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Absurd Theologians and Atheists
Posted: 04 March 2007 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
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Occam’s Razor

“Well firstly I wouldn’t presume to say I was one of those clever people who are ‘honestly and diligently working to expand humanity’s understanding of the Universe.”

Silly of Silinus for making such an assumption that you were one of the honest and dilegent people for whom you were speaking of.  Occam you have brought nothing to this discussion.  Thank you Silinus for your response now all I have to do is ignore him as well.

Noggin, what translation did you use?  Your verses seem not to match my translations from the NIV.  However, If you would like an explanation on these verses I suggest reading “The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses”, by Poythress I would also like you to give me where your objective standard of morality is while criticizing my morals?

Waltercat, can you tell me why my response is incoherent?  I’m sorry if I missed it but I didn’t see an explanation.

Finally, I will be the first to admit that my absolute morality in Christ is a presupposition.  This presupposition is not backed up by science or logic but a basis where I start my science and logic and if want to hold to an objective claim of morality your presuppositions cannot be found in Atheism or any view that starts with science and logic.  (I’m thinking through this thought as I talk. So feel free to respond.)

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Posted: 04 March 2007 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]Waltercat, can you tell me why my response is incoherent?  I’m sorry if I missed it but I didn’t see an explanation.

It is incoherent in the sense of not making sense.  I read it and could not make head or tails of it.  It just sounds like your fingers were working faster than your brain. (I am sorry if this sounds overly offensive)

Here is what you wrote:

[quote author=“fletch_Fletch”] If anything goes against God’s character yet is okay the world as we no it would not exist so you therefore cannot take God out of one moral premise and keep all other factors involved when answering the question. Therefore, the last question cannot be answered.

Just take the first part: “If anything goes against God’s character yet is okay the world as we no [know?] it would not exist”

What do you mean here by ‘okay’?  I just don’t understand the opposition you are setting up between something going against God’s character and yet being okay.  “Okay” in what sense?  And I have no idea why any of this would imply that the world will cease to exist.

So, again, I cannot understand your point.  I apologize for being overly critical.  I hope that you can try to re-make your point more carefully.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 04 March 2007 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]
Noggin, what translation did you use?

That was taken from the NLT, the New Living Translation, 1996.  I don’t know much about NIV and admit that my background is King James version.  So I went and cross referenced the same verses in KJV and the same message came blaring through.

God sanctions rape.  Er… excuse me, God sanctioned rape at one point in time.  You claimed your god did not approve of rape and you also claimed that your god has not changed.

Well?  You are wrong.

Your verses seem not to match my translations from the NIV.  However, If you would like an explanation on these verses I suggest reading “The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses”, by Poythress

Translation:

If you would like a thoroughly exhausting piss poor excuse of an apologetic response on these verses I suggest reading “The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses”, by Poythress

I would also like you to give me where your objective standard of morality is while criticizing my morals?

uh, how about we start with the tried and true standard that rape is a bad thing.  Carrying women away captive is barbaric.

Look, we invaded Iraq, George Bush believes in god, why didn’t we take the “spoils” of Iraq back to America and use their women as we saw fit?  Don’t you think the Midionite women were none too pleased in having to be sex slaves and concubines to the so called “chosen” people of god?  And I won’t buy your likely excuse that the chosen people of god married the midionite women and so there was no rape involved.  Sex against ones will in any circumstance is still rape.

You, I assume, agree that rape is a bad thing.  Yet you worship a god who, at one point in time, sanctioned and allowed for it.

Noggin

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Posted: 04 March 2007 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
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Shall we engage in a little scripture reading this Sabbath day?

Numbers 31:1,2, 7-18 KJV

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.

8 And they slew the kings of Midian… 

9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.

10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their agoodly castles, with fire.

11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.

12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.

13 ¶ And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.

14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.

15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.  

  25 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  

26 Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation:

27 And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation:

28 And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:

29 Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the LORD.

