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Christians Use Cultural Relativism

GeoLaureate8
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9/12/2010 4:45:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I find Christians using a very weak and self-defeating argument. When trying to rid themselves of the burden of following the 600 laws of the Bible, or trying to show that the Bible is not violent, they resort to the argument that "those laws only applied to the Jews" or "those laws had to do with the culture of the time."

This argument entails that morality is not objective, but relative to culture. If the laws were indeed objective, they would apply to everyone. If you say certain laws only apply to one culture or group of people, that equals moral relativism because the manner in which the laws apply is relative to the culture.

In addition to that, this doesn't vindicate God from being labeled cruel and violent. All it really does change the tense of the statement. God isn't cruel and violent, but rather he WAS cruel and violent, which I find to a be an incredibly weak defense. First of all, they don't deny that God was at one point in time, cruel and violent. Secondly, it's not possible because God is immutable so his morality then is the same now.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
belle
Posts: 4,113
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9/12/2010 4:49:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
i think you're missing the point of that argument, which is that the message of the bible, while divinely inspired, was filtered through the culture of the time, and thus the inconvenient bits can be dismissed. that of course leads to the issue of how you can tell the legitimate portions of the biblical cannon from the cultural artifacts... many christians ignore the inconvenience of that, but i know at least some hold that it is possible to distinguish them without ultimately resting upon the standard "i approve of this" or "i don't approve of this". somehow.... :/

i never really got that part of the argument...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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9/12/2010 4:50:46 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 4:45:22 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I find Christians using a very weak and self-defeating argument. When trying to rid themselves of the burden of following the 600 laws of the Bible, or trying to show that the Bible is not violent, they resort to the argument that "those laws only applied to the Jews" or "those laws had to do with the culture of the time."

This argument entails that morality is not objective, but relative to culture. If the laws were indeed objective, they would apply to everyone. If you say certain laws only apply to one culture or group of people, that equals moral relativism because the manner in which the laws apply is relative to the culture.

In addition to that, this doesn't vindicate God from being labeled cruel and violent. All it really does change the tense of the statement. God isn't cruel and violent, but rather he WAS cruel and violent, which I find to a be an incredibly weak defense. First of all, they don't deny that God was at one point in time, cruel and violent. Secondly, it's not possible because God is immutable so his morality then is the same now.

Old Covenant. Between God and the Jews.

New Covenant. Between God and Christians.

A contract. An agreement. You try to force the perception that God said do this this and this because I believe it to be moral. You are simply wrong. He says do this or that. I either agree or disagree. If I disagree then I leave.

Please show me what standard of morals you use to judge the "morals" you claim to hate.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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9/12/2010 4:51:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 4:45:22 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I find Christians using a very weak and self-defeating argument. When trying to rid themselves of the burden of following the 600 laws of the Bible, or trying to show that the Bible is not violent, they resort to the argument that "those laws only applied to the Jews" or "those laws had to do with the culture of the time."

I am one of these Christians that sees the logic behind that ;)

This argument entails that morality is not objective, but relative to culture. If the laws were indeed objective, they would apply to everyone. If you say certain laws only apply to one culture or group of people, that equals moral relativism because the manner in which the laws apply is relative to the culture.

http://www.debate.org... No, for morality to change with the culture does not contradict morality as objective. If it did that would require 'situation' morality to be different than objective morality, witch its not.

In addition to that, this doesn't vindicate God from being labeled cruel and violent. All it really does change the tense of the statement. God isn't cruel and violent, but rather he WAS cruel and violent, which I find to a be an incredibly weak defense. First of all, they don't deny that God was at one point in time, cruel and violent. Secondly, it's not possible because God is immutable so his morality then is the same now.

it does not need to because 'cruel' is your flawed personal opinion from taste.
and 'violence' is not always uncalled for as far as justice is concerned.
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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9/12/2010 4:58:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 4:49:41 PM, belle wrote:
i think you're missing the point of that argument, which is that the message of the bible, while divinely inspired, was filtered through the culture of the time, and thus the inconvenient bits can be dismissed. that of course leads to the issue of how you can tell the legitimate portions of the biblical cannon from the cultural artifacts... many christians ignore the inconvenience of that, but i know at least some hold that it is possible to distinguish them without ultimately resting upon the standard "i approve of this" or "i don't approve of this". somehow.... :/

i never really got that part of the argument...

Actually I'm not 100% sure God commanded ALL of the Laws. Jesus speaks of Moses Seat. He says that the current leaders (thousands of years after Moses) sit in his seat and therefore can make binding laws for the Jews. And He goes on to refute a lot of the laws made by these leaders. I will have to research that though.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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9/12/2010 5:00:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
This pretty much eliminates both Christianity and Islam for me; Christianity is too much in conflict with the original Old Testament while Islam just appears to be a complete rip-off of the Old Testament with some 7th century Arab culture thrown in.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/12/2010 5:00:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 4:49:41 PM, belle wrote:
i think you're missing the point of that argument, which is that the message of the bible, while divinely inspired, was filtered through the culture of the time,

Actually, that's a separate argument, one that I am not addressing with this post.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/12/2010 5:03:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:00:54 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
This pretty much eliminates both Christianity and Islam for me; Christianity is too much in conflict with the original Old Testament while Islam just appears to be a complete rip-off of the Old Testament with some 7th century Arab culture thrown in.

