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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am View Post
    Wow.

    + 2 for this.

    You and Rose have allowed what is written on your hearts to shine through while the believers are still using their external conscience, the bible, without recognizing right off the bat that any religion based on human sacrifice and the punishing of the innocent and not the guilty is completely immoral.

    If God venerated life the way a good God would, then most of the bible would not have been written because 3/4 of it is God killing humans.

    Regards
    DL
    Thank you DL, your words could not be truer...

    Have you ever noticed how religions like Christianity teach that we are to sacrificially give of ourselves with no expectation of anything in return, yet the god who is promoted as its creator demands we give unto him praise and honor else we are threatened with eternal torture. This teaching seems to be at odds with what it means to freely give. Something that is demanded lest a fate befall you is not gift, but a requirement. How can the biblegod teach generosity to his creations when it is not one of his characteristics?

    All the best,
    Rose
    Last edited by Rose; 06-27-2012 at 11:17 AM.
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am View Post
    Wow.

    + 2 for this.

    You and Rose have allowed what is written on your hearts to shine through while the believers are still using their external conscience, the bible, without recognizing right off the bat that any religion based on human sacrifice and the punishing of the innocent and not the guilty is completely immoral.

    If God venerated life the way a good God would, then most of the bible would not have been written because 3/4 of it is God killing humans.

    Regards
    DL
    Thanks for the affirmation DL.

    Without a living heart that recognizes and responds to good and evil, the mind is left to it's own devices and it will devise "logical" systems that could justify the grossest evils. We saw this in Germany which was one of the most intellectually and culturally advanced countries in the world when they devised the death camps to eliminate the Jews. It was that contrast between heart and mind that so horrified the rest of the world. How could anyone think they were serving God by genocide? How is that possible?!?! Oh ... wait ... I remember now. Genocide is not immoral because the God of the Bible commanded it. That's why the Atheist Hector Avalos could affirm that genocide, infanticide, and slavery are immoral in debate with Kieth Darrel, but his Christian opponent could not. I highly recommend the debate if folks haven't watched it (link).

    Morality is the basis of a reductio ad absurdum argument that disproves Christianity.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Thanks for the affirmation DL.

    Without a living heart that recognizes and responds to good and evil, the mind is left to it's own devices and it will devise "logical" systems that could justify the grossest evils. We saw this in Germany which was one of the most intellectually and culturally advanced countries in the world when they devised the death camps to eliminate the Jews. It was that contrast between heart and mind that so horrified the rest of the world. How could anyone think they were serving God by genocide? How is that possible?!?! Oh ... wait ... I remember now. Genocide is not immoral because the God of the Bible commanded it. That's why the Atheist Hector Avalos could affirm that genocide, infanticide, and slavery are immoral in debate with Kieth Darrel, but his Christian opponent could not. I highly recommend the debate if folks haven't watched it (link).

    Morality is the basis of a reductio ad absurdum argument that disproves Christianity.
    Yes. I plan on posting to the issue of Christian morality.

    ===========================

    Issues of morality shuts Christians up.

    I know I have done well in an O. P. when Christians run from a discussion.

    I wrote these two posts and got almost no response. Not a usual thing for my posts. This tells me that I hit the nail right on the head and Christians have no apologetics to refute my claim.

    ==========================

    If you accept this as universal morality, you will reject God.

    http://blog.ted.com/2008/09/17/the_real_differ/

    God does not follow the first rule at all.

    The bible says that Jesus "was crucified from the foundations of the Earth," that is to say, God planned to crucify Jesus as atonement for sin before he even created human beings or sin.

    This shows that what many thinks is our number one moral value was completely ignored by God.

    Is God immoral or has man gotten morality wrong?

    If God was right, then are we to believe that fathers are to bury their children instead of the way people think in that children should bury their parents?

    John 6:44
    "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”

    On earth as it is in heaven.

    If you had God’s power to set the conditions for atonement, would you step up yourself or would you send your child to die?

    =============================

    God to Jesus. I just condemned the human race. Now go die to save them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoHP-f-_F9U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ott1...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqP_f...eature=related

    I think that the notion that punishing the innocent instead of the guilty perpetrator is immoral. Be it a willing sacrifice as some believe with Jesus or unwilling victim.

    I also think that God, who has a plethora of other options, would have come up with a moral way instead of an immoral and barbaric human sacrifice.

    I agree with scriptures say that we are all responsible for our own righteousness as well as our own iniquity and that God cannot be bribed by sacrifice.

