• BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k


    Yes certain things are absolute in the Bible, such as man being made in the divine image and that God's creation is good. There is no 'do not kill', but there is 'do not murder.' Moses's speech condition is in no unclear terms framed as being the creation of God. I want certain things to be set -- i.e., beyond argumentation.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    Where does your virtue of tolerance come from? The American Revolution? The French? Romanticism? The Enlightenment? The humanist revival? Christendom? The Roman Empire? Greek philosophy? The Hebrew scriptures?Leontiskos

    Specifically as to a comparison with the Abrahamic religions, I refer to the tolerance of other religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean before and while Christians began stamping them out. Members of the Mithras cult, or that of Isis or Cybele, for example, weren't prohibited from worshipping other gods or becoming initiates of other mysteries. Rome was generally tolerant of all forms of worship provided they weren't believed to be a danger to its rule. It didn't require that all people within its empire worship Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Jews were considered peculiar, but were allowed to worship their peevish god and avoid the homage demanded by the Roman state as they wished until they revolted against Roman rule and were ruthlessly repressed or exterminated.

    The so-called persecutions of Christians have been wildly exaggerated, and were in response to actions, or we might say omissions, of believers deemed to be threats and a rejection of the Roman state, e.g. the refusal of military service or refusal to make an offering generally in form of incense to the well-being of Rome or the reigning Emperor, a problem pagan believers didn't have as they weren't intolerant
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k


    Thank you. That's a significant point.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    I take the rabbinic period to have begun after the fall of the second temple, which I also take to be the beginning of the Talmudic period, which is what I also take to be the beginning of Judasim as we currently know it. Prior to that, I would consider it a religion centered around the Temple and sacrifice, and, if we go back far enough, we have questions about origins generally in terms of when monotheism emerged.Hanover

    Which is to say pretty much what I said.. The Pharisees fall squarely under the Second Temple period, and the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods fall right after but before the Middle Ages period (technically late Roman Empire/early Middle Ages), so that is to reiterate a pedantic point to make it seem muddled, it looks to me. But I'll just interpret it as in agreement I guess. The Rabbis of the Tannaim (Mishna) and Ammoraim (Gemaras) in Yavneh, Sepphoris, Caesarea, Tiberias, Pubembita, and Sura thought of themselves continuing the Pharisaic lineage, and the tradition is that the bridge was started by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai c.70 at the destruction of Jerusalem.

    My point being that we're now to decipher what the beliefs of a people were dating back from the Bronze Age and then we get into questions of when the various parts of the Torah were written, compiled, and edited into a single version as we know it today. Laying claims to how these stories were interpreted and what significance they had is entirely speculative. For example, we have today a creation story that could just be a fable to try to explain our origins that the ancients might have taken literally, but very well might not have. In fact, Genesis has two entirely different origin stories. That story has morphed into an account of original sin and the need for God to give his only child to save us from that sin. It is also argued that Jesus is the slaughtered lamb in the Isaac story.Hanover

    Yeah, the written word regarding historical/romanticized/mythologized fables can be interpreted in any number of ways. You are trying to thread the fine needle by buying into the Rabbinic idea that all their notions of interpretation of Torah go back to the original author's intent. The Pharisees, from which the Rabbinic tradition largely derives from only appear around the 2nd-3rd century BCE. It could be that this group held traditions that went back further. Obviously, that will be their claim. It could also be that they were actually innovators rather than preservers. There are some indications that the rituals that were meant purely for priests were, for the Pharisees, incumbent upon all Judeans. That is to say, they democratized some of the ritualistic aspects. Not only this, they added midrashic interpretive techniques to get as much out of the text as they could and to resolve various debates on how each law was to be interpreted.

    The claim of succession in Perkeit Avot, is that the Great Assembly codified the Tanakh during the Persian period in the 5th century BCE (around Ezra and Nehemiah), and that from there the "Zugot", or Great Pairs of Sages (like Hillel and Shammai) headed the Sanhedrin and kept the traditions intact.