30 And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.

31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses.

32 And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep,

33 And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,

34 And threescore and one thousand asses,

35 And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.

32,000 virgin women taken and commanded by your god to save alive so they could have these virgin women for themselves.

This is the god that you worship.  To excuse this god’s lack of civility and decency is to literally fall off the cliff of moral relativism.  What are you to do?  Confess that you believe rape is actually justified in certain circumstances?  Really?  I do not know why you would want to defend such a being.  Place what your god did to the Midianites in a 21st century context and see how holy he really is.

Are you male or female?  If you are female, how can you not be disgusted with this scripture passage?  And you can’t wiggle out of it saying it was an anomale passage of scripture.  There are numerous other OT passages that stack the evidence against your god that shows he was a wretched being.  And if you are male and you don’t have a problem with how your god treated the Midianite women, please explain it.  I don’t want someone else’s words quoted from an apologetist’s book, I would like to hear what you have to say.

Noggin

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Posted: 04 March 2007 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
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This is my presupposition basis for absolute morality

So is rape wrong only because it goes against God’s character?  If anything goes against God’s character yet is morally right the world as we know it would not exist so you therefore cannot take God out of one moral premise and keep all other factors involved when answering the question.

Rape is morally wrong because it goes against God’s character.  God also created a world in which people have senses on what is morally right/wrong, this sense of right/wrong does not come from random atoms but rather God speaking to his creation.  Therefore in my worldview one cannot take God out of the equation by saying, “Is rape wrong only because it goes against his character?  For I know even if it didn’t go against his character it would still be wrong.”  Well where is this sense of knowing that it is wrong come from?  If it comes from your nerve endings than morality has to be subjective.  And what Bush does in Iraq pleases his nerve endings just as much as what Mr. Rodgers would do in Iraq.  The point is both nerve endings are pleased.  I believe this sense of rape being wrong because we were created by a God who is telling us a bit of his character.  So rape is wrong because it goes against God’s character but also it goes against the order of his creation.  If rape wasn’t wrong the entire creation as we know it would not exist. 

Therefore, the last question cannot be answered.  On another note, you don’t have to believe in God to view rape as wrong, yet where does one’s view of rape as being wrong come from?  It comes from God’s common grace in extracting his character on humans.  Our morality does not come from random atoms that are banging together giving us moral instructions, but rather from the non-material world.  So when one asks, is rape only wrong because it goes against his character?  One need’s to remember the person asking this question has God’s character instilled in him and therefore one can easily still feel the weight of right/wrong when taking God out of the perspective, yet one needs to go back and ask where did this weight come from?

Noggin, I’ll get back to you on the passage from Numbers, probably not until next week.  However I would like you to answer this question If we are all individuals with seperate nerve endings what objective claim do you have in saying Bush is wrong for doing whatever he wants to do in Iraq, after all, if he is taking pleasure in doing what he is doing he is giving exactly what his nerve endings want.  Why is he obligated to care for anothers nerve endings?  Because of your opinion, what objective claim do you have in telling him he needs to care for other peoples nerve endings? Your opinion is not objective. 

Well my job as a teacher is closing in so this week I won’t be able to respond as fast as during the weekend.  Thanks everyone for the discussion so far.  Silinus has said some interesting things, don’t forget his comments.

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Posted: 04 March 2007 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”] If rape wasn’t wrong the entire creation as we know it would not exist.

This is an utterly bizarre claim.  I have no idea how to evaluate it.  To my ear it sounds akin to this bizarre claim:

If choclate wasn’t good, the first ten moons of Jupiter would explode. 

I have no idea what either claim is supposed to mean.

I am tempted to ask for more of a clarification here, but I suspect that won’t get us very far.  Instead why not let’s change the subject. We’ve been talking about rape, what are your feelings on the morality of slavery?

Oh, yah, one more question?  Is the Bible the inspired word of God?