    Ezekiel 18:20
    The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

    Psalm 49:7
    None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

    I believe as I do because I believe that the first rule of morality is harm/care of children.

    http://blog.ted.com/2008/09/17/the_real_differ/

    Do you agree that the notion of substitutionary atonement is immoral and that God’s first principle of morality is hare/harm and that this would prevent him from demanding the death of his son?

    ==============================

    This lack of opposition to the premise given tells me that Christians may actually be more moral than what I give them credit for. They do not walk their talk in these cases and that is a plus.

    Seems Christians actually recognize good morals even if they do not preach them.
    I thank Christians for confirming my view that they are just following tradition, dogma and culture while not really following their God. Thank God for that.

    Regards
    DL

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Richard
    What you have shown us by adding to the words written by jce is that this is basis on which you add words and meanings to the Bible that are not there and that is why I am never going to agree with you. You have done exactly contrary to the warning at the end of the Book of Revelation, you have added words and this shows me what you do and why I cannot accept your statements. You have added the word innocent when Uriah was guilty. How do you know for cetrain than Uriah had not known the commands relating to the transportation of the ark? Uriah would have seen the ark carried on poles and placed on the cart. Uriah would have known from their scriptures (the writings of Moses) that the ark when it was transported from one place to another cannot be touched by man. Uriah forgot in the moment the ark toppled (and that was unfortunate), but God has to be true to His word and could not have let Uzriah escape the punishment set, otherwise you and I would be calling God a liar and God's authority would be undermined. In His mercy, I expect God to raise Uriah (a faithful man as you point out) to eternal life in the Kingdom and show that God is good? Why do you not say things like this you know God is capable of and is justifed. God had to let Uriah serve as a lesson to others at that time. God's word should be obeyed and for good reasons, because God knows what is best for man; if only man would follow God's instruction, he would know this.
    Hey there David,

    Your criticism applies equally to John's original comment. The Bible says nothing about Uriah being "disobedient." So why don't you criticize John for inserting a word that wasn't there? As usual, you seem to have a double standard which is the source of much error. Here is what the text actually says:
    2 Samuel 6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 6 ¶ And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error [hashal]; and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.
    When I read this story, it seems obvious that Uzzah was concerned for the welfare of the most sacred object for which he was responsible, so there is a basis for my interpretation that he was acting innocently and in good faith. There is nothing in the story that contradicts this conclusion. Matthew Henry agrees with my assessment of this situation:
    Matthew Henry: By some accident or other the ark was in danger of being overthrown. Uzzah thereupon laid hold of it, to save it from falling, we have reason to think with a very good intention, to preserve the reputation of the ark and to prevent a bad omen. Yet this was his crime. Uzzah was a Levite, but priests only might touch the ark. The law was express concerning the Kohathites, that, though they were to carry the ark by the staves, yet they must not touch any holy thing, lest they die, Num. 4:15. Uzzah’s long familiarity with the ark, and the constant attendance he had given to it, might occasion his presumption, but would not excuse it.
    Nobody knows the meaning of the word "hashal" because it is not used anywhere else in the Bible or even in literature outside the Bible. The word is variously translated as error, indiscretion, irreverence, or rashness. Scholars dispute if it is a corruption of some other word. The LXX simply omits it, and some translators have followed suit, because how are they supposed to "translate" an unknown word? As an aside, this exemplifies again the error of your assertion that you can study the Bible in isolation of other texts and without the help of the "works of men." There is no way for you to know anything about the Bible without depending upon the "works of men" who translated it and compiled dictionaries that compared Biblical language with other literature from that time period.

    I find it quite telling that you go hunting for gnats every time the camel comes to town. It is debatable if Uzzah was innocent or guilty. So you focus on that one disputable minor point (which is utterly irrelevant to the main thrust of my argument) and ignore the central facts that many of the people God slew were innocent, such as the children. Don't you realize that this is a common debating tactic designed to obscure rather than reveal it? Such is not the behavior of a person seeking truth or of a person who loves the truth. A person who loves the truth would immediately recognize the general validity of most of my insertions of the word "innocent" into John's comments. I trust you will take this as brotherly advice. You cannot strengthen your arguments by trying to obscure the truth.

