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The White Tiger

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#60 : February 09, 2011, 03:31:29 AM

The only political/legal system NOT based on the morality eminating from a supreme being - allows folks that make their own rules - to slaughter their rivals at will...and get this, they were totally justified by their OWN morality!

"Slaughter their rivals at will," did you say? That sounds a lot like Numbers, Chapter 31. Every time I read of this atrocity from my "moral superiors," I have to wonder of the details. The women and children, were they bound? Most likely, captives usually are, it makes them easier to handle. Killing in those days had to be done manually, too. The only way to kill them all was to take them out and hack them to death. Tens of thousands of them. Except for the virgins, of course, The Lord wanted them to keep the virgins for themselves. No, that's right, The Lord got thirty two of the virgins too, the house always gets their cut.

I think you're wandering off track -committing the artful dodge - or attempting to have the argument you want instead of the one we're in - I did not offer my God as THE moral authority - only that in order to self-govern in a democratic republic it is absolutely necessarry that men feel accountable to a supreme being, and are them selves self-goverened by a morality not owing to man.  As proof I offer the differences between the American Revolution (an exceedingly successful model for the modern democratic republic) - versus the bloody and protracted French Revolution (of which a case can be made for it being the first dictatorship of the proletariat).

The American Revolution established by those who believed in a supreme being - period. This logically holds that man is a created being - therefore man's rights are beyond any men to deny (thus, inalienable). Having this as a starting point ('fixing reason firmly in her seat') they agreed to form a secular, representative, government of men - owing their virtue to a common morality, correcting the problem of the tendency of government to usurp the rights of the governed - a key difference - these men recognized that the only way to guarantee liberty and individual rights was to limit government from encroaching on the basic freedoms that come from a higher power.

The other made a decision to establish a secular government - but SET OUT to excise any reference of owing to a supreme being (ostensibly they barred any mention of God, or religion, due to the corrpution of the leadership in the Catholic church) these man held that the rights of man, come from man - the problem they quickly ran into, and never really addressed - whatever man guarantees - can be un-guaranteed by a stronger man (or group of men) with a different mindset. They immediately devolved into anarchy, a dictatorship, several more revolutions - and ultimately they seem to have tired of killing - but not of yelling.

As to Numbers 31 - you seem to want to re-hash an earlier argument, and since you mention it below (again) I'll address it there.

If Moses had ordered this slaughter (which he did), it would have been unconscionable. But since he says it's what The Lord wanted, suddenly the massacre of an entire people is sanctioned, so that you can take all of their stuff. And what a haul it was. Fortunately, The Lord even left instructions on how to divide up the loot.

OK - as to your supposed incredulity with Numbers 31: if the possibility of a supreme being exists - then that being could use any tool he desired, and he would not worry how the inferior viewed him. Lets take for example an earthquake, pestilence, flood or famine - which indiscriminately wiped out those same men, women, and children you anguish over - would it have made you feel better  (not that every tragedy is an act of reprisal by a superior being)? If you have not done so, you should probably read Numbers 31 yourself - without the blinders of contempt. Try using "Matthew Henry's Commentary" - an exhaustive research tool used by scholars for historical, cultural, and social - context. Although, enough of an account exists within the book of Numbers - for those who have eyes to see.

For some modern context, even today, when people seek to communicate the scale and impact of large-scale tragic events, they describe it being of "Biblical proportions". During the era in question, and in this part of the world - when things like floods, pestilence, and famine struck, it was common to take stock of how the actions of the people may have brought on the tragedy. Before you think too poorly of this - please note that this is a common secular practice to this day, men of science (modern holy men) encourage us to accept mans responsiblility, first for global warming (until that became untenable), then for climate change, but the upshot of it all is that man has done something to his environment that demands man - take stock of his actions to see how his actions may change his behavior in order to avoid a looming "alleged" tragedy. Some even go so far as to say that our polluting of the earth is causing the earth to turn on us (for instance - did you happpen to see M Nite Shyamalan's movie "The Happening"). I think once again, you understand all this much better than you admit - perhaps your own hypocrisy has blinded you to the possibility that what is stated in Numbers 31 - is an example of a supreme being, holding inferior beings accountable to HIS standards - and carrying that possibility to it's logical conclusion - the superior can utilize any tool to carry out his justice.