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 04 March 2007 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]Occam’s Razor:

“Well firstly I wouldn’t presume to say I was one of those clever people who are ‘honestly and diligently working to expand humanity’s understanding of the Universe.”

Silly of Silinus for making such an assumption that you were one of the honest and dilegent people for whom you were speaking of.  Occam you have brought nothing to this discussion.  Thank you Silinus for your response now all I have to do is ignore him as well.

No more silly than the assumption that Yaweh made Eve out of rib.
Anyway, I must protest that I have in fact brought something to the discussion, namely disputing the contention that ethics and morality are valid only if they can be attributed to Yaweh.
Or did you just mean I didn’t bring anything you agreed with?

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All Christians should be sent to heaven immediately.

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Posted: 04 March 2007 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]If we are all individuals with seperate nerve endings what objective claim do you have in saying Bush is wrong for doing whatever he wants to do in Iraq, after all, if he is taking pleasure in doing what he is doing he is giving exactly what his nerve endings want.  Why is he obligated to care for anothers nerve endings?  Because of your opinion, what objective claim do you have in telling him he needs to care for other peoples nerve endings? Your opinion is not objective. 

Well my job as a teacher is closing in so this week I won’t be able to respond as fast as during the weekend.  Thanks everyone for the discussion so far.  Silinus has said some interesting things, don’t forget his comments.

Why do religious types insist on making the idea of non-divinely-inspired ethics so problematic? No matter how atheists behave or how they advance their ideas, religionists seem to view secularism as some sort of constant orgy of self-gratification, and only subservience to Yaweh, Allah et al can prevent us from descending into a gleeful, lust-crazed life of conscienceless murder and rapine. Bollocks.

It’s been said many times before on this site and elsewhere but let me reiterate: we already have man-made codes of conduct - laws which govern the lives of individuals and the societies in which they live. I can’t just go and drive off on my neighbour’s car because it’s what my nerve endings want - unless they also want to go to prison. I suppose I could tell the judge that the law against auto-theft is flawed as it’s not specifically endorsed by a deity and therefore objective - but even such a splendid argument would be useless when set against the pleasure his nerve endings would give him for giving me another 60 days.

Other than places like Taliban-era Afghanistan, civil laws are not based on religious books. Indeed, evidence suggests that the less religious a society is, the less crime its citizens tend to suffer.

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All Christians should be sent to heaven immediately.

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Posted: 04 March 2007 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]  
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Occam’s Razor

Other than places like Taliban-era Afghanistan, civil laws are not based on religious books. Indeed, evidence suggests that the less religious a society is, the less crime its citizens tend to suffer.

Kinda like France in 1790’s huh?

Waltercat

When I said, “If rape wasn’t wrong the entire creation as we know it would not exist.”

The reason why I said that is if something contradicts God it can’t exist.  That is the pressupposition I hold to.  I do like your comment on chocolate can I use that line sometime in the future? )

Before I go on can someone please tell me what grounds does an Atheist have in claiming absolute morality?  I believe no one has yet to answer this question, if someone has and I missed it during the discussion than feel free to copy and paste what you already said. 

Walter you asked me my feelings about slavery…. Can I first ask the Atheist their feelings about slavery?  How in an Atheistic worldview can one view slavery as objectively wrong?  For the naturalistic Atheist the universe is just time and chance acting on matter. Why does it matter if the master matter acts on the slave matter? Who cares, there nerve endings are in no way connected?  Sam Harris makes slavery to be the easiest black/white moral claim for all to understand. 

Sam Harris says,

“The moment a person recognizes that slaves are human beings like himself, enjoying the same capacity for suffering and happiness, he will understand that it is patently evil to own them and treat them like farm equipment”

Yet don’t horses have nerve endings and have pleasure/pain experiences.  Are the Amish being immoral for using their horses on a hot summers day?  Is this slavery?  Don’t eat meat those animals have nerve endings.  Sam Harris certainly loves those Jains and they would think so. 