    Now on to the comments you inserted in red:
    (DM - what you call acccuracy is your perversion of the truth.)
    If that were true you would not have focused on the one disputable point while ignoring all the indisputable points. If anything is a "perversion of truth" that's it. Indeed, Christ himself made a big point of this kind of error:
    Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
    Next, you wrote:
    If the Bible teaches anything about God, it is that he is not fair, just, moral, good, or even rational (DM - that just goes to show how bad your judgement is and how unfair you can be when you do not say that the Bible teaches us about the goodness of God and his wonderful promises).
    That's not true at all. On the contrary, the moral abominations attributed to God in the Bible simply contradict the other verses that say God is good. This is a direct proof that the Bible cannot be believe. I say "cannot" in a most literal sense. If a person begins with the normal meaning of "good, kind, just, righteous" then they cannot assert that those attributes apply to God because the actions of God contradict the meaning of those words.
    He passed around a group of women like party treats from Saul to David to Absalom with the intent that they be raped on the rooftop to "shame" David. (DM - tedious claptrap again)
    You call it "tedius claptrap" because you cannot (and to my knowledge have never have even tried) to address this problem. God showed no concern whatsoever for the women he passed from Saul to David to Absalom to be raped on the rooftop. God used those women to hurt David. You cannot say that God was good, kind, just, or righteous in his behavior towards those women.
    Such behavior is not befitting any man, let alone a god.(DM - God is no worse and if it were not for man's behaviour in the first place, God would not have been so severe which was a "proportionate response" to quote the army (of men))
    To say that "God is no worse" than sinful men is to capitulate the argument. Your assertion that God's bad behavior is due to man is absurd because it denies that God is free to choose a better path.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    We are all liars to a degree and we can easily deceive ourselves, so excuse me by pointing out your deceptive statements. You accuse me of changing the meaning of words when I simply find there is an alternative meaning to a word (which is valid) and can be applied to understand obscure and paradoxical verses more clearly and get to the truth. In this example, you have added to the actual words in jce's reply. OK you have shown us here what you have done, and that is to put words in that were not there and which are not true (in every case). Very young children I will agree are innocent until they grow up to become corrupt as their parents). You want to say that gulty people are innocent in the face of obvious evidence of their guilt. This proves to me that if you are going to make remarks like this, there is no point to any further debate. If you want me to hang around on this forum, I shall put up and shut up and not enter any discussion with you. I expect a reasoned discussion from the Bible; I should not to have to respond to your falsifications used to reach your conclusions.
    You are pressing way to much into the one disputed point about Uzzah. My arguments are not deceptive. If they were, you could simply expose my error rather than ranting on with unsupported generalities. I did not "say that gulty people are innocent in the face of obvious evidence of their guilt." You found one disputable case and now are asserting that this is something I do as a habit. If anything is deceptive, it is your false accusations against me.

    I really hope you will continue to hang around this forum. I don't want you to "shut up and put up." I want you to present reasoned arguments based on logic and facts to support your assertions. You are getting frustrated because you arguments are fallacious. Many people have come to this forum and quit not because I refused to admit the truth when they showed my error,but because they were unable to make legitimate arguments to show I was wrong. I am interested in nothing but the truth. So don't pretend that I am merely being obstinate. I freely admit when I am wrong. So you should rejoice to be here because if you make a valid argument and show my error, I will admit it, and thank you too! Only a fool would want to retain false opinions. And I ain't no fool.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough
    Hey Cheow,
    Can you guess what? You missed the point again. We are not saying anything about "God." We are talking about what the BIBLE says about God. I think I may have told you this approximately five billion times. Maybe this time you'll understand?
    Richard (and Rose), In your response to Cheow, I want to say that that it is not me who is justify God. I point out what the Bible says which justifies God. Therefore, I accept God is justified. God declaries up front what the rules for man are and judges according to those rules. If you say the Bible is written solely by men (and not God), it is man who is justifying God by declaring what God has said upfront. God's actions are no worse than the actions of men; let's say God is giving men a taste of their own medicine.
    Two problems:

    1) You are the one who is justifying God. The Bible does not "justify" God in any way. It merely asserts contradictory things about God. Sometimes it says that God is good, kind, merciful, and just. Other times it presents God as an irrational genocidal maniac. If you found such contradictions in any other book, you would conclude that the book is irrational and untrustworthy. Indeed, that's why many Christians reject Islam - they say it contradicts both itself and Christianity. But you can't reject the Bible no matter what it says. Therefore, your judgement has been perverted by your adherence to the doctrine that the Bible is the Word of God.

    2) Your statement that "God's actions are no worse than the actions of men" should horrify any Christian.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Richard and Rose, I hope we can keep chatting. We are all passioante about what we think and believe and we don't always communicate in words the way we should, I have had my hackles raised by your responses in this thread and I do not enjoy the feeling. I am passionate to have a reasoned debate to get the truth and so it comes back to finding a way to communicate on this forum that is less adversarial. I admire the restraint Jesus showed when dealing with his opponents. I think we might all agree to that. Despite all that God has done, which we find hard to stomach personally, God's goodness outweighs His severity of punishment. At sometime, let's consider weighing God in the balances and examine if God is less wanting than men and women.