    I'd imagine the truth is somewhere in the middle. There were some elements that perhaps were kept in some traditional form by this group going back to the Persian period, but that much of it was their own particular interpretive approach to the writings. That is to say, they didn't necessarily hold some "pure" originating version, any more than the Sadducees or Essenes, or other lesser known groups, they simply had an approach that became adopted around the 200s BCE.

    What is fair game is that we know the facts- Judah was captured by the Babylonians in the 500s BCE and the elites taken to Babylon for many decades. When they came back to the province of Yahud (under the directive of the Persian regime), they reformulated much of the religion to be more in line with the Monotheism more resembling the Judaism we read about in the Jewish writings, Josephus, or even the gospels in the Greco-Roman period. However, if Yonatan Adler is correct, even this picture is too simplisitc, as it was only the priests, scribes, and elites in Jerusalem that practiced this form while the populous still held onto the older heterodox religious beliefs. It wasn't until the Maccabean Revolt that the religion of the elites became THE religion of the masses, according to this theory. And then the history was retrojected as if it was always thus. So you have the establishment of Second Temple Judaism of the elites int he 400s BCE, and by the 160s BCE, you have the spread to the whole population in the guerilla war against the Seleucids.

    The Talmud was written in the late 1st century AD, which is the best we can say regarding how the Torah has been interpreted since then. Per Jewish tradition, however, it is believed that the Talmud encompasses the oral tradition passed down by the Pharisees, and it is this oral tradition that holds as much weight as the written tradition of the Torah. That is, it is tenant of Orthodox Judaism that the oral tradition was received alongside the written word at Mt. Sinai. The point being that tradition argues that the written law was never interpreted without the oral tradition alongside it.Hanover

    Yes it is a fact that this is a belief the Pharisees held about their own methods, traditions, and interpretations.

    So where this leaves us is in a highly contextualized spot, where we can't just say the Binding means we should blindly follow God's will without question. It certainly does present an argument that we should listen to and trust God, but it would also suggest that God wouldn't steer us wrong, and it is presented as a story that attempts to end the idea of human sacrifice, which I suspect was an issue among other religions at the time.Hanover

    You are whitewashing this in a ridiculous manner. My whole point is even if the Rabbis of the Talmud and Pharisees before them interpre
    But you can't make an argument that the Torah stands for the proposition generally you shouldn't argue with God and question him. There are plenty of examples of that from Moses, Abraham, and Job (and more) directly questioning God.
    Hanover
    But, what does the story mean to those who read it? https://www.sefaria.org/topics/binding-of-isaac?sort=Relevance&tab=sources All sorts of things.Hanover

    None of which contradicts the main point of the story...Look here from one of the older texts from the Ammoraim period (300s CE):

    Another matter, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: When Abraham sought to bind Isaac his son, he said to him: ‘Father, I am a young man, and I am concerned that my body will tremble due to fear of the knife, and I will [thereby] upset you, or perhaps the slaughter will [thereby] be rendered unfit and it will not be counted for you as a valid offering. Therefore, bind me very well.’ Thereupon, “he bound Isaac his son.” Is a person capable of binding a thirty-seven- year-old [variant reading: a twenty-six-year-old] without his consent?
    Immediately, “Abraham extended his hand.” As he extended his hand to take the knife, his eyes were emitting tears and the tears were falling into Isaac’s eyes, because of the father’s mercy [for his son]. Nevertheless, his heart was joyful in fulfilling the will of his Creator. The angels gathered themselves into groups up above. What did they cry out? “The highways are desolate, those passing on the way have ceased, he breached the covenant, he has spurned the cities” (Isaiah 33:8) – does He not in fact desire Jerusalem, and the Temple that He had planned to bequeath to Isaac’s descendants? “He had no regard for man” (Isaiah 33:8) – if the merit of Abraham is not sufficient, there is no significance for any person before Him…
    — https://www.sefaria.org/topics/binding-of-isaac?sort=Relevance&tab=sources


