basically means biggrin , but in an ever so slightly sarcastic way) Thanks for the chance for me to be condescending! upsmiley As I thought you spoke German, I thought that you not using an umlaut was just you being lazy and not bothering to do that thing of inserting a symbol into a Word document and then copying and pasting it into your post. (There is some way of inserting them using a unicode shortcut thingumy, but I can never remember how to do it, and, by the time I've looked up the method, it would've been quicker for me to use the copy&paste method.) Not using an umlaut changed the pronounciation of the 'u' from 'ʊ' to 'yː' (these are German IPA symbols, and I couldn't think of any English words which have either of the pronounciations in them to use as examples. Sorry). Using an e where none should've been made things even worse. Was the e a typo or what? What do you mean, "speak German as you do"? My German's RUBBISH! Anyway, a translation of what I said in German in my previous post:

Matt: your German's worse than mine! You spell it "Übermensch". The 'u' has an umlaut, and "Über" doesn't have an 'e' in it. (I was wrong to say that. What I SHOULD have said was " „Über“ hat nur einen ‚e’.", which would have meant ""Über" only has one 'e' in it." doh Sorry! blush ) But it's hard to use umlauts when you're using an English keyboard, and the 'e' is probably a typo, so I think that you speak German, as this would explain why you use so many capital letters! (This being because in German, EVERY noun begins with a capital letter).
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 16:42:33 by steka » Logged
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« Reply #90 on: July 17, 2008, 08:14:28 »


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and doing this SHOULD mean that they lose their tax exempt-status.
Personally, and coming back to my Biblical standard/ example, I don't think churches should have any government involvement.  I don't think they should have tax exemptions, and I don't think donors should expect to get tax deductible receipts for giving.  But if I go that far, then neither should the pastor have to pay taxes on his income, and individuals should be able to give as much or as little as they want to the support of the pastor and/or the church.  But, continuing with the Bible as the model, there is no justification of having any church building or structures either.  Either meet in homes, or crypts, or out of doors.

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whilst the verses demanding sexism ARE explicit in their demands). Would you advocate the government funding a religious organisation which wouldn't let people of certain races into positions of power because this would be against their "community standard" and "mission statement"?

Now, you have to convince me of your definition of sexism and that the Bible really is sexist.  Make sure that we are not talking about "order of authority" or "organization" structure, and/or cultural practice common to all.  (OR symbolism) (OR reality). 
I understand the Mormon church until very recently wouldn't allow blacks to hold certain positions but one of their leaders had a "revelation" that now permits it.  I don't know what relationship the government has had with them regarding taxation etc.

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Actually it would be the best thing that could happen.  For the church, and for society.
Agreed! If only everyone else saw religion for the crock of shite that it really is. *sighs*

Do emphasise the use of the word "religion", because then you will be sure to have Jesus on your side too.  He came to set the prisoner free.  And that includes all those who are "stuck" with a system (even of unbelief) whereas he is calling them all  into a relationship with himself.

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Non church people would recognise that the church was never intended to be just another social club where the members make up the rules to suit themselves.
But instead a social hierarchy where the clergy make up the rules by interpreting the scriptures to suit themselves.

BACK TO THE BIBLE!
As far as I can tell the only Biblical hierarchy we have is pastor/teacher, and elders and deacons, and these seem to be confined to the local assembly.  (Bishop/elder seem to be the same office).  At the very most there was a loose council of the original apostles who gave an "approving" stamp to those in the early church who were teaching doctrine.  (Paul tells us that he had his orders directly from Jesus/God, but that when he went to the council they agreed.  The council also agreed as to how "Jewish" the Gentiles had to be to be Christians.  See the WHOLE book of Acts.  Apart from that we have no other indication of hierarchy except the qualifications of elders, bishops, deacons, and use of the ministerial gifts as given in the epistles.

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And at any time they didn't mind being fined large amounts of money at best, or being burnt at the stake at worst.

Which has alway been the case for true believers vs. "the world". See the catalogue of horrors in Hebrews 11, and "Foxes book of Martyrs" and modern day records of persecution and martyrdom in those wonderful countries under communist dictatorship, or Muslim or Hindu domination.

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After which they will set up a rival church, causing yet another schism. Strange, is it not, how there could be so many disagreements over what a book as clear as the Bible says?

Again, you have Jesus on your side.  He prayed for Unity, but not "union", except as in com-union.  Being brothers and sisters meant unity while being different or individual.  And of course my call to come to an agreement of the basics, (for instance the Apostle's Creed) or even more basic the creeds used in the Bible itself.  See "1 Corinthians 15:3-5, or Colossians 1:15-20, or Philippians 2:6-11, or simply "Jesus is Lord". 

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This really is a no brainer.
I know. Unfortunately, there are still far too many people out there who actually BELIEVE the tripe which they're spoon-fed by religion.
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tripe which they're spoon-fed by religion
You said it!

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From the beginning the church (or in the Old Testament, ecclesia, has been a body to which one came on God's terms and by invitation.
Or by the Church's terms and under duress.

The Bible has only ever recognised one Church, one body, or as Ephesians 4 says: "There is one body and one Spirit --- just as you were called to one hope when you were called--- one one Lord, one faith,  one baptism;"  And it also gives what is necessary to "keep the unity".  If you are talking about a particular denomination or even a local body, you are not at liberty to use the definite article THE but only the indefinite, "a", or "an". or perhaps you are talking about a building in which case it sets no terms and the only duress will come from architectural considerations.

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The road is narrow and the gate small, and there are few that find it.
Which is why all babies should be aborted or killed shortly after birth, as this will greatly increase their chances of salvation.
However, for every baby thus (by your theology stated here) ushered immediately into heaven, there may be an adult murderer, that should they fail to repent, would be sent to hell.

