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Pro-life Atheists
Posted: 07 January 2009 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 496 ]  
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Giova - 07 January 2009 02:35 PM
Nulono - 07 January 2009 01:51 PM

1: You cite the Bible for your pro-abortion stance in the post I quoted.

I didn’t give my stance. I merely mocked what Christians base their anti-abortion stance on.

This is irrelevant, because you are not debating a Christian. You are attempting an argumentum ad logicum on an argument I have never made.

2: I pointed out the mistranslation

You blindly asserted a mistranslation. If you want to join the club of fundamentalist Christians who are the only people to date who still assert it means a live, premature birth, then be my guest.

The original verb was “to go forth”, and the passage clearly states “AND YET NO HARM FOLLOWS”. It is very clear and unambiguously true that it can only refer to an early birth. There is a separate word for miscarriage and it is used elsewhere in the Bible.

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1989/1523_The_Misuse_of_Exodus_212225_by_ProChoice_Advocates/

My larger point is that the Bible is completely irrelevant to a discussion of the morality of anything.

Super. This doesn’t take away from the fact that the vast majority of anti-abortion people derive their position from the passages of the Bible, passages which they’ve interpolated in order to conform to their political ideologies.

This makes no sense. They either derive their stance from the Bible or they make the Bible conform to a stance they already have.

And I disagree that most pro-lifers are Christians (just most of those you hear about in the Media.

Also, I am not the vast majority of pro-lifers. You are not debating the vast majority of pro-lifers. I am a pro-life atheist, and what you are doing is merely using a red herring to avoid adressing my secular argument, instead using a hasty generalization to dismiss al pro-lifers.

Anyway, most Christians do not think Deut. applies anymore. Deuteronomy is an Old Testament book that supports slavery yet bans shellfish and polycotton.

[ Edited: 07 January 2009 11:28 AM by Nulono]
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Posted: 07 January 2009 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 497 ]  
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Nulono - 07 January 2009 03:13 PM

This is irrelevant, because you are not debating a Christian. You are attempting an argumentum ad logicum on an argument I have never made.

If it was so irrelevant, you shouldn’t have even responded-it makes you come off as a Christian, which is nobody’s fault but yours. 

The original verb was “to go forth”, and the passage clearly states “AND YET NO HARM FOLLOWS”.

I know what the verb means, and as it stands, it’s ambiguous. It does not make sense, as the article you linked to asserts, that in spite of there being “no injury TO THE CHILD or to the mother,” then the man who struck the woman should consequently be punished. 

It is very clear and unambiguously true that it can only refer to an early birth.

If it were so clear and unambiguously obvious, then scholars would not still be debating the passage to this day. Your assertion belies the fact that the passage is one of the more difficult parts in the Bible to make sense of.

There is a separate word for miscarriage and it is used elsewhere in the Bible.

This is irrelevant since the words are used in different contexts.

I am a pro-life atheist, and what you are doing is merely using a red herring to avoid adressing my secular argument, instead using a hasty generalization to dismiss al pro-lifers.

Anyway, most Christians do not think Deut. applies anymore. Deuteronomy is an Old Testament book that supports slavery yet bans shellfish and polycotton.

Are you kidding me? You just quoted from a Christian who used the OT to support a political position. Christians use all of the OT except those parts that they claim apply only to Jews. And note my phrase “vast majority,” which was put there to give you the benefit of the doubt. But now I’m not sure of that any more. You say you’re fond of secular arguments, but you go to lengths to find support from a fundamentalist Baptist preacher, John Piper. Here’s part of a JSTOR article from a scholar who does not come from such a biased background:

...the text of Exod. xxi 22 is usually accepted as it stands. Yet the verse as a whole fails to make sense. Why should damages be imposed for striking a woman when no harm results, as sections (c) and (d) seem to suggest? To whom does “no harm” occur in section (c)?

1. Exod. xxi 22 (c): “but there will not be a serious-injury ...”

In the context of the verse, it appears that although a pregnant woman has suffered an assault, no harm results. Yet, as indicated in section (e), the wrongdoer is fined. The use of a fine seems to imply that although “no harm” has occurred, either the mother or her child has been hurt. Which of these two is the concern of this law? The answer to this question will lead to a simple proposal for the correction of the text.