    But you can't make an argument that the Torah stands for the proposition generally you shouldn't argue with God and question him. There are plenty of examples of that from Moses, Abraham, and Job (and more) directly questioning God. https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/5298/Arguing-with-God.pdfHanover

    Yes two Jews, three opinions. Arguing with God is part of the Jewish tradition. Abraham bargained on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. Whatever points regarding the ability to argue with God, you don't totally ignore him. In this case, Abraham had faith in God and was rewarded for it. If you take away the main impetus of the story (faith in God), then the whole story becomes a Kabuki show whereby the characters know what's going to happen but they are just performing it for "funsies". But that isn't the case. Abraham was thought to be a real human who was making real decisions in some historical time and place. Certainly as modern critics we can see it as simply literature and find all kinds of meanings. Certainly, the rabbis approached it as a real event and used the sparse text to gain all sorts of justifications and reasonings from it. I doubt it was the other way around.

    It's a hard argument to make that the Torah stands for the notion one should not wrestle with God, considering the strange story of Jacob wrestling with God and having his name changed to "Israel." (“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28)Hanover

    As other posters pointed out, the Torah and the Tanakh has many themes. Certainly, one of them is "wrestling with God". But you also have stories where God is pretty clear on what he wants, and is generally good to his closest adherents. If anything, the story perhaps shows God's mercy, as he would never try to ask more than what one can handle. However, it could not be ONLY this point. It also had to be Abraham's fidelity, because it was the element of not truly knowing what was going to happen that makes the story so powerful. It was at the end that we see that it was the ram all along that should be sacrificed. In the story, Abraham was not told prior, "Hey I'm just doing this symbolic ritual, and I want you to bring your son so I can tell you". He had Isaac bound and then the big reveal at the end.
    Faith didn't mean then what it means now. If we're accepting the Bible literally, when Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Abraham, he literally said it to him (although, again, not all traditions accept that God literally talked ever). That is, if there is some guy walking around being all powerful and I hear it and see it daily, it's hardly an act of faith to agree to do what he tells me. It's a fair stretch to then say the Bible must be followed blindly because it's God "telling" me what to do in the same sense Abraham was "told" what to do. Reading a several thousand year document contextualized with all other documents is a very different sort of "telling" than what Abraham meant by "telling." Abraham meant he was told it, not that he read a old document about it.

    Anyway, I've gone on long enough, but interested in your thoughts on all this.
    Hanover

    Well, I don't think it's about the sense of faith as in "does God exist?", but rather, faith whatever God asks is the course of action one needs to take. He didn't waver in his actions.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    It's one of the "rules" of the Abrahamic religions, I think, that the rules they impose may merely be given lip service when they become inconvenient, but they don't change.Ciceronianus

    Where we agree is that neither of us believe the Bible was written by God and we both likely agree it was written over a long period of time by a good number of authors and there was even a final author who edited the whole thing. I think we can also agree that the Bible has been used, for better or worse, as a foundational document, used to support entire civilizations.

    It is no coincidence that our own modern system has similarities to that. We have a document (i.e. the Constitution) that we hold out as holy, we appoint special priests to interpret it, and we alter and form its meaning around daily disputes. You don't need to change the text of the Constitution to change the meaning and religions do the same with their documents. I suppose in most secular systems you have a mechanism to change the text of the law and perhaps you have the same in certain religious systems (for example the Mormon President's ability to decree law) or you have workarounds (like Papal infallibility allowing the text to mean whatever he says by definition).

    And when you read the religious disputes regarding what some passage means, it doesn't sound a whole lot different than any other sort of rational dispute. They look to past arguments, other text, history, and all sorts of things and they come to some sort of understanding of the meaning and how it is to be applied.

    What is dangerous is dictatorial power, where the needs of the people are subjugated by the will of another more powerful authority. That result in not necessitated by all forms of religion. The opposite is not necessitated by all forms of democracy either.