(Our infamous child murderer in Canada has just been declared the recipient of the Order of Canada, an honour conferred by the Govenor General, who in this case can hardly be considered to be acting on behalf of either the queen or the majority of Canadians.)

 
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Well, it's a good thing that I wasn't speaking in tongues,

The difficulty was in using the term "speaking" eh?  BECAUSE according to Acts 2:4-6, the "Tongues" were recognizable languages.

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due to your use of a (misspelled) German word. Obviously you don't. I'll translate it later.

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Was the e a typo or what? What do you mean, "speak German as you do"? My German's RUBBISH! Anyway, a translation of what I said in German in my previous post:

I don't know if it was a typo on my part or not, because when I read this last night (this morning after midnight) I didn't look it up again in "the book", and I don't have it here at work. In any case I just threw the word umlaut in to make you think I was translating any of the passage, and guessing (vaguely remembering) that it was some punctuation. I try to read it "outloud" and then guess if it sounds like any English words.  I recognise "nein" (or is that nine) as a negative, and "sprechen" as speaking, and Deutsch as German. And I could never remember why they put capitals in the middle of the sentence.   
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« Reply #91 on: July 17, 2008, 18:41:02 »

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I don't think they should have tax exemptions, and I don't think donors should expect to get tax deductible receipts for giving.
eyepop  We actually AGREE on something! I never thought I'd see the day.

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But if I go that far, then neither should the pastor have to pay taxes on his income,
Everyone else has to pay income tax. Why should the pastor be exempt? This, imho, would put him on a par with builders who are infamous for giving their customers discount if they pay by cash. Everyone knows why they offer such discounts, but, of course, the ones taking advantage of the discounts will deny all knowledge of their real reasons.

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Either meet in homes, or crypts, or out of doors.
The last option is unadvisable in Britain.

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Now, you have to convince me of your definition of sexism and that the Bible really is sexist.
Sexism is believing that somebody is incapable of doing a job simply because of their gender (and I'm not talking about things like being a mother, but rather things like being a mechanic, which you can't claim is a job which can't be done by a member of either gender). The Bible says that women can't be in positions of power, and I presume that this is because whoever wrote those bits of the Bible deemed women incapable of fulfilling such a role. What part of being a bishop or whatever requires somebody to be in posession of a cock to do said job properly?

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Make sure that we are not talking about "order of authority" or "organization" structure, and/or cultural practice common to all.  (OR symbolism) (OR reality).
Symbolism? Cultural practice? You mean that God is influenced by such things? And what do you mean by reality? What are you on about?

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I understand the Mormon church until very recently wouldn't allow blacks to hold certain positions but one of their leaders had a "revelation" that now permits it.  I don't know what relationship the government has had with them regarding taxation etc.
I heard something about that too. They had this revelation at around the same time as various bills were passed making discrimination on the grounds of race illegal. I'm not sure whether they would've been closed down or would have lost their tax-exempt status (if they even have such a status) had they ignored the legislation, but, whatever the consequences, they were detrimental enough to bring on this revelation.

You've neatly avoided answering my question, so I'll do a Jeremy Paxman, and keep asking the question until I get a straight answer. Would you advocate the government funding or granting tax-exempt status to an organisation (be it religious or otherwise) which wouldn't allow people of certain races to hold certain positions, and which made this discrimination part of its "mission statement"?

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Do emphasise the use of the word "religion", because then you will be sure to have Jesus on your side too.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! yikes I do NOT have Jesus on my side. EVER!

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He came to set the prisoner free.
Funny that. He also said that slaves should be beaten, but only if they were disobedient. How kind of him.

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See the WHOLE book of Acts.
TL:DR

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modern day records of persecution and martyrdom in those wonderful countries under communist dictatorship,
I haven't told you what kind of a commie I am, but I'll give you 3 clues:
  • I am NOT a Stalinist.
  • Neither am I a Maoist
  • Nor am I a Fidel Castroist (if there is such an ideology and, if so, if that is the correct term to describe it).

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or Muslim or Hindu domination.
Yeah, yeah. I know that I haven't directed enough criticism at other religions lately. But that's because I have a lil' surprise for you. Wait for a new thread that'll be appearing in the BS4U section. You'll see ... clownsmiley

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Again, you have Jesus on your side.
GAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!! steam Stop AGREEING with me! It's getting scary ... yikes

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See "1 Corinthians 15:3-5, or Colossians 1:15-20, or Philippians 2:6-11,
swearsmiley off am I reading all of that.

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or simply "Jesus is Lord". 
Ah. That explains EVERYTHING. If only the world were as utopic as is described in some prophecy or other about swords being bent into scythes (or sickles devilsmiley ) or something like that.

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You said it!
I can feel another post in the preachy rants thread coming on. You might have to wait a couple of says for that thread in BS4U.

By 'the Church', I was referring to the now Catholic Church of the Middle ages, which I thought was more or less the only church in the Western world of the time, so WAS 'THE Church'. But then my history's not up to much, so it might've been only 'A Church'.

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However, for every baby thus (by your theology stated here) ushered immediately into heaven, there may be an adult murderer, that should they fail to repent, would be sent to hell.
Ah, but does the Bible not state that for somebody to sacrifice their life for a stranger is a great act? Would sacrificing one's eternal soul for a stranger not then be a VERY great act?

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The difficulty was in using the term "speaking" eh?  BECAUSE according to Acts 2:4-6, the "Tongues" were recognizable languages.
It also says that Tongues are "by the power the Holy Spirit was giving to them." My German was by the power of a secondary education. I had to work blimmin' hard to get that A at GCSE in German, you know!

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In any case I just threw the word umlaut in to make you think I was translating any of the passage, and guessing (vaguely remembering) that it was some punctuation.
Isn't umlaut the same in English as it is in German anyway? As you'd said "tell me what is bugging you about my not using the umlaut or being able to speak German as you do.", I thought that you didn't speak German after all, but had picked up the meaning of 'umlaut' because it's the same in English. DO you speak German?

