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Source: (consider it) Thread: rejecting the OT
LutheranChik
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I know for me the OT became much more interesting, much less onerous for ne when I was able to she'd the inerrantist dogma of my childhood church and understand the texts to be the collected folklore and history of a beleaguered peoole, reconstituting themselves after serial defeats and exiles, trying to understand themselves and their relation to God as a people. No longer having to imagine God as the author of genocides, misogyny, etc.was a relief

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
A statement that claims objective truth may be disproven, but the problem is that it's very hard to come up with any objective facts.

That statement is the sort of thing that only an internet pundit could come out with.
Human beings need to breathe and consume nourishment.
All human beings are mortal.
All human beings spent at least twenty-five odd weeks developing in a woman's womb.
There's three.
(An 'objective fact' of course is a tautology.)

The objective truth or falsehood of a statement is not the same as whether it can be verified/falsified (as appropriate). (Verificationism and falsificationism effectively reject the concept of objective truth.)

You'll have to help me here. I'm confused as well as insulted.

You previously said that the word objective said a statement had to fit the evidence - words to world. Now you're saying it's not the same as whether it can be verified or not?

My point is probably less narrowly theoretical. I work in mental healthcare where the fashion is that everything we do should have measurable outcomes. We are asked to define indicators set specific targets, and do robust assessments so that we can demonstrate our effectiveness.

It is impossible. A conversation with a chaplain turns out to be practically impossible to assess scientifically. The value of what we do cannot be objectively verified. You can only get any data by looking at the most simplistic of measures.

I now think that the fashion for objectivity, the 'what's your evidence?' 'prove it!' sort of thing, is the problem. Not only is the scientific model being applied in areas where it doesn't fit, but even science isn't like that.

Try and find objective facts about mental illness. What is it? Is schizophrenia even a thing? What about the effects of Brexit? Or the causes and consequences of immigration? What are the causes of racism? What is the relationship of climate change to extreme weather? Is education better or worse now than thirty years ago? How should we tackle the obesity epidemic?

You can maybe find objectivity in precise experimentation, such as how a volume of gas behaves when heated; once you've made allowances for the fact your equipment is part of the system and the walls around the gas also have to warm up. You can find objectivity in logical examples such as all humans are mortal. But in anything interesting, stuff where we really grapple with the world, objectivity is not a helpful objective.

Often I see the demand for objectivity as a sort of bullying. It's a hammer in a world of intricate mechanisms and people made of flesh and blood. The Old Testament will not give up its treasures to this approach, and nor, in fact, will much of life, including much of the stuff professional scientists do.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
A statement that claims objective truth may be disproven, but the problem is that it's very hard to come up with any objective facts.

That statement is the sort of thing that only an internet pundit could come out with.
It is possible that the problem here is that my training is in science rather than philosophy, but I'm pretty sure it is nothing to do with being an internet pundit.

It seems to me that there are some things which are true/false statements and which can objectively be tested.

So if I said that the population of the country was x, clearly that's (essentially) an absolute figure. And one could offer various kinds of proof in the form of a census to objectively measure how many bodies were in the country at any given time - where objectivity implies robust, replicable methods which give answers that experts are happy reflect the true situation. There is a "real and true" answer to the question, there are a range of tools to use which give a reliable answer.

But there are a range of statements that are not - or are not intended to be - objective in that sense. So if we were to talk about "how many illegal migrants are there in the country", then that's dependent on the kinds of question being asked. What does it mean to be an "illegal migrant"? What does it mean to be "in the country", etc and so on. It's not something that has a "correct" answer without futher defining the terms, it isn't something which can give an answer to the satisfaction of experts in the field in a reproducible way because it isn't that kind of question. It is subjective in the sense that the answer depends on the viewpoint of the questioner and the meaning they're putting onto the words in the question.

So someone who says "there are x million people in the county" is offering something which is capable of being interrogated objectively. But the person who is offering "we'll be better off after Brexit" is not really - because there are layers of meaning, layers of different measures as to what this might mean and a whole layer of uncertainty because it is talking about something in the future which hasn't happened yet.

It's not a thing like climate change where there are a whole load of things to measure, a whole bunch of feedback loops we know about etc. That still includes a level of uncertainty because it is talking about the future too, but it is a question that we can use a whole load of things we can measure objectively to build up to an answer the experts are happy with.

Whereas in terms of human organised politics, economics and behaviours, there is a lack of objectivity because (a) humans understand and (b) hear different things from political statements; and (c) the way that they understand things that are said might have an impact on the outcome itself.

The Brexiteers would like us to believe that success/failure of Brexit is in our hands, and therefore somehow "believing in ourselves" and "thinking positively about the future" will lead to a good outcome. Which may or may not be true, but that's not really something which is objectively true or false either. We're not really going to know if it is an inevitable economic car-crash until afterwards or whether the attitude the country has to it will have had any impact on its success.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
A statement that claims objective truth may be disproven, but the problem is that it's very hard to come up with any objective facts.

That statement is the sort of thing that only an internet pundit could come out with.
Human beings need to breathe and consume nourishment.
All human beings are mortal.
All human beings spent at least twenty-five odd weeks developing in a woman's womb.
There's three.
(An 'objective fact' of course is a tautology.)

The objective truth or falsehood of a statement is not the same as whether it can be verified/falsified (as appropriate). (Verificationism and falsificationism effectively reject the concept of objective truth.)

You'll have to help me here. I'm confused as well as insulted.
I apologise for any insult. Although I don't see what is insulting in the description 'internet pundit' given that it includes everyone on this board, and we are presumably all subject to the same temptations.

quote:
You previously said that the word objective said a statement had to fit the evidence - words to world. Now you're saying it's not the same as whether it can be verified or not?
I did not use the word 'evidence'. You're equating 'evidence' and 'world'. The world as you go on to complain is not reducible to the measurable evidence about the world.