    The objection here by me is more to the argument that you have an evil document and from it necessarily springs evil because it applies rigid draconian rules that no one can contest. That could occur, but the fact is there are many instances where it doesn't.
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    But even the Pharisees and their intellectual descendants, the Rabbis of the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods would have more-or-less accepted the plain meaning of this text...schopenhauer1

    So on the one hand I think there is a bit of begging the question with respect to the "plain meaning of the text." On the other hand, I think you are correct that obedience is central to the text, as I've noted above. I'm not quite sure what you and @Hanover are disagreeing on. Again, I think Hanover was disagreeing with Banno, and I think Banno's posts have created a thread context where Hanover is suspicious of your claims.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    Yes, that is the understanding of logos that seems to be universal. The problem is knowing right from wrong. From one point of view cutting down the forest is a wonderful idea and from another point of view, it is a terrible idea. Then the ones who want to cut down the forest may come to an agreement with those who want to protect the forest and both sides get part of what they want. This thinking does not require religion, and denying non-religious people also weigh the good and the bad, is just wrong. I say so because I have dealt with Christians who think they have morals and people without God, do not have morals. While coming from a science point of view, science deniers lack morality and are the problem.

    How do we know truth?
    Athena

    Somewhere in the post-WW2, perhaps really the 70s, the Republican party started gaining the favor of Southern and rural Evangelical Christians. So the more economic version of conservatism that represented the Calvin Coolidge/Herbert Hoover economic laisse-faire became intertwined with moral fundamentalism of Christian fundamentalists. Mind you, it wasn't always that way. In the Civil War, there were a good deal of Christian abolitionists that were advocating the end of slavery. In the late 1800s, there was the populist movement supporting the working class, mainly in the Democratic party, led by the super-fundamentalist Christian, William Jennings Bryan. At some point in the 70s, with the televangelists like Billy Graham and the like, you had this alliance of the the Christian fundamentalists with the business laisse-faire conservatives, and you get the pillars the Republicans from 1970s-2016.

    However, Donald Trump has added an element of populism and isolationism back into the Republicans, somewhat changing the traditionally, "neoliberal" worldview into classical isolationism of earlier times. Christian fundamentalists tend to put a lot of stock into the immanence of the return of Jesus and that political happenings reflect Biblical prophecy. I suspect many Evangelicals see Donald Trump as an instrument of God- the irony being that he is way more corrupt than presidents conservatives condemned previously for moral reasons (e..g Bill Clinton). All actions are justified then, if he is an instrument from God. A sense of fairness of how corruption is applied goes out the window. Liberals and non-Trumpian conservatives can be condemned for corruption or moral reasons, but everything Trumpians do is or can be justified. It is a stark authoritarian streak of blind allegiance and double standards.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    So on the one hand I think there is a bit of begging the question with respect to the "plain meaning of the text."Leontiskos

    If it makes it clearer I mean that they accepted the very apparent notion that Abraham had fidelity in his faith.

    On the other hand, I think you are correct that obedience is central to the text, as I've noted above. I'm not quite sure what you and Hanover are disagreeing on.Leontiskos

    In a way, I don't either. He's trying to subtly suggest that all the extra-Biblical interpretations found in Rabbinic/Talmudic/Mishnaic literature is what the text means (because "use" is meaning, and the Rabbis are "using" it a certain way).

    But my point was even the Rabbis commentary sees the apparent plain story of the text (Abraham being faithful), whatever other midrashic elements they can excavate from the text. The rest of my ideas rest for themselves in the previous post, if you look back. If you have specific questions on that, I can explain.
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    - No, that's fair. I don't have any strong objections to the arguments you have offered. I think they are reasonable. I think the difficulty is related to what said, for you are trying to salvage and pacify an exchange between Banno and Hanover that became polemical. That's a tall task.
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    Specifically as to a comparison with the Abrahamic religions, I refer to the tolerance of other religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean before and while Christians began stamping them out. Members of the Mithras cult, or that of Isis or Cybele, for example, weren't prohibited from worshipping other gods or becoming initiates of other mysteries. Rome was generally tolerant of all forms of worship provided they weren't believed to be a danger to its rule. It didn't require that all people within its empire worship Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Jews were considered peculiar, but were allowed to worship their peevish god and avoid the homage demanded by the Roman state as they wished until they revolted against Roman rule and were ruthlessly repressed or exterminated.

