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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Are The Bible's Publishers Breaking The Law?

In England we have the Serious Crimes Act 2007 Part 2 of which came into force in 2008. Section 59 removed the Common Law offence of incitement and replaced it with the criminal offence of Encouraging or Assisting Crime defined as:

Section 44. Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence.

Section 45. Encouraging or assisting an offence believing it will be committed.

Section 46. Encouraging or assisting offences believing one or more will be committed.

It would be astonishing if other civilized countries didn't have similar laws.

So what has this to do with the Bible?

For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

Leviticus 20:9

Incitement to commit murder.

And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Leviticus 20:10

Ditto.

And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:11

Ditto.

And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:12

Ditto.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:13

Ditto.

And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

Leviticus 20:14

Ditto.

Also in England we have the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2007. This created the criminal offence of inciting hatred against a person on the grounds of their religion by "A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening... if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred"

Hmm...

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die...

Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Religious intolerance and hatred and incitement to commit murder.

And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.

2 Chronicles 19:2

Incitement to religious hatred.

Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

Psalms 139:19-22

Ditto.

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Luke 19:27 (Quoting Jesus)

Incitement to religious intolerance and incitement to commit murder.

As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9

Incitement to religious intolerance.

And so on.

We could do the same with Disability Discrimination, with Human Rights laws, with Equal Opportunities legislation.

So why is it that an organisation which daily promotes criminality and incitement to crime is not only allowed to get away with it, but, when it demands the right to have a say in our legislature and to be consulted about all matters of morality and ethics, is listened to and given a power to meddle far in excess of its support in many civilised countries?

Would we give even a second's thought to such a demand from any other criminal organisation? (Tweet this)





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45 comments:

  1. Hezekiah Ahaz

    I have deleted yet another abusive post from you.

    I appreciate you are using religion as an excuse for this antisocial behaviour, and thank you for yet another demonstration of how sanctimonious bigots do that, but please try to act like a person with a conscience and respect my polite request to desist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hezekiah Ahaz

    Another gratuitously abusive post from you has been removed. I'm sorry you don't see that the normally accepted standards of civilised society apply to you as well.

    Apart from demonstrating that, I fail to see any other purpose for your daily abusive postings here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rosa,

    So what you're saying is, ancient Israel and modern England have different laws?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  5. Matt.

    No. What I'm saying is the things that the Bible says we should do are incitements to break the law.

    Even Jesus said we should obey all the OT laws. Was he wrong or was his morality more primitive than our own?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rosa,

    Those verses you cited were the Judicial laws of ancient Israel (Minus David's impreccatory prayer and Jesus' parable). There's a distinction between the Judicial, Moral, and Ceremonial laws.

    Judicial laws had to do with the government of the physical nation of Israel, which subsequently ceased when Israel ceased to be a self-sustaining nation.

    Moral laws are all those which span civilizations (love God with all your heart, your neighbor as yourself, honor your father and mother.)

    Ceremonial laws had to do with the sacrifices, observing the Day of Atonement, the law against mixing fabrics (an atheist favorite), the dietary laws, etc. These were fulfilled in Christ's coming and dying, according to Christianity, and were merely a "type and shadow" of that fact.

    The law Christ said He was maintaining was the Moral law. But if your point is that, your killing of people who don't agree with you would be breaking the law of England, then I would agree. Of course, in ancient Israel, since that *was* the law, it follows that a person *didn't* kill an idolater (someone who worshiped another god) would actually be acting illegally.

    Really all you're doing is comparing your own culture and law with that of Ancient Israel. In any case, I'm sure the lawmakers see the historical nature of the verses you cite, and don't consider them to be inciting violence, etc.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost everyone I know or ever met claims the words in the bible are of God and must be followed today as well as yesterday. Since intent is part of law then the intent of Christians to uphold bible laws applies

      Delete
  7. Matt

    >Those verses you cited were the Judicial laws of ancient Israel<

    Which Jesus said should all be obeyed. (Matt 5:17; Luke 24:44; John 7:19)

    >Really all you're doing is comparing your own culture and law with that of Ancient Israel.<

    Nope. I'm comparing what Jesus said we should do with what the laws says we shouldn't do, and finding very clear incitement to break the law.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Facts for Matt will never overcome his blind faith. He's one blissful cog.