I’m waiting for everyone to go hands down and say slavery is wrong, its so obvious, right?  Yet our American system performs slavery, in fact I believe worse than slavery, towards millions of citizens.  Just ask that 24 year old who got caught growing and selling pot in order to have a little fun with himself.  Now little Johnny is stuck in a puppy kennel.  Sure you don’t notice this act of slavery yet he is there behind some very large walls tucked away from the public to see, all for smoking some pot.  Why is this worse than slavery?  Little Johnny is not with his family, is not learning any trade or skill, and is in no way feeling part of a functional society.  We are talking about millions of Americans stuck in a kennel for what?  Most are not for murder we know that much. 

So do I think slavery is right/wrong?  It depends on the circumstance, I’ll explain later.  However, for a good view on where I stand you can start with the book Philemon.  But before you criticize my view of slavery as how one ‘should’ or ‘should not’ act one needs to first tell me where they get their objective standard from.   

Noggin-I read Numbers, where is rape occuring, these are virgins, how did they know, because they were not old enough to menstruate, there isn’t petifiling going on here.  More on that later.

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Posted: 04 March 2007 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]. . .
Before I go on can someone please tell me what grounds does an Atheist have in claiming absolute morality?  I believe no one has yet to answer this question, if someone has and I missed it during the discussion than feel free to copy and paste what you already said. . . .


Fletch, our moral concepts are simply refined versions of ape morality, though I suspect that not many apes wonder about “absolute morality” and where it comes from. That is a human concept. Humans wonder about and discuss such abstractions, refining and encoding into law various ethics/moral points as history unfolds. If you think atheists have nothing to say about precisely where morality comes from, I would suggest doing some googling or better yet, visit a big-city bookstore that features a section titled “cognitive science.” Frans de Waal is one of several authors you need to be aware of.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 04 March 2007 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”] I do like your comment on chocolate can I use that line sometime in the future? smile

Just give me credit

Before I go on can someone please tell me what grounds does an Atheist have in claiming absolute morality?  I believe no one has yet to answer this question, if someone has and I missed it during the discussion than feel free to copy and paste what you already said.

But you see, no believer in a religion-based morality has any more solid basis for absolute morality than an atheist.  I have been trying to explain this. The upshot of the Euthyphro is that the will of God (or the Character of God) cannot ground non-arbitrary moral rules.  Now I know that you fail to undestand this, fletch, but, from my perspective Religion does not provide us with a good theory about the nature of morality.  Thus your question, which really is a good one, applies to everyone.

How is morality possible?  Where do moral rules come from?  I have only an inkling of an idea about an answer to these questions, but there are two things that I know for certain:
First, God is not the answer.  God CANNOT be the source of morality.
Second, there really are absolute moral obligations, i.e., obligations that apply to everyone.  Among the things that we know for certain is that is the following:

(B) It is wrong to boil babies alive.

I have no doubt that this is true, nor do you, nor does any rational person, I suspect.  It is an interesting question of how (B) can be true; what is it’s ground? A very important question.  And one that professionals are working hard to answer.  But regardless of the answer, we do know that its true.

So do I think slavery is right/wrong?  It depends on the circumstance, I’ll explain later.

I’d say now is a good time to explain.

By the way, is the Bible the inspired word of God?

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 04 March 2007 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]  
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FFF asked:

Before I go on can someone please tell me what grounds does an Atheist have in claiming absolute morality?

Atheists don’t claim ‘absolute’ morality since that cannot exist. No ‘absolute’ can exist.

What Atheists claim is that they are capable of making moral decisions.

When Christians use the word ‘morality’, their comments become irrational. There is no morality in a system where the ONLY good is obedience.

God does not object to rape, slavery, murder, etc. He ONLY objects to being disobeyed.

A Christian cannot possibly object to slavery since his entire religion is based on slavery to God.