    The so-called persecutions of Christians have been wildly exaggerated, and were in response to actions, or we might say omissions, of believers deemed to be threats and a rejection of the Roman state, e.g. the refusal of military service or refusal to make an offering generally in form of incense to the well-being of Rome or the reigning Emperor, a problem pagan believers didn't have as they weren't intolerant
    Ciceronianus

    Well I'd say you are omitting the fact that the Christians, once separated from Judaism, were no longer allowed to "avoid the homage demanded by the Roman state," and this is one reason the relations between Christianity and paganism became complicated (relations between Christianity and Judaism had already become complicated).

    It is strange to note the execution of Christians, and then claim that the Christians were executed because they were intolerant, not being willing to venerate pagan gods. "We had to kill them because they intolerantly refused to worship our god and/or emperor." This argument will always fail for a modern mind. It would be like saying, "We had to burn the heretic at the stake because they intolerantly refused to accept Christian dogma." This is backwards.

    I will concede that you make a fair argument for the relative intolerance of the Abrahamic religions and their "jealous God." On the other hand, the central cultural dogmas are always non-negotiable, and historically culture and religion go hand in hand. Later Christian cultures very often permitted a latitude that was comparable to the earlier pagan cultures. To a lesser extent this was also true of Islam. But I will concede that pagan gods are less jealous, and therefore there is a sense in which paganism is more tolerant.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    It is strange to note the execution of Christians, and then claim that the Christians were executed because they were intolerant, not being willing to venerate pagan gods. "We had to kill them because they intolerantly refused to worship our god and/or emperor." This argument will always fail for a modern mind. It would be like saying, "We had to burn the heretic at the stake because they intolerantly refused to accept Christian dogma." This is backwards.Leontiskos
    .

    The followers of pagan gods didn't take the position taken by Jews and Christians regarding God or religion. A pagan didn't claim that the god they were worshipping at any particular time was the only god, nor did they believe that all must worship that god and no other. That wouldn't occur to a pagan, nor was it the position of the Empire in pagan times.

    Christians wouldn't tolerate any god but their own. That's the intolerance I refer to, and is what led the Christian Roman Empire to forbid all pagan worship, and led Christians to kill Hypatia and others, destroy pagan temples, etc.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    It is no coincidence that our own modern system has similarities to that. We have a document (i.e. the Constitution) that we hold out as holy, we appoint special priests to interpret it, and we alter and form its meaning around daily disputes. You don't need to change the text of the Constitution to change the meaning and religions do the same with their documents. I suppose in most secular systems you have a mechanism to change the text of the law and perhaps you have the same in certain religious systems (for example the Mormon President's ability to decree law) or you have workarounds (like Papal infallibility allowing the text to mean whatever he says by definition).Hanover

    I think we agree on many things, but I don't think this analogy works. I know next to nothing about Mormon doctrine, and know enough about Catholic doctrine to understand that papal authority to state or make infallible pronouncements is limited and has been very rarely exercised, but the Constitution itself provides it can be amended and describes how that may be done. It would be as if the Ten Commandments stated that they may be altered provided appropriate steps were followed.
  • AmadeusD
    1.8k
    As an outsider, who has spent significant time in the USA, I think the charges of the kind OP makes are over-blown, somewhat hangover concepts. Not many people care.
    But not many people vote either. So, therein, the charge becomes palpably worth discussing.