So won't be a Christian because it's too different from the OT and you won't be a Muslum because it's not original enough? lol

So one's too original, the other, not original enough. Also, originality has nothing to do with the truth of a religion.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
juvanya
Posts: 613
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9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 4:51:01 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
One thing I don't fully understand about this argument is how God could be one way and then suddenly change.
That pretty much is the contradiction of all religions. How could there all be so many? But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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9/12/2010 5:06:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 4:51:01 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
One thing I don't fully understand about this argument is how God could be one way and then suddenly change.
That pretty much is the contradiction of all religions. How could there all be so many? But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.

Well I was specifically referring to the Abrahamic God since that's the concept of God that I accept.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/12/2010 5:07:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 4:51:01 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
One thing I don't fully understand about this argument is how God could be one way and then suddenly change.
That pretty much is the contradiction of all religions.

How could there all be so many?

But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.

That's not an advantage, not to mention, Hinduism was technically the first monotheist religion (they believe in Brahman, one God who manifests as many lower devas/gods) and Zoroastrianism was the first Western monotheistic religion (which Judeo-Christianity stole a lot from, more than just monotheism).
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/12/2010 5:09:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 4:51:01 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
One thing I don't fully understand about this argument is how God could be one way and then suddenly change.
That pretty much is the contradiction of all religions.

Not really. Jainism, Taoism, and Buddhism don't face any of those problems because they are all Atheist religions. They don't have to worry about contradictions disproving divinity claims or a contradictory God.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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9/12/2010 5:10:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.

Zoroastrianism predates Judaism.
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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9/12/2010 5:13:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:07:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
That's not an advantage, not to mention, Hinduism was technically the first monotheist religion (they believe in Brahman, one God who manifests as many lower devas/gods) and Zoroastrianism was the first Western monotheistic religion (which Judeo-Christianity stole a lot from, more than just monotheism).

Hinduism is not the least bit monotheistic...that's just modern day rebranding to attract new, formerly monotheistic followers.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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9/12/2010 5:14:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 4:45:22 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This argument entails that morality is not objective, but relative to culture.

You are conflating relativism and context. Either way it tends to play into DC Theory which isn't classed as an objective moral theory anyway.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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9/12/2010 5:16:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:10:42 PM, Puck wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.

Zoroastrianism predates Judaism.

Yea, that was already pointed out. I think it's more an ethnic religion though so doesn't allow converts(which would explain why it's almost extinct. Most of the followers have converted to other faiths over time, mostly Islam I think). I'm not really sure.
Puck
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9/12/2010 5:17:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:16:24 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:10:42 PM, Puck wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.

Zoroastrianism predates Judaism.

Yea, that was already pointed out. I think it's more an ethnic religion though so doesn't allow converts(which would explain why it's almost extinct. Most of the followers have converted to other faiths over time, mostly Islam I think). I'm not really sure.

http://www.fezana.org...
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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9/12/2010 5:17:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Actually I'm not 100% sure God commanded ALL of the Laws. Jesus speaks of Moses Seat. He says that the current leaders (thousands of years after Moses) sit in his seat and therefore can make binding laws for the Jews. And He goes on to refute a lot of the laws made by these leaders. I will have to research that though.:

With the exception of the 10 Commandments, the Halacha (Jewish Law) was given to Moses, not God. However, YHWH supposedly honored it and violating the Law of Moses was essentially violating God's laws.

But I think the point he's trying to make is that Christians tend to cherry pick morality, even though their morality is reportedly absolute. Well, if it's filtered through the zeitgeist, then that would very much be indicative of relative morality.

So which is it? Is God's morality absolute or relative?
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
juvanya
Posts: 613
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9/12/2010 5:20:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:07:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

That's not an advantage,
Sure it is. If God is real, he wouldnt correct himself.

not to mention, Hinduism was technically the first monotheist religion (they believe in Brahman, one God who manifests as many lower devas/gods)
Thats a cop out like Catholics with the Trinity.

and Zoroastrianism was the first Western monotheistic religion
On what timescale continuum?

(which Judeo-Christianity
Please dont use this term. Its insulting and just plain incorrect.

stole a lot from, more than just monotheism).
No. Judaism is adapted somewhat from Canaanite religion and later incorporated Babylonian and Christian (puke) practices culturally. For example, Rosh Hashanah is a Babylonian feast and in the Torah is only a minor holiday. On Hanuka, there is no commandment to give gifts.

At 9/12/2010 5:10:42 PM, Puck wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.

Zoroastrianism predates Judaism.
See above.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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9/12/2010 5:20:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:17:35 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
So which is it? Is God's morality absolute or relative?