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I recognise "nein" (or is that nine) as a negative, and "sprechen" as speaking, and Deutsch as German.
You're right that "nein" is German for 'no'. (The German word for nine (9) is 'neun'.) You're kind of right about "sprechen" meaning speaking, but "sprechen" is the infinite form of the verb, so it means "to speak" rather than "speaking". However, the German language isn't as complex as English when it comes to tenses. In German, if I wanted to say "we are speaking" (the 'we' form of a verb in the present tense being the same as the infinitive form of the verb), I would say "Wir sprechen", which means "We speak". It is impossible to say "We are speaking" in German. They have only one present tense, whilst we kind of have 2 (though they probably have fancier names than "that form of the present tense that the Germans always use" and "that form of the present tense that the Germans don't have"). Hence in German, you can't say "It's raining", you have to say "Es regnet", which means "It rains".

Anyway, I'll just finish off by boring you with the the conjugations of 'sprechen' before finally getting on with the rest of the post:

In the present tense:
Ich (I) spreche
Du (the informal form of 'you') sprechst
Er (he)/sie (she)/es (it) sprecht
Wir (we) sprechen
Ihr (the plural form of 'you' (ie "you lot")) sprecht
Sie (the polite form of 'you', must ALWAYS have a capital letter. You'll notice that I referred to you using the Sie form, because I thought you spoke German, and that, if I used the du form, you'd go off into a rant about how members of my generation don't respect our elders) /sie (they) sprechen

In the past tenses:
German has 2 past tenses:- the perfect and the imperfect. The former, with a few exceptions, is the one most used in speech. The latter is used mostly in formal writing, ie newspaper articles. It's the reverse of English in this way. The former translates as "They have spoken", whilst the latter translates as "They spoke" (using the they form, of course), so the German way of using the past tense informally is like the English way of using the past tense formally, and vice versa, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, "I have spoken" (the perfect tense) is "Ich habe gesprochen." 'Gesprochen' is the past participle of 'sprechen'. This makes it an irregular verb, because regular verbs' past participles are just the infinitive form of the verb with 'ge' plonked on at their beginning. Gesprochen is used with EVERY conjugation in the past tense. What differs is which form of 'haben' is used. In the du form, the sentence becomes "Du HAST gesprochen'. I can do the conjugations of haben if you want, but you're probably sick to the back teeth of German already.

The perfect tense is as follows:
Ich sprach (again, this makes it an irregular verb, because regular verbs use the root (the infinitive form of the verb with 'en' taken off) with 'te' on the end for the ich and er/sie/es forms, 'test' for the du form, 'ten' for the wir/Sie/sie forms and 'tet' for the ihr form)
Du sprachst
er/sie/es sprach
wir sprachen
ihr spracht
Sie/sie sprachen

In the future tenses:

The basic future tense can be formed in 2 ways. Either a sentence is started using a time word (ie 'Morgen' for 'tomorrow', or 'nächste Woche' for 'next week', but NOT 'Im zwei Wochen' (in 2 weeks). The last one requires the following version of the future tense to be tagged on the end.) and then continuing the sentence as if it were in the present tense.

The other way, for the ich form, would be "Ich werde sprechen", which means "I will speak". The infinitive form of sprechen is ALWAYS used, but the conjugation of 'werden' (to become) changes. As with haben, I can do the conjugations of werden if you want.

There's also the conditional tense, which would be used to say, for example "I will speak, IF ... ". This just uses the imperfect tense conjugations of 'werden' in place of the perfect tense conjugations, but with an umlaut over the 'u'. An example would be "Ich würde sprechen, wenn das Wetter schön ist." which means "I will speak if the weather is good."

There was another tense, called the present subjunctive, but I can't even remember when it was supposed to be used, let alone how to form it. Sorry. blush I hope that my boring you with a quick lesson on how to conjugate sprechen has put you off pretending to speak German by using German words for no apparent reason for quite some time.

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And I could never remember why they put capitals in the middle of the sentence.  
There is a similarity between you and the Germans, in that you both feel the need to capitalise every single noun. There is also a difference between you in that, in their language, to do so is grammatically correct. Tongue
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 18:43:19 by steka » Logged
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« Reply #92 on: July 20, 2008, 22:29:48 »

Well, here I am, it is 11:30 and I just "re-found" this.  It is this one that I had well under way when the lightning "stole" it on me.  And if I don't get beyond the first line or so, at least it will be at the top of "show own posts" when I do get back to it.

 
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We actually AGREE on something! I never thought I'd see the day.
I am SURE you have said that before.  Better search and find other instances.  If it looks like it is becoming a habit you will have to take drastic measures.

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But if I go that far, then neither should the pastor have to pay taxes on his income,
Everyone else has to pay income tax. Why should the pastor be exempt? This, imho, would put him on a par with builders who are infamous for giving their customers discount if they pay by cash. Everyone knows why they offer such discounts, but, of course, the ones taking advantage of the discounts will deny all knowledge of their real reasons.

Because if this is a Voluntary position, one who is simply leading a flock, and they in turn are supporting him from a sense of "helping" then he is not on a salary, and these are only "love gifts" and he is dependent only on his followers responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to support him. 

A business that does Pay taxes has to be incorporated and it in turn can make claims or credits, and chalk up "expenses" etc. until it has basically used up all its profits and so is left with little that has to be actually "paid".  Then the "owner" who pays himself likewise deducts his expenses, or shows them to be part of the "company" expense even if it means the "company" paying for his vehicle, etc.  I guess the govt. needs to determine if the community "benefits" sufficiently from the "pastor" and his church being in town to encourage its being there by some "motivation" whether that is tax exemption, or other "breaks".
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Either meet in homes, or crypts, or out of doors.
The last option is unadvisable in Britain.

