When you admit that any activity could be moral, it seems obvious that you must answer that the moral perfection of a being proffering such a claim could well be a reasonable claim.
No, just as my assertion that the moon could be made of green cheese does not imply that it could well be a reasonable claim—given the evidence we have before us—to assert that the moon is made of green cheese.
When is the last time you answered one of my questions?
What is the evidence that we supposedly have before us in this case?
I assume you do not mean to assert the specious argument that it “could be reasonable” in the sense that we could have evidence that we do not in fact have.
If we don’t have evidence then where does the “clearly immoral” rhetoric come from? Or is evidence something that only ~Doug need worry about?
The claim that X is a reasonable claim is predicated on the evidence that we have before us right now; not on some hypothetical evidence that we might have but do not.
Again, what evidence do we have before us right now? Does the covenant aspect of the OT law count (something you left out of your presentation of the problem)? Does the setting apart of the nature of Israel or Israel’s later (higher?) purpose in history rightly figure in at all?
... left out of your simplistic and prejudicial presentation (then and now)?
That’s interesting. I just quoted one complete passage from the Bible without comment and you considered it simplistic and prejudicial.
More interesting, I think, is the way Doug leaves out both the context of my specific complaints about things he was leaving out as well as the present context (the fact that he is implicitly presenting the passage with the comment that it represents clear immorality). That on top of avoiding my questions, in particular my attempt to resolve an issue via Socratic dialog. Perhaps Doug sees himself as the prosecutor addressing a witness at trial.
You certainly seem to be willing to bend over backwards for the Bible in a way you certainly never would for anyone on THIS forum.
Baloney. I went to bat for both faithlessgod to Dr. McKenzie in the philosophy forum, encouraging the latter to take a more charitable view of the other’s statements. And faithlessgod hasn’t exactly gone out of his way to ingratiate himself with me (before or since).
Most particularly where you should note my consistency is in the care I take to avoid drawing my own assumptions into the statements of others. That goes just as much for skeptical CFI members as it does for biblical authors. In the former case, of course, I have the option of bouncing a statement off the CFI member that will help me accurately ascertain his intent (not that the technique invariably helps—unanswered questions will continue to abound, I expect); plus translation barriers are much lower with contemporary communications in a common language that hasn’t in turn been translated from another language.
Interesting how often these exchanges end up in personal attacks, isn’t it?
So we can’t take the Bible at its face value, but have to be careful to consider every possible extenuating circumstance, extend to it every ounce of charity, before we begin any sort of critical examination. Huh.
Need a crying towel?
Quite simply, you need some foundation for claiming that a given occurrence is “plainly immoral.” Otherwise any argument you make based on that premise is suspect. Apparently you’re sore that I didn’t make it easy on you. I have every confidence that you would extend (to) any premise that I suggest the same courtesy where it leads to a conclusion that challenges your beliefs.
Well, so then, why don’t you start by explaining for us how “the context of Israel’s cultural separation from its neighbors and the broader moral purposes intended for Israel” justify the stoning to death of this guy out collecting firewood on saturday. Such an explanation, of course, will have to take account of why any lesser punishment (indoctrination, castigation, corporal punishment, imprisonment, banishment, enslavement, etc.) would be unjustified in this circumstance.
For that instance I would also bring to bear the other factor that I’ve already mentioned: the covenant. The people gathered before God and made a deal to follow the laws God gave them in return for God’s blessings. When Doug mentions the account of the folks stoned for collecting firewood he curiously omits that aspect of the problem; the text (Numbers 15) appears to indicate that the man who collected firewood would likely have been present to agree to the covenant.
By way of analogy, we might suppose that Doug agrees to put a dollar into a workplace fund every time he says “dammit!” And then we get the moral dilemma: Is it morally right to charge somebody a dollar just because he says “dammit!”? Context matters.
I will be very surprised to see you succeed at that task, because I do not believe it can be done while preserving any sort of moral compass that is still worthy of the name.
It isn’t clear that you can describe such a compass in the first place, Doug, even given completely free reign. The poison you’ve prepared for the well is dilute.
You skipped the opportunity to demonstrate the “plainly immoral” nature of the commandments in favor of trying to get me to settle on one that I would contradict. Remember?
I could quote similar passages for the other issues I raised, above.
Just ... wow.
I’d be happy to, if you like.
Blessed are the listmakers. Or something like that.
I think it represents a line between murder and manslaughter ...
I have a pretty good definition of manslaughter HERE: “Unlawful killing without intent to kill.” Or HERE: “homicide without malice aforethought”. The crucial mitigating circumstance in manslaughter is the lack of intent.
Where is the implication of lack of intent in the statement about killing slaves? Here’s the passage again, tell me where it is:
“When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.” (Ex. 21:20-21)
The mitigating circumstance in the latter case is explained quite clearly: “... since the slave is his own property.” Because it is his own property, the slave owner is not punished for murder under certain circumstances.
I’ve already pointed out the implication of lack of intent; it’s little enough trouble to repeat myself, I suppose. Observe the parallel passage that precedes Ex. 21:20-21.
18"If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but remains in bed,
19if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his loss of time, and shall take care of him until he is completely healed.
In this case also we have the crime of dire personal injury. If the victim recovers even enough to walk about with his staff, the perpetrator “shall go unpunished”—yet (astoundingly?) without the injured man being his property. But he shall pay for the lost time and assist him back to health. In the case of the slave, how does one pay for lost time? In the case of chattel slavery there is no debt incurred. The slave would no more be entitled to lost time than would a bull slaughtered for a feast. And in the case of the more common form of slavery (one person owning the labor of another), the slave holder is the one who loses the lost time. Likewise, the slave’s recovery is in the owner’s interest. Slaves do not maintain their value well after death.
Let’s see if you’re able to ignore that again.