Misses the whole point of the covenant which Jesus instated, which was *specifically* to disavow the ethnocentric Judaic heritage of God and the chosen people and thus allow salvation for everyone. You'd have a point if the theology wasn't intentional, however it is.
jharry
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9/12/2010 5:22:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:17:35 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Actually I'm not 100% sure God commanded ALL of the Laws. Jesus speaks of Moses Seat. He says that the current leaders (thousands of years after Moses) sit in his seat and therefore can make binding laws for the Jews. And He goes on to refute a lot of the laws made by these leaders. I will have to research that though.:

With the exception of the 10 Commandments, the Halacha (Jewish Law) was given to Moses, not God. However, YHWH supposedly honored it and violating the Law of Moses was essentially violating God's laws.
When did Jesus violate a law? I'm assuming YHWH is Jesus. he was accused, but He debated (and won) that either Law was against God's laws or they were misinterpreted.


But I think the point he's trying to make is that Christians tend to cherry pick morality, even though their morality is reportedly absolute. Well, if it's filtered through the zeitgeist, then that would very much be indicative of relative morality.
How is that?


So which is it? Is God's morality absolute or relative?

God is God.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
juvanya
Posts: 613
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9/12/2010 5:23:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:20:43 PM, Puck wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:17:35 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
So which is it? Is God's morality absolute or relative?

Misses the whole point of the covenant which Jesus instated, which was *specifically* to disavow the ethnocentric Judaic heritage of God and the chosen people and thus allow salvation for everyone. You'd have a point if the theology wasn't intentional, however it is.
Judaism isnt ethnocentric. Converts were always accepted and it is prophesized that everyone will convert at the end times.
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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9/12/2010 5:23:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:20:40 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:07:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
and Zoroastrianism was the first Western monotheistic religion
On what timescale continuum?

Lmfao, you seriously didn't know that? Tell me you're joking.
juvanya
Posts: 613
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9/12/2010 5:24:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:09:51 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 4:51:01 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
One thing I don't fully understand about this argument is how God could be one way and then suddenly change.
That pretty much is the contradiction of all religions.

Not really. Jainism, Taoism, and Buddhism don't face any of those problems because they are all Atheist religions. They don't have to worry about contradictions disproving divinity claims or a contradictory God.
Fine. They have their own atheistic plane of contradiction each other.

At 9/12/2010 5:23:21 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:20:40 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:07:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
and Zoroastrianism was the first Western monotheistic religion
On what timescale continuum?

Lmfao, you seriously didn't know that? Tell me you're joking.
Id like to ask you the same thing
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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9/12/2010 5:24:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:23:21 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:20:40 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:07:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
and Zoroastrianism was the first Western monotheistic religion
On what timescale continuum?

Lmfao, you seriously didn't know that? Tell me you're joking.

He has his issues. Take it easy on him.;)
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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9/12/2010 5:25:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:20:40 PM, juvanya wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:07:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

That's not an advantage,
Sure it is. If God is real, he wouldnt correct himself.

not to mention, Hinduism was technically the first monotheist religion (they believe in Brahman, one God who manifests as many lower devas/gods)
Thats a cop out like Catholics with the Trinity.

and Zoroastrianism was the first Western monotheistic religion
On what timescale continuum?

(which Judeo-Christianity
Please dont use this term. Its insulting and just plain incorrect.

stole a lot from, more than just monotheism).
No. Judaism is adapted somewhat from Canaanite religion and later incorporated Babylonian and Christian (puke) practices culturally. For example, Rosh Hashanah is a Babylonian feast and in the Torah is only a minor holiday. On Hanuka, there is no commandment to give gifts.

At 9/12/2010 5:10:42 PM, Puck wrote:
At 9/12/2010 5:04:20 PM, juvanya wrote:
But Judaism has the advantage of being the first monotheistic religion.

Zoroastrianism predates Judaism.
See above.

By which Islam, incorpaorating Christian and Judaic elements also predates the Judaic elements ... or in other words, taking the heritage of the religion, doesn't constitute as the religion itself i.e. non codified definitions are pointless in determining historicity arguments of which the vast majority of classic religions are based upon older precursors.

As is, Zoroastrianism is the oldest codified monotheistic religion, the Babylonian/ Assyric origins of religions from that era and region don't count as not being monotheistic themselves.
juvanya
Posts: 613
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9/12/2010 5:27:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:25:21 PM, Puck wrote:
By which Islam, incorpaorating Christian and Judaic elements also predates the Judaic elements ... or in other words, taking the heritage of the religion, doesn't constitute as the religion itself i.e. non codified definitions are pointless in determining historicity arguments of which the vast majority of classic religions are based upon older precursors.
Islam doesnt predate Judaism. The only way you can argue that is by claiming the Israelites were Muslims. Thats not a valid argument.

As is, Zoroastrianism is the oldest codified monotheistic religion, the Babylonian/ Assyric origins of religions from that era and region don't count as not being monotheistic themselves.
It was codified a few hundred years later............so no.
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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9/12/2010 5:28:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 5:17:35 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:

So which is it? Is God's morality absolute or relative?

neither, its objective.
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.