    All the best,

    David
    We share the same hopes David! I am very impressed that you are able to stand the heat in this kitchen. I know it's not easy. You are doing a valiant job and your contributions are very valuable.

    And I too hope that we can drop the "adversarial" attitude. I do not intend to offend. And I know you don't. But sometimes we write things in the heat of the moment that maybe weren't as kind as cool as they should have been. So let me apologize now for both past and future offenses. And remember, if I do say something that is needlesslly offensive, all you need to do is call me out on it and I will apologise.

    It's great that you are here my friend. And never forget that there are a LOT more people reading than writing on this forum. I think it's a little to "hot" for many temperaments. But they are reading what you write. Just take a look at the number of views some of the threads have.

    All the best to you my friend,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hey there David,
    That's not true at all. On the contrary, the moral abominations attributed to God in the Bible simply contradict the other verses that say God is good. This is a direct proof that the Bible cannot be believe. I say "cannot" in a most literal sense. If a person begins with the normal meaning of "good, kind, just, righteous" then they cannot assert that those attributes apply to God because the actions of God contradict the meaning of those words.[INDENT]He passed around a group of women like party treats from Saul to David to Absalom with the intent that they be raped on the rooftop to "shame" David. (DM - tedious claptrap again)
    All the best to you my friend,

    Richard
    Richard,

    You do err when you define the Biblical application of the word "good", based on your limited understanding of God's definition of the word. You insert the word "normal" in front of it, but how do you apply that word to the miraculous events recorded in scripture? They certainly aren't "normal". Consider the following verse from Romans 8:28:

    "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose".

    If something tragic happens to a person, who qualifies under the conditions of that verse, it is good in Gods plan. Of course an unbeliever isn't going to see it as good, under the normal definition of good.

    Again, most of your arguments, if not all of them, are based on your short term vision of life. You see the "here and now" only because, that is all you have. Consequently, if someone dies from an accident, or by the hand of God, it represents "total loss" to you. Your reasoning is "normal" based on your elimination of eternal life.

    It really is that simple.

    Still your friend.

    John

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Richard,

    You do err when you define the Biblical application of the word "good", based on your limited understanding of God's definition of the word. You insert the word "normal" in front of it, but how do you apply that word to the miraculous events recorded in scripture? They certainly aren't "normal". Consider the following verse from Romans 8:28:

    "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose".

    If something tragic happens to a person, who qualifies under the conditions of that verse, it is good in Gods plan. Of course an unbeliever isn't going to see it as good, under the normal definition of good.

    Again, most of your arguments, if not all of them, are based on your short term vision of life. You see the "here and now" only because, that is all you have. Consequently, if someone dies from an accident, or by the hand of God, it represents "total loss" to you. Your reasoning is "normal" based on your elimination of eternal life.

    It really is that simple.

    Still your friend.

    John
    Hello my friend!

    I very much appreciate your frequent affirmation of our friendship. Your contributions are very valuable, and all the more so as you seek mutually respectful discourse.

    I think you have touched the heart of the issue. What does the word "good" mean when applied to God? You seem to be asserting that anything the Bible says about God is good no matter how it contradicts the normal meaning of that word. You say that my error is based on my failure to understand "God's definition of the word." If that is true, then you need to define it for us or we won't be able to have a meaningful conversation. To quote Voltaire, "If you want to discourse with me, define your terms."

    But even if you are correct and the Bible has some other definition of fundamental terms like good, love, justice, and kindness when applied to God, then those words are worse than meaningless - they are deceptive. The Bible is written in normal human language. There is nothing in it to inform us that the word "good" does not mean "good" when applied to God. On the contrary, the word is always used in the normal sense when applied to God. Otherwise the Bible would be meaningless. Case in point: when Abraham asked if the "Judge of all the world would do right" he was using the normal meaning of "right."

    Your assertion that "most of your arguments, if not all of them, are based on your short term vision of life" seems ridiculous to me. My arguments are nothing like that at all. My argument against hell, for example, is that it is an eternal evil. Obviously, that has nothing to do with a "short term vision of life." It would be best if you avoided such false generalizations.

    And your assertion that death in this world represents a "total loss" to me is false and unfounded. I do not believe that and I have never said any such thing.

    And your assertion that my reasoning is "normal" because I have "eliminated eternal life" is entirely fallacious. I've never said anything that would justify that charge. It would be better if you dealt with the arguments I present and avoid fallacious generalizations that have nothing to do with anything I actually said.