Likewise in Canada.

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The Bible says that women can't be in positions of power, and I presume that this is because whoever wrote those bits of the Bible deemed women incapable of fulfilling such a role.

I don't know of any declaration that says they are "incapable".  Check out the very in depth response on "Christian Science etc." (I think) dealing with the place of "principles".


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You've neatly avoided answering my question, so I'll do a Jeremy Paxman, and keep asking the question until I get a straight answer. Would you advocate the government funding or granting tax-exempt status to an organisation (be it religious or otherwise) which wouldn't allow people of certain races to hold certain positions, and which made this discrimination part of its "mission statement"?

I think that organizations that discriminate according to racism, generally do not want to have anything to do with governments either via funding or tax-exemptions, nor are they usually seen as being of benefit to a community.  However, churches with doctrinal bases for the limitiations of who can occupy particular positions, are generally seen to be very much contributing to the society in which they minister.  What would be the "economic" consequence if the UK government should suddenly say that all C of E property would now be subject to taxation and donors and supporters would no longer be allowed to claim their donations in their income taxes? 

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Do emphasise the use of the word "religion", because then you will be sure to have Jesus on your side too.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! yikes I do NOT have Jesus on my side. EVER!
Quite true. It is not a matter of Jesus being "on your side" so much as you have finally come along side the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 5,6,& 7), (Matthew 21:31) (Luke 11:39-46; 20:47 and before him, Isaiah (58:2-7 ), Jeremiah, and Amos etc. 

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He also said that slaves should be beaten, but only if they were disobedient. How kind of him.

Chapter and verse please.  Should be or could be expected to if they did not serve?


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Would sacrificing one's eternal soul for a stranger not then be a VERY great act?
Did someone say something about "logical" somewhere? 

I would say your German lesson was "Condescending" with a Capital C. 
My language study, as I think I mentioned before was one year of Latin in grade 10, and all the tenses and was it called "voices" etc. left me completely bewildered although I thought it a very clever approach to communicating.  However a failure on my part to care, and/or memorise endings etc. or vocabulary, meant I got a final mark of 23 %.  Likewise I took French for grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 A and 12 S (for stupid) and again should have failed the grade 10 and finished all prospects but moved to a different school where they thought I should have the chance to "try again".  I couldn't see any reason why I should learn French inasmuch it was not Quebecois French, nor "conversational" and would serve no purpose because I figured I would live in Ontario all my life and everyone spoke English.  Then in 1966 after my "graduation" with the Anglican Church Army, I was "commissioned" and posted to Montreal.  (But this was leading up to 1967 and the year of Expo 67 in Montreal and everyone was glad to welcome the Anglaise and their money.  It wasn't until later that the FLQ stirred up the blood and insisted on Francais seulment etc.

Now I wish I could actually speak and understand French.

In Alberta, and in this part in particular we are "surrounded" by Mennonites (and Hutterites) and they speak "Low German" which I have no idea what that means, but they are quite proud of their uniqueness and have to always sing at least one verse or two of "Silent Night"  at any Christmas Gathering, (Just to give the rest of us a taste of what it will be like when we get to heaven and hear "the heavenly language" etc.)
Although the bible clearly indicates the language spoken in Heaven is "Hebrew",  (Proof text: Acts 26:14 (Paul describing his vision and a voice from heaven.) "And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue,  "Saul Saul..."etc." 
(A joke, I just read)
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« Reply #93 on: July 21, 2008, 17:06:12 »

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I am SURE you have said that before.
yikes Uh-oh. It's worse than I thought!

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Better search and find other instances.
swearsmiley off. You know where the search function is. YOU find other instances.

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If it looks like it is becoming a habit you will have to take drastic measures.
This would be a good idea, if only I could think of some drastic measures to take.

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Because if this is a Voluntary position, one who is simply leading a flock, and they in turn are supporting him from a sense of "helping" then he is not on a salary, and these are only "love gifts" and he is dependent only on his followers responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to support him. 
You could aruge that the builders are also in voluntary (that's not a verb - that's an adjective, you muppet!) positions and are simply doing their bit to help others out, but that the ones who they help out are so grateful that they give them "love gifts". So why should builders be taxed when priests are not?

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A business that does Pay taxes has to be incorporated and it in turn can make claims or credits, and chalk up "expenses" etc. until it has basically used up all its profits and so is left with little that has to be actually "paid".
I'm sure that a church could do the same thing. That incense doesn't buy itself, you know!

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Then the "owner" who pays himself likewise deducts his expenses, or shows them to be part of the "company" expense even if it means the "company" paying for his vehicle, etc.
Surely a priest could claim his car on expenses too? And he wouldn't have to put up with something as crude and affordable as a beamer or a merc. No, a priest must drive a vehicle befitting a man of the cloth. A roller (for the metal figure at the front of their cars), or perhaps a hearst.

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I guess the govt. needs to determine if the community "benefits" sufficiently from the "pastor" and his church being in town to encourage its being there by some "motivation" whether that is tax exemption, or other "breaks".
And I would vote that they don't. If they want a church that much, then they can pay for it and the tax that goes with it themselves.

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I think that organizations that discriminate according to racism, generally do not want to have anything to do with governments either via funding or tax-exemptions, nor are they usually seen as being of benefit to a community.
You STILL haven't given a straight answer to my question! All I want is 'yes' or 'no'. How hard can it be to type 2 or 3 letters? Anyway, for the sake of an arugment, imagine that there ARE racist (strange how you do not hesitate to use this word for organisations which exclude people of certain races from holding certain positions, and yet you deny that churches which won't let people of a certain gender hold certain positions are sexist) organisations which DO want to be tax-exempt and which ARE of some benefit to a community. Would you advocate the tax-exemption and possibly even the state funding of such an organisation? 'Yes' or 'no' please. And one or the other. Don't duck out by picking both.