(There's a linguistic difficulty here. We use the same word 'objective' in connection with 'facts' and 'truth' and in connection with 'observer' or 'judge'. By a reasonably common piece of mental sleight the two situations transfer attributes to each other, so that we end up thinking or talking as if an objective judge is one who only concerns himself (sic) with objective facts and objective facts are only those available to an objective judge. And this gets further support from the success of the natural sciences. So there gets set up a vicious resonance between the two senses of 'objective'.
But this is an artifact and accident of language; 'objective' means something different as applied to an observer and to 'fact'. An objective observer is more likely to know objective facts but the communication of attributes distorts the way that happens.

quote:
My point is probably less narrowly theoretical. I work in mental healthcare where the fashion is that everything we do should have measurable outcomes.
I entirely agree with you in disapproving of the measurable outcomes in health care and elsewhere. I don't agree with you that the problems with them can be directly imported here.

I mean do you think that your opinion is just as subjective, no more responsible to the reality, as the managers of managers who've brought this fashion in?

You've read Buber. Buber rejects the idea that objectivity is to be restricted to a certain type of relationship with the word, one of instrumental detachment, the I-It relationship. Ultimately, the relationship of instrumental detachment is one of subjective knowledge: the world is reduced solely to the aspect of how I can make use of it, how it is for me and my purposes. The I-Thou relationship by contrast is one of objectivity: it does not reduce the other person, the Thou, to my purposes or my reality, to how they are for me. Rather it is responsible to the other person for themselves, which is to say that it is objective.

quote:
Try and find objective facts about mental illness. What is it? Is schizophrenia even a thing? What about the effects of Brexit? Or the causes and consequences of immigration? What are the causes of racism? What is the relationship of climate change to extreme weather? Is education better or worse now than thirty years ago? How should we tackle the obesity epidemic?
The World: Round or Flat? Opinions differ.

There is a great difference between saying that the truth of the matter is not easily available and saying that therefore it doesn't matter and anything goes. Again, saying that some people are biased and uttering subjective opinions is not the same as saying that the truth or facts are subjective.
There are a lot of people - Trump, Boris Johnson, and all their right-wing cheerleaders who think that the world must match their opinions because they're their opinions. That is the rejection of responsibility to reality, the rejection of objectivity.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
1. For most of history, Christians haven't had direct access to the Bible. Firstly because they couldn't read, and secondly because manuscripts were expensive.

You're right that most of them couldn't read and couldn't afford their own copies of the text; however, Bible passages were read aloud in church. People had plenty of opportunity to hear them.

Moo

Yes, fair comment, I am overstating my case a bit here.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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mr cheesy
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Firstly, apologies for replying as if your comment was to me before. No idea why I thought that, total brainfart.

quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
The World: Round or Flat? Opinions differ.

Well, neither. It is as inaccurate to say it is a round as to say it is flat. It is roughly spherical, a 3-dimensional shape. Both "flat" and "round" are usually used to describe 2-d shapes.
quote:

There is a great difference between saying that the truth of the matter is not easily available and saying that therefore it doesn't matter and anything goes. Again, saying that some people are biased and uttering subjective opinions is not the same as saying that the truth or facts are subjective.

Well - yes and no. Because life isn't as simple as saying all things are either right or wrong. That's not the same as saying "anything goes", but it is to embrace the reality that there are different kinds of truth and different kinds of perception and that the "literally true" is not the only kind of truth.

Returning to the Old Testament: is the story of Isaac and Abraham true? Well, what does that mean? What kind of truth are we talking about?

We need to refine what the question is. Is it historically true? That's hard/impossible to say. Is it theologically true - does it say true things about God?

I can't see how that can be anything other than subjective, because we can only experience the deity subjectively.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It seems to me that there are some things which are true/false statements and which can objectively be tested.

I don't know what 'objectively' is supposed to modify in 'objectively be tested' and how it is supposed to modify it.
However, 'objectively true/false' does not mean the same as 'true/false and can be tested' (or even 'true/false and objectively be tested').

Let's go back to the basic principle. There's a class of verbs including 'see', 'perceive', 'believe', 'know' etc. A basic sentence with such a verb would be 'The child sees the cat'. The child is the grammatical subject. The cat is the grammatical object. Now in a basic sense any aspect of the seeing that happens as a result of qualities of the cat is objective (of the grammatical object). So the qualities of the cat are objective. Anything that happens as a result of qualities of the child is subjective (of the grammatical subject).
So 'objectively true' means 'true by virtue of qualities of the cat'. 'Objective facts' are facts about the qualities of the cat. 'Subjective facts' are facts about the child.
Whether the child can test statements about the cat is to a great extent to do with the child rather than to do with the cat; therefore, it is not especially relevant to whether the statements are objectively true/false though it may be relevant to whether we know whether the statements are true/false.
Yes, there are questions about how much what we can know is determined by our sense organs and so on. But for most purposes we can take it that we are referring to those aspects of our knowledge and perception and belief that are responsive to qualities in the things we know and perceive and believe.

(An objective observer or objective judge, for what it's worth, is a second-order usage, and means an observer or judge who is for practical purposes free of subjective qualities that interfere with the observer's responsiveness to objective qualities.)

quote:
So if I said that the population of the country was x, clearly that's (essentially) an absolute figure. And one could offer various kinds of proof in the form of a census to objectively measure how many bodies were in the country at any given time - where objectivity implies robust, replicable methods which give answers that experts are happy reflect the true situation. There is a "real and true" answer to the question, there are a range of tools to use which give a reliable answer.

But there are a range of statements that are not - or are not intended to be - objective in that sense. So if we were to talk about "how many illegal migrants are there in the country", then that's dependent on the kinds of question being asked. What does it mean to be an "illegal migrant"? What does it mean to be "in the country", etc and so on.