We must first establish the meaning of the verse. The complicated argument of traditional Jewish exegesis can be reconstructed as follows:

If a pregnant woman has been struck in a brawl, either the mother or her child is not harmed.(Note 6: As (d) states that a penalty is imposed, it cannot be claimed that neither the child nor its mother is unharmed). Since there are two penalties which can be imposed, namely (A) a fine (see (d) and (e)), or (B) the more serious lex talionis (see Exod. xxi 23), and since, according to post-biblical Jewish law, the life of an unborn child has a lower value than the life of the mother of the child, then the lighter penalty should be imposed for harming the child, while the severer penalty is reserved for causing harm to the mother. As the less severe penalty is imposed in (d), it is the mother (not her child) who has suffered “no serious-injury” in (c). Consequently, (c) refers to injury to the child. The succeeding verse, Exod. xxi 23, “And if (other) misfortune ensues, you shall give a life for a life”, then refers to the mother of the child, because it invokes the more severe penalty of the talion as a punishment for the crime.

The relevant ancient sources all confirm this interpretation of the biblical law. Thus, the Targums of Onkelos, Neophyti I and Pseudo-Jonathan assume that Exod. xxi 22(c) refers to the child that miscarries (implying its death), while its mother survives. Similarly, Josephus states that if a pregnant woman is kicked and then aborts, a fine must be paid by the guilty man. This is also the understanding of the Vulgate which suggests that the mother will survive ipsa vixerit, and thus the child does not. The assessment of other Jewish commentaries is the same (Note 11: Philo interprets that there is no harm to the mother, thereby implying there is harm to the child).

“Notes on the Text of Exodus XXI 22,” by Nina L. Collins Vetus Testamentum © 1993 BRILL pp 290-291.

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Posted: 07 January 2009 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 498 ]  
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The whole point of the passage is that, if the child is born early, the man must pay for the mother’s inconvenience. However, if there is ANY harm, the man must pay eye for eye.

Regardless of what the passage says, the Bible is not a relevant source. I was simply pointing out that the specific passage you cited was mistranslated. However, many other passages do support abortion. Might I recommend Hosea 13:16 and 2 Kings 15:16?

But you’re right that the verb is ambiguous. Though it is usually used to refer to a live birth in the Bible, it is ambiguous in this context. That’s why it’s modified with “but no damage ensues”.

[ Edited: 07 January 2009 05:00 PM by Nulono]
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Posted: 07 January 2009 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 499 ]  
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Nulono - 07 January 2009 09:34 PM

The whole point of the passage is that, if the child is born early, the man must pay for the mother’s inconvenience. However, if there is ANY harm, the man must pay eye for eye.

This means nothing. The woman would be “inconvenienced” either way. Besides, the text does not say why he has to pay her, inconvenience or not.

[ Edited: 07 January 2009 05:20 PM by Giova]
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Posted: 07 January 2009 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 500 ]  
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Nulono - 07 January 2009 09:34 PM

The whole point of the passage is that, if the child is born early, the man must pay for the mother’s inconvenience. However, if there is ANY harm, the man must pay eye for eye.

That makes no god damned sense at all!

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Posted: 07 January 2009 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 501 ]  
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GAD - 07 January 2009 10:20 PM

That makes no god damned sense at all!

It actually sounds no better than the passage in question.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 502 ]  
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Giova - 07 January 2009 10:15 PM
Nulono - 07 January 2009 09:34 PM

The whole point of the passage is that, if the child is born early, the man must pay for the mother’s inconvenience. However, if there is ANY harm, the man must pay eye for eye.

This means nothing. The woman would be “inconvenienced” either way. Besides, the text does not say why he has to pay her, inconvenience or not.

Yes, but if the child died there would be something bigger to pay for. The text clearly states he has to pay her for the early birth.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 503 ]  
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Nulono - 08 January 2009 09:36 AM

Yes, but if the child died there would be something bigger to pay for.

And if the mother died, there’d be something bigger to pay for.

The text clearly states he has to pay her for the early birth.

The only thing that’s clear is that he has to pay something in either case. I’ll trust the original Jewish interpretation for the rest.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 504 ]  
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Look, I’m not saying that the Bible dosn’t support abortion. It does. THAT PARTICULAR PASSAGE does not.

Giova - 08 January 2009 12:51 PM
Nulono - 08 January 2009 09:36 AM

Yes, but if the child died there would be something bigger to pay for.

And if the mother died, there’d be something bigger to pay for.

Correct. If either the mother or the child is harmed, the punishment is eye for eye.

The text clearly states he has to pay her for the early birth.

The only thing that’s clear is that he has to pay something in either case. I’ll trust the original Jewish interpretation for the rest.