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However, churches with doctrinal bases for the limitiations of who can occupy particular positions, are generally seen to be very much contributing to the society in which they minister.
And I'm sure that the Mormons were of some benefit to society, even back when they were racist. But that doesn't answer my question. Perhaps your eyesight is going with age, and is preventing you from seeing my question, and maybe that is why you have yet to give a straight answer to it. So I'll put it in a large font.
Would you advocate the state granting funding or tax-exempt status to an organisation which did not allow people of certain races to hold certain positions, and/or which made this discrimination part of their "mission statement"?

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What would be the "economic" consequence if the UK government should suddenly say that all C of E property would now be subject to taxation and donors and supporters would no longer be allowed to claim their donations in their income taxes?
So you're saying that the UK government should not force the C of E to allow women to hold any position (which it seems that they'll do anyway, but, for the sake of an arugment, we'll imagine for a second that they won't) by threatening to tax all their property and donations because there might be economic repercussions? What happened to this idea of 'principle' which you were going on about earlier on the Christian Science thread?

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Quite true. It is not a matter of Jesus being "on your side" so much as you have finally come along side the teaching of Jesus
NO! It can't be! I am NOT on the same side as Jesus. For anything. EVER! yikes umbrella steam

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(Matthew 5,6,& 7), (Matthew 21:31) (Luke 11:39-46; 20:47 and before him, Isaiah (58:2-7 ), Jeremiah, and Amos etc. 
TL:DR

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Chapter and verse please.
Luke 12:41-48 Tongue

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Should be or could be expected to if they did not serve?
So the slave owner's not at fault for owning slaves then?

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Did someone say something about "logical" somewhere? 
Are you accusing my thought process as being illogical, or are you accusing me of arguing that there is no such thing as logic, and that therefore I cannot use logic to argue my case? If the latter, then I'll admit that there IS such a thing as logic, though I don't remember arguing that there isn't. Whichever is the case, why do you then not condone arbortions?

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I would say your German lesson was "Condescending"
biggrin

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with a Capital C. 
'Condescending' isn't a noun. It's an adjective, you muppet! 9_9
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 18:16:32 by steka » Logged
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« Reply #94 on: July 21, 2008, 20:48:30 »

 


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Would you advocate the state granting funding or tax-exempt status to an organisation which did not allow people of certain races to hold certain positions, and/or which made this discrimination part of their "mission statement"?

I believe we should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and render unto God the things that are God's.  A business that pays taxes and is upholding all the laws of the land (which in a democracy have been put in place by elected members) should be subject to the same laws, and recipient of the same "breaks" as all other businesses.  It is difficult for me to give any more definite answer than this simply because based on Biblical principles I don't see any justification for a church building and certainly no concept that the Government should be involved in any way, either by giving "tax exemptions" nor issuing "tax deductible receipts. By the same token if a "charity" whether it be a soup kitchen, a shelter for women or a hospital is operated by a church or denomination as a "public service" and the community beyond its own members benefit, then perhaps they should just close up and let the city replace the service with a "secular" institution, or the church operated "charity" should simply incorporate as a private business and charge every user fees sufficient to cover all expenses.  And of course, there should not be any discrimination in who is allowed to staff the hospital.  Neither can we demand that the nurses be nuns, and perhaps there is no need to discriminate as to qualifications as to who can perform surgeries.  Are we prejudiced against mechanics.  Are they not as capable of wielding a knife as a wrench?  So what if the "constitution" has hitherto only allowed graduates of medical schools?  Now we are discriminating based only on what school they have attended.  There is no end where blind 'reasoning' can take this.

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What would be the "economic" consequence if the UK government should suddenly say that all C of E property would now be subject to taxation and donors and supporters would no longer be allowed to claim their donations in their income taxes?
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So you're saying that the UK government should not force the C of E to allow women to hold any position (which it seems that they'll do anyway, but, for the sake of an arugment, we'll imagine for a second that they won't) by threatening to tax all their property and donations because there might be economic repercussions? What happened to this idea of 'principle' which you were going on about earlier on the Christian Science thread?

Did I say that? I only reflected on the possible consequences if the "government" which includes how many C of E members of "influence" should decide to withhold the tax exempt status, and in effect be "meddling" with "The Church". 



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(Matthew 5,6,& 7), (Matthew 21:31) (Luke 11:39-46; 20:47 and before him, Isaiah (58:2-7 ), Jeremiah, and Amos etc. 
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TL:DR
These are all references where the prophets and Jesus condemned religion and religious leaders for having replaced a vital living relationship with God that showed itself in concern for the poor and needy, with a self righteous legalism. 


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Chapter and verse please.
Luke 12:41-48 Tongue

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Should be or could be expected to if they did not serve?
So the slave owner's not at fault for owning slaves then?

The majority of the Roman empire and its economic structure was based on slavery.  The New Testament recognised the role of slaves, of which most of the early believers may have been, and addressed the situation from within the reality that was then and there.  Jesus was giving a "parable" and simply "Telling it like it is."  He also taught, as did the writers  of the epistles, how masters and slaves should treat one another or respond to one another.  The New Testament "pattern" for each was completely foreign to the concept or mind that either would have considered "normal".  But such is the nature of the Gospel.

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Did someone say something about "logical" somewhere? 
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Are you accusing my thought process as being illogical, or are you accusing me of arguing that there is no such thing as logic, and that therefore I cannot use logic to argue my case? If the latter, then I'll admit that there IS such a thing as logic, though I don't remember arguing that there isn't. Whichever is the case, why do you then not condone arbortions?

Let me say that I think I was having difficulty comprehending or following what you perceived to be a logical sequence of thoughts leading from statement A to the concluding statement D or X or whatever.  That a person lay down their life for a "friend" or "stranger" and that somehow connected to abortion, was a bit beyond what I could follow. Did you?