I note that if there are questions about what it means to be 'in the country' in the case of 'people illegally in the country' then there are equally questions about what it means in the other case of 'people in the country'.
You're confusing differences about the definitions in the terms of the question being asked with differences in the answer. That is, for any particular definition of 'in the country' the answer is given.

If you say that the answer to 'how many people are illegally in the country' is subjective what you are saying is that claims by the right-wing press are not open to correction. The right-wing press say we're being swamped, the centre-left press say we're not, there's no way to settle the matter. Which would be fine if it didn't have practical consequences. Because the further consequences is that if the Home Office says someone is in the country illegally, because the Home Office has targets to meet politically motivated by the right-wing press, then the Home Office is justified in deporting that person regardless of what the courts rule or of any paperwork saying otherwise. Which I think is a dangerous position to hold.

quote:
The Brexiteers would like us to believe that success/failure of Brexit is in our hands, and therefore somehow "believing in ourselves" and "thinking positively about the future" will lead to a good outcome. Which may or may not be true, but that's not really something which is objectively true or false either. We're not really going to know if it is an inevitable economic car-crash until afterwards or whether the attitude the country has to it will have had any impact on its success.
What you are saying here is the Brexiteers are right.
If the truth is subjective, that is it depends on us believing in ourselves, then that's agreeing with the Brexiteers. The Brexiteers are right to say that Brexit will be a success. Now, the Remainers are also right to say it won't be a success because that's the truth according to their subjective set. But it's obviously better for Brexit to be a success than for it not to be a success, so on those grounds it's better to be a Brexiteer.

If on the other hand you're saying we don't know now but that we will know later on then you're saying that there's something that will be the case that we don't know now. As it doesn't depend upon our knowledge of it (since we have no knowledge of it) it is objectively the case.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:


My point is probably less narrowly theoretical. I work in mental healthcare where the fashion is that everything we do should have measurable outcomes. We are asked to define indicators set specific targets, and do robust assessments so that we can demonstrate our effectiveness....

Often I see the demand for objectivity as a sort of bullying. It's a hammer in a world of intricate mechanisms and people made of flesh and blood. The Old Testament will not give up its treasures to this approach, and nor, in fact, will much of life, including much of the stuff professional scientists do.

I find this to be an inspired insight

The things we measure, the things we count, are an indication of what we value and what we notice. Restricting ourselves to the objective, the measurable, is an easy out. It feels true because it's solid, it's verifiable. But it misses pretty much everything of value-- the depth, the nuance-- the beauty.

The OT is full of both raw, horrible ugliness and awesome, profound beauty. There is truth in all of it, but we won't find that truth if we settle for the easily measurable. That's how you end up with the wooden literalism of both fundamentalism and atheism

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I don't know what 'objectively' is supposed to modify in 'objectively be tested' and how it is supposed to modify it.
However, 'objectively true/false' does not mean the same as 'true/false and can be tested' (or even 'true/false and objectively be tested').

Let's go back to the basic principle. There's a class of verbs including 'see', 'perceive', 'believe', 'know' etc. A basic sentence with such a verb would be 'The child sees the cat'. The child is the grammatical subject. The cat is the grammatical object. Now in a basic sense any aspect of the seeing that happens as a result of qualities of the cat is objective (of the grammatical object). So the qualities of the cat are objective.

I think most people, and most scientists, are using the terms in the way I've described:

Objective: some quality of something which can be measured in such a way that the measurement can be repeated using accepted methods (which are based on reasoned and testable premises) and which give the same answer if different people repeat the test.

My cat is 5kg is a testable concept. I can use ideas that have been around for thousands of years and machines based on those ideas to test whether my cat is 5kg in mass.

Subjective: an idea that is dependent on something which is not possible to be tested in the way described above. Something that is therefore defined and used differently by different people.

Saying that my cat is a nice cat is a subjective quality. It depends how I'm using the term "nice" and how I perceive my cat. Two different people might use the word in different ways and perceive my cat differently.

There exists a deeper question of whether the science is completely wrong about my cat and whether the repeated and repeatable measurements about my cat are giving the "true" answers - but to me that's entirely irrelevant. If we can't measure the "truth" about the thing, then we can't possibly know what the "truth" is. The only possible thing we can know about the cat is the thing that we can test objectively as far as we know - and we tend to accept that if we can measure it multiple times with the same procedures and get the same answer then that is the objective truth about it.

I think this is contrasted to a guess about my cat: I might be correct to guess it is 5kg. But if there is no basis for that guess it isn't objective. It might turn out to be amazingly accurate, but if the accepted methods have not been used to give the answer, then it isn't objective even if it is correct.

quote:
(An objective observer or objective judge, for what it's worth, is a second-order usage, and means an observer or judge who is for practical purposes free of subjective qualities that interfere with the observer's responsiveness to objective qualities.)
I don't think this is very helpful either. The usage has gone beyond the basics of the grammatical difference.

The judge could make decision based on factors about the accused: his clothing, height, shoe size etc. But the law is at least attempting to be objective. What we want is that a different judge faced with the same offender would give the same answer and the same judge faced with a different offender would give the same answer.

In practice, that's impossible because we're all humans, but when we talk about the law being objective, that is what we want. The same rules to apply to everyone, not the whim of an individual judge.

quote:
]I note that if there are questions about what it means to be 'in the country' in the case of 'people illegally in the country' then there are equally questions about what it means in the other case of 'people in the country'.
You're confusing differences about the definitions in the terms of the question being asked with differences in the answer. That is, for any particular definition of 'in the country' the answer is given.

No I don't think I am.

quote:
If you say that the answer to 'how many people are illegally in the country' is subjective what you are saying is that claims by the right-wing press are not open to correction. The right-wing press say we're being swamped, the centre-left press say we're not, there's no way to settle the matter. Which would be fine if it didn't have practical consequences. Because the further consequences is that if the Home Office says someone is in the country illegally, because the Home Office has targets to meet politically motivated by the right-wing press, then the Home Office is justified in deporting that person regardless of what the courts rule or of any paperwork saying otherwise. Which I think is a dangerous position to hold.
What a strange thing to say. It's like you think that anyone who disagrees with you is obviously wrong and misguided because they're not using terms in the way that you use them.