A supreme being holds ALL men accountable to HIS standards, he can also use whatever means HE deigns neccessary to mete out justice to any people group. That is the motivation underlying law (societal behavior) & morals (self-control) - there is an authority above man - and we will all answer to him..

We don't do wrong because we don't know better - we do wrong because we want to.

As for the "Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary"  I recommended  (i.e., context) If you had read Numbers 31 you would know, that  "any who, without commission from the supreme being (God) dare to execute private revenge, and who, from ambition, covetousness, or resentment, wage war, and desolate kingdoms, MUST one day answer for it..."

Thus no one has "carte blanc" to go after any kingdom, unilaterally - in Gods name - as a matter of fact to prove this out - you may want to check out what happened to these same Israelites in Joshua 7 (specifically verses 3-7) to find out what happenes when those known as "God's people" dare to move under ANY motivation other than their supreme beings command.

And what was your defense of this? Oh yes, I recall, The Lord's people needed some killing practice so that they could defend the homeland he would give them (after they murdered all of the people already there, that is). Apparently, murdering bound children is a great way to forge an army.

You actually ONLY know of this account - because this religion preserved their own documents - did you even stop to consider any context for why they might have done this?  Perhaps it is included not to show the rightness of the religion. It is here to show that it happened, and that a supreme being administers perfect and supreme justice - by any toolHE chooses. If you read the text you might just find that the Isralites were sickened by the blood - which was one of the lessons they (the tools of justice in this instance) were to take away from this. It is also implied that the supreme being was visiting justice upon the Midianites. Who are you to say they did, or did not, deserve it?

Are you good, or are you bad? Bad people force you to obey what they've decided is good for you. Good people reason with you to do what is right.

You just can't see your own raging hypocrisy, can you? It's pretty clear that the Jews forced their will onto the MIdianites. In fact, during the "battle," (now there's a laugh) not a single Jewish soldier perished. Yet here you are presenting them not as the "bad people" you outline as forcing their will onto others, but as the guardians, in fact, the very inventors of morality.

You mean like anthropogenic global warming, cross-speciation, or that Bobby has two mommy's (or Daddy's), that women have reproductive rights to kill unborn children - but un-born children have no rights to their own bodies.? Seesh, I get it - and I agree with you. Not sure you can actually list examples of Christians forcing belief...though...that's more urban myth. Also myth - the Jews did not force their will - they were told to carry out their supreme being's will.

Your anti-religious contempt aside - NOT deciding, intellectually means you've decided - I simply made the case that those who sought to eliminate religious underpinnings of societies laws, do so in order to attack our institutions, common belief, and morality. Make no mistake, if men do NOT have a common moral understanding - our form of government will not work - that is why there is an attack upon the moral authority of our republic - once the underpinning is removed - the republic turns into Julius Ceasars Rome...not immediately, but emphatically, and totally.

Here you go again with this bit of absurdity. I'm not a Neitzsche supporter. Never was. I'm also not an atheist. Never was. I'm putting that in now, because I know it's coming next. You have, as previously mentioned, become very much a one-trick pony. Clearly, Tiger, you are able to tell the difference between right and wrong, but when one civilization makes up a god to sanction their evil acts, suddenly all is well. If they don't justify their immorality under the banner of a supreme being, then you can see their motives for what they are. You have selective blindness, my friend.

I have nothing to offer you as an antidote for your religious bigotry - but I will offer Voltaire's famous "IF" statement...and you may be shocked to know why he made it - Don't believe me? Take a gander: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1360215

Man makes up his own justifications, and his own name, and at his own hand his godless governments have killed well over 100 million  - not a big testimony for that whole "we don't need God" ...thingy.

That is the case Voltaire made -  there must be a God, as men would have no consequence for becoming beasts to gain whatever they wanted. Not all men fear law if the law has no (or even not enough) consequence. As discussed, law simply sets the guardrails - some men only fear getting caught and wager they might not - therefore some men only fear a steeper consequence. Although that isn't the primary purpose of religion - it is the purpose for which Voltaire argued the neccessity for Gods existence. John Adams and the other founders put it more acceptably (and perhaps positively) but all the founders of this democratic republic believed in natures God or a supreme being, and the absolute neccessity for self-governance - I simply agree with that belief.

Do you?
: February 09, 2011, 03:43:11 AM The White Tiger

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