      Delete
  8. Rosa,

    When Jesus says, "I came to fulfill the law," what part of the distinction I made does that fit in with? I explained that the Ceremonial laws were symbolic and looked forward to Christ, and were subsequently "fulfilled" at his coming and dying. That answers the first two verses.

    The third verse merely refers to the Moral law. Jesus got onto the Pharisees for being hypocrites, avoiding the "weightier matters of the law" like loving God and your neighbor as yourself. Clearly, Moral law.

    I understand your confusion upon conflating these distinctions. I would suggest you'd understand better if you maintain them as distinct.

    You are comparing Ancient Israel's (Judicial) laws with Modern England's laws. The ancient Israeli Judicial laws do not need to be performed, since Ancient Israel doesn't exist anymore. If people were to take the laws as narrowly as you understand them, then I'd worry. Thankfully, most don't.

    This is simply a case where you're mistaken. I will not hold it against you if you refine your argument. I can't force you to either, I realize. So, take it for what it's worth.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  9. Matt

    The New Testament is quite specific and spells it out several times: the laws of the prophets, including those of Moses, are to be obeyed, without equivocation.

    I gave you chapter and verse.

    The point of the blog is the the Bible contains incitements to do things which are now criminal in most civilised societies, not that some cherry-picked version of it is okay, really, if you ignore it or re-interpret it enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt seems to justify his religion by claiming that most Christians no longer follow the bible. It would seem if Christians no longer follow the bible then they ain't Christians anymore. As a atheist I've asked Christians if all of the bible must be obeyed and they say yes, as it is the word of their god. Yet when I point out we don't kill newly wed women when found not to be virgins on their wedding night suddenly we atheists are misunderstanding the bible.

      Matt is no exception. Suddenly the bible isn't saying what you're reading. Pathetic

      Delete
  10. It actually disturbs me there is such a law. It infringes free speech. Of course, the bible is bad but what about a rebellious book?

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Atheist Crusader

    The question is not whether the law is good or bad but whether the Bible incites people to break it or is actually breaking it in the case of the Racial And Religious Hatred Act.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rosa,

    I agree that the ancient laws are to be understood "without equivocation," and that's evident by the distinctions I made. However, the only way one would understand the Bible to be inciting criminal activity is if one...equivocated. If you do not accept my distinctions or consider them valid, you need to tell me why. Because your argument either stands or falls on whether or not the distinction is valid.

    Now, I do appreciate that you say "now criminal," because that means you acknowledge at least that at one point such things weren't criminal. In fact, that's precisely the point I was making. Modern England's laws didn't exist in Ancient Israel. Of course, some things Modern England allows would be considered criminal by Ancient Israel's standards. And so the comparison is only valid if it's merely for observation's sake. You've said nothing remarkable.

    It would be the same as if I took some ancient Roman law that allowed what modern U.S. law has criminalized, and therefore accuse anyone of Roman descent (or what have you) of inciting criminal activity. Of course, they would point out (and rightly so) that those particular laws only applied to ancient Rome, and only at that time. (It would seem, I might add, that in order to quell discrimination, you're advocating discrimination, particularly against those who count the Bible important.)

    The plain fact of the matter is, those verses you cite in your blogpost from Deuteronomy and Leviticus are talking about the ancient Israeli Judicial laws. The Psalms verse is King David's prayer to God (not exactly something the Bible is telling us to do). And the Luke citation is "Quoting Jesus" quoting a fictional person in the parable he's telling.

    Whenever Jesus speaks of "fulfilling" the law, he's speaking of the Ceremonial law. It's quite simple. The Ceremonial laws ceased, as did the Judicial laws. The Moral laws (10 Commandments, etc.) remain intact. I feel like I'm repeating myself.

    Well, you've been given the facts. It's up to you whether to ignore them and perpetuate your misunderstanding, or amend your understanding to reflect what you've been told (by someone who *probably* knows better than you, and that's not an insult. I'm a Christian, you're not.).