Well sorry, that's not how politics works.

One can argue with the Daily Mail about the numbers of illegal immigrants if one is using the same definition of illegal immigrants in the discussion. But if the DM is using one definition and you're using another - then there is inevitably going to be a disagreement.

And at that point, it isn't an argument about who is right (because clearly both can be right or both can be wrong if they're using different definitions) but whose ideas are better.


quote:
What you are saying here is the Brexiteers are right.
If the truth is subjective, that is it depends on us believing in ourselves, then that's agreeing with the Brexiteers.

Ye gods.

I'm saying that perceptions about future events are not objective truths. You can't prove that the Brexiteer is wrong to think something about the future because it hasn't happened yet.

And it is possible (but in my view highly unlikely) that the post-Brexit British economy could somehow be influenced by how British people feel about themselves. Because economies often are influenced by such things.

It is even hard to disprove in retrospect the impact of people's own beliefs about themselves on national or global events. Did the UK win the "Battle of Britain" because of various facts (numbers of troops, numbers of arms, numbers of factories, etc) or because the community spirit and morale at the time?

In future, kindly keep your warped opinions as to my "agreement with Brexiteers" to yourself.

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quetzalcoatl
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Hence skepticism and postmodernism. I mean, we can't be sure about anything, so we agree on certain things, and call them intersubjective, if they can be tested repeatedly.

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no path

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Hence skepticism and postmodernism. I mean, we can't be sure about anything, so we agree on certain things, and call them intersubjective, if they can be tested repeatedly.

Mmm, yeah. The whole question of whether we can ever be sure about anything is a whole other headache. I think we generally tend to accept certain things if they're repeatable because we'd not get too far if we just sat around debating whether every little the thing we were measuring was actually true or not.

[ 20. September 2017, 15:33: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Hence skepticism and postmodernism. I mean, we can't be sure about anything, so we agree on certain things, and call them intersubjective, if they can be tested repeatedly.

If you jump off of building, you will fall until you meet with sufficient resistance to arrest your fall. If the building is of sufficient height, you will die regardless of whether your philosophy might tell you otherwise. Or whether or not you mind shares anything with any other.
CAUTIONARY NOTE: It is not recommended you personally test this statement. It has been sufficiently demonstrated already.

Philosophy: The practice of making even the most simple things as complicated as possible.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
If you jump off of building, you will fall until you meet with sufficient resistance to arrest your fall. If the building is of sufficient height, you will die regardless of whether your philosophy might tell you otherwise. Or whether or not you mind shares anything with any other.
CAUTIONARY NOTE: It is not recommended you personally test this statement. It has been sufficiently demonstrated already.


Right: plenty of people have tested this idea.

But I don't think this is the same as stating definitively that Brexit is going to be a carcrash because various numbers x y and z say is it going to be. That seems to me to have a whole level of uncertainty that doesn't exist for a body falling off a tall building.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Hence skepticism and postmodernism. I mean, we can't be sure about anything, so we agree on certain things, and call them intersubjective, if they can be tested repeatedly.

If you jump off of building, you will fall until you meet with sufficient resistance to arrest your fall. If the building is of sufficient height, you will die regardless of whether your philosophy might tell you otherwise. Or whether or not you mind shares anything with any other.
CAUTIONARY NOTE: It is not recommended you personally test this statement. It has been sufficiently demonstrated already.

Philosophy: The practice of making even the most simple things as complicated as possible.

If your building is in space or under water, you might just float there, as in 'Gravity'. Your scenario is true in certain contexts, that is the point about agreement.

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no path

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mr cheesy
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OK I'm going to have to bow out because my head hurts.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK I'm going to have to bow out because my head hurts.

Well, I take your previous points about what is workable, rather than what is philosophically congruent. In fact, science tends to work. Anyway, a long way from the OT.

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no path

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

The things we measure, the things we count, are an indication of what we value and what we notice. Restricting ourselves to the objective, the measurable, is an easy out. It feels true because it's solid, it's verifiable. But it misses pretty much everything of value-- the depth, the nuance-- the beauty.

This is a very straw filled argument. Most people do not approach life in this way. Nor do they look at the OT this way.
The problem lies when someone insists all, or a particular bit of it, must be the
TRUE, REAL, ACCEPTED ACTUAL WORD of GOD without critical examination.
No one is attempting to weigh a Psalm, but determining origin, meaning and fitness is something you lot have argued about amongst yourselves since the beginning.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

The things we measure, the things we count, are an indication of what we value and what we notice. Restricting ourselves to the objective, the measurable, is an easy out. It feels true because it's solid, it's verifiable. But it misses pretty much everything of value-- the depth, the nuance-- the beauty.

This is a very straw filled argument. Most people do not approach life in this way.
Which was precisely my point. You seemed to have missed the entire context of my response to the very specific context of hatless' post.


quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Most people do not approach life in this way. Nor do they look at the OT this way.
The problem lies when someone insists all, or a particular bit of it, must be the
TRUE, REAL, ACCEPTED ACTUAL WORD of GOD without critical examination.

Again, you are missing my point-- which is that Christian fundamentalists will insist on the OT being the TRUE, REAL, ACCEPTED ACTUAL WORD of GOD without critical examination. [/b][/i] precisely because they are searching for that same sort of certainty-- they are valuing that same sort of absolute, objective, measurable truth. And, the mirror image-- atheistic fundamentalists-- will reject the OT/Christianity precisely because they cannot accept it as the TRUE, REAL, ACCEPTED ACTUAL WORD of GOD. It simply is not true that "no one reads the OT this way"-- although it may be close to true in this forum. Quite a few people, again, both Christian and atheistic, read the OT with precisely this sort of expectation-- and either reject it entirely or accept it without critical analysis-- based on that.