Appeal to authority. Though the Jews are the only ones who consider the Old Testament, especially Exodus, do be binding. Even they don’t accept all of it, like Exodus 21:17.

Why are you citing the Bible in the first place

WE ARE BOTH ATHEISTS!

[ Edited: 08 January 2009 09:41 AM by Nulono]
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Posted: 08 January 2009 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 505 ]  
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Nulono - 08 January 2009 01:22 PM

Look, I’m not saying that the Bible dosn’t support abortion. It does. THAT PARTICULAR PASSAGE does not.

Right. The passage has nothing to do with abortion. It’s all about confirming the Jewish view that “the life of an unborn child has a lower value than the life of the mother of the child.”

Correct. If either the mother or the child is harmed, the punishment is eye for eye.

The text does not say whom the harm corresponds to—that part is ambiguous. There is also a differentiation of punishments from a mere fine to the severe lex talionis, so you cannot surely say that “eye for an eye” may apply if one—for example, the fetus only—is harmed.

Appeal to authority.

In this difficult passage, you are utterly dependent on authority because of the ambiguity of the passage and because of your utter lack of knowledge of ancient Hebrew language and culture. It was you who appealed to the “authority” of John Piper in support of the Christian interpretation, the same John Piper who thinks atheists are foreordained to an eternity in hell. Therefore our trust on how the Jews—and not agenda driven Christians—have always understood this passage is not misplaced.

Why are you citing the Bible in the first place?

You keep on asking the wrong question. Atheists and freethinkers all over the web use this passage to point out how foolish Christians’ religiously inspired anti-abortion belief is. You seem to be the only atheist out there who thinks otherwise of this verse. What a poor, misbegotten creature you are.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 506 ]  
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Giova, your view/argument is spot on! Keep fighting the good fight.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 507 ]  
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Giova - 08 January 2009 03:22 PM
Nulono - 08 January 2009 01:22 PM

Look, I’m not saying that the Bible dosn’t support abortion. It does. THAT PARTICULAR PASSAGE does not.

Right. The passage has nothing to do with abortion. It’s all about confirming the Jewish view that “the life of an unborn child has a lower value than the life of the mother of the child.”

The Jewish view is based on a mistranslation, then. So is the Islamic idea of 72 virgins (it’s really supposed to be 72 white/golden raisins). So is the Christian idea of Mary’s virginity.

Correct. If either the mother or the child is harmed, the punishment is eye for eye.

The text does not say whom the harm corresponds to—that part is ambiguous. There is also a differentiation of punishments from a mere fine to the severe lex talionis, so you cannot surely say that “eye for an eye” may apply if one—for example, the fetus only—is harmed.

Because it is left ambiguous, harm to either gets punished eye for eye.

Appeal to authority.

In this difficult passage, you are utterly dependent on authority because of the ambiguity of the passage and because of your utter lack of knowledge of ancient Hebrew language and culture. It was you who appealed to the “authority” of John Piper in support of the Christian interpretation, the same John Piper who thinks atheists are foreordained to an eternity in hell. Therefore our trust on how the Jews—and not agenda driven Christians—have always understood this passage is not misplaced.

I do not need to consult a Jew to see what verb is used.

Why are you citing the Bible in the first place?

You keep on asking the wrong question. Atheists and freethinkers all over the web use this passage to point out how foolish Christians’ religiously inspired anti-abortion belief is.

Why are you responding to a hypothetical religiously motivated Christian and not to the person you are actually debating, who has not made any religious arguments? I’m not denying religiously motivated pro-lifers are on a very shaky foundation. You are just using a red herring to ignore my arguments.

You seem to be the only atheist out there who thinks otherwise of this verse. What a poor, misbegotten creature you are.

Ad populum.

[ Edited: 08 January 2009 10:47 AM by Nulono]
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Posted: 08 January 2009 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 508 ]  
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Nulono - 08 January 2009 03:42 PM

I’m not denying religiously motivated pro-lifers are on a very shaky foundation.

That’s a laugh!  tongue rolleye

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Posted: 08 January 2009 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 509 ]  
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They are. If aborted babies are partying with Jesus now, and God has commanded pregnant women ripped open and babies dashed against rocks, there’s not much reason to be pro-life.

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Posted: 08 January 2009 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 510 ]  
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Nulono - 08 January 2009 04:07 PM

They are. If aborted babies are partying with Jesus now, and God has commanded pregnant women ripped open and babies dashed against rocks, there’s not much reason to be pro-life.

There’s no place to hide. Don’t even try.

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