    Regards,
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  13. Matt.

    In fact the 'ancient Laws' are not only to be understood, but obeyed, according to the NT.

    IOW, the NT incites people to break the law of the land, just as I said.

    Any excuse that these laws applied only to those people at that time begs the question of why they are now included in the Bible at all if they no longer apply or can be ignored.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rosa,

    >"In fact the 'ancient Laws' are not only to be understood, but obeyed, according to the NT."

    Right. The Moral laws. But those don't contradict Modern England's laws. The Ceremonial and Judicial laws may, but they have been done away with. Not the Moral laws.

    >"Any excuse that these laws applied only to those people at that time begs the question of why they are now included in the Bible at all if they no longer apply or can be ignored."

    Are you telling me "historical value" never once crossed your mind? The fulfilling of the Ceremonial laws are pivotal in understanding Jesus' ministry.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  15. Matt.

    >The Moral laws.<

    No. All of them. The Bible is quite explicit and makes no exceptions.

    You are trying to re-interpret the Bible to suit your needs.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rosa,

    If you insist upon your misunderstanding all the while rejecting the majority of Biblical scholarship for centuries, I cannot stop you.

    However I will point out the irony of your saying the Bible "makes sense" in some places when you need it to, and then saying it's completely untelligible when it suits other needs you have (e.g. the inherent psychological urge to defame or discredit that which would otherwise cause you discomfort, such as when you are being held accountable for something you've done wrong, though not limited to that, of course. It's the proverbial covering of your eyes with your hand and then insisting nobody sees you, and refusing to acknowledge your authority or disciplinarian).

    Amazing how one's dogmas can overrule established fact in one's mind, eh?

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  17. Matt.

    Perhaps you'd be kind enough to point our where I've claimed that the Bible 'makes sense', just so other readers know they can trust you, please.

    TIA.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Rosa,

    > "The Bible is quite explicit and makes no exceptions."

    You're claiming to clearly understand it, right? Or am I to understand that you comprehend something that doesn't make sense? (That's the implication, just so you're aware)

    I am rather shocked, by the way, that *that's* what you decided to respond to, out of everything I've said. You are a good dogmatist. Don't let anything muddle your prejudice, Rosa. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to detect it ;)

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  19. Matt.

    I can quite understand you wishing I didn't quote the Bible.

    How about dealing with my point that the Bible clearly incites people to commit crime and therefore that it's publishers may be breaking the law.

    Trying to put up a smokescreen to hide the fact that you're not dealing with it makes it look like you're afraid I could be right.

    Are you fundamentalists taught sophistry and avoidance techniques or does it come with the delusion?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Rosa,

    And I can understand your confusion about the distinctive types of OT laws after having conflated them.

    Do you *really* think you're the first person to ever have read the Bible, or at least those parts? Are you alleging that all your colleagues and comrades have somehow missed those parts?

    I'm telling you, as a Christian, that your interpretation is incorrect. As yet you stand defiant to correction. You are insisting upon your own interpretation of the text when the vast majority of Biblical scholarship disagrees with you. I understand you're somewhat of a conspiracy theorist, but seriously. Who's the fundamentalist again? This glaring lack of self-reflection on your part greatly undermines your credibility.

    >"Trying to put up a smokescreen to hide the fact that you're not dealing with it makes it look like you're afraid I could be right."

    A correct distinction is only a smokescreen if you insist upon kicking up the dust so you don't have to see it clearly. And, honestly Rosa, if it's not OK for me to be arrogant and condescending, why is it OK for you to be? Are you *allowed* do employ a double-standard? Are you *allowed* to be a hypocrite? I really want to know.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  21. Matt.

    Just to correct your misunderstanding of the Bible: there IS no such distinction made in the Bible, so there can be no confusion.

    I hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just stumbled upon this fascinating discussion.

    Matt, you seem to be claiming that there are three distinct types of Old Testament law and Jesus only commanded his followers to hold to one of the three.

    Where in the New Testament does it actually say this in a way that is understandable to the average Christian who does not have access to hundreds of years of biblical scholarship?