The desire for this sort of measurable, absolute, verifiable truth is quite real and quite present in most of us-- but, as hatless is noting, it tends to get us chasing after the wrong things and noticing only the things that do not matter, since the things of infinite worth, including that which is beautiful in the OT, are not discovered in that way.

Which I think was your point-- and mine as well-- so not quite sure why you appear to be arguing with me.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
It simply is not true that "no one reads the OT this way"-- although it may be close to true in this forum.

I didn't say 'no one', I intentionally avoided absolutes in my post.
quote:

Quite a few people, again, both Christian and atheistic, read the OT with precisely this sort of expectation-- and either reject it entirely or accept it without critical analysis-- based on that.

This i a perception thing, I think and how many do exactly what is a difficult thing to determine.
quote:

The desire for this sort of measurable, absolute, verifiable truth is quite real and quite present in most of us--

On this we will disagree, I'm afraid. I would say most of us wish to be certain which is quite a different thing.

quote:

Which I think was your point-- and mine as well-- so not quite sure why you appear to be arguing with me.

I don't think I am arguing with you so much as viewing from a different vantage point. Or perhaps applying different weight to the points made.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
It simply is not true that "no one reads the OT this way"-- although it may be close to true in this forum.

I didn't say 'no one', I intentionally avoided absolutes in my post.

Please forgive this grievous error on my part.


quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Quite a few people, again, both Christian and atheistic, read the OT with precisely this sort of expectation-- and either reject it entirely or accept it without critical analysis-- based on that.

This i a perception thing, I think and how many do exactly what is a difficult thing to determine.[/QB][/QUOTE]

Perhaps we should commission a survey.


quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

The desire for this sort of measurable, absolute, verifiable truth is quite real and quite present in most of us--

On this we will disagree, I'm afraid. I would say most of us wish to be certain which is quite a different thing.
[/QB][/QUOTE]

Is it??? Is it really??? Because quite honestly, I'm not seeing the distinction. Enlighten me.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I don't think I am arguing with you so much as viewing from a different vantage point. Or perhaps applying different weight to the points made. [/QB]

Unless I am totally and completely missing your point, it seems to me like you are swatting at gnats. I'm totally mystified as to why you're subjecting my remarks to such intense scrutiny when it would appear in essence we're saying similar, if not identical things. But if it's serving some useful purpose for you or anyone else, sure, have at it.

[ 20. September 2017, 19:21: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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cliffdweller
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sorry for the messed up coding-- lost my edit window. Add it to my list of sins.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think most people, and most scientists, are using the terms in the way I've described:

Objective: some quality of something which can be measured in such a way that the measurement can be repeated using accepted methods (which are based on reasoned and testable premises) and which give the same answer if different people repeat the test.

Hatless may be right that the word 'objective' is properly ruined for any serious use even if not for the reasons he thinks.
However, there are perfectly good words for 'measurable' and 'testable'. There isn't another good word for 'pertaining to the object of knowledge/belief/perception as opposed to the knowing/believing/perceiving subject'.
Furthermore, as hatless has described the culture that only measurable and testable knowledge deserves an honorific 'objective' has destructive consequences for areas like mental health and education.
Furthermore as I've tried to describe the culture that once one goes beyond what is measurable and testable all that is left are opinions is also destructive for public life.

quote:
In future, kindly keep your warped opinions as to my "agreement with Brexiteers" to yourself.
Fine you don't agree with the Brexiteers conclusions. I feel that if you grant the Brexiteers all their premises and endorse their method of reasoning and dispute the premises of the counterarguments it doesn't really help matters to say that you disagree with the Brexiteers' conclusions at the end.

If you're taking all the rope the Brexiteers give you and hang it from a rafter and make it into a noose like they ask and then stand on a stool and put your head through the noose it's a bit late to object that you don't agree with them kicking the stool away.

[ 20. September 2017, 19:38: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Fine you don't agree with the Brexiteers conclusions. I feel that if you grant the Brexiteers all their premises and endorse their method of reasoning and dispute the premises of the counterarguments it doesn't really help matters to say that you disagree with the Brexiteers' conclusions at the end.

I'm sorry, this is the heart of the whole problem. Knowing what is going to happen in the future is simply not a fact and furthermore anyone who knows anything about economics can tell you that perception is a big part of success or failure.

I don't think it is going to be a big enough part to make a difference, and I think most of the experts agree that the Brexiteers are talking bollocks.

But that doesn't somehow mean that they might not be proven to be right in the end. There is at least some space in which they could - miraculously, it seems to me - be right.


quote:
If you're taking all the rope the Brexiteers give you and hang it from a rafter and make it into a noose like they ask and then stand on a stool and put your head through the noose it's a bit late to object that you don't agree with them kicking the stool away.
Riiight, yeah. Once again you're claiming that anyone who disagrees with you is stupid, irrational and now suicidal. Which just shows how little you know about politics and economics.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Hatless may be right that the word 'objective' is properly ruined for any serious use even if not for the reasons he thinks.
However, there are perfectly good words for 'measurable' and 'testable'. There isn't another good word for 'pertaining to the object of knowledge/belief/perception as opposed to the knowing/believing/perceiving subject'.
Furthermore, as hatless has described the culture that only measurable and testable knowledge deserves an honorific 'objective' has destructive consequences for areas like mental health and education.
Furthermore as I've tried to describe the culture that once one goes beyond what is measurable and testable all that is left are opinions is also destructive for public life.

You're simply here insisting that words have to mean what you say they mean - even though there is a whole bunch of reasons to actually use them in the way that I've described.

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Martin60
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This is all an analogy, right?

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
This is all an analogy, right?