    To quote your own words, "It really is that simple."

    All the very best to you, my good friend,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hello my friend!

    I very much appreciate your frequent affirmation of our friendship. Your contributions are very valuable, and all the more so as you seek mutually respectful discourse.

    I think you have touched the heart of the issue. What does the word "good" mean when applied to God? You seem to be asserting that anything the Bible says about God is good no matter how it contradicts the normal meaning of that word. You say that my error is based on my failure to understand "God's definition of the word." If that is true, then you need to define it for us or we won't be able to have a meaningful conversation. To quote Voltaire, "If you want to discourse with me, define your terms."

    But even if you are correct and the Bible has some other definition of fundamental terms like good, love, justice, and kindness when applied to God, then those words are worse than meaningless - they are deceptive. The Bible is written in normal human language. There is nothing in it to inform us that the word "good" does not mean "good" when applied to God. On the contrary, the word is always used in the normal sense when applied to God. Otherwise the Bible would be meaningless. Case in point: when Abraham asked if the "Judge of all the world would do right" he was using the normal meaning of "right."

    Your assertion that "most of your arguments, if not all of them, are based on your short term vision of life" seems ridiculous to me. My arguments are nothing like that at all. My argument against hell, for example, is that it is an eternal evil. Obviously, that has nothing to do with a "short term vision of life." It would be best if you avoided such false generalizations.

    And your assertion that death in this world represents a "total loss" to me is false and unfounded. I do not believe that and I have never said any such thing.

    And your assertion that my reasoning is "normal" because I have "eliminated eternal life" is entirely fallacious. I've never said anything that would justify that charge. It would be better if you dealt with the arguments I present and avoid fallacious generalizations that have nothing to do with anything I actually said.

    To quote your own words, "It really is that simple."

    All the very best to you, my good friend,

    Richard
    Hi Richard

    Yes it is good that we remind one another that we enjoy the topics we are debating and respect one another's position. We should never forget that there is a valuable human being at the other end of the table, or in this case... the wire.

    As I was reading your reply the thought crossed my mind as to how we would greet each other if ever we met face to face. My first thought was an embrace since many of our men in the church embrace one another with a hug, although it could be uncomfortable between strangers, But I sense that we are beyond that stage as we have come to know a little about each other from these exchanges.

    I think that's all I'll say for now and will return later.

    Your friend,

    John

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hey there David,

    Your criticism applies equally to John's original comment. The Bible says nothing about Uriah being "disobedient." So why don't you criticize John for inserting a word that wasn't there? As usual, you seem to have a double standard which is the source of much error. Here is what the text actually says:
    2 Samuel 6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 6 ¶ And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error [hashal]; and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.
    When I read this story, it seems obvious that Uzzah was concerned for the welfare of the most sacred object for which he was responsible, so there is a basis for my interpretation that he was acting innocently and in good faith. There is nothing in the story that contradicts this conclusion. Matthew Henry agrees with my assessment of this situation:
    Matthew Henry: By some accident or other the ark was in danger of being overthrown. Uzzah thereupon laid hold of it, to save it from falling, we have reason to think with a very good intention, to preserve the reputation of the ark and to prevent a bad omen. Yet this was his crime. Uzzah was a Levite, but priests only might touch the ark. The law was express concerning the Kohathites, that, though they were to carry the ark by the staves, yet they must not touch any holy thing, lest they die, Num. 4:15. Uzzah’s long familiarity with the ark, and the constant attendance he had given to it, might occasion his presumption, but would not excuse it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You are pressing way to much into the one disputed point about Uzzah. My arguments are not deceptive. If they were, you could simply expose my error rather than ranting on with unsupported generalities. I did not "say that gulty people are innocent in the face of obvious evidence of their guilt." You found one disputable case and now are asserting that this is something I do as a habit. If anything is deceptive, it is your false accusations against me.
    Richard.
    Thank you for your long reply, you stated several times that I was concentrating on this one point and I agree that was my intention. As I have said to you elsewhere, I am going to reason only from the Bible, so any reference you make to other books or scholarly writing to support your case is of no concern to me. I reason from the Bible and let the Bible supply the anwsers. There is no need to look elsewhere except for language dictionaries etc. to help us understand the meaning of the words.