    Here where I live, in California, most Christians I know believe that the Bible stands on it's own and does not need massive amounts of interpretation in order to be understandable.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Binko Barnes.

    It's strange isn't it, how those who are most insistent that the Bible is the perfect message of an omniscient god are most creative in their re-interpretation of it, in filling in the very many errors of omission they seem to think it contains and excusing all those parts they find hard to cope with.

    Of course, people who see the Bible as a collection of myths, retrospective justification for crimes, political propaganda and stories intended to deceive, never need to creatively re-interpret, invent or ignore anything in it because what it says is entirely consistent with that hypothesis.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Rosa, yes, it is very strange.

    I've been an atheist since the day I first read Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not A Christian" at age 12. But at least when I was a boy, back in the 1960s and 1970s, most Christians around me belonged to old-school Protestant churches like Episcopalian, Methodist or Lutheran. They tended to keep their religious practice private and viewed the Bible as obviously parable.

    But the recent growth of Fundamental Christian groups who embrace the lunacy of Biblical literalism baffles and frightens me. People I know will point to the Old Testament to justify their hatred of gays. But when I ask if they also plan to start stoning all adulterers, men who cut their beards and anybody who works on Sunday they get really confused and angry. They all want literalism but only selective literalism. It makes me weep to see the stubborn deliberate stupidity in people.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Rosa,

    Were a person to read the owner's manual of a car as if it were a children's story book, I could understand the person then saying how much the story doesn't make sense. Of course the point is the person isn't treating it correctly. The Bible consists of many genres of literature. From history, to poetry, to instruction, to personal testimony, to apocalyptic.

    And, you've already admitted you're reading it as one who "see[s] the Bible as a collection of myths, retrospective justification for crimes, political propaganda and stories intended to deceive."

    So by your own admission you're not reading it how it was intended to be read, and hence not understanding it how it was intended to be understood. The narrow reading you're imposing on it has little need for distinctions such as I described. But that means your opinion on the matter, then, is inconsequential as far as biblically-aware people are concerned.

    It's strange isn't it, how those who are most insistent that the Bible is a collection of myths, retrospective justification for crimes, political propaganda and stories intended to deceive, are most dense in their narrow reading of it, refusing to allow distinctions that have stood for centuries, and then wonder why it doesn't make sense.

    Of course, people who see the Bible as the perfect message of an omniscient God never need to creatively re-interpret, invent or ignore anything in it because what it says is entirely consistent with that hypothesis.

    Binko Barnes,

    In my experience, too few Christians do studying of the Bible like they're supposed to (2 Tim. 2:15), so I echo your observation, but I hardly agree that that "ought" to be the case.

    The book of Hebrews explains the inadequacy of the OT sacrificial system (ceremonial laws, etc.) and how Christ was "better" than all those (Heb. 8:1-6), and fulfilled them as they were merely a "type and shadow" of things to come. Jesus Himself while he was on earth affirmed what the Bible says about the moral laws. His Sermon On the Mount was probably his clearest exposition on how one's life is to be lived. In none of those were the idiosyncratic ancient Jewish Judicial laws upheld or maintained, except, perhaps, by the Pharisees whom Jesus called hypocrites.

    Think of the relation of Moral and Judicial laws as similar to Constitutional and Local laws. Local laws can change with circumstance while the Constitutional laws (ideally) are upheld and serve as the foundation or frame of the Judicial laws. Hope this helps.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you for your long message.

    I see you've given up trying to justify the Bible's publishers encouraging people to break the law and are now trying to divert the conversation away from the subject.

    Should people take that as indicating that you've realised you can't justify it using honest arguments so have resorted to trying tactics over substance again?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Rosa,

    I'll take your silence in response to my arguments as a concession of the points I was making. You might've noted, had you read with any care, that I responded to both you and BB, hence the length of my response. You might very well have learned the error of your belief regarding the OT Laws had you read my response to him/her.

    Binko,

    Had I been aware you weren't really looking for an answer, I might not have wasted my time giving one. And for that I apologize.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  28. Matt,

    'Silence' as in the reply I posted at 13:01 today, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Rosa,

    'Silence' as in no substantial counter-argument.