I don't know - I've somehow lost the will to live. I think we can only understand the OT within a certain context - and the only contexts we have are those of how different people perceive and perceived it. We then have to choose the perception and the interpretation that makes most sense.

To me, debating whether there is some kind of "true" interpretation (that the authors intended) is entirely pointless.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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Steady. Stick around. That's a workable interim summation. It's academically interesting and surely not too difficult to work out what the writers meant, what their context was? That is as true as it gets surely? There's no higher or esoteric truth, no truth that only initiates to, adepts of the mysteries that one has to be born into.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Steady. Stick around. That's a workable interim summation. It's academically interesting and surely not too difficult to work out what the writers meant, what their context was?

Well some have said in this thread that God cannot have commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (given what we know of God) and others have said that the OT is some kind of developing understanding of God. Still others have said that we can look to Jews to see how they understand God - and that isn't a deity who commands adults to kill their children.

I don't know how we can find out exactly what the author of this passage intended, and I suspect like other legends it developed over a long period anyway. I'm not sure that we can ever get to the point where we can say definitively that the "correct" interpretation is that the author intended us to think that Abraham was mistaken in thinking that God was ordering him to do this.

And I'm not-at-all persuaded that looking at the Jews gives us the best reflection of how the passage is supposed to be interpreted.

For me, all we have are the interpretations. It might even be that the passage itself, as with much of the rest of the OT, was always ambiguous.

quote:
That is as true as it gets surely? There's no higher or esoteric truth, no truth that only initiates to, adepts of the mysteries that one has to be born into.
I think we all have to do the best with what we've got. I kinda like that Gandhiji managed to develop a theology of non-violence based around the Bhagavad Gita, a poem within the Mahabharata about a battle.

I don't know how he did it. It seems to me to be quite a radical reading of the Hindu religious texts.

Is it the most truthful reading? I don't know. I'm not sure anyone knows. But then I don't know that "truthful" really has a lot of meaning if it is only being used to describe an understanding that is closest to that of the author. Because truth is more than that.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

And I'm not-at-all persuaded that looking at the Jews gives us the best reflection of how the passage is supposed to be interpreted.

I'm assuming that is addressed to me? Looking back over my posts I don't think I expressed myself very well.

The OP was about various forms of Marcionism, i.e. rejecting the OT on the grounds that it's nasty. If Christians reject the OT then the only users of the OT are the Jews. But if the Jewish reading of the OT isn't nasty, then the OT isn't nasty, and the whole reason for rejecting it in the first place collapses.

Or to put it another way. Some Christians have the idea that you can only read the OT in the context of the NT, because otherwise you end up with a book that is nasty. But Jews don't read the OT in the context of the NT, and nevertheless aren't nasty, so empirically speaking that idea is wrong.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Golden Key
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Ricardus--

quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
But 'What is the meaning of this text?' is a different question from 'Does the meaning of this text accurately describe reality?'.

Take the riddle of the man going to St Ives. As it stands, it's ambiguous whether it means St Ives Cornwall or St Ives Cambridgeshire. If we find out from some external source that it's the Cornish one, that doesn't make 'Cornwall' part of the meaning of the text (it can't do - we didn't learn about it from the text but from elsewhere). And if we find out he was actually going to Plymouth, that doesn't imply that St Ives means Plymouth.

Except...

Unless something is lost on me, as an ignorant American [Biased] , *which* St. Ives doesn't make any difference to the riddle.

You sort out the "kits, cats, sacks, and wives", and figure out in which direction(s) each is going. That works out the same, no matter which St. Ives it is--or even if they're going to a Burl Ives concert.

So you (gen.) can analyze which St. Ives 'til the cows come home, if that floats your boat. But it makes no difference to the heart of the text.

Analyzing the Bible can be like that, too. (Unless, of course, you really are missing something in the St. Ives bits of the text.)

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Golden Key
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mr cheesy--

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think we all have to do the best with what we've got. I kinda like that Gandhiji managed to develop a theology of non-violence based around the Bhagavad Gita, a poem within the Mahabharata about a battle.

I don't know how he did it. It seems to me to be quite a radical reading of the Hindu religious texts.

Is it the most truthful reading? I don't know. I'm not sure anyone knows. But then I don't know that "truthful" really has a lot of meaning if it is only being used to describe an understanding that is closest to that of the author. Because truth is more than that.

Yes. When I first heard about Gandhi's approach, I was relieved, comforted, sympathetic, and a bit puzzled. I'd tried to read the same text, and dropped it because of that early scene, where (IIRC from years ago) Arjuna is on the brink of going to war with his brothers. And he's hesitant. So he asks his god for advice, and is told to go ahead with war, and not worry about trying to make peace with his brothers. Etc.

So when I heard that Gandhi had decided it must be some kind of metaphor, I felt relieved that it wasn't just me. And thought about the difficulties of interpreting the Bible. And wondered why anyone should stick with a supposedly factual text that turned out be metaphor. And whether, in a case like Gandhi's, where a foundational scripture of your life seems unethical, if maybe the metaphor is a better choice.

FWIW, IMMV.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I'm assuming that is addressed to me? Looking back over my posts I don't think I expressed myself very well.

The OP was about various forms of Marcionism, i.e. rejecting the OT on the grounds that it's nasty. If Christians reject the OT then the only users of the OT are the Jews. But if the Jewish reading of the OT isn't nasty, then the OT isn't nasty, and the whole reason for rejecting it in the first place collapses.

OK, I'm saying that the Jewish interpretation you're offering is just one amongst a load of others. If you are agreeing it has no special status, then I can't see how anything collapses - it is just another interpretation that exists out there.

quote:
Or to put it another way. Some Christians have the idea that you can only read the OT in the context of the NT, because otherwise you end up with a book that is nasty. But Jews don't read the OT in the context of the NT, and nevertheless aren't nasty, so empirically speaking that idea is wrong.
I don't think this is the proof you seem to think it is. Some Jews are able to read it without seeing it as nasty just as Gandhi was able to read the Gita as see past the war it describes. I don't think this invaidates the view of someone picking up either book and describing it as nasty.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
You're simply here insisting that words have to mean what you say they mean - even though there is a whole bunch of reasons to actually use them in the way that I've described.