I do not condone abortions on two counts. 
1. It means the taking of a life.
2. It means the one taking the life becomes guilty of murder.
The consequences or "evil" in the first instance is that the life has value and ought not to be taken "arbitrarily".
The consequence in the second instance is that the one guilty of murder will either face the judgement reserved for murderers, OR  will have to live with the knowledge of their deeds for the rest of their lives.
And of course the third point is that someone has been deceived by misinformation and false reasoning so that they came to a decision that no "humane" person would have come to had they understood the facts.  (OR else they have been very aware of the facts and have chosen to do the "Selfish" thing without regard to anyone else. ) 

Note also the reasons NOT given by me for being "pro life" or "anti-abortion". 

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« Reply #95 on: July 23, 2008, 17:01:58 »

You STILL haven't given me a straight answer to my question! Just say 'yes' or 'no'. It's not that hard. So, once again, would you advocate the state granting funding or tax-exempt status to an organisation which did not allow people of certain races to hold certain
positions, and/or which made this discrimination part of their "mission statement"?

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It is difficult for me to give any more definite answer than this simply because based on Biblical principles I don't see any justification for a church building and certainly no concept that the Government should be involved in any way, either by giving "tax exemptions" nor issuing "tax deductible receipts.
So we're agreed on something, then. Churches should have to pay their taxes just like everybody else, unless they're prepared to play by the government's rules, which may mean being forced to let women and homosexuals be priests.

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By the same token if a "charity" whether it be a soup kitchen, a shelter for women or a hospital is operated by a church or denomination as a "public service" and the community beyond its own members benefit, then perhaps they should just close up and let the city replace the service with a "secular" institution, or the church operated "charity" should simply incorporate as a private business and charge every user fees sufficient to cover all expenses. 
There are plenty of secular charities who could be called upon to take the place of church-operated charities, if the churches decide that they should protest the removal of their tax-exempt status by removing all the charity services that it operates. I'd've hoped that churches which teach their congrugation to turn the other cheek would be mature enough to rise above such tit-for-tat tactics, but that's probably being a bit too optimistic.

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And of course, there should not be any discrimination in who is allowed to staff the hospital.  Neither can we demand that the nurses be nuns, and perhaps there is no need to discriminate as to qualifications as to who can perform surgeries.
Hang on a minute. When did selecting candidates for jobs based purely on their ability become discrimination? ANYONE can get the qualifications needed to become anything they want, if they put their minds to it. Women, unless they have the operation (which would probably get them slung out of the church altogether), cannot become men.

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Are we prejudiced against mechanics.  Are they not as capable of wielding a knife as a wrench? 
Yes, though I doubt that a body has the same layout as a car's engine. And I don't think that they'd be too good at doing stitches.

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So what if the "constitution" has hitherto only allowed graduates of medical schools?  Now we are discriminating based only on what school they have attended.  There is no end where blind 'reasoning' can take this.
Do I REALLY need to point out the fallacy in the argument that picking candidates based upon their abilities is discrimination in the same way that picking candidates based upon their gender or race is?

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Did I say that?
No, but you damn well implied it.

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I only reflected on the possible consequences if the "government" which includes how many C of E members of "influence" should decide to withhold the tax exempt status, and in effect be "meddling" with "The Church". 
But you agree that such economic consequences should not be any barrier to taking such actions?

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The majority of the Roman empire and its economic structure was based on slavery.  The New Testament recognised the role of slaves, of which most of the early believers may have been, and addressed the situation from within the reality that was then and there.
So Jesus was quite happy to challenge the status quo and turn traditional thinking on its head when it came to the showy 'religion' of the Pharisees, and even declared that he came not to make peace, but to start wars, but he felt that, when it came to slavery, it was best not to stir things up?

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Let me say that I think I was having difficulty comprehending or following what you perceived to be a logical sequence of thoughts leading from statement A to the concluding statement D or X or whatever.  That a person lay down their life for a "friend" or "stranger" and that somehow connected to abortion, was a bit beyond what I could follow. Did you?
Yes, I followed it. Since Zsu's getting a bit narked at our hijacking of her philosophy thread as it is, and since I try to keep threads as on-topic as is possible in a place like Lovely, I'll do an explanation over on the abortion thread in a minute.

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Note also the reasons NOT given by me for being "pro life" or "anti-abortion". 
What, you mean like the losing of a child who might've been the greatest ever ____________ ? Or the argument that it takes away the responsibilty that comes with having sex? Or what?
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« Reply #96 on: July 23, 2008, 21:23:08 »

OK. Just for you, even though the question is comparable to the old one that demands a yes or no answer "To a married person" "Have you stopped beating your spouse yet?"

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would you advocate the state granting funding or tax-exempt status to an organisation which did not allow people of certain races to hold certain
positions, and/or which made this discrimination part of their "mission statement"?

I propose that under "free enterprise" any organisation that wants to exist should do so entirely on its own merits and whatever support it raises from those of like mind or who agree with its mission, AND it should not depend on any government funding or tax exemptions.  If it is a club, it should be member supported.  If it has a product to sell it should make the item pay for itself.  (Whether that product is a "tool" or a "service" or "skill" or art or entertainment.)  (Does a local church come under the category of a "club" or a "service"? 
This is a PHILOSOPHICAL question!

 
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So we're agreed on something, then.
TWICE now, so far and I haven't even read the other threads yet!

 
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Churches should have to pay their taxes just like everybody else, unless they're prepared to play by the government's rules, which may mean being forced to let women and homosexuals be priests.


Since the days of the Apostles the answer is "We must obey God rather than man"... But we must also be prepared to pay the consequences of putting God and his principles first.