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  30. Matt.

    None was needed. Pointing out your rather too obvious attempt to divert attention away from your inability to deal with my blog, despite trying to give the impression you could do so if you wished, was sufficient.

    That's the great thing about debating with someone who knows he can't use honesty, logic, reason and evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Matt, I'm always looking for answers. And I was happy to read your long message.

    I agree, if one assumes the ability to go through the Bible and declare this passage to be parable, and that passage to be merely poetry, this one passage to be a command to be followed but the other passage merely illustrative, then it's possible to make some kind of deconstructed sense out of it.

    But every Christian I know considers the Bible to be the inspired words of the Chrisian God. Where do you get this authority to pick and choose which passages are which?

    When I imagine being a Christian I think more like a Quaker where there is nobody between believer and deity and not like a Roman Catholic where a dozen layers of priestly hierarchy stand between the poor sod in the pews and the official holy doctrine.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Rosa,

    I responded to your article with arguments. You *merely* denied that I'm correct, and yet did not offer reasons as to why I'm incorrect beyond saying, "nuh uh!" Your post has been challenged, and you simply have not stepped up to meet it. You falsely charge me with diverting attention (again, without addressing my points) and claim victory.

    Your manner is simply presumptuous and arrogant (implying I'm "someone who knows he can't use honesty, logic, reason and evidence"), disrespectful and immature (you've called God my "invisible friend" numerous times), and lastly, void of any true scholarship regarding that which you whine most loudly about, *refusing* to meet a challenge ("None was needed."), expecting that your readers take what you say as "established fact needing no further supporting evidence" or argumentation, and wailing about Christians being mean to those who don't agree with them while You. Do. That. Exact. Thing. I don't think I'd call you dishonest though, because that implies you know what's going on. So ignorance is the hypothesis I'm going with, as it makes the most sense of the evidence.

    It truly is amazing the world isn't in worse shape. I suppose I should be glad the vast majority of the world's population isn't like you. I'm taking my leave, Rosa. I wonder if you'll let this comment through. #honesty #integrity

    Regards,
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  33. Matt.

    You responded to my article with an attempt to divert the conversation away from the blog.

    I'm sure other people can work out why you needed to.

    Do you think you are ever going to manage to say anything useful and constructive rather than trying to impress people with your skill at avoiding difficult questions and trying to give the impression that you COULD refute my arguments if you wanted to?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Phew, good thing we have Matt here to tell us which passages are metaphorical, which are literal, which laws we can ignore, etc.

    And what a miracle, it turns out the correct interpretation is whatever he wants it to be! Praised Be! Now, we just need to get his wisdom to the other 2 billion Christians who can't all agree what the hell the book is saying. Apologies issued for all those who were killed or oppressed in Christianity's name, back in the dark times before the Revelation of Matt.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just wondered if "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life".Would fall into the category of incitement to racial hatred.That there were advocates who insisted that some humans were less human and warranted extinction as an "un favoured" race or put on display in a zoo Ota Benga style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you could quote some paragraphs which incite that, like I did with the Bible. This would elevate your case to the level of honesty and integrity I showed in mine.

      I think people will understand when you don't, though.