This would be an irrational verb?
Mr cheesy describes a whole bunch of reasons;
Dafyd simply insists.

Yes, I have the temerity to disagree with you; and the bare-faced cheek to believe the reasons in favour of my view are more compelling than the reasons in favour of your view. This is Purgatory. Either cope with people arguing against you, or go off and whinge about it in Hell.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
This would be an irrational verb?
Mr cheesy describes a whole bunch of reasons;
Dafyd simply insists.

Yes, I have the temerity to disagree with you; and the bare-faced cheek to believe the reasons in favour of my view are more compelling than the reasons in favour of your view. This is Purgatory. Either cope with people arguing against you, or go off and whinge about it in Hell.

Excuse me, it is you that are getting hellish - it is you that are making claims about me supporting something that I plainly don't and it is you who are making uncalled and graphic comparisons with suicide.

I am very happy to agree that we are using words in different ways, it is you who are insisting that your definition is the one that I'm talking about when I use them, even though I've explained how I'm using them.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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Agendaed 'interpretations', like Gandhi's of the Gita, and Jesus' of the Tanakh, are to be judged on the agenda. Both are good by their works. Again, it's easy to see what they're doing. Now. All the world needs is a Muslim Gandhi-Jesus. There are Muslims and Jews who humanistically 'spiritualize' their texts like Christians of course. But that was never the intent of the writers obviously. Although some were remarkably timeless.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Or to put it another way. Some Christians have the idea that you can only read the OT in the context of the NT, because otherwise you end up with a book that is nasty. But Jews don't read the OT in the context of the NT, and nevertheless aren't nasty, so empirically speaking that idea is wrong.

I don't think this is the proof you seem to think it is. Some Jews are able to read it without seeing it as nasty just as Gandhi was able to read the Gita as see past the war it describes. I don't think this invaidates the view of someone picking up either book and describing it as nasty.
I don't think he's saying it invalidates the view of someone who picks up the OT, reads it and then describes it as nasty. He's saying it invalidates the view that the OT can only be described as nasty unless it is read in the context of the NT.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Barnabas62
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“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
(Robert McCloskey)

I quoted this in the bad language thread, and it may have some timely value here as well.

This has been a good discussion to date; please try to avoid Hellish descents or implications.

Barnabas62
Purgatory Host

[ 21. September 2017, 12:42: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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DaleMaily
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Returning to the OP, this point early on grabbed my attention:

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think my friend's position is fairly simple: if Christianity accepts (on some level) that loyalty to the deity is more important than loyalty to the law, and if we have evidence that people who were spoken to by the deity were told to murder their own children - then how can you be sure that the deity isn't going to tell you to murder your own child?

And if we say that Jesus is the perfect image of God and we can't imagine him murdering a child in order to please the deity (never mind being the deity that demands that kind of loyalty), why the blazes do we do theological gymnastics to try to say that when the bible says "God says kill.. blahdiblah" that's the same deity that we see in the incarnation..?

One thing I've been trying to figure out is whether it's possible to hold to the inerrancy (other adjectives are available) of these particularly troublesome passages - i.e. if it says that God told A to kill B - and
not therefore tacitly (or overtly) approve of them. Some people who I have spoken to have suggested that Jesus (who is God, let's remember) has shown us that this is "not the way", but does that imply God had some sort of personality transplant in the intertestamental period? My recollection of the ins and outs of this particular explanation is very wooly, so if someone more familiar with it could explain it to me I would be much obliged.

FWIW, I have thought recently that, in the case of Jericho, the Israelite troops storming the city could have gone a bit overboard vis-a-vis their orders to drive the Canaanites out, so eager they were to exit the wilderness and enter the Promised Land, and instead of 'fessing up to what they did and begging God (and neighbour) for forgiveness, chose to double down on their actions and say that God told them to do it, so its fine. I'm not sure how well that holds up, however it at least gives me a lesson I can learn something from.

Somewhat tangentially to this last point, it got me thinking as to whether Christians who serve in the armed forces and have killed do (or should...) seek forgiveness, even if it was in a kill-or-be-killed scenario.

[ 21. September 2017, 15:45: Message edited by: DaleMaily ]

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Martin60
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No.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by DaleMaily:
Returning to the OP, this point early on grabbed my attention:

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think my friend's position is fairly simple: if Christianity accepts (on some level) that loyalty to the deity is more important than loyalty to the law, and if we have evidence that people who were spoken to by the deity were told to murder their own children - then how can you be sure that the deity isn't going to tell you to murder your own child?

And if we say that Jesus is the perfect image of God and we can't imagine him murdering a child in order to please the deity (never mind being the deity that demands that kind of loyalty), why the blazes do we do theological gymnastics to try to say that when the bible says "God says kill.. blahdiblah" that's the same deity that we see in the incarnation..?

One thing I've been trying to figure out is whether it's possible to hold to the inerrancy (other adjectives are available) of these particularly troublesome passages - i.e. if it says that God told A to kill B - and
not therefore tacitly (or overtly) approve of them. Some people who I have spoken to have suggested that Jesus (who is God, let's remember) has shown us that this is "not the way", but does that imply God had some sort of personality transplant in the intertestamental period? My recollection of the ins and outs of this particular explanation is very wooly, so if someone more familiar with it could explain it to me I would be much obliged.

A bit pedantic, but it's important to remember there is a distinction in biblical hermeneutics between
inerrancy and infalliblity harkening back to the old "battle for the Bible" debate within evangelicalism.