    AS such, booming voter numbers would make representational democracy more than a line on a page. I think the problem would vanish, in this scenario. Enough people with enough views voting can only be good, unless you're a 'for thee, not for me' type of person around views, and freedoms etc..
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k
    But I will concede that pagan gods are less jealous, and therefore there is a sense in which paganism is more tolerant.

    The gods could be quite vicious to each other, but there was always a number of them and no one had a monopoly on truth. Polytheism allows the freedom for one to switch between value systems. Even the gods were subordinate to greater, more ancient primordial forces. I think polytheism is inherently more tolerant than monotheism; but personally I don't want plurality when it comes to the big questions of life.
  • AmadeusD
    1.8k
    I think polytheism is inherently more tolerant than monotheism; but personally I don't want plurality when it comes to the big questions of life.BitconnectCarlos

    Do you see a lot of historical baggage in this view?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k


    There's surely a historical aspect, but it's also just my honest conclusion. I'll break from my religious roots in some ways, but not in this one. It's more personal than historical.
  • Hanover
    12.1k
    It would be as if the Ten Commandments stated that they may be altered provided appropriate steps were followed.Ciceronianus

    I would suspect that all traditions have ways in which rules are to be interpreted, amended, and modified. The actual text is not necessarily changed, although dramatic changes to the interpretation can be made so as to consider the prior rule entirely amended.

    The Catholics have a hierarchy in place that allows such things, even if rarely used, which I referenced as papal infallibility. The Mormons consider their President (yes, that's what he's called) to be a prophet who can entirely change church doctrine. The Amish have elders that determine their rules (like the phone booth has to be at the edge of the land and not in the home). The Jews consider it a commandment to follow the verdict of the rabbis, which can offer opinions that vary over time (Deut: 17:10).

    I do think you might endear yourself to an Orthodox Jew though with your insistence that the laws are immutable and unchanged since the day Moses walked off the mountain, as historically inaccurate as that might be. It's a good myth to add to the legitimacy of the religion though.
  • AmadeusD
    1.8k
    Fair enough. I guess I'm plumbing the 'I don't want' part of it, which seems a little more personal.
    To me, it seems that this wish has informed a huge amount of religiosity - good and bad - without a shred of rationality to it. I wondered if you saw that, in your view, there is a gaping epistemological hole in that respect (not that it's 'wrong' but that there may need to be more to that in justifying such a search for a mono-theistic answer to those questions).
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k


    It is a personal issue. If I'm looking for an answer to a major life question about my being I don't want to be told e.g. "well it could be A, or maybe think about B, or possibly C, anyway we'll never really know and no one can know because a billion different gods (or philosophers) think a billion different things" -- I need conclusions. We all need to plant our flag somewhere and our own rationality will only get us so far. The world is too much for our own limited rationality to wrap its head around -- I couldn't even wrap my mind around myself nevermind the world.
  • AmadeusD
    1.8k
    Hmm. Okay, I appreciate you.

    I do not think you addressed what i'm saying though. You've restated it.

    I need conclusions. We all need to plant our flag somewhere and our own rationality will only get us so far.BitconnectCarlos

    This speaks the same language as what I was enquiring about. Doesn't it make you uncomfortable that a random desire to not be given multiple responses has you committed to certain cosmological 'truths' despite, perhaps, the evidence?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k


    This speaks the same language as what I was enquiring about. Doesn't it make you uncomfortable that a random desire to not be given multiple responses has you committed to certain cosmological 'truths' despite, perhaps, the evidence?AmadeusD

    Despite the evidence? I don't see where evidence factors into it. Did God speak to Moses? Are we to consider the evidence for and against such a claim?

    What fascinates me about the book is that it reveals certain things that we wouldn't otherwise know or take for granted. It's just my intuition picking things up. I find some of the dialogues to be fascinating. I find some of the parables to be transformative.