      Delete
  36. Of course not cause i know it to be untrue. However there are others that could use that title as a justification for that sort of behaviour:
    "favoured races" taken out of context or looking through Rosa`s 2012 eyes does not fit in with current thinking does it but no rage is sought against it. Consistency of argument?
    Now the bible should be read "rightly dividing the word of truth".
    There are parts which applied to the ancient Hebrews and their 316 laws which they were unable to keep and do not apply too everyone else.
    Us gentiles only had to keep seven prior to Moses.
    There are parts which allude to ancient history and origins. others deal with the history of a middle eastern people group their judges and kings their reigns righteous or not as the case may be.
    Other aspects show laws for conduct and living some warranting the death penalty at the time.Others in matters of sanitation,dietary habits some ahead of its time or scientific thinking.i.e for 3000 yrs has said Life is in the blood, women have a fertile seed, running water for cleansing disease prevention.Other times when battles commenced it was usually as a response to national provocation/survival. Our bombers did not discriminate in ww2 or in Iraq in the name of an enlightened age.
    In the NT it covers a period that was still existing under the OT until the death of Christ and Pentecost latterly. The Old law was done away with e.g A woman was brought to Jesus caught in adultery, the law demanded stoning. Although hypocritically they never brought the man either.His response " he who is without sin cast the first stone". Mercy not sacrifice for this Jewish man.the lady goes on her way.As a Christian the OT is there as history predicating the new covenant, there are some things that are unpalatable in the OT that do not apply in the new...but then again there are somethings unpalatable about secular history too "Reign of Terror" French revolution 1794.Whats the difference between "God said" and the "Revolution said in the name of liberty,equality and fraternity".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Becuse there's often also 'God Said...' as a justification by a 3rd party to commit heinous crimes, but said 3rd party does not want to tell us whence or whither 'God Said'. We are merely expected to take their word for it.
      Likewise, we are often exhorted that 'God Said...' in order to induce us to behave in a certain religious way, by some religious zealot, also without referencing whence and whither.
      I prefer to decide for myself, and then there are major concerns as to the rightness of advice from a book i am supposed to consult as a master reference for goodness of behaviour.
      It puzzles me that 'God's Law' can potentially be so much at odds with modern civil and criminal law, while some would have us believe that God's Law is to this day inviolate.
      There are so many versions too, of 'God's Law', that it can really be frighteningly difficult to decide which to accept, but fortunately, we have the wisdom ( :-D ) of modern legislators to save us therefrom, but also our own modern development that lets us apply natural wisdom
      Some choose not to follow that path and do crazy, abhorrent things, but seem only to achieve their own self-destruction, alas sometimes taking a few others along

      Delete
  37. On account of the fact that the Bible is basically a book of silly fairy stories that have no relevance in modern day society, is there just better to ignore it. If it is found that a modern day crime has been committed with the Bible as its instigator, then by all means use it in the lawcourts to show the perpetrator of the crime and the Christian religion for what is. The same goes for the Koran and any other of the religious texts that the deluded of this world who decide to hang onto.

    I am more of the opinion that we should live and let live, even if that means people want to make a personal choice to follow and believe in an imaginary friend. Why not? If that's what makes them happy. I would draw the line however if those same people start to promote their philosophy or teach other people those delusions as being the truth. I think this is particularly despicable when children are educated in a religious fashion, especially if they're told that they are going to go to hell if they don't believe.

    It seems that to a large extent that religion is on the wane and that given time we will have a society unencumbered by religious dogma. This might not happen in our own lifetime, but we should be least thankful that things are going in the right direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about when these superstitious people demand, and get, the right to include their superstitions in our laws, legal processes, the education of our children and relationships between consenting adults?

      Should we tolerate this imposition and allow them the right to curtail our freedom on the basis that preventing them would be a restriction on their right to believe what they want and to behave the way they believe they should be allowed to behave, which of course includes their right to tell us and our children what to believe?

      Delete
  38. I'm interested in pursuing the original argument... ie that Jesus said we had to keep the old law, and is therefore inciting us to crime.

    Going back to the passages you mentioned:
    Matt 5:17 - he says "not to abolish, but to fulfill". The usual understanding IIRC is that the fulfilment happens at the crucifixion when Jesus says "it is finished."

    Luke 24:44 - says “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Not sure how this refers to the law about punishment at all?

    John 7:19 - "none of you carries out the law". Just a statement of fact, no statement that the law must be maintained.

    Elsewhere we see Jesus being quite explicit in distilling the Law down into just loving god and loving neighbour, with no mention of the rest of the Mosaic Law.

    Carrying on further, the passage I see as pivotal to how we view the Israeli law today is Acts 15:1-30 (written as a follow-on from Luke, as I'm sure you're aware), where it's quite clear that non-Jews are not to be lumped with the entire Jewish law, but rather just "abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood".

    (btw... really enjoy your "how to debate an atheist post", and you're welcome to call me on any infraction. ;)

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    1. How do you explain away Matthew 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."?

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