Infallibility is connected to literalism, because it holds to verbal plenary inspiration (divine dictation). So every "jot and tittle" of the text (in it's "original language") is completely, entirely true in the literal sense-- historically, scientifically, socially, morally true-- in every sense and even the smallest detail. As most shipmates will agree, that's pretty hard to hold to consistently, and particularly had to justify these problematic OT texts with that hermeneutic-- hence all sorts of gymnastics or dispensationalist "rule-changing".

Inerrancy sees inspiration as coming in and thru the human authors, as well as in and thru the events being recorded. So it holds for the same authority to every text, but allows for much greater latitude in interpretation-- allowing for metaphor and other figurative use of language, and allowing for minor historical or scientific errors that are tangental to the point of the narrative. These particular OT texts are still problematic for us inerrantists, but our gymnastics are at least a bit more graceful.

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DaleMaily
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Infallibility is connected to literalism, because it holds to verbal plenary inspiration (divine dictation). So every "jot and tittle" of the text (in it's "original language") is completely, entirely true in the literal sense

Inerrancy sees inspiration as coming in and thru the human authors, as well as in and thru the events being recorded. So it holds for the same authority to every text, but allows for much greater latitude in interpretation

Thanks for the distinction. So in my example above:
  • Someone who believes in inerrancy, but not infallibility, can hold that God did not tell A to kill B, despite the Bible saying so
  • Someone who believes in infallibility has to accept if the Bible says God ordered A to kill B, it did happen that way and consequently they don't feel obliged to explain it (apart from "God ordered it, so they must have deserved it")

Is that right?

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DaleMaily
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Sorry for double posting, but I meant to add that I know people who seem to be in-between inerrancy and infallibility as per your definitions: they are completely happy to accept at least a significant section of books like Genesis from a mythological point of view (including accepting evolution as fact)but still happy to think that God specifically ordered humans to kill other humans, and because God ordered it it must be OK.

[ 21. September 2017, 16:42: Message edited by: DaleMaily ]

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Martin60
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No.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by DaleMaily:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Infallibility is connected to literalism, because it holds to verbal plenary inspiration (divine dictation). So every "jot and tittle" of the text (in it's "original language") is completely, entirely true in the literal sense

Inerrancy sees inspiration as coming in and thru the human authors, as well as in and thru the events being recorded. So it holds for the same authority to every text, but allows for much greater latitude in interpretation

Thanks for the distinction. So in my example above:
  • Someone who believes in inerrancy, but not infallibility, can hold that God did not tell A to kill B, despite the Bible saying so
  • Someone who believes in infallibility has to accept if the Bible says God ordered A to kill B, it did happen that way and consequently they don't feel obliged to explain it (apart from "God ordered it, so they must have deserved it")

Is that right?

Not all inerrantists would go as far as your 1st ex but it's at least an option for an inerrantist, whereas not at all in infallibility. I might say "the text is accurately recording that A (mis)heard God tell him to kill B"

[ 21. September 2017, 16:58: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by DaleMaily:
Sorry for double posting, but I meant to add that I know people who seem to be in-between inerrancy and infallibility as per your definitions: they are completely happy to accept at least a significant section of books like Genesis from a mythological point of view (including accepting evolution as fact)but still happy to think that God specifically ordered humans to kill other humans, and because God ordered it it must be OK.

Sure. And of course not everyone thinks thru/ applies their hermeneutic consistently or thoughtfully. But in general you're going to find more diverse interpretations within infallibility precisely because it allows for various ways on understanding the text. Inerrantists tend to be more uniform because they're bound to that single , mostly literal, meaning

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
These particular OT texts are still problematic for us inerrantists, but our gymnastics are at least a bit more graceful.

So, the questions regarding the veracity and contradictory nature of some biblical text are like a wall across a path. Infalliblists run straight into it as if it were not there and inerrantists place a springboard and attempt to leap over the wall.
But neither address the fundamental problem the wall presents. That, perhaps, the wall was not built by the maker of the path; this being the most logical and rational position.
This sounds harsh, which it is and dismissive, which it is not meant to be, exactly* Not sure how to phrase it both politely and honestly.


*Honestly, it is difficult for me to respect either position though inerrant at its most liberal and open allows for some conversation and understanding.

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cliffdweller
quote:
A bit pedantic, but it's important to remember there is a distinction in biblical hermeneutics between
inerrancy and infalliblity harkening back to the old "battle for the Bible" debate within evangelicalism.

While the distinction between "inerrancy" and "infallibility" may be of great significance for evangelicals, might it be suggested that for the rest of us its the difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee: mere sophistry!
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Doc Tor
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The thing is, I had always assumed that the story of Abraham and Isaac was a story about not sacrificing your first-born son to God.

In Abraham's bronze-age world, it was (apparently, according to both Biblical and other sources) not unknown for first-born children to be sacrificed on the altar/thrown in the flames. And initially, Abraham assumes Yahweh is one of those gods who demands this sacrifice.

Yet, God subverts the expectation by preventing Abraham from killing Isaac and also providing a different sacrifice. This sets Abraham's God apart from the other local gods.

This interpretation holds true to the text, and also removes lB's wall. No leaping required (in this particular case).

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Martin60
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Nice example of the silver lining of transcendence of the cloud Doc.

Nicely put lilBuddha. I 'n' I are a false dichotomy.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
]

Yet, God subverts the expectation by preventing Abraham from killing Isaac and also providing a different sacrifice. This sets Abraham's God apart from the other local gods.

This interpretation holds true to the text, and also removes lB's wall. No leaping required (in this particular case).

Not sure that really helps. IMO it is fairly clear that the sacrifice is an instruction and a test.

quote:
22:1 Some time after these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham replied. 22:2 God said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac – and go to the land of Moriah! Offer him up there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will indicate to you.”
It might look like it is something else, but only if you know the ending of the story.

[ 21. September 2017, 19:36: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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