    We could falsely accuse Uzzah of doing this or that and if tried in a court of law, he would be found innocent, but what we are talking about here is Uzzah touching the ark, and in doing this he was guilty. Therefore, on this one point, he was not innocent. You say he was, and I say he was not. God would not have struck him down dead if he had not touched the ark; it is as simple as that. This is not debatable as you want to say it is. There can be no mitigating circumstances or else God would have said under what conditions the ark could be touched. God commanded no-one to touch the ark, hence it was carried on poles. God had declared the penalty for touching the ark was death (nothing else), so when Uzzah touched the ark, God struck him down dead. God was justified to do what He did. It can be established that Uzzah knew what God's instruction was and that he was not supposed to touch the ark under any circumstance. Uzzah knew beforehand what the penalty was. This prosecution would stand up in a court of law. The Bible does not say Uzzah was disobedient, it does not have to. Disobedience is implicit when God's commands are not adhered to, hence Uzzah did not obey the command of God and therefore Uzzah was disobedient. This rests the case for the prosecution.


    Just on the other point you make saying that if God kills people, God cannot be good. I have commented elsewhere that God has more than one attribute/quality to His character. God says, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. So to us, God does things that look good and does things that look bad. This does not make God innately evil or bad. Maybe we can explore this in more depth in another thread. For the moment, I am thinking that we might consider God has three main qualities. We might extend this to seven, and present those qualities in the form of segments on a wheel.

    Let's consider God has three main qualities; Love, Justice, Mercy We can liken these three qualities to the three primary colors; Red, Blue, Geen. You know that if you divide a disc into three equi-sized segments and one segment is painted red, one segment painted blue and one segmet painted green, when the disc is spun and speed the disc appears white. White is not a true colour and black is not a true color. Black and white are the same in the only sense that they are both not true colors. In general, we regard balck and white as opposites.

    On spinning the painted disc, the disc appears white. White represents a mixture of all visible colors. If we break up white light into a spectrum we get 7 identifiable bands of color like we get in the rainbow; hence my reason for suggesting we might consider God has more than the three main qualities. If the three colored segments are of different proportions, when spinning the disc we get different colours produced. Hence the color we see depends on the proportions of the colors mixed together. From what we are considering about God, we might look at God's actions as a mixture of the three primary qualities. Let's look at how this applies to God's action in the case of Uzzah.

    Love: God was loving towards Uzzah in sustaining him daily, providing him with a good job, considering Uzzah as a child of God, etc.
    Justice: God is just in that He stated the rules beforehand and he punished according to the rules.
    Mercy: We can expect God to be merciful and to Uzzah and raise him to eternal life in the kingdom. As you say, Uzzah was faithful man and we know that God will save the faithful.

    In the same way, we might look for all these qualities in measure in all the actions of God, including the killing of the Canaanites and Moabites. We cannot look at God in terms of black and white. 1 John 1:5 states; God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. On this basis, God is all colors, so let us try and reason things out instead of seeing everything as black and white and being adversarial about it.

    Whether we can achieve this, time will tell.,

    All the best,

    David
    Last edited by David M; 06-27-2012 at 08:11 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Richard.
    Thank you for your long reply, you stated several times that I was concentrating on this one point and I agree that was my intention. As I have said to you elsewhere, I am going to reason only from the Bible, so any reference you make to other books or scholarly writing to support your case is of no concern to me. I reason from the Bible and let the Bible supply the anwsers. There is no need to look elsewhere except for language dictionaries etc. to help us understand the meaning of the words.
    Hey there David,

    I don't think you are really in the position to complain about long posts!

    Of course, I'm not innocent in that regard either. And that's fine, but sometimes your posts are long in the wrong way. Case in point: It looks like your intention was to obfuscate the truth to avoid dealing with the facts I presented. The specific case of Uzzah is not particularly relevant to the issues at hand. It was only a random example introduced by John. Your excessive emphasis on that point appears to be a deliberate misdirection of the conversation. You have not said a word about all the legitimate points I made concerning the innocence of the slaughtered children and other cases of injustice as when God let David sin without suffering the consequences of the law. That is, by definition, unjust. This refutes your "legal case" to justify God's application of his law because he does it arbitrarily. He does not obey his own law. Imagine if an earthly judge let murderers go free like God did with David. Could anyone say he was just? How do you think Uriah's wife felt? Oh ... never mind, she married David and God gave them a child, Solomon, to be king over all Israel. Guess he was fine with their little affair.