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There are plenty of secular charities who could be called upon to take the place of church-operated charities, if the churches decide that they should protest the removal of their tax-exempt status by removing all the charity services that it operates.

And of course none of these "secular" charities have any regulations as to who can hold what office, based on gender, or age, or moral behaviour.  (I do believe some actually require "police checks" before some can be hired. How terribly biased, when any criminal on the street has already served his time.  He can't change his (or her) past anymore than the female can change her sex, but the charity will not acknowledge this as a legitimate reason to accept a swindler for a position of treasurer, or a paedophile in the orphanage. 

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So Jesus was quite happy to challenge the status quo and turn traditional thinking on its head when it came to the showy 'religion' of the Pharisees, and even declared that he came not to make peace, but to start wars, but he felt that, when it came to slavery, it was best not to stir things up?
Ah, but he DID stir things up because he taught "Masters" to treat their slaves (employees) like brothers, and the slaves to (willingly)  obey their masters.  Who would have thought of such a thing?

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Note also the reasons NOT given by me for being "pro life" or "anti-abortion". 
What, you mean like the losing of a child who might've been the greatest ever ____________ ? Or the argument that it takes away the responsibilty that comes with having sex? Or what?

Oh, didn't think of those either at the time.

NO, I meant the sentimental "but babies are so cute" kind of thing.  (or the playing God one).
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« Reply #97 on: July 25, 2008, 17:18:24 »

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OK. Just for you,
You STILL haven't given me a straight "yes or no" answer, you cheeky beggar!

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even though the question is comparable to the old one that demands a yes or no answer "To a married person" "Have you stopped beating your spouse yet?"
How is it comparable to that question? You were happy enough to argue that the state should fund or at least grant tax-exempt status to organisations which wouldn't allow women to hold certain positions, and/or which made this discrimination part of its "mission statement". Why are you not prepared to do the same for people of certain races?

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I propose that under "free enterprise" any organisation that wants to exist should do so entirely on its own merits and whatever support it raises from those of like mind or who agree with its mission, AND it should not depend on any government funding or tax exemptions.
Agreed. eyepop Wait, I've been agreeing with you too much lately. So, for the sake of saving what little is left of my face, I'll put some commie rant about the way I'd have things done if I were living in a communist utopia rather than a capitalist country.

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Does a local church come under the category of a "club" or a "service"?
Club - yes; service - no; entertainment - perhaps.

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This is a PHILOSOPHICAL question!
Yeah, and Jodie's a pacifist!

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TWICE now, so far and I haven't even read the other threads yet!
This is getting BEYOND scary! yikes

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He can't change his (or her) past anymore than the female can change her sex,
But, unlike the female, they chose to commit their crime. The female did not choose to be born a woman.

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Ah, but he DID stir things up because he taught "Masters" to treat their slaves (employees) like brothers, and the slaves to (willingly)  obey their masters.
Seems to me like he said some half-controversial stuff on the topic, but didn't quite get around to properly challenging the status quo. Why did he only go as far as he did with slavery (not condemning it, just saying that masters should treat their slaves fairly, and slaves should, in return, obey their masters), but went all-out against the Pharisees?

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Who would have thought of such a thing?
Many, many people who campaigned against slavery thought of such a thing, and thought this not enough. Unlike Jesus, they actually properly condemned it. Jesus, it seems, just couldn't be arsed.

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Oh, didn't think of those either at the time.
Oh bollocks. I've just given you a load of ammo, haven't I? You won't be using those arguments in the future, will you?

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NO, I meant the sentimental "but babies are so cute" kind of thing.
So are "likkle baby bears". But you don't hear many Republicans (I'm using the word in the American sense (ie 'not Democrat') rather than the sense in which I use it to describe myself (ie 'for democracy, against the monarchy') here) condemning hunting.

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or the playing God one.
Reminds me of this cartoon I saw. I can't remember where I saw it, so I'll do my best to describe it. There were two scientists in a lab, one of which was doing some experiments on embryos or stem cells or something of a controversial nature like that. The other one said to the one doing the experiments "You know, some people would say that you're playing God." To which the one doing the experiments replied "That's so unfair! I'm not playing."
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« Reply #98 on: July 25, 2008, 21:31:34 »


Now I can't remember which way the question was phrased.  Let's say I think the government should NOT give tax exempt status to an organization that discrimintiates against particular races, if the only reason for the discrimination is based on skin colour or ethnic origins, but if there is another legitimate reason (and legal) then it should not be concerned.  (I can't think how that would work but I need to say that just to provide the necessary loopholes.  For instance what if a particular disease was connected to a particular race, and the group was particularly susceptible to that disease?) Sickle-cell anemia would be a good example except I don't think anemia is a contagious disease!  Oh well.  Maybe TB among the Inuit, so they don't allow any whites to belong to the Inuit Forever Healthy organization. 

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Does a local church come under the category of a "club" or a "service"?
Club - yes; service - no; entertainment - perhaps.

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This is a PHILOSOPHICAL question!
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Yeah, and Jodie's a pacifist!
Jodie?


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The female did not choose to be born a woman.
Obviously.  But I am glad the one I live with was.

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Ah, but he DID stir things up because he taught "Masters" to treat their slaves (employees) like brothers, and the slaves to (willingly)  obey their masters.
Seems to me like he said some half-controversial stuff on the topic, but didn't quite get around to properly challenging the status quo. Why did he only go as far as he did with slavery (not condemning it, just saying that masters should treat their slaves fairly, and slaves should, in return, obey their masters),
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Who would have thought of such a thing?
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Many, many people who campaigned against slavery thought of such a thing, and thought this not enough. Unlike Jesus, they actually properly condemned it. Jesus, it seems, just couldn't be arsed.