    It's a fascinating thought exercise if nothing else trying to work through these dialogues.
  • AmadeusD
    1.8k
    Despite the evidence? I don't see where evidence factors into it. Did God speak to Moses? Are we to consider the evidence for and against such a claim?BitconnectCarlos

    Yes, we are. But that wasn't quite my point. My point was that the motivational factor seems to stem from merely a discomfort with certain answers, regardless of the supportability of alternate views. This seems so with the majority of historical religiosity - 'I don't like that answer, so I'm looking elsewhere, even if that makes no sense'.

    What fascinates me about the book is that it reveals certain things that we wouldn't otherwise know or take for granted. It's just my intuition picking things up. I find some of the dialogues to be fascinating. I find some of the parables to be transformative.BitconnectCarlos

    That's fair. I just don't understand why that would be motivation to reject, or accept, any claims. Or, reject good ones that you don't like. Just trying to see if you can pick up that thread in your mode of thinking..
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    You don't need to change the text of the Constitution to change the meaning and religions do the same with their documents.Hanover

    I would be wary of pushing this too far, and doesn't this just end up in the Originalism debate?

    Even if we say that all rules are malleable, it will remain true that some rules and some traditions are much more malleable than others. Further, when the recipe calls for divine revelation the dish will be a great deal less malleable.

    @Hanover, do you follow Reform Judaism?
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    I do think you might endear yourself to an Orthodox Jew though with your insistence that the laws are immutable and unchanged since the day Moses walked off the mountain, as historically inaccurate as that might be. IHanover

    I wasn't aware the Ten Commandments had changed. What do they say now? Or have they added more, to make up for the five which were lost when Moses dropped the third tablet, according to Mel Brooks?
  • wonderer1
    1.7k
    Are we to consider the evidence for and against such a claim?
    — BitconnectCarlos

    Yes, we are.
    AmadeusD

    :up:
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k
    That's fair. I just don't understand why that would be motivation to reject, or accept, any claims. Or, reject good ones that you don't like. Just trying to see if you can pick up that thread in your mode of thinking..AmadeusD

    Because such truths lead to life and self-actualization while others lead to death. The question is beyond rationality, but an approach must be chosen. I think that's the best I can do.

    Yes, we are.AmadeusD

    How do we consider evidence for and against e.g. God communicating with Moses? I don't even know what it would mean for God to speak to Moses. If we were transported back to Moses's day and heard a booming voice thundering down would that be God? Could be aliens. Or we could be hallucinating.
  • AmadeusD
    1.8k
    I wasn't aware the Ten Commandments had changed. What do they say now?Ciceronianus

    Around the end of the second century, apparently.

    There are other ways these things have changed over time, also.
    Because such truthsBitconnectCarlos

    Ah, this sort of begs the question. I'm wondering how you get 'truth', given your motivation is not seeking truth, but avoiding uncomfortable utterances.
    an answer must be chosenBitconnectCarlos

    This being clearly false, is motivation for my enquiry, largely. One need not chose and answer to any of these existential questions to properly participate in the world.

    Could be aliens. Or we could be hallucinating.BitconnectCarlos

    There is better evidence for these two, than the Bible story. Delusion and spontaneous mystical experience also. Kind of the point. Your motivation for rejecting these (not this specifically, but as a mode of illustrating the short-fall of reason), more reasonable, conclusions, is that they are uncomfortable to you, or you would rather another answer.
    That seems to me, to be unreasonable.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k
    This being clearly false, is motivation for my enquiry, largely. One need not chose and answer to any of these existential questions to properly participate in the world.AmadeusD

    I'm not talking about abstract impersonal questions. I'm talking about questions like, say, how do we understand/frame disability? Such content is revealed to Moses and has deep repercussions.
  • wonderer1
    1.7k
    How do we consider evidence for and against e.g. God communicating with Moses? I don't even know what it would mean for God to speak to Moses. If we were transported back to Moses's day and heard a booming voice thundering down would that be God? Could be aliens. Or we could be hallucinating.BitconnectCarlos

    One place to start is, "Why think there was an actual Moses?"
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.8k


    Yeah maybe his name was actually Noses. Or something else entirely.
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