    And as for scholarship - I was not trying to "prove" my case by quoting Matthew Henry. I was merely offering the witness of a man who devoted his life to prayerful study of the Bible to help you see that there are reasons people come to conclusions that differ from yours and that I didn't simply make up an opinion that was not based on the Bible. Your rejection and willful ignorance of the vast body of scholarship relating to the Bible can have only one effect - it will make you ignorant. You depend upon "scholarship" for the very Bible you read. It was translated by "scholars." It is foolish in the extreme for you to choose to be ignorant of the opinions of those who translated your Bible because their opinions were the basis of their translation! This is very important for our discussion of Uzzah, because no one knows the meaning of the word "hashal" translated as "error" in the KJV. Your argument depends critically upon this word because it describes the quality of Uzzah's action when he touched the ark. You choice to ignore this extremely important aspect of the text implies you are not properly studying Scripture and so cannot understand it.


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    We could falsely accuse Uzzah of doing this or that and if tried in a court of law, he would be found innocent, but what we are talking about here is Uzzah touching the ark, and in doing this he was guilty. Therefore, on this one point, he was not innocent. You say he was, and I say he was not. God would not have struck him down dead if he had not touched the ark; it is as simple as that. This is not debatable as you want to say it is. There can be no mitigating circumstances or else God would have said under what conditions the ark could be touched. God commanded no-one to touch the ark, hence it was carried on poles. God had declared the penalty for touching the ark was death (nothing else), so when Uzzah touched the ark, God struck him down dead. God was justified to do what He did. It can be established that Uzzah knew what God's instruction was and that he was not supposed to touch the ark under any circumstance. Uzzah knew beforehand what the penalty was. This prosecution would stand up in a court of law. The Bible does not say Uzzah was disobedient, it does not have to. Disobedience is implicit when God's commands are not adhered to, hence Uzzah did not obey the command of God and therefore Uzzah was disobedient. This rests the case for the prosecution.
    Why are you wasting your time writing all those words? They have nothing to do with the issue at hand. I will concede your point for the sake of argument. You still have not touched the fact that God order the slaughter of innocent children or any of the other problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Just on the other point you make saying that if God kills people, God cannot be good.
    I have NEVER said that "if God kills people, God cannot be good." I have written many words (as you well know) so if you want to attribute something to me, you have plenty of quotes to choose from. Please try a little harder to quote me accurately and to avoid putting false words in my mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I have commented elsewhere that God has more than one attribute/quality to His character. God says, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. So to us, God does things that look good and does things that look bad. This does not make God innately evil or bad. Maybe we can explore this in more depth in another thread. For the moment, I am thinking that we might consider God has three main qualities. We might extend this to seven, and present those qualities in the form of segments on a wheel.
    I have no problem with God doing things that might "look" bad. I'm talking about God doing things that ARE bad. The Bible corrupts the moral sense of believers so that they cannot discern between good and evil. Case in point: In his debate with Hector Avalos, evangelist Keith Darrel refused to affirm that Genocide, Infanticide, and Slavery were immoral because God commanded those things. This makes a mockery of the Moral Argument for God which says that there could be no moral absolutes without the Christian God.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Let's consider God has three main qualities; Love, Justice, Mercy We can liken these three qualities to the three primary colors; Red, Blue, Geen. You know that if you divide a disc into three equi-sized segments and one segment is painted red, one segment painted blue and one segmet painted green, when the disc is spun and speed the disc appears white. White is not a true colour and black is not a true color. Black and white are the same in the only sense that they are both not true colors. In general, we regard balck and white as opposites.

    On spinning the painted disc, the disc appears white. White represents a mixture of all visible colors. If we break up white light into a spectrum we get 7 identifiable bands of color like we get in the rainbow; hence my reason for suggesting we might consider God has more than the three main qualities. If the three colored segments are of different proportions, when spinning the disc we get different colours produced. Hence the color we see depends on the proportions of the colors mixed together. From what we are considering about God, we might look at God's actions as a mixture of the three primary qualities. Let's look at how this applies to God's action in the case of Uzzah.

    Love: God was loving towards Uzzah in sustaining him daily, providing him with a good job, considering Uzzah as a child of God, etc.
    Justice: God is just in that He stated the rules beforehand and he punished according to the rules.
    Mercy: We can expect God to be merciful and to Uzzah and raise him to eternal life in the kingdom. As you say, Uzzah was faithful man and we know that God will save the faithful.

    In the same way, we might look for all these qualities in measure in all the actions of God, including the killing of the Canaanites and Moabites. We cannot look at God in terms of black and white. 1 John 1:5 states; God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. On this basis, God is all colors, so let us try and reason things out instead of seeing everything as black and white and being adversarial about it.