On another note, you don’t have to believe in God to view rape as wrong

However, belief in God can allow you to believe rape is right. All you have to do is simply imagine that God spoke to you and commanded you to rape.

The reason why I said that is if something contradicts God it can’t exist.

I contradict God, yet I exist.

Christian dogma mandates that ALL humans must be capable of woshipping God. It says he created us for that purpose.
However, I am incapable of worship. It is not a matter of choice. I can no more worship God than I can walk through walls.

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Posted: 04 March 2007 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]  
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[quote author=“waltercat”]How is morality possible?  Where do moral rules come from?  I have only an inkling of an idea about an answer to these questions, but there are two things that I know for certain:
First, God is not the answer.

For me, it’s really quite simple and I am fairly certain that I got this explanation from Sam Harris himself but here it goes:

Moral obligation is possible and is justified and expected to be weighed and measured to the degree that another object or being is capable of suffering.  In this context, our level of moral obligation towards chairs made out of wood or pine wood derby cars in general is very low to nil while our moral obligation to a baby about to be boiled alive is extremely high.

Fletch wrote:
Noggin-I read Numbers, where is rape occuring, these are virgins, how did they know, because they were not old enough to menstruate, there isn’t petifiling going on here. More on that later.

but… but… you’re supposed to understand the basic premise of rape before you comment on it.  Dang, it’s kind of basic.  If you take a woman.. uh sorry… a premenstruating girl in your world… captive against her will and marry her for your wife and then have sex with that girl.. the moment the male enters this girl and she is not even one shade of in agreement, that young, premenstruating girl is being raped.

Your explanation holds many assumptions.

In your world, you believe that girls at the age of 13 or 14 or younger do not mind being ripped away from their families, parents, siblings, homes, familiar surroundings.  In fact, you also assume that they willingly sign up for some wacky marriage proposal from some other enemy tribesman and will spread their legs for this warring tribesman…who just got done murdering all non virgin woman, men and boys in this girls tribe let bygones be bygones. 

Bretheren and Sisters, Let us now turn to our bibles and review the Lord’s most holy commands and instructions and attitudes of disposal regarding the Midianites, shall we?

7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.

17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Verily.

BY default, Mr. Fletch, this warring tribe murdered this young pre menstruating girl’s mother, many of her older sisters, both of her grandmothers, all of her brothers, her father, her uncles and both of her grandfathers.  Oh and her aunts too.

But sure, I gather there might be some sort of mentally disturbed pre menstruating female who would find these circumstances alluring, acceptable, a turn on, and quite amenable for sexual consumation.

That’s way out there stuff, Mr. Fletch.

and lest you think this is an isolated event, turn if you will to Judges 21 and read:

3 And [they] said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe (Benjamin) lacking [wives] in Israel?

What’s this?  A tribe of Israel found without any wives?  How horrible indeed.  My, what a conundrum.  Let’s tune in to the holy channel of wisdom, even the throne of god, to see what pearls of wisdom god might dole out for a solution to this wife problem:

11 And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man.

Dang, god! Now was that really necessary?

12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

...

14 And Benjamin [the wifeless tribe of Israel] came again at that time; and they gave them wives which they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead: and yet so they sufficed them not.

You worship a twisted and perverted god.

Noggin

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Posted: 06 March 2007 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]  
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Noggin-Many times the Bible states what has happened from a historical perspective, not exactly what God wants to happen.  We know in Numbers what God wanted, and Moses did not do what was wanted.

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Posted: 06 March 2007 02:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]  
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Fletch, where are you getting, in the book of Numbers, that Moses did not do what god wanted?

I don’t think you have read my posts where I quote the bible stating things like

And the Lord God commanded Moses…

followed by a description of what god commanded:

killing all the males of the Midianites
Killing all the females that had been sexually active (is that such a crime?)
Steal all the virgins (all 32,000 of them) and force them to marry against most of their wills… and therefore, when the male Israelite consumates said forced marriage, rape is occuring.

Noggin

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