I just had a rather good explanation. I am sure you will not want to accept it BUT.
The slavery of Roman times was NOT like the slavery practiced in the African Slave Trade.  The Jews (OT) had already proscribed very strict rules about the use of "slaves" and this included the "year of Jubilee".  Slaves were to be "set free".  The African slave trade was intertribal kidnappings and brutality and lifetime enslavement.  Bible time slavery is described as "bond-service and indentured  servanthood, which is much different that the "chattel slavery of the African slave trade.  And in the fight for abolition, you need to remember that it was the efforts of Biblically informed Christians that led the way.  This quote helps to show the differences, (and why Jesus didn't have to "attack" it as severely as if by "slavery" it had implied what we think of as slavery, but our thinking is coloured by this "chattel lifetime/ racial" image of the New World/ African slave trade.
"Even though slavery in some form was virtually universal in every human culture over the centuries, it was Christians who first came to the conclusion that is was wrong.  The social historian Rodney Stark writes:
 'Although it has been fashionable to deny it, anti-slavery doctrines began to appear in Christian theology soon after the decline of Rome and were accompanied by the eventual disappearance of slavery in all but the fringes of Christian Europe.  When Europeans subsequently instituted slavery in the New World, they did so over strenuous papal opposition, a fact that was conveniently 'lost' from history until recently.  Finally, the abolition of New World slavery was initiated and achieved by Christian activists"
Christians began to work for the abolition of because of some general understanding of human rights, but because they saw it as violating the will of God.  Older forms of indentured servanthood and the bond-service of Biblical time had often been harsh, but Christian abolitionists concluded that race-based, life-long chattel slavery, established through kidnapping , could not be squared with Biblical teaching either in the Old Testament or the New. Christian activists such as William Wilberforce in Great Britain, John Woolman in America, and many, many others devoted their entire lives, in the name of Christ, to ending slavery. ..."



That's probably it for tonight.  (11:30 now)
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« Reply #99 on: July 26, 2008, 17:03:24 »

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Now I can't remember which way the question was phrased.
That might have something to do with the fact that you evaded it so many times. This meant that I had to keep reposting it to get a straight answer out of you. I found it quicker to retype the question from memory than to find it in my posts and then copy and paste it. This probably resulted in me rephrasing the question ever so slightly each time, not to try to catch you out, or for any other such underhand reasons, but just from the imprecise and unreliable nature of the memory. Still, you've only got yourself to blame for evading it for so long!

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Let's say I think the government should NOT give tax exempt status to an organization that discrimintiates against particular races,
I agree with this part of the sentence, and this part only (before you go scaring me further by pointing out that this is the xth time that I've agreed with you this week).

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if there is another legitimate reason (and legal) then it should not be concerned.
Since I can't think of any legitimate reasons to discriminate against somebody on the grounds of their race, I won't agree with this proviso, as I deem it superfluous (not to mention equivocative).


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For instance what if a particular disease was connected to a particular race, and the group was particularly susceptible to that disease?
Being more susceptible to a disease will not mean that all people who are more susceptible will get that disease, therefore to discriminate on these grounds shouldn't be allowed. That would be like firms refusing to hire women of child-bearing age because they are at a higher risk of getting pregnant and costing the firm in maternity leave costs. This does happen, amongst smaller business who cannot afford to take any more risks than they have to especially, but it shouldn't, because not all women of child-bearing age will get pregnant.

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Sickle-cell anemia would be a good example except I don't think anemia is a contagious disease!
And also African people (or people of African descent) aren't more susceptible to the disease (you are right that it's not contagious), just they're more likely to have the disease. This is because being a carrier of the sickle-cell allele (which is recessive) makes the carrier naturally immune to malaria. In parts of the world where malaria is not prevelant, being a carrier of the allele is not an advantage, and is a potential disadvantage to offspring who, if both parents are carriers of the allele, will have a 25% chance of suffering from sickle-cell anemia. In parts of the world where malaria IS prevelant (ie Africa), being a carrier of the allele is a significant advantage, and far outweighs the disadvantage of the increased risk to offspring of having sickle-cell anemia. Thus natural selection means that areas where malaria is prevelant have a much higher proportion of people who are carriers of the sickle-cell allele (and consequently a higher proportion of people who suffer from sickle-cell anemia) than areas where malaria is not prevelant. THIS is why people of African descent are more likely to suffer from sickle-cell anemia. If malaria were more prevelant in Europe than in Africa, then caucasian people would be more likely to have sickle-cell anemia.

I hope that that brief biology lesson was appropriately condescending. Which reminds me. I saw this word "vouchsafe", which I didn't know the meaning of, so I looked it up in one of those online dictionaries. It gave me a definition of "to condescend to GRANT". A perfect word to describe what I've been doing on Lovely for many months now!

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Maybe TB among the Inuit, so they don't allow any whites to belong to the Inuit Forever Healthy organization. 
Looks like it's your turn to be condescending, because I don't have a clue what you're on about here.

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Jodie?
I mentioned her over on the Christian Science thread.

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Obviously.
So why the clearly flawed comparison to criminals?

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But I am glad the one I live with was.
Oh, that reminds me. Do you believe that people who are homosexual can be 'cured'? If so, then do you believe that you could be 'cured' of being heterosexual?

To your explanation of why Jesus didn't condemn slavery: do not forget that Martin Luther King hung around with communists (who were presumably atheists), and that atheists and agnostics were also key in the protests against slavery. I'll concede that Christians fought against slavery if you'll concede that atheists, agnostics, deists and humanists fought alongside them.

I can accept that, in Jesus' time, slavery was much less brutal than the slavery against which many fought in more recent times. Btw, why were the rules concerning the year of the Jubilee etc different for female slaves to the rules for male slaves? But anyway, even if the slaves were treated relatively humanely, does this make the system right? Doesn't this reduce humans to the status of working animals, like oxen (which were treated just as humanely, I'm sure)? What gives one human have the right to own another?
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