    Whether we can achieve this, time will tell.,

    All the best,

    David
    I understand your analogy, and it looks impressive at first glance. But that's because you skillfully made up stuff that is not in the Bible. There is not a word written in the Bible about how God treated Uzzah. The Bible does not say that Uzzah was a child of God. You just made that up! So much for "reasoning only from the Bible." For all we know, God could have been tormenting him day and night by sending him a "distressing spirit" as he did Saul (1 Sam 16:14). Maybe that's why he deliberately touched the ark, to force God to kill him so he could escape his miserable life. Or maybe he was very faithful and in the heat of the moment reacted without thinking because his love for God and his desire to obey was so great that he felt he must save the ark from falling to the ground. These possibilities have just as much "Biblical support" as yours. The simple fact is that no one knows, and this shows you were not "reasoning only from the Bible." You made up stuff out of whole cloth!

    You have deceived yourself into thinking that you are "reasoning only from the Bible" when in fact your are inventing your own ideas. I've seen this in many of your posts. For example, your assertion that angels cannot sin is taught nowhere in the Bible, yet you take it as a fundamental Biblical truth that justifies your rejection of Peter's plain statement that angels have indeed sinned. How you can think you are "reasoning only from the Bible" utterly mystifies me.

    And there is a problem with your assertion that God was just towards Uzzah because he "stated the rules beforehand and he punished according to the rules." That would be true only if God consistently followed his rules. But he doesn't do anything like that. He let's people get away with sin all the time and he punishes the innocent. For example, he punished all Israel with three years of famine which caused untold suffering of innocent men, women, and children, merely because Saul had killed some Gibeonites! And he didn't even tell anyone why for three years. And then he lifted that famine only after seven sons of Saul (who were not convicted of any crime) were murdered and "hung up before the Lord." And he slaughtered 70,000 Israelites for David's "crime" of taking a census, when in fact there is no law against that in the Bible. And on and on it goes ... there is nothing rational or just about the God of the Bible.

    Finally, I am very sorry to see you adopt CWH's idea that God is merciful because he might raise some of the people he slaughtered. You don't know if Uzzah was saved or not, so you have no foundation for such a supposition. Again, we see you are reasoning from your own presuppositions, and certainly not "only from the Bible."

    Great chatting, my friend,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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  10. #20
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    Originally Posted by jce
    I thought it would be good to start a conversation on God's severe treatment of humanity as mainly recorded in the Old Testament since this is a sticking point for some who use it against the reliability of the Bible. I have copied over some material from another post where I recited a few of God's acts of severity toward the human race. My position on this subject, although disturbing, is that I accept these accounts, if for no other reason then it demonstrates the serious nature of sin and its consequences. It begins in the Old Testament with God slaying one of His creatures in Eden to clothe the nakedness of Adam and Eve and includes God's decision to drown the entire human population excepting Noah's family as a result of the escalating evil and violent behavior of mankind.

    In the Old Testament, God destroyed many innocent lives via natural phenomena such as flooding, astronomical bombardments and earthquakes. He struck down innocent men like Uriah for his disobedient innocent and faithful act of steadying the ark. He sent the angel of death to slay every innocent firstborn son in the land of Egypt and buried Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea. He ordered the slaughter of the indigenous populations in the realm of Canaan including innocent children. And He steps into the New Testament striking down Ananias and Sapphira in the presence of Peter and other witnesses [Finally! Someone who was guilty of something.].

    In many of these executions there were innocent men, innocent women and innocent children and animals. The scriptural narrative suggests that God, if not directly involved, either allowed or commanded many of these brutal acts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I have modified your comments (in red) for accuracy. God kills the innocent and the guilty alike. He has answered Abraham's question in the negative:
    Genesis 18:25 "Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
    If the Bible teaches anything about God, it is that he is not fair, just, moral, good, or even rational. He passed around a group of women like party treats from Saul to David to Absalom with the intent that they be raped on the rooftop to "shame" David. Such behavior is not befitting any man, let alone a god.

    When Christians justify the moral abominations attributed to God in the Bible, it only confirms what history shows - dogmatic religion tends to corrupt both the minds and the morals of those who adhere to it.
    Richard, Just to clarify, I too had the option of adding these adjectives, suggesting that none of these victims were guilty of any criminal behavior, which you elected to incorporate.

    This demonstrates again how you exercise liberties not afforded you by Scripture. You introduce the concepts of man into the revelation of Scripture, thereby modifying the Word of God to suit your internal version of morality. Sorry Richard, but if we are going to debate the validity and authority of Scripture, you will be required to abide by the rules.

    The positions taken by myself, David and Cheow are not our own ideas, they are admissions of acceptance of what God has chosen to reveal about Himself and History. Your rejection of these accounts, and the pity Rose expressed about our belief in the occurrence of these events, does not change nor diminish the revelation them.

    Just a friendly setting of the